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CLA219H1 Lecture Notes - Panathenaic Games, Greco-Roman Mysteries, Bacchanalia

Course Code
Regina Höschele

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Lecture 8 (11/06/12):
Women and Ritual
- Contrast with the rest of the course, women have an important role in religion
- These women would get rations and part of the sacrificial meat, etc.
- Female goddesses needed female attendants, priestesses looked after temples like
women looked after the home
- Sometimes dates were given by the year in a reign of a priestess
- There were many different places a woman could take a religious job throughout her
life and in different cults
- Women would be at the front of religious processions
- Gentilician Priesthood: a priesthood restricted to a particular family or tribe
- Priests of Athena Polias or Poseidon Erechtheus are restricted to the Eteoboutdai
- Story of the Eteoboutdai being decedents of the original priest leader Boutes (brother
of Erechtheus)
- Democratic Priesthoods could be given by inheritance, allotment, election /
appointment, or purchase
- Even in the democratic priesthoods only the people of certain standing and wealth
would be eligible
- Priests must be healthy in body and mind and have no deformities, perfect like the
- Athena Polias is Athena in the aspect of protector of the city, very important to Athens
- The early kings of Athens are portrayed as being snake from the waist down
- Arrephoria: the carrying of the secrets
- Two Athenian girls of good families between 7 - 11 lived on the acropolis and wove the
peplos for the statue of Athena
- Kanephoros: The basket bearer, lead the procession, only given to unmarried women
- Given a random basket and nobody knows what's in it, take it down a tunnel into the
sanctuary of Aphrodite and brought something back that they weren't allowed to know
what was in it either
- Erechthonius born of the ground from Hephaestus' sperm when he tried to rape
Athena, gave a basket to Cecrops' daughters, Herse, Aglaurus, and Pandrosus, and told
them not to open it. They did and they were so scared that they jumped off the acropolis
and died
- Something to do with sexual initiation because of snakes (phallic symbols) and the
temple of Aphrodite
- Parthenon frieze depicting Athena's peplos and the procession of the Panathenaea
- Arkteia: A festival for bears celebrated at Brauron in the sanctuary of Artemis
- Artemis is a virgin goddess associated with maidens and transition
- Happened every 4 years and only the daughters of Athenian citizens could attend
- There was a 20 km procession from Athens to Brauron and things like dancing and
races, etc.
- Bears get involved because of a curse by Artemis about a bear, they wore bear masks
at the event
- Brauron is still in Attica
- The procession went from the acropolis to the temple of Artemis
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