The Corybantes, often said to be the sons of Apollo and Thalia, were rustic deities connected with nature, initiation, and ecstatic ritual. They were worshipped not only by the Greeks but also by the Phrygians, who called them “Kyrbantes.”
The Corybantes were often confused with other rustic deities, such as the Curetes and Cabiri. Like the Curetes, the Corybantes were youthful male gods who protected Zeus when he was a baby by dancing around him, clashing their arms to prevent his father Cronus from hearing his cries.
The Corybantes also protected the infant Dionysus and played a role in his orgiastic rites, as well as those of the Phrygian mother goddess Cybele. The Corybantes were associated with initiation rituals involving frenzied dancing and drumming.