Ionian festivals

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Festivals constitutive of the Ionians on several levels of identity.

Festivals which were specific to the Athenian and Ionian festival‐calendars were already in antiquity used as an argument for a common origin; they date back to before the Ionian migra‐tion (10th cent. bc). They include Anthesteria, Apaturia, Lenaea, Plynteria, Pyanopsia, and Thargelia. The Anthesteria attest a cult of Dionysus already before the emigration. Exceptionally, common rituals confirm the connection, such as the expulsion of the pharmakos at the Thargelia.

The Ionians themselves articulated their identity in two festivals. In the Archaic period, first the Cycladic (see cyclades), then later all Ionians met at the festival of Delian Apollo. See delos. The (mainly Anatolian) Ionian cities held their common festival, the Panionia, in the Panionium, a sanctuary of Poseidon Heliconios in the territory of Priene.

Subjects: Classical Studies.

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