Minoan Goddesses


Ariadne - Most Holy, High Fruitful Mother. Moon Goddess.
Britomartis - Cretan Sweet Girl. Great Goddess of Minoan Crete. Lily was Her flower.
Dictynna - Lawgiving Goddess of Mount Dicte. Her plant was Dittany.
Europa - Full Moon, the Great Goddess as Mother of all Europe. White Moon Cow. Garlanded white bulls were sacrificed to this Lunar Cow Goddess in Crete and Mycenae from a very early date.
Leukippe - White Mare- Horse Goddess. minsnake
Minoan Snake Goddess - 1600 - 1500 B.C.E.
Pasipha - She Who Shines for All. Cretan Moon Goddess.
Rhea - Aegean Universal Mother, Great Goddess, Pre-Hellenic Great Mother Goddess. Also known as Britomartis, Great Goddess of Bronze Age Crete and the Aegean Islands. Great Mother. She had no consort and ruled supreme before the coming of patriotic Hellenic invaders. Archetypal Triple Goddess. Britomartis, the Sweet Virgin, Dictynna, the Lawgiving Mother and Aegea, the foundress of Aegean civilization. aka Coronis. Pre-Roman Latium knew Her as Rhea Silvia, Rhea of the Woodland, under Whose rule, the Vestal Virgins were neither celibate nuns, nor servants of the state, as they became in later ages. They were choosers and deposers of the early Latin kings, a college of matronae who ruled the rulers and took no husbands. Her children were cared for by Acca Larentia - the Holy Harlot or High Priestess.

from Wikipedia, linear a:

* a-ta-no-?-wa-ja is possibly the name of a goddess. This is sometimes read alternatively, as a-ta-i-dju?-wa-ja.

# ja-sa-sa-ra-me as said above could be the name of the goddess Ashtoreth Yam. Another, though more tentative explanation would be, to compare it to the Hittite ashar (woman). Some have even suggested a comparison with Etruscan ais, meaning 'god'.

# A-MA-JA and A-MA : divine name, Amaja, the Minoan goddess of healing (known from the London Medical Papyrus). Supposedly connected to the greek Maia, mother of Apollon.

* RA2-TI : theoretized to represent Razija, the Minoan Great Goddess, whose connection to the Classical Greek Rhea, mother of gods, is obvious.

Nopina, in later Greek Nymph or Maiden (particularly, a nubile maiden), whom Faure thinks is a new-moon goddess.

Ma, in later Greek Mother, whom Faure thinks is a full-moon goddess.

Re or Reja -- that is, Rhea. Yes, my goddess shows up by name in Minoan Crete before the presumed Mycenaean invasion of 1450 BC! (Minoan archaeologists deduce this invasion from a fairly thorough destruction layer across the island dated to this period, and from the fact that after this destruction administration of the island seems to be centered in Knossos and performed by the Mycenaean Greek speakers who wrote Linear B.) Rhea is indicated by the sign RE, which is either a flower with three petals or a trident, on items found in the Idean Cave and elsewhere. In later Greek myth, Rhea is the mother of Zeus and a goddess strongly associated with Crete.

Ro Ma or Ros Ma -- in later Greek, Strong Mother. The inscription to Ro Ma was found at the cave of Skoteino, later a center of worship for Britomartis, whom Faure identifies as the Strong Goddess. Ro Ma's symbol is a sign like a window or a cross in a frame, shown following. This sign is also found in the storerooms at Knossos. Possibly Ro Ma is the patron deity of the Skoteino area, in northern Crete near the Bay of Mirabello. This symbol in the Knossos storerooms may flag goods from that neighborhood, or goods dedicated to Ro Ma.

But Faure's grouping is almost certainly not the full list of deities worshipped in Minoan Crete. Arguably, many of the deities listed in the Linear B archives found at Knossos, and in other Linear B writings, were Cretan. According to the online Dartmouth course "Prehistoric Archaeology of the Aegean" (http://projectsx.dartmouth.edu/classics/history/bronze_age/index.html), the goddess names found include Potinija or Potnia ("Mistress" in later Greek); Atana Potinija or Potnia Atana, possibly Athena; Dapuritojo Potinijia, Potnia of the Labyrinth; Pipituna, possibly Diktynna, a goddess of classical Crete; Ereutija or Eleuthia, in other words Eileithyia, the classical goddess of childbirth; Erinu, or Erinys, a name for a classical Fury and a cult epithet of Demeter; and Diwija or Diwia, the female counterpart of Zeus. The god names found include Diwo, Zeus; Posedaone or Poseidon; Enesidaone or Enosidas, Greek for "Earth-shaker"; Pajawone or Paiawon, Paian being a later classical epithet for Apollo; Are, possibly Ares; and Enuwarijo or Enyalios, a classical epithet for Ares. Very likely, some of these were native deities, whose worship was continued by the Mycenaeans who ruled Knossos after 1450 BC. However, it's impossible to know if the Knossos tablets contain any Minoan names or list strictly Mycenaean names that disguise Nopina, Ma and the rest. (bits and pieces of article by Melanie Fire Salamander)

The Snake Goddess Represented by the MM III "Snake Goddesses" of the Temple Repositories at Knossos as well as by some of the later bell-shaped terracotta figurines of the LM III period, this particular goddess is usually considered to be a household divinity and interestingly does not appear on seals.

Mistress of Animals (or of the Mountain) A famous seal impression from Knossos (Nilsson 1950: Pl.18:1; Gesell 1985: Fig.114) shows a female figure holding a staff and standing on top of a cairn or rocky hill. She is flanked by antithetic lions, beyond which are a shrine on one side and a saluting male on the other. A second seal from Knossos (Nilsson 1950: Pl.18:4) shows a capped female with a staff walking next to a lion, another pose of the same Mistress of Animals figure.

Goddess of Vegetation Dominating female figures on a number of seals (e.g. Nilsson 1950: Pl.17:1) are often identified as deities.






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