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On this page: Diffareatio – Digesta – Digitalia – Digitus – Diipoleia – Dimachae – Dimensum – Diminutio Capitis – Diobolos – Diocleia – Dionysia



causa cum peregrinis instituuntur). Dies proeliales were all days on which religion did not forbid to commence a war ; a list of days and festivals on which it was contrary to religion to commence a war is given by Macrobius. See also Festus, s. v. Compare Manutius, De Vetenim Dierum Ratione, and the article calendarium. [L. S.]

DIFFAREATIO. [divortium.]

DIGESTA. [pandectae.]

DIGITALIA. [manica.]

DIGITUS. [pes.]

DIIPOLEIA (SuTroAeia), also called AnrrfAeta or A/7roAfa, a very ancient festival celebrated every year on the acropolis of Athens in honour of Zeus, surnamed Ho\ievs. (Paus. i. 14. § 4 ; comp. Anti-phon, 120. 10.) Suidas and the Scholiast on Aristophanes (Paoc^ 410) are mistaken in believing that the Diipolia were the same festival as the Diasia. It was held on the 14th of Scirrophorion. The manner in which the sacrifice of an ox was offered on this occasion, and the origin of the rite, are described by Porphyrius (De Abstinent, ii. § 29), with whose account may be compared the fragmentary descriptions of Pausanias (i. 28. § 11) and Aelian (V. H. viii. 3). The Athenians placed barley mixed with wheat upon the altar of Zeus and left it unguarded ; the ox destined to be sacri­ficed was then allowed to go and take of the seeds. One of the priests, who bore the name of (3ov(f>6j/os (whence the festival was sometimes called fiov-<t)6vtcC)) at seeing the ox eating, snatched the axe, killed the ox, and ran away. The others, as if not knowing who had killed the animal, made in­quiries, and at last also summoned the axe, which was in the end declared guilty of having committed the murder. This custom is, said to have arisen from the following circumstance : — In the reign of Erechtheus, at the celebration of the Dionysia, or, according to the Scholiast on Aristophanes (Nub. 972), at the diipolia, an ox ate the cakes offered to the god, and one Baulon or Thaulon, or, according to others, the fiov<$>6vos, killed the ox with an axe and fled from his county. The murderer having thus escaped, the axe was declared guilty, and the rite observed at the diipolia was performed in commemoration of that event. (Compare Suidas and Hesych. s. v. /3ov-<j)6via.) This legend of the origin of the diipolia manifestly leads us back to a time when it had not yet become customary to offer animal sacrifices to the gods, but merely the fruits of the earth. Porphyrius also informs us that three Athenian families had their especial (probably hereditary) functions to perform at this festival. Members of the one drove the ox to the altar, and were thence called Kej/Tpiddai: another family, descended from Baulon and called the jSouruTrot, knocked the victim down ; and a third, designated by the name of San-pot, killed it. (Compare Creuzer's Mythol. tend Symbol, i. p. 172, iv. p. 122, &c.) [L. S.]

DIMACHAE (Sf^axat), Macedonian horse-soldiers, who also fought on foot when occasion required. Their armour was heavier than that of the ordinary horse-soldiers, and lighter than that of the regular heavy-armed foot. A servant ac­companied each soldier in order to take care of his horse when he alighted to fight on foot. This species of troops is said to have been first intro­duced by Alexander the Great. (Pollux, i. 132 ; Curtius, y. 13.) DIMACHERI. [gladiatores.]


DIMENSUM. [servus.]


DIOBOLOS. [drachma.]

DIOCLEIA (8i6K\eia), a festival celebrated by the Megarians in honour of an ancient Athenian hero, Diocles, around whose grave young men as­ sembled on the occasion, and amused themselves with gymnastic and other contests. We read that he who gave the sweetest kiss obtained the prize, consisting of a garland of flowers. (Theocrit. Idyll, xii. 27, &c.) The Scholiast on Theocritus (I. c.) relates the origin of this festival as fol­ lows : — Diocles, an Athenian exile, fled to Me- gara, where he found a youth with whom he fell in love. In some battle, while protecting the object of his love with his shield, he was slain. The Megarians honoured the gallant lover with a tomb, raised him to the rank of a hero, and in commemoration of his faithful attachment, insti­ tuted the festival of the Diocleia. See Bockh, ad Pind. Olymp. vii. 157. p. 176, and the Scholiast, ad Aristopli. Acharn. 730, where a Megarian swears by Diocles, from which we may infer that he was held in great honour by the Megarians. (Compare Welcker's Sappho., p. 39, and ad Theogn. p. 79.) [L. S.]

DIONYSIA (Aioy&na), festivals celebrated in various parts of Greece in honour of Dionysus. We have to consider under this head several festivals of the same deity, although some of them bore different names ; for here, as in other cases, the name of the festival was sometimes derived from that of the god, sometimes from the place where it was celebrated, and sometimes from some particular circumstance connected with its celebra­tion. We shall, however, direct our attention chiefly to the Attic festivals of Dionysus, as, on account of their intimate connection with the origin and the development of dramatic literature, they are of greater importance to us than any other ancient festival.

The general character of the festivals of Dio­nysus was extravagant merriment and enthusiastic joy, which manifested themselves in various ways. The import of some of the apparently unmeaning and absurd practices in which the Greeks indulged during the celebration of the Dionysia, has been well explained by MUller (Hist, of the Lit. of Anc. Greece., i. p. 289) -: — " The intense desire felt by every worshipper of Dionysus to fight, to conquer, to suffer in common with him, made them regard the subordinate beings (satyrs, panes, and nymphs, by whom the god himself was surrounded, and through whom life seemed to pass from him into vegetation, and branch off into a variety of beauti­ful or grotesque forms), who were ever present to the fancy of the Greeks, as a convenient step by which they could approach more nearly to the presence of their divinity. The customs so preva­lent at the festivals of Dionysus, of taking the dis­guise of satyrs, doubtless originated in this feeling, and not in the mere desire of concealing excesses under the disguise of a mask, otherwise so serious and pathetic a spectacle as tragedy could never have originated in the choruses of these satyrs. The desire of escaping from self into something new and strange, of living in an imaginary world, breaks forth in a thousand instances in these festivals of Dionysus. It is seen in the colouring the body with plaster, soot, vermilion, and difr ferent sorts of green and red juices of plants, wear-

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