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Headword: Μητραγύρτης
Adler number: mu,1003
Translated headword: begging-priest (of Cybele)
Vetting Status: high
Someone came into Attica and converted the women to the mother of the gods, so they say. But the Athenians killed him by tossing him into the pit on his head.[1] When a plague occurred, they got an oracle that said to propitiate the murdered one. And because of this they built a council-chamber, where they killed the begging-priest, and they enclosed it and consecrated it to the mother of the gods, even erecting a statue of the begging-priest. And they began to use the Metroon as an archive and law-depository,[2] after also filling in the pit.
Greek Original:
Μητραγύρτης: ἐλθών τις εἰς τὴν Ἀττικὴν ἐμύει τὰς γυναῖκας τῇ μητρὶ τῶν θεῶν, ὡς ἐκεῖνοί φασιν. οἱ δὲ Ἀθηναῖοι ἀπέκτειναν αὐτὸν ἐμβαλόντες εἰς βάραθρον ἐπὶ κεφαλήν. λοιμοῦ δὲ γενομένου, ἔλαβον χρησμὸν ἱλάσασθαι τὸν πεφονευμένον. καὶ διὰ τοῦτο ᾠκοδόμησαν βουλευτήριον, ἐν ᾧ ἀνεῖλον τὸν μητραγύρτην, καὶ περιφράττοντες αὐτὸ καθιέρωσαν τῇ μητρὶ τῶν θεῶν, ἀναστήσαντες καὶ ἀνδριάντα τοῦ μητραγύρτου. ἐχρῶντο δὲ τῷ Μητρῴῳ ἀρχείῳ καὶ νομοφυλακείῳ, καταχώσαντες καὶ τὸ βάραθρον.
Same entry in Photius (mu423 Theodoridis) and similarly elsewhere. The more distant origin of this material is uncertain.
On the establishment of Athens' city archive in the Metroon (mu 1013), probably at the end of the fifth century BCE when the new council-house was built, see Rosalind Thomas, Oral Tradition and Written Record in Classical Athens (Cambridge 1989) 38-40.
[1] See beta 99.
[2] See mu 1013; Pollux 8.102; Hesychius s.v. Χαρώνιον .
Keywords: aetiology; architecture; art history; ethics; geography; law; medicine; religion; women
Translated by: Ross Scaife ✝ on 7 February 2004@22:46:51.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (modified aspects of translation; augmented notes and keywords) on 8 February 2004@05:50:09.
David Whitehead (augmented notes and keywords) on 22 May 2013@06:08:56.


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