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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


(κάβειροι ), in Greek mythology, were divine beings of an early order, apparently belonging to a tribe existing previous to the Greeks. Their worship was continued even after the spreading of the Pelasgic religion, especially in the islands Samothrace and Lemnos. It afterwards passed over into an unintelligible secret worship, in which the Cabiri were often confounded with different deities. In Boeotia the Cabiri were in close relation with Ceres and Proserpina, and therefore probably they may be looked at as assisting daemons, of fruitfulness. In Rome their worship was united to that of the Penates, who were believed to have come from Troy; it was finally carried so far as to represent persons of the imperial court as Cabiri, on coins, etc. They were usually depicted as very small) with a hammer on their shoulder, and the half of the shell of an egg on their head, with a very thick belly. It is believed that the Romans brought this worship to the Celts and Bretons, but confounded the titles of the priests with those of the deities, because they themselves did not know the fundamentals of the doctrine. See Smith, Dict. of Class. Biog. and Mythol. s.v.

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These files are public domain.

Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Cabiri'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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