In most scholarly accounts since Franz Cumont, ancient mystery cults are narrowly confined to a small number of cults that, furthermore, are surprisingly symmetrically arranged – the three old Greek mystery cults of Demeter in Eleusis, of the Great Gods of Samothrace, and of Dionysos, and the three younger “Oriental” cults of Isis (and the other Egyptian gods of her circle), the Great Mother, and Mithras.1 But there were more mystery cults than that in the Greek and Graeco-Roman world, as any reader of Pausanias knows: in his “Description of Greece”, he listed a not inconsiderable number of what he called “a Rite”, telete – the Rite of the Great Goddesses in the ancient capital of Messenia, Andania, and in Megalopolis and Trapezous in Arcadia, of Demeter Eleusinia in Arcadian Pheneos and of Hagna in Lykosoura, of Demeter in Phlious on the Corinthian Gulf and of Dionysos and Demeter in nearby Lerna, of Hecate on the island of Aegina, of the Kabeiroi in Thebes and of Hera in Argive Temenion,2 not to mention the Mysteries of Eleusis. In some cases, the local tradition Pausanias is reporting connects those rites with the Eleusinian Mysteries;3 in others, Pausanias does not dare to talk about the rites in detail, since they are secret;4 and in yet other cases, testimonies besides Pausanias (mostly inscriptions) call them outright Mysteries, mysteria.5 There can thus be no doubt that these local cults are phenomenologically comparable to the six major cults. Inscriptions, less easy accessible than Pausanias’ books, give considerably more: they attest to a wide variety of Mysteries, both as part of major cults and as isolated rituals, and often performed by the members of one of the cultic associations that were becoming an important feature of social life from later Hellenistic times onwards (see esp. Poland 1909).