Saturday, February 7, 2009

Corrections to Anthesteria Post

Oops, I got an email from a friend who pointed out I made a few errors in my previous post on Anthesteria. I claim clouded brain from illness, but need to correct things. Let's see...

I said:
It was a day when Hecate opened wide the gates of the Underworld and ancestors were allowed to roam for a few hours among the living.
It was pointed out to me that this is not entirely correct. Mythologically and historically speaking, there is NO evidence that Hecate played any role in Anthesteria celebrations. I was working on the post late last night, and I allowed my personal understandings to mix with the factual stuff; a bad thing, indeed.

My personal understanding of Hecate is as of the Gatekeeper. One of her jobs is to hold the keys to the Underworld, to Hades' realm. So on this night, I see her as unlocking the gate, allowing the dead to roam. But that is wholly UPG, my own understanding, and not based on anything that is historical.
The third day of Anthesteria is Khutroi, meaning "feast of pots." ... It was also the day when the Basilinna led many of the city's women in a secret ceremony of marriage to Dionysos.
It was also pointed out to me that the Basilinna's ceremony was on Khoes, not Khutroi. Now, I have read *somewhere* that it was on the third day, but I'll be damned if I can remember where. However, the majority of references say it happened on the second day of Anthesteria (including the three sites that I offered for people to look through! lol), not the third. My bad!

The last point made by my friend was that the Basilinna was the only one going through the ceremony, and I had to go back and look at my post again to see that it read very badly. I had thought I was clear on that. The Basilinna "marries" Dionysos, but she is attended by 12 older women of the city, according to various historical sources. There are also mentions of other women attending the ceremony itself, but they are not the ones marrying Dionysos.

Sorry to anyone who was briefly led astray. I need to stop writing intellectual posts late at night when I'm sick *grin*
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