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Aitia, Astronomy and the Timing of the Arrhephoria

Boutsikas, Efrosyni, Hannah, Robert (2012) Aitia, Astronomy and the Timing of the Arrhephoria. Annual of the British School at Athens, 107 . pp. 233-245. ISSN 0068-2454. (doi:10.1017/S0068245411000141) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided. (Contact us about this Publication)
Official URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0068245411000141

Abstract

This paper deals with the cult and myths of the daughters of the mythical king of Athens, Erechtheus, who lived on the Acropolis. The myth, preserved in Euripides’ tragedy Erechtheus, establishes the deceased daughters as goddesses who are owed cult by the Athenians. It further equates them with the Hyades, a prominent star cluster in the constellation of Taurus, which they form after their deaths. We examine here the possibility that this myth not only narrates the placement of the girls after their death in the sky in the form of the Hyades, but also may have bound the constellation to certain festivals held on the Acropolis, which through their aetiological myths were connected to the daughters of Erechtheus and in which the participation of young girls (arrhe?phoroi) was important. To explicate this cult, we explore its context on the Acropolis as fully as possible, through the visual arts, the literary myth, the festival calendar, and the natural landscape and night sky, so as to determine whether the movement of the Hyades was indeed visible from the Acropolis during the time when the young maiden cult rites were performed on the hill. This study investigates for the first time the role of the night sky and astronomical observations in the performance of the nocturnal festival of the Arrhe?phoria.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1017/S0068245411000141
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DE The Greco-Roman World
P Language and Literature > PA Classical philology
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of European Culture and Languages > Classical and Archaeological Studies
Depositing User: Efrosyni Boutsikas
Date Deposited: 13 Oct 2014 12:10 UTC
Last Modified: 05 Nov 2019 19:08 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/43286 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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