Cretan seer, reputed author of religious and poetical writings, including a Theogony, Cretica, and other mystical works. Religious theories of an Orphic character were attributed to him as well. He conducted purificatory rites at Athens about 500 BC, according to Plato (about 600 according to Aristotle). All surviving fragments, including a line quoted by the apostle Paul (Titus 1:12), are attributable to other sources. Stories of his advanced age (157 or 299 years), his miraculous sleep of 57 years, his dealings with oracles, and his wanderings outside the body have led some scholars to regard him as a legendary figure of a shamanistic type.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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