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Ancient History and Religion with Peter Eyland

Ancient Greek Religion Glossary C -> E




Buxton p284



To place among the stars. From Greek "astêr" = star
The metamorphosis of a mortal into a constellation in the sky.
The astronomer Eratosthenes (3rd century BCE) wrote a (lost) prose work, the Catasterismi, on the origins of the constellations.

Neils p53



A festival at which Athena’s new peplos was begun. 10 months before the Plynteria

Neils p185


χάρις ἇ , ἡ

grace; the idea of reciprocity underlies this
I. in objective sense, outward grace or fauour, beauty, prop. of persons or their portraits,
2. glory,
II. in subjective sense, grace or favour felt, whether on the part of the doer or the receiver
1. on the part of the doer, grace, kindness, goodwill, for or towards one ; partiality, favour,
2. more freq. on the part of the receiver, sense of favour received, thankfulness, gratitude,
3. favour, influence, opp. force,
4. love-charm, philtre,
III. in concrete sense, a favour done or returned, boon,
b. grant made in legal form
2. esp. in erotic sense, of favours granted
IV. gratification, delight, in or from a thing,
V. "daimonôn charis" homage due to them, their worship, majesty,
2. thank-offering, "euktaia charis tinos", opp. a common gift,
VI. Special usages:
1. acc. sg. as Adv., "charis tinos" in any one's favour, for his pleasure, for his sake,
b. as Prep., sts. before its case, for the sake of, on behalf of, on account of,
2. with Preps.:
a. "eis charin" to do a pleasure,
b. alone, as a favour, freely
c. to decide from partiality to one; but also, for one's gratification, pleasure, gratefully
d. to be pleasing to one,
e. of pure good will
VII. metaph. of the cypress; of some kind of myrtle; of salt
B. "hê Charis" Charis, wife of Hephaestus, the three Graces; attendants of Aphrodite,




personification of charm & beauty in nature (Graces - joy; bloom; brilliance)

Buxton p202

Charon’s gate


gate from Athen’s prison for condemned prisoners

Buxton p286



a polis subdividion

Buxton p43

Chiton (Doric)


The later part of the 5th century also sees the return of the Peplos, now called the Doric Chiton.
This fashion is wider than the Peplos (an earlier version of the Chiton) and is usually of a lightweight fabric.
It still has an Apotygma, the deep overfold and occasionally sleeves are formed.
It can be worn closed on both sides or worn open on one full side. The open style is more closely associated with the women of Sparta.
Spartan women appear to have favored wearing it completely open on the left side.
It earned them and the style the vulgar euphemism meaning "shows her bare thigh"! But the Spartans as a people seem to have been much more accustomed to showing nudity outside the Gymnasium or military than the Athenians.


Chiton (Ionic)


The Ionic Chiton, which must have had its origins somewhere in the Archaic Period, is similar to the Peplos. It too, begins as a rectangle woven to size for the wearer. It is a more sophisticated garment and often appears both more sheer and fuller than the Peplos. More importantly, it has no overfold.
The excess length is bloused over the girdle and may be as deep as the hips. The shoulders are then fastened with a series of small pins along the top edge, forming a unique sleeved garment.
This drawing shows the amount of fullness being controlled by the girdle and forming the sleeves.
In this instance there is no Kolpos formed from excess length



χοῦς, ὁ

wine jug, Pitcher feast
"ho chus, a measure of capacity = 12 kotulai
II. = sumbolê
2. name of a society or club
III. "hoi choes", the Pitcher-feast, a name given to the second day of the Anthesteria

Buxton p206; LSJ


χρημα, ατος

money making (<chrêma money) ie local "aristocratic" games gave money prizes as opposed to Panhellenic "crown" games

Neils p107 115



Chryse was an island not far from Lemnos. Pausanias says that later Chryse sank into the sea.
Pausanias 8.33.4; Homer Iliad 1.37, 100, 431, 451.
"Chrysêis" Daughter of Chryses, priest of Apollo at Chrysé, and taken prisoner by Achilles at the capture of Lyrnessus or the Hypoplacian Thebes.
In the distribution of the booty she was given to Agamemnon.
Her father Chryses came to the camp of the Greeks to solicit her ransom, but was repulsed by Agamemnon with harsh words.
Apollo sent a plague into the camp of the Greeks, and Agamemnon was obliged to restore her to her father to appease the anger of the god.
Her proper name was Astynomé.

Buxton p206; Harpers Dict.

Classical Period


479 BCE (end of Persian wars) to 323 BCE (death of Alexander)

H & P p17



(1) A tyrant of Sicyon, who in BCE 595 aided the Amphictyons in the Sacred War against Cirra, which ended in the destruction of that city. He was a resolute enemy of the Dorians, and in that spirit waged war on Argos. (See Herod. v. 67; vi. 125; Thuc.i. 18).
(2) An Athenian, the son of Megacles and Agarista. He was the head of the Alcmaeonid family, and was opposed by Isagoras and the nobles; but by the support of the people reformed the constitution of the State upon a democratic basis.
His changes were
(1) the establishment of ten instead of four tribes, and the division into demes (see Demus);
(2) the introduction of ostracism (see Ostracismus);
(3) the revival of election by lot;
(4) the weakening of the power of the Heliastic court (see Dicastes).
In spite of the interference of the Spartans under Cleomenes, these changes were finally established (BCE. 508). Of the later years of the life of Clisthenes, nothing definite is known. ( Herod.v. 63-73; and vi. 131; arist. )Aq. Pol . 20Arist., 21Arist., 41.)

Buxton p59; Harpers Dict.



person having the same age, existing at the same epoch; of same duration or date of origin [<Latin co aevus "equal age" ]

Neils p46; ACOD



Thuc 1.126.4



δαιμόνιον , τό

divine Power, Divinity
II. inferior divine being
2. evil spirit

Buxton p183; LSJ

Dark Ages (Greek)


11th - 8th century BCE. Obscure period of Greek history following the collapse of the Mycenaean civilization ending with the Ionian renaissance

H & P p.1036

de facto


Latin: in fact; actually; as a matter of fact but not necessarily de jure




carriers of meat offerings

Buxton p43



fear of the gods; religiosity

Buxton p214



Buxton p20



township, district (from dêmos)



δῆμος , ὁ

district, country, land,
2. the people, inhabitants of such a district,
II. hence (since the common people lived in the country, the chiefs in the city), the commons, common people; in an army, rank and file, opp. officers,
2. metaph., "dêmos ichthuôn" Antiph. 206.7 ; "tyrannôn" Philostr.VS1.15.1 ; "pithêkôn" Id.VA3.4 ; "orneôn" [p. 387] Alciphr.3.30.
III. in a political sense, the sovereign people, the free citizens,
2. popular government, democracy, opp. "oligarchiê", Hdt.3.82; opp. "hoi tyrannoi",
3. the popular assembly,
IV. township, commune ( = Dor. "kômê"),
V. name for a prostitute
VI. faction in the circus,
VII. = "katanagkê"

Buxton p41; LSJ



civic as opposed to private (idios)

Neils p103, 104

dêmotelê hiera

δημοτελής , ές

rites financed by and on the authority of the polis
"dêmotelês" at the public cost, "thusiê" ; "heortê panagurin damotelhê" (sic) ; "dêmotelês hiera telein"
2. with public authority, sovereign
II. epith. of Demeter,

Buxton p42; LSJ



dêmotikos [<dêmos ]
I. of or for the people, in common use, common, "dêmotikos grammata" in Egypt, opp. to the hieroglyphics, Hdt.
II. of the populace, one of them, Lat. plebeius, Xen., Dem.
2. on the popular or democratic side, Lat. popularis, Ar., Thuc., etc.: adv. "kôs" , affably, kindly, Dem.

Buxton p43; LSJ


δίαυλος , ὁ

double pipe or channel: usually in the race, double course,
b. "diaulos hiêppos",
2. metaph., "kampsai diaulou thateron kôlon palin" to run the homeward course, retrace one's steps,
ebb and flow, rise and fall of the waves, "ekperit rechein diaulous" to run to and fro;
of a wife's return to her husband, Anaxandr.56.4.

Neils p97; LSJ


δῖνος , ὁ

whirling, rotation, such as Anaxagoras held to be the effect of "nous" as the regulator of the Universe, Clem.Al.Strom.2.14 (pl.);
2. eddy, whirlpool
3. a dance
II. vertigo
III. round threshing-floor
IV. round goblet

Neils p117; LSJ



"Of the loud war cry" Youngest and one of the most effective Greek warriors in the Trojan war. He wounded both Ares and Aphrodite (Iliad book 5)

Buxton p24; 62, H & P p.1036


δίϕρος , ὁ

chariot-board, on which two could stand, the driver ["heniochos"] and the combatant [paraibatês]
2. chariot,
II. seat, couch, stool; judge's seat of office, LXX 1 Ki.1.9, al.; royal throne, OGI199.38 (i A. D.); night-stool, Aristid.Or.49(25).19.

Neils p185; LSJ



Plural of "dipinto", a painted inscription

Neils p117

disiecta membra


scattered members - see Horace Satires 1.iv.62

Buxton p198; Guinagh



A guide to present action - not to satify curiosity about the future because often about a past offence. Passes judgement on possibilities presented

Buxton p77

do ut des


Latin: I give in order to be given to - reciprocity

Buxton p223



foot race

Neils p97



gifts as opposed to wages

Neils p107



a course; race at the Panathenaia

Buxton p181; A-S; Neils p97, 117

egkoimesis or egkatakoimesis


incubation ie sleep in a dormitory

Buxton p222

egkoimeterion or enkoimeterion


dormitory in a sanctuary of Aesklepios

Buxton p199



a kind of May tree

Buxton p291



Starting point of the procession to Eleusis

Buxton p27; Neils p81



City near Athens

Buxton p27


ἐμπόριον , τό

trading-station, mart, factory
b. market-centre for a district which had no po/lij
2. "to emporion", at Athens, the Exchange, where the merchants resorted, foreign merchants,
II. "ta emporia", pl. merchandise

Buxton p17; LSJ


ἔϕηβος, ὁ ἥβἠ

one arrived at adolescence (i. e. the age of 18 years ; in Persia 16 or 17 years)
:generally, boy
2. young girl, Hsch.
II. kind of cup, Steph.Com.1.5, Philem.Lex. ap. Ath.11.469a.
III. throw of the dice, AP7.427.5 (Antip. Sid.).
IV. a woman's shoe, Herod.7.61.



ἐϕηβεία , ἡ

military training (for 18 - 20 yr old men) with initiatory overtones
"hê ephêbeia", youth, adolescence.
2. ephebic training.
3. body of "ephêboi"



ἐπινίκια, τά

sacrifice for a victory or feast in honour of it.
b. (sc. "athla" ) prize of victory,

Neils p96; LSJ




Buxton p216


ἐρανιστής , οῦ , ὁ

members of or contributors to an "eranos", member of an "eranos"

Buxton p194; LSJ


ἔρανος , ὁ

a meal to which each contributed his share, picnic,
2. generally, feast, festival ; wedding-banquet,
II. loan raised by contributions for the benefit of an individual, bearing no interest, but recoverable at law, in instalments,
2. metaph.: generally, favour, service, esp. one which brings a return,
III. a permanent association apparently religious in character, functioning as a friendly society

Buxton p194




Buxton p31



"Thresher" (< erechthô) autochthonic king who sprang from the plowland of Attika (along with Kekrops)

Neils p9



crafts: Athena as goddess of Crafts

Neils p118



Women who wove the tapestry of Athena’s peplos

Neils p79



"He of the very earth" eri- chthôn. earth-born king of Athens. Founding hero of the Panathenaia.
Hephaistos chased Athene to mate. In his passionate haste, he ejaculated on the ground and Erichthonios was born.
Athena put him in a chest and asked the three daughters of Kekrops not to look in the chest. Aglauros and Herse looked in the chest and saw that Erichthonios was half sanke and threw themselves off the Akropolis. The third daughter Pandrosos survived. Athena then cared for the child.

Neils p62


ἐσχάρα, ἡ

hearth, fire-place, like "hestia"; of suppliants
2. pan of coals, brazier
3. watch-fires of the camp,
II. sacrificial hearth (hollowed out in the ground and so dist. from "bômos", structural altar,
III. fire-stick
IV. platform, stand, basis,
2. grating
V. Medic., scab, eschar on a wound caused by burning or otherwise

Buxton p40; LSJ


ἐθνη , ων , τὰ

plural of "ethnos", foreign, barbarous nations, opp. "Hellênes"; at Athens, athletic clubs of non-Athenians, non-Jews, Gentiles

Buxton p16


ἔθνος , εος, το

Tribal state
number of people living together, company, body of men, band of comrades, host of men; of particular tribes; of animals, swarms, flocks, etc., of the Erinyes
2. after Hom., nation, people. ("genos" being a subdivision of "ethnos" )
c. at Rome, = provinciae,
3. class of men, caste, tribe; trade-associations or guilds; class in respect to rank or station,
4. sex, "thêlu, "arren ethnos".
5. part, member
II. of a single person, a relation

Buxton p13; LSJ



Picked men from each phylia compete. Beautiful men contest to determine who dances in the first rank (protochorein). It may have been a chorus.
Literally "an abundance of good men and true"

Neils p97, 98



financial gifts or endowments from individuals to the city for education, athletics or buildings

Neils p108, 118



a good state of arms and equipment. A military parade of general smartness and equipment  possibly for juniors with "euandria" for seniors.

Neils p97




Neils p100

ex voto


Latin: In fulfilment of a vow or promise. As an adjective it refers to an offering made to a shrine or to a philanthropic or pious cause.

Buxton p191; Guinagh



expounders interpreters

Buxton p40

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