The Ancient Library

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On this page: Theoxenia – Theritas – Thermae – Thersander – Thersites – Thesaurus



architheoros, on whom, as also on his com­panions (synthZOri), devolved the honour­able and patriotic duty of appearing with the utmost splendour. In Athens the archi-theoria was one of the llturgice undertaken by the wealthier citizens. (See leitouroia.) The members of the sacred embassy were treated as honoured guests by the State to which they were deputed.

Theorlcon (" theatre-money "). A distribu­tion of two obols (about 3d.)a head,granted from the time of Pericles to the poorer Athenian citizens, from the common war-chest (see hellenotami/e), to enable them to attend the representations at the theatre, two obols being the entrance fee levied by the lessees of the theatre. By degrees this grant was distributed to citizens who laid claim to it in the case of other enter­tainments. It was abolished towards the end of the Peloponnesian War, but again introduced after the restoration of the democracy; and a special fund, to which, by a decree of the people, the whole surplus of the revenue was to be devoted, was set apart for this purpose, under a special board, who had even for a time the management of the finances of the State. Demosthenes first succeeded, shortly before the battle of Chserfinea (338 b.c.), in putting an end to this system, which so severely taxed the resources of the State in time of war.

Th6ox6nI4 ("entertainments given to the gods "). A festival celebrated in many parts of Greece in honour, not only of the principal local divinity, but of many others who were considered as his guests. Such was the feast held at Delphi in honour of Apollo in the month hence called ThSoxenlos (August). Of the manner of its celebration nothing is known. Distinguished men, such as Pindar and his descendants, were also invited to the sacrificial feast. Elsewhere other gods appeared as hosts at the feast, as the Dioscuri, the patrons of hospitality, in Parts and Agrigentum.

Therltas ("the savage one"). A name given at Sparta to Ares (q.v.).

Therms. The name given by the Romans to the public buildings, founded in and after the time of Agrippa, which combined, with warm baths, the arrangements of a Greek gymnasium. These included open and covered colonnades for conversation, in­struction, and different exercises, especially the game of ball. The most extensive and splendid establishments of the sort were to be found in Rome, and are still to be seen,

though, for the greater part, in ruins. Of

the existing remains the most important

are those of the Thermos of Caracalla,

| (Cp. architecture, fig. 14, p. 56; and see


J Thersander (Gr. ThersandrOs). Son of Pfily mces and Argeia, husband of Demonassa the daughter of Amphlaraus, and king of Thebes after the taking of that city by the Epigfini (q.v.). According to post-Homeric traditions he took part in the expedition against Troy, but was killed on first landing by Telephus. In Vergil [" Thessandrus," jEn. ii 261], on the other hand, he is one of the heroes of the wooden horse. His son and successor was Tisamenus. His grandson, Autesion, at the bidding of the oracle, went over to the Dorians who had settled in Lacedaemon ; and his great-grandson Theras founded a colony in the island of CallistSj which from that time was called Thera. It was from him that Theron, the tyrant of Agrigentum in Sicily, traced his descent.

Thersites. The most ill-favoured of the Greeks assembled before Troy, and also a man of evil tongue. He was severely chastised by Odysseus [II. ii 212-277] for speaking evil of Agamemnon. According to later tradition, Achilles slew him with a blow of his fist for stabbing in the eye the Amazon PenthSsIlea, whom he had himself laid low, and also for falsely accusing Achilles [Quintals Smyrnseus, i 768-823].

Thesaurus. The Greek term for a room in which all kinds of objects, provisions, jewels, etc., were stored; hence a " trea­sury " or " treasure house." In ordinary life the underground store-chambers, circular vaulted rooms with an opening above, similar to our cellars, were thus named. The same name was given to treasure-houses which each State maintained within the precincts of Panhellenic sanctuaries, as repositories for their offerings to the gods. Such were those at Olympia and Delphi. The subterranean tombs, shaped like beehives, and of a construction dating from remote Greek antiquity, which have been found in various places, have been wrongly described as " treasure houses." The most celebrated of these are the so called thesaurus of Atreus at Mycenae (see architecture, fig. 3), and that of Minyag at Orchomenus (see trophonius). The latter is only partly, the former wholly preserved. The ground-plan of these struc­tures is circular, and consists of one enclosed room with a domed roof, con-

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