Daimones have been alternatively central or marginalized in investigations of the mystery cult of the Great Gods on Samothrace. Those who followed the literary sources built wonderful theories of wandering smiths and Semitic adventurers, coming to the mountainous bulk of the island while seeking metallurgical riches; here they gathered for ceremonies which brought journeyman smiths into full group membership. These narratives were built on models of ritual practice drawn from some of the most epochal playbooks in the history of anthropology: van Gennep, Durkheim, Smith. Those who pursued the material remains, in contrast, found neither daimones nor smiths in any form – epigraphy, iconography, or metallurgical residue. In the mid-twentieth century this discrepancy began to encourage some scholars to reject them from analysis of the rites, and initiated a split in interpretive models which Burkert characterized as concordia discours. The island is as rich in inscriptions and architecture as its literary references are in daimones.


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Daimones in the Thracian Sea - Mysteries, Iron, and Metaphors - Sandra Blakely