Eileithyia


Eileithyia
Greek goddess of childbirth.

Capable of helping or hindering labour according to her will, she was worshiped over a period of centuries from Neolithic to Roman times. The earliest evidence for her cult was found at Amnisus in Crete. In later Greek polytheism she is sometimes described as the daughter of Hera and is sometimes identified with Hera or with Artemis.

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      pre-Hellenic goddess of childbirth, who hindered or facilitated the process according to her disposition. She is mentioned in several Linear B (Linear A and Linear B) tablets from ancient Crete. The next earliest evidence for her cult is at Amnisus, in Crete, where excavations indicate that she was worshipped continuously from Neolithic to Roman times. In Homer's writings she appears, sometimes in the plural, as a personification of birth pangs and is described as the daughter of Hera, the consort of Zeus. In later times Eileithyia tended to be identified with Hera or Artemis, goddesses who were also associated with marriage and childbirth.

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Universalium. 2010.