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On this page: Thensae – Theodosianus Codex – Theophania – Theori


in Greece {>a€$o(}>6poi or pa£So3x°', and at Rome Praeconcs. (Schol. ad Aristopli. Pax, 718.)

Respecting the attendance at the Greek theatres, and the conduct of the people, see a very good dis­ sertation of Becker, in his Charikles, ii. pp. 249— 278. [L. S.]

THENSAE or TENSAE (for the orthography and etymology of the word are alike doubtful, al­though the oldest MSS. generally omit the aspirate) were highly ornamented sacred vehicles, which, in the solemn pomp of the Circensian games, conveyed the statues of certain deities with all their decora­tions to the pulvinaria, and after the sports were over bore them back to their shrines. (Cic. in Verr. ii. 1, 59, and note of Pseudo-Ascon. iii. 27, v. 72 ; Serv. ad Vivg. Aen. i. 21 ; Festus, s.v.; Ddomedes, i. p. 372, ed. Putsch. ; Dion Cass. xlvii. 40 ; Tertull. de Speet. 7.) We are ignorant of their precise form -Y far although we find several re­presentations upon ancient medals and other works of art, of gods seated in cars, and especially of the sun-chariot of Elagabalus (Herodian. v.. 6 ; see Vaillant, Numismata, Imp., vol. ii. p. 269 ; Ginzrot, Die Wdgen und Fahrwerke, &c. tab. xlii. fig. 6) ; yet we have no means of deciding which, if any, of these are tensae. We know that they were drawn by horses (Plut. Comolan. 25, who calls them (\H<r<ras), and escorted (deducere) by the chief senators in robes of state, who, along with pueri patrimi [patrimi], laid hold of the bridles and traces, or perhaps assisted to drag the carriage (for ducere is used as well as deditcere, Liv. v. 41), by means of thongs attached for the purpose (and hence the proposed derivation from tenda). So sacred was this duty considered, that Augustus, when labouring under sickness, deemed it neces­sary to accompany the tensae in a litter. If one of the horses knocked up ©r the driver took the reins in his left hand, it was necessary to recom­mence the procession, and for one of the attendant boys to let go the thoxig of to stumble was profa­nation. (Liv. v. 41 ; Plut. L c.; Ascon. I. c.; Arnob. adv. gent. iv. 31 ; compared with the- ora­tion de Haru/sp. resp. 11 ; Tertull. de cor. mil. 13, and de Spectac. 7 ; Suet. Octav. 43.)

The only gods, distinctly named as carried in tensae are Jupiter and Minerva (Suet.. Vespas. 5 ; Dion Cass. xlvii. 40, 1. 8, Ixvi. 1), to which number Mars is usually added on the autho­rity of Dion Cassias (Ixxviii. 8), but, in the pas­sage referred to, he merely states, that at the Cir­censian games celebrated a. i>. 216, the statue of Mars, which was in the procession (7r0JUTre?oj'), fell down, and it is very remarkable that Dionysius (vii. 72), in his minute, description of the Pompa Circensis, takes no notice whatever of the Tensae, but represents the statues of the gods as carried on men's shoulders, i. e. on fercula. That a consider­able number of deities however received this honour seems probable from the expression of Cicero, in his solemn appeal at the close of the last Verrine oration, " omnesque dii, qui vehiculifc tensarum solemnes coetus ludorum initis ;" though we cannot determine who these gods were. We frequently hear indeed of the chariot of Juno (Virg. Georg. iii. 531), of Cybele (Aen. vi. 784), and many others, but as these are not mentioned in connexion with the Pompa Circensis, there is no evidence that they were tensae. Among the impious flatteries heaped on Caesar, it was decreed that his ivory statue should accompany the images



of the gods to the circus in a complete chariot (apjita o\ov, that is, a tensa, in opposition to a mere ferculwri), and that this chariot should stand in the Capitol immediately opposite to that of Jupiter. (Dion Cass. xliii. 15, 21, 45, xliv. 6.)

Similar homage was paid upon h%h festivals to the images of their gods by other ancient nations. Thus, in the curious ceremonies performed at Papremis connected with the worship of the Egyptian deity, whom Herodotus (ii. 63) imagined to be identical with Ares, the statue, enshrined in. a chapel made of gilded wood, was dragged in a four-wheeled car by a body of priests. So also, in the account given by Athenaeus (v. c. 27, &c.), a&eu Callixenes of Rhodes, of the gorgeous pageant at Alexandria, during the reign of Ptolemy Phila-clelphus, we read of a- car of Bacchus of prodigious size, most costly materials, and most elaborate workmanship, which was, dragged by 180 men, and to such customs we may find a parallel in modern times in the usages which prevail at the festival of S. Agatha at Catania, and S. Rosolia at Palermo.

(Scheffer de Re vehiculari, c. 24 ; Ginzrot, Die

Wdgen und Fahnverke der Griechen und Romer^

c. 55 ; but the latter author, both here and else-

where^ allows his imagination to carry him farther

than his authorities warrant.) [ W. R.]



THEOPHANIA (beofdwa), a festival cele­brated at Delphi, on the occasion of which the Delphians filled the huge silver crater which had been presented to the Delphic god by Croesus, (Herod, i. 51.) Valckenaer on Herodotus (I. c.) thought that the reading was corrupt, and that ©eo£eVta should be read, as this festival is well known- to have been .celebrated by the Delphians. (Plut. de his qui sero a num. pun. p. 557, f; Pole-mon, ap. A then. ix. p. 372..) But both festivals are mentioned, together by Pollutx (i. 34), and Philostratus (Yik Apollon. iv. 31). The Theo-phania were intended as a celebration of the re­turn ©f Ap&llo to Delphi from which he was be­lieved to be absent during the winter months. An agon called theoxenia was also celebrated at Pellene in Aehaia in honour of Hermes and Apollo. (Scho]Q ad Find. Gl. vii. 156, ix. 146.) But no,particulars of any of these festivals* are known, [L. S-J

THEORI (&eo>/>0t), were persons sent on spe­cial missions (d-ccopfcu) to perform some religious duty, as to consult an oracle, or to offer a sacrifice, on behalf of the state. It is thus explained by the grammarians: <d-eo7iy>oVo;, % ol d-e^/xeyo/, $ ot fypov-

Tl^QI'TeS 7T€pl Ttt ^Of Oi €IS StVfflOLV 7r*jU7TO>ej>Ol Kal

eopras koi Trav7jyvpets Kal XP^r^Pia' (Harp°cr- Suidas and Hesych. s. v* ®et#poi: compare Pollux, ii. 55 ; Sophocl. Oedip. Tyr. 114.) There were in some of the Dorian states, as the Aeginetans, Troe- zenians, Messenians, and Mantineans, official priests called decopoi, whose duty it was to consult oracles, interpret the responses, &c., as among the Spartans there were men called Pythii, chosen by the kings to consult the oracle at Delphi. (Schomann, Ant. Jur. publ. Ch\ pp* 130, 395.) At Athens there were no official persons called deeopof, but the name was given to those citizens who were appointed from time to time to conduct religioiis embassies to various places ; of which the most important were those that were sent to the Olympian, Pythian, Nemean, and Isthmian games, ^ 4 c 3

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