CULT IN SICILY (SOUTHERN ITALY)
I. HIMERA Town in Sicily (Sikelia) (Greek Colony)
Diodorus Siculus, Library of History 5. 3. 4 (trans. Oldfather) (Greek historian C1st B.C.) :
"And both Athene and Artemis, the myth goes on to say, who had made the same choice of maidenhood as had Kore [Persephone] and were reared together with her [on the island of Sicily],
joined with her in gathering the flowers, and all of them together wove the robe for their father Zeus.
And because of the time they had spent together and their intimacy they all loved this island above any other, and each one of them received for her portion a territory [from Zeus], Athene receiving hers in the region of Himera [the cult centre of the goddess on the island]."
Pausanias, Description of Greece 8. 31. 2 :
"Before them [the statues of Demeter and Persephone at Megalopolis, Arkadia]
he made small maids in tunics reaching to the ankles, each of whom carries on her head a basket full of flowers.
They are said to be daughters of Damophon,
but those inclining to a more religious interpretation hold that they are Athena and Artemis gathering the flowers with Persephone."
Suidas s.v. Nike Athena (trans. Suda On Line) (Byzantine Greek lexicon C10th A.D.) :
"Nike Athena :
Lykourgos in the speech On the priestess mentions her.
That the xoanon of Nike, wingless, holding a pomegranate in her right hand and a helmet in her left, was worshipped by the Athenians Heliodoros the Periegete has shown in the first book of his On the Akropolis. Alternatively she stands allegorically for the notion that even winning is completely dependent on thought; for thought contributes to victory, but being thoughtless and impetuous while fighting leads to defeat. When she has wings she symbolizes that aspect of the mind that is sharp and, so to speak, swift-winged; but when she is depicted without wings she represents that aspect of it that is peaceful and quiet and civil, that by which the things of the earth flourish, a boon of which the pomegranate in her right hand is a representation. Just as the helmet in her left is a representation of battle. Thus she has the same capability as Athena."