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mystae now repeated the oath of secresy which had been administered to them at the lesser Eleu-sinia, underwent a new purification, and then they were led by the mystagogus in the darkness of night into the lighted interior of the sanctuary (^wra7o>7ia), and were allowed to see (avro-fyia) what none except the epoptae ever beheld. The awful and horrible manner in which the initiation is described by later, especially Christian writers, seems partly to proceed from their ignorance of its real character, partly from their horror and aversion to these pagan rites. The more ancient writers always abstained from entering upon any description of the subject. Each individual, after his initiation, is said to have been dismissed by the words /c<ty£, o^ird^ (Hesych. s. u), in order to make room for other mystae.
On the seventh day the initiated returned to Athens amid various kinds of raillery and jests, especially at the bridge over the Cephisus, where they sat down to rest, and poured forth their ridicule on those who passed by. Hence the words ys<f)vpi&iv and ysfyvpifffjios (Strabo, ix. p. 395; Suidas, s. v. Tzfyvpifav \ Hesych. s. v. Tefyvpio-rai: Aelian, Hist. Animal, iv. 43 ; Mtiller, Hist, of the Lit. of Greece, p. 132). These tr/cc^ara seem, like the procession with torches to Eleusis, to have been dramatical and symbolical representations of the jests by which, according to the ancient legend, lambe or Baubo had dispelled the grief of the goddess and made her smile. We may here observe, that probably the whole history of Demeter and Persephone was in some way or other symbolically represented at the Eleusinia. Hence Clemens of Alexandria (Protrept. p. 12, ed. Potter) calls the Eleusinian mysteries a " mystical drama." (See MUller, Hist, of the Lit. of Greece, p. 287, &c.) The eighth day, called 'ETriSavpia, was a kind of additional day for those who by some accident had come too late, or had been prevented from being initiated on the sixth day. It was said to have been added to the original number of days, when Asclepius, coming over from Epidaurus to be initiated, arrived too late, and the Athenians, not to disappoint the god, added an eighth day. (Philostr. Vit. Apoll. iv. 6 ; Pans. ii. 26. § 7.) The ninth and last day bore the name of TrXrj^o^oai (Pollux, x. 74 ; Athen. xi. p. 496), from a peculiar kind of vessel called -ttatj/^oxotj, which is described as a small kind of KorvXos. Two of these vessels were on this day filled with water or wine, and the contents of the one thrown to the east, and those of the other to the west, while those who performed this rite uttered some mystical words.
Besides the various rites and ceremonies described above, several others are mentioned, but it is not known to which day they belonged. Among them we shall mention only the Eleusinian games and contests, which Meiirsius assigns to the seventh clay. They are mentioned by Gellius (xv. 20), and are said to have been the most ancient in Greece. The prize of the victors consisted in. ears of barley. (Schol. ad Find. Ol. ix. 150.) It was considered as one of the greatest profanations of the Eleusinia, if during their celebration an arifj.os came as a suppliant to the temple (the Eleusinion), and placed his olive branch (foe-r^pia) in it (Andoc. De Myst. p. 54) ; and whoever did so might be put to death without any trial, or had to pay a fine of one thousand drachmae. It may also be remarked that at bther festivals, as well as the Eleusinia, no man,
while celebrating the festival, could be seized or arrested for any offence. (Demosth. c. Mid. p. 571.) Lycurgus made it a law that any woman using a carriage in the procession to Eleusis should be fined one thousand drachmae. (Plut. De Cup. Div. ix. p. 348 ; Aelian, V. PL xiii. 24.) The custom against which this law was directed seems to have been very common before. (Demosth. c. Mid, p. 565.)
The Eleusinian mysteries long survived the independence of Greece. Attempts to suppress them were made by the emperor Valentinian, but he met with strong opposition, and they seem to have continued down to the time of the elder Theodo-sius. Respecting the secret doctrines which were revealed in them to the initiated, nothing certain is known. The general belief of the ancients was that they opened to man a comforting prospect of a future state. (Pind. Thren. p. 8. ed. Bockh.) But this feature does not seem to have been origi-nalty connected with these mysteries, and was probably added to them at the period which followed the opening of a regular intercourse between Greece and Egypt, when some of the speculative doctrines of the latter country, and of the East, may have been introduced into the mysteries, and hallowed by the names of the venerable bards of the mythical age. This supposition would also account, in some measure, for the legend of their introduction from Egypt. In modern times many attempts have been made to discover the nature of the mysteries revealed to the initiated, but the results have been as various and as fanciful as might be expected. The most sober and probable view is that, according to which, " they were the remains of a worship which preceded the rise of the Hellenic mythology and its attendant rites, grounded on a view of nature, less fanciful, more earnest, and better fitted to awaken both philosophical thought and religious feeling." (Thirlwall, Hist, of Greece, ii. p. 140, &c.) Respecting the Attic Eleusinia see Meursius, Eleusinia, Lugd. Bat. 1619 ; St. Croix, Recherches Hist, et Critiq. sur les Mystercs du Paganisme (a second edition was published in 1817, by Sylvestre de Sacy, in 2 vols. Paris) ; Ouwaroff, Essai sur les Mysteres d'Eleusis, 3d edition, Paris, 1816 ; Wachsmuth, Hell. Alter, vol. ii. p. 575, &c. 2d edit. p. 249, &c. ; Creuzer, Symbol, u. Mytliol. iv. p. 534, &c. ; Nitzsch, De Eleusin. Ratione, Kiel, 1842.
Eleusinia were also celebrated in other parts of Greece. At Ephesus they had been introduced from Athens. (Strabo, xiv. p. 633.) In Laconia they were, as far as we know, only celebrated by the inhabitants of the ancient town of Helos, who on certain days, carried a wooden statue of Persephone to the Eleusinion, in the heights of Tay-getus. (Pans. iii. 20. § 5, &c.) Crete had likewise its Eleusinia, (See Meurs. Eleus. c. 33.) [L. S.J
ELEUTHERIA. (e'Aevfle/Ha), the feast of liberty, a festival which the Greeks, after the battle of Plataeae (479, b. c.), instituted in honour of Zeus Eleutherios (the deliverer). It was intended not merely to be a token of their gratitude to the god to whom they believed themselves to be indebted for their victory over the barbarians, but also as a bond of union among themselves ; for, in an assembly of all the Greeks, Aristides carried a decree that delegates (jrpoSovXai Kal &e(*>poi) from all the Greek states should assemble every year at Plataeae for the celebration of the Eleutheria.