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Headword: Χόες
Adler number: chi,370
Translated headword: Pitchers, Choes
Vetting Status: high
It was a particular festival amongst Athenians, celebrated on the twelfth [day] of [the] month Anthesterion. But Apollodorus says that Anthesteria is the name for the festival as a whole, celebrated in honour of Dionysos, with its component parts Pithoigia ["Jar-Opening"], Choes ["Pitchers"], Chytroi ["Pots"].
And elsewhere [sc. Apollodorus says] that Orestes arrived in Athens after the murder (it was a festival of Dionysos Le[m]naios),[1] and since, having murdered his mother, he might not be able to drink with them, something along the following lines was contrived. Having set up pitchers of wine for each of the celebrants he ordered them to drink from it, with no common sharing between them; thus Orestes would neither drink from the same mixing-bowl [sc. as anyone else] nor be upset at him because he was made to drink alone. Hence the origin of the Athenian festival of the Pitchers.
Greek Original:
Χόες: ἑορτή τις ἦν παρ' Ἀθηναίοις, ἀγομένη Ἀνθεστηριῶνος δωδεκάτῃ. φησὶ δὲ Ἀπολλόδωρος Ἀνθεστήρια καλεῖσθαι κοινῶς τὴν ὅλην ἑορτήν, Διονύσῳ ἀγομένην, κατὰ μέρος δὲ Πιθοιγίαν, Χόας, Χύτρους. καὶ αὖθις: ὅτι Ὀρέστης μετὰ τὸν φόνον εἰς Ἀθήνας ἀφικόμενος [ἦν δὲ ἑορτὴ Διονύσου Ληναίου], ὡς μὴ γένοιτο σφίσιν ὁμόσπονδος, ἀπεκτονὼς τὴν μητέρα, ἐμηχανήσατο τοιόνδε τι. χοᾶ οἴνου τῶν δαιτυμόνων ἑκάστῳ παραστήσας ἐξ αὐτοῦ πίνειν ἐκέλευσε, μηδὲν ὑπομιγνύντας ἀλλήλοις, ὡς μήτε ἀπὸ τοῦ αὐτοῦ κρατῆρος πίοι Ὀρέστης μήτε ἐκεῖνος ἄχθοιτο καθ' αὑτὸν πίνων μόνος. καὶ ἀπ' ἐκείνου Ἀθηναίοις ἑορτὴ ἐνομίσθη οἱ Χόες.
See already chi 369. The present (very similar) entry comes, in the first instance, half from Harpokration s.v. (commenting on Demosthenes 39.16: web address 1) and half from the scholia to Aristophanes, Acharnians 961 (web address 2); note, however, that Jacoby, for FGrH 244 F33, regarded all of this material as deriving from the learned Hellenistic historian Apollodorus of Athens (= Apollodorus (6) in OCD(4) p.120).
[1] Though the epithet 'Lenaios' is clear, both here and in the scholiast, it cannot be right. (The wrong month: Gamelion, not Anthesterion.) Read, rather, D. Lemnaios (or Limnaios: see LSJ s.v. λιμναῖος , II), 'of the Marshes'.
H.W. Parke, Festivals of the Athenians (London 1977) 107-120.
Associated internet addresses:
Web address 1,
Web address 2
Keywords: aetiology; chronology; comedy; definition; food; historiography; mythology; religion; rhetoric
Translated by: David Whitehead on 8 January 2004@06:40:05.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (added links, set status) on 10 January 2004@19:32:18.
David Whitehead (another keywords) on 14 June 2004@06:30:00.
David Whitehead (tweaks) on 13 July 2011@08:15:29.
David Whitehead (tweaked tr and expanded notes, at the prompting of Dr Mary Frances Williams) on 28 July 2015@04:06:49.


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