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Headword: Χοάς
Adler number: chi,364
Translated headword: pourings
Vetting Status: high
[Meaning] outpourings, offerings over corpses, or libations.
An oracle has been issued that it is necessary to bring choai to the deceased of the Aitolians, year on year, and hold a festival of the choai.[1]
The word is also used for sacrifices of [= to] the dead. Sophocles [writes]: "first, from an ever-flowing spring bring sacred drink-offerings, borne in ritually pure hands." -- "And when I have gotten this unmixed draught?" -- "There are bowls, the work of a skilled craftsman; crown their edges and the handles at either side."[2]
Greek Original:
Χοάς: ἐκχύσεις, ἐναγίσματα ἐπὶ νεκροῖς, ἢ σπονδάς. ἐκπίπτει χρησμὸς δεῖν χοὰς τοῖς τεθνεῶσι τῶν Αἰτωλῶν ἐπάγειν ἀνὰ πᾶν ἔτος καὶ ἑορτὴν χοὰς ἄγειν. λέγονται καὶ θυσίαι νεκρῶν. Σοφοκλῆς: πρῶτον μὲν ἱερὰς ἐξ ἀειρρύτου χοὰς κρήνης ἐνεγκοῦ, δι' ὁσίων χειρῶν θίγων. ὅταν δὲ χεῦμα τοῦτ' ἀκήρατον λάβω; κρατῆρές εἰσιν, ἀνδρὸς εὔχειρος τέχνη, ὧν κατέρεψον καὶ λαβὰς ἀμφὶ στόμα.
[1] The first part of this sentence, as far as ἐπάγειν , is incorporated in alpha 932 (akos): Aelian fr. 76f Domingo-Forasté. The whole sentence, with the vital addition of 'to the Athenians' at the start, is part of chi 504 (chresmos): Aelian fr. 76g Domingo-Forasté. Those versions crucially add the adverb 'unjustly' (ἐκδίκως ) before 'deceased'; see also epsilon 400.
[2] Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus 469–73, with variants (TLG, using the Budé text of Dain and Mazon, has ἱρὰς , ἀειρύτου , θιγων ), word order (τοῦτο χεῦμ’ , λαβὰς ἀμφιστόμους Budé), and errors (κρᾶτ’ ἔρεψον Budé). Translation by Jebb (Perseus); 'drink-offerings' translates χοὰς . The third line is spoken by Oedipus, the rest by the chorus.
The present headword, like its opening glosses, is accusative plural (χοάς , etc.), but has been made nominative for the translation. The oxytone form used four times here is the accusative plural of χοή (1st declension feminine) 'a pouring', not of χοῦς (2nd declension masculine or feminine; it has the paroxytone accusative plural χόας ) or its variant χοεύς (3rd declension masculine; perispomenon accusative plural χοᾶς ); these two refer to a vessel or its capacity, and in the third declension form provides the usual name for the Attic celebration of Choës (Χόες ), the second day of the Anthesteria (chi 369, chi 370). However, χοαί is used in the second sentence here for the name of the Athenian festival.
The "backbone" of the present entry (with other material interpolated) is the scholia to Aristophanes, Acharnians 961, where Χοᾶς occurs.
Keywords: chronology; comedy; daily life; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; ethics; food; geography; history; religion; trade and manufacture; tragedy
Translated by: D. Graham J. Shipley on 7 April 2008@08:00:48.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (augmented notes; supplied keywords; tweaks and cosmetics) on 7 April 2008@08:23:32.
Catharine Roth (updated references) on 1 April 2012@01:45:28.
David Whitehead (another keyword; tweaks and cosmetics) on 12 November 2013@06:34:41.


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