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Headword: Ζάμολξις
Adler number: zeta,17
Translated headword: Zamolxis, Samolxis
Vetting Status: high
Enslaved to Pythagoras, as Herodotus [says] in his fourth [book].[1] A Scythian, who returning [to his homeland] taught that the soul is immortal. But Mnaseas says that Kronos was worshipped by the Getai and called Zamolxis.[2] And Hellanicus in the Barbarian Customs[3] says that having been born a Greek he made the mysteries known to the Getai who were in Thrace and said that neither would he himself die nor those with him, but they would have all good things. As soon as he said this he built a underground dwelling. Then disappearing suddenly from the Thracians he lived in this, but the Getai longed for him. In the fourth year he appeared again, and the Thracians trusted him completely. But some say that Zamolxis was slave to Pythagoras the son of Mnesarkhos from Samos, and after he was freed he played these clever tricks. But Zamolxis appears to have lived much earlier than Pythagoras. The Terizoi and the Krobuzoi also consider themselves immortal and say that those who have died go away like Zamolxis, but will come back again. And they think that he was always speaking the truth about these matters. They sacrifice and feast, [believing] that he who has died will return.
Greek Original:
Ζάμολξις: Πυθαγόρᾳ δουλεύσας, ὡς Ἡρόδοτος δ#. Σκύθης: ὃς ἐπανελθὼν ἐδίδασκε περὶ τοῦ ἀθάνατον εἶναι τὴν ψυχήν. Μνασέας δὲ παρὰ Γέταις τὸν Κρόνον τιμᾶσθαι καὶ καλεῖσθαι Ζάμολξιν. Ἑλλάνικος δὲ ἐν τοῖς Βαρβαρικοῖς νόμοις φησίν, ὅτι Ἑλληνικός τε γεγονὼς τελετὰς κατέδειξε Γέταις τοῖς ἐν Θρᾴκῃ καὶ ἔλεγεν, ὅτι οὔτ' ἂν αὐτὸς ἀποθάνοι οὔθ' οἱ μετὰ τούτου, ἀλλ' ἕξουσι πάντα ἀγαθά. ἅμα δὲ ταῦτα λέγων ᾠκοδόμει οἴκημα κατάγαιον. ἔπειτα ἀφανισθεὶς αἰφνίδιον ἐκ Θρᾳκῶν ἐν τούτῳ διῃτᾶτο. οἱ δὲ Γέται ἐπόθουν αὐτόν. τετάρτῳ δὲ ἔτει πάλιν φαίνεται, καὶ οἱ Θρᾷκες αὐτῷ πάντα ἐπίστευσαν. λέγουσι δέ τινες, ὡς ὁ Ζάμολξις ἐδούλευσε Πυθαγόρᾳ Μνησάρχου Σαμίῳ καὶ ἐλευθερωθεὶς ταῦτα ἐσοφίζετο. ἀλλὰ πολὺ πρότερος δοκεῖ ὁ Ζάμολξις Πυθαγόρου γενέσθαι. ἀθανατίζουσι δὲ καὶ Τέριζοι καὶ Κρόβυζοι καὶ τοὺς ἀποθανοῦντας ὡς Ζάμολξίν φασιν οἴχεσθαι, ἥξειν δὲ αὖθις: καὶ ταῦτα ἀεὶ νομίζουσιν ἀληθεύειν. θύουσι δὲ καὶ εὐωχοῦνται, ὡς αὖθις ἥξοντος τοῦ ἀποθανόντος.
Same entry in Photius; same or similar one elsewhere, e.g. Hesychius.
See also zeta 18, pi 3120, tau 342, omega 283.
[1] Herodotus 4.94-96 (web address 1 below).
[2] Mnaseas of Patrai [cf. under pi 3136, sigma 12] fr. 23 FHG (3.153).
[3] Hellanicus FGrH 4 F73.
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: biography; ethics; food; geography; historiography; mythology; philosophy; religion
Translated by: Catharine Roth on 26 March 2002@15:59:45.
Vetted by:
William Hutton (Added link, raised status) on 26 March 2002@23:24:15.
Catharine Roth on 27 March 2002@00:49:50.
David Whitehead (added notes and keyword; cosmetics) on 10 April 2002@06:14:59.
David Whitehead (another note; more keywords; tweaking) on 29 November 2012@03:51:46.
Catharine Roth (upgraded link) on 2 December 2012@00:03:34.
David Whitehead (another x-ref) on 27 January 2014@09:29:17.
David Whitehead (expanded a note) on 23 March 2016@07:26:56.


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