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Headword: Θεωροί
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 ὤρη .[4]
Greek Original:
Θεωροί: οἱ εἰς θυσίαν πεμπόμενοι καὶ εἰς τὰς ἑορτάς. καὶ Θεωρὶς ναῦς, δι' ἧς πεμπόμενοι ἐπὶ τὰς θυσίας τὰς ἀποδήμους ὑπὲρ τῆς πατρίδος, ἢ καὶ ἐπὶ τοὺς ἱεροὺς ἀγῶνας καὶ ἄλλας πανηγύρεις οἱ θεωροὶ ἐστέλλοντο, καὶ εἰς χρηστήρια. Σοφοκλῆς: θεωρὸς ὡς ἔφασκεν ἐκδημῶν. Θεωροὶ μέντοι λέγονται οὐ μόνον οἱ θεαταί, ἀλλὰ καὶ οἱ εἰς θεὸν πεμπόμενοι, καὶ ὅλως τοὺς τὰ θεῖα φυλάττοντας ἢ τοῦ θείου φροντίζοντας οὕτως ὠνόμαζον: ὤρην γὰρ ἔλεγον τὴν φροντίδα.
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 θεωρός : instead of from θεά "seeing, contemplating" it could be from θεος "god" and ὤρα "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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