Traveler's Guide

East Macedonia & Thrace

Mysteries of Cabeiri


The island of Samothrace was an important religious center of the whole ancient world of the Mediterranean because of the reputation of the Sanctuary of the Great Gods and the sacramental character of their worship. The Great gods were named Cabeiri and their temple is preserved in the ancient city ""Palaiopoli " in the north part of the island. Cabeiri were gods of Greek mythology derived from Protohellenic Pelasgic religion. They were also called "Big Gods". The gods were four or three and were identified with Zeus, Athena, Demeter, and sometimes with Hephaestus known as "Axiokersos",Demeter known as "Axieros", Persephone known as "Axiokersa" and Hermes known as "Kadmilos"" or ""Kasmilos". In other cases they were presented as sons and daughters of Zeus, sometimes of Hephaestus etc. but their main feature was that these deities were worshiped by the sacraments, ie after initiation, in which Demeter was never absent and where they were not called with their names but just as gods (big, strong and powerful). It should not seem paradoxical that the Christian name of God as "Holy God, holy strong, holy immortal .. etc" most likely comes from the name of Cabeiri. Samothrace was the main house of their worship, and the islands of the northern Aegean (Imbros, Lemnos and Thasos) and the Thracian and Macedonian coasts. Later, temples of Cabeiri were found mainly in Greece, in Boeotia, although by the first Greek poets Pindaros first says that most of heroes of the Trojan War but also later in historical times the royal families of Macedonia were "initiates" in the mysteries. According to tradition, their father was Hephaestus and the mother Cabeira. Apart from deities of fire they were also considered as subterranean daemons, because they acted from the depths of the earth as /Brokers/ gods. From the names of Cabeiries were saved the following: Axiokersos, Axieros, Axiokersa and Kadmilos or Kasmilos. Today, during the summer months, in honor of the ancient known events, the Municipality of Samothrace organizes many cultural events and scientific organizations.

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