polytheist extractions

Tag Archives: hera

IGS 13.7.2

“Resolved by the council and the people, on the motion of Agenor, when Meliton was presiding officer: No stranger is permitted to put in at the sanctuary of Hera; the temple attendant is to take care to keep them out. If he does not keep them out, he is to pay a fine of ten drachmas, sanctified to Hera, for each day. The superintendents are to take care to inscribe this decree in front of the doors.” – IGS 13.7.2


LGS 95

“Resolved by the council and the people, on the motion of Orthsileos: No one is to light a fire in the sanctuary of Hera at the corner of the new building and the temple, nor at the Lykeion. If anyone does light one, he is to pay a fine of ten drachmas, sanctified by Hera.” – LGS 95

Aulus Gellius, Attic Nights 10.15

“Of the ceremonies of the priest and priestess of Jupiter; and words quoted from the praetor’s edict, in which he declares that he will not compel either the Vestal virgins or the priest of Jupiter to take oath. Ceremonies in great number are imposed upon the priest of Jupiter and also many abstentions, of which we read in the books written On the Public Priests; and they are also recorded in the first book of Fabius Pictor. Of these the following are in general what I remember: It is unlawful for the priest of Jupiter to ride upon a horse; it is also unlawful for him to see the ‘classes arrayed’ outside the pomerium, that is, the army in battle array; hence the priest of Jupiter is rarely made consul, since wars were entrusted to the consuls; also it is always unlawful for the priest to take an oath; likewise to wear a ring, unless it be perforated and without a gem. It is against the law for fire to be taken from the flaminia, that is, from the home of the flamen Dialis, except for a sacred rite; if a person in fetters enter his house, he must be loosed, the bonds must be drawn up through the impluvium to the roof and from there let down into the street. He has no knot in his head-dress, girdle, or any other part of his dress; if anyone is being taken to be flogged and falls at his feet as a suppliant, it is unlawful for the man to be flogged on that day. Only a free man may cut the hair of the Dialis. It is not customary for the Dialis to touch, or even name, a she-goat, raw flesh, ivy, and beans. The priest of Jupiter must not pass under an arbour of vines. The feet of the couch on which he sleeps must be smeared with a thin coating of clay, and he must not sleep away from this bed for three nights in succession, and no other person must sleep in that bed. At the foot of his bed there should be a box with sacrificial cakes. The cuttings of the nails and hair of the Dialis must be buried in the earth under a fruitful tree. Every day is a holy day for the Dialis. He must not be in the open air without his cap; that he might go without it in the house has only recently been decided by the pontiffs, so Masurius Sabinus wrote, and it is said that some other ceremonies have been remitted and he has been excused from observing them. The priest of Jupiter must not touch any bread fermented with yeast. He does not lay off his inner tunic except under cover, in order that he may not be naked in the open air, as it were under the eye of Jupiter. No other has a place at table above the flamen Dialis, except the rex sacrificulus. If the Dialis has lost his wife he abdicates his office. The marriage of the priest cannot be dissolved except by death. He never enters a place of burial, he never touches a dead body; but he is not forbidden to attend a funeral. The ceremonies of the priestess of Jupiter are about the same; they say that she observes other separate ones: for example, that she wears a dyed robe, that she has a twig from a fruitful tree in her head-dress, that it is forbidden for her to go up more than three rounds of a ladder, except the so called Greek ladders; also, when she goes to the Argei, that she neither combs her head nor dresses her hair. I have added the words of the praetor in his standing edict concerning the flamen Dialis and the priestess of Vesta: ‘In the whole of my jurisdiction I will not compel the flamen of Jupiter or a priestess of Vesta to take an oath.’ The words of Marcus Varro about the flamen Dialis, in the second book of his Divine Antiquities, are as follows: He alone has a white cap, either because he is the greatest of priests, or because a white victim should be sacrificed to Jupiter.” – Aulus Gellius, Attic Nights 10.15

Nicetas Choniates, Historia 647-51

“Even now they were still desirous of money, for absolutely nothing can satiate the avarice of the barbarians. They eyed the bronze statues and threw them into the fire. And so the bronze statue of Hera, standing in the agora of Constantine, was broken into pieces and consigned to the flames. The head of this statue, which could hardly be drawn by four oxen yoked together, was brought to the great palace. The statue of Paris, also called Alexander, opposite it was cast off its base. This statue was connected with that of the goddess Aphrodite to whom the apple of Eris was depicted as being awarded by Paris. These barbarians – who do not appreciate beauty! – did not neglect to overturn the statues standing in the Hippodrome or any other marvelous works. Rather, these too they turned into coinage, exchanging great things for small, thus acquiring petty coins at the expense of those things created at enormous cost. They then threw down the great Hercules Trihesperus, magnificently constructed on a base and girded with the skin of a lion, a terrifying thing to see even in bronze. He was represented as standing, carrying in his hands neither quiver nor arrows nor club, but having his right foot and right hand extended and his left foot bent at the knee with the left hand raised at the elbow. He was very broad in the chest and shoulders and had thick hair, plump buttocks, and strong arms, and was of such huge size, Ι think, as Lysimachus considered the real Hercules to have been – Lysimachus who sculpted from bronze this first and last great masterpiece of his hands. The statue was so large that the rope around his thumb had the size of a man’s belt and the lower portion of the leg, the height of a man. But those who separate manly vigour from other virtues and claim it for themselves (considering it the most important quality) did not leave this Hercules (although it was the epitome of this attribute) untouched.” – Nicetas Choniates, Historia 647-51

Lucian, On Sacrifices 10-13

“That is the way the gods live, and as a result, the practices of men in the matter of divine worship are harmonious and consistent with all that. First they fenced off groves, dedicated mountains, consecrated birds and assigned plants to each god. Then they divided them up, and now worship them by nations and claim them as fellow-countrymen ; the Delphians claim Apollo, and so do the Delians, the Athenians Athena (in fact, she proves her kinship by her name), the Argives Hera, the Mygdonians Rhea, the Paphians Aphrodite. As for the Cretans, they not only say that Zeus was born and brought up among them, but even point out his tomb. We were mis­taken all this while, then, in thinking that thunder and rain and everything else comes from Zeus ; if we had but known it, he has been dead and buried in Crete this long time! Then too they erect temples, in order that the gods may not be houseless and hearthless, of course; and they fashion images in their likeness, sending for a Praxiteles or a Polycleitus or a Phidias, who have caught sight of them somewhere and represent Zeus as a bearded man, Apollo as a perennial boy, Hermes with his first moustache, Poseidon with sea-blue hair and Athena with green eyes ! In spite of all, those who enter the temple think that what they behold is not now ivory from India nor gold mined in Thrace, but the very son of Cronus and Rhea, transported to earth by Phidias and bidden to be overlord of de­serted Pisa, thinking himself lucky if he gets a sacrifice once in four long years as an incident to the Olympic games. When they have established altars and formulae and lustral rites, they present their sacrifices, the farmer an ox from the plough, the shepherd a lamb, the goatherd a goat, someone else incense or a cake ; the poor man, however, propitiates the god by just kissing his own hand. But those who offer victims (to come back to them) deck the animal with gar­lands, after finding out far in advance whether it is perfect or not, in order that they may not kill some­thing that is of no use to them; then they bring it to the altar and slaughter it under the god’s eyes, while it bellows plaintively—making, we must suppose, auspicious sounds, and fluting low music to accom­pany the sacrifice! Who would not suppose that the gods like to see all this ? And although the notice says that no one is to be allowed within the holy-water who has not clean hands, the priest himself stands there all bloody, just like the Cyclops of old, cutting up the victim, removing the entrails, plucking out the heart, pouring the blood about the altar, and doing everything possible in the way of piety. To crown it all, he lights a fire and puts upon it the goat, skin and all, and the sheep, wool and all; and the smoke, divine and holy, mounts upward and gradually dissipates into Heaven itself.” – Lucian, On Sacrifices 10-13

UPZ 2.162

“But not satisfied with living in my house, they even buried corpses there without paying the fines incumbent on them, and this although the house lies on the road of Hera and Demeter the very great goddesses, to whom dead bodies and those who care for such are unlawful.” – UPZ 2.162

SEG 1.366

“Resolved by the boule and the demos, proposal of the prytaneis, concerning [(the matters) which] Hippodamas son of Pantonaktides initially raised, (namely) that Boulagoras son of Alexis, having rendered many services to the demos as a whole and individually to many of the citizens, might be praised and crowned as the boule and demos may decide: whereas Boulagoras … supervised the good-conduct of the ephebes and the youths fairly and nobly; and in the present year, when it was time for the dispatch of the theoroi to Alexandria, knowing that the demos set the greatest importance by the honors of King Ptolemy and his sister Queen Berenike, since limited funds were available for their crowns and for the sacrifices, which the theoroi must needs perform in Alexandria, while for the travelling expenses of the architheoros and the theoroi, by whom the crown had to be delivered and the sacrifices performed, there was no (money) at all nor any place whence at the time it might be got, wishing that nothing be lacking from the honors previously decreed for the king and the queen and their parents and ancestors, he promised to advance the money required for these things from his own resources, (a sum) not much less than 6000 drachmas … and in all other matters he continues to show himself zealous and kind both to the demos in general and individually to each of the citizens, [giving] the best [counsel] and reconciling those with differences and lending without interest from his own resources to many of those who are in difficulties; in order, then, that we may be clear in honoring good men and in urging many of the citizens to the same attitude, be it resolved by the demos: to praise Boulagoras son of Alexis for his virtue and his good-will toward the citizens, and to crown him with a gold crown at the tragedies during the Dionysia, and for the agonothetes to look after the announcement; and for the exetastai to have this decree inscribed on a stone stele and set up in the sanctuary of Hera; and for the treasurer of the sacred funds to provide the expense from the money he has on hand from fines. Present were Hyblesios, Herodotos, Monimos, Demetrios.” – SEG I 366

Propertius, Elegies 2.33A

“Once again to my sorrow the dismal rites have returned: now for ten nights is Cynthia engaged in worship. Down with the rites which the daughter of Inachus has sent from the warm Nile to the matrons of Italy! The goddess that has so often sundered ardent lovers, whoever she was, was always harsh. In your secret love of Jove, Io, you certainly discovered what it means to travel on many paths. When Juno bade you, a human girl, put on horns and drown your speech in the hoarse lowing of a cow, ah, how often did you chafe your mouth with oak leaves and chew in your stall the arbute you had fed on! Is it because Jupiter has taken that wild shape from your features that you have become such a haughty goddess? Are the swarthy daughters of Aegyptus too few for your worship? What profit is it to you that girls should sleep alone? Take it from me, either you will have horns again or else, cruel creature, we will banish you from our city: the Nile has never found favour with the Tiber.” – Propertius, Elegies 2.33A