Ancients' feasts, games and rituals AMALIADA (Town) ILIA - GTP + Greek Travel Pages

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Ancients' feasts, games and rituals (2)

Festivals for gods and gods' deeds


ILIS (Ancient city) ILIA
Festival of Dionysus at Elis.


The Heraea of Elis were celebrated every fifth year, or in the fourth year of every Olympiad. (Corsini, Dissert. iii. 30.) The festival was chiefly celebrated by maidens, and conducted by sixteen matrons who wove the sacred peplus for the goddess. But before the solemnities commenced, these matrons sacrificed a pig, and purified themselves in the well Piera (Paus. v. 16,5). One of the principal solemnities was a race of the maidens in the stadium, for which purpose they were divided into three classes, according to their age. The youngest ran first and the oldest last. Their only dress on this occasion was a chiton, which came down to the knee, and their hair was floating. She who won the prize received a garland of oliveboughs, together with a part of a cow which was sacrificed to Hera, and might dedicate her own painted likeness in the temple of the goddess. The sixteen matrons were attended by as many female attendants, and performed two dances; the one called the dance of Physcoa, the other the dance of Hippodameia. Respecting further particulars, and the history of this solemnity, see Paus. v. 16,2; Hermann, Gottesd. Alterth.51, n. 3.

This extract is from: A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890) (eds. William Smith, LLD, William Wayte, G. E. Marindin). Cited April 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

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