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Apaturia


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An Ionian festival. Acc. to Herodotus, Ionians are all those who ‘derive from Athens and celebrate the festival Apaturia. All Ionians celebrate it except Ephesians and Colophonians.’ Almost all details are known from Athens. It is unique among Greek festivals in its special association with a particular social grouping, the phratry: the phratries celebrated it, in the autumn month Pyanopsion, at their separate centres throughout Attica, and its main function was to enrol new phratry members (who by this registration acquired a title to citizenship). It lasted three days, called (1) Dorpia, from the ‘dinner’ the phratores held together on assembling in the evening; (2) Anarrhysis, from the ‘drawing back’ of the necks of the victims sacrificed to Zeus Phratrios and Athena Phratria that day; (3) Koureōtis, the day of admission‐sacrifices brought by the relatives of prospective new members: if the phratores ate of the animal, the candidate was thereby acknowledged. Three types of admission‐sacrifice are known, the occasions of which appear to have been: ‘lesser’, a preliminary offering made during early childhood; ‘hair‐cutting’, on entry to the ephebate; ‘marriage offering’, brought by newly‐married phratores on behalf of their wives.

(1) Dorpia, from the ‘dinner’ the phratores held together on assembling in the evening; (2) Anarrhysis, from the ‘drawing back’ of the necks of the victims sacrificed to Zeus Phratrios and Athena Phratria that day; (3) Koureōtis, the day of admission‐sacrifices brought by the relatives of prospective new members: if the phratores ate of the animal, the candidate was thereby acknowledged.

Subjects: Classical Studies.


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