eklogai

polytheist extractions

Tag Archives: procession

Benedict, Liber 2.172

“On the eve of the Kalends, late at night, the youths get up and carry around a shield, and one of them is masked, with a club, hanging from his neck. Hissing and sounding the drum, they go around to the houses and surround the shield: the drum sounds and the one with the mask hisses. This game over, they receive a reward from the master of the house according to what pleases him. Thus they do in each and every house. On that day, they eat all kinds of vegetables. Early in the morning, two of the youths get up; they are given olive branches and salt and they enter the houses. They greet the household, ‘Joy and gladness be in this house!’ They throw handfuls of leaves and salt into the fire and say, ‘So many children, so many piglets, so many lambs!’ They wish for all good things. Before the sun rises, they eat their honeycomb or something else sweet, so that the whole year will go well with them, without disputes or great labor.” – Benedict, Liber 2.172

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St. Boniface, Epistolae 49

“Even now in Rome one can see, quite near the Basilica of Saint Peter, at the beginning of the Kalends of January, people executing choral dances in the squares in Pagan fashion, day and night, to the accompaniment of loud shouting and sacrilegious song.” – Boniface, Epistolae 49

Mauro and Immonide, Cena 184-87

“The Roman pope amuses himself thus at the Albs of Easter, when the master of the choir school comes, crowned with horns, like Silenus with a little ass amid songs and mockery, which priestly amusement denotes a mystery.” – Mauro and Immonide, Cena 184-87

Peter Chrysologos, De kalendis Ianuariis 1.261-64

“The Pagans bring out their gods on this day. With planned defilements and premeditated disgrace they pull them hither and thither dragging them all about. Not content with hauling their portable gods through the streets others dress in masks and costumes, performing the roles of the idols and acting out the shameful, sacrilegious stories of those wicked demons. It should be abundantly clear to any decent Christian that participation in these foul rites and Pagan spectacles brings about defilement, yet some of you have the temerity to say, ‘This isn’t the deliberate pursuit of godlessness, these good luck visits are just for fun; this is a celebration of a new beginning, not just a superstition from the past. This is just New Years, not the threat of Paganism.’ What foolishness and conceit! To know that it is contemptible all you have to do is look at those who have made themselves equal to beasts, put themselves on the level with asses, made themselves up as cattle, those who masquerade as demons.” – Peter Chrysologos, De kalendis Ianuariis 1.261-64

John Chrysostom, On the Kalends 48.95-62

“We deplore the demons marching in procession in the marketplace, the all-night devilish celebrations, the tauntings, the invectives, the nightlong dances, the ridiculous comedies and the drunkenness of the revelers that one sees everywhere on the Kalends.” – John Chrysostom, On the Kalends 48.95-62

Didascalia Apostolorum 13

“Pagans, when they daily rise from their sleep, go in morning to worship and minister to their idols; and before all their works and undertakings they go first and worship their idols. Neither at their festivals and their fairs are they wanting, but are constant in assembling – not only those who live close by, but many travel from a great distance to attend such assemblies and dramatic spectacles.” – Didascalia Apostolorum 13

The Martyrdom of Saint Theodotus 14

“It was the custom among them yearly to bathe the images of the gods in the nearby lake, and on that day was the chance for them to be cleansed along with their idols. Each of the idols was set up on a wagon, and they were led through the city and into the countryside where the lake was. The whole populace of the city went out with them to see the sight, for the sound of the pipes and cymbals attracted attention, as did the dancing women with hair let loose like maenads, and there was a great pounding of their feet striking the ground and lots of musical instruments accompanying them.” – The Martyrdom of Saint Theodotus 14

Censorinus, De die natali 12.2

“If music were not welcome to the immortal gods, theater spectacles would not have been established to conciliate the gods, the flute-player would not be used in all sacrifices in sacred temples, nor would a triumphal parade be conducted with the flute and horn player in honor of Mars, nor the lyre to Apollo, nor the flute and similar instruments to the Muses.” – Censorinus, De die natali 12.2

I.Strat. 1101

“When Ptolemaios was the chief magistrate, in the month of Artemisios, with Sosandros, son of Diomedes, secretary of the town council, the following was proposed: In former times the city has been saved from many great and constant dangers by the providence of its protective and mighty deities, Zeus of Panamara and Hekate, whose sanctuaries were recognized by a decree of the sacred Roman Senate as being inviolable and possessing the right to receive suppliants, on account of the manifest miracles which they performed for the safety of the eternal empire of our Roman lords. It is right to apply all possible zeal to honoring Zeus and Hekate and not neglect any opportunity to honor and entreat them. Statues of the aforementioned deities stand in the august council-chamber, producing miracles which manifest their divine power. On account of these miracles the whole populace offers sacrifice, burns incense, prays and gives thanks without ceasing to these deities who manifest themselves. It is right to honor them with a hymn-singing procession. The council has decided to select thirty boys from among the well-born, whom the supervisor of education and the public guardians of boys shall lead each day to the council-chamber, dressed in white, wearing crowns made of olive branches, likewise carrying olive branches in their hands and accompanied by a lyre-player and herald. Moreover the annually chosen priest of Hekate is to select boys from within the precinct of the goddess’ temple and from the neighborhood every year and they are to sing the customary hymn to the goddess.” – I.Strat. 1101

Harris Stela 8-10

“I went to the residence of the Greek kings, which is located on the shores of the Great Green [the Mediterranean], on the west side of the Canopic branch, and whose name is Rhakotis. The King of Upper and Lower Egypt, the god Philopator Philadelphos, the young Osiris, left his palace in life and vigor and went to the temple of Isis … He presented the goddess with with numerous and profuse offerings. As he left the temple of Isis in his chariot, the king himself stopped his chariot and placed on my head a diadem of gold and all sorts of genuine precious stones, bearing the effigy of the king. I thus became his priest, and he promulgated a royal decree for all the cities and nomes, saying ‘I have promoted Psenptais, the high priest of Ptah, to be priest of my cult, and I have accorded him revenues in the temples of Upper and Lower Egypt.'” – Harris Stela 8-10

Miscellany of sources on Anthesteria

“For they announce with a herald the Dionysia, the Lenaia, the Khytroi and the Gephyrismoi.” – Aelian, On Animals 4.43

“Not all the magistrates lived together. The King kept what is now called the Boukoleion [cow-shed] near the Prytaneion. The evidence is that even now the mating and marriage of the wife of the King with Dionysos takes place there.” – Aristotle, Constitution of the Athenians 3.5

“Timaios says that the tyrant Dionysios at the festival of the Khoes set a golden crown as a prize for the one who first drank up his khous and that Xenocrates the philosopher finished first and, taking the golden crown and departing, placed it on the herm set up in his courtyard, the one on which he customarily placed flower crowns as he was going back home in the evening, and for this he was marveled at. Phanodemos says that Demophon the King instituted the festival of the Pitchers at Athens. When Orestes arrived at Athens after killing his mother Demophon wanted to receive him, but was not willing to let him approach the sacred rites nor share the libations, since he had not yet been put on trial. So he ordered the sacred things to be locked up and a separate pitcher of wine to be set beside each person, saying that a flat cake would be given as a prize to the one who drained his first. He also ordered them, when they had stopped drinking, not to put the wreathes with which they were crowned on the sacred objects, because they had been under the same roof with Orestes. Rather each one was to twine them around his own pitcher and take the wreathes to the priestess at the precinct in Limnai, and then to perform the rest of the sacrifices in the sanctuary. The festival has been called Khoes ever since. It is the custom at the festival of the Khoes at Athens that gifts and then pay be sent to teachers, the very ones who themselves invited their close friends to dinner in this way: ‘you play the teacher, you bum, and you have need of the pay-giving Khoes, dining not without luxury.’” – Athenaios, Deipnosophistai 10.437b-e

“Possis in his third book of Magnesian Things says that Themistokles when taking up the office of crownbearer in Magnesia sacrificed to Athene and called the festival the Panathenaia and when sacrificing to Dionysos the Khous-drinker also introduced the festival of the Khoes there.” – Athenaios, Deipnosophistai 12.533d

There are certain Khutroi. A festival in Athens so named, in which it was possible to mock both the others and especially those in government.” – Bekker, Anecdota 1.316

“It is commanded to those bringing back the victory spoils that they revile and make jokes about the most famous men along with their generals, like those escorts on wagons during the Athenian festival who used to carry on with jokes but now sing improvisational poems.” – Dionysios Halikarnassos, Roman Antiquities 7.72.11

“Among the Athenians holy women whom the king appoints in number equal to the altars of Dionysos to honor the god.” – Etymologicum Magnum s.v. gerarai

“(Orestes speaking) At first none of my hosts willingly received me, on the grounds that I was hated by the gods, but those who had scruples supplied me provisions at a single table since we were under the same roof, and by their silence they made me shunned so that I might be separated from them at food and drink, and filling for all an equal amount of wine in individual pitchers, they took pleasure. I did not think it right to question my hosts and grieved in silence and pretended not to know, sorrowing deeply because I was my mother’s murderer. I hear that my misfortunes have become a rite for the Athenians and that the custom still remains that the people of Athena honor the khoes-pitcher.” – Euripides, Iphigenia in Tauris 947ff

“A festival done among the Athenians on the twelfth of Anthesterion. The whole feast for Dionysos is jointly called Anthesteria, but its parts are Pithoigia, Khoes, Khutroi.” – Harpokration s.v. Khoes

“Instead of reproach and reproaching. Demosthenes in the speech For Ktesiphon. He takes the metaphor from those in the Dionysiac processions on wagons being reproached by each other.” – Harpokration s.v. processions and processing

“Generally priestesses, in particular those completing the sacrifices to Dionysos in Limnai, fourteen in number.” – Hesychius s.v. gerarai

“A marriage occurs between the wife of the king and the god.” – Hesychius s.v.marriage of Dionysos

“A festival in Athens.” – Hesychius s.v. Pithoigia

“A festival in Athens which they called Khoes.” – Hesychius s.v. twelfth

“Bear Watcher. Some have said that he is Icarius, father of Erigone, to whom, on account of his justice and piety, Father Liber gave wine, the vine, and the grape, so that he could show men how to plant the vine, what would grow from it, and how to use what was produced. When he had planted the vine, and by careful tending with a pruning-knife had made it flourish, a goat is said to have broken into the vineyard, and nibbled the tenderest leaves he saw there. Icarius, angered by this, took him and killed him and from his skin made a sack, and blowing it up, bound it tight, and cast it among his friends, directing them to dance around it. And so Eratosthenes says: Around the goat of Icarius they first danced. Others say that Icarius, when he had received the wine from Father Liber, straightway put full wineskins on a wagon. For this he was called Boötes. When he showed it to the shepherds on going round through the Attic country, some of them, greedy and attracted by the new kind of drink, became stupefied, and sprawling here and there, as if half-dead, kept uttering unseemly things. The others, thinking poison had been given the shepherds by Icarius, so that he could drive their flocks into his own territory, killed him, and threw him into a well, or, as others say, buried him near a certain tree. However, when those who had fallen asleep, woke up, saying that they had never rested better, and kept asking for Icarius in order to reward him, his murderers, stirred by conscience, at once took to flight and came to the island of the Ceans. Received there as guests, they established homes for themselves. But when Erigone, the daughter of Icarius, moved by longing for her father, saw he did not return and was on the point of going out to hunt for him, the dog of Icarius, Maera by name, returned to her, howling as if lamenting the death of its master. It gave her no slight suspicion of murder, for the timid girl would naturally suspect her father had been killed since he had been gone so many months and days. But the dog, taking hold of her dress with its teeth, led her to the body. As soon as the girl saw it, abandoning hope, and overcome with loneliness and poverty, with many tearful lamentations she brought death on herself by hanging from the very tree beneath which her father was buried. And the dog made atonement for her death by its own life. Some say that it cast itself into the well, Anigrus by name. For this reason they repeat the story that no one afterward drank from that well. Jupiter, pitying their misfortune, represented their forms among the stars. And so many have called Icarius, Boötes, and Erigone, the Virgin, about whom we shall speak later. The dog, however, from its own name and likeness, they have called Canicula. It is called Procyon by the Greeks, because it rises before the greater Dog. Others say these were pictured among the stars by Father Liber. In the meantime in the district of the Athenians many girls without cause committed suicide by hanging, because Erigone, in dying, had prayed that Athenian girls should meet the same kind of death she was to suffer if the Athenians did not investigate the death of Icarius and avenge it. And so when these things happened as described, Apollo gave oracular response to them when they consulted him, saying that they should appease Erigone if they wanted to be free from the affliction. So since she hanged herself, they instituted a practice of swinging themselves on ropes with bars of wood attached, so that the one hanging could be moved by the wind. They instituted this as a solemn ceremony, and they perform it both privately and publicly, and call it alétis, aptly terming her mendicant who, unknown and lonely, sought for her father with the god. The Greeks call such people alétides.” – Hyginus, Astronomica 2.2

“For the Khoes, for the public slaves: victim, 23 drachmae; pots, 5; two measures of wine, 16.” – IG ii 1672.204

“He was of an age for ‘Khoic’ things, but Fate anticipated the Khoes.” – IG ii 13139.71

“Whoever of the Iobacchoi receives an allotment or office or position, let him make a libation to the Iobacchoi worthy of his position – marriage, birth, Khoes, ephebia, civil service, staff-bearing, council …” – IG ii 1368 127-31

“For the Limnaian one they held festivals with choruses.” – Kallimakhos, Hekale fr. 305

“Nor did the morn of the Broaching of the Jars pass unheeded, nor that whereon the Pitchers of Orestes bring a white day for slaves. And when he kept the yearly festival of Ikarios’ child, thy day, Erigone, lady most sorrowful of Attic women, he invited to a banquet his familiars, and among them a stranger who was newly visiting Egypt, whither he had come on some private business.” – Kallimakhos, Aitia 1.1

“Khoes were once called pilikai. The type of pitcher earlier was like the Panathenaic amphorae, but later it took on the form of an oinochoe, like those put out at the festival, a sort that they once called olpai, using them for the pouring of wine just as Ion of Chios says in the Eurutidai. But now such a pitcher, having been sanctified in some manner, is used only in the festival, and the one for daily use has changed its form.” – Krates, Attic Dialect Book Two as cited in Athenaios, Deipnosophistai 11.495a-c

“Let the priest have the robe he wishes and a golden crown in the month Lenaion and Anthesterion so that he may lead those bringing home Dionysos in the proper way.” – LSAM 37.19-24

“At the festival the priests and priestesses of Bacchic Dionysos will bring the god home from dawn to dusk.” – LSAM 48.21-23

“As for their cups made by Therikles and their goblets and their gold and all the gods produced among them and envied in their courts, I would not take them in exchange for our yearly Khoes and the Lenaia in the theater and yesterday’s talk and the schools in the Lyceum and the holy Academy, I swear by Dionysos and his bacchic ivy, with which I wish to be crowned more than with Ptolemaic diadems, for where in Egypt will I see an assembly, a vote taken? Where the democratic thron speaking its mind? Where the law-givers with ivy in their holy hair? What roped enclosure? What election? What Khutroi? What potter’s quarter, agora, courts, beautiful acropolis, mysteries, nearby Salamis, the Narrows, Psyttalia, Marathon?” – Menander, Epistles 4.18.10

“Anthesteria is for three days, the eleventh, twelfth and thirteenth – but the twelfth day is most special.” – P. Oxy. VI 853

“At the temple of Dionysos in Lemnai the Athenians bring the new wine from the jars and mix it in honor of the god and then they drink it themselves. Because of this custom Dionysos is called Limnaios, because the wine was mixed with water and then for the first time drunk diluted. Therefore the streams were called Nymphs and Nurses of Dionysos because mixed-in water increases the wine. Then having taken pleasure in the mixture they hymned Dionysos in songs, dancing and addressing him as Euanthes and Dithyrambos and the Bacchic One and Bromios.” – Phanodemos, cited in Athenaios’ Deipnosophistai 11.465a

“Children in Athens during the month of Anthesterion are crowned with flowers on the third year from birth.” – Philostratos, Heroikos 12.2

“Apollonios said he was amazed at the Athenians regarding the Dionysia, which they celebrate in the season of Anthesterion, for he thought they visited the theater to hear monodies and songs from the parabasis and all the other lyrics belonging to comedy and tragedy, but when he heard that they dance twists to the sound of the aulos and that amid both Orphic epics and theologies they act, sometimes as Seasons sometimes as Nymphs and sometimes as Bacchai, he was amazed at this.” – Philostratos, Life of Apollonios of Tyana 4.21

“For in the month Anthesterion a trireme raised into the air is escorted into the agora which the priest of Dionysos steers like a helmsman with its lines loose from the sea.” – Philostratos, Lives of the Sophists 1.25.1

“A plant that at the Khoes they chewed from dawn as a preventative medicine. They also smeared their houses with pitch for this is unpollutable. Therefore also at the birth of children they smear their houses to drive away daimones.” – Photius s.v. buckthorn

“On the day of the month Anthesterion at which the souls of the departed are thought to come up, they chewed buckthorn beginning at dawn and smeared the doors with pitch.” – Photius s.v. polluted days

“This is about those mocking openly. For in Athens at the festival of the Khoes those reveling on the wagons mocked and reviled those they met and they did the same also at the Lenaia.” – Photius s.v. that from the wagons

“Some say this proverb was said because of the number of Karian slaves, since they were feasting at the Anthesteria and not working. When the festival ended they said, sending them out to work, ‘to the door, Kares; it’s no longer Anthesteria.’ But some have the proverb as follows: ‘to the door, Keres; Anthesteria is not inside,’ since the souls were going throughout the city in the Anthesteria.” – Photius s.v. To the door Kares, it’s no longer Anthesteria

“Once when it was the festival of the Khoes the two of them were feasting by themselves, and Apemantos said, ‘What a nice symposium the two of us are having, Timon,’ and Timon replied, ‘Indeed, if only you weren’t here.’” – Plutarch, Life of Antony 70

“And yet what difference does it make if one puts a kylix down before each of the guests and a khous, having filled it with wine, and an individual table just as the sons of Demophon are said to have done for Orestes, and orders him to drink ignoring the others, as opposed to what now happens where, putting out meat and bread, each feasts as if from his private manger except that we are not compelled to be silent as were those feasting Orestes.” – Plutarch, Questiones Convivales 2.10.1

“At Athens on the eleventh of the month of Anthesterion they begin drinking new wine, calling the day Pithoigia. And in the old days, it is likely, they poured a libation of wine before drinking, and prayed that the use of the drug be harmless and healthful or saving for them. Among us Boiotians the month is called Prostaterios and it is customary, sacrificing on the sixth to the Agathos Daimon, to taste the wine after a west wind. This wind of all the winds especially moves and changes the wine and wine that has already avoided it seems to remain stable.” – Plutarch, Questiones Convivales 3.7.1

“And those drinking the new wine first drink it in the month Anthesterion after winter. We call that day the day belonging to the Agathos Daimon; the Athenians call it Pithoigia.” – Plutarch, Questiones Convivales 8.10.3

“During the month of Anthesterion they have many memorial ceremonies for the destruction and ruin brought about by rain, since around that time the Flood happened.” – Plutarch, Life of Sulla 14

“They also introduced laws concerning the comic actors, that there should be a contest in the theater during the Khutroi and that the winner be chosen for the city.” – Plutarch, Life of the Ten Orators 841

Khous is an Attic measure, holding eight kotylai. For those inviting people to a feast used to put out crowns and perfume and hors d’oeuvres and other such things while those who were invited brought stews and a basket and a khous.” – Scholium on Aristophanes’ Acharnians 961

“For at the Khoes there was a contest about drinking a khous first, and the winner was crowned with a leafy crown and got a sack of wine. They drink at the sound of a trumpet. An inflated sack was set as a prize in the festival of Khoes, on which those drinking for the contest stood, and the one drinking first as victor got the winesack. They drank a quantity like a khous.” – Scholium on Aristophanes’ Acharnians 1002

“The Khutroi and Khoes are celebrated in Athens, at which, boiling pansperma in a pot, they sacrifice to Dionysos alone and Hermes.” – Scholium on Aristophanes’ Acharnians 1076

“The King had care of the contest of the khous and gave the prize to the victor, the winesack.” – Scholium on Aristophanes’ Acharnians 1224f

Limnai. A sacred place of Dionysos in which there is a house and shrine of the god.” – Scholium on Aristophanes’ Frogs 216

At the beginning and the end of the pithos. And among the ancestral customs there is a festival Pithoigia, in accord with which it was not proper to keep slave or hired hand from the enjoyment of wine but, having sacrificed, to give all a share of Dionysos’ gift.” – Scholium to Hesiod’s Works and Days 368

“Anthesterion: It is the eighth month amongst the Athenians, sacred to Dionysos. It is so called because most things bloom (anthein) from the earth at that time.” – Suidas s.v. Anthesterion

“And again: Orestes arrived in Athens – it was a festival of Dionysos Lenaios, and since, having murdered his mother, he might not be able to drink with them, something along the following lines was contrived. Having set up pitchers of wine for each of the celebrants he ordered them to drink from it, with no common sharing between them; thus Orestes would not drink from the same bowl [as anyone else] but neither would be vexed by drinking alone. Hence the origin of the Athenian festival of the Pitchers.” – Suidas s.v. Khoes

“Those who had survived the great deluge of Deukalion boiled pots of every kind of seed, and from this the festival gets its name. It is their custom to sacrifice to Hermes Khthonios. No one tastes the pot. The survivors did this in propitiation to Hermes on behalf of those who had died.” – Theopompos, in the Scholia to Aristophanes’ Acharnians 1076

“The Athenians have the custom of sacrificing to none of the Olympians on Khutroi, but to Chthonic Hermes alone. None of the priests may taste the pot which all throughout the city make. With this offering they beseech Hermes on behalf of the dead.” – Theopompos, in the Scholia to Aristophanes’ Frogs 218

“Outside the Acropolis … is the sanctuary of Dionysos in Limnai, for whom the older Dionysia are celebrated on the twelfth in the month Anthesterion, just as also the Ionians descended from the Athenians still customarily do so.” – Thucydides 2.15.4

“In the ancestral festivals of the Greeks askolia and pithoigia were performed in honor of Dionysos, that is, his wine. The askolia happened as followed: placing wine-skins blown up and filled with air on the ground they leapt on them from above with one foot and were carried and they often slipped down and fell to the ground. They did this, as I said, honoring Dionysos, for the wineskin is the skin of a goat and the goat disgraces himself by eating the shoots of the grapevine. The pithoigia was a public symposium for, opening the pithoi, they gave a share of the gift of Dionysos to all.” – Tzetzes on Hesiod’s Works and Days 368

“Some say this proverb was said because of the number of Karian slaves, since they were feasting at the Anthesteria and not working. When the festival ended they said this, sending them out to work. Others maintain that the proverb came about because the Kares once held a part of Attica, and whenever the Athenians held the festival of Anthesteria, they gave them a share of the libations and received them in the city and in their houses, but after the festival, when some of the Kares were left behind in Athens, those who came upon them said the proverb as a joke to them.” – Zenobius s.v. To the door Kares, it’s no longer Anthesteria

Sokrates the Rhodian, History of the Civil War Book 3

“But Cleopatra having met Antony in Cilicia, prepared a royal entertainment, in which every dish was golden and inlaid with precious stones, wonderfully chased and embossed. And the walls were hung with cloths embroidered in gold and purple. And she had twelve triclinia laid; and invited Antony to a banquet, and desired him to bring with him whatever companions he pleased. And he being astonished at the magnificence of the sight, expressed his surprise; and she, smiling, said that she made him a present of everything which he saw, and invited him to sup with her again the next day, and to bring his friends and captains with him. And then she prepared a banquet by far more splendid than the former one, so as to make that first one appear contemptible; and again she presented to him everything that there was on the table; and she desired each of his captains to take for his own the couch on which he lay, and the goblets which were set before each couch. And when they were departing she gave to all those of the highest rank palanquins, with the slaves for palanquin bearers; and to the rest she gave horses, adorned with golden furniture: and to every one she gave Ethiopian boys, to bear torches before them. And on the fourth day she paid more than a talent for roses; and the floor of the chamber for the men was strewed a cubit deep, nets being spread over the blooms. Antony himself, when he was staying at Athens, a short time after this, prepared a very superb scaffold to spread over the theatre, covered with green wood such as is seen in the caves sacred to Bacchus; and from this scaffold he suspended drums and fawn-skins, and all the other toys which one names in connection with Bacchus, and then sat there with his friends, getting drunk from daybreak, a band of musicians, whom he had sent for from Italy, playing to him all the time, and all the Greeks around being collected to see the sight. And presently, he crossed over to the Acropolis, the whole city of Athens being illuminated with lamps suspended from the roof; and after that lie ordered himself to be proclaimed as Bacchus throughout all the cities in that district.” – Sokrates the Rhodian, History of the Civil War Book 3 [Quoted in Athenaios, 4.29]

Plutarch, Life of Antony 26.1-3

“Though Kleopatra received many letters of summons both from Antony himself and from his friends, she was so bold as to sail up the river Cydnus in a barge with gilded poop, its sails spread purple, its rowers urging it on with silver oars to the sound of the flute blended with pipes and lutes. She herself reclined beneath a canopy spangled with gold, adorned like Venus in a painting, while boys like Loves in paintings stood on either side and fanned her. Likewise also the fairest of her serving-maidens, attired like Nereïds and Graces, were stationed, some at the rudder-sweeps, and others at the reefing-ropes. Wondrous odours from countless incense-offerings diffused themselves along the river-banks. Of the inhabitants, some accompanied her on either bank of the river from its very mouth, while others went down from the city to behold the sight. The throng in the market-place gradually streamed away, until at last Antony himself, seated on his tribunal, was left alone. And a rumour spread on every hand that Venus was come to revel with Bacchus for the good of Asia.” – Plutarch, Life of Antony 26.1-3

Plutarch, On Isis and Osiris 364e-365e

“That Osiris is identical with Dionysos who could more fittingly know than yourself, Klea? For you are at the head of the inspired maidens of Delphi, and have been consecrated by your father and mother in the holy rites of Osiris. If, however, for the benefit of others it is needful to adduce proofs of this identity, let us leave undisturbed what may not be told, but the public ceremonies which the priests perform in the burial of the Apis, when they convey his body on an improvised bier, do not in any way come short of a Bacchic procession; for they fasten skins of fawns about themselves, and carry Bacchic wands and indulge in shoutings and movements exactly as do those who are under the spell of the Dionysiac ecstasies. For the same reason many of the Greeks make statues of Dionysos in the form of a bull; and the women of Elis invoke him, praying that the god may come with the hoof of a bull; and the epithet applied to Dionysos among the Argives is ‘Son of the Bull.’ They call him up out of the water by the sound of trumpets, at the same time casting into the depths a lamb as an offering to the Keeper of the Gate. The trumpets they conceal in Bacchic wands, as Socrates has stated in his treatise On The Holy Ones. Furthermore, the tales regarding the Titans and the rites celebrated by night agree with the accounts of the dismemberment of Osiris and his revivification and regenesis. Similar agreement is found too in the tales about their sepulchres. The Egyptians, as has already been stated, point out tombs of Osiris in many places, and the people of Delphi believe that the remains of Dionysos rest with them close beside the oracle; and the Holy Ones offer a secret sacrifice in the shrine of Apollo whenever the devotees of Dionysos wake the God of the Mystic Basket. To show that the Greeks regard Dionysos as the lord and master not only of wine, but of the nature of every sort of moisture, it is enough that Pindar be our witness, when he says ‘May gladsome Dionysos swell the fruit upon the trees, the hallowed splendour of harvest time.’ For this reason all who reverence Osiris are prohibited from destroying a cultivated tree or blocking up a spring of water.” – Plutarch, On Isis and Osiris 364e-365e

Plutarch, Life of Alexander 67.1-3

“Accordingly, after refreshing his forces here, he set out and marched for seven days through Carmania in a revelling rout. He himself was conveyed slowly along by eight horses, while he feasted day and night continuously with his companions on a dais built upon a lofty and conspicuous scaffolding of oblong shape; and wagons without number followed, some with purple and embroidered canopies, others protected from the sun by boughs of trees which were kept fresh and green, conveying the rest of his friends and commanders, who were all garlanded and drinking. Not a shield was to be seen, not a helmet, not a spear, but along the whole march with cups and drinking-horns and flagons the soldiers kept dipping wine from huge casks and mixing-bowls and pledging one another, some as they marched along, others lying down; while pipes and flutes, stringed instruments and song, and revelling cries of women, filled every place with abundant music. Then, upon this disordered and straggling procession there followed also the sports of bacchanalian license, as though Bacchus himself were present and conducting the revel.” – Plutarch, Life of Alexander 67.1-3

Strabo, Geography 17.16

“Canopos is a city situated at a distance of one hundred and twenty stadia from Alexandria if one goes on foot, and was named after Canopos, the pilot of Menelaüs, who died there. It contains the temple of Sarapis which is honored with great reverence and effects such cures that even the most reputable men believe in it and sleep in it — themselves on their own behalf or others for them. Some writers go on to record the cures, and others the virtues of the oracles there. But to balance all this is the crowd of revelers who go down from Alexandria by the canal to the public festivals; for every day and every night is crowded with people on the boats who play the flute and dance without restraint and with extreme licentiousness, both men and women, and also with the people of Canopos itself, who have resorts situated close to the canal and adapted to relaxation and merry-making of this kind.” – Strabo, Geography 17.16

Aelian, On Animals 18.10

“As soon as a report is circulated that the Egyptian god has manifested himself, certain of the sacred scribes, well versed in the mystical marks known to them by tradition, approach the spot where the divine cow has deposited her calf, and there, following the ancient ordinance of Hermes, feed it with milk during four months, in a house facing the rising sun. When this period has passed the sacred scribes and prophets resort to the dwelling of Apis, at the time of the new moon, and placing him in a boat prepared for the purpose convey him to Memphis, where he has a convenient and agreeable abode, with pleasure-grounds and ample space for wholesome exercise. Female companions of his own species are provided for him, the most beautiful that can be found, kept in apartments to which he has access when he wishes. He drinks out of a well or fountain of clear water; for it is not thought right to give him the water of the Nile, which is considered too fattening. It would be tedious to relate what pompous processions and sacred ceremonies the Egyptians perform on the celebration of the rising of the Nile, at the fete of the Theophania in honour of this god, or what dances, festivities, and joyful assemblies are appointed on the occasion, in the towns and in the country. The man from whose herd the divine beast has sprung, is the happiest of mortals, and is looked upon with admiration by all people. Apis is an excellent interpretation of futurity. He does not employ virgins or old women sitting on a tripod, like some other gods, nor require that they should be intoxicated with the sacred potion but inspires boys who play around his stable with a divine impulse, enabling them to pour out predictions in perfect rhythm.” – Aelian, On Animals 18.10

Sulpicius Severus, Life of Saint Martin 12

“Now it came to pass some time later that while Martin was going on a journey he met the body of a certain heathen, which was being carried to the tomb with superstitious funeral rites. Perceiving from a distance the crowd that was approaching, and being ignorant as to what was going on, he stood still for a little while. For there was a distance of nearly half a mile between him and the crowd, so that it was difficult to discover what the spectacle he beheld really was. Nevertheless, because he saw it was a rustic gathering, and when the linen clothes spread over the body were blown about by the action of the wind, he believed that some profane rites of sacrifice were being performed. This thought occurred to him, because it was the custom of the Gallic rustics in their wretched folly to carry about through the fields the images of demons veiled with a white covering. Lifting up, therefore, the sign of the cross opposite to them, he commanded the crowd not to move from the place in which they were, and to set down the burden. Upon this, the miserable creatures might have been seen at first to become stiff like rocks. Next, as they endeavored, with every possible effort, to move forward, but were not able to take a step farther, they began to whirl themselves about in the most ridiculous fashion, until, not able any longer to sustain the weight, they set down the dead body. Thunderstruck, and gazing in bewilderment at each other as not knowing what had happened to them, they remained sunk in silent thought. But when the saintly man discovered that they were simply a band of peasants celebrating funeral rites, and not sacrifices to the gods, again raising his hand, he gave them the power of going away, and of lifting up the body. Thus he both compelled them to stand when he pleased, and permitted them to depart when he thought good.” – Sulpicius Severus, Life of Saint Martin 12

HSCP 82:148

“Bakchai of the City, say ‘Farewell you holy priestess.’ This is what a good woman deserves. She led you to the mountain and carried all the sacred objects and implements, marching in procession before the whole city. Should some stranger ask for her name: Alkmeonis, daughter of Rhodios, who knew her share of the blessings.” – HSCP 82:148

Demosthenes, On the Crown 259-60

“On attaining manhood, you abetted your mother in her initiations and the other rituals, and read aloud from the cultic writings. At night, you mixed the libations, purified the initiates, and dressed them in fawnskins. You cleansed them off with clay and cornhusks, and raising them up from the purification, you led the chant, ‘The evil I flee, the better I find.’ … In the daylight, you led the fine thiasos through the streets, wearing their garlands of fennel and white poplar. You rubbed the fat-cheeked snakes and swung them above your head crying ‘Euoi Saboi’ and dancing to the tune of ‘hues attes, attes hues‘. Old women hailed you ‘Leader’, ‘mysteries instructor’, ‘ivy-bearer’, ‘liknon carrier’, and the like.” – Demosthenes, On the Crown 259-60

Severus of Antioch, Homily 95

“But those who have gone up to Daphne in pagan fashion have had no regard for the truth, which is so terrible and on account of which everything moves and trembles. But in the dark moments of the night they even lit lamps of wax in the stadium and added incense, stealthily bringing about their own destruction; and it was certain strangers, take good note, who informed me of this while trembling and crying. Do you not see the nets of the Calumnator, and his hidden traps, which on the one hand have as a pretext the joy and pleasure at first sight and lead on the other hand to idolatry and the celebration of festivals in some ways criminal and harmful? And are you not ashamed, when we call ourselves Christians, we who were born on high for the purification which comes from the water and the Spirit and call ourselves children of God, to run equally to the solemnities of Satan, which we have renounced by divine baptism? For whenever you change your clothing and afterwards go up to the spactacle, dressed in a tiny linen tunic, which hides the arms but not the hands, waving about a wooden stick and with all skin shaved with a rasor, so to speak – look, is it not quite clear that you have made the procession and participated in the celebration?” – Severus of Antioch, Homily 95

Libanios, Orationes 41.16

“There the theatre led to many deeds contrary to the laws, and some were seized from there and held fast by a few words spoken by a few men. For the love of shouting compels one to be a servant in every respect and among other things to run to Daphne and to hold the festival which brings ten thousand evils to the city. For even young men endowed with prudence who go up there return having cast it aside. Having witnessed these things, it seems to me, a good emperor suppressed the practice, but it grew up again; and it takes place with some giving the orders, and you leading the way and helping in this felicitous enterprise. For five days or more the procession going up there is seen to continue, with a lack of shame, some of which reflects on the participants, and some on you. And how would you answer if someone were to ask you now as you come back from that varied drunkenness, to what were you devoting so much time?” – Libanios, Orationes 41.16

Herodotos, The Histories 2.47-49

“The rest of the festival of Dionysos is observed by the Egyptians much as it is by the Greeks, except for the dances; but in place of the phallos, they have invented the use of puppets two feet high moved by strings, the male member nodding and nearly as big as the rest of the body, which are carried about the villages by women; a flute-player goes ahead, the women follow behind singing of Dionysos. Why the male member is so large and is the only part of the body that moves, there is a sacred legend that explains. Now then, it seems to me that Melampos son of Amytheon was not ignorant of but was familiar with this sacrifice. For Melampos was the one who taught the Greeks the name of Dionysos and the way of sacrificing to him and the phallic procession; he did not exactly unveil the subject taking all its details into consideration, for the teachers who came after him made a fuller revelation; but it was from him that the Greeks learned to bear the phallos along in honor of Dionysos, and they got their present practice from his teaching. I say, then, that Melampos acquired the prophetic art, being a discerning man, and that, besides many other things which he learned from Egypt, he also taught the Greeks things concerning Dionysos, altering few of them; for I will not say that what is done in Egypt in connection with the god and what is done among the Greeks originated independently: for they would then be of an Hellenic character and not recently introduced. Nor again will I say that the Egyptians took either this or any other custom from the Greeks.” – Herodotos, The Histories 2.47-49

Demosthenes, Against Meidias 51-54

Now if I had not been chorus-master, men of Athens, when I was thus maltreated by Meidias, it is only the personal insult that one would have condemned; but under the circumstances I think one would be justified in condemning also the impiety of the act. You surely realize that all your choruses and hymns to the god are sanctioned, not only by the regulations of the Dionysia, but also by the oracles, in all of which, whether given at Delphi or at Dodona, you will find a solemn injunction to the State to set up dances after the ancestral custom, to fill the streets with the savour of sacrifice, and to wear garlands.

Please take and read the actual oracles.

“Oracles You I address, Pandion’s townsmen and sons of Erechtheus,
who appoint your feasts by the ancient rites of your fathers.
See you forget not Bacchus, and joining all in the dances
Down your broad-spaced streets, in thanks for the gifts of the season,
Crown each head with a wreath, while incense reeks on the altars.
For health sacrifice and pray to Zeus Most High, to Heracles, and to Apollo the Protector; for good fortune to Apollo, god of the streets, to Leto, and to Artemis; and along the streets set wine-bowls and dances, and wear garlands after the manner of your fathers in honor of all gods and all goddesses of Olympus, raising right hands and left in supplication, and remember your gifts.”

“Oracles from Dodona
To the people of the Athenians the prophet of Zeus announces. Whereas ye have let pass the seasons of the sacrifice and of the sacred embassy, he bids you send nine chosen envoys, and that right soon. To Zeus of the Ship sacrifice three oxen and with each ox three sheep; to Dione one ox and a brazen table for the offering which the people of the Athenians have offered.

The prophet of Zeus in Dodona announces. To Dionysus pay public sacrifices and mix a bowl of wine and set up dances; to Apollo the Averter sacrifice an ox and wear garlands, both free men and slaves, and observe one day of rest; to Zeus, the giver of wealth, a white bull.”

Besides these oracles, men of Athens, there are many others addressed to our city, and excellent oracles they are. Now what conclusion ought you to draw from them? That while they prescribe the sacrifices to the gods indicated in each oracle, to every oracle that is published they add the injunction to set up dances and to wear garlands after the manner of our ancestors.

– Demosthenes, Against Midias 51-54

Clement of Alexandria, Stromata 6.14

“For the Egyptians pursue a philosophy of their own. This is principally shown by their sacred ceremonial. For first advances the Singer, bearing some one of the symbols of music. For they say that he must learn two of the books of Hermes, the one of which contains the hymns of the gods, the second the regulations for the king’s life. And after the Singer advances the Astrologer, with a horologe in his hand, and a palm, the symbols of astrology. He must have the astrological books of Hermes, which are four in number, always in his mouth. Of these, one is about the order of the fixed stars that are visible, and another about the conjunctions and luminous appearances of the sun and moon; and the rest respecting their risings. Next in order advances the sacred Scribe, with wings on his head, and in his hand a book and rule, in which were writing ink and the reed, with which they write. And he must be acquainted with what are called hieroglyphics, and know about cosmography and geography, the position of the sun and moon, and about the five planets; also the description of Egypt, and the chart of the Nile; and the description of the equipment of the priests and of the places consecrated to them, and about the measures and the things in use in the sacred rites. Then the Stole-keeper follows those previously mentioned, with the cubit of justice and the cup for libations. He is acquainted with all points called Paedeutic (relating to training) and Moschophatic (sacrificial). There are also ten books which relate to the honour paid by them to their gods, and containing the Egyptian worship; as that relating to sacrifices, first-fruits, hymns, prayers, processions, festivals, and the like. And behind all walks the Prophet, with the water-vase carried openly in his arms; who is followed by those who carry the issue of loaves. He, as being the governor of the temple, learns the ten books called “Hieratic;” and they contain all about the laws, and the gods, and the whole of the training of the priests. For the Prophet is, among the Egyptians, also over the distribution of the revenues. There are then forty-two books of Hermes indispensably necessary; of which the six-and-thirty containing the whole philosophy of the Egyptians are learned by the forementioned personages; and the other six, which are medical, by the Pastophoroi (image-bearers), — treating of the structure of the body, and of diseases, and instruments, and medicines, and about the eyes, and the last about women. Such are the customs of the Egyptians, to speak briefly.” – Clement of Alexandria, Stromata 6.14

Historia Monachorum in Aegypto 8.25

“There was a huge temple in one of the villages which housed a very famous idol, though in reality this image was nothing but a wooden statue. The priests together with the people, working themselves up into a bacchic frenzy, used to carry it in procession through the villages, no doubt for the ceremony to ensure the flooding of the Nile.” – Historia Monachorum in Aegypto 8.25