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Hercyna (Ἑρκύνα, gr. Herkyna) in Greek Mythology was a Naiad associated with the Herkyna river of Voiotia.

William Smith, A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities:


Hercyna sculpture, in the synonymous river, Livadeia , Vangelis Vlahos image

Oracle of Trophonius at Lebadeia in Boeotia (Paus. IX.37 §3). Those who wished to consult this oracle had first to purify themselves by spending some days in the sanctuary of the good spirit and good luck (ἀγαθοῦ Δαίμονος καὶ ἀγαθῆς Τύχης), to live sober and pure, to abstain from warm baths, but to bathe in the river Hercyna, to offer sacrifices to Trophonius and his children, to Apollo, Cronos, king Zeus, Hera Heniocha, and to Demeter Europe, who was said to have nursed Trophonius; and during these sacrifices a soothsayer explained from the intestines of the victims whether Trophonius would be pleased to admit the consultor. In the night in which the consultor was to be allowed to descend into the cave of Trophonius, he had to sacrifice a ram to Agamedes, and only in case the signs of the sacrifice were favourable, the hero was thought to be pleased to admit the person into his cave. What took place after this was as follows:— Two boys, 13 years old, led him again to the river Hercyna, and bathed and anointed him. The priests then made him drink from the well of oblivion (Λήθη) that he might forget all his former thoughts, and from the well of recollection (Μνημοσύνη) that he might remember the visions which he was going to have. They then showed him a mysterious representation of Trophonius, made him worship it, and led him into the sanctuary, dressed in linen garments with girdles around his body, and wearing a peculiar kind of shoes (κρηπῖδες) which were customary at Lebadeia. Within the sanctuary which stood on an eminence, there was a cave, into which the person was now allowed to descend by means of a ladder. Close to the bottom, in the side of the cave, there was an opening into which he put his feet, whereupon the other parts of the body were likewise drawn into the opening by some invisible power. What the persons here saw was different at different times. They returned through the same opening by which they had entered, and the priests now placed them on the throne of Mnemosyne, asked them what they had seen, and led them back to the sanctuary of the good spirit and good luck. As soon as they had recovered from their fear, they were obliged to write down their vision on a little tablet which was dedicated in the temple. This is the account given by Pausanias, who had himself descended into the cave, and writes as an eye-witness (Paus. IX.39 §3, &c.; compare Philostr. Vit. Apoll. viii.19). The answers were probably given by the priests according to the report of what persons had seen in the cave. This oracle was held in very great esteem, and did not become extinct until a very late period: and though the army of Sulla had plundered the temple, the oracle was much consulted by the Romans (Orig. c. Cels. vii p355), and in the time of Plutarch it was the only one among the numerous Boeotian oracles, that had not become silent (Plut. de Orac. Def. c5).


At Livadia they remained the greater part of three days, during which they examined with more than ordinary minuteness the cave of Trophonius, and the streams of the Hercyna, composed of the mingled waters of the two fountains of Oblivion and Memory. Lord Byron in Greece

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