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Headword: Choes
Adler number: chi,369
Translated headword: Choes, Pitchers
Vetting Status: high
It is a festival in Athens held in the month of Anthesterion.[1] They say that the festival came about thus, when Orestes, after killing his mother, came into Athens and [the] Athenians welcomed him and entertained him; but they did not share their wine with him; instead, the people set aside a pitcher for him and entertained him this way, marking off a small area for Orestes.[2]
And otherwise:[3] Pitchers [is] a festival at Athens, [instituted] for this reason; Orestes, after the killing of his mother, came into Athens to [the house of] Pandion, his kinsman settled there, who happened to be king of the Athenians. He encountered him in the act of celebrating a festival at public cost. So Pandion, ashamed to send Orestes away, yet thinking it impious to share drink and table [with him] as he had not been purged of the murder, set out one pitcher for each of the invited guests, so that [Orestes] would not drink from the same bowl.
Greek Original:
Choes: estin heortê Athênêsin agomenê mêni Anthestêriôni. tên heortên phasin houtô gegonenai, hote Orestês anelôn tên mêtera êlthen eis Athênas kai edexanto auton Athênaioi kai heistiasan: ou mên ekoinônêsan autôi tou oinou: alla chôris choa paratheis autôi ho dêmos, houtôs heistiato, aponeimas oligon ti chôris tôi Orestêi. kai allôs: heortê Athênêsi Choes, apo toiautês aitias: Orestês meta tên tês mêtros anairesin êlthen eis Athênas para Pandiona, sungenê kathestêkota, hos etuche basileuôn tôn Athênaiôn. katelabe de auton euôchian tina dêmotelê poiounta. ho toinun Pandiôn parapempsasthai men ton Orestên aidoumenos, koinônêsai de potou kai trapezês asebes hêgoumenos, mê katharthentos autou ton phonon, hôs an mê apo tou autou kratêros pinoi, hena hekastôi tôn keklêmenôn parethêke choa.
OCD(4) p.97, under 'Anthesteria'. See also chi 370.
[1] Anthesterion corresponds roughly to our February; the Anthesteria was its principal festival; and "Pitchers" was the second of its three days.
[2] In Euripides, Iphigeneia in Tauris 949, Orestes speaks of a monotrapeza ('individual table') for himself; and Plutarch, Moralia 643A refers to a personal table (trapeza idia) for Orestes. People at the Choes were supposed to sit alone when they drank, if possible at their own tables.
[3] Meaning, from another source: in this instance the scholia to Aristophanes, Knights 95 (where the phrase 'a pitcher of wine' occurs).
Keywords: aetiology; chronology; comedy; daily life; definition; economics; ethics; food; geography; mythology; religion; tragedy; women
Translated by: Jennifer Benedict on 14 April 2000@07:38:32.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (modified headword and translation; augmented notes; added bibliography and keyword; cosmetics) on 4 December 2000@09:23:07.
David Whitehead (augmented n.2; more keywords) on 8 January 2004@06:05:28.
David Whitehead (cosmetics) on 8 August 2011@04:56:51.
David Whitehead (more keywords) on 12 November 2013@06:45:32.
David Whitehead (updated a ref) on 1 August 2014@06:29:25.
David Whitehead (tweaked tr and added a note, at the prompting of Dr Mary Frances Williams) on 28 July 2015@03:31:09.
Catharine Roth (tweaked note) on 1 June 2023@18:43:29.


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