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On this page: Thallophori – Thalysia – Thargelia – Theatrum – Thenaea



THALLOPHORI (&a\\o<J><$/>oi). [pana-

THENAEA, p. 857, a.]

THALYSIA (baXvffia\ a festival celebrated in honour of Dionysus and Demeter (Me'nand. Rbet. quoted by Meursius), or according to others of Demeter alone, as it is described by Theocritus in his seventh idyll, and by the grammarians who wrote the argiimenta to the same. It was held in autumn, after the harvest, to thank the gods for the benefits they had conferred upon men. (Span-heim ad Callimach. hymn, in Cer. 20 and 137 ; Wiistemann ad T/ieocrit. Idyll, vii. 3.) [L. S.]

THARGELIA (Sapyfaia), a festival cele­brated at Athens on the 6th and 7th of Thargelion in honour of Apollo and Artemis (Etymol. M. ; Suidas, s. v. ®apyf)\ia), or according to the Scho­liast on Aristophanes (Equit. 1405) in honour of Helios and the Horae ; the latter statement how­ever is in substance the same as the former. The Apollo who was honoured by this festival was the Delian Apollo. (Athen. x. p. 424.) . The real festival, or the Thargelia in a narrower sense of the word, appears to have taken place on the 7th, and on the preceding day the city of Athens or rather its inhabitants were purified. (Plut. Symp. viii. 1 ; Diog. Laert. ii. 44 ; Harpo-.crat. s. v. &apju.an6s.) The manner in which this purification was effected is very extraordinary and Certainly a remnant of very ancient rites, for two persons were put to death on that day, and the one died on behalf of the men and the other on be­half of the women of Athens. The name by which these victims were designated was fyappcMoi: ac­cording to some accounts both of them were men, but according to others the one dying on behalf of the women was a woman and the other a man. (Hesych. s. v. <bap1uaKoi.') On the day when the sacrifice was to be performed the victims were led out of the city to a place near the sea, with the accompaniment of a peculiar melody, called icpadiys v6fj.os, played on the flute. (Hesych. s. v.J The neck of the one who died for the men was sur­rounded with a garland of black figs, that of the other with a garland of white ones ; and while they were proceeding to the place of their destiny they were beaten with rods of fig-wood, and figs and other things were thrown at them. Cheese, figs, and cake were put into their hands that they might eat them. They were at last burnt on a funeral pile made of wild fig-wood, and their ashes were thrown into the sea and scattered to the winds. (Tzetzes, Chit. v. 25.) Some writers main­tain from a passage, of Ammonius (de Different. Vocals, p. 142, ed. Valck.) that they were thrown into the sea alive, but this passage leaves the matter uncertain. We are not informed whether this expiatory and purifying sacrifice was offered regularly every year, but from the name of the victims ((papuaicoi) as well as from the whole ac­count of Tzetzes, which is founded on good au­thorities, it appears highly probable that this sa^ crifice only took place in case of a heavy calamity having befallen the city (voffovfff]s r^s TroAeoos), such as the plague, a famine, &c. What persons were chosen as victims on such occasions is not mentioned, and we only learn from Suidas (s. v. fya.ppaK.fji) that they were kept at the public ex­pense (Sy/uLocriq, rpe^Ojuej/ot). But they were in all probability criminals sentenced to death, and who were kept by the state from the time of their condemnation to be sacrificed at the Thargelia. In


the earlier times however they were not criminals, but either cripples (Tzetzes, I.e.; Schol. ad Aris-toph. Ran. 733), or persons who offered to die voluntarily for the good of their country. (Athen. ix. p. 370 ; Suidas, s. v. UapOevoi.')

The second day of the Thargelia was solemnized with a procession and an agon which consisted of a cyclic chorus performed by men at the expense of a choragus. (Lysias, do Muncr. accept, p. 255 ; Antiphon, de Choreut. c. 11 ; Demosth. in Mid. p. 517.) The prize of the victor in this agon was a tripod which he had to dedicate in the temple of Apollo which had been built by Peisistratus. (Sui­das, s. v. nvOtov.) On this day it was customary for persons who were adopted into a family to be solemnly registered and received into the genos and the phratria of the adoptive parents. This solemnity was the same as that of registering one's own children at the apaturia. (Isaeus, de Apollod. he-red, c. 15. de Aristarck. lie-red, c. 8.) [adop-tio (greek).]

Respecting the origin of the Thargelia there are two accounts. According to Istrus (ap. Phot. Lex. p. 467 ; Etymol. M., and Harpocrat. s.v. &apuatc6s') the tyap^aKoi derived their name from one Phar-macus, who having stolen the sacred phials of Apollo and being caught in the act by the men of Achilles, was stoned to death, and this event was commemorated by the awful sacrifice at the Thar­gelia. Helladius (p. 534. 3), on the other hand, states that at first these expiatory sacrifices were offered for the purpose of purifying the city of-con­tagious diseases, as the Athenians after the death of the Cretan Androgeus were visited by the plague. A similar festival, probably an imitation of the Thargelia, was celebrated at Massilia, (Petron. 141.) (See Meursius, Graecia Feriata^ s. v. ®apyh\ta : Bode, Gesch. der lyrisch. Dichtkutist der Hellen. i. p. 173, &c., where an account is also given of the Kpadfys v6fj,os; K. F. Hermann, Handb. der Goitesd. Alterth. § 60. n. 4. &c.) [L.S.]

THEATRUM (Scarpo?). The Athenians be­fore the time of Aeschylus had only a wooden scaffolding on which their dramas were performed. Such a wooden theatre was only erected for the time of the Dionysiac festivals, and was afterwards pulled down. The first drama that Aeschylus brought upon the stage was performed upon such a wooden scaffold, and it is recorded as a singular and ominous coincidence that on that occasion (500 u. c.) the scaffolding broke down. To pre­vent the recurrence of such an accident the build­ing of a stone theatre was forthwith commenced on the south-eastern descent of the acropolis, in the Lenaea ; for it should be observed that throughout Greece theatres were always built upon eminences, or on the sloping side of a hill. The new Athenian theatre was built on a very large scale, and appears to have been constructed with great skill in regard to its acoustic and perspective arrangements, but the name of the architect is not known. It is highly probable that dramas were performed in this new theatre as soon as it was practicable, and before it was completely finished, which did not take place till about b.c. 340, unless we adopt the untenable supposition that the completion of the Attic theatre at this time refers to a second theatre. (Pans. i. 29. § 16 ; Plut. Vit. X. Orat. pp. 841, c, 852, c.) During this long interval of forty Olym­piads theatres were erected in all parts of Greece and Asia Minor, although Athens was the centre

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