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On this page: Amphidromia – Amphimallum – Amphiorcia – Amphiprostylos – Amphisbetesis – Amphitapae




with, the word «jU</> tier iovzs, or neighbours. Very few, if any, modern scholars doubt that the latter view is correct ; and that Araphictyon, with Hellen, Dorus, Ion, Xuthus,Thessalus,Larissa the daughter of Pelasgus, and others, are not historical, but mythic personages — the representatives, or poetic personi­fications, of their alleged foundations, or offspring. As for Amphictyon (Thirlwall, Hist, of Greece, vol. i. p. 373), it is too marvellous a coincidence that his name should \)e significant of the institu­tion itself ; and, as he was the son of Deucalion and Pyrrha, it is difficult to guess of whom his council consisted. (PhiloL Museum, vol. ii. p. 359.) Besides, though Herodotus (i. 56) and Thucydides (i. 3) had the opportunity, they yet make no men­tion of him. We may conclude therefore, that the word should be written amphictiony *, from afjupi-KTiovzs, or those that dwelt around some particular locality.

The next question is one of greater difficulty ; it is this : — Where did the association originate ? — were its meetings first held at Delphi, or at Thermopylae ? There seems a greater amount of evidence in favour of the latter. In proof of this, we may state the preponderance of Thessalian tribes from the neighbourhood of the Maliac bay, and the comparative insignificance of many of them ; the assigned birthplace and residence of the mythic Amphietyon, the names Pylagorae and Pylaea. Besides, we know that Thessaly was the theatre and origin of many of the most important events of early Greek history : whereas, it was only in later times, and after the Dorian conquest of Peloponnesus, that Delphi became important enough for the meetings of such a body as the Amphictyonic ; nor if Delphi had been of old the only place of meeting, is it easy to account for what must have been a loss of its ancient dignity. But whatever was the cause, we have still the fact, that there were two places of con­ gress ; to account for which, it has been supposed that there were originally two confederations, afterwards united by the growing power of Delphi, as connected with the Dorians, but still retaining the old places of meeting. We must, however, admit that it is a matter of mere conjecture whether this were the case or not, there being strong reasons in support of the opinion that the Dorians, on migrating southwards, combined the worship of the Hellenic Apollo with that of the Pelasgian Demeter, as celebrated by the Amphictyons of Thessaly. Equally doubtful is the question respecting the influence of Acrisius, king of Argos (Schol. ad Eurip. Orest, 1094 ; Callim. Epig. xli. ; Strab. ix. p. 420) ; and how far it is true that he first brought the confederacy into order, and determined other points connected with the institution. We may however remark that his alleged connection with it, is significant of a Pelasgic element in its con­ formation. (Thirlwall, Hist, of Greece, cc. x. xliii. ; Heeren, Polit. Hist, of Greece, c. 7 ; St. Croix, Des Anciens Gouvernemens Fideratifs ; Tittmann, Ueber den Bund der A mpliidyonen ; l M tiller, Dorians, book ii. 3. §. 5 ; Phil. Mus. vol. i. p. 324 ; Hermann, Manual of the Polit. Antiq. of Greece, § 11 — 14 ; Wachsrauth, Heltenisehe AMerthunis- Jcunde ; Niebuhr, Hist, of Home, vol. i. p. 31. transi.) [R. W.J

' * Thus Pindar (Nem. vi. 42), 'Ev TavpO(f>6vtp rpiefripio'i ; see Boekh ad locum.

AMPHIDROMIA (fy^fyw^a), a family fes­ tival of the Athenians at which the newly born child was introduced into the family, and received its name. No particular day was fixed for this solemnity ; but it did not take place very soon after the birth of the child, for it was believed that most children died before the seventh day, and the solemnity was therefore generally deferred till after that period, that there might be at least some probability of the child remaining alive. According to Suidas, the festival was held on the fifth day, when the women who had lent their assistance at the birth washed their hands, but this purifi­ cation preceded the real solemnity. The friends and relations of the parents were invited to the festival of the amphidromia, which was held in the evening, and they generally appeared with pre­ sents, among which are mentioned the cuttle-fish and the marine polyp. (Hesych. and Harpocr. s. v.) The house was decorated on the outside with olive branches when the child was a boy, or with garlands of wool when the child was a girl ; and a repast was prepared, at which, if we may judge from a fragment of Ephippus in Athenaeus (ix. p. 370 ; comp. ii. p. 65), the guests must have been rather merry. The child was then carried round the fire by the nurse, and thus, as it were, pre­ sented to the gods of the house and to the family, and at the same time received its name, to which the guests were witnesses. (Isaeus, De Pyrrhi Haered. p. 34. s. 30. Bekker.) The carrying of the child round the hearth was the principal part of the solemnity, from which its name was derived. But the Scholiast on Aristophanes (Lysistr. 758) derives its name from the fact that the guests, whilst the name was given to the child, walked or danced around it. This festival is sometimes called from the day on which it took place : if on the seventh day, it is called e'gSo/mt or e'gSojua? : if on the tenth day, sck^t^, &c. (Hesych. and Aristoph. Av. 923 ; K. F. Hermann, Lekrb. d. gottesdienstliclien altertliumer d. Griechen, § 48. n. 6.) [L. S.J


AMPHIORCIA or AMPHOMO'SIA (fy*-(piopKia or a/^co/.tocn'a), the oath which was taken, both by the plaintiff and defendant, before the trial of a cause in the Athenian courts, that they would speak the truth. (Hesych. Suid.) Ac­cording to Pollux (viii. 10), the amphiorcia also included the oath which the judges took, that they would decide according to the laws ; or, in case there was no express law on the subject in dispute, that they would decide according to the principles of justice.


AMPHISBETESIS (a/^io-g^o-is.) [he-


AMPHITAPAE. [tapes]. AMPHITHALAMUS. [Donus] AMPHITHEA'TRUM (tyfiMarpov) was a

description of building arranged for the exhibition of combats of gladiators, and wild beasts, and ships, which constituted the ludi amphitkeatrales. [gladiatores ; venatio ; naumachia.]

I. Its History. — Such exhibitions — which were peculiar to the Romans, and which were un­known to the Greeks till the Romans introduced them — originally took place in the forum and the circus, the shows of gladiators being given in -the former, and those of wild beasts in the

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