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Heortai, Panygereis

Subject Religion

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631181392.1995.x


[ xvi ] Greek festivals, in honour of one or more deities. Heortai were festivals within the city state, such as polis (city-state) festivals, and deme (‘borough’) festivals; panygereis were of inter-state importance. Cities sent embassies to each others’ festivals and to the panygereis. Religious calendars varied between cities. Some heortai were peculiar to one city, others were celebrated by all (e.g. the Thesmophoria , in honour of Demeter and Kore ( see T heoi ; M ysteria )); yet others were celebrated by certain ethnic groups (e.g. the Karneia were celebrated by the Dorians in honour of Apollo ( see T heoi) ). Each festival was a nexus of R ites spread over one or more days. These always included sacrifices, with feasts, processions, dances and songs (mostly narrating myths). In addition, they often included agones , competitions, musical and/or sporting. Tragedies (and comedies) were produced at dramatic competitions during the Athenian festivals of Dionysos. Many other rites (e.g. offering a robe to a deity, cleansing a statue, sacred ploughing, obscene behaviour) were also performed in some festivals. The greatest panygereis were the four Panhellenic agones. The Olympia (Olympic Games), the earliest and greatest, were in honour of Zeus ( see T heoi ) and involved a Panhellenic truce. The Pythia, founded in 582 bce , were held at Delphi ( see ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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