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[78] βούλομαι δ᾽ ὑμῖν καὶ τὸν ἱεροκήρυκα καλέσαι, ὃς ὑπηρετεῖ τῇ τοῦ βασιλέως γυναικί, ὅταν ἐξορκοῖ τὰς γεραρὰς τὰς ἐν κανοῖς πρὸς τῷ βωμῷ, πρὶν ἅπτεσθαι τῶν ἱερῶν, ἵνα καὶ τοῦ ὅρκου καὶ τῶν λεγομένων ἀκούσητε, ὅσα οἷόν τ᾽ ἐστὶν ἀκούειν, καὶ εἰδῆτε ὡς σεμνὰ καὶ ἅγια καὶ ἀρχαῖα τὰ νόμιμά ἐστιν. “Ὅρκος Γεραρῶν

ἁγιστεύω καὶ εἰμὶ καθαρὰ καὶ ἁγνὴ ἀπό τε τῶν ἄλλων τῶν οὐ καθαρευόντων καὶ ἀπ᾽ ἀνδρὸς συνουσίας, καὶ τὰ θεοίνια καὶ τὰ ἰοβάκχεια γεραρῶ τῷ Διονύσῳ κατὰ τὰ πάτρια καὶ ἐν τοῖς καθήκουσι χρόνοις.”

[79] τοῦ μὲν ὅρκου τοίνυν καὶ τῶν νομιζομένων πατρίων, ὅσα οἷόν τ᾽ ἐστὶν εἰπεῖν, ἀκηκόατε, καὶ ὡς ἣν Στέφανος ἠγγύησεν τῷ Θεογένει γυναῖκα βασιλεύοντι ὡς αὑτοῦ οὖσαν θυγατέρα, αὕτη ἐποίει τὰ ἱερὰ ταῦτα καὶ ἐξώρκου τὰς γεραράς, καὶ ὅτι οὐδ᾽ αὐταῖς ταῖς ὁρώσαις τὰ ἱερὰ ταῦτα οἷόν τ᾽ ἐστὶν λέγειν πρὸς ἄλλον οὐδένα. φέρε δὴ καὶ μαρτυρίαν παράσχωμαι ὑμῖν δι᾽ ἀπορρήτου μὲν γεγενημένην, ὅμως δὲ αὐτοῖς τοῖς πεπραγμένοις ἐπιδείξω φανερὰν οὖσαν αὐτὴν καὶ ἀληθῆ.

[80] ὡς γὰρ ἐγένετο τὰ ἱερὰ ταῦτα καὶ ἀνέβησαν εἰς Ἄρειον πάγον οἱ ἐννέα ἄρχοντες ταῖς καθηκούσαις ἡμέραις, εὐθὺς ἡ βουλὴ ἡ ἐν Ἀρείῳ πάγῳ, ὥσπερ καὶ τἄλλα πολλοῦ ἀξία ἐστὶν τῇ πόλει περὶ εὐσέβειαν, ἐζήτει τὴν γυναῖκα ταύτην τοῦ Θεογένους ἥτις ἦν, καὶ ἐξήλεγχεν, καὶ περὶ τῶν ἱερῶν πρόνοιαν ἐποιεῖτο, καὶ ἐζημίου τὸν Θεογένην ὅσα κυρία ἐστίν, ἐν ἀπορρήτῳ δὲ καὶ διὰ κοσμιότητος· οὐ γὰρ αὐτοκράτορές εἰσιν, ὡς ἂν βούλωνται, Ἀθηναίων τινὰ κολάσαι.

Apollodoros has read aloud the oath sworn by the “venerable women,” who assist the king archon’s wife in performing sacrifices. He then says that after Phano performed these rites, the Areopagos inquired about her status.

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εροκήρυκα: an official at the Eleusinian Mysteries chosen from the Kerykes γένος

τς γεραράς τάςDilts 2009 removes the second τάς, which is unnecessary and had been added in by Reiske. Τhe Gerarai (literally “venerable women”) were the fourteen priestesses of Dionysos.

ν κανος: “amongst baskets,” “as they carry the baskets”; Carey 1992: 125 suggests that the baskets held either offerings for Dionysos, or a knife for slaughtering an animal and barley for sprinkling on the sacrificial animal’s head.

τν ερν: τὰ ἱερά = “sacred offerings,” “sacred rituals,” or in particular “sacrificial victims.” The latter meaning is most likely here (see Carey 1992: 63).

ρκος γεραρν: The oath is probably genuine, but it may or may not be the complete oath.

συνουσίας: here with a sexual sense

τ θεοίνια...τ οβάκχεια: the Theoinia is a festival in honor of Dionysos celebrated by each γένος; the Iobakcheia is another festival (perhaps celebrated as a private cult ritual) in honor of Dionysos; what it involved is uncertain, but its name comes from “Io Bakche,” which revelers cry out.

γεραρ: “I will celebrate” < γεραίρω

κατ τ πάτρια: “in accordance with ancestral custom,” “in the traditional manner”

καθήκουσι < καθήκω, of time, “to be regular, proper”; it is not known what days these were, exactly.

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τοπατρίων: genitive governed by ἀκηκόατε (< ἀκούω: here, “hear about, of” [S. 1365]); the verb also looks ahead to the following ὡς and ὅτι clauses.

ὁρώσαις < ὁράω; take as its object τὰ ἱερά.

τ ερά: “sacred rituals”

δι’ πορρήτου γεγενημένην: “given in secret.” The adjective ἀπόρρητος literally means “not to be spoken”; the phrase means “in secret” (the same with ἐν ἀπορρήτῳ, below).

ατος τος πεπραγμένοις: dative of means or instrument

οσαν: participle in indirect statement; the subject is αὐτήν (i.e. the testimony).

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τ ερά: “sacred rituals”

ρειον πάγον: the Areopagos (“Hill of Ares”), located northwest of the Acropolis in Athens.

βουλ ν ρεί: the Areopagos council. It was made up of former archons, who served on the council for life. In the earliest days of Athens, the Areopagos served as council to the king; its powers were greatly reduced over time, and by the classical period its jurisdiction was limited to murder, premeditated wounding, arson, poisoning, and destruction of the sacred olive trees. Patteson (1978: 111-12) suggests that the council was reporting on the most recent Anthesteria; although reports on the conduct of festivals were normally presented to the Assembly, rather than the Areopagos, it could be there wasn’t an assembly devoted to the Anthesteria (1978: 111-12), and/or that that the antiquity of the Anthesteria might have placed it under the Areopagos’ jurisdiction (Carey 1992: 126). Kapparis 1999: 349 suggests instead that the council was simply acting in its capacity to conduct certain kinds of investigations into religious matters.

τλλα: “in other respects”

ζήτει: “investigated” (impf.) + acc. and indirect question

ξήλεγχεν: “found out the truth” (impf.)

πρόνοιαν ποιετο: “gave thought, took care”

ζημίου: “was going to assess a fine” < ζημιόω: conative imperfect (see §13 and S. 1895). As emerges later, the fine did not come to pass.

σα κυρία στίν: “insofar as it (the council) is sovereign,” i.e., with the stiffest penalty it had the authority to impose

δι κοσμιότητος: “with due regard for propriety,” so as not to embarrass the parties involved

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εροκρυξ: herald at a sacrifice

πηρετέω πηρετήσω πηρτησα πηρτηκα πηρτημαι πηρετήθην: to minister to, serve (+ dat.)

ξορκόω: to administer an oath (to someone, + acc.)

γεραρός -ά -όν: majestic, venerable; αἱ γεραραί, venerable priestesses of Dionysos

κανον –ο τό: basket

βωμός –ο : altar

πτω ψω ψα ––– μμαι φθην: fasten; kindle

ρκος –ου : oath

σεμνός –ή –όν: holy; august

γιος: devoted to the gods, sacred, holy

ρχαος –α –ον: ancient, old-fashioned, primitive

νόμιμος –η –ον: customary, lawful

γιστεύω: to perform sacred rites

καθαρός –ά –όν: pure

γνός –ή –όν: full of religious awe

καθαρεύω: to be clean

συνουσία: relationship, closeness; meeting, conversation; party

θεοίνια: festival of wine

οβάκχεια: festival in honor of Bakchos

γεραίρω γεραρ γραρα/γρηρα:to present as honorary gift to (+ dat.); honor, celebrate 

Διόνυσος: Dionysos

πάτριος –α –ον: inherited, ancestral

καθήκω (Ion. κατήκω) καθήξω καθξα καθκα ––– –––: to have come; to suit, to belong to, be one’s duty

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Στέφανος: Stephanos

γγυάω: to betroth

Θεογένης: Theogenes

βασιλεύω βασιλεύσω βασίλευσα βεβασίλευκα βεβασίλευμαι βασιλήθην: to be king archon

μαρτυρία –ας : witness, testimony, evidence

πόρρητος –ον: forbidden, secret

μως: still, nevertheless

πιδείκνυμι πιδείξω πέδειξα πιδέδειχα πιδέδειγμαι πεδείχθην: display, exhibit; show, prove

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ναβαίνω ναβήσομαι νέβην ναβέβηκα ––– –––: board, go up

ρειος [-α] -ον: devoted to Ares, warlike, martial (ἄ. πάγος - Areopagos)

πάγος –ου : rock; frost, solid

εσέβεια –ας : piety, reverence towards gods/parents

θεογενής: begotten by a god

ξελέγχω ξελέξω ξέλεξα ξέλεχα ξέλεγμαι ξελέχθην: to convict; to verify, to prove

πρόνοια –ας : foresight

ζημιόω ζημισω ζημωσα ζημωκα ζημωμαι ζημιθην: to cause loss

κοσμιότης: propriety, decorum

ατοκράτωρ: free, independent

θηναος –α –ον: Athenian

κολάζω κολάσω κόλασα κεκόλακα κεκόλαμαι κολάσθην: chastise, punish

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Suggested Citation

Deborah Kamen, Pseudo-Demosthenes: Against Neaira. Carlisle, Pennsylvania: Dickinson College Commentaries, 2018. ISBN: 978-1-947822-10-8.http://dcc.dickinson.edu/against-neaira/78-80