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Headword: Ἑστιάδες
Adler number: epsilon,3213
Translated headword: Hestiades
Vetting Status: high
[Meaning] the priestesses,[1]
... whom Helena the mother of Constantine the Great, after finding the holy and precious cross and raising a church on the tomb of the Lord, proclaimed in writing that the virgins in the precincts of prayer should also be provided with food out of the public [purse]. Having accomplished these things and lived for some eighty years, she died. And her son buried her body in the imperial [tombs] in Rome.[2]
"I would not say that they are hiding anything secret, as the Vestals [hide] the fire."[3]
Greek Original:
Ἑστιάδες: αἱ ἱέρειαι, ἃς Ἑλένη ἡ μήτηρ Κωνσταντίνου τοῦ μεγάλου μετὰ τὸ ἀνευρεῖν τὰ ἅγια καὶ τίμια ξύλα, καὶ ναὸν ἀνεγείρασα ἐν τῷ τάφῳ τοῦ κυρίου, τὰς παρθένους ἐν τοῖς εὐκτηρίοις ἀναγράψασα σηκοῖς σιτήσεις τε αὐταῖς ἐκ τοῦ δημοσίου ἐπιχορηγεῖσθαι παρεκελεύσατο. ταῦτα διαπραξαμένη καὶ ὀγδοήκοντά που βιώσασα χρόνους τὸν βίον μεταλλάττει. ὁ δὲ υἱὸς αὐτῆς ἐν τοῖς κατὰ τὴν Ῥώμην βασιλείοις τὸ σῶμα αὐτῆς ἐκήδευσεν. οὐδὲν ἀεὶ φαίην ἀπόρρητόν τι κρύπτειν αὐτούς, ὥσπερ τὰς Ἑστιάδας τὸ πῦρ.
[1] Likewise in ps.-Zonaras (who ignores the rest of the entry). 'Hestiades' -- always plural -- was the Greek term for the Romans' Vestal Virgins; see under alpha 4413, nu 515.
[2] The main part of this entry comes from a biographical source on Helena (epsilon 789), mother of the emperor Constantine the Great (kappa 2284). It is unidentifiable in this precise form, though the final sentence ('Having accomplished etc.') summarizes Eusebius, Life of Constantine 3.46.1-47.1. The relative pronoun ἃς connects the passage awkwardly to the apparently unrelated note on the Hestiades.
[3] Synesius, Dion 5.18-19 (PG 66.1128a). Read οὐδ’ ἂν φαίην .
Keywords: biography; Christianity; chronology; definition; economics; ethics; food; gender and sexuality; geography; law; religion; rhetoric; women
Translated by: Kostas Zafeiris on 4 November 2005@13:36:34.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (modified translation, other cosmetics) on 4 November 2005@20:02:01.
David Whitehead (further tweaks to translation; augmented notes; modified keywords) on 5 November 2005@06:46:59.
David Whitehead (more keywords) on 1 November 2012@05:29:18.
David Whitehead (augmented notes) on 17 February 2016@05:29:57.
Catharine Roth (cosmetics) on 31 December 2017@23:26:13.
Catharine Roth (tweaked translation and note) on 1 January 2018@01:30:27.
Catharine Roth (rearranged notes) on 1 January 2018@12:57:42.


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