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Headword: *(ie/rato
Adler number: iota,160
Translated headword: was a priest
Vetting Status: high
Pluperfect [when written] with omicron [as the final vowel].[1]
But i(era/tw [sc. with omega][2] [means] let him celebrate mysteries in accordance with custom and let him sacrifice; for the sacrificers [are] orgeones.[3]
Greek Original:
*(ie/rato: u(persunteliko\s dia\ tou= o mikrou=. *(iera/tw de\ kata\ no/mon o)rgiaze/tw kai\ que/tw: o)rgew=nes ga\r oi( qu/tai.
[1] Actually the imperfect, middle/passive, third person singular, of the verb i(era/omai (LSJ entry at web address 1); attested only here. Other instances of misinterpretation of verbal forms occur at alphaiota 323, delta 1250, epsilon 1849, epsilon 2503, eta 37.
[2] Present imperative, third person singular, of the same verb. It occurs as a lemma, and with this same gloss, in Timaeus' Platonic Lexicon.
[3] The use of o)rgew=n as a synonym of priests/sacrificers belongs to the language of poetry (see Aeschylus fr.144, quoted by Hesychius omicron1113); but more precisely, o)rgew=nes was in archaic Athenian society the name for members of one of the groups the phratries were divided into (see LSJ at web address 2, generally OCD(4) s.v. [p.1046], and further bibliography below). Like other such groups, the associations of orgeones were based on principles of socio-economic status and kinship, with hereditary membership, and the purpose of the group was private cult activity, especially concerning heroes and minor deities. The orgonenes seem to have been especially connected with foreign deities, whose rites had an orgiastic character. An inscription from c.300 BCE, setting out the regulation for the annual sacrifices to the local 'heroes and heroines', shows that the o)rgew=nes were appointed to meet on set days, kill the animals, honour their gods, and share a sacred meal at an impromptu table, taking home meat for their relatives. According to other studies, the group was not a subdivision of the phratry, inasmuch as it could also include members of different phratries, and (in the classical period) even women and metics. See Philochorus FGrH 328 F35a; omicron 509, omicron 510, omicron 511.
P. Foucart, Les Associations réligieuses chez les Grecs, Paris 1873
M. Guarducci, 'Orgeones e tiasoti', Rivista di Filologia e di Istruzione classica 13 (1935) 332-340
W.S. Ferguson, 'The Attic Orgeones', Harvard Theological Review 37 (1944) 73-79
N.I. Pantazopoulos, 'Orgeones. Paratereseis eis ta neotera epigraphica euremata kai tas pegas katholou tou Attikou somateiakou dikaiou', Polemon 3 (1948) 97-128
S.D. Lambert, The Phratries of Attica, Ann Arbor, University of Michigan Press, 1993
Y. Ustinova, 'Orgeones in Phratries: a mechanism of social integration in Attica', Kernos 9 (1996) 227-242
N.F. Jones, The Associations of Classical Athens: The Response to Democracy, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999
Associated internet addresses:
Web address 1,
Web address 2
Keywords: daily life; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; ethics; historiography; history; poetry; religion; tragedy
Translated by: Antonella Ippolito on 23 March 2005@22:15:12.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (modified translation; rearranged and augmented notes; more keywords; extensive cosmetics) on 24 March 2005@04:10:19.
David Whitehead (tweaks and cosmetics) on 9 January 2013@08:03:00.
David Whitehead (updated a ref) on 4 August 2014@03:35:11.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 22 December 2014@21:11:48.


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