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Headword: Χόες
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:
Χόες: ἔστιν ἑορτὴ Ἀθήνησιν ἀγομένη μηνὶ Ἀνθεστηριῶνι. τὴν ἑορτήν φασιν οὕτω γεγονέναι, ὅτε Ὀρέστης ἀνελὼν τὴν μητέρα ἦλθεν εἰς Ἀθήνας καὶ ἐδέξαντο αὐτὸν Ἀθηναῖοι καὶ εἱστίασαν: οὐ μὴν ἐκοινώνησαν αὐτῷ τοῦ οἴνου: ἀλλὰ χωρὶς χοᾶ παραθεὶς αὐτῷ ὁ δῆμος, οὕτως εἱστιᾶτο, ἀπονείμας ὀλίγον τι χωρὶς τῷ Ὀρέστῃ. καὶ ἄλλως: ἑορτὴ Ἀθήνησι Χόες, ἀπὸ τοιαύτης αἰτίας: Ὀρέστης μετὰ τὴν τῆς μητρὸς ἀναίρεσιν ἦλθεν εἰς Ἀθήνας παρὰ Πανδίονα, συγγενῆ καθεστηκότα, ὃς ἔτυχε βασιλεύων τῶν Ἀθηναίων. κατέλαβε δὲ αὐτὸν εὐωχίαν τινὰ δημοτελῆ ποιοῦντα. ὁ τοίνυν Πανδίων παραπέμψασθαι μὲν τὸν Ὀρέστην αἰδούμενος, κοινωνῆσαι δὲ ποτοῦ καὶ τραπέζης ἀσεβὲς ἡγούμενος, μὴ καθαρθέντος αὐτοῦ τὸν φόνον, ὡς ἂν μὴ ἀπὸ τοῦ αὐτοῦ κρατῆρος πίνοι, ἕνα ἑκάστῳ τῶν κεκλημένων παρέθηκε χοᾶ.
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, 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.


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