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Headword: Ἱερὸς πόλεμος
Adler number: iota,191
Translated headword: sacred war, holy war
Vetting Status: high
There were two sacred wars: [one was fought] by the Athenians against the Boeotians, who wanted to take the oracular shrine [sc. at Delphi] away from the Phokians, and when the Athenians had won they gave it back to the Phokians; the other [had been fought] by the Athenians against the Spartans on behalf of the Phokians, because of the oracular shrine at Delphi.
Greek Original:
Ἱερὸς πόλεμος: δύο ἐγένοντο ἱεροὶ πόλεμοι: Ἀθηναίοις πρὸς Βοιωτοὺς βουλομένους ἀφελέσθαι Φωκέων τὸ μαντεῖον, νικήσαντες δὲ Φωκεῦσι πάλιν ἀπέδωκαν: ὁ δὲ ἕτερος Ἀθηναίοις πρὸς Λακεδαιμονίους ὑπὲρ Φωκέων, διὰ τὸ ἐν Δελφοῖς ἱερόν.
From the scholia to Aristophanes, Birds 556, where the headword phrase occurs (web address 1). Dunbar ad loc. (p.377): '"a sacred war" would to an Athenian ear recall the events of the second Sacred War around 448 BC (the first had been long before, c.590 BC), when the Phokians around Delphi seized control of the oracle, were ousted in favour of the Delphians by a Spartan expedition, but soon after were reinstated by an Athenian one (Thuc[ydides] 1.112; Plut[arch], Pericles 21)'.
See generally C.J. Tuplin in OCD(4) s.v. Sacred Wars [= these two plus two more in the ensuing century].
Aristophanes, Birds, edited with introduction and commentary by Nan Dunbar (Oxford 1995)
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: chronology; comedy; ethics; history; military affairs; politics; religion
Translated by: David Whitehead on 14 October 2004@06:50:25.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (cosmetics, link, status) on 14 October 2004@11:36:15.
David Whitehead (cosmetics) on 15 October 2004@02:56:15.
David Whitehead on 9 January 2013@09:01:52.
Catharine Roth (upgraded link, coding) on 10 January 2013@00:30:37.
David Whitehead on 4 August 2014@03:36:46.
David Whitehead on 26 April 2016@04:57:33.
Catharine Roth (cosmeticule) on 6 January 2019@02:06:10.


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