31. Ὕπνος Κουρήτων Ι.
Hymn to the Kouretes
Σκιρτηταὶ Κουρῆτες, ἐνόπλια βήματα θέντες,
Leaping Kouretes, the first armed marchers,
ποσσίκροτοι, ῥομβηταί, ὀρέστεροι, εὐαστῆρες,
Stomping, whirling, mountain-dwelling, celestial,
κρουσιλύραι, παράρυθμοι, ἐπεμβάται ἴχνεσι κούφοι,
Lyre-striking, rhythmic, marching a nimble path,
ὁπλοφόροι, φύλακες, κοσμήτορες, ἀγλαόφημοι,
Armor-bearing watchguards, glorious cosmic leaders,
μητρὸς ὀρειομανοῦς συνοπάονες, ὀργιοφάνται·
Mountain Mother’s mantic army, illuminators of secret rites,
ἔλθοιτ' εὐμενέοντες ἐπ' εὐφήμοισι λόγοισι,
Come, benevolent ones, upon famed words well-spoken,
βουκόλωι εὐάντητοι ἀεὶ κεχαρηότι θυμῶι.
Bull-tenders most gracious, eternally joyful souls.
Kouretes (Κουρῆτες, Κωρῆτες) are youthful (κουριος) warrior dancers who invented and taught loud, rhythmic dancing and music with armaments. Their association with the Great Mother Goddess Kybele in Phrygia and the Great Mother Rhea in Greece provide a strong point of connection between the two regions.
Strabo says the Kouretes inspire “terror at the celebration of the sacred rites by means of war-dances, accompanied by uproar and noise and cymbals and drums and arms, and also by flute and outcry…”
The Kouretes are credited with dancing and making a loud racket to conceal the cries of the Goddesses Leto and Rhea in their birth travail as well as concealing the cries of the twins Artemis and Apollo and Zeus to protect them from Hera and Kronos, respectively.
Diodorus of Sicily says that the Kouretes invented livestock domestication, hunting, civilized life, and armor, and that they were entrusted with the care of infant Zeus:
“…they were the first to gather sheep into flocks, to domesticate the several other kinds of animals…and to discover the making of honey. In the same manner they introduced the art of shooting with the bow and the ways of hunting animals, and they showed mankind how to live and associate together in a common life, and they were the originators of concord and, so to speak, of orderly behaviour. The Curetes also invented swords and helmets and the war-dance, by means of which they raised a great alarum and deceived Cronus. And we are told that, when Rhea, the mother of Zeus, entrusted him to them unbeknown to Cronus his father, they took him under their care and saw to his nurture…”
The Mountain Mother is the Goddess Rhea-Kybele. The Kouretes are associated with the Great Phrygian Mother of the Goddesses and Gods in the region of Trojan Ida and with the rearing of the infant Zeus in Crete. The Great Mother Goddess is called Kybele in Phrygia and Rhea in Greece.
Strabo suggests that the names “Crete” and “Curete” are derived from one another. He says the Cretans call the Curetes "rearers of Zeus," and "protectors of Zeus," and that Rhea summoned them to Crete from Phrygia.  He goes on to illustrate the connection between Crete and Phrygia by pointing out that Mount Ida, Dicte, Pytna, Hippocorona, and Samonium are place names in both Crete and in the area of Trojan Phrygia (modern Turkey).
 Thaletas (Fragment 10 from Scholiast on Pindar; Pliny the Elder, Natural History 7.204)
 Strabo, Geography 10.3.7 Trans. Jones? Or H.C. Hamilton, Esq., W. Falconer, M.A., 1903. http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0198%3Abook%3D10
 Strabo, Geography 14.1.20
 Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1.4-5; Statius, Thebaid 4.782.
 Diodorus of Sicily, Library of History 5.65.1-4 (trans. Oldfather), http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Diodorus_Siculus/5D*.html
 Strabo in Geography 10.3.19 http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Strab.+10.3.19&fromdoc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0198
 Strabo, Geography 10.3.20. http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Strab.+10.3.20&fromdoc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0198