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On this page: Pythia – Pythii – Pyxis – Quadragesima



It is quite impossible to conceive that all the nu­merous games should have taken place on one day.

The concourse of strangers at the season of this panegyris, must have been very great, as un­doubtedly all the Greeks were allowed to attend. The states belonging to the amphictyony of Delphi had to send their theori in the month of Bysius, some time before the commencement of the festival itself. (Bb'ckh, Corp. Inscr. I. c.) All theori sent by the Greeks to Delphi on this occasion, were called Hvdaicrrai (Strab. ix. p. 404), and the theo­ries sent by the Athenians were always particu­larly brilliant. (Schol. ad Aristoph. Av. 1585,) As regards sacrifices, processions, and other solemni­ties, it may be presumed that they resembled in a great measure those of Olympia. A splendid, though probably in some degree fictitious, descrip­tion of a theoria of Thessalians may be read in Heliodorus (Aetli. ii. 34).

As to the order in which the various games were performed, scarcely anything is known, with the exception of some allusions in Pindar and a few remarks of Plutarch. The latter (Symp. ii. 4 ; comp. Philostr. Apotl. Tyan. vi. 10) says that the musical contests preceded the gymnastic contests, and from Sophocles it is clear that the gymnastic contests preceded the horse and chariot races. Every game, moreover, which was performed by men and by boys, was always first performed by the latter. (Plut. Symp. ii. 5.)

We have stated above that, down to 01. 48, the Delphians had the management of the Pythian games ; but of the manner in which they were conducted previous to that time nothing is known. When they came under the care of the Amphic­tyons, especial persons were appointed for the pur­pose of conducting the games and of acting as judges. They were called 'ETrf/xeATjrcu (Pint. Symp. ii. 4, vii. 5) and answered to the Olym­pian Hellanodicae. Their number is unknown. (Krause, I. c. p. 44.) In later times it was decreed by the Amphictyons that king. Philip with the Thessalians and Boeotians should undertake the management of the games (Diod. xvi. 60), but afterwards and even under the Roman emperors the Amphictyons again appear in the possession of this privilege. (Philostr. Vit. Soph. ii. 27.) The tVijUeATjTa! had to maintain peace and order, and were assisted by /maffriyo^opoi., who executed any punishment at their command, and thus answered to the Olympian aXvrai. (Luc. adv. indoct* 9, &c.)

The prize given to the victors in the Pythian games was from the time of the second Pythiad a laurel chaplet; so that they then became an ay&i> (fTetyavirys, while before they had been an ay&v Xp7]/xaTtT7]s. (Paus. x. 7. § 3 ; Schol. in Argum. ad Pind. Pytli*} In addition to this chaplet, the victor here, as at Olympiad received the symbolic palm-branch, and was allowed to have his own statue erected in the Crissaean plain. (Plut. Symp. viii.'4 • Paus* vi. 15. § 3, 17. § 1 ; Justin. xxiv. 7,10.) _

The time when the ceased to be solemnised is not certain, but they probably lasted as long as the Olympic games,*', e. clown to the year a. d. 394. In a. d. 191 a celebration of the Pythia is mentioned by Philostratus (Fit. Soph. ii. 27), and in the time of the emperor Julian they fetill continued to be held, as is manifest from his words. (Jill. Epist. pro Argiv. p. 35, a.)

Pythian-games of less importance were celebrated


in a great many other places where the worship of Apollo was introduced ; and the games of Dei- phi are sometimes distinguished from these lesser Pythia by the addition of the words eV AeA<£o?.9. But as by far the greater number of the lesser Pythia are not mentioned in the extant ancient writers, and are only known from coins or inscrip­ tions, we shall only give a list of the places where they were held : — Ancyra in Galatia, Aphrodisias in Caria, Antiochia, Carthaea in the island of Ceos (Athen. x. p. 456, 467), Carthage (Tertull. Scorp. 6), Cibyra in Phrygia, Delos (Dionys. Perieg. 527), Emisa in Syria, Hierapolis in Phrygia, Magnesia, Megara (Schol. ad Pind. Nem. v. 84, Ol. xiii. 155 ; Philostr. Vit. Soph. i. 3), Miletus, Neapolis in Italy, Nicaea in Bithynia, Nicomedia, Pergamus in Mysia, Perge in Pamphylia. Perm- thus on the Propontis, Philippopolis in Thrace, Side in Pamphylia, Sicyon (Pind. 01. xiii. 105, with the Schol. ; Nem. ix. 51), Taba in Caria, Thessalonice in Macedonia, in Thrace, Thyatira, and Tralles in Lydia, Tripolis on the Maeander in Caria. (Krause, Die Pythien^ Nemeen und Istk- mien, pp. 1—106.) [L. S.]

PYTHIA. [ouaculum, p. 837, a.]

PYTHII (TrvdioL\ called UolBioi in the Lace­ daemonian dialect (Photius, s. v.\ were four per­ sons appointed by the Spartan kings, two by each, as messengers to the temple of Delphi (&eoirpo- iroi es AeA(/)ofo). Their office was highly honour­ able and important: they were always the mess­ mates of the Spartan kings. (Herod, vi. 57 ; Xen. Rep. Lac. xv. 5 ; Miiller, Dor. iii. 1. § 9.)

PYXIS, dim. PYXIDULA (irv^dim. irv£i~ 8«w),' a casket; a jewel-box. (Mart. ix. 38.) Quintilian (viii. 6. § 35) produces this term as an example of catachresis, because it properly denoted that which was made of box (fn^os), but was ap­plied to things of similar form and use made of any other material. In fact, the caskets in which the ladies of ancient times kept their jewels and other ornaments, were made of gold, silver, ivory, mother-of-pearl, tortoise-shell, &c. They were also much enriched with sculpture. A silver coffer, 2 feet long, 1-i- wide, and 1 deep, most elaborately adorned with figures in bas-relief, is described by Bottiger. • (Sabina, vol. i. pp. 64—80. plate iii*) The annexed woodcut (from Ant. d^Ercolano^ vol. ii. tab. 7) represents a very plain jewel-box, out of which a .dove is extracting a riband or fillet. Nero

deposited his beard in a valuable pyxis, when he shaved for the first time. [BARBA.]

The same term is applied to boxes used to con­ tain drags or poison (Cic. pro CaeUo^ 25—29 ; Qtiintil. vi. 3. § 25) ; and to metallic rings em­ ployed in machinery. (Plin. H.N. XViii. 11. s. 20.) " [J. Y.]


QUADRAGESIMA, the fortieth part of the imported goodgj - was the ordinary rate of the Pot*-

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