Online Encyclopedia

MAIA

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V17, Page 427 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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MAIA, in Greek mythology, the eldest of the Pleiades, the seven daughters of Atlas and the Oceanid Pleione. She and her sisters, born on Mt Cyllene in Arcadia, are sometimes called mountain goddesses. In a cave of Cyllene Maia became by Zeus the mother of the god Hermes. The story is told in the Hymn to Hermes attributed to Homer. She was identified by the Romans with Maia Majesta, an old Italian goddess of spring, to whom a sacrifice was offered on the 1st of May by the priest of Vulcan.
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