Far Away, Blessed
MAKRIS (Macris) was a nymph daughter of the rustic-god Aristaios (Aristaeus) who nursed the infant Dionysos in a cave on the island of Euboia. She was later driven from her home by the wrathful goddess Hera and settled on Korkyra (Corycra), home of the Phaiakes (Phaeacians).
Makris' name was derived from the Greek word makros meaning "far away" or makaria meaning "blessed".
Makris was also known as Nysa and in this guise was often multiplied into a troupe of Nysiades. She was probably identified with Mystis, the Euboian nurse of Dionysos in an alternate account, and the Phaiakian nymph Melite, the "Honey-Sweet."
ARISTAIOS (Apollonius Rhodius 4.1128, Diodorus Siculus 3.70.1)
MACRIS (Makris), a daughter of Aristaeus, who fed the infant Dionysus with honey, after he was brought to her in Euboea by Hermes; but being expelled by Hera, she took refuge in the island of the Phaeacians. (Apollon. Rhod. iv. 540, 990, 1131.)
NYSA (Nusa), a daughter of Aristaeus, who was believed to have brought up the infant god Dionysus, and from whom one of the many towns of the name of Nysa was believed to have derived its name. (Diod. iii. 69.)
Source: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.
Of Mount Nysa
CLASSICAL LITERATURE QUOTES
Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica 4. 538 ff (trans. Rieu) (Greek epic C3rd B.C.) :
"The Phaiakian (Phaeacians) land . . . the island of Makris (Macris), nurse of Dionysos."
Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica 4. 982 ff :
"In the Keraunian (Ceraunian) Sea, fronting the Ionian Straits, there is a rich and spacious island [Korkyra (Corcyra)] . . . Others call it the reaping-hook of Demeter Khthonie (Chthonia, of the Earth), who lived there once and taught the Titanes to reap corn for food, in her affection for Makris (Macris). From this reaping-hook the island takes its name of Drepane (the Sickle), the sacred Nurse of the Phaiakes (Phaeacians)."
Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica 4. 1128 ff :
"For that very night [the Phaiakes (Phaeacians)] prepared a bridal bed for [Jason and] Medea in the sacred cave where Makris (Macris) had once lived. Makris was the daughter of Aristaios (Aristaeus), the honey-loving shepherd who discovered the secret of the bees and the riches that the olive yields in payment for our toil. It was Makris, who in Abantian Euboia (Euboea), took the infant Dionysos to her bosom and moistened his parched lips with honey, when Hermes had rescued him from the flames and brought him to her. But Hera saw this and in her anger banished her from Euboia. So Makris came to the remote Phaiakian land, where she lived in the sacred cave and brought abundance to the people."
Diodorus Siculus, Library of History 3. 70. 1 (trans. Oldfather) (Greek historian C1st B.C.) :
"Now to this cave [i.e. the cave of Mount Nysa], the account runs, Ammon [Zeus] came and brought the child [Dionysos] and gave him into the care of Nysa, one of the daughters of Aristaios (Aristaeus); and he appointed Aristaios to be the guardian of the child."
Nonnus, Dionysiaca 21. 178 ff (trans. Rouse) (Greek epic C5th A.D.) :
"[Dionysos was driven into the sea by the impious king Lykourgos (Lycurgus) :] Kronian Makris (Cronian Macris) the nurse of nevermourning Dionysos trilled her lament, she who used to share the basket of the well-spoked car of Bakkhos (Bacchus) . . . So they [the companions of Dionysos] were all restless and sad."
- Apollonius Rhodius, The Argonautica - Greek Epic C3rd B.C.
- Diodorus Siculus, The Library of History - Greek History C1st B.C.
- Nonnus, Dionysiaca - Greek Epic C5th A.D.
Other references not currently quoted here: Scholiast on Apollonius Rhodius 1131.
A complete bibliography of the translations quoted on this page.