How the Korikio Andro took its name

Probable and improbable speculations


Many probable and improbable suggestions exist on how that ancient cave ieceived its name which it holds up to this day.

Both Pausanias, once again in his ‘Phokika’, and the critic of Apollo of Rhodes write that the name was given to it by the Korikian nymph who, seduced by Apollo, gave birth to Lykoreias. Apollodorus the Athenian, writes in another instance that the Korikio Andro owes its name to the Korikian nymph who gave birth to a son, Korikas. Others claim that the name is due to the stalactites hanging from its roof which resemble athletic Korikes (boxer's punching sack). Others still, that it is due to the slope over it, which resembles a leather sack of Korikas.

Andreas Tsouras believes that before the Korikian nymph the Korikes pre-existed and because these facts are more plausible, more «solid», the name of the famous Andro has its roots in the word ‘korikas’ to which the Korikiaii nymph must owe its name.

The locals think of it as something magnificent with forty courts and so they gave the nickname ‘Sarantavli’ and ‘Mavri Troupa’ to it.

Here it is fair and just to correct an historic inaccuracy. The cave Mavri Troupa or Kyklopeian House located within an hour's distance from Velitsa, bears no relation whatsowever inaocessible and can accommodate 2000 souls with their belongings- says Takis Lappas. Thus, wherever in scripts, historical or not, the nickname "Mavri Troupa" is encountered with reference to the Korikio Andro, it is incorrect even if, as we have previously seen, Odysseas Androutsos' brother in law Edward Trelonis is mentioned to have lived there. He has, in fact, lived in the Mavri Troupa of Velitsa and not in the Korikio Andro of Arahova. (Sarantavli=forty coutts, Mavri Troupa=black hole).


The nymphs


Small but important deities of vegetation and the waters were the nymphs in antiquity, assistants of man in agriculture and in the proliferation and multiplication of the flocks of the shepherds.

They are daughters of Zeus. In Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, Hesiodus' Theogonia and in countless ancient documents, the nymphs have a vivid presence in the imagination of ancient cultures. 'They have grown up and raised many well known gods.

The nymph Herato interpreted the oracles of the god Pan. And many cities have received the names of nymphs, like Davlis daughter of Kiphessus, Sparta daughter of Eurotas.

They avenged any mortal who dared to trespass against them. They made him nymph-possessed. They «removed» his voice or his hand and if they were blamed they «removed» his mouth.

When the people see an intense whirlwind, they believe that the nymphs are dancing and anybody encountered in their path becomes possessed by them, «fairy-possessed». Aeschylus calls them "whirls of the demons".

In the Iliad we find many heroes which are the offspring of nymphs with various gods.

From nymph Telphousa - keeper of the waters - Apollo «alienated» his field to build his oracle. Many fall in love with mortals and especially beautiful young shepherds and have beautiful children with them.

In many myths, up to modern day stories, nymphs have their legend in the imagination of the people, the Greeks coming first, because today there are still fairy-fountains and fairy-springs.




According to Herodotus, the worship of Pan was introduced to Athens during the Median wars. His presence is not mentioned either in the Iliad or in the Odyssey. There is a gap in his appearance.


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