Carme, or more correctly Karme ("shearer"), was a Cretan spirit who assisted the grain harvest of Demeter's Cretan predecessor. According to the Olympian mythology, she was the mother, by Zeus, of the virginal huntress Britomartis, also called Diktynna,[1] whom she bore at Kaino.[2] Carme was the daughter of either Phoenix and Cassiopeia,[3] or of the divine ploughman Euboulos, son of Karmanor, who was a double of Iacchus, the consort of Demeter, and was the purifier of Apollo after he had slain Pytho.

The duplicates and parallel genealogies are symptoms of the uneasy fit between Minoan cult, to which Carme belonged, and the Mycenaean cult that superseded it.


  1. Pausanias 2.30.2 nevertheless, Greeks like Herodotus were well aware that a hunt goddess, such as Britomartis, must have preceded a harvest goddess.
  2. Diodorus Siculus 5.76.3 Kaino is the modern Chania in the Chania prefecture on the coast of northwestern Crete.
  3. Following Antoninus Liberalis, Metamorphoses, 30

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