Speaker, Reciter (rhêtos)
RHETIA was an Oreiad-nymph of Mount Saon on the north Aegean island of Samothrake. She was the mother by Apollon of the nine Samothrakian Korybantes (Corybantes)--orgiastic dancers of the Mysteries. Rhetia was probably the goddess who presided over the recitation of the lore of the Mysteries to the new initiates.
Rhetia was probably associated with the Mousai (Muses), two of whom are named as the mother of the Samothrakian Korybantes in alternate genealogies. Her name means "Reciter" or "Speaker" which also suggests a Mousa.
THE KORYBANTES SAMOTHRAKIOI (by Apollon) (Pherecydes Frag, Strabo 10.3.21)
CLASSICAL LITERATURE QUOTES
Strabo, Geography 10. 3. 21 (trans. Jones) (Greek geographer C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"Pherekydes (Pherecydes) [Greek mythographer C5th B.C.] says that nine Kyrbantes (Corybantes) were sprung from Apollon and Rhetia, and that they took up their abode in Samothrake; and that three Kabeiroi (Cabeiri) and three Nymphai (Nymphs) called Kabeirides (Cabirides) were the children of Kabeiro (Cabeiro), the daughter of [the sea-god] Proteus, and Hephaistos (Hephaestus), and that sacred rites were instituted in honor of each triad."
- Strabo, Geography - Greek Geography C1st B.C. - C1st A.D.
A complete bibliography of the translations quoted on this page.