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Headword: Περιστίαρχος
Adler number: pi,1306
Translated headword: peristiarch
Vetting Status: high
Translation:
The man thoroughly cleansing the hearth and the [sc. place of] assembly and the city. [sc. The term comes] from the hearth [ἑστία ] or the [verb] περιστείχειν ["to go round"]. But Istros in his Attika says: 'περίστια is the name of the purification-ceremonies, and those cleansing the holy things [are called] peristiarchs. For they go around outside [sc. the assembly-place] -- with each of the priests carrying a knife -- encompassing the public buildings and having a circuit'.[1]
Greek Original:
Περιστίαρχος: ὁ περικαθαίρων τὴν ἑστίαν καὶ τὴν ἐκκλησίαν καὶ τὴν πόλιν. ἀπὸ τῆς ἑστίας ἢ τοῦ περιστείχειν. Ἴστρος δὲ ἐν τοῖς Ἀττικοῖς, περίστια, φησί, προσαγορεύεται τὰ καθάρσια, καὶ οἱ τὰ ἱερὰ καθαίροντες περιστίαρχοι: ἔξωθεν γὰρ περιέρχονται, μαχαιροφοροῦντος ἑκάστου τῶν ἱερῶν οἰκίαις περιειλημμένοι δημοσίαις καὶ περίδρομον ἔχοντες.
Notes:
Same entry in Photius (pi772 Theodoridis); cf. Hesychius pi1883, and Pollux 8.104. See also pi 1307 (and already under kappa 38).
[1] Istros [Ister] FGrH 334 F16. 'Carrying a knife' appears to be the Suda compiler's own emendation of what is transmitted as 'carrying a piglet'. Public 'buildings' is securely transmitted (in Photius and the Suda alike) but alternatives have been suggested: 'stoas' or 'walls' (Hemsterhuis), 'boundaries' (Adler)'. Jacoby obelizes 'buildings' but declares in his commentary that a convincing alternative is still to be found.
References:
M.H. Hansen, The Athenian Assembly (Oxford [Blackwell] 1987) 21-22
R. Parker, Miasma (Oxford [O.U.P.] 1983) 90
Keywords: definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; historiography; religion; zoology
Translated by: David Whitehead on 7 March 2010@10:55:04.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (tweaks, status) on 9 March 2010@01:27:09.
David Whitehead (another x-ref) on 9 March 2010@03:32:38.
David Whitehead on 28 September 2011@05:32:36.
David Whitehead on 29 September 2013@07:24:22.
David Whitehead (expanded n.1) on 10 April 2014@05:27:27.

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