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Regina Hoeschele

Women and Ritual CLA219H1 November 6 2012 *no class next week Picture: vestal virgin Euripides - from the play ‘The Captive Malnippe’ - says that women play the most important role in holy services Quite a contrast to the roles that we have seen women play thus far in the course. But in religious ceremonies women actually had quite important roles priestesses considered very important. - share of sacrificial meat - skins of sacrificial animal - sometimes would date the year based on priestess - their reign Why is it that women had an importance in ritual? Because female dietys require female cult attendants also analogy made between temple and a house > woman looks after house, therefore woman look after temple - there is cleaning/cooking that needs to be done - there were several options for women to get involved with religious roles: Aristophones quote.. about the different religious roles women played during their lives: Aletris - corn grinder for the goddess - deal w sacred bread Kanephoros - would carry basket in sacrificial processions (carry grains etc.) - would be a front of processions > quite diff than what we are used to when looking at womens roles in antiquity Gentilician priesthoods Eteoboutadai genos Athena Polias - athena and her role as gaurdian of the city - a priesthood in athens (athenas city) - drawn from the eteoboutadai genos family grouping - why? - from story of Pandion/Boutes/Erechtheus - story says when pandion died erechthues got kingdom and boutes got the priesthood > the eteoboutadai family claim to descend from Boutes, thus they have right to priest- hood. Pandion an early king of athens, those are his two sons. when dies, Boutes inher- its priesthood. Pandion, Boutes, Erechtheus Paths to priesthoods: inheritance, allotment, election/appointment, purchase How would you become a Priestess? (in GREECE) Democratic Priesthood -had to be free person, not for slaves etc. but not open to every- one.. - some priesthoods inherited - some allotted (put everyones name and draw a name out - the god would choose who would win). But in order to have your name in have to have welath, from good family etc. not open to everyone - election/ appointment - even if elected had to pay a fee (so you would need money) - Purchasing of priesthood- obv need money. * also have to be Healthy, of sound body, and free from physical defects (the god are perfect, so you must be too) Different Festivals/Rituals: Arrhephoria - athenian festival. phoria - to do with carrying / arrhe -secrets = Arrhepho- ria means - ‘the carrying of secrets (or secret things)’ - Erichthonius - Cecrops: daughters Herse, Aglaurus, Pandrosus Ritual: - girls of good athenian families live on acropolis for a year with priestess of athenia po- lias - help to weave new robe for statue of athena in parthenon - weave a peplos. - also, they would carry ‘something’ (the secret) - the girls didn't know what they where carrying either! - had to carry it through underground corridor to the sanctuary of Eros and Aphrodite - they would leave the basket there and pick up a new basket there (no idea what is in this one either..) and carry it back to Acropolis History behind the ritual: - this ritual is connected to - Hephaestus tried to rape athena (virgin goddess) - he ejaculates on her thigh - she wipes it off with wool and drops it on the ground, Erichthonius was born from this semen on the ground Cecrops (the snake dude in picture) had 3 daughters. - athena gave them a basket and told them not to look inside - but they did - inside was the baby erichthonius with snakes... - they were so scared of it they jumped of acropolis and died ‘Arrhephoria’ - connected to sexual initiation - the snake like ‘cecrops’ - snake a phallic symbol - also they bring basket to sanctuary of Aphrodite who is goddess of love and lust. Arkteia ‘arktos’ - bear - celbrates at Brauron in sanctuary of Artemis Brauronia> a festival for Artemis - Artemis a virgin goddess who looked over female life transitions - from maidenhood to womanhood etc. - Brauron is place in Attica - the region close to Athens (20 km) Ritual: - the Arketia would happen every four yrs - only daughters of athenian citizens could partake - would make an procession from to Athens to Brauron(20km) - when they got there they would dance (artemis associated with dancing) - wear saffron colored robes, races would wear bear masks .. History behind ritual: they were called bears b/c the myth is that Artemis had a bear - there was a little girl playing with the bear and it scratched her.. people killed artemis’ bear in response - the bear was sacred to Artemis, so she was obviously angry and sent a plague - said the plague could only be removed if little girls pretended to be bears. Anthesteria a spring festival celebrated on 3 days: Pithoigia Choes (chous) Chytroi --> these are the names of the three days - slaves could participate - this festival about wine and drinking (associated with Dionysus - god of wine/celebra- tion) - 1st day: Pithoigia - ‘the opening of the jars’ > they would go to temple of Dionysus and open jars - 2nd day: Choes (chous) - ‘libations’ and the vessel used to make libations > a day of pollution - people would gather at home and paint their doors black, eat in silence and drink a lot - every person (incl. slaves) would ahve their own pitcher of wine (2.5 litres) - mixed with water, but still a lot of alcohol - children (when 3) would get their first pitcher of wine - but it was smaller.. That was their initiation into the family This ceremony has to do with sacrifice? wine = blood = sacrifice - the god dionysus ( who wastorn apart and eaten by titans) - wine could be blood of Dionysus - once everyones very drunk, they would put wreath on their jars of wine and make a procession to temple of Dionysus - 14 women appointed at temple of Dionysus- called the Gerarai ‘ the venerable ones’ - would take an oath to bound themselves together (don’t know exactly what they did but preformed some sacred function) - in charge of them was the Basilinna, wife of Archon Basileus (important athenian magistrate - ‘the king magistrate’). Basilinna would go through sacred marriage with Dionysus - have sex with person dressed as Dionysus? - 3rd day: Chytroi - means ‘pots’ > would cook up grains and make offering to Hermes of the Dead - hermes associated with underworld - this day about death - on this day girls would swing happily on swings.. Why? because of stroy of Erigone, daughter of Icarius - Icarius the first person to whom Dionysus gave wine - Icarius gave the wine to other guys, but thought they’d been poisoned (never been drunk before) - killed Icarius - his daughter finds his body and hung herself. - so girls in this festival swing on swings joyfully because there is an association be- tween hanging yourself and swinging.. Adonis - a mortal lover of aphrodite.. - very goodlooking - he was gored by boar - he went out hunting (even though aphrodite told him not to) and he was gored by a boar.. Hellenistic period Poem: from Bion - Lament for Adonis’- Aphrodite talking about how sad she is about him dying Adonia - in summer - not officially organized by city - more informally organized among women (friend family neighbours)- ONLY WOMEN - would gather to lament for adonis - would lament on rooftops.. grow ‘gardens of ado- nis’ - wail about his beauty and sadness that he died. - would grow plants, and deliberately let them die.. once they were dead they would throw them into the sea ( a mock funeral for) - a somewhat liberating festival because women got to lament for this beautiful guy Thesmophoria ‘thesmophoris’ - means law giver lawgiver - this is DEMETER (CERES) - her daughter Persephone Themophoria - a festival for Demeter and Persephone helds in the fall right before crops were sown restricted to mature women, married women - not young girls .. (maybe because demester is a mature goddess) - also older women had had children - proven their fertil- ity and this festival about fertility 3 day festival: 1st day: Anodos - the first day - ‘ascent’ > going up - women would come from all over Attica and climb up hill called Pnyx - assembly would take place at top - bring food, animals etc 2nd day Nesteia - fasting and mourning - just like demeter mourned persephone - when she mourned persephone she fasted.. so in this stage of festival the women sit around statue of demeter and fast 3rd day - Kalligeneia - means ‘well born’ or ‘good birth’ - day of celebrations, joking, play. - connected to the connection between Demeter and Iambe - women who made Deme- ter laugh while she was mourning for persephone (told crude dirty jokes etc) - would take piglets and throw them into pits in the ground - they would have cakes shaped like penises .. throw those in with piglets .. let the piglets rot... and then use them as fertilizer for the crops.. - why pigs? supposedly when persephone was being dragged down to underworld there was a herd of pigs nearby and they got dragged down to underworld too. play by aristophones - ‘thesmophoriazusae’ - means: ‘the women who celebrate the thesmophoria’ the plot: the playwright Euripides is afraid that women whoa re celbrating thesmophoria are going to kill him because he is misogynist - has a friend infiltrate the festival dressed as women and tell stroies about being terrible / how women are crazy like eu- ripies... he is found out.. takes a women’s ba
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