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Headword: *)orgew=nes
Adler number: omicron,510
Translated headword: orgeones
Vetting Status: high
[Meaning] the [sc. priests] in charge of sacrificing.
Greek Original:
*)orgew=nes: oi( qu/tai.
For the headword cf. omicron 509, omicron 511, omicron 512.
The use of orgeôn as a synonym of priests/sacrificers belongs to the language of poetry (see Aeschylus fr.144, quoted by Hesychius omicron1113); but more precisely, orgeônes was in archaic Athenian society the name for members of one of the groups the phratries were divided into (see LSJ at web address 1). Like other such groups, the association of the orgeônes was based on principles of socioeconomic status and kinship, with hereditary membership, and the purpose of the group was private cult activity, especially concerning heroes and minor deities. The orgeônes 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 orgeônes 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; iota 160.
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
R.C.T. Parker, s.v. 'Orgeones' in Oxford Classical Dictionary, Eds. S. Hornblower and A. Spawforth (New York 1996), 1074.
N.F. Jones, The Associations of Classical Athens: The Response to Democracy, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: daily life; definition; historiography; history; poetry; religion; tragedy
Translated by: Antonella Ippolito on 11 April 2005@21:38:28.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (rearranged note; cosmetics) on 13 April 2005@03:57:42.
David Whitehead on 7 July 2013@06:19:37.


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