Quite distinct was the Idaean Hercules, a Cretan Dactyl connected with the cult of Rhea or Cybele.
Another famous stone was the effigy of Rhea Cybele, the holy stone of Pessinus, black and of irregular form, which was brought to Rome in 204 B.C. and placed in the mouth of the statue of the goddess.
DEMETER, in Greek mythology, daughter of Cronus and Rhea and sister of Zeus, goddess of agriculture and civilized life.
In historic times the resemblances between Rhea and the Asiatic Great Mother, Phrygian Cybele, were so noticeable that the Greeks accounted for them by regarding the latter as only their own Rhea, who had deserted her original home in Crete and fled to the mountain wilds of Asia Minor to escape the persecution of Kronos (Strabo 469, 12).
Of birds the number of species greatly exceeds that of the mammals, including the rhea of the pampas and condor of the Andes, and the tiny, brilliant-hued humming-birds of the tropical North.
Other tales said the stone was the one given by Rhea to Cronus as a substitute for Zeus.
It is conjectured that the Amazons were originally the temple-servants and priestesses (hierodulae) of this goddess; and that the removal of the breast corresponded with the self-mutilation of the galli, or priests, of Rhea Cybele.
The emu corresponds with the African and Arabian ostrich, the rhea of South America, and the cassowary of the Moluccas and New Guinea.
Another type exists in Rhea and in the Anseriformes, greatly specialized by being spirally twisted and partly reversible like the finger of a glove.
It is noteworthy that whereas, in Greece proper, Zeus attains a supreme position, the old superiority of the Mother Goddess is still visible in the Cretan traditions of Rhea and Dictynna and the infant Zeus.