Legend of Cadmus and the issue of the origin of Encheleans Cover Image

Legenda o Kadmu i problem porijekla Enhelejaca
Legend of Cadmus and the issue of the origin of Encheleans

Author(s): Adnan Kaljanac
Subject(s): Cultural history, Ethnohistory, Ancient World, Cultural Anthropology / Ethnology
Published by: Akademija Nauka i Umjetnosti Bosne i Hercegovine
Keywords: Cadmus; Enchelens; Sidonian; Prehistoric Balkan;

Summary/Abstract: Legend of Sidonian hero Cadmus and his wife Harmonia is one of the oldest legends connected with inhabitants of prehistoric Balkans. If we look at the writings of ancient writers and results of archaeological excavations, it is possible to include south Italy in wider spectrum of interaction of prehistoric Bronze Age societies. The earliest evidence, dating back to Homer, connects inhabitants of east Adriatic shore with snakes or eels. Encheleans were people who were named after cult of eel worshiped at Beotia on the shores of lake Copais. In later periods they were identified with Illyrians and could be connected with legend of Cadmus and Phoenicians. Through the variety of ancient sources, the trace of northern Encheleans mentioned by Hecataeus, could be dated back to the Beotian Encheleans and Herodotus’ writings about land division using dice among Cadmus’ Phoenicians. In Herodotus writings and through the deaparture of Agave, Cadmus’ daughter to Illyrians, as well as in Cadmus’ departure to north, we can recognize contacts of Mycenaean world with northern areas. These contacts and interactions can be interpreted as a wish of Theban rulers for wealth of the north, for mines of Damastion and thick forests and good pastures.

  • Issue Year: 2010
  • Issue No: 39
  • Page Range: 53-79
  • Page Count: 27
  • Language: Bosnian