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Abaris, legendary devotee of Apollo from the far north, a shamanistic missionary and saviour-figure like Aristeas whom Pindar (fr. 270 Snell–Maehler) associated with the time of Croesus—perhaps in connection with the king's miraculous rescue from the pyre and translation to the Hyperboreans. Herodotus, ending his discussion of the latter (4. 36), tantalizes by refusing to say more than that ‘he carried the arrow around the whole world while fasting’ (cf. the mission of Triptolemus, and Demeter's search for Persephone). The arrow was a token of Apolline authority, and may have been a cure for disease; later traditions have him present it to Pythagoras (1), and Heraclides (1) Ponticus described him flying on it like a witch's broomstick.


A. Lesky, A History of Greek Literature (1966), 158–159.Find this resource:

    M. L. West, The Orphic Poems (1983), 54.Find this resource:

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