Ophion, or Boreas, is the serpent demiurge of Hebrew and Egyptian myth—in early Mediterranean art, the Goddess is constantly shown in his company. The earth—born Pelasgians, whose claim seems to have been that they sprang from Ophion’s teeth, were originally perhaps the Neolithic ‘Painted Ware’ people; they reached the mainland of Greece from Palestine about 3500 BC, and the early Hellads — immigrants from Asia Minor by way of the Cyclades — found them in occupation of the Peloponnese seven hundred years later. But ‘Pelasgians’ became loosely applied to all pre—Hellenic inhabitants of Greece. Thus Euripides (quoted by Strabo) records that the Pelasgians adopted the name ‘Danaids’ on the coming to Argos of Danaus and his fifty daughters. Strictures on their licentious conduct (Herodotus) refer probably to the pre—Hellenic custom of erotic orgies. Strabo says in the same passage that those who lived near Athens were known as Pelargi (‘storks’); perhaps this was their totem bird.

(Robert Graves, The Greek Myths)

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