(M10)

 





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Maia

Alternative parentage: Atlas (1) and Hesperis; Atlas (1) and Aethra (1); Erechtheus; Cadmus; Queen of the Amazons

Biographical

Along with Merope (1), Electra (2), Celaeno (1), Sterope (1), Alcyone (2), and Taygete, Maia was a daughter of Atlas and Pleione, and was the eldest of the Pleiades, and in a grotto of mount Cyllene in Arcadia she became by Zeus the mother of Hermes. Arcas, the son of Zeus by Callisto, was given to her to be reared. Maia is also the name of a divinity worshipped at Rome, who was also called Majesta. She is mentioned in connection with Vulcan, and was regarded by some as the wife of that god, though it seems for no other reason but because a priest of Vulcan offered a sacrifice to her on the first of May, while in the popular superstition of later times she was identified with Maia, the daughter of Atlas. It is more probable that Maia was an ancient name of the bona dea, who was also designated by the names of Ops, Fauna, and Fatua.




Sources

1. Sir W. Smith, ed. Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, vol. 1. Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1870.
2. Sir W. Smith, ed. Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, vol. 3. Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1870.

 

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