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Headword: *qewroi/
Adler number: theta,225
Translated headword: theoroi, observers
Vetting Status: high
[Meaning] those sent to [perform] a sacrifice and to the festivals. Also [sc. attested is] a ship [called] Theoris,[1] on which the theoroi were sent to the out-of-town sacrifices on behalf of their home community, or to the sacred competitions and other festivals, and to the oracles.[2]
Sophocles [writes]: "it was as a theoros, he claims, that he left the country".[3]
However, "theoroi" is the term not only for the spectators but also for those being sent to [honor] a god; and altogether, this was the name for those safeguarding or being concerned with the godly; for they used to call concern w)/rh.[4]
Greek Original:
*qewroi/: oi( ei)s qusi/an pempo/menoi kai\ ei)s ta\s e(orta/s. kai\ *qewri\s nau=s, di' h(=s pempo/menoi e)pi\ ta\s qusi/as ta\s a)podh/mous u(pe\r th=s patri/dos, h)\ kai\ e)pi\ tou\s i(erou\s a)gw=nas kai\ a)/llas panhgu/reis oi( qewroi\ e)ste/llonto, kai\ ei)s xrhsth/ria. *sofoklh=s: qewro\s w(s e)/fasken e)kdhmw=n. *qewroi\ me/ntoi le/gontai ou) mo/non oi( qeatai/, a)lla\ kai\ oi( ei)s qeo\n pempo/menoi, kai\ o(/lws tou\s ta\ qei=a fula/ttontas h)\ tou= qei/ou fronti/zontas ou(/tws w)no/mazon: w)/rhn ga\r e)/legon th\n fronti/da.
OCD(4) s.v.; and cf. theta 223.
[1] See already theta 221.
[2] Similar material in other lexica (and the scholia to Plato, Phaedo 58B).
[3] Sophocles, Oedipus Tyrannus 114.
[4] From the end of Harpokration s.v. theorika (sic). An alternative etymology is suggested for qewro/s: instead of from qea/ "seeing, contemplating" it could be from qeos "god" and w)/ra "care, concern."
Ian Rutherford, State Pilgrims and Sacred Observers: a study of theoria and theoroi (Cambridge & New York 2013); reviewed in BMCR 2015.05.40
Keywords: definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; philosophy; religion; tragedy
Translated by: David Whitehead on 27 November 2000@06:02:10.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (cosmetics, added note) on 12 August 2003@01:52:49.
David Whitehead (augmented notes and keywords; cosmetics) on 12 August 2003@03:56:35.
David Whitehead (tweaks) on 10 July 2011@07:39:05.
David Whitehead on 1 January 2013@07:02:18.
David Whitehead on 5 August 2014@07:03:09.
David Whitehead (added bibliography; tweaks) on 2 June 2015@02:56:13.
Catharine Roth (expanded note) on 5 November 2018@19:10:57.


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