It is interesting the similarity between the words for deities
(ΘΕΟς) (divine essence entity) and incense (ΘΥΟς) (divine purifying entity). Incense, thuos (ΘΥΟς) is defined as a "substance producing a fragrant smell when burnt." Incense is an offering to one or several deities. Thomas Taylor equates incense with "fumigation," that is, a purification of the space to make it appropriately holy for communion with the divine.
The Lexicon defines manna (μάννα) as powder or granules (of frankincense). Manna (μάννα) is also defined as "mother."
Interestingly, aspros (ἅσπρο) is defined as an incense ingredient. Aspros means white-colored, with aspron (ἅσπρον) meaning the white of an egg. Perhaps, manna is the "mother's milk" of the white-colored aspros? An aspropolissa (άσπροπώλισσα) is a seller of incense. Finally, aspis (ἅσπις) means Turkey oak, Quercus Cerris. The incense aspros may be derived from the plant aspis.
According to Plants for a Future, the Turkey oak, Quercus Cerris:
"A sweet fluid exudes from insect damage on the stems and solidifies[2, 61, 105, 177]. This is edible and is sold as a manna in local markets in Iran. It can be boiled down into a syrup and used for sweetening food."
"(The) Seed (is) - cooked. Up to 2.5cm long. It can be dried, ground into a powder and used as a thickening in stews etc or mixed with cereals for making bread . . . Either the whole seed can be used or the seed can be dried and ground it into a powder.
As an astringent (purifying agent): "Any galls produced on the tree are strongly astringent and can be used in the treatment of haemorrhages, chronic diarrhoea, dysentery etc."
As an insect repellent: "A mulch of the leaves repels slugs, grubs etc."
The definition of the word "manna" is a bit of a mystery, as Biblical scholars are hard-pressed to discern just what type of food it refers to.
L-N (Theological Dictionary of the New Testament) gives a concerted effort to figure out what is meant by manna.
- "the miraculous food by which the Israelites were fed during the wilderness journey," 'bread from heaven,' 'bread,' 'heavenly grain'"
- "'morsel,' 'crumb,' 'grain' especially used for grains of incense;" "also, a remedy against nose-bleeding, 'mix incense with the juice of onion and apply inwardly to the flux'"
- "can also be used as . . . 'tribute,' 'meal offering'"
- "Acc. to J the manna falls with the dew from heaven (Ex. 16:4a, 13b). It is a granular deposit like frost (v.14), and when the people see it they ask with astonishment: 'What is this?' . . . It is like coriander seed and tastes like honey (v. 31b). It is gathered daily as required (v. 21a) early in the morning before the sun melts it (v. 21b)."
- "The view in the different strata of P . . . is rather different. Here it is baked and cooked (Ex. 16:23) after having been ground in handmills and beaten in a mortar. It is also . . . compared with coriander seed and bdellium (Nu.11:7, 8b)."
Mount Dikte and the Diktaeon Cave
A unique feature of the island is its numerous caves, the largest of which is found on Mount Dikte. It is called the Diktaeon Cave, one of the most important and famous of the 3,000 caves in Crete. This is where, it is believed, Rhea gave birth to her divine offspring.
The Diktaeon Cave is found in the Mount Dikte range in East Crete, on the Lassithi Plateau . . . the Lassithi Plateau has particularly fertile soil, and large amounts of water from the snow that falls on the peaks of Mount Dikte collect in the water table.
“In the antechamber of the Diktaeon Cave were discovered the foundations of an altar and the remains of offerings. The worshippers’ offerings, such as olive oil, honey, wine, wheat and animal sacrifices, were placed on the altar and burnt. The ashes were still considered offerings, so they could not be thrown away like common rubbish; they were collected reverentially next to the altar . . . The Diktaeon Cave consists of five chambers large and small. The most impressive sight is the lake at the lowest point, surrounded by massive stalactites and stalagmites.”
The herb Dittany of Crete is known locally here on the Greek Island of Crete as Diktamo or Diktamos.
Traditionally Dittany of Crete has been used to soothe aches and pains including headaches and period pains, heal wounds, soothe skin conditions, help with digestion and aid stomach ailments. Dittany of Crete has also reputed aphrodisiac qualities.
Diktamo has been tested and classed as analgesic, antiseptic, anaesthetic, anti-inflammatory, anti rheumatic, bactericidal, carminative, expectorant and fungicidal by the International Plant Genetic Resources Institute. (CIHEAM, 1996, Vallezano-Bari, Italy)
XXXV. TO DIANA
The Fumigation from Manna.
Hear me, Jove’s daughter, celebrated queen,
Bacchian and Titan, of a noble mien:
In darts rejoicing and on all to shine,
Torch-bearing Goddess, Dictynna divine;
O'er births presiding, and thyself a maid,
To labour-pangs imparting ready aid:
Dissolver of the zone and wrinkl'd care,
Fierce huntress, glorying in the Sylvan war:
Swift in the course, in dreadful arrows skill'd,
Wandering by night, rejoicing in the field:
Of manly form, erect, of bounteous mind,
Illustrious daemon, nurse of human kind:
Immortal, earthly, bane of monsters fell,
‘Tis thine, blest maid, on woody hills to dwell:
Foe of the stag, whom woods and dogs delight,
In endless youth who flourish fair and bright.
O, universal queen, august, divine,
A various form, Cydonian pow'r, is thine:
Dread guardian Goddess, with benignant mind
Auspicious, come to mystic rites inclin'd
Give earth a store of beauteous fruits to bear,
Send gentle Peace, and Health with lovely hair,
And to the mountains drive Disease and Care.
36. To Artemis (incense—powdered frankincense)
Hear me, O queen, Zeus’ daughter of many names,
Titanic and Bacchic, reverend, renowned archer,
Torch-bearing goddess bringing light to all, Diktynna, helper at childbirth,
You aid women in labor, though you know not what labor is.
O frenzy-loving huntress, you loosen girdles and drive cares away;
Swift, arrow-pouring, you love the outdoors and you roam in the night.
Fame-bringing, affable, redeeming, mannish,
Orthia, goddess of the swift birth, nurturer of mortal youths.
Immortal and yet of this earth, you slay wild beasts, O blessed one,
And your realm is in the mountain forests. You hunt deer,
O august and mighty queen of all, fair blossom, eternal,
Sylvan, dog-loving, many-shaped lady of Kydonia.
Come, dear goddess, as savior, accessible to all
The initiates and bring earth’s fair fruits
And lovely Peace and well-tressed Health;
And do banish disease and pain to mountain peaks.
Daughter of the Sky,
Queen of Heaven and Earth,
Lover of the Grape and the Vine,
Noble, revered, honored, and adored.
Celebrated and glorious bowhunter.
Illuminator of the night.
Goddess of nets.
Goddess of childbirth.
Never having given birth,
Aider of women in labor, easer of pain,
Opener of the birth canal.
Driving fears away.
Great hunter in the forest:
Skillful, swift, and rapidly shooting arrows.
Like a man, roaming the outdoors at night, rejoicing in the fields.
Kind and approachable,
Forgiving wrongdoing and offering a path to redemption.
Goddess of the Upright.
Goddess of the swift birth,
Nurturer of youth.
Divine, immortal, earthly,
Slayer of beasts.
Blessed Goddess who dwells in mountain forests,
Hunter of deer,
Universal and immortal Queen of all.
Majestic, admirable, generous divinity,
Fair blossom of the forests,
Friend of the hounds,
Revered Divinity of Cydonia in Crete.
Guardian and savior, be present with us,
Bring forth a bountiful harvest of fruits from the earth,
Bring Peace and lovely Health,
Banish Disease and Pain to the highest peaks of remote mountains.
The most powerful center of western Crete, Cydonia produced Bronze Age pottery and Linear B writings circa 1700 to 1500 BCE, and was one of the first cities of Europe to mint coinage. A temple of Britomartis was erected on Mount Tityros near the city.
HISTORY Cydonia was likely established as a Neolithic settlement in the fourth millennium BCE.
CRETE, Kydonia. Circa 2nd-1st Century BC. AR Tetradrachm (13.74 gm). P[A]S[I]W[N], head of Artemis right, bow and quiver at shoulder. Diktynna standing facing, head turned left, with torch in left hand, hound at feet; all within laurel wreath. Crete. From the Robert Schonwalter Collection. Ex Coin Galleries (24 February 1984), lot 135.
Sylvan: of, pertaining to, or inhabiting the woods; (Latin silv(a) forest)
Diana/Artemis is the feminine ideal of independence and self-sufficiency. As a virgin, she is free of family or domestic responsibilities. She and her friends live in the wilds. They hunt for food and, skillful with weapons, defend themselves against predatory animals and people, often in defense of their virginity.
"Artemis became a practised huntress and remained a virgin." - Apollodorus, The Library 1.21
"Praise Artemis too, the maiden huntress, who wanders on the mountains and through the woods." - Aristophanes, Thesmophoriazusae 114
"Among the Henetoi [of northern Italia] ... in the sacred precincts [of Artemis] the wild animals become tame, and deer herd with wolves, and they allow the people to approach and caress them, and any that are pursued by dogs are no longer pursued when they have taken refuge here." - Strabo, Geography 5.1.9
"After Kolophon [in Asia Minor] one comes to the mountain Korakios and to an isle sacred to Artemis, whither deer, it has been believed, swim across and give birth to their young." - Strabo, Geography 14.1.29
Philostratus the Elder, Imagines 1. 28 (trans. Fairbanks) (Greek rhetorician C3rd A.D.) : "And the hunters as they advance will hymn Artemis Agrotera (Goddess of the Hunt); for yonder is a temple to her, and a statue worn smooth with age, and heads of boars and bears; and wild animals sacred to her graze there, fawns and wolves and hares, all tame and without fear of man. After a prayer the hunters continue the hunt."
"[Depicted on the chest of Kypelos at Olympia] Artemis has wings on her shoulders ... in her right hand she grips a leopard, in her left a lion [a depiction of the goddess as Potnia Theron, Queen of the Beasts]." - Pausanias, Guide to Greece 5.19.5
Plaque with nature goddess (Artemis?)
Greek, East Greek, Orientalizing Period, 640–630 B.C.E.
Place of Manufacture: Kameiros, Rhodes, Greece 3.7 x 2 cm (1 7/16 x 13/16 in.) Electrum, repoussé
Rectangular gold plaque, repoussé technique. The "Oriental Artemis" holding a small lion in each hand. Upper right corner gone.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Diodorus Siculus, Library of History 5. 76. 3 (trans. Oldfather) (Greek historian C1st B.C.) : "Britomartis, who is also called Diktynna, the myths relate, was born at Kaino in Krete of Zeus and Karme, the daughter of Euboulos who was the son of Demeter; she invented the nets (diktya) which are used in hunting, whence she has been called Diktynna, and she passed her time in the company of Artemis, this being the reason why some men think Diktynna and Artemis are one and the same goddess; and the Kretans have instituted sacrifices and built temples in honour of this goddess. But those men who tell the tale that she has been named Diktynna because she fled into some fishermen’s nets when she was pursued by Minos, who would have ravished her, have missed the truth; for its is not a probable story that the goddess should ever have got into so helpless a state that she would have required the aid that men can give, being as she is the daughter of the greatest one of the gods."
Strabo, Geography 10. 4. 12 (trans. Jones) (Greek geographer C1st B.C.E. to C1st C.E.) : "And neither is Kallimakhos [Greek poet C3rd B.C.E.] right, they say, when he says that Britomartis, in her flight from the violence of Minos, leaped from Dikte into fishermen's nets, and that because of this she herself was called Diktynna (Lady of the Nets) by the Kydoniatai, and the mountain Dikte; for Kydonia is not in the neighborhood of these places at all, but lies near the western limits of the island. However, there is a mountain called Tityros in Kydonia, on which is a temple, not the Diktaion temple [of Zeus], but the Diktynnaion [temple of Britomartis]."
Pausanias, Description of Greece 3. 24. 9 : "By the sea [at Hypsos, Lakedaimonia] is a temple of Artemis Diktynna on a promontory, in whose honour they hold an annual festival."
Aristophanes, Wasps 367 ff (trans. O'Neill) (Greek comedy C5th to 4th B.C.) : "Oh! Diktynna goddess who watchest over the nets, forgive me for making a hole in this one."
Aristophanes, Frogs 1358 ff : "Diktynna, huntress, fair to see, O bring that keen-nosed pack of thine (pack of hunting dogs), and hunt through all the house with me.”
Cicero, De Natura Deorum 3. 19 : "You say that Sol the Sun and Luna the Moon are deities, and the Greeks identify the former with Apollo and the latter with Diana."
Book V, 76. 3 Britomartis, who is also called Dictynna, the myths relate, was born at Caeno in Crete . . . she invented the nets (dictya) which are used in hunting, whence she has been called Dictynna, and she passed her time in the company of Artemis, this being the reason why some men think Dictynna and Artemis are one and the same goddess; and the Cretans have instituted sacrifices and built temples in honour of this goddess. 4 But those men who tell the tale that she has been named Dictynna because she fled into some fishermen's nets when she was pursued by Minos, who would have ravished her, have missed the truth; for it is not a probable story that the goddess should ever have got into so helpless a state that she would have required the aid that men can give, being as she is the daughter of the greatest one of the gods, nor is it right to ascribe such an impious deed to Minos, who tradition unanimously declares avowed just principles and strove to attain a manner of life which was approved by men.
-Diodorus Siculus, Library of History, Book V, 76: 3-4.
Cydonia or Kydonia was an important ancient city-state on the northwest coast of the island of Crete. It is at the site of the modern-day Greek city of Khania.
The kudonea (κῠδωνέα), quince-tree, has fruit similar to that of a pear, appearing pregnant.
Quince fruit. http://www.helpfulhealthtips.com/quince-information-uses-and-benefits/
"Diana [Artemis] they identify with the Moon ... the name Luna is derived from lucere ‘to shine’; for it is the same word as Lucina, and therefore in our country Juno Lucina is invoked in childbirth, as is Diana in her manifestation as Lucifera (the light-bringer) among the Greeks. She is also called Diana Omnivaga (wide-wandering) [the Roman Artemis] ... [is so-titled] because she is counted as one of the seven planets or ‘wanderers’ (vagary). She was called Diana because she made a sort of Day (Dia) in the night-time. She is invoked to assist at the birth of children, because the period of gestation is either occasionally seven, or more usually nine, lunar revolutions, and these are called menses (months), because they cover measured (mensa) spaces." - Cicero, De Natura Deorum 2.27
36. Ἀρτέμιδος, - Artemis
θυμίαμα - incense
μάνναν. - manna, granular incense (in Jewish tradition, a miraculous food), possibly derived from the aspis (ἅσπις) tree, known as the Turkey oak, Quercus Cerris.
Κλῦθί - call, unlock
μου, - channel
ὦ - bring forth
βασίλεια, - Queen, Basis
Διὸς - Dios
πολυώνυμε - many-named
κούρη, - daughter, girl
Τιτανίς, - Titan
βρομία, - sounding, noisy, boisterous
μεγαλώνυμε, - great-named, greatly honored
τοξότι, - hunter
σεμνή, - solemn, revered
πασιφαής, - "shining on all" + all (πασι) + light (φαής) (probably in reference to equating Artemis with the moon)
δαιδοῦχε, - fire-brand, pinetorch (δαι) + direct/straight (δοῦ) + foundation (χε) (perhaps saying the source of light in the night)
θεά - Goddess
Δίκτυννα, - Diktynna, of the nets = fishing net, hunting net (Δίκτυ) + ννα
(note that Δίκυ means two) (also note the meaning of the word dictator (δικτάτωρ)). Also note that (Diktaios) Δικταιος means of Dicte, a mountain in Crete where Rhea is said to have given birth to the Gods and Goddesses, and diktamnon (δίκταμνον) is dittany of Crete, Origanum Dictamnus (said to inspire love, heal wounds, and induce menstruation; a type of oregano)
λοχείη - of childbirth, of parturition (Crete is where Rhea, the mother of the Gods and Goddesses, gave birth, and Artemis, the Goddess of independence, is someone who assists in childbirth) = loosen/release (λ) + foundation (οχείη)
ὠδίνων - travail, anguish of childbirth; pain of parturition = bring forth (ὠ) + two (δί) prevailing/tipping point (ν) + transition/transfer (ων)
ἐπαρωγὲ - help, aid = upon, above (ἐπ) + aid, succor, benefit, advocate (αρωγὲ)
καὶ - and
ὠδίνων - travail, anguish of childbirth
ἀμύητε, - arising above (ἀ) + initiation into the mysteries (μύητε)
λυσίζωνε, - loosening the zone of pregnancy/life = loose (λυσί) + zone/life (ζωνε)
φίλοιστρε,- loving (φίλο) + flow, river, Istros River (Danube River (ιστρε) (Istria is a large peninsula of Croatia) - or/also- knowing/learned/of history
κυνηγέτι, - hunt, chase, pursue, hunter (κυν) + leader (ηγέτι) -or- of the Getai, a tribe in the region of the Istros (Γετικος means of the Getai (Γέται))
(See magnificent Thracian tomb of Bulgaria here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Tomb_sveshtari2-1-.jpg (This suggest an association with Thrace/Scythia/the Black Seas people, classically the home of the warrior female Amazons)
λυσιμέριμνε, - loose/release (λυσι) + care, worries, anxiety (μέριμνε) = portion/share (μέρι) + memory (μνε)
εὔδρομε, - swift, rapid, running well, easily traversed = essence pure (εὔ) + course (δρομε)
ἰοχέαιρα, arrow-shooting = arrow (ἰο) (also "poison" and "violet") + pour, let flow (χέαιρα)
φιλαγρότι, - fond of the chase, hunter = loving (φιλ) + the wilds, the country, rustic (αγρότι)
νυκτερόφοιτε, - night (νυκτ) + passion (ερό) + regularly comes and goes, regular or repeated going, frequenting (φοιτε)
κληισία, - key, lock, bolt; door opening
εὐάντητε, - accessible, gracious = essence pure; good (εὐ) + meeting up against (άντητε)
λυτηρία, - loose, deliver, untie
ἀρσενόμορφε, - manly (ἀρσενό) + form, appearance (μορφε)
Ὀρθίη, - straight up, upright, straight, upstanding (ortho) (epithet)
ὠκυλόχεια, - giving a quick birth = quick, swift (ὠκυ) + parturition, childbirth (λόχεια) = bring forth (ὠ) + pregnant, embryo (κυ)(core pure) + parturition, childbirth (λόχεια)(loosen foundation)
βροτῶν - of mortals, of humans
κουροτρόφε - rearing children = child, youth, offspring (κουρο) + rearer, nurturer (τρόφε) δαῖμον, - divine power/spirit
ἀμβροτέρα, - immortal = arising above (ἀμ) + mortality (βροτέρα)
χθονία, - earthly, foundational
θηροκτόνε, - "killing wild beasts" = wild beasts/animals (θηρο) + slay -or- township (κτόνε) (so, either she's killing them or living with them) (Zonar translates this as murder)
ὀλβιόμοιρε, - happy, blest, whole (ὀλ) + life (βιό) + portion (μοιρε)
ἣ - shared center
κατέχεις - hold back, withhold, check, restrain, bridle, hold fast
ὀρέων - mountains, hills
δρυμούς, - woods, copse, thicket, woodland
ἐλαφηβόλε, - "shooting deer" = deer (ἐλαφη) + throw with a casting net; missile, javelin (βόλε) (so, it's more like netting deer or spearing deer, basically, throwing something at deer)
σεμνή, - revered, august, holy, solemn
πότνια, - Potnia, Queen
παμβασίλεια, - All-Queen, all-basileia
καλὸν - wood, timber; beautiful
θάλος - offspring, child; victor's wreath, crown; well-being; sprout, grow, thrive
αἰὲν - eternal
ἐοῦσα, - being
δρυμονία, - living in the woods = woods, copse, thicket (δρυμο) + prevailing over (νία)
σκυλακῖτι, - dog (σκυλα) + κῖτ
Κυδωνιάς, - Cydonian (Crete); named for quinces, a fruit similar to a pear, appearing pregnant (κυεω)(kore pure essence brings forth)
αἰολόμορφε· - quick-moving, nimble, varied (αἰολό) + form, shape (μορφε)
ἐλθέ, - come
θεὰ - Goddess
σώτειρα, - Savior
φίλη, - loving
μύστηισιν - the initiates in the mysteries
ἅπασιν - all, whole, altogether, in all things; above all
εὐάντητος, - accessible, gracious = essence pure (εὐ) + meet with, come up against (άντητος)
ἄγουσα - pure
καλοὺς - beautiful
καρποὺς - fruitful
ἀπὸ - arising above all, of, from
γαίης - of Earth, of Gaia
εἰρήνην - of Eirene, the Goddess of Peace
τ' - too then
ἐρατὴν - lovely
καλλιπλόκαμόν - beautiful (καλλι) + locks or braids or curls of hair (πλόκαμόν)
θ' - Goddess
ὑγίειαν· - of Health, Hygeia
πέμποις - the fifth
δ' - of, from
εἰς - essence
ὀρέων - boundary, landmark, horizon; mountain, hill; canton, parish; watery part
κεφαλὰς - head, noblest part, most essential part; crown; sum; capital city
νούσους - disease, plague, distress, anguish, illness, sickness
τε - too then
καὶ - and
ἄλγη. - pain, suffering