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On this page: Thesmophylaces – Thesmos – Thesmothetae – Thessa – Thetes – Thiasos – Tholia – Tholus



from Egypt by the daughters of Danaus, who made the Peiasgian women of Peloponnesus acquainted with the mysteries, that after the Dorian conquest they fell into disuse, and were only preserved by the Arcadians, who remained undisturbed in their ancient seats. Thus much appears certain from the name of the festival itself, that it was intended to commemorate the introduction of the laws and regulations of civilized life, which was universally ascribed to Demeter. (Diodor. v. 5.) Respecting the duration of the Attic Thesmophoria, various opinions are entertained both by ancient and mo­dern writers. According to Hesychius (s. v. t/htt? (defffjicKpopiow) it lasted four days : it has been in­ferred from Aristophanes (Thesmopli. 80) that it , lasted for five days. Such discrepancies have un­doubtedly arisen from the circumstance that the women spent several days before the commence­ment of the real festival in preparations and puri­fications, during which they were especially bound to abstain from sexual intercourse, and for this pur­pose they slept and sat upon particular kinds of herbs which were believed to have a purifying ef­fect. (Hesych. s. v. Kvecapovt Etymol. M. s. v. ~2,K6po$ov: Aelian. Nat. An. ix. 26; Schol. ad Theocrit. iv. 25 ; Dioscorid. i. 135 ; Plin. H. N. xxiv. 19; Stephan. Byz. s. v. Micros.) During this time the women of each demos appointed two married women from among themselves to con­duct the preliminary solemnities (&px*iv ^ls r& ©effyutx/xfyna, Isaeus, de Ciron. p. 208, ed. Reisk.), and their husbands who had received a dowry amounting to three talents, had to pay the expenses for the solemnity in the form of a liturgy. (Isaeus, de Pyrrh. liered. p. 66.) The festival itself, which according to the most probable sup­position, also adopted by Wellauer (de Thesmo-phoriis, p. 6), lasted only for three days, began on the llth of Pyanepsion, which day was called #j>o§os or itdQoSos (Hesych. s. v. "Az/oSos) from the circumstance that the solemnities were opened by the women with a procession from Athens to Eleusis. In this procession they carried on their heads sacred laws (v6/j.ifj.oi jSt'gAot or freo>ot), the introduction of which was ascribed to Demeter Bea^o^pos, and other symbols of civilised life. (Schol. ad Theocrit. xiv. 23.) The women spent the night at Eleusis in celebrating the mysteries of the goddess. (Aen. Tact. Poliorc. 4.)

The second day, called vrjffTeia (Athen. vii. p. 307), was a day of mourning, during which the women sat on the ground around the statue of Demeter, and took no other food than cakes made of sesame and honey (ff^ffa^ovs., Aristoph. Tkes-mopli. 535, Pax, 820). On this day no meetings either of the senate or the people were held. (Aristoph, Thesm. 79.) It was probably in the afternoon of this day that the women held a pro­cession at Athens, in which they walked barefooted behind a waggon, npon which baskets with mys­tical symbols were conveyed to the Thesmophorion. (Aristoph. Thesm. 276, &c.) The third day, called Ka\\ty€V6ia from the circumstance that Demeter was invoked under this name (Aristoph. Thesm. 296), was a day of merriment and raillery among the women themselves, in commemoration of lambe who was said to have made the goddess smile during her grief. (Aristoph. Thesm. 792, Ran. 390 ; Hesych. s. v. ^r-fjvia : Phot. Lex. p. 397; Apollod. i. 5. § 1.) Hesychius mentions a sacrifice called , which was offered to the goddess as an


atonement for any excess or error which might have been committed during the sacred days, and this sacrifice was probably offered at the close of the third day.

There are several other particulars mentioned by ancient writers as forming part of. the Thesmo­phoria, but we are not able to ascertain in what manner they were connected with the festival, or on what day they took place.

Thesmophoria were also celebrated in many other parts of Greece, as stated above. The principal places where they are mentioned by ancient authors are the following:—Sparta, where the festival lasted for three days (Hesych. s. v. Tprfjfjiepos) ; Drymaea in Phocis (Paus. x. 33. § 6 ; Steph. Byz. s.v. Apvpid) ; Thebes in Boeotia (Plut. Pelop. p. 280 ; Xenoph. Hellen. v. 2. § 29) ; Miletus (Steph. Byz. s.v. Micros: Diog. Lae'rt. ix. § 43), Syracuse (Athen. xiv. p. 647), Eretria in Euboea (Plut. Quaest. Gr. p. 298, b. &c.), Delos (Athen. iii. p. 109), -Ephesus (Strab. xiv. p. 633 ; Herod, vi. 16), Agrigentum (Polyaen. v. 1. 1), and other places. But of their celebration in these towns we know no more than a few isolated particulars which are mentioned in the passages referred to.

(Meursius, Graecia Feriata, s. v. Qeff^o^pia: Wellauer, de T/tesmophoriis, Wratislaviae 1820, 8vo. ; Creuzer, Symbol, iv. p. 440, &c. ; Preller in Zimmermann's Zeitschrift^ 1835, n. 98 ; and in general Wachsmuth, Hdlen.Alt. ii. p. 574, 2d ed. &e.; K. F. Hermann, Handb. der Gottesd. Alterth. § 56. n. 15, &c.) [L. S.]

THESMOPHYLACES (dec7>*oc^Aa/ces). [hendeca.]

THESMOS (de<r^s). [nomos.]

THESMOTHETAE (deojUofleTai). [Aa-


THESSA (&3<nra). [herbs, p. 597, b.]

THETES (i&TJTes). In earlier times this name .denoted any.freemen who worked for hire (of eVe/ca rpotyrjs SouAetWres, Photius, s. v.; eMvOepwv fivofj.a Sia ireviav ctt' apyvpit? Soi'AeuoVrcoi', Pollux:, iii. 32). Homer (Od. iv. 644, xviii. 356) speaks of &r)T€S re §,uok-s re, the latter properly signify­ ing those who became slaves by captivity. They are to be distinguished not only from all common slaves, but also from those persons who were in the condition of the Penestae or Helots. (Wachsmuth, Hell. Alt. vol. i. pt. i. pp.235, 255, 322, 1st ed,; Schomann, Ant. Jur. pub. Gr. p. 70.) The persons best known by the name of &rfTes are the members of the fourth or lowest class at Athens, according to the political division of Solon. They are spoken of tinder census. [C. R. K.]

THIASOS (friWos). [dionysia, p. 411, a ; erani, p. 475, b.]


THOLUS (&o'Aos, 6 and ^, also called <r/aas) is a name which was given to any round building which terminated at the top in a point, whatever might be the purpose for which it was used. (Hesych. and Suidas. s. v. @oAos : Od. xxii. 442, 459, 466.) At Athens the name was in particular applied to the new round prytaneuni near the senate-house, which should not be confounded with the old prytaneum at the foot of the acropolis. (Paus. i. 5. § 1, 18. § 13.) It was therefore the place in which the prytanes took their common meals and offered their sacrifices. It was adorned with some small silver statues (Pollux, viii. 155 ; Demosth. de Fals. Leg. p. 419), and near it stood

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