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Robertson, N. Poseidon's Festival at the Winter Solstice

Robertson, N. Poseidon's Festival at the Winter Solstice

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Poseidon's Festival at the Winter Solstice Author(s): Noel Robertson Source: The Classical Quarterly, New Series, Vol

. 34, No. 1 (1984), pp. 1-16 Published by: Cambridge University Press on behalf of The Classical Association Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/638331 Accessed: 06/04/2010 10:29
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to the etymology of names. the seat of an early amphictyony. or any other deity. and the reparation which Odysseus is required to make. . If we want to know Poseidon. In Greek literature his authority is slight and his powers are narrow.is F. as Aeneas did. is full of ancient cults of Poseidon. Graf. of establishing Poseidon's worship among landsmen who take an oar for a winnowing fan. but no one who heeds M. We can study what people did when they turned to Poseidon and conjured up his power. he is chivvied by Zeus and flouted by Odysseus. 201-3. Ionia gathers to honour Poseidon Helik6nios. but the results do not seem very solid. Yet much of the testimony is antiquarian and retrospective. 1977).3 The present study aims to reconstruct a festival of Poseidon which was widely celebrated at the beginning of winter . It is true that straightforward descriptions of ritual are very rare in either literature or documents. We must rely on anecdotes. P. 218. does not resemble the offerings of the tablets but is often lumped with them by commentators. Messenien. pp. Od. there is a better way. Yet it must first be shown that Homer's geographic indications suit the Messenian Pylos better than the Triphylian.mostly in the second quarter of Poseideon. Schachermeyr. and at his shrine on Calaureia. 161-8.1In each of the main districts of historical Greece he is rooted in tradition: Arcadia. is a mocking and belated tribute to his former domain. to hypothetical migrations in which tribes carry their gods. nor those of his associate.g. In such a well-documented city as Athens Poseidon has a very small place indeed in public festivities. In the glimpse of Mycenaean ritual afforded by the Pylos tablets Poseidon is the chief deity. Kypris). Burkert. Indeed it all depends on establishing a pattern. M. and this will not be easy. Since Nilsson wrote Gr. and here and in Thessaly he dominates mythical genealogy. as if the cult of Poseidon were a local speciality of 'Pylos'. AJP 74 (1953). 1 Seee. Gotterglaubens (Bern. to supposed articles of belief like the chthonic horse. s. Magn. in their baggage. Mycenaean and Homeric.Classical Quarterly34 (i) 1-16 (1984) Printed in Great Britain 1 POSEIDON'S FESTIVAL AT THE WINTER SOLSTICE The record shows that Poseidon was once worshipped in every part of Greece as a god of general importance to the community. on aetiological myths.Oneof Schachermeyr's thesesis described 'tempting'by W. main as Griechische 1950). Poseidon's ancient heritage has often been a topic of research. 'all Boeotia is sacred to Poseidon'. remarkably little has been done in this way. and the offerings and perhaps also the custom of' spreading the bed' point to agrarianconcerns.15 (1978). Religion der archaischenund klassischen Epoche (Stuttgart. cf. 4). according to Aristarchus (Et. 227-30 s. F. The hecatomb of bulls offered by Nestor. 181-5. Griechische Feste (Leipzig. which Nilsson demonstrated long ago in that compact and enduring handbook.2Too much attention is given to things obscure and incalculable . to those elements of cult which are most bizarre and least typical. above all on the accumulation of incidental details which finally make a pattern. Poseidon's pre-eminenceis more of a memory than a reality. will be likely to succumb. Ernst Meyer's summary at RE Suppl. myceniennes 1968). p. 3. 3 Yet Burkert's ingenious studies of a number of rites should not go unmentioned. Gerard-Rousseau. 2 The leadingexample. mentions Les dans religieuses les tablettes (Rome. being virtually confined to earthquakes and storms at sea. to ethnic ways and outlooks. Mycenaean antecedents come into question .on a scalewhichhas not been attempted latelyfor any otherGreek Poseidon die Entstehung griechischen und des deity. Feste. 4-66. the Dorian Peloponnesus is likewise 'sacred to Poseidon' (Diod.as at few other shrines in Greece. Nilsson's objections in principle. 1906). 15. that ancient landscape. 49.

belongs to the general type of solstice festival known the world over. The various instances will be mentioned below in their proper other place. nor even his only major festival. a 76 Erbse).in Attica and on the Ionian islands and coast. Both give too much to Demeter and too little to Dionysus and Poseidon. Posidaios. and differs from some other deities. 13-17. The composite nature of the festival both gives rise to the varied explanations of the name 'AA. . and always occupying about the same place in the calendar. 3. 41. But the solstice festival is a good place to start. Eleusis. and fishing on the shore is by no means an overriding concern. The passage shows that in the popular view of the Haloea. K. The month Poseideon and also the months Geraestius and Taureon. See A. Robert. 5 (1969). In the calendar of Demetrias the months are named after the twelve gods. Dionysus was to the fore. this purpose arises from the fundamental agrarian background of Mediterranean society. Sarcady. 279-81 Rabe). threshing-floors and vineyards come into it.here the Haloea 4 thereunder Priene is not wanted (as Samuel's own discussion shows). Mysteries (TAPS64. The festival falls near the winter solstice. Such details as we have point elsewhere. cf. Posudeon. more than those of any other Greek deity. but since this Eleusinian festival was also. J and L. Lucian. Posideion.Ja. yet the evidence is extensive. occur sporadically. fall at just this time of year. 8. then the Aeolian and Dorian domains successively. Dionysus. its peculiar features would be hard to interpret. 5 For the Haloea see L. Him. pp. We shall take the rites in the geographical order indicated above . 17. Clinton. to Poseidon as the god of fresh water who fructifies Demeter's fields. (1) The Haloea of Poseideon 26 included a procession for Poseidon (Paus. rites for Poseidon are attested for this time of year in various quarters . and made to serve his theory that the Greek calendar was formed in the early Dark Age. It is not the only rite addressed to Poseidon in the course of the year. Samuel. pp. The best examples. and Dardanus should be substituted for Lesbos. 22-4. Acta Cl Debrecen 1 (1965). It has scarcely been noticed that festivals of Poseidon. have been treated by J.). however. Parke. Posideion. of Officials theEleusinian god'. index of months s. which implies a festival Poseidea. 1972). Festivals of the Athenians(London. and in several Aeolian and Dorian communities. and may bring us close to the origin of solstice festivals.e. i. and Demetrias for Pagasae. 6-8.first Attica and Ionia. Poseidon resembles Demeter.2 NOEL ROBERTSON the month named after this festival. 1299. Att. is among the commonest of Ionian months.TheSacred 1974). Poseideon. schol. Luc. the full import of [Dem. addressed to Demeter and Dionysus ([Dem. 14. The month Poseideon (vel sim. is not quite typical. At Poseidon's festival. in possessing a festival cycle which spans the seasons. the sportive conduct has a definite purpose. Deubner. 60-7. and elsewhere some doubts may remain. The misconduct of the hierophant Archias at the Haloea is compared with the misconduct of Neaera's daughter at the Anthesteria as another outrage against 'this same Amongthecitieslisted Poside6n. and H. 98-100.4 Apart from the month-name. offering the surest or fullest detail.] 59 Neaera 116-17 has not been grasped. pp. and more conspicuously. 1977). E. and the ritual business. IG 22 949. 3. but at this season sailing is furthest from one's mind. which at Athens and elsewhere corresponds to December/January. marked by jollity and licence. occurring also outside the Ionian domain. W. Or. but Poseidon's festivals have not the ethnic colour which he imagines. Posideios. 1932). so far as can be determined. when migrating peoples borrowed festivals from each other. 17 n. Given our haphazard sources. named from festivals of Poseidon. 9-10. 72. REG 86 (1973).cf. 7 (1971). as in the learned also theorizing of schol. The festival Poseidea and some of the rites in question are often claimed for Poseidon the sea-god. In particular.5 A festival of this name is attested nowhere but at Eleusis . so that Poseideon has not the same significance here. Greek and Roman Chronology (Munich. 34-5 as restored. this range is impressive. Attische Feste (Berlin.] 59 Neaera 116-17. which comes first. p. 69. were it not for the analogy of other festivals of Poseidon.

very likely belong to the Haloea. 1196-1212.11 but let us consider prosbaterios and themeliouchos. the sacrificial regulationsof Paeania. 9 For the temple and the eschara see G. 6). apropos of IG 13 250. is not It or.thoughthe conclusion not beendrawnby commentators. 1975). was fixed for the beginning of deliberations about the boundaries. D. and themeliouchos. 92. AJP 100(1979). for the Mysteries. of has 8 Poseidon's nameis plausibly restored IG 13 5 = LSCG4. prosbateriosand themeliouchos. E.'a festivalof DionysusandPoseidon'. Mikalson. eponym of the Eumolpidae. the Chloaea and the Calamaea (IG 22 949). and a promoter of the festival was rewarded with a statue and a stele 'in the courtyard of the sanctuary' (IG 22 1299. a decree of 20/19 B. honouring another member of the genos). p. Mylonas. 92-8. which is likewise to be seen in remains on the ground. but other Attic demes which observe the seasonal festivals of Demeter know nothing of the Haloea .nor can we point to another festival associating Demeter. Two objections can be raised.C. The epithet pater can be left aside for the moment. Since the enclosed area round the Telesterium was not the place for the general merry-making of the Haloea. 1961).Thevintagefalls in Boedromion. Eleusis and the Eleusinian Mysteries (Princeton. pp. Officials 50-2 lines 16-17. 'the sacredcalendar Eleusis'.9 A priest of the genos Kerykes served Poseidon under two other titles. 10 The coincident dates of the sacrifice at Erchia and the transaction at Eleusis are noted by Burkert apud J. 6 Note however Hsch. First. prosbaterios.8 Victims brought by the celebrants were sacrificed 'at the eschara in the courtyard at Eleusis' ([Dem. Poseidon is linked in other ways with the setting and the season of the Haloea. of the Eleusinian orgas (IG 22 204 = LSCG 32).] 59 Neaera 116). 11 The Eleusinian cult of Poseidon pater is often thought to be connected with the mythical paternity of Eumolpus.1-12.POSEIDON'S WINTER FESTIVAL 3 are bracketed with two seasonal festivals of Demeter. the . of and Lycurgus. clearwhetherthis part of the list deals with preliminary or offerings with othersbelongingto Eranos 42 (1944). 2.s. and the eschara will be the large hearth-altar still existing in its Roman form. we shall find the Delians sacrificing to Poseidon themeliouchos in the month Poseideon. Suppl. Here Poseidon pater shared a temple with Artemis propylaia (Paus. 1960). 38. 28-31. and Poseidon. combining a supplication of Demeter at the Rarian field and a supplication of Apollo at Daphni (Eur. Dionysus. the rural Dionysia and the Poseidea. Trporpvyala. From the Late Archaic period Eleusinian festivals began to overshadow equivalent rites in Athens and other parts of Attica and were themselves elaborated so as to offer a wider appeal. in any case it is not an important occasion for Poseidon. 61-2.10 Moreover. the main programme. 7 The extensionof Eleusinian ritualto otherpartsof Atticawas brieflytreatedby Nilsson. another example is the Eleusinian Proerosia. The Sacred and Civil Calendar of the Athenian Year (Princeton. Lycurg. horoi. 28. 1. Sacr. 78). 167-70 and pls. IG 22 1363 = LSCG 7 A 1-19). the list of sacrifices in prescribed for the Eleusinia as Clintonwouldhaveit. So at Eleusis these different avatars of Poseidon.7 We are therefore justified in comparing the Haloea with festivals of Poseidon at the same season.C. It is therefore of interest that the sacrificial calendar of the deme Erchia prescribes an offering to Zeus horios on Poseideon 16 (LSCG 18 E 28-30).and also Zeus horios and Athena horia (Clinton. Menesaechmusfrs. combining with certain rites of Demeter the local versions of two festivals widely celebrated in the month Poseideon.as pater. and that the same date in 352/1 B. 84-5 Conomis = FGrHist 401 F 3.That the EleusinianProerosiafell on Pyanopsion7 and includeda supplication Apollo seemsto follow surelyfrom Euripides. 70-6 = Opuscula Selecta 3 (Lund. the courtyard will be the Outer Court outside the Greater Propylaea.6 In these circumstancesit is reasonable to conclude that the Haloea are a special development due to the renown of Eleusis.

pp. 15 This scholium is very like another by the same hand. 3). 8. 4. At a celebration of the late third century a general feted 'all the citizens' of Eleusis (IG 22 1299. 14 The form I1ETpevs used in the Erchia calendar was identified by M. Poseidon prosbaterios may take his name from 'approaches' in this sense. to be considered below. frolicked at the festival. whether or not this makes sense of Erechtheus. Zeus 4tE nETp7tL was worshipped on the same day as Zeus horios (LSCG means 'the rocky place'. i. 77) . you should dig new ditches. The conventional view links the sacrifice in question with the Panathenaea. may be accepted as the testimony of some ancient philosopher. conversely. This is indeed the time. but they are not discredited thereby and. its aition a tale of violence such as threshing always inspires. and Eumolpus and Erechtheus emblematic figures of this agricultural activity. 2. 29. [Dem. the lapping water'. in which three Athenian festivals. 'Fine-singer' and 'Thresher'. 11-14). H. are obscurely and . and 'Arrhetophoria'. 35). Eumolpus son of Poseidon is firmly tied. his paternity is not explained by anything we know of Eleusinian ritual (unless we invent a ceremonial immersion of the hierophant). patrogeneios . conforming as they do with the overall picture in other sources. 4. genesios. Second. 65 Austin. 1.4 NOEL ROBERTSON Why is it appropriate in the month Poseideon to worship Poseidon of the 'approaches' and the 'foundations' and Zeus and Athena of the 'boundaries'?12 Round the winter solstice. 1.] 59 Neaera 116. W. his name stands at the head of Plato's laws on agriculture. 842e-846c). The fullest details of the ritual are furnished by a scholium on Lucian (pp. 4. The same preoccupations may be reflectedin another cult title at Erchia. or clear old ones (Rust. TEAETr .vw 7rp6oatacFs 1. though not for fifteen days on either side. an offering in the Tetrapolis in Scirophorion. as exalting the procreative impulse imparted by wine and Dionysus. who was well acquainted with Athenian TLlife. to see about the drainage of the land. 4).The authorities epithet pater resembles other epithets of Poseidon . 13 Of course Zeus horiosis honoured at other times and places: cf. which have much to say about watercourses and the like (Leg. Now the conflict between Eumolpus and Erechtheus. 18. 351-2 no. 22. to the cult of Poseidon on the Acropolis. probably Arethas'. as the adversaryof Erechtheus. 17). 3.15The scholium describes' a women's rite'. AthMitt 67 (1942). 37. Scirophoria. to cut channels and construct embankments. which in the Athenian calendar can be nothing but the Scira. after the autumn rains and before the heavier rains of late winter and spring. Jameson. is the aition of the great sacrifice to Poseidon Erechtheus. 2328 = Eur. At Argos Poseidon 'of npoaCKAVa'Ttro. but could suggest nothing more definite. a common 3. says Varro.. rrpoafca. an altar in the Thracian Chersonese.which requirea comprehensive explanation. 1ETrpEvs for stone walls and terraces.genethlios. not without male company ([Dem. it does not help with Eumolpus. Alciphr. yvvaLKWv. meaning of 7rpoafai'vw(LSJ s. 4. was worshipped beside a shrine of Demeter Pelasgis (Paus. where they are made to serve a theoretical explanation of the festival. 132 line 2. 2. 6..'the patrios agon of the Haloea' (IG 22 1299. noted the ' idea of stability' implicit in these epithets. the winter moisture (Poseidon and Chione) and the earth. Melanges Bidez 2 (Brussels. Dial. 1.e.13 Poseidon themeliouchoswill protect embankments and terrace walls. the rite of burning torches conducted at this shrine suits the solstice. 39-40. so far as one can judge. 1.14 All our evidence depicts the Haloea as an occasion for general enjoyment. as we see more clearly than ever from Pap. 4. Meretr. Women. but another bout of merry-making. Roussel. the Thesmophoria. 14. 8. the Scira I take to be the festival of the threshing. 7. 12 P. 1. A traditional contest was held . Erechtheusfr. 279-81 Rabe). 1934).which may not have been a strenuous athletic performance. 158. as we shall see. not very plausibly. a likely source of building material 18 E 24-7). Zeus horios will be concerned with works requiring the agreement or cooperation of neighbours. IG 22 1458 = LSCG 20 A 11. Peek. Sorb. 824-7. sprung from the two sources of the corn. or from the 'approach' or 'rise' of waters. and especially hetaerae. restores some broken letters in IG 22 5172 to give 'Hera horia'. BCH 89 (1965). possibly Theophrastus. Luc.] 7 Halon.

the scholiastmakesit veryclearthat but the tablesare set out by the authorities the benefitof the women. Paralip. of not theymay be the reasonwhy Dionysuswas broughtinto it in the firstplace. our unliketheother. 17 and perhaps Steph. 25. Paralip.most notably a pelike showing four phalli set up amid sprouting corn -.Theotherscholium beenwidelybutinconclusively (pp.18The threshing-floor was the best place for the nocturnal conflagration.as proposed E. or else a number of bonfires. Triptolemus' (1.2. discussed.(n. one naked (Rome.whichis heaped tables. Orac.knownalso to Clem. our festival came a full six months after the threshing.Againstthisarethe red-figure Dionysiacfestivalin whichphalli. MA7Tros. can mean nothing but 'threshing-floor-rites'. the ritualdetailsaresubjoined an aetiologythatlooksexclusively Dionysus. 124-6). including cakes shaped like phalli and cunni. Simon.Protr. mighttherefore ask whetherthe scholiast'sexpositionof the ritualdoes not contaminate Haloea with a the wouldbe routine. it appears that the women spent the night together and then joined the men on the following day.e.HThR67 (1974). on 9 by 16 D.I do not thinkthat the Haloeaaredepicted the Niinniontablet. 418a-b). Haloea. as we shall see.Fest. which was also the starting-point for certain processions. 386). Close to the Outer Court at Eleusis Pausanias saw 'the so-called threshing floor. De Def. two scholiaplainlyderivefromthe The samesource.if not cunni.17But it is not that the threshing-floor was put to its normal use. In the Delphic fire-festival Septerium the wooden 'palace' meant for burning was constructed 'round the threshing-floor' (Plut.of theAth. to Jacoby. 204n. thinksof Poseidonius Apollodorus. 4. FGrHist b Suppl. 454). This makes a fire-festival. i. . and exchange scurrilous banter. 18 At IG 22 1672. rejected bothderivations.Although scholium.p. One of the explanations of the Haloea offered by Pausanias the tendentiously equated as expressingthe same physikoslogos about human and vegetable has procreation 275-6 Rabe). 5 above). while the women ate and drank and jested.And sinceothernoticeslikewisespeakof Dionysus. a rite appropriate to the winter solstice. a sequence found elsewhere. coAws. who linked the Haloea with 'cultivated fields'. vases whichDeubneradducedin the light of the scholium.is an offering on for the gods ratherthan a meal for the worshippers.C. 6).mentions the onlyone festival. which is evidently of men.withoutofferinganything theirplace.233 'the sacred receivesattentionof some sort duringthe threshing-floor' tenthprytany.and then withdraw to another gathering outside. 1). the circular area opposite the Athenian Portico.these vases. hold up phalli and cunni (whether the cakes or other objects is not clear). Another aspect of the festival is disclosed by an item in the Eleusinian accounts of 329/8 B.122. a well-attested meaning of the Ionic dAwo-. This TreXe7' probably corresponds to the 7rawvXts mentioned elsewhere (Alciphr. The custom explains the unique name 'Haloea'.the Attic festival 'AAXt6a a derivative of as the Attic aAw.obviouslyin connection with the threshing. or another is set upright in the ground by two women.a very large quantity of firewood and kindling destined for the Haloea (IG 22 1672.86-92. III 2. for 17 Parke.s. showingwomenand phalli . 38.forthefestival to to is said to be concernedwith the pruningof the vine and the tasting of new wine.l6 The women. Vases which are thought to illustrate the Haloea show women tending phalli: a large phallus is carried by a naked woman (Berlin inv. Theophrastus or but seems at leastas likely. or four phalli standing on the ground are sprinkled with something by a woman (London E 819 = ARV2 1137.but perhaps of Dionysiacorigin.suggests thefood.if we allow for some confusionand equivocation: the scholiastwasconfusedbecausehis sourceequivocated.POSEIDON'S WINTER FESTIVAL 5 furnish the women with wine and food in abundance. . 98. exactly suit the seasonand the purposeof the Haloea. that Gill. the men occupied themselves by lighting a great pyre. Despite of Nilsson and Deubner and others. 10. 3). 77.it is clearthat the ritualhad features Dionysiacaspect.AntK (1966). left to themselves. Villa Giulia 50404 = ARV2 1565. 6. 15. We may infer that during the night. and to commemorate murder Icariusby drunken prurient the of and One shepherds. from'threshing-floor' and from'cultivated in field'. in my opinionthe detailsare reliable.Byz. and are teased with suggestions of promiscuity whispered in their ears by 'the priestesses'. 3206 = ARV2551.

and on the next day the mixed revelry of men and women. with small monetary prizes. . the banquet and the contest of Eleusis.L thus suggests that at this stage the women entered the sanctuary enclosure. in the The expenses refer to the accounts of the period of independence.67). and so may appertain to the Scira. a sheep (as restored). less plausibly. Bruneau reckons the number of banqueters as 1. the items of expense belong to a very special rite. throsia. 20 In the next month. Such was the Eleusinian version of the solstice festival. there is no date. The god's titles at the festival were asphaleios and orthosios.Aos. The sum expended each year was 600 drachmas. is very common. 22. and to a contest of some kind. which perhaps took place in the Hypostyle Hall. and of other animals. (4) In a private calendar of sacrificeinscribed at Athens in the early Imperial period a certain form of cake. to a public banquet. in the fluctuating forms orth6sia. most likely a secret rite.500 and suggests the Hypostyle Hall as the setting.'earth-bound'. to Heroine. P. on Poseideon 8 (IG 22 1367 = LSCG 52. the second is elsewhere borne not by Poseidon but by Artemis. TEAe-iL: worth 40 drachmas. word might mean either 'for the rite' or. 21 The epigraphic evidence for the Delian Posidea has been assembled and interpreted by Bruneau. (5) Our knowledge of the Ionian Poseidea comes mainly from Delos. and brought the worshippers to the Outer Court and the temple of Poseidon pater. (2) The festival Poseidea appears in a fifth-century schedule of sacrificeswhich may or may not come from Marathon (IG 13 255 A 10 = LSCG A 8). but the implication will be the same in either case. whose name does not appear in the calendar of the Tetrapolis (though we have the Who is the male deity at the head of the and 'Axala and XA. 16-18). a gravid cow.21 an ox. and need not be cited here. 1970). the principal victim. with sacrifice and feasting. Recherchessur les cultes de Delos a l'epoque hellenistiqueet a l'epoque imperiale(Paris. Then came the women's telete or pannychis.much the most costly victim in the whole calendar.6 the festival'. Gamelion. attended by sacrifice of some 1. NOEL ROBERTSON Atticist is not so far off the mark: 'because they sported on the threshing-floors at efr'E ev aAworv 'ra4Eov ev rT) kopr'iL. which makes this an important festival.20 titles 'EAevaLvia series? The season. 260-4. but the sequence allows us to think of the month Poseideon. 'for the goddess Telete'. B 16. The 'procession for Poseidon' attested by Pausanias the Atticist perhaps took place at the outset. while the men remained outside. The last word is otherwise unknown. 25-6). and in Elaphebolion she stands alone (B 17-18).C. the first. under the month Poseideon. The scholiast on Lucian begins his account of the women's antics with the phrase to. pp.and a sheep. an agrarian deity related to Demeter. and the preceding acrvALa. but is particularlyapt to the god of under-earth who causes earthquakes. and might express any of Poseidon's powers. 24. 'Ge at the manteion' follows Daera (B 12-13). in various company (B 4 as restored. orthia. 'Ge in the fields' is much the same as Demeter. to ' G in the fields'. Under the month Poseideon we find the following offerings: to a god whose name is lost. of rams. 314-166 B. Heroine appears often in the calendar of Marathon. an ox (or bull) worth 150 drachmas. is prescribed for Poseidon Xapa'41. where the festival expenses are inscribed year by year.19 (3) Another instance can probably be recognized in the fourth-century calendar of Marathon (IG 22 1358 = LSCG 20 B 7-10). and finally.500 people. and the company suit no one better than Poseidon. meaning 'Steadfast'. which have the widest 19 So Jameson on IG 13 255. shared by many deities in the calendar. Another offering to Poseidon at line 18 comes between offerings assignable to Thargelion and to Hecatombaeon or Boedromion. 20. The sacrificial animals remind us of Marathon.vat and S' yvvaLKEs elaTropevoueEva. and the lighting of the fire on the threshing-floor.

who published the stone. as previous discussion shows. almost certainly show Ionian influence. In the year 246 B. p.23The document in question forbids the laying of charges during the main festivals. Call. (8) At Smyrna a festival of Poseidon was celebrated on Poseideon 12 (Ael. the Thessalian Peloria. if it describes the Poseideia. this allows but does 22 Nilsson's comments on Poseidon temenitesare not quite consistent. orav /oo. whom we have already encountered at Eleusis. 10-11). the Posideia are a nautical rite which comes 'at the bad season. 376 Lentz). The verb has been read and interpreted as iuoLpwco/iEV 'when we apportion' wine. 2. the Thasian festival resembles the Haloea. two sows.. but the resulting phrase is not implausible. Gr. from the 12th to the 14th (SIG3 1017 = LSAM 1.).). As for the season. Two furtherinstances of the month-name. 1. Miletus. Tenos. . 47. and is altogether problematic. p. L.cwpta known only from Baton of Sinope as cited by Athenaeus (FGrHist 268 F 5 = Ath. addressed in part to Poseidon.c. 1 (1937). 328-9 compares the agrarian background of the Haloea. 639d-640a). 69. Ephesus. listed in chronological order. 194. Erythrae. this is the same victim as at Marathon and on Delos. Here. 45. an ungelded lamb. The first avatar of Poseidon will be distinct from the fisherman's god. Feste. Of these suggestions all save the second are unsatisfactory both as to form (the words being unattested) and as to sense. 14. HIIAcUpa Jacoby ad loc. The second depends on Herodian's statement that ljo.ov means a'Soiov (Rell.24 yet the most puzzling features would be well accounted for if this were another festival of the solstice. Arist. we shall stretch the rules of evidence so as to admit a doubtful case. 37. .Uwev 'when we set up phalli' (Sokolowski). at lasus and Halicarnassus.an ungelded ram. to Poseidon 'Seaweed' (cf. Teos. (9) At Sinope the priest of Poseidon Helik6nios offers sacrifice on three successive days in Poseideon.POSEIDON'S WINTER FESTIVAL 7 possible distribution and must denote some aspect of Artemis' rural milieu. (7) A list of festivals on Thasos gives us the Poseideia at the proper time of year (LSCG Suppl. 24 See Nilsson. and the cost is defrayed from a tax on fishing. between the Poseideia and the Anthesteria there is an unexpected temporal clause. 116). 5-15): to Poseidon temenites. Athenaeus begins by saying that Baton's account of the Peloria 'clearly shows the festival of the Saturnalia to be very Greek'. toLa CLo. fr. Paros. and in the rest it may well be so.22The 'precinct' from which he takes his name lies in the countryside. which is clear and uniform. tLuoAv6wLev 'when we eat garlic' (Sokolowski). but this is not a game which ancient writers play. but at pp. Magnesia-on-the-Maeander. (6) On Myconos the following offerings are prescribed for Poseideon 12 (SIG3 1024 = LSCG 96.. or perhaps the vintage (Salviat). At the second sacrifice. is (10) The festival EA. by a tradition of the Aegean'. BCH 82 (1958).(. 6 Keil). It is a pity that we cannot be sure. at Gr. where the procession starts.LoAt'wCLEv 'when we prune' trees (Bousquet). WoLuev. Chios. Cyzicus. In many cases it is demonstrably a winter month. as follows: Ceos. to Poseidon phykios. and doubtless goes with Demeter chloe. women are excluded. Similar rites can be safely posited for a dozen more Ionian communities where we hear of the month Poseideon (vel sim. 394-6 s. 225-6. Next the Aeolian domain. Or. a special sacrifice was decreed in the month Poseideon for Poseidon themeliouchos(I Delos 290. Thus far the Attic and Ionian evidence. Samos. 83 he calls him a sea-god. for the sacrificial ram 'is not to be brought into the city'. 23 According to F. as at Dorian Argos and Pellene below. Feste. RE 19. Perinthus. Jacoby indeed supposes that Baton simply invented the festival. 67 Pfeiffer). 1). Iamb. Ziehen. one gravid. to Demeter chloe. Salviat.

whichhe has of are takesfromotherwriters.27His role in the festival is then incidental. At all events the festival on Aegina is likewise attended by outsiders. 129. 513 n. 6). These last details need have no great significance. 11. If so. such reversals of order are easily explained as an extension of the merry-making. at which strangers are made welcome. So it remains an open question why he singles out the Peloria as the best who example. bringing to light wide rich plains. if the second.8 NOEL ROBERTSON not require the inference that the Peloria are celebrated at the same time of year as the Saturnalia. The mountains had been split by great earthquakes.26 Now the name IeAdpLa.a festivalof Troezen'in as the and the monthGeraestius'. The Peloria are generally thought of as a festival of Zeus. all the more so since the tables were first prepared. not Athenaeus. still bears his name. first compared the Peloria with the Saturnalia . Baton and Athenaeus ascribe the festival to the Thessalians at large. to be discussed below. Steph. that the month-name and the festival are borrowed from Ionia. with no date given. Pelorus is a natural place for him. 35-40. in order to feign that the Roman festival was instituted by migrating Pelasgians! 26 The section on SaturnalienartigeFeste which Nilsson appends to the festivals of Zeus. . we may suppose. is potentially misleading. 85. The months Poseideon and Posideios are attested for two Aeolian communities. Gesch. Pelorus was rewarded with the table which. Feste. and Zeus pel6rios is also known to Quintus (Posthom. but the season does not appear. or over the resources of the whole community. In other sources the cleaving of the mountains and the draining of the plain are ascribed to Poseidon (Hdt. Pind. Rel. Zeus does not come into it at all.28 (11) At Mytilene an inscription of the early Imperial period records a contribution towards the festival Poseidea (IG 12. s. who excogitated the Peloria from the Saturnalia. 28 Orion. we might suppose that Zeus acquires the sacrifice and the epithet because he is the god who presides over the household stores. the Haloea. sacrifice to Zeus pel6rios and set out tables loaded with food for a general celebration.e. 4. adduces Zeus pel6ris on a coin of Pharsalus. suits the winter season. Pyth. citing [Hes. Since the evidence at Mytilene. i. It is unclear whether the preparations for the feast are left in private hands or in the hands of the authorities. Samothrace and Dardanus is all relativelylate.25the festival aition. if the first. Nilsson. in virtue of the sacrificeto Zeus pel6rios. and a festival of Hera on Cos. 4. and servants are waited on by their masters. Pelasgus receivedjoyful news from a man named Pelorus. apart from our festival and apart from speculation about a festival of Cyrene. 27 Both the festival and the avatar of Zeus were probably widespread in Thessaly. While the Pelasgians were conducting a common sacrifice. the Sacaea of Babylon 'in Loos. there are difficulties: neither the ritual business nor the mythical prodigy which sets the festival going is characteristic of Zeus. and we can give due weight to the aition. the eleventh month'. but not very likely. 4. we may compare the Poseidonia of Aegina. as prefigured in the aition by Pelasgus and his associates. so perhaps Geraestia a festivalof Poseidonin late autumn. established a popular shrine of Poseidon on Cape Pelorus.] fr. after he formed the cape as a breakwater (Diod. is most naturally taken as designating the tables heaped with food. for a man named JNeAoposwho brought good news. Lytai). Of the ritual we are told that certain men of standing. it is possible. which runs as follows. Byz. but as others have observed. 'Huge (or mighty) things'. and the water of the lake had run off through the gap. der gr. according to the aition. 2. 71. 3-4. schol. the Hermaea Crete. There is nothing to be said for Jacoby's view that it was Baton. the Pelasgians of the aition may have the same scope. pp.withno dategiven. it is said. 264a. 7. prisoners are freed. It seems unlikely that a festival which commemorated these events omitted to honour the god of earthquakes and rivers.or rather. which speaks of rushing waters. 273). August. Gr.2131. 149 M-W). Samothrace and Dardanus in the Troad. and 25 The GreekfestivalswhichAthenaeus alreadylikenedto the Saturnalia. but it would be wishful to deduce a connection between Poseidon and the place-name. 2.

was invaded by Erysichthon or Triopas for the purpose of felling trees (Call. 'of the lapping water'. Cer. 'ApyoALK ) Hpoaocroypatia [Athens. Pausanias also reports a 'festival of watch-fires' at Argos in which fires were lit on Lyrceia and Larisa (2. (12) In the agora of Argos Pausanias saw adjacent sanctuaries of Demeter Pelasgis and Poseidon prosklystios. Gr. Now the offence imputed to Erysichthon or Triopas. having been founded by Pelasgus son of Triopas. in the Argolid and the Acte. listing five instances in the fourth and third centuries). 29 Demeter'. 2. as we see from Pausanias. the . Mitsos.POSEIDON'S WINTER FESTIVAL 9 Next the Dorians. of felling trees in Demeter's grove. 22.not only in Arcadia. Or. In any case the rite was not reserved for women. Only on the Dorian island of Rhodes have we record of offerings to Poseidon near the solstice (to be adduced below).perhaps it was somehow altered . Posidaios. and Achaea. 25-6. But when brought to Argos Triopas and his kin kept their association with Demeter: witness this notice of Pausanias. 67. 932). formHoolSavattestedfor Helos. The sanctuary at Argos was deemed an offshoot of the Thessalian.by' Nicostratus. 9. such as women use for the distinctive offerings of the Thesmophoria. and the derivative fiction of the Messenian archaeologia. It is true that the purpose of enrolling Pelasgus. and Pelasgus' reputation as the inventor of bread (schol. 1. Messenia. but at the Isthmus. the Panionian festival honouring Poseidon Helikonios must have taken place in clement weather. The cults and the rite sound like the elements of our solstice festival. indeed another festival of Poseidon gives the common Ionian month-name Taureon or Taureion. Feste. the pattern and even some individual instances go back to a time before the dialect divisions of historical Greece had emerged.The torchesthrowninto the pit are said to honour 'Kore daughterof Nilsson. 1952]. and only at Epidaurus do we find the equivalent month-name. 4. but the open area visited by Pausanias is not the place for a megaron. FGrHist 3 F66.' 30 Thebitsof whichPausanias are cult supplies of littlevalue. was driven to suppose that the pit was a megaron. It was a Pelasgian grove in the Pelasgian realm of Thessaly which.in which Triopas' daughter Messene establishes the mysteries of Demeter at Andania (Paus. whenArgoswasawarded HeraandPoseidon lis to flooded the land in despite. in Laconia.30 Moreover. 361-2. as was done at an early date (Pherecydes. Nilsson. 135-6.'All threecults are therefore of and pre-Laconian belongto the samestock who wereso attachedto the god in Arcadia. and yet another the Euboean month-name Hippion. though sacred to Demeter. for the same kind of epigraphic testimony is not to hand.). a perfunctory explanation which really explains nothing. 5.Poseidon's andepithet aetiology aretracedto a conventional deorum. p. the name is common at Argos (cf. where it seems to fall a month later than at Athens. the myth implied by Demeter's epithet Pelasgis can be plausibly interpreted as an aition of the festival. Eur. Nowhere. 4). 1. etc.though with the Laconianaspiration medialsigma. These instances do however reinforcethe argument from probability and make it worth pressing the available evidence with some determination. nor is there any reason to think that women threw in torches along with slaughtered pigs and the rest. 3-4). 26. were cults of Poseidon thicker on the ground than in the Peloponnesus . pp. M. 4. Hellanicus FGrHist 4 F36a-b). was to explain and reconstruct the Homeric Pelasgikon Argos. In other parts of Greece one would expect the converse to be true: where cults and festivals of Poseidon are well attested. Taenarum and the represents Arcadian form. Triopas and Triopas' father Phorbas in Argive genealogy. the rites of the winter solstice are likely to be part of it. observes that whereas the normal Dorian form is I/ooreSav. it was the custom to throw burning torches into a pit near by (2.6. Gr. H. 4. whose grave was shown nearby (so Pausanias). There is plenty of evidence for rites of Poseidon at other times of the year. 25. this is not the normal use of torches in the cult of Demeter and Kore. a local man'.Thuria.29Yet Poseidon's seasonal festivals cannot here be distinguished and dated as in Ionia. pp. Let us remember that the Ionian worship of Poseidon was not confined to the month Poseideon. 8). for it was reputedly instituted . Feste.

33 A ritual origin can also be deduced for AtWovaadaughter of Poseidon. etc. the violation of the grove does not at all suggest the carrying of a tree hung with tokens of plenty. and his rightful substance is being depleted by continual feasting. and so confers on Mestra as on other mythical favourites the magic powers of transformation which reflecthis liquid nature. 3 [111] 10.] fr. A'cwv . whom the poet attaches to the Aeolid stemma. and the ritual background envisaged by Burkert.). but does not illuminate the Erysichthon story. Gnomon46 (1974). who came to be identified with Erysichthon in this complex and fluctuating story. is that AWw'vwas once an independent figure.85-92. thinks of a tree carried as a seasonal emblem by ritual beggars serving Demeter at the Triopium near Cnidus. 37. J.a very suitable affiliation. 5-8 M-W. Bibl. 8-26. Henrichs. presumably for the first time. McKay. 39. 'Fiery' hunger is not a natural phrase in Greek (Hes. 31 See A. Op.10 NOEL ROBERTSON has always puzzled scholars. so that the name could be referredto the hunger as well. 'Healer' (Apollod. Wilamowitz. 300a-b. 363 and Aeschin. Burkert.g. For the rest. pp. etc. 1924). Mestra also succumbs to the god Poseidon ([Hes.31Felling trees is however a necessary preparation for a fire-festival. not Demeter (the 'Triopium' of Herodes Atticus. and again in Structureand History in Greek Mythology and Ritual (Berkeley/Los Angeles. 1. and of Phorbas on Rhodes (whose reception in a private household. This interpretation of the myth and its bearing on the Argive cult of Demeter are further supported by the mythical name AWwcv'Fiery'. K. cf. p. 43a. 68. IG 14. Achaeus' subject may be either Erysichthon or Odysseus or. 43 a. The obvious inference. the Triopium is a shrine of Apollo.] fr. 8. in and BASP 16 (1979). doubly so if 'Fiery' personifies the bonfires at the winter turning of the 'Sun'. 39-41. . 43 a shows that Erysichthon himself is the eponym of the Apolline genos Erysichthonidae. Paus. Quaest. and mother of Eleuther eponym of Eleutherae. 20 F 5a-l 1). 2. and in any case is not to be suppressed by wilful emendation . Triopas. A Callimachean Comedy (Leiden. 184. some trencherman like Heracles. and observers said that 'Fiery' was afflicted with insatiable hunger. 92-108.providing endless bride-gifts of oxen and sheep to be eaten by her father. pp. it is ritual begging in the cult of Apollo.32Yet the name cannot originate as the story says. does not evoke this shrine as commentators always say. who rightly look for some ritual origin. 1. is unmistakably the aition of such a practice). Hellenistische Dichtung 2 (Berlin.the name means 'She who is wooed' . 848-54). His daughter MrarTpais a perpetual bride . but rather Demeter's grove in Thessaly. by making Triopas his father.33the ritual also made it seem that this person was extremely hungry. 32 See e. 43 a.AW'cov son of "HAtos. is quite illusory. AcWwv only be a personification of fire arising from ritual. pp. consort of Apollo. in order to deter intruders from despoiling Herodes' fields and orchards). Homer may well have his eye on the Erysichthon story. himself the father of lasius or lasion.] fr. the two instances outside the context of our story. and by G. the Athenian setting of [Hes. is of great interest. Greek idiom does not otherwise speak of hunger as a fire in the belly. Zuntz before him. which has been drawn by nearly everyone. the commonest sort. Erysichthon. Since Odysseus is a famished beggar. if he could use the name as freely as Homer.). Opinion is divided or reserved over Aithon as a fictitious identity of Odysseus (Od. 1962). In a version of the myth recorded in the Suda s. FGrHist 485 F 7. 135. 1. 1389-90. can be ascribed to the influence of the story). 322-4.] fr. this may be inspired by the lewd jesting of the women.] fr. 55-9. Nor is it natural that an epithet should be transferred to a person from a can thing and used as a personal name. and sometimes used as a name in its own right. The solstice festival was also the occasion of extravagant feasting. [Hes. such as we seem to find in the agora of Argos. 185 M-W) perhaps the celebrated ritual of Eleutherae which stands behind Plutarch. said to be a surname of Erysichthon referring to his 'fiery' hunger ([Hes. 1979). Yet although ritual begging has indeed helped to form the parallel stories of Erysichthon. as if in place of Erysichthon ([Hes. 3 Tim.perhaps deriving from some Hellenistic poet. he presides at the festival. Met. 193) and as the title of a satyr play by Achaeus (TrGFmin. 20. Ov. Gr. ibid. 19. his surveyof 'tree-murder' Manichaean Indian sources. as recounted by Dieuchidas.

2. Ath. 59. p. Jahrhundertvor Christus(Munich. The setting . the Poseidonia went on for an unconscionable time. Vollgraff. 301d-f. the survivors were welcomed at joyful banquets. unless autumn is implied by the fancied resemblance to the Apaturia. 2. 1938). 18. which is just far enough from the main area of settlement to give space and privacy. BCH 105 (1981). for the reasons already given.w'jlr 'ApyEias. 3. Yet the Alowv in question is likely to be a local figure. The Greek Questions of Plutarch (Oxford. The festivities at the Musaion lend some interest to Hesychius' gloss wvaaAHtatL T nroAVrEvWVVTE KaL EaOLovTrs. the sanctuary near Pellene.35 The entire ritual of the Thesmophoria turns on the seclusion of women. still less proved. cf. BCH 27 [1903] 270. 37 Nilsson. Se we may provisionally add this festival of Pellene to our tally. Worrle.34 it cannot be assumed. 2. does not suggest a date. 3). 36 Demeter Mysia is also worshipped at a rural shrine near Argos (Paus. 732 col. perhaps the brother of Damatrios. 44. This place-name resembles MvaaLov.some seven miles from Pellene .The Aith6nidai werelinkedwith Erysichthon Thessaly Vollgraff of and. and Hesychius has the entry Marqys. And the local name is likely to derive from ritual. K. 88. 9-10). R. 35 Gr. 327. (14) It is a relief to turn from these doubts and guesses to the Poseidonia of Aegina. IG 4. AWwvt'r&qs To ovota KVpLOV). Suda s. here men play a large part. The date of the festival has been overlooked or misconceived.is much more rustic than an ordinary Thesmophorium. 73-4. it is in the nature of phratries to exalt local ties. by . Feste. ibid. 13. 4. and also diverse in kind . by M. on the following day the men return and exchange scurrilities with the women. but Plutarch's aition is clear on this point. here the festival takes place and goes on for seven days. Within the Mysaion is a grove with trees of all sorts and abundant springs of water. On the third day the men are excluded from the sanctuary. M. 2. This festival is not to be aligned with the Thesmophoria. even though the phratry which perpetuates the name need not be concerned with the ritual. 2. 664) or of a man of Hermione (IG 4. 32. whether Poseidon or another. and the last thing we should expect is a name drawn from the general store of myth. 27. it would have been obvious that the festival belongs in our series. 4. proposes 'early spring' in view of the fancied resemblance to the Anthesteria. 55. that they originate in cult. Quaest.POSEIDON'S WINTER FESTIVAL 11 is Now the name AlWwv attested for Argos by the Argive phratry A lwvtSatknown from a single inscription (W. the thirty-odd phratry names found at Argos are mostly quite obscure. the common view that Mysios personifies the 'mysteries' of Demeter is plainly misguided. as Nilsson would have it. The abundant springs as a feature of the landscape call for some deity concerned with water. at all events. as we shall see. Gr. doubtfully. a longer span is not more typical of the Thesmophoria than of other important festivals. Pierart. and on Aegina.37 When the Aeginetan contingent returned from Troy. Guarducci.). Feste. a famous holiday at which Aristippus took his pleasure and Phryne was ogled by Panhellenic crowds (Plut. 1964). 79. Gr. the epithet Mysia derives from these. (13) Some way from Pellene. 4. 7. L'istituzionedellafratria 2 (MemLinc68. and in the night the women perform secret rites. p. 13. which however were conducted away 34 For the other zur von phratry names see M. Halliday. W. 588e. the occasion is quite unlike the usual worship of Demeter. and also Mysios as the name of Demeter's mythical host at Argos (Paus.36And though the Thesmophoria are said to have lasted ten days at Syracuse. Pausanias describes a festival of protracted merry-making in a rural setting (7. At Sinope the celebration in Poseideon lasted three days. be sure. 35. Had he mentioned Poseidon as well as Demeter. 590f). 185. pp. 18. at a sanctuary of Demeter Mysia called the Mysaion. Here the sequence of women's pannychis and of men and women conjoined in revelry reminds us of the Haloea. p. 611-13. 17 n. with Odysseus by Hiller von Gaertringen on SIG3 735. Untersuchungen Verfassungsgeschichte Argos im 5. 1928). Perhaps Poseidon has indeed been omitted.

gave a date in summer for the sack of Troy . late Scirophorion. Since ritual bathing may be required at any time. and merely shows that the festival became ever more popular and was correspondingly prolonged. 826).12 NOEL ROBERTSON from the public eye.38The date ofAgamemnon's death. p.e. 37 above). unbound her hair. to be wrecked or scattered. at the very onset of stormy weatherin Pyanopsion. 74. The thiasoi of the festival. Robert. We are asked to regard the Poseidonia as a gathering of kinship groups.when 'she removed her mantle. The feasting led up to a final day or night of sexual licence.39Almost nothing is known of the Aeginetan calendar.. 37 above). When the soldiers returnedafter the war and after the storm. or at least to talk or mimicry of sexual licence. Homo Necans (Berlin. thinks of Aphrodite's role in the Ionian Apaturia and as a sea-goddess. p. There are sixteen days of feasting. the losses in their ranks forbade a single collective celebration. by 'the so-called thiasoi'. a Geschlechtsfeier or Gentilfeier.40 if it meant 'rites of Aphrodite'. late Panemus . we should expect rather ayovTEs 'A0poS(aLa. seems to put his homecoming a little later than the Aeginetans'. who 'themselves waited upon fathers and kinsmen and brothers and dear ones. 'shows that it was then warm enough to bathe.' Until recently the Greeks did not go in for recreational bathing. Die griechische Heldensage (Berlin. the story has no bearing on the season. 1289. and the festival-name 'Poseidonia' which we find in Athenaeus may be the literary rendering of a Doric form Posidaia or the like. like the Roman Saturnalia. Ag. Burkert. Gr. doubtless aetiological. Plutarch's account has been subject to a persistent misunderstanding which distorts both the ritual and its significance. 'no real Aphrodite festival. A tradition found in Hellanicus et al. Sixteen days is a very long festival. so as not to offend those who were bereaved. it may have included a month Posidaios. but the bathing season begins early in Greece. 'A0poSiatos n. for the details see C. and for a discussion of the aetiology. 68-9. Thomson. We also learn from Plutarch that the feasting was conducted 'in silence'. and the mythical heroines who encounter Poseidon within his element prefigure an act of ritual immersion. 375. 1972).but G. Gamelion 13 (Deinias of Argos FGrHist 306 F 2). 40 So Halliday (n. in saying that Aristippus dallied at the Poseidonia for two months each year. with no slave present.Oresteia22 (Amsterdam/Prague. Some commentators refuse to allow the meaning which attaches to 'the setting of the Pleiades' everywhereelse in ancient literature.obviously the Aeginetan festival . and waded into the sea' (Ath. as did the Epidaurian. Plutarch gives some details of the festival business. but only a great carouse'. p. Feste. as at Eleusis and Pellene. instead the survivors were entertained by their respective families. comparable in most 38 The mention of the season rings a suitably ominous note in Agamemnon's speech. . But a tribute to the goddess Aphrodite would have the same significancein this context. 59.which could be reconciled without much difficulty with the winter homecoming. says Nilsson. pp. argues well for the seasonal connotation. and Phryne was performing her ritual duties: at a certain stage of the Mysteries the initiates bathed in the sea. says Halliday (n. From Homer onwards it is always said that the Greek fleet sailed home in the stormy season. stand for the family reunions of the myth. The length is unimportant from the antiquarian point of view. 178-81. 1). 'The story of Phryne'. 'then after enacting aphrodisiathey conclude the festival'. pp. but he also. In the phrase irotrjaavres the 'AbpoS&iLa noun very likely has its common secondary sense of' sexual pleasures' (LSJ s. So the Poseidonia of Aegina and the Ionian Poseidea correspond in point of season.early or late Thargelion. i. the members of the separate groups were known as monophagoi. 39 Phryne's voluptuous figure was revealed to the crowd at the Eleusinian Mysteries and again at the Poseidonia . no one outside the group being admitted'. 1920-6). in other words. 'many had died in the fighting. in the storm'. 1966). Athenaeus makes it even longer. 590f). Aeschylus. By one account Troy fell just 'at the setting of the Pleiades' (Aesch. These arrangements have inspired the mythical aition. in similar vein. 'those who eat alone'. but even more on the voyage home. 13.

and it comes as at all no surprise the statutes the Labyadae. of agrarianfunction as quite secondary. 386). 8. and any doubts are removed by Plutarch. 209n. They are indeed a means of organizing banquets and dances and the like . 905 = SIG3 1030 = LSCG 140). 1. The Rhodian calendar is among the best known outside Athens. So the epithet phytalmios is generally cited by scholars. Poseidon phytalmios receives sacrifice from 'practically all Greeks'. a Geschlechtsgott. Mor. 93 = IvErythrai 201 a 47). a front-row seat in the theatre) and Erythrae (SIG3 1014 = LSAM 25. On Rhodes he appears also at Cameirus (Clara Rhodos 6/7. 730d) and Troezen. 675f). epithets like genethlios and genesios testify to his interest in procreation.42Nor is there anything in our festival that resembles the taboos and bugbears of the Anthesteria. not to the abiding custom. 32. Glaube Hellenen213 Der 1(Basel1955. together with a mass of other evidence.andRom. often in festive style. 44 Wilamowitz. in virtue of the mingled joy and gloom. 4. the thiasoi of Dionysus and Heracles are the best known. 158d. 2. Then comes the notation 'feasting'.obviously so on Aegina. All this must be given up. not in kinship. 4 above). Plutarch does indeed say that the feasting is done 'in silence'.regarding der Poseidon's p. says Plutarch. Samuel.1959). The victim at Lindus and the setting at Troezen point to the agrarian milieu. where the sanctuary lay 'outside the city-wall' (Paus. B 13-14. 123. Prohedriep. as attesting Poseidon's concern with natural fertility.At Sparta phratrios has domatitas to do with kinshipgroups. 1.to judgefromthe companyhe keepsin IG 5. which has a different range of cult titles. Conv.Chron. The Attic thiasoi as components of Attic phratries are a unique and short-lived development. 497 oiketasand Heracles (Carneius genarchas amongothers. JHS 81 (1961). (n. 15. to the family customs of the Anthesteria (so Halliday). 3. 1. 8.pp. as the season demands. and so were unheard by others. A. Conv. Poseidon's epithet phytalmios can tell us a little more. Of coursephratries largeworshipped mannerof gods and heroes.POSEIDON'S WINTER FESTIVAL 13 respects to the Apaturia (so Nilsson). 8). and also. 12. 43 cf. It follows that Poseidon has no special standing as a patron of kinship groups.41 at all other times and places the thiasoi are simply bands of worshippers serving a particulardeity. (15) At Lindus a brief but informative sacrificial statute is headed by the date Theudaisios 6 (IG 12. if not silent among themselves.9-12. OoLv-r-aL. and again in the kindred Dorian cities of Megara (Plut. In Plutarch the family groups belong to the mythical occasion. Theudaisioscorresponds to Poseideon. Andrewes. and there is no likelihood that they were.dismissesout of hand the agrarianinterpretation 41 42 . the sequence of month-names in various inscriptions and the seasonal fluctuation in the number of dated amphora handles allow all the months to be placed in order and in season.all servedby a hereditary priest). not to intimate that the mood of joy is somehow tempered with anxiety. 451 c the word evokes Dionysus and the cognate realm of viticulture). it would not have attracted crowds of pleasure-seekers from all over Greece. at Virt. Conv. who brackets Poseidon phytalmios with Zeus ombrios and Demeter proerosia as typical deities of agriculture (VII Sap. a detail which suits the aition better than it does the general rejoicing of the festival. Quaest. Had the Poseidonia been a gathering of kinship groups.Gr.44but this does not exhaust its significance. 1. 107-10. The thiasoi are not said to be kinship groups. 5. The aition speaks of the bereavement of some to explain the private auspices of the feasting. a satisfactory witness in such a matter (Quaest. otherwise at Athens (IG 22 5051 = Maass. no doubt the thiasoi feasted indoors. The word cf. showing that a number of worshippers will gather at the sanctuary and share the meat. that 1 of 9 CIDelph Loissacrees. real or fictive.namePoseidon between to Poseidon ApolloandZeuspatroos an exception provethe rule.43 'A grown pig' is to be offered to Poseidon phytalmios.

Heldensage 38 above). may be equally a daughter of Augeas (Steph. Oed. 347 Westermann). and the women's purposive lewdness. Poseidon's winter festival is concerned with agrarian fertility.and perhaps nubileDanaidsstandfor comparable a festivalof Poseidon. but the argument will not be served by possibilities. He has a smallshrineby the shore. and likewise succumbs to Poseidon. moreover. 788 Pearson/Radt.p. we shall soon see that it entails a drastic form of sympathetic magic. 4. Byz. 45 In a displayof hieraticlearning at Plutarch speaksfirstof Poseidonphytalmios Megara. any kind of life. which means 'create'. first whereDanausandhisdaughters disembarked. 8. 'produce'. and patrogeneios 'begetting as a father'.of the season. . The usage of tragedy may or may not be directly derived from the worship of Poseidon phytalmios. 6. as in that of Demeter. s. the setting. and here it always refers to human procreation (Aesch. and since his daughter Ambracia. The foregoing instances are all that can be usefully mentioned. Byz. 38. viewof Toepffer to showthat it neednot be connected has had some success.called a 'Thesprotian'. and indeed the roles of the god and goddess. and of their male and female worshippers. Col. The epithet then means 'procreative' in a double sense. the of The phytalmios and fliesin the face of the evidence. Dexamenai. fr. the porker of Lindus. Ag. are complementary. The bull and the ram remind us of Marathon and Delos. to of and then says that 'the descendants ancientHellenalso sacrifice Poseidonpatrogeneios' (Quaest.citing Phileas). 453 n. But in order to be convincing a study of the myths would need to collect and analyse the material much more fully than is feasible here. of crops and of human offspring .8. (16) At Cameirus a sacrificial calendar prescribes the following offerings to Poseidon under Theudaisios1: 'a bull no younger than a year. 477 Rose2). Ambrakia.45 In the cult of Poseidon. the bonfires. womenat the was the site of ritualbathing. and Aegina .who 'lusted for Demeter and assaulted the goddess and was struckdown by Zeus with his lightning' (Anon. this must be anotherlocal cult whichwas tracedaetiologically to Hellen. Phytalmios shows us how to understand several less common epithets of Poseidon . the feasting. . apobathmoi Perhaps placecalledapobathmoi.46 A certain Phorbas also passes for a son of Helius (Steph.as we might expect of an adjective formed from vbw. pater 'father'. This is not in origin a poetic or philosophic notion. On this showing the statute of Lindus includes the two elements so prominent at Eleusis. as the eponym Ambrax is said to be a son of Thesprotus . widedistribution the epithetis enough which a withthe AtticgenosPhytalidae. It was suggested above that Aethon son of Helius and his daughter Mestra are projections of our festival . Pausanias'notice of Poseidongenesiosnear Lernais somewhatto our purpose next to it is another (2. a yearling ram.genethlios and genesios 'begetting'. In many cults of Poseidon an odd detail is suggestive. 920).feasting and a commingling of the sexes. We may conclude by reviewing and assessing the common features disclosed by our survey. Mythogr. 4). human fertility is linked with the fertility of the fields. 730d). We also expect the festival to be imprinted in myth. universal as it was. citing Arist.at a placecalledgenesion. 151. and his own name means 'Shining' (< avyi 'ray of the sun'). There are similar cases. 94. p. eponym of the city. Soph. since Greek myths are predominantly aetiological (whatever may be said to the contrary in general works on the topic of 'myth'). (n. but in any case will not be inconsistent with this worship.] Rhes. s. Augeas the rich and insolent king of Elis is by most accounts a son of Helius. his daughter Agamede or Perimede is as weird as Mestra. as it is for Plutarch. 46 For this familysee Robert. 339. 1-7). she too was probably endowed with magic powers. it is the same Phorbas. Pellene. fr. a porker' (LSCG Suppl.14 NOEL ROBERTSON is also used as an adjective in the high style of tragedy.Conv. [Eur. the ram alone of Myconos.

leave no room for doubt.g. bleeding pigs. genesios. but in a larger community such simplicity was neither possible nor desirable. 1336b 17-19). cum colerentprisci studiosius agros.48The place for it is at a ploughing festival such as the Attic Proerosia. Fires were lighted at Eleusis and Argos.47 In sum. yet it was certainly very rare in the historical period. rwOaat6os. A piece of fertility magic familiar to readers of Mannhardt and Frazer. Skurrile Riten in griechischen Kulten (Endingen. where 40 drachmas are set down for the telete. the Thesmophoria. then fasted and Aristotle besideschol. in which a chosen man and woman copulate in a ploughed field. It is not the normal women's worship of Demeter which is envisaged by the law (for here a man could not act for his wife).prevails in the ritual of certain deities. A rite much closer in spirit to ours formed the culmination of Demeter's commonest festival. What is most remarkable is the mixing of men and women. It will be useful to consider briefly the complementary rites in the cult of Demeter. The women might banter each other. At Eleusis they sported with cunni and phalli. can be made to operate by sympathetic magic. certainly not on Delos. The myths and the ritual reflect the same belief. Eleusis. as interpreted above. directed all their efforts upon Mother Earth. pater. goes well beyond the norm for public festivals (cf. Pellene. secluded from the rest of the community. where Plutarch discreetly speaks of aphrodisia. but rather such mixed festivities as ours. is shown to have existed in Greece by the myth of Demeter and lasion. afterwards scurrilities were exchanged between the sexes.but he is not at painsto distinguish scurrilous rites conducted men and womenjointly fromthose conducted womenalone(cf. where they were also teased by the priestesses.Such occasions were a fine opportunity for a city man to have some fun with hetaerae. Both the water and the fields. both Poseidon and Demeter. but not everywhere. pp.Lucianon theHaloea. L. the god's titles.971. 23 on by by the festivalof Pellene). else the accounts would mention firewood. 48 For this inference see e. 'the law permits those who have reached the proper age to honour the gods both on their own behalf and on behalf of their children and wives'. witness the epithets phytalmios. i. rightly sets . and possibly on Thasos. But the ritual likewise treats Poseidon as a procreant force. 11-12. and perhaps by a few other myths. Delos. Aegina. who figure prominently in reports of the Haloea and the Poseidonia of Aegina. perhaps also at Marathon. Lindus). often described as opulent and prolonged. as at Eleusis. Whereas scurrility. They infused her with new fertility. his p. although the latter once attended together with the head of the household. The feasting. The rushing waters are a prepotent male power. the type of the river god is a rampant bull. Thessaly. they are now dispensed from doing so. M. 47 H. At Eleusis and Pellene the women first kept apart for a night. What is the ritual purpose of such conduct? It obviously suits Poseidon's mythical reputation as the most lustful of gods.POSEIDON'S WINTER FESTIVAL 15 victims. bonfires are a natural but not a necessary adjunct. who far surpasses Apollo and Zeus in the number of his liaisons and his offspring. The rites of our winter festival rouse Poseidon and bring the rushing waters. filling the megaron with butchered. Weston Hes. his women typically succumb while bathing or drawing water. just as the fields which they fertilize are a prolific female. Fluck.. which also marks the ploughing and sowing. and the suggestion of lewdness.e. Here the women of child-bearing age. Poseidon the seducer is the god of springs and rivers. as at Pellene and no doubt on Aegina. above all his recurring partnership with Demeter. then turn to lascivious teasing. the farmer's wife and daughter took their part. Theog. etc. Of course in earlier days. 1931). 7. This development is implicit in a passage of Aristotle (Pol. the celebrants feast to satiety.

pp. a culminating gesture. in the rite of Calligeneia. 3-14. then she exposes her genitals. and going often to the sea. 'Fine-offspring'.49Sympathetic magic could not work more plainly. which in this instance was of submission to Poseidon. Ontario NOEL ROBERTSON 49 The A. yet refutation hardlyneeded. Brock University. as at the Thesmophoria. and finally. 'who fell in love with Poseidon.1907).it hasnot however of The contextat the Thesmophoria. agrarian purposeand the magicalprocedure this festival ritesandof the fellowship whichspeakof initiation in arebadlyobscured somerecentaccounts. and there is no doubt that the procedure in our festival was of this kind. Bibl. smacks them with her hands. The collective mimicry of the Thesmophoria is much more typical of Greek ritual than the select performance in the ploughland. would scoop up the waves in her hands and pour them into her lap' (Apollod. to is of matronsand so on. . There was jesting and teasing. and again by Graf.194-9. Everyone joined in.for thereis no lack of evidence show and the singlefocus of both the Thesmophoria all the otherseasonalfestivalsof Demeter. Dielsin Miscellanea Salinas by general Athensin Dichtung (Palermo. fr. and forms a seeming child. senseof the Bauboepisodewasexplained H.pp. is depicted by figurines and described in an Orphic poem which gave Clement and Arnobius their best example of the vile indecency of pagan ritual (Orph. 52 Kern). 4.1974). the mimic childbirth. who 'removed her mantle and unbound her hair and waded into the sea' (so Athenaeus on the Poseidonia of Aegina). Baubo. afterward she pretends to nurse the child. consider Iphimedeia daughter of Triopas. 2). Consider Phryne. 168-71. This last rite. as the evidence abundantly shows. St Catharines.16 NOEL ROBERTSON sat upon the ground. 1 [53] 7. who stands for the celebrants at large. made a show of giving birth. but also. Eleusisunddie orphische beenset in its proper Zeit vorhellenistischer (Berlin. undergoes the same preparation until she is ready to give birth.

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