minor deities, originally representing fingers of a hand. They served Rhea just as the fingers serve the hand. They were hard workers and were skilled with iron and fire
The DACTYLS, sometimes identified with the CORYBANTES, were wizards and attendants of the Mother of the Gods (Rhea, wife of Cronos), and they lived in Phrygia about Mt. Ida. The Idaean DACTYLS were appointed by Rhea to guard her newborn son Zeus.
They were one hundred in number, or perhaps only ten, being called DACTYLS for this last number. It is said that the first male DACTYLS were five in number, being the first to discover and work iron, as well as many other useful things for the purposes of life, and that their sisters were five in number.
It is suspected that both CURETES and CORYBANTES were offspring of the Idaean DACTYLS. The first hundred men born in Crete, they say, were called Idaean DACTYLS. It is said that as offspring of these were born nine CURETES and each of these begot ten children who were called Idaean DACTYLS. The DACTYLS are said to have joined Dionysus in his campaign against India.
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