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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



9125
Pausanias, Description Of Greece, 8.37.8


παρὰ δὲ τὸν ναὸν τῆς Δεσποίνης ὀλίγον ἐπαναβάντι ἐν δεξιᾷ Μέγαρόν ἐστι καλούμενον, καὶ τελετήν τε δρῶσιν ἐνταῦθα καὶ τῇ Δεσποίνῃ θύουσιν ἱερεῖα οἱ Ἀρκάδες πολλά τε καὶ ἄφθονα. θύει μὲν δὴ αὐτῶν ἕκαστος ὅ τι κέκτηται· τῶν ἱερείων δὲ οὐ τὰς φάρυγγας ἀποτέμνει ὥσπερ ἐπὶ ταῖς ἄλλαις θυσίαις, κῶλον δὲ ὅ τι ἂν τύχῃ, τοῦτο ἕκαστος ἀπέκοψε τοῦ θύματος.When you have gone up a little, beside the temple of the Mistress on the right is what is called the Hall, where the Arcadians celebrate mysteries, and sacrifice to the Mistress many victims in generous fashion. Every man of them sacrifices what he possesses. But he does not cut the throats of the victims, as is done in other sacrifices; each man chops off a limb of the sacrifice, just that which happens to come to hand.


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1. New Testament, John, 6.53 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

6.53. Jesus therefore said to them, "Most assuredly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you don't have life in yourselves.
2. Plutarch, Lycurgus, 6.1 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

6.1. So eager was Lycurgus for the establishment of this form of government, that he obtained an oracle from Delphi about it, which they call a rhetra. And this is the way it runs: When thou hast built a temple to Zeus Syllanius and Athena Syllania, divided the people into phylai and into obai, and established a senate of thirty members, including the archagetai, then from time to time appellazein between Babyca and Cnacion Probably names of small tributaries of the river Eurotas. and there introduce and rescind measures; but the people must have the deciding voice and the power.
3. Clement of Alexandria, Exhortation To The Greeks, 2.18 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

4. Pausanias, Description of Greece, 1.22.7, 1.27.2-1.27.3, 2.10.5, 2.11.4, 2.11.7, 2.12.1, 2.26.9, 2.30.2, 2.35.5-2.35.8, 3.13.2, 3.14.2, 3.14.5, 3.14.9, 3.20.4, 4.1.5-4.1.7, 4.31.9, 5.13.2-5.13.3, 5.14.5-5.14.10, 5.15.10, 5.16.7, 6.20.2-6.20.4, 7.18.9, 7.18.11-7.18.13, 8.2.3, 8.6.5, 8.13.1, 8.37.5-8.37.7, 8.37.9, 8.38.8, 9.3.5-9.3.8, 9.12.1, 9.27.2, 9.30.12, 9.35.5, 9.39.5-9.39.14, 10.4.10, 10.32.14-10.32.17 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

1.22.7. and in the picture are emblems of the victory his horses won at Nemea . There is also Perseus journeying to Seriphos, and carrying to Polydectes the head of Medusa, the legend about whom I am unwilling to relate in my description of Attica . Included among the paintings—I omit the boy carrying the water-jars and the wrestler of Timaenetus An unknown painter. —is Musaeus. I have read verse in which Musaeus receives from the North Wind the gift of flight, but, in my opinion, Onomacritus wrote them, and there are no certainly genuine works of Musaeus except a hymn to Demeter written for the Lycomidae. 1.27.2. About the olive they have nothing to say except that it was testimony the goddess produced when she contended for their land. Legend also says that when the Persians fired Athens the olive was burnt down, but on the very day it was burnt it grew again to the height of two cubits. Adjoining the temple of Athena is the temple of Pandrosus, the only one of the sisters to be faithful to the trust. 1.27.3. I was much amazed at something which is not generally known, and so I will describe the circumstances. Two maidens dwell not far from the temple of Athena Polias, called by the Athenians Bearers of the Sacred offerings. For a time they live with the goddess, but when the festival comes round they perform at night the following rites. Having placed on their heads what the priestess of Athena gives them to carry—neither she who gives nor they who carry have any knowledge what it is—the maidens descend by the natural underground passage that goes across the adjacent precincts, within the city, of Aphrodite in the Gardens. They leave down below what they carry and receive something else which they bring back covered up. These maidens they henceforth let go free, and take up to the Acropolis others in their place. 2.10.5. The image, which is seated, was made by the Sicyonian Canachus, who also fashioned the Apollo at Didyma of the Milesians, and the Ismenian Apollo for the Thebans. It is made of gold and ivory, having on its head a polos, A curiously shaped head-gear. and carrying in one hand a poppy and in the other an apple. They offer the thighs of the victims, excepting pigs; the other parts they burn for the goddess with juniper wood, but as the thighs are burning they add to the offering a leaf of the paideros. 2.11.4. At a distance along it, in my opinion, of twenty stades, to the left on the other side of the Asopus, is a grove of holm oaks and a temple of the goddesses named by the Athenians the August, and by the Sicyonians the Kindly Ones. On one day in each year they celebrate a festival to them and offer sheep big with young as a burnt offering, and they are accustomed to use a libation of honey and water, and flowers instead of garlands. They practise similar rites at the altar of the Fates; it is in an open space in the grove. 2.11.7. There are images also of Alexanor and of Euamerion; to the former they give offerings as to a hero after the setting of the sun; to Euamerion, as being a god, they give burnt sacrifices. If I conjecture aright, the Pergamenes, in accordance with an oracle, call this Euamerion Telesphorus (Accomplisher) while the Epidaurians call him Acesis (Cure). There is also a wooden image of Coronis, but it has no fixed position anywhere in the temple. While to the god are being sacrificed a bull, a lamb, and a pig, they remove Coronis to the sanctuary of Athena and honor her there. The parts of the victims which they offer as a burnt sacrifice, and they are not content with cutting out the thighs, they burn on the ground, except the birds, which they burn on the altar. 2.12.1. In Titane there is also a sanctuary of Athena, into which they bring up the image of Coronis. In it is an old wooden figure of Athena, and I was told that it, too, was struck by lightning. The sanctuary is built upon a hill, at the bottom of which is an Altar of the Winds, and on it the priest sacrifices to the winds one night in every year. He also performs other secret rites at four pits, taming the fierceness of the blasts, and he is said to chant as well charms of Medea. 2.26.9. From the one at Pergamus has been built in our own day the sanctuary of Asclepius by the sea at Smyrna . Further, at Balagrae of the Cyreneans there is an Asclepius called Healer, who like the others came from Epidaurus . From the one at Cyrene was founded the sanctuary of Asclepius at Lebene, in Crete . There is this difference between the Cyreneans and the Epidaurians, that whereas the former sacrifice goats, it is against the custom of the Epidaurians to do so. 2.30.2. of the gods, the Aeginetans worship most Hecate, in whose honor every year they celebrate mystic rites which, they say, Orpheus the Thracian established among them. Within the enclosure is a temple; its wooden image is the work of Myron, fl. c. 460 B.C. and it has one face and one body. It was Alcamenes, A contemporary of Pheidias. in my opinion, who first made three images of Hecate attached to one another, a figure called by the Athenians Epipurgidia (on the Tower); it stands beside the temple of the Wingless Victory. 2.35.5. At any rate, the goddess herself is called Chthonia, and Chthonia is the name of the festival they hold in the summer of every year. The manner of it is this. The procession is headed by the priests of the gods and by all those who hold the annual magistracies; these are followed by both men and women. It is now a custom that some who are still children should honor the goddess in the procession. These are dressed in white, and wear wreaths upon their heads. Their wreaths are woven of the flower called by the natives cosmosandalon, which, from its size and color, seems to me to be an iris; it even has inscribed upon it the same letters of mourning. The letters AI, an exclamation of woe supposed to be inscribed on the flower. 2.35.6. Those who form the procession are followed by men leading from the herd a full-grown cow, fastened with ropes, and still untamed and frisky. Having driven the cow to the temple, some loose her from the ropes that she may rush into the sanctuary, others, who hitherto have been holding the doors open, when they see the cow within the temple, close the doors. 2.35.7. Four old women, left behind inside, are they who dispatch the cow. Whichever gets the chance cuts the throat of the cow with a sickle. Afterwards the doors are opened, and those who are appointed drive up a second cow, and a third after that, and yet a fourth. All are dispatched in the same way by the old women, and the sacrifice has yet another strange feature. On whichever of her sides the first cow falls, all the others must fall on the same. 2.35.8. Such is the manner in which the sacrifice is performed by the Hermionians. Before the temple stand a few statues of the women who have served Demeter as her priestess, and on passing inside you see seats on which the old women wait for the cows to be driven in one by one, and images, of no great age, of Athena and Demeter. But the thing itself that they worship more than all else, I never saw, nor yet has any other man, whether stranger or Hermionian. The old women may keep their knowledge of its nature to themselves. 3.13.2. But the disasters of the Messenians, and the length of their exile from the Peloponnesus, even after their return wrapped in darkness much of their ancient history, and their. ignorance makes it easy for any who wish to dispute a claim with them. Opposite the Olympian Aphrodite the Lacedaemonians have a temple of the Saviour Maid. Some say that it was made by Orpheus the Thracian, others by Abairis when he had come from the Hyperboreans. 3.14.2. There is a place in Sparta called Theomelida. In this part of the city are the graves of the Agiad kings, and near is what is called the lounge of the Crotani, who form a part of the Pitanatans. Not far from the lounge is a sanctuary of Asclepius, called “in the place of the Agiadae.” Farther on is the tomb of Taenarus, after whom they say the headland was named that juts out into the sea. Here are sanctuaries of Poseidon Hippocurius (Horse-tending) and of Artemis Aiginaea (Goat-goddess?). On returning to the lounge you see a sanctuary of Artemis Issoria. They surname her also Lady of the Lake, though she is not really Artemis hut Britomartis of Crete . I deal with her in my account of Aegina . 3.14.5. but the wooden image of Thetis is guarded in secret. The cult of Demeter Chthonia (of the Lower World) the Lacedaemonians say was handed on to them by Orpheus, but in my opinion it was because of the sanctuary in Hermione See Paus. 2.35.4-8 . that the Lacedaemonians also began to worship Demeter Chthonia. The Spartans have also a sanctuary of Serapis, the newest sanctuary in the city, and one of Zeus surnamed Olympian. 3.14.9. There are other acts performed by the youths, which I will now describe. Before the fighting they sacrifice in the Phoebaeum, which is outside the city, not far distant from Therapne. Here each company of youths sacrifices a puppy to Enyalius, holding that the most valiant of tame animals is an acceptable victim to the most valiant of the gods. I know of no other Greeks who are accustomed to sacrifice puppies except the people of Colophon ; these too sacrifice a puppy, a black bitch, to the Wayside Goddess. Both the sacrifice of the Colophonians and that of the youths at Sparta are appointed to take place at night. 3.20.4. Above Bryseae rises Taletum, a peak of Taygetus. They call it sacred to Helius (the Sun), and among the sacrifices they offer here to Helius are horses. I am aware that the Persians also are wont to offer the same sacrifice. Not far from Taletum is a place called Euoras, the haunt of wild animals, especially wild goats. In fact all Taygetus is a hunting-ground for these goats and for boars, and it is well stocked with both deer and bears. 4.1.5. The first rulers then in this country were Polycaon, the son of Lelex, and Messene his wife. It was to her that Caucon, the son of Celaenus, son of Phlyus, brought the rites of the Great Goddesses from Eleusis . Phlyus himself is said by the Athenians to have been the son of Earth, and the hymn of Musaeus to Demeter made for the Lycomidae agrees. 4.1.6. But the mysteries of the Great Goddesses were raised to greater honor many years later than Caucon by Lycus, the son of Pandion, an oak-wood, where he purified the celebrants, being still called Lycus' wood. That there is a wood in this land so called is stated by Rhianus the Cretan:— By rugged Elaeum above Lycus' wood. Rhianus of Bene in Crete . See note on Paus. 4.6.1 . 4.1.7. That this Lycus was the son of Pandion is made clear by the lines on the statue of Methapus, who made certain improvements in the mysteries. Methapus was an Athenian by birth, an expert in the mysteries and founder of all kinds of rites. It was he who established the mysteries of the Cabiri at Thebes, and dedicated in the hut of the Lycomidae a statue with an inscription that amongst other things helps to confirm my account:— 4.31.9. The Messenians have a temple erected to Eileithyia with a stone statue, and near by a hall of the Curetes, where they make burnt offerings of every kind of living creature, thrusting into the flames not only cattle and goats, but finally birds as well. There is a holy shrine of Demeter at Messene and statues of the Dioscuri, carrying the daughters of Leucippus. I have already explained in an earlier passage Paus. 3.26.3 that the Messenians argue that the sons of Tyndareus belong to them rather than to the Lacedaemonians. 5.13.2. The entrance is on the west. The sanctuary is said to have been set apart to Pelops by Heracles the son of Amphitryon. Heracles too was a great-grandson of Pelops, and he is also said to have sacrificed to him into the pit. Right down to the present day the magistrates of the year sacrifice to him, and the victim is a black ram. No portion of this sacrifice goes to the sooth-sayer, only the neck of the ram it is usual to give to the “woodman,” as he is called. 5.13.3. The woodman is one of the servants of Zeus, and the task assigned to him is to supply cities and private individuals with wood for sacrifices at a fixed rate, wood of the white poplar, but of no other tree, being allowed. If anybody, whether Elean or stranger, eat of the meat of the victim sacrificed to Pelops, he may not enter the temple of Zeus. The same rule applies to those who sacrifice to Telephus at Pergamus on the river Caicus ; these too may not go up to the temple of Asclepius before they have bathed. 5.14.5. sixthly to the Worker Goddess. The descendants of Pheidias, called Cleansers, have received from the Eleans the privilege of cleaning the image of Zeus from the dirt that settles on it, and they sacrifice to the Worker Goddess before they begin to polish the image. There is another altar of Athena near the temple, and by it a square altar of Artemis rising gently to a height. 5.14.6. After the altars I have enumerated there is one on which they sacrifice to Alpheius and Artemis together. The cause of this Pindar Pind. N. 1, I think, intimates in an ode, and I give it Paus. 6.22 in my account of Letrini . Not far from it stands another altar of Alpheius, and by it one of Hephaestus. This altar of Hephaestus some Eleans call the altar of Warlike Zeus. These same Eleans also say that Oenomaus used to sacrifice to Warlike Zeus on this altar whenever he was about to begin a chariot-race with one of the suitors of Hippodameia. 5.14.7. After this stands an altar of Heracles surnamed Parastates (Assistant); there are also altars of the brothers of Heracles—Epimedes, Idas, Paeonaeus, and Iasus; I am aware, however, that the altar of Idas is called by others the altar of Acesidas. At the place where are the foundations of the house of Oenomaus stand two altars: one is of Zeus of the Courtyard, which Oenomaus appears to have had built himself, and the other of Zeus of the Thunderbolt, which I believe they built later, when the thunderbolt had struck the house of Oenomaus. 5.14.8. An account of the great altar I gave a little way back; it is called the altar of Olympian Zeus. By it is an altar of Unknown Gods, and after this an altar of Zeus Purifier, one of Victory, and another of Zeus—this time surnamed Underground. There are also altars of all gods, and of Hera surnamed Olympian, this too being made of ashes. They say that it was dedicated by Clymenus. After this comes an altar of Apollo and Hermes in common, because the Greeks have a story about them that Hermes invented the lyre and Apollo the lute. 5.14.9. Next come an altar of Concord, another of Athena, and the altar of the Mother of the gods. Quite close to the entrance to the stadium are two altars; one they call the altar of Hermes of the Games, the other the altar of Opportunity. I know that a hymn to Opportunity is one of the poems of Ion of Chios ; in the hymn Opportunity is made out to be the youngest child of Zeus. Near the treasury of the Sicyonians is an altar of Heracles, either one of the Curetes or the son of Alcmena, for both accounts are given. 5.14.10. On what is called the Gaeum (sanctuary of Earth) is an altar of Earth; it too is of ashes. In more ancient days they say that there was an oracle also of Earth in this place. On what is called the Stomium (Mouth) the altar to Themis has been built. All round the altar of Zeus Descender runs a fence; this altar is near the great altar made of the ashes. The reader must remember that the altars have not been enumerated in the order in which they stand, but the order followed by my narrative is that followed by the Eleans in their sacrifices. By the sacred enclosure of Pelops is an altar of Dionysus and the Graces in common; between them is an altar of the Muses, and next to these an altar of the Nymphs. 5.15.10. Each month the Eleans sacrifice once on all the altars I have enumerated. They sacrifice in an ancient manner; for they burn on the altars incense with wheat which has been kneaded with honey, placing also on the altars twigs of olive, and using wine for a libation. Only to the Nymphs and the Mistresses are they not wont to pour wine in libation, nor do they pour it on the altar common to all the gods. The care of the sacrifices is given to a priest, holding office for one month, to soothsayers and libation-bearers, and also to a guide, a flute-player and the woodman. 5.16.7. She mated they say with Dionysus, and bore him a son called Narcaeus. When he grew up he made war against the neighboring folk, and rose to great power, setting up moreover a sanctuary of Athena surnamed Narcaea. They say too that Narcaeus and Physcoa were the first to pay worship to Dionysus. So various honors are paid to Physcoa, especially that of the choral dance, named after her and managed by the Sixteen Women. The Eleans still adhere to the other ancient customs, even though some of the cities have been destroyed. For they are now divided into eight tribes, and they choose two women from each. 6.20.2. At the foot of Mount Cronius, on the north..., Some genitive seems to have fallen out here. τοῦ Ἡραίου and τῆς Ἄλτεως have been suggested. Other conjectures are: (1) to insert τεῖχος after ἄρκτον, to read Ἄλτιν for ἄρκτον . between the treasuries and the mountain, is a sanctuary of Eileithyia, and in it Sosipolis, “Saviour of the State.” a native Elean deity, is worshipped. Now they surname Eileithyia Olympian, and choose a priestess for the goddess every year. The old woman who tends Sosipolis herself too by an Elean custom lives in chastity, bringing water for the god's bath and setting before him barley cakes kneaded with honey. 6.20.3. In the front part of the temple, for it is built in two parts, is an altar of Eileithyia and an entrance for the public; in the inner Part Sosipolis is worshipped, and no one may enter it except the woman who tends the god, and she must wrap her head and face in a white veil. Maidens and matrons wait in the sanctuary of Eileithyia chanting a hymn; they burn all manner of incense to the god, but it is not the custom to pour libations of wine. An oath is taken by Sosipolis on the most important occasions. 6.20.4. The story is that when the Arcadians had invaded the land of Elis, and the Eleans were set in array against them, a woman came to the Elean generals, holding a baby to her breast, who said that she was the mother of the child but that she gave him, because of dreams, to fight for the Eleans. The Elean officers believed that the woman was to be trusted, and placed the child before the army naked. 7.18.9. Most of the images out of Aetolia and from Acaria were brought by Augustus' orders to Nicopolis, but to Patrae he gave, with other spoils from Calydon, the image of Laphria, which even in my time was still worshipped on the acropolis of Patrae . It is said that the goddess was surnamed Laphria after a man of Phocis, because the ancient image of Artemis was set up at Calydon by Laphrius, the son of Castalius, the son of Delphus. 7.18.11. Every year too the people of Patrae celebrate the festival Laphria in honor of their Artemis, and at it they employ a method of sacrifice peculiar to the place. Round the altar in a circle they set up logs of wood still green, each of them sixteen cubits long. On the altar within the circle is placed the driest of their wood. Just before the time of the festival they construct a smooth ascent to the altar, piling earth upon the altar steps. 7.18.12. The festival begins with a most splendid procession in honor of Artemis, and the maiden officiating as priestess rides last in the procession upon a car yoked to deer. It is, however, not till the next day that the sacrifice is offered, and the festival is not only a state function but also quite a popular general holiday. For the people throw alive upon the altar edible birds and every kind of victim as well; there are wild boars, deer and gazelles; some bring wolf-cubs or bear-cubs, others the full-grown beasts. They also place upon the altar fruit of cultivated trees. 7.18.13. Next they set fire to the wood. At this point I have seen some of the beasts, including a bear, forcing their way outside at the first rush of the flames, some of them actually escaping by their strength. But those who threw them in drag them back again to the pyre. It is not remembered that anybody has ever been wounded by the beasts. 8.2.3. For Cecrops was the first to name Zeus the Supreme god, and refused to sacrifice anything that had life in it, but burnt instead on the altar the national cakes which the Athenians still call pelanoi. But Lycaon brought a human baby to the altar of Lycaean Zeus, and sacrificed it, pouring out its blood upon the altar, and according to the legend immediately after the sacrifice he was changed from a man to a wolf (Lycos). 8.6.5. Farther off from Melangeia, about seven stades distant from Mantineia, there is a well called the Well of the Meliasts. These Meliasts celebrate the orgies of Dionysus. Near the well is a hall of Dionysus and a sanctuary of Black Aphrodite. This surname of the goddess is simply due to the fact that men do not, as the beasts do, have sexual intercourse always by day, but in most cases by night. 8.13.1. In the territory of Orchomenus, on the left of the road from Anchisiae, there is on the slope of the mountain the sanctuary of Artemis Hymnia. The Mantineans, too, share it . . . a priestess also and a priest. It is the custom for these to live their whole lives in purity, not only sexual but in all respects, and they neither wash nor spend their lives as do ordinary people, nor do they enter the home of a private man. I know that the “entertainers” of the Ephesian Artemis live in a similar fashion, but for a year only, the Ephesians calling them Essenes. They also hold an annual festival in honor of Artemis Hymnia. 8.37.5. By the image of the Mistress stands Anytus, represented as a man in armour. Those about the sanctuary say that the Mistress was brought up by Anytus, who was one of the Titans, as they are called. The first to introduce Titans into poetry was Homer, See Hom. Il. 14.279 . representing them as gods down in what is called Tartarus; the lines are in the passage about Hera's oath. From Homer the name of the Titans was taken by Onomacritus, who in the orgies he composed for Dionysus made the Titans the authors of the god's sufferings. 8.37.6. This is the story of Anytus told by the Arcadians. That Artemis was the daughter, not of Leto but of Demeter, which is the Egyptian account, the Greeks learned from Aeschylus the son of Euphorion. The story of the Curetes, who are represented under the images, and that of the Corybantes (a different race from the Curetes), carved in relief upon the base, I know, but pass them by. 8.37.7. The Arcadians bring into the sanctuary the fruit of all cultivated trees except the pomegranate. On the right as you go out of the temple there is a mirror fitted into the wall. If anyone looks into this mirror, he will see himself very dimly indeed or not at all, but the actual images of the gods and the throne can be seen quite clearly. 8.37.9. This Mistress the Arcadians worship more than any other god, declaring that she is a daughter of Poseidon and Demeter. Mistress is her surname among the many, just as they surname Demeter's daughter by Zeus the Maid. But whereas the real name of the Maid is Persephone, as Homer See Hom. Od. 10.491, and Hom. Il. 9.457, Hom. Il. 9.569 . and Pamphos before him say in their poems, the real name of the Mistress I am afraid to write to the uninitiated. 8.38.8. On the east side of the mountain there is a sanctuary of Apollo surnamed Parrhasian. They also give him the name Pythian. They hold every year a festival in honor of the god and sacrifice in the market-place a boar to Apollo Helper, and after the sacrifice here they at once carry the victim to the sanctuary of Parrhasian Apollo in procession to the music of the flute; cutting out the thigh-bones they burn them, and also consume the meat of the victim on the spot. 9.3.5. This feast the Plataeans celebrate by themselves, calling it the Little Daedala, but the Great Daedala, which is shared with them by the Boeotians, is a festival held at intervals of fifty-nine years, for that is the period during which, they say, the festival could not be held, as the Plataeans were in exile. There are fourteen wooden images ready, having been provided each year at the Little Daedala. 9.3.6. Lots are cast for them by the Plataeans, Coronaeans, Thespians, Tanagraeans, Chaeroneans, Orchomenians, Lebadeans, and Thebans; for at the time when Cassander, the son of Antipater, rebuilt Thebes, the Thebans wished to be reconciled with the Plataeans, to share in the common assembly, and to send a sacrifice to the Daedala. The towns of less account pool their funds for images. 9.3.7. Bringing the image to the Asopus, and setting it upon a wagon, they place a bridesmaid also on the wagon. They again cast lots for the position they are to hold in the procession. After this they drive the wagons from the river to the summit of Cithaeron. On the peak of the mountain an altar has been prepared, which they make after the following way. They fit together quadrangular pieces of wood, putting them together just as if they were making a stone building, and having raised it to a height they place brushwood upon the altar. 9.3.8. The cities with their magistrates sacrifice severally a cow to Hera and a bull to Zeus, burning on the altar the victims, full of wine and incense, along with the daedala. Rich people, as individuals, sacrifice what they wish; but the less wealthy sacrifice the smaller cattle; all the victims alike are burned. The fire seizes the altar and the victims as well, and consumes them all together. I know of no blaze that is so high, or seen so far as this. 9.12.1. The Thebans in ancient days used to sacrifice bulls to Apollo of the Ashes. Once when the festival was being held, the hour of the sacrifice was near but those sent to fetch the bull had not arrived. And so, as a wagon happened to be near by, they sacrificed to the god one of the oxen, and ever since it has been the custom to sacrifice working oxen. The following story also is current among the Thebans. As Cadmus was leaving Delphi by the road to Phocis, a cow, it is said, guided him on his way. This cow was one bought from the herdsmen of Pelagon, and on each of her sides was a white mark like the orb of a full moon. 9.27.2. Most men consider Love to be the youngest of the gods and the son of Aphrodite. But Olen the Lycian, who composed the oldest Greek hymns, says in a hymn to Eileithyia that she was the mother of Love. Later than Olen, both Pamphos and Orpheus wrote hexameter verse, and composed poems on Love, in order that they might be among those sung by the Lycomidae to accompany the ritual. I read them after conversation with a Torchbearer. of these things I will make no further mention. Hesiod, Hes. Th. 116 foll. or he who wrote the Theogony fathered on Hesiod, writes, I know, that Chaos was born first, and after Chaos, Earth, Tartarus and Love. 9.30.12. Whoever has devoted himself to the study of poetry knows that the hymns of Orpheus are all very short, and that the total number of them is not great. The Lycomidae know them and chant them over the ritual of the mysteries. For poetic beauty they may be said to come next to the hymns of Homer, while they have been even more honored by the gods. 9.35.5. Hesiod in the Theogony Hes. Th. 907 (though the authorship is doubtful, this poem is good evidence) says that the Graces are daughters of Zeus and Eurynome, giving them the names of Euphrosyne, Aglaia and Thalia. The poem of Onomacritus agrees with this account. Antimachus, while giving neither the number of the Graces nor their names, says that they are daughters of Aegle and the Sun. The elegiac poet Hermesianax disagrees with his predecessors in that he makes Persuasion also one of the Graces. 9.39.5. What happens at the oracle is as follows. When a man has made up his mind to descend to the oracle of Trophonius, he first lodges in a certain building for an appointed number of days, this being sacred to the good Spirit and to good Fortune. While he lodges there, among other regulations for purity he abstains from hot baths, bathing only in the river Hercyna. Meat he has in plenty from the sacrifices, for he who descends sacrifices to Trophonius himself and to the children of Trophonius, to Apollo also and Cronus, to Zeus surnamed King, to Hera Charioteer, and to Demeter whom they surname Europa and say was the nurse of Trophonius. 9.39.6. At each sacrifice a diviner is present, who looks into the entrails of the victim, and after an inspection prophesies to the person descending whether Trophonius will give him a kind and gracious reception. The entrails of the other victims do not declare the mind of Trophonius so much as a ram, which each inquirer sacrifices over a pit on the night he descends, calling upon Agamedes. Even though the previous sacrifices have appeared propitious, no account is taken of them unless the entrails of this ram indicate the same; but if they agree, then the inquirer descends in good hope. The procedure of the descent is this. 9.39.7. First, during the night he is taken to the river Hercyna by two boys of the citizens about thirteen years old, named Hermae, who after taking him there anoint him with oil and wash him. It is these who wash the descender, and do all the other necessary services as his attendant boys. After this he is taken by the priests, not at once to the oracle, but to fountains of water very near to each other. 9.39.8. Here he must drink water called the water of Forgetfulness, that he may forget all that he has been thinking of hitherto, and afterwards he drinks of another water, the water of Memory, which causes him to remember what he sees after his descent. After looking at the image which they say was made by Daedalus (it is not shown by the priests save to such as are going to visit Trophonius), having seen it, worshipped it and prayed, he proceeds to the oracle, dressed in a linen tunic, with ribbons girding it, and wearing the boots of the country. 9.39.9. The oracle is on the mountain, beyond the grove. Round it is a circular basement of white marble, the circumference of which is about that of the smallest threshing floor, while its height is just short of two cubits. On the basement stand spikes, which, like the cross-bars holding them together, are of bronze, while through them has been made a double door. Within the enclosure is a chasm in the earth, not natural, but artificially constructed after the most accurate masonry. 9.39.10. The shape of this structure is like that of a bread-oven. Its breadth across the middle one might conjecture to be about four cubits, and its depth also could not be estimated to extend to more than eight cubits. They have made no way of descent to the bottom, but when a man comes to Trophonius, they bring him a narrow, light ladder. After going down he finds a hole between the floor and the structure. Its breadth appeared to be two spans, and its height one span. 9.39.11. The descender lies with his back on the ground, holding barley-cakes kneaded with honey, thrusts his feet into the hole and himself follows, trying hard to get his knees into the hole. After his knees the rest of his body is at once swiftly drawn in, just as the largest and most rapid river will catch a man in its eddy and carry him under. After this those who have entered the shrine learn the future, not in one and the same way in all cases, but by sight sometimes and at other times by hearing. The return upwards is by the same mouth, the feet darting out first. 9.39.12. They say that no one who has made the descent has been killed, save only one of the bodyguard of Demetrius. But they declare that he performed none of the usual rites in the sanctuary, and that he descended, not to consult the god but in the hope of stealing gold and silver from the shrine. It is said that the body of this man appeared in a different place, and was not cast out at the sacred mouth. Other tales are told about the fellow, but I have given the one most worthy of consideration. 9.39.13. After his ascent from Trophonius the inquirer is again taken in hand by the priests, who set him upon a chair called the chair of Memory, which stands not far from the shrine, and they ask of him, when seated there, all he has seen or learned. After gaining this information they then entrust him to his relatives. These lift him, paralyzed with terror and unconscious both of himself and of his surroundings, and carry him to the building where he lodged before with Good Fortune and the Good Spirit. Afterwards, however, he will recover all his faculties, and the power to laugh will return to him. 9.39.14. What I write is not hearsay; I have myself inquired of Trophonius and seen other inquirers. Those who have descended into the shrine of Trophonius are obliged to dedicate a tablet on which is written all that each has heard or seen. The shield also of Aristomenes is still preserved here. Its story I have already given in a former part of my work. See Paus. 4.16.7 to Paus. 4.32.6 . 10.4.10. In the territory of Daulis is a place called Tronis. Here has been built a shrine of the Founder hero. This founder is said by some to have been Xanthippus, a distinguished soldier; others say that he was Phocus, son of Ornytion, son of Sisyphus. At any rate, he is worshipped every day, and the Phocians bring victims and pour the blood into the grave through a hole, but the flesh they are wont to consume on the spot. 10.32.14. In the country of the Tithoreans a festival in honor of Isis is held twice each year, one in spring and the other in autumn. On the third day before each of the feasts those who have permission to enter cleanse the shrine in a certain secret way, and also take and bury, always in the same spot, whatever remts they may find of the victims thrown in at the previous festival. We estimated that the distance from the shrine to this place was two stades. 10.32.15. So on this day they perform these acts about the sanctuary, and on the next day the small traders make themselves booths of reeds or other improvised material. On the last of the three days they hold a fair, selling slaves, cattle of all kinds, clothes, silver and gold. 10.32.16. After mid-day they turn to sacrificing. The more wealthy sacrifice oxen and deer, the poorer people geese and guinea fowl. But it is not the custom to use for the sacrifice sheep, pigs or goats. Those whose business it is to burn the victims This scarcely makes sense, and the emendation of Kayser is ingenious: “Those whom Isis has invited to send the victims.” and send them into the shrine...having made a beginning must wrap the victims in bandages of coarse or fine linen; the mode of preparing is the Egyptian. 10.32.17. All that they have devoted to sacrifice are led in procession; some send the victims into the shrine,while others burn the booths before the shrine and themselves go away in haste. They say that once a profane man, who was not one of those descending into the shrine, when the pyre began to burn, entered the shrine to satisfy his rash inquisitiveness. It is said that everywhere he saw ghosts, and on returning to Tithorea and telling what he had seen he departed this life.
5. Porphyry, On Abstinence, 2.29 (3rd cent. CE - 4th cent. CE)

2.29. 29.For formerly, as we have before observed, when men sacrificed to the Gods fruits and not animals, and did not assume the latter for food, it is said, that a common sacrifice being celebrated at Athens, one Diomus, or Sopater, who was not a native, but cultivated some land in Attica, seizing a sharp axe which was near to him, and being excessively indigt, struck with it an ox, who, coming from his labour, approached to a table, on which were openly placed cakes and other offerings which were to be burnt as a sacrifice to the Gods, and ate some, but trampled on the rest of the offerings. The ox, therefore, being killed, Diomus, whose anger was now appeased, at the same time perceived what kind of deed he had perpetrated. And the ox, indeed, he buried. But embracing a voluntary banishment, as if he had been accused of impiety, he fled to Crete. A great dryness, however, taking place in the Attic land from vehement heat, and a dreadful sterility of fruit, and the Pythian deity being in consequence of it consulted by the general consent, the God answered, that the Cretan exile must expiate the crime; and that, if the murderer was punished, and the statue of the slain ox was erected in the place in which it fell, this would be beneficial both to those who had and those who had not tasted its flesh. An inquiry therefore being made into the affair, and Sopater, together with the deed, having been discovered, he, thinking that he should be liberated from the difficulty in which he was now involved, through the accusation of impiety, if the same thing was done by all men in common, said to those who came to him, that it was necessary an ox should be slain by the city. But, on their being dubious who should strike the ox, he said that he would undertake to do it, if they would make him a citizen, and would be partakers with him of the slaughter. This, therefore, being granted, they returned to the city, and ordered the deed to be accomplished in such a way as it is performed by them at present, [and which was as follows:] SPAN
6. Nonnus, Dionysiaca, 6.204-6.206, 6.209-6.210 (4th cent. CE - 5th cent. CE)

7. Epigraphy, Lscg, 68

8. Epigraphy, Ig Ii2, 3559, 2670

9. Orphic Hymns., Fragments, 59, 311



Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
aegeids Bremmer, Greek Religion and Culture, the Bible, and the Ancient Near East (2008) 158
art discourse, art-historical Elsner, Roman Eyes: Visuality and Subjectivity in Art and Text (2007) 35
art discourse, ritualcentered Elsner, Roman Eyes: Visuality and Subjectivity in Art and Text (2007) 35
bouphonia ritual Elsner, Roman Eyes: Visuality and Subjectivity in Art and Text (2007) 35
damophon of messene Lupu, Greek Sacred Law: A Collection of New Documents (NGSL) (2005) 217
demeter Bremmer, Greek Religion and Culture, the Bible, and the Ancient Near East (2008) 158; deJauregui, Orphism and Christianity in Late Antiquity (2010), 43
despoina, sanctuary at lycosura Lupu, Greek Sacred Law: A Collection of New Documents (NGSL) (2005) 217
despoina Bremmer, Greek Religion and Culture, the Bible, and the Ancient Near East (2008) 158
dionysus deJauregui, Orphism and Christianity in Late Antiquity (2010), 43, 355
eleusis deJauregui, Orphism and Christianity in Late Antiquity (2010), 43
eucharist deJauregui, Orphism and Christianity in Late Antiquity (2010), 355
euhemerism deJauregui, Orphism and Christianity in Late Antiquity (2010), 355
greece deJauregui, Orphism and Christianity in Late Antiquity (2010), 43
hieroi logoi deJauregui, Orphism and Christianity in Late Antiquity (2010), 43
klision Bremmer, Greek Religion and Culture, the Bible, and the Ancient Near East (2008) 158
kouretes Bremmer, Greek Religion and Culture, the Bible, and the Ancient Near East (2008) 158
leochares Elsner, Roman Eyes: Visuality and Subjectivity in Art and Text (2007) 35
leschê, names with Bremmer, Greek Religion and Culture, the Bible, and the Ancient Near East (2008) 158
leschê Bremmer, Greek Religion and Culture, the Bible, and the Ancient Near East (2008) 158
lycosoura Bremmer, Greek Religion and Culture, the Bible, and the Ancient Near East (2008) 158
lykomids Bremmer, Greek Religion and Culture, the Bible, and the Ancient Near East (2008) 158
mantinea Bremmer, Greek Religion and Culture, the Bible, and the Ancient Near East (2008) 158
megara Bremmer, Greek Religion and Culture, the Bible, and the Ancient Near East (2008) 158
meliastai Bremmer, Greek Religion and Culture, the Bible, and the Ancient Near East (2008) 158
mens house Bremmer, Greek Religion and Culture, the Bible, and the Ancient Near East (2008) 158
messene Bremmer, Greek Religion and Culture, the Bible, and the Ancient Near East (2008) 158
musaeus deJauregui, Orphism and Christianity in Late Antiquity (2010), 43
oral information on cult Petropoulou, Animal Sacrifice in Ancient Greek Religion, Judaism, and Christianity, 100 BC to AD 200 (2012) 74
orgia deJauregui, Orphism and Christianity in Late Antiquity (2010), 43
orpheus Bremmer, Greek Religion and Culture, the Bible, and the Ancient Near East (2008) 158
pausanias, and ritual-centered visuality Elsner, Roman Eyes: Visuality and Subjectivity in Art and Text (2007) 35
pausanias Petropoulou, Animal Sacrifice in Ancient Greek Religion, Judaism, and Christianity, 100 BC to AD 200 (2012) 74
persephone / core deJauregui, Orphism and Christianity in Late Antiquity (2010), 43
phyla Bremmer, Greek Religion and Culture, the Bible, and the Ancient Near East (2008) 158
rhapsodies deJauregui, Orphism and Christianity in Late Antiquity (2010), 43
rites deJauregui, Orphism and Christianity in Late Antiquity (2010), 43, 355
ritual, as focus of art discourse Elsner, Roman Eyes: Visuality and Subjectivity in Art and Text (2007) 35
ritual, described by pausanias Elsner, Roman Eyes: Visuality and Subjectivity in Art and Text (2007) 35
sacramentalism deJauregui, Orphism and Christianity in Late Antiquity (2010), 355
sacred law Petropoulou, Animal Sacrifice in Ancient Greek Religion, Judaism, and Christianity, 100 BC to AD 200 (2012) 74
sacrifice, animal, in greek religion v, vi Petropoulou, Animal Sacrifice in Ancient Greek Religion, Judaism, and Christianity, 100 BC to AD 200 (2012) 74
sacrifice, animal, variety of Petropoulou, Animal Sacrifice in Ancient Greek Religion, Judaism, and Christianity, 100 BC to AD 200 (2012) 74
sacrifice, animal, vitality of Petropoulou, Animal Sacrifice in Ancient Greek Religion, Judaism, and Christianity, 100 BC to AD 200 (2012) 74
statues, group at lycosura Lupu, Greek Sacred Law: A Collection of New Documents (NGSL) (2005) 217
telestêrion' Bremmer, Greek Religion and Culture, the Bible, and the Ancient Near East (2008) 158
titans deJauregui, Orphism and Christianity in Late Antiquity (2010), 43, 355
vegetarianism deJauregui, Orphism and Christianity in Late Antiquity (2010), 355
zeus, polieus Elsner, Roman Eyes: Visuality and Subjectivity in Art and Text (2007) 35
zeus Elsner, Roman Eyes: Visuality and Subjectivity in Art and Text (2007) 35; deJauregui, Orphism and Christianity in Late Antiquity (2010), 43, 355