Navigation – Plan du site

AccueilNuméros33ÉtudesBasket-Bearers and Gold-Wearers:

Études

Basket-Bearers and Gold-Wearers:

Epigraphic Insights into the Material Dimensions of Processional Roles in the Greek East 
Naomi Carless Unwin
p. 33-125

Résumés

Les processions dans l’Orient grec étaient organisées selon un schéma visuel clair qui permettait d’imposer un ordre et de donner du sens. Cette démarcation était essentiellement matérielle, les rôles rituels étant souvent définis par le port d’objets ou d’accessoires. Cet article porte sur la diversité et les particularités locales des rôles se terminant en -phoros pendant les périodes hellénistique et impériale, tels qu’ils sont attestés dans les sources épigraphiques. Il examine à quel point ces aspects matériels étaient intrinsèques à l’expérience des processions dans le monde grec, en cherchant à déterminer en quoi ils contribuaient à leur esthétique et à la manière dont elles étaient « lues », à la fois par les participants et les observateurs.

Haut de page

Texte intégral

Research for this article was undertaken as part of the project ‘Materiality and meaning in Greek festival culture of the Roman imperial period’, funded by a Leverhulme Trust Research Project Grant and based at the University of Warwick, UK. I would like to extend my gratitude to Zahra Newby, Alison Cooley, and Kevin Butcher for offering valuable comments on an earlier draft of this paper; also the audiences at the University of Reading in March 2019, and at the ‘Celebrating the Divine: Roman Festivals in Art, Religion and Literature’ conference held at the University of Virginia between 30–31 August 2019, where portions of this material were presented when still a work-in-progress. I am further grateful for the thought-provoking comments of the two anonymous reviewers, which enabled me to clarify and refine certain aspects. As ever, all errors and shortcomings are my own.

  • 1 On processions generally, see Nilsson (1951); Bömer (1952); Chaniotis (1995); Graf (1996); Köhler(...)

1Processions played a prominent role in the civic calendars of the Greek East.1 They took place to accompany games and contests, religious rituals and public celebrations, including feast days; these were not mutually exclusive, with civic festivals often encompassing all elements, structured around the worship of a local deity. Processions were commonly the foremost performative element of such occasions, with the resulting allocation of roles and potential for dressing up; priests would wear their ritual attire, while other civic officials would be similarly identified by special items of clothing or headwear. There was a further distinction between those processing and those not, often through the wearing of particular colours or wreaths. The processional body was thus organised according to a clear visual schema, which served to showcase the identity of the group and provide meaning.

  • 2 On the importance of aesthetics in Greek religion, see Chaniotis (1995), esp. p. 158–159; Mikalso (...)

2The aesthetics of festival conduct were frequently stressed in inscriptions outlining their organisation, or commending benefactors for their efforts to make proceedings kalos.2 The demarcation of different offices defined by their material dimensions within the processional field was one aspect of this, including those responsible for the correct enactment of rituals or for the carrying of ritual objects or accoutrements. This article explores the diversity and local particularities of these roles, as attested in the epigraphic record; it focuses on those ritual titles terminating in -phoros, ‘-bearer’, thus those explicitly referencing their material dimensions. Inscriptions are not as vivid a source material as certain literary accounts of processions in the Greek East; epigraphic sources do, however, offer a valuable insight into the aspects of processional performance that were prioritised in their organisation. They further reveal the extent to which festival culture permeated civic life, with both large regional centres and small villages exhibiting a preoccupation with the material aspects of their civic celebrations.

3If we read the names of such processional offices literally, they attest to a wide range of accoutrements involved in processional performance. They also reveal the significance of such offices as avenues for elite self-promotion. The diversity of the -phoros roles in the epigraphic record opens a window onto the local organisation of festivals and the materiality of their practice. This article will examine the ritual implications of such offices within the communities concerned, in particular what such roles reveal about their conduct. How intrinsic such materials were to the processional experience in the Greek East of the Hellenistic and imperial periods will be explored and considered from the point of view of their sensory impact; what did these accoutrements contribute to the aesthetics of procession, and what can they reveal about the experience of such celebrations by both participants and observers?

  • 3 See Parker (2005), p. 258–261, for discussion of the visible ranking of the Greater Panathenaia p (...)
  • 4 On the question of whether the Arrēphoria existed as a separate festival, see Parker (2005), p. 1 (...)
  • 5 Chaniotis (2013), p. 43.
  • 6 See the comments of Chankowski (2005).
  • 7 Athenaeus, 5.197c–203b; his account was derived from Callixeinus of Rhodes. See now Rice (1983).
  • 8 Theocritus, Idylls 2, 64–74, where Simaetha first encounters her beloved Delphis during a process (...)
  • 9 In the procession of Artemis at Ephesos as recounted by Xenophon of Ephesos; we are told that the (...)
  • 10 Mikalson (2016), p. 257–260; cf. Chaniotis (2008) on the competitive element of festival culture.

4The focus here is on the evidence from post-Classical periods, when this type of ritual role is increasingly recorded/commemorated in the epigraphic record. This is not to underemphasise the material dimensions of festivals in the Classical period, when individuals were similarly identified in the processional field by the carrying of ritual items, whether in the Panathenaia, the Thesmophoria, the Ōschophoria, the Skirophoria,3 and (potentially) the Arrēphoria.4 But it is possible to detect a shift in mentality from the Hellenistic period onwards, with greater attention paid to what A. Chaniotis calls the ‘theatricality’ of festival culture.5 The aesthetic dimensions of processions appear to have become a growing concern; at the least, there was a greater impetus to regulate and record the particularities of such occasions in the epigraphic record.6 This can be supplemented by literary accounts, which elaborate at length on the grandeur and excess of some of the more spectacular processions; most famous perhaps is Athenaeus’ account of the splendour of the royal pompē of Ptolemy II at Alexandria.7 More broadly, the sense of communal anticipation and excitement for festivals emerges during the Hellenistic period in the work of Theocritus;8 the descriptions of processions in the early novels of the imperial period further reinforce the notion that processions attracted widespread attention.9 Festival culture increasingly became a way both to advertise the splendour of the host city, and there is a clearly defined notion that processions were a spectacle worth witnessing.10

Mapping Local Particularities

  • 11 I have endeavoured to make this list comprehensive, though it is probable that attestations have (...)

5Processions were ritual movement, with the different roles tasked with transporting items important for the enactment of the rituals that took place at the culmination of the procession, or potentially en route. A survey of roles of the -phoros type in the epigraphic record reveals the range of offices so defined in the Hellenistic and imperial periods; they are recorded in Table 1 along with their geographical provenance and, where possible, date range.11 Many of these offices were time-limited appointments, similar to other civic positions, and it comes as no surprise that references to such roles commonly occur in honorific texts, whether decrees or statue bases; others occur in dedications made by office holders to the relevant deity. While ritual roles could be occupied by males and females, there does seem to have been a gender division in the types of roles occupied; it is notable that females feature large in honorific texts that mention this type of processional service.

  • 12 e.g. IGBulg 3.1.1517 (Kellai); SEG 49.814 (Thessalonike); IGUR I 160 (Rome).
  • 13 Nigdelis (2010), p. 33–34, discussing the religious associations of Thessalonike, writes that to (...)

6The scope of the survey has been extended to include occupants of ritual roles in mystery and other religious associations. Such groups were a common feature of communal life in the Hellenistic and imperial periods, and they erected various epigraphic monuments to record their activities. Lists of members were a common mode of commemoration for such groups, and they contain a wealth of information about how they were delimited, including a number of names of ritual roles.12 Many of these relate to the ritual responsibilities of the office holders, including various titles of the -phoros type. Such associations offered individuals an alternative mode of group identity and social contact outside of the usual tribal or civic divisions of the polis; however, while they may have organised their own group rituals and activities, based around the worship of a deity, they did not operate completely in isolation from their urban setting. It appears likely that they participated in larger scale festivities organised by the city in honour of the associated deity, or that they themselves were responsible for organising celebrations that attracted a wide audience among the community.13 Certainly, the titles of a number of the offices suggest a processional context, apparently modelled on those used in civic festivals.

  • 14 Clement of Alexandria suggests that different forms could be used in the same rituals when he rec (...)
  • 15 Bremmer (2014), p. 108. Cf. Greek Anthology, vol. 6, 165.

7A number of -phoros roles are found repeated across the Greek East, notably some form of ‘basket-bearer’, with the widespread occurrence of the kanēphoros, kistaphoros, liknaphoros, and the kalathēphoros. It can be envisaged that the ‘baskets’ were used to carry sacred objects, offerings or fruit in procession to the sanctuary, though differences in form and function should be expected in the completion of different rituals; for instance, whether they were open or concealed their contents.14 The λίκνον, ‘winnowing fan’, referred to a particular type of broad basket, which was carried at the head of processions of Dionysos, and often used to carry a phallus.15

  • 16 See Brulé (1987), p. 301–306; Roccos (1995); Parker (2005), p. 223–226.
  • 17 TAM III.1.59 (201–209 CE).
  • 18 I.Ephesos 1602 (2nd c. CE); I.Eleusis 394 (1st/2nd c. CE).
  • 19 I.Eleusis 267.
  • 20 There was another wreath on the base, though the name of the deity is not preserved.
  • 21 I.Délos 2061 (Dionysia); I.Délos 1870 (Lēnaia and Dionysia).
  • 22 I.Délos 1869.
  • 23 I.Délos 2238.
  • 24 I.Délos 2074.

8The role of the kanēphoros has a long history at Athens, where it was a position occupied by young unmarried women. They would lead processions at civic festivities, carrying the κανοῦν, ‘basket’, atop their heads.16 The attestations of the office in the Hellenistic and imperial periods reveal that it was geographically widespread and related to a number of different deities. At Termessos in Pisidia, the kanēphoros served the goddess Artemis,17 while at Ephesos and Eleusis the role was connected with Dionysos.18 Another inscription from Eleusis, dated to the first century BCE, records a dedication of a statue of a kanēphoros;19 the base is decorated with wreaths, with inscriptions recounting their service as ‘basket-bearer’ of Asklepios, Meter and Aphrodite.20 It thus seems that the office holder’s service was not limited to one cult or festival. Similarly, at Delos, a number of honorific female portrait statues were erected in the first century BCE, and commemorate the service of the young women as kanēphoroi in different contexts, whether at the Dionysia and the Lēnaia,21 the Dēlia and Apollōnia,22 ‘of Aphrodite and Apollo’,23 or ‘of Zeus Kynthios and Athena Kynthia and Serapis and Isis’.24

  • 25 IGBulg 3.1.1517, col. 1, l. 7: σπειράρχης.
  • 26 IGBulg 3.1.1517, col. 1, l. 31: Αὐρ(ηλία) Μαξιμῖνα κισταφόρος; l. 32: Αὐρ(ηλία) Χιόνη λικναφόρος; (...)
  • 27 Coin imagery often depicts a snake emerging from the kistē (e.g. RPC vol. 4. 1, No. 8262 [https:/ (...)
  • 28 IGBulg 3.1. 1517, col. 1, l. 15: Αὐρ(ήλιος) Μουκιανὸς ναρθηκοφόρος; l. 24: Αὐρ(ήλιος) Μουκιανὸς σ (...)
  • 29 Pleket (1970), p. 66–72; Malay (1999), p. 128–129, no. 136 (= SEG 49.1623); Harland (2003), p. 49 (...)
  • 30 Cf. Euripides Bacchae 147; 251; 1157; Clement, Exhortation to the Greeks 2.15.
  • 31 IGBulg 3.1.1517, col. 1, l. 7–15. On the office of the sebastophantai, see below.
  • 32 TAM V.1.817; 822.
  • 33 I.Ephesos 1268; 1601; 1602; 1982.

9A text from Kellai in Thrace, recording the members of a guild (σπεῖρα) associated with the mysteries of Dionysos,25 includes the kistaphoros and liknaphoros as functionaries, both as roles occupied by women.26 The office of the liknaphoros is expected in a Dionysiac cult, while it can be envisaged that the κίστη was used to transport sacred items.27 The document also includes other roles defined by the carrying of items, including the narthēkophoros, ‘narthex-bearer’, and the sēmiophoros, ‘sign-bearer’.28 The latter was derived from σημεῖον, ‘sign’ or ‘standard’, and would apparently have involved the carrying of images or symbols of the god and/or the emperor.29 The ‘narthex-bearer’ was another role specific to cults of Dionysos, referring to the fennel-stalk used for the thyrsus; the office holder would have been responsible for carrying this staff in procession.30 At Kellai, it is among the more prestigious roles, listed after the priest, the speirarchēs, ‘leader of the guild’, and two sebastophantai, which in turn indicate the incorporation of the imperial family into proceedings.31 The ‘narthex-bearer’ is also attested in Lydia,32 while the thyrsophoros is found among the participants of the Dionysiac mysteries at Ephesos in the imperial period.33

  • 34 e.g. IGUR I 160. Epigraphic attestations of a phallus being carried are more extensive than speci (...)
  • 35 I.Tomis 83; IGBulg 4.1925.b. There was a college of Dendrophori and Cannophori at Ostia, also ass (...)
  • 36 IG X 2.1.65.
  • 37 I.Ephesos 14. See also the mysterious βοωφόρος attested at Thessalonike (IG X 2.1.244).
  • 38 See Laumonier (1958), p. 368–369; van Bremen (1996), p. 91, p. 95; Williamson (2012), p. 129–130.
  • 39 In a dedicatory inscription from Panamara, there is a possible reference to a kleidophylakion, a (...)
  • 40 Williamson (2012), p. 129, speculates that it could represent Hekate’s relationship with Hades, f (...)
  • 41 A klidophoros is attested at Side (I.Side 17), while kleidophoroi are also among a delegation sen (...)
  • 42 Athens: e.g. IG II² 1944; SEG 42.157. Eleusis: I.Eleusis 685. Delos: e.g. I.Délos 1875; 1876; 189 (...)
  • 43 Cf. the commentary of G. Petzl on I.Smyrna 753, l. 24–25: the key could be interpreted literally; (...)

10Certain roles were thus distinctive to particular cults; alongside the liknaphoros and the thyrsophoros, the phallophoros was also commonly associated with Dionysos.34 The dendrophoros, ‘tree-bearer’, is a role attested at Tomis in Scythia and Serdica in Bulgaria, where it is attached to the cult of Meter, though we can only speculate about its possible ritual significance.35 Other more unusual roles are likely related to specific local traditions/mythologies, and thus may have also been more central to the associated ritual enactments; examples may include the galaktēphoros, ‘milk-bearer’, attested at Thessalonike,36 or the ‘salt’ and ‘celery-bearer’ found in a document from Ephesos, more on which below.37 At Stratonikeia and the nearby sanctuary at Lagina, the kleidophoros, ‘key bearer’, was closely associated with the cult of Hekate and was a prestigious office occupied by female members of elite families.38 They played a prominent role in the epigraphically attested ‘key procession’, kleidos pompē or kleidos agōgē, the route of which travelled between Lagina and Stratonikeia; they were tasked with carrying a key in some capacity at the head of the procession.39 The precise significance or symbolism of this key is not known.40 The ‘key-bearer’, whether the kleidophoros or the klakophoros, is attested in other cities and in association with different cults, including Isis and Sarapis, or Zeus Kynthios and Athena Kynthia on Delos;41 a variant not of the -phoros form, the kleidouchos¸ is also found in Athens, Eleusis, Delos, Olympia and Lydia.42 It is possible that the keys were intended to permit access to part of the sanctuary, or to open a receptacle containing sacred objects.43 At Stratonikeia, the prominence of the role is especially noteworthy, and we can speculate that the office holders played a pivotal part in ritual proceedings; while the underlying symbolism is unknown, the visibility afforded by such occasions bestowed status, and the materiality of the key itself was fundamental to this.

  • 44 IGUR I 160. Cf. Scheid (1986); Jaccottet (2003), p. 30–53; Bremmer (2014), p. 104–105.

11The primary focus of this paper is on the Greek mainland, islands and Asia Minor in the Hellenistic and imperial periods; however, certain exceptions have been made. The well-known document (in Greek) discovered near Torre Nova, outside Rome, has been included due to the diversity of roles mentioned.44 Like the document from Kellai, it records the members of a Dionysiac association, in this case over three hundred in number, who had erected a statue in honour of the priestess Pompeia Agrippinilla (c. 160–170 CE). The list includes theophoroi, kistaphoroi, liknaphoroi, pyrphoroi, and a phallophoros, alongside a dadouchos, hierophant, ‘chief cowherds’, and extensive lists of Bacchoi and Bacchai. The actions specified suggest a processional context; it can be speculated that the members were listed in the order in which they lined up.

  • 45 OGIS 90.A, l. 5. On the athlophoros, see Parsons (1977), p. 45, and the discussion of van Bremen (...)
  • 46 Harland (2003), p. 494; Clarysse (2010), p. 288.
  • 47 Clarysse (2010), p. 288.
  • 48 I.Tomis 98.
  • 49 A pastophorion is found on the island in the Hellenistic period, connected with the sanctuary of (...)
  • 50 See Table 1. A κοινὸν τῶν μελανηφόρων is also attested at Euboia in the third century BCE in asso (...)
  • 51 Clarysse (2010), p. 288.

12Roles of the -phoros type are also attested in Egypt and have been included in Table 1. The athlophoros, ‘prize bearer’, was a priesthood established by Ptolemy IV to honour Berenike II, likely to commemorate her equestrian victories.45 The obscure pastophoros, often interpreted as ‘shrine-bearer’, is also Egyptian in origin;46 W. Clarysse suggests that it corresponds to the Demotic ‘door-keeper’, who seems to have served as temple warden.47 The pastophoros is found associated with Egyptian cults at Tomis in Scythia,48 and probably at Delos;49 the melanēphoroi, ‘black-wearers’, are also attested on Delos in association with Egyptian cults, and apparently functioned as ritual functionaries.50 The pterophoros, ‘feather-bearer’, is another Egyptian ritual role, which corresponds in Demotic to ‘scribes of the sacred book’.51 There appears to have been some flexibility in the translation of these roles into Greek, though it is interesting that in their Greek forms they uniformly followed the -phoros format.

  • 52 SEG 52.1402. As with the pyrphoroi, the duties of the pyrouchos may not solely have been processi (...)
  • 53 IG I3 46 (440–432 BCE; at the Dionysia); Rhodes – Osborne (2003), no. 27 (372/1 BCE; at the Diony (...)
  • 54 IG XI 2.144, l. 34–36: a reference to τὸ φαλλαγωγεῖον, a ‘platform’ or ‘wagon’ used to transport (...)
  • 55 I.Beroia 7, l. 30.
  • 56 IG V 1.1390, l. 30 (= Gawlinski [2012]).

13This survey does not account for all the material dimensions of processional roles in the Graeco-Roman world, providing only an overview of the evidence related to a particular type of ritual office. There were a number of other roles that were materially defined that do not fall under the -phoros type; the kleidouchos, for instance, has already been mentioned, or the pyrouchos attested at Termessos in the imperial period.52 In other instances, we learn of the transport of objects without a named ritual attendant; the carrying of a phallus in procession, for instance, is attested at Athens53 and Delos,54 while at Beroia in the second century CE, money that had been endowed for a phallus-procession was diverted to pay for the gymnasium.55 Regulations concerning the Mysteries at Andania in Messenia, thought to date to 23 CE, record that the kistai containing the sacred objects would be transported in procession on chariots rather than carried.56

14The increasing prevalence of roles of the -phoros type is a notable trend in the epigraphic record during the Hellenistic and especially in the imperial period. In a political climate that afforded little civic independence in anything more than name, elite attention focused on advancement through the accumulation of titles, both on a local and more international scale. This appears to be inextricably linked with the politics of munificence; recognition was gained through civic service or the holding of priesthoods, which in turn went hand in hand with euergetic acts.

Processions as Vehicles for Elite Advancement

  • 57 A general increase in the stratification of ritual roles can be detected in the lists of official (...)
  • 58 The literature on this is extensive: see e.g. Gauthier (1985), Eck (1997), Zuiderhoek (2009), Kok (...)

15Processional roles were a channel for elite families to assert their civic duty and responsibilities; as such, they were frequently included in honorific inscriptions, either in isolation or as part of longer accounts of civic service. At the same time, there was a rise in the demarcation of the ritual field, with a growing diversity of offices appearing in the epigraphic record.57 Financially burdensome civic and/or religious offices became a way for elite families to distinguish themselves.58

  • 59 An Athenian decree of c. 220 CE records that the hiera would be escorted from Athens to Eleusis b (...)
  • 60 Errē- predominates in the epigraphic sources, whereas arrē- is uniformly used in literature; see (...)
  • 61 Parker (2005), p. 219; Pilz (2013), p. 162. Cf. Robertson (1983). Roccos (1995), p. 642–643, seek (...)
  • 62 Cf. Viviers (2010), p. 171.
  • 63 I.Délos 1871. Other portrait statues record the service of young women in offices other than that (...)

16The prevalence of youthful occupiers of such positions is noteworthy, in particular young women; though the role of the ephebes as a group in processions is also well attested.59 There appears to have been a gender split between specific roles: broadly, girls or young women served as the various kinds of ‘basket-bearer’, while males predominantly feature as sēmeiophoroi or different varieties of ‘thyrsos-bearer’; individuals of both sexes could act as hieraphoroi. In the corpus of honorific inscriptions that specifically commemorate such service, including the public and private erection of statues, female honourees feature large. The service of young girls as kanēphoroi and errēphoroi/arrēphoroi60 at Athens was frequently marked with the erection of statues by their families from the third century BCE onwards61; similarly, as we have seen, with the kanēphoroi on Delos as a way of distinguishing the family.62 In some instances, the occupation of such roles in youth was a stepping-stone to further offices. At the beginning of the first century BCE on Delos, a statue set up for Menias by her parents records that she was ‘assistant priestess of Artemis, kanēphoros at Delphi for the Pythiad, to Artemis, Apollo, and Leto.’63 Her service as ‘basket-bearer’ led to her occupying the more prestigious office of assistant priestess (ὑφιέρεια); both positions were worthy of commemoration.

  • 64 On chronological and regional variations in commemorative practices, see Pilz (2013); Mylonopoulo (...)
  • 65 e.g. I.Stratonikeia 705. See Laumonier (1958), p. 368–369; van Bremen (1996), p. 91.
  • 66 I.Aphr. 1.187, l. 18–24: ἀρετῇ καὶ σε|[μν]ότ̣ητι καὶ φιλανδρί| τὸ προγονικὸν |πικοσμήσασαν ἀξί|(...)
  • 67 I.Aphr. 1.187, l. 6–11: προγόνων ἀρχιε|ρέων πολλῶν γυ|μνασιάρχων στεφ[α]|νηφόρων καὶ τῶ̣ν | σ̣υνκ (...)
  • 68 I.Aphr. 1.187, l. 24–29: διὰ τὸ με|γαλεῖον τοῦ γένους | καὶ τὴν ἀνυπέρ|βλητον τοῦ βίου | σεμνότητ (...)
  • 69 On female visibility linked with family status, see van Bremen (1996); Pilz (2013).

17It is not possible to ascertain the socio-economic background of all occupiers of such roles; the erection of statues would have been restricted to those families with the funds to do so, and even in instances where honours were voted by the state, private funds were often required.64 That being said, such roles were uniformly occupied by women from the foremost families. If we look to the city of Stratonikeia, the kleidophoroi were commonly daughters of the priest.65 The emphasis on family honour is also a prominent theme on a statue base from Aphrodisias for a married woman whose name is not preserved, but who had served as ‘flower-bearer’ (ἀνθηφόρος) of the goddess.66 It recounts that she had ‘many ancestors who were high priests, gymnasiarchs, stephanēphoroi, and among those who joined in the foundation of the city’;67 she was ‘honoured on account of the greatness of her family and the unsurpassed distinction of her life.’68 Female visibility in civic ritual was here mediated through the status of the honouree’s family, and the prominence afforded by her ritual role bestowed honour on her family.69

  • 70 See e.g. Nollé (1994); van Bremen (1996), p. 68–76; Kron (1996), p. 171–182; Kearsley (2005); Tho (...)
  • 71 IG VII 3426; Fossey (1986), p. 258–259, no. 9; RICIS no. 105/0895. Dittenberger in IG VII propose (...)
  • 72 IG VII 3426, l. 1–9: Φλαβίαν Λανείκαν τὴν ἀρχιέρειαν | διὰ βίου τοῦ τε κοινοῦ Βοιωτῶν τῆς | Ἰτωνί (...)

18This impression should be balanced with the increased opportunities for female advancement during the Hellenistic and into the imperial period, with women found acting as benefactors and occupying prominent priesthoods, or, from the first century CE onwards, serving as gymnasiarch or agōnothetēs, ‘contest president’.70 In this environment, processional roles were another outlet for elite women to establish the public profile of themselves and their family. An inscription from Chaironeia, dated to the third century CE, records an honorific inscription voted by the boule and the demos for a certain Flavia Lanica;71 she was ‘archpriestess for life of the koinon of the Boiotoi of Itonian Athena, and of the koinon of the Phokian ethnos and of the Concord of the Hellenes at the Trophonion, the most pious hieraphoros of holy Isis, priestess for life of Isis of Taposeiris.’72 Flavia’s responsibilities were many, and the office of hieraphoros was by no means the most prestigious. Such a roster of civic offices is mirrored by that of her son, Gnaeus Curtius Dexippos, who set up her statue in accordance with her will; he was in his third term as Boiotarch and archiereus for life of the Sebastoi; he was also logistēs of the polis of the Chaironeians. Again, we can trace the importance of occupying positions of visibility as a means of asserting family status.

  • 73 Pilz (2013), p. 156, p. 170–172.
  • 74 Laumonier (1958), p. 583–587; van Bremen (1996), p. 90–91; Marcellesi (2005). In a number of case (...)
  • 75 Banquets: I.Didyma 322; 345. Distributions: e.g. I.Didyma 312; 314. See van Bremen (1996), p. 92, (...)
  • 76 van Bremen (1996), p. 94–95; Günther (1996).

19Ritual roles were invested with a symbolic capital that helped to mark out and reaffirm the situation of civic elites, but they also came with financial obligations.73 This was certainly the case for the hydrophoros at Miletos, the most prominent position occupied by young women from elite families in the city; they worked in conjunction with the prophētēs, effectively serving as the priestess of Artemis Pythia.74 The expectations of the office extended to liturgies, and hydrophoroi provided funds for various civic projects, including banquets and distributions in the theatre.75 As R. van Bremen has established, such generosity was meant to celebrate the family as a whole, with the relatives of the office holder often contributing.76

  • 77 Pleket (1970), no. 4, l. 4–11 (= I.Ephesos 3252).

20The responsibilities of ritual office holders thus extended beyond the activities specified in the titles and commonly involved a financial outlay; those occupied by youths need not be discounted, as their families could contribute money on their behalf. Certainly, the funds for the upkeep of civic festivals were a persistent concern for communities, and individual benefactors came to play a crucial role. This extended to providing the necessary accoutrements for such events. At Almoura in Lydia, a certain P. Aelius Menecrates was honoured for providing processional equipment that had been missing at the local mystery festivals in honour of Demeter and the moon-god Mēn, including a κάλαθος and a σημήα, both set in silver (περιάργυρος).77

  • 78 I.Ephesos 27; cf. Rogers (1991).
  • 79 See Rogers (1991), p. 80–115; Chankowski (2005), p. 185–188; Graf (2011), p. 110–114.
  • 80 It is specified that they should be made of silver, with the exception of one statue of Artemis, (...)
  • 81 The documents state that the guards of the temple, two neopoioi, the beadle and the chrysophoroi (...)
  • 82 I.Ephesos 27, l. 202–207.

21The material trappings of processional conduct were also prioritised in the significant donation to Ephesos made by C. Vibius Salutaris in 104 CE.78 He left detailed instructions to establish a regular procession through the city to celebrate the history and mythology of Ephesos and its relationship with Rome.79 The central part of his bequest allocated money for the manufacture of twenty-nine statuettes: nine of the goddess Artemis Ephesia, and twenty others, representing the six Ephesian tribes, civic institutions, and mythological figures, as well as Roman institutions that were meant to mirror their Ephesian counterparts.80 The emperor Trajan and Plotina were also honoured with statues. All the eikones were to be carried in procession, though there is not a named -phoros role specified.81 A crucial part of proceedings involved the ephebes placing the statues on specially erected bases in the theatre, three on each base, with those of the imperial couple standing alongside the golden statuette of Artemis.82

  • 83 Apollo Daphnēphoros at Eretria: Knoepfler (2001), p. 127, no. 8; p. 159, no. 12; p. 162, no. 13. (...)
  • 84 Robertson (1983), p. 245, n. 12.
  • 85 This will be discussed further below.
  • 86 e.g. the homonoia coins with Hierapolis (Marcus Aurelius): RPC vol. 4, no. 1947 (https://rpc.ashm (...)
  • 87 e.g. RPC vol. 3, no. 2304 (Hadrian) (https://rpc.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/coins/3/2304/); vol. 4, no. 1954 (...)
  • 88 e.g. RPC vol. 9, no. 783 (https://rpc.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/coins/9/783/); no. 784 (https://rpc.ashmus. (...)
  • 89 It has been speculated that the name Kibyra may have derived from a name for the basket that was (...)

22In the context of elite aggrandisement, processional roles were prestigious and worthy of commemoration. It does not follow that the titles themselves had no meaning, at least in the context of the pompē ; we can envisage the hydrophoros of Miletos occupying a prominent position, which likely involved carrying water in some capacity; similarly, the kleidophoros would have carried a key. The significance of various cult epithets of the -phoros form can further be speculated, for instance daphnēphoros as an epithet of Apollo, or thyllophoros for Dionysos.83 N. Robertson suggests that such divine titles ‘do in fact represent ritual actions and chiefly the carrying of objects in procession’,84 related to the adornment of the deity on festive occasions.85 Coin types from Kibyra depict its native goddess, identified as Thea Pisidike, carrying a basket on her head, which may represent the cult statue.86 The prominence of this basket as the attribute of the deity was well enough established that it could appear on its own on a number of civic issues87 — where it is apparently made of wicker — or in a temple edifice.88 It can be speculated that this basket played an important role in civic ritual, and was carried in procession.89

23The image to emerge puts ritual accoutrements at the centre of processional performance. The ritual significance of such objects would have been rooted in local practice and myth, but it is also worth stressing their visual significance in marking out individuals as worthy of honour or attention. The prestige attached to these offices was fostered through public recognition of their value; their responsibilities may not have been restricted to the processional performance, but such occasions were when their status would be most readily recognised.

Materiality and Meaning

  • 90 Cf. Harland (2003), p. 488–489.
  • 91 I.Aphr. 1.183; 1.187; 5.210; 12.531; 12.532. The role is also attested on Thasos; see Table 1.
  • 92 I.Ephesos 14.
  • 93 Heberdey (1904); see also Sourvinou-Inwood (2011), p. 183–185.

24Processions were a mode of communication with the gods and depended to a large degree on engendering a sense of spectacle.90 It is possible to establish the affiliation of certain -phoros roles with particular cults, whether that be the thyrsophoros/narthēkophoros with Dionysos, or the kleidophoros with Hekate at Lagina, where they likely played a central role in ritual enactments; a close connection between the cult of Aphrodite at Aphrodisias and the anthophoros, ‘flower-bearer’, can also be traced.91 The specificities and ‘meaning’ of these actions, however, are rarely elucidated. A more tantalising glimpse is offered at Ephesos, where a direct connection between specific ritual roles and civic mythology can be posited. As noted, the halophoros, ‘salt-bearer’, and seleinophoros, ‘celery-bearer’ are attested in a document dated to the first century BCE that records fees for different cultic officials; other roles in the list including the kosmophoros, ‘adornment-bearer’, and the speirophoros, ‘fabric-bearer’, as well as a musician (μολπός), and a ‘proclaimer’ (ἀνακήρυξις).92 In 1904, R. Heberdey connected this inscription with an Ephesian celebration in honour of Artemis that is expounded in the Etymologicum Magnum (s.v. Δαιτίς).93 The passage records the aetiology of a place called Daitis in the vicinity of Ephesos. According to the tale, Klymena, daughter of the king, went to a place outside the city accompanied by young boys and girls and carrying a statue of Artemis. Klymena told them to prepare a banquet for the goddess; the girls found celery, while the boys, having gathered salt from the nearby salt pits, offered it to the goddess in place of a meal (δαίτη). The following year this ritual was not repeated, and Artemis sent an epidemic, killing all the young people who had been involved. The city consulted an oracle, and so began to offer Artemis a meal, following the fashion that had been used by the Ephesian youths. After this fact, the epidemic stopped, and the goddess and the place were called after this meal Daitis.

  • 94 Heberdey (1904), p. 214; I.Ephesos 1577a. See also the restored reference to the role of the deip (...)
  • 95 According to Harpocration, α 240, two of the four arrēphoroi were chosen to start the weaving of (...)
  • 96 On the dressing of statues, see Brulé (1987), p. 227; Brøns (2017), esp. p. 239–263.
  • 97 Sourvinou-Inwood (2011), p. 184, 192; Brøns (2017), p. 246, who also mentions the stolizōn or sto (...)

25It is tempting to associate the epigraphically attested ‘salt-bearer’ and ‘celery-bearer’ with this explication of a civic celebration, though it is worth bearing in mind that this myth may itself have existed in various forms and fluctuated over time. We can envisage these Ephesian office holders fulfilling functions that were meant to recall this initial meal of celery and salt; Heberdey further linked these roles with the deipnophoria pompē, or ‘meal-carrying procession’, which is also epigraphically attested.94 The particularities of processions were locally rooted and built around civic mythologies; the ways in which this veneration was manifested materially awarded such practices, and the people enacting them, their communal significance. The carrying of objects was primarily directed towards the successful completion of rites linked with the gods, whether through the offering of sacrifices, the placing of sacred objects, or the burning of incense. Objects could also be transported for the dressing or adornment of a deity. We can think, for instance, of the peplos of Athena, transported during the Greater Panathenaia,95 or the speirophoros associated with Artemis Daitis.96 The kosmophoros, ‘adornment-bearer’, is a role attested at Lagina and Didyma in addition to Ephesos; we can envisage their participation in processions, carrying ritual attire, jewellery or other forms of ornamentation, likely intended for the cult statue.97

  • 98 Eἰκονοφόρος: MAMA IX 131 (Aizanoi); I.Ephesos 546 (Ephesos). See Robert (1960).
  • 99 IG XII 6.2.596; IGUR I 160.
  • 100 IG V 1.212, l. 57.
  • 101 IG V 1.210, l. 55; 211, l. 51.
  • 102 Robertson (1983), p. 268, speculates that the god may have taken the form of a sacred stone, and (...)
  • 103 TAM III.1.136, l. 9–12: ἀγάλμα|τος πομπικοῦ ἀργυ|ρέου Θεᾶς Ἐλευθέ|ρας. See van Nijf (2011), p. 23 (...)
  • 104 J. and L. Robert, BE (1950), no. 134. An association with Egyptian cults can be noted at Thessalo (...)
  • 105 IG II2 4771.
  • 106 Hermann (1962), p. 39, no. 27 (= TAM V.1.576), envisages symbola as ‘göttliche „Symbole“, Insigni (...)
  • 107 Cf. n. 11. See also the description of the procession for Isis in Apuleius, Metamorphoses 11.11.

26Various processional offices were tasked with carrying images of the gods, whether in statue or some other form; thus, we find the eikonophoros, ‘statue-bearer’, though this title may also refer to images of the imperial family.98 The theophoros, attested in a dedication to Meter Epikrateia on Samos, and in the mystery association from Torre Nova, can similarly be envisaged carrying the image of the deity.99 The unique attestation of the siophoros, ‘god-bearer’, is found in Lakonike in a first-century BCE inscription set up by the Tainarioi;100 a variant, the member ‘who carries the god’ (τὸν σὶν φέρων) is found in two other texts of comparable date.101 It is only possible to speculate on the material manifestation of the deity on these occasions, though a statue should be considered.102 An imperial inscription from Termessos records the dedication of a silver statue of Thea Eleuthera by her priest Ti. Cl. Florus, which was to be transported in procession.103 But the presence of the deity could be demonstrated in other ways. The hierophoros/hieraphoros, for instance, can be envisaged carrying sacred objects or images in procession;104 similarly the hagiaphoros105 and possibly the symbolaphoros.106 It can be speculated that certain of the variants of the sēmeiophoros, ‘sign-bearer’ may also have been called upon to carry images or symbols of the gods.107

  • 108 I.Eleusis 300, l. 15–16 (= SEG 30.93).
  • 109 IG II2 5077: ἱερέως | λιθοφόρου. Clinton (1974), p. 98, notes that ἱερέως is carved by a separate (...)
  • 110 Livy, 29.11.
  • 111 Pausanias records that on each feast day, the stone was decorated with ‘unworked wool’ (10.24.6: (...)
  • 112 The office holder in I.Eleusis 300 also acted as ἱερεύς Διὸς Ὁρίου καὶ Ἀθηνᾶς Ὁρίας καὶ Πο|σειδῶν (...)

27The lithophoros, ‘stone-bearer’, is attested at Athens/Eleusis in the late Hellenistic period and again in the 2nd/3rd centuries CE. In an honorific decree dated 20/19 BCE, this office is named in relation to the ‘sacred stone’ (ἱερός λίθος),108 while the associated priesthood was allotted a seat in the front row of the theatre of Dionysos in the Hadrianic period.109 The symbolism of this stone is not known, though it is possible that it was intended to represent a deity; we can think, for instance, of the baetyl of Meter transported to Rome in the second century BCE,110 or the stone at Delphi referred to by Pausanias, said to be connected with the myth of Kronos.111 No particular deity appears connected with this office, though the notion that the sacred stone represented a god is attractive.112

  • 113 SEG 38.1462 (= Wörrle [1988]); cf. Mitchell (1990).
  • 114 SEG 38.1462, l. 61–62 (= Wörrle [1988]); discussion at Wörrle (1988), p. 216–219. Cf. Cousin (190 (...)
  • 115 IG II2 2086; 2113; 2130 (Athens); SEG 38.1462 (= Wörrle [1988]), Cousin (1900), p. 338, no. 1 (Oi (...)
  • 116 SEG 58.1613.
  • 117 The discovery of the text was announced in the Sofia Globe: https://sofiaglobe.com/2019/07/12/arc (...)
  • 118 SEG 11.923.
  • 119 SEG 11.923, l. 2–4.
  • 120 e.g. a gold bust of an emperor, thought to be Marcus Aurelius, discovered at Aventicum in Switzer (...)

28In the imperial period, the transport of images of the emperors and their family was increasingly incorporated into the processional performance. The well-known inscription from Oinoanda in Lykia records the foundation of a local civic festival, to be called the Demostheneia after its founder C. Iulius Demosthenes. As a local notable in the time of Hadrian, Demosthenes gave money for the establishment of an agonistic festival and outlined details for its organisation, including the accompanying procession.113 The documents preserved tell us that ten Sebastophoroi were to be tasked with carrying images of the emperor alongside the ancestral god Apollo.114 The same ritual role is attested at Athens and Tanagra, where it is occupied by the ephebes;115 it is also found at Patara,116 and in a recently discovered inscription from Philippopolis.117 The benefaction of C. Vibius Salutaris at Ephesos also marks the visibility of Rome in an otherwise civic celebration, with instructions for the conveyance of statues related to Roman institutions alongside Artemis. In other instances, festivals were instituted explicitly to honour the imperial family, as at Gytheion early in the reign of Tiberius.118 Eikones of the imperial family were displayed on pedestals in the theatre: on the first, that of divine Augustus Caesar, on the second that of Julia Augusta, and on the third that of Imperator Tiberius.119 It is not known what form these eikones took, or whether they were carried in procession, but we can perhaps envisage busts that were movable.120

  • 121 Pleket (1965); Price (1984), p. 190–191; Friesen (2001), p. 113–116; Bremmer (2016). The evidence (...)
  • 122 Bremmer (2016), p. 24.
  • 123 Originally suggested by Robert (1960), p. 321–322, and followed by Pleket (1965), p. 343–343, Pri (...)

29There were other roles that indicate the incorporation of the imperial family into processional proceedings. At Kellai in Thrace, two Sebastophantai formed part of the Dionysiac company, indicating that veneration of the imperial family was part of the celebration. The Sebastophantēs has been connected with the Imperial Mysteries, though evidence remains scant and geographically limited.121 In his recent discussion of the evidence, J.N. Bremmer suggests that the mysteries associated with the imperial family were commonly affiliated and modelled onto pre-existing mystery cults.122 The role of the Sebastophantēs was thus similar to that of the hierophant, and the office-holder can be envisaged as ‘revealing’ the image of the emperor during the ritual.123

Spectacles of the Senses

  • 124 An imperial list of names from Ephesos may refer to those who wore white: I.Ephesos 907, l. 1: οἵ (...)
  • 125 SEG 38.1462 (= Wörrle [1988]), l. 61–62.
  • 126 SEG 11.923, l. 26–28. In this instance, the wreaths were laurel. An archidauchnaphoros and syndau (...)
  • 127 IG V 1.1390, l. 15–16 (= Gawlinski [2012]): οἱ τελούμενοι τὰ μυστήρια ἀνυπόδετοι ἔστωσαν καὶ ἐχόν (...)

30Processional aesthetics were a way to define and formulate how the event was to be experienced or ‘read’. In particular, the colours that participants wore were socially coded; for instance, we can observe the prevalence of white among processional participants as a way to assert their cleanliness or conformity.124 At Oinoanda it is specified that the Sebastophoroi should wear white with celery wreaths;125 similar prescriptions are found for the newly established procession at Gytheion for ‘the ephebes and neoi and other citizens’.126 In the procession at Andania, initiates were all to wear white and be barefoot, with additional regulations against any unnecessary adornment.127

  • 128 See the comments of Viviers (2010), p. 174–176, on the importance of clothing to processional aes (...)
  • 129 Wörrle (1988) (= SEG 38.1462), l. 52–53; 56–57. See also at Gerasa: SEG 7.825; Prusias in Bithyni (...)
  • 130 See n. 50.
  • 131 I.Ephesos 293; 1250. See Jaccottet (2003), p. 242. Cf. the Sindonophoros, ‘fine cloth-bearer’, fo (...)
  • 132 SEG 49.814.

31Processional attire was further delineated according to status or role.128 The significance of purple was engrained in antiquity, laden with associations of expense and power. During processions, the right to wear purple was restricted, awarded as an honour to priests and other prominent officials, including the agōnothetēs. At Oinoanda, Demosthenes specified that the agōnothetēs was to travel at the head of the procession, wearing a purple cloak and a gold crown adorned with busts of Hadrian and Apollo.129 Certain attire was restricted to particular cults and thus could be a marker of initiation; thus the melanēphoroi, ‘black-wearers’, associated with Egyptian cults.130 Mystery celebrations were also associated with particular dress or costume. At Ephesos in the imperial period the sakēphoroi mystai are attested, apparently distinguished by the coarse fabric of their attire, perhaps meant to indicate their humble status.131 Members of an association related to Dionysos at Thessalonike were also distinguished as nebriaphoroi, ‘fawn skin-bearers/wearers’, again referring to their costume.132

  • 133 See Kuhn (2014). E.g. at Athens (e.g. IG II² 4193A) and Argos, where it is paired with the right (...)
  • 134 I.Ephesos 27, l. 419–425, 437–438.
  • 135 Harland (2003), p. 492; Kuhn (2014), p. 77–78.
  • 136 I.Ephesos 276, l. 7–11: οἱ τὸν | [χρύ]σεον κόσμον βαστά|[ζον]τες τῆς μεγάλης θεᾶς | [Ἀρτέ]μιδος π (...)
  • 137 I.Ephesos 836, l. 3–4; 1081A, l. 4–5.
  • 138 Cf. the place inscription I.Ephesos 546: τόπος | εἰκονοφόρων | χρυσο|φόρων. It is possible that c (...)

32The title of chrysophoros ‘gold-wearer/bearer’ was another status-bestowing honour that became especially prominent in the imperial period and involved the right to ‘wear gold’ as a mark of civic distinction.133 At Ephesos, this honour is closely entwined with the priests of Artemis and the hieronikai, ‘sacred victors’, and they participated in civic processions in this capacity, transporting the statues funded by Salutaris.134 The status of chrysophoros at Ephesos thus would have permitted those awarded this title the right to wear some form of gold regalia at public events. But there is also the suggestion that this distinction at Ephesos involved them more literally ‘bearing gold’.135 An honorary inscription for Hadrian, dated 123/124 CE, is voted by ‘the priests and sacred victors who carry the gold ornaments of the great goddess Artemis’;136 a number of inscriptions also refer to the chrysophoroi of the goddess.137 In this instance, the role of the chrysophoros involved the ‘carrying of gold’ in procession, and not just as part of their attire.138

  • 139 Jones (1999), p. 252.
  • 140 See the ‘flower-bearers’ attested at Aphrodisias and Thasos, both in the imperial period.
  • 141 The connotations of the title skēptrophoros, ‘sceptre-bearer’, elsewhere used as an epithet of Ze (...)

33The overall effect of the processional performance marked such occasions out from the everyday and created an aesthetically pleasing spectacle. The prevalence and uniformity of the white would have had a clear visual impact, creating a contrast between those individuals processing and the spectators.139 This was offset by glimpses of purple and flashes of gold or other metals worn by individuals of distinguished status. Add to this the vibrancy of the verdant wreaths and flowers140 and a distinctive visual vocabulary begins to emerge. Through a combination of these factors, the attire worn during festivities acted as a signifier, both to fellow participants and observers, of the roles and status of different groups; their force and function were socially engrained.141

  • 142 See discussion of Betts (2017) on ‘sensory artefacts’.
  • 143 IG XII 4.1.278.
  • 144 e.g. I.Délos 1417 (155/4 BCE), Face A, col. 1, l. 41, 105, col. 2, l. 49; Face B, col. 1, l. 91 a (...)
  • 145 Day (2017), p. 187. According to Pliny (Natural History 21.17), the best saffron in the Roman era (...)
  • 146 Athenaeus 5.197f.
  • 147 See Day (2017), p. 189–190.
  • 148 See n. 94.
  • 149 More generally, the sequence of procession followed by communal feast is engrained, with pompē se (...)

34In addition to this distinct visual codification of the processional experience, we can also probe other sensory elements, whether they be olfactory, through the burning of incense, gustatory, through participation in communal feasts, auditory, through the playing of music, or haptic, through the burden of carrying and touching ritual accoutrements.142 These more ephemeral aspects are hinted at in the epigraphic record; the ‘flower-bearers’, for instance, would have had an olfactory as well as visual impact. More directly, an ‘incense-bearer’, thyaphoros, is attested on Kos in the fourth century BCE,143 while a ‘processional censer’ (θυμιατήριον πομπικὸν) is repeatedly listed in the Hellenistic inventories of Delos.144 A possible reference to an arōmatophoros, ‘spice-bearer’, is further found at Ephesos. Details are lacking about the spices involved, though we can trace the importance of saffron in a festival context;145 in the procession of Ptolemy at Alexandria, as recounted by Athenaeus, boys dressed in purple tunics carried gold platters of saffron, as well as frankincense and myrrh.146 Again, the scent of the spices would have contributed to the experience of the ritual alongside the impact of their colour.147 It can be envisaged that the deipnophoria pompē at Ephesos involved the carrying of food to be offered to the gods at the culmination of the procession;148 literary descriptions of the lavish displays in the Hellenistic and imperial periods further include various edible elements.149

  • 150 Kubatzki (2018), p. 143–144.
  • 151 I.Ephesos 14, l. 21.
  • 152 I.Eleusis 300, l. 18.
  • 153 I.Pergamon 374; cf. Bremmer (2016), p. 24–25. For general discussion, see Friesen (2001), p. 104– (...)
  • 154 See Clinton (1974), p. 67–68. Cf. Chaniotis (2018), esp. p. 23–25.
  • 155 In the Torre Nova inscription (see n. 44), the order in which the functionaries were listed could (...)
  • 156 I.Délos 2619 (Delos); SEG 49.814 (Thessalonike).
  • 157 Antrophylakes, ‘guards of the cave’, are also listed in the Torre Nova inscription (IGUR I 160, S (...)
  • 158 Attested in Athens c. 120 CE, associated with cults of Isis (IG II2 4771), and at Leukopetra in 1 (...)
  • 159 IGBulg 3.1. 1517, col. 1, l. 30: Αὐρ(ηλία) Ἀρτεμιδώρα λυχνοάπτρια.
  • 160 See Chaniotis (2018). Cf. an imperial-era statue base for a sacred herald at Eleusis, which depic (...)

35Music and the singing of hymns were also an integral aspect of civic celebrations, and different musicians are attested in the epigraphic record.150 A molpos, for instance, is attested alongside the ‘salt-bearer’ and ‘celery-bearer’ as part of the list of ritual functionaries at Ephesos.151 A first-century BCE inscription related to the Eleusinian Mysteries includes a reference to the hymnagōgoi, ‘choral-leaders’,152 while hymnōdēs were an important element of Imperial Mysteries, notably at Pergamon.153 The manipulation of light sources would be another factor contributing to the atmosphere, in particular as a number of festivals contained a nocturnal element. The celebrations attached to mystery cults typically took place at night; notably, the dadouchos, ‘torch-bearer’, at Eleusis played a prominent role at the culmination of proceedings, assisting the hierophant in the revealing of the mysteria, which was associated with a great light.154 The ‘fire-bearer’, pyrphoros or pyrophoros among other variant spellings, similarly played an important ritual role in lighting the altar; however, that does not preclude their participation in any procession that preceded the final ceremonies.155 We can also point to the lamptērophoros, a functionary in the cult of Sarapis on Delos, or the archilampadēphoros at Thessalonike in a speira apparently connected to Dionysos.156 Another ritual role that might indicate a dark environment, whether at night or not,157 is the lychnaptria, the female official responsible for lighting lamps in the temple.158 The office holder is listed among the roles in the inscription from Kellai (as lychnoaptria), and would have lined up alongside the other office holders in any procession.159 A night-time component to festivities required the employment of torches as a means of illumination, and they would have been carried by participants; their incorporation in associated processions as well as the subsequent ritual enactments would have fundamentally altered the atmosphere, adding to the sense of drama and an intensification of emotions.160

  • 161 Apul. Metam. 11.9.
  • 162 Hel. Aeth. 3.2 (trans. B.P. Reardon). Cf. Xen. Eph. 1.2.4

36These hints in the epigraphic record can be fleshed out by the more colourful descriptions encountered in the literary sources, where processions are presented as multi-sensory celebrations. In Apuleius, we hear of women crowned with flowers, scattering petals along the route, and a party with perfume bottles, sprinkling the road with balsam and other perfumes.161 In the procession of Thessalians at Delphi, as recounted in the Aethiopica of Heliodorus, we hear that the maidens were divided into two groups: half carried baskets of flowers and fresh fruit, the other half ‘bore wickerwork trays of sweetmeats and aromatics that breathed a sweet fragrance over the whole place.’162 Such lively descriptions are lacking in the epigraphic sources; however, inscriptions do reveal another important facet of the processional experience: the attention paid to their organisation on a local level. The image projected of the community during processions was an active concern in the planning process.

Conclusions

37This survey of the epigraphically attested ritual roles of the -phoros type has sought to exploit what they can reveal about the material dimensions of processional performance, whether through the conveyance of accoutrements and ritual objects, or the adoption of certain attire. It has also probed how these ritual titles may have functioned in practice, considering their more dynamic elements and sensory engagement. Processions were occasions to communicate with the gods, but they were also celebrations, when a community (and others) would come together to dress up/dance/play music/drink, to put on a performance. Ultimately, it was their sense of spectacle and their sensory effect that gave processions their power and impact; the ritual titles preserved in the epigraphic record offer a sense of how this was achieved through their material aspects.

38The symbolism of the various accoutrements carried towards the deity was fundamental, and the materiality of processions was constructed around the veneration of civic deities and their associated mythologies. A clear visual vocabulary was employed to articulate such local specificities, with the objects borne in procession playing a central role in ritual enactments; at the same time, there were many commonalities across the Greek East, which enabled local processional performances to be accessible to a broad audience. The majority of objects specified fall into wider categories: for instance, some form of basket to carry sacred objects; various torches/lamps; ornamentation for the deity; the thyrsos of Dionysos, by different names; some form of image of the god, or other religious symbols. During the imperial period, images of the emperor and his family were also integrated into this schema, with the visibility of Rome becoming a prominent aspect of festival conduct under the empire. While local in character and significance, a number of these processions were widely comprehensible, distinguished not just by the local mythologies being commemorated, but by the size of the organising community, the amount expended and the grandeur of the occasion (for instance, whether it attracted people from the local area or further afield).

39The majesty of processions is inextricably linked with the question of finance, and the role of benefactors looms large in festival culture in the Greek East, particularly during the imperial period. This appears to correlate with increased regulation and the greater demarcation of offices and roles, which in turn served to advertise elite patronage and reaffirm their standing. Processions were socially coded and an opportunity to reflect an image of the community. The apparent predominance of wealthy individuals (including men, women and children) in roles of high visibility reaffirmed the status of the elite and their families; it seems probable that a sizeable contribution was expected of them in return. The epigraphic record does not provide all the answers about the significance or symbolism of the attested ritual roles, but the snapshots offered put the aesthetics of processions and their material manifestations at the heart of how they were experienced and understood.

Table 1. Ritual roles of the -phoros type in the epigraphic record

Ἁγιαφόρος

Hagiaphoros

‘Sacred object-bearer’

Athens

IG II2 4771

2nd c. CE

Ἀθλοφόρος

Athlophoros

‘Prize-bearer’

Egypt

OGIS 90

2nd c. BCE

Ἁλοφόρος

Halophoros

‘Salt-bearer’

Ephesos

I.Ephesos 14; 908

1st c. BCE/Imperial

Ἀνθoφόρος

(Ἀνθηφόρος)

Anthophoros

‘Flower-bearer’

Aphrodisias

I.Aphr. 1.183; 1.187; 5.210; 12.531; 12.532

2nd/3rd c. CE

Thasos

IG XII 8.526; 553; 609; IG XII Suppl. 410; 411

Imperial

Ἀρχιδαυχναφόρος

See under Δαυχναφόρος

Archidauchnaphoros

‘Chief laurel-bearer’

  

  

  

Ἀρχιδενδροφόρος

See under

Δενδροφόρος

Archidendrophoros

‘Chief tree-bearer’

  

  

  

Ἀρχιλαμπαδηφόρος

See under

Λαμπαδηφόρος

Archilampadēphoros

‘Chief torch-bearer’

  

  

  

Ἀρωματοφόρος

Arōm[atophoros]

‘Spice-bearer’

Ephesos

I.Ephesos 1076

2nd/3rd c. CE

Βοωφόρος

Boōphoros

Thessalonike

IG X 2.1.244

2nd c. CE

Βωμοφόρος

Bōmophoros

‘Altar-bearer’

Pergamon

SEG 16.740

Imperial

Γαλακτηφόρος

Galaktēphoros

‘Milk-bearer’

Thessalonike

IG X 2.1.65

3rd c. CE

Δαυχναφόρος

Dauchnaphoros

‘Laurel-bearer’

Phalanna

IG IX 2.1234

1st c. BCE

Pherai

Unpublished

3rd c. BCE

Δειπνοφόρος

Deipnophoros

‘Meal-bearer’

Athens

SEG 21.527; IG II² 5151

4th c. BCE; Imperial

Ephesos

I.Ephesos 1577b

Imperial

Δενδροφόρος

Dendrophoros

‘Tree-bearer’

Novae (Moesia Inferior)

Gerov (1989), no. 295 (Latin)

2nd/3rd c. CE

Tomis (Scythia)

I.Tomis 83

2nd/3rd c. CE

Serdica (Bulgaria)

IGBulg 4.1925.b

2nd/3rd c. CE

Eἰκονοφόρος

Eikonophoros

‘Image-bearer’

Aizanoi

MAMA IX 131

Imperial

Ephesos

I.Ephesos 546

Imperial

Ἐρρηφόρος

Errēphoros

‘Bearer of sacred things’

Athens

IG II2 3496; 3497; 3554; 3555; 3556

1st c. BCE/1st c. CE

Ἐρσοφόρος

Ersophoros

‘Bearer of sacred things’

Mytilene, Lesbos

IG XII 2.255

3rd c. CE

Θεοφόρος

Theophoros

‘God-bearer’

Dionysopolis

SEG 60.768

3rd c. CE

Rome

IGUR I 160

2nd c. CE

Samos

IG XII 6.2.596

2nd c. BCE

Θυαφόρος

Thyaphoros

‘Incense-bearer’

Kos

IG XII 4.1.278

4th c. BCE

Θυρσοφόρος

Thyrsophoros

‘Thyrsos-bearer’

Ephesos

I.Ephesos 1268; 1601; 1602; 1982

Imperial

Ἱεραφόρος

(Ἱεροφόρος)

Hieraphoros

‘Sacred object-bearer’

Akarnania

IG IX 12.247; 250; 251

2nd c. BCE

Anazarbos

I.Anazarbos 4

3rd c. CE

Chaironeia

IG VII 3426

3rd c. CE

Kos

IG XII 4.2.560

2nd c. CE

Paros

IG XII 5.291

Pergamon

I.Pergamon 336; MDAI(A) 35 (1910), p. 475, no. 62

Late Hellenistic/Imperial

Samos

IG XII 6.2.600

2nd c. CE

Thebes

IG VII 2681

Late Imperial

Thessalonike

IG X 2.1.16; 58; 222; 258

Late Hellenistic/Imperial

Καλαθηφόρος

(Καλατηφόρος)

Kalathēphoros

‘Basket-bearer’

Ephesos

I.Ephesos 1060; 1070; 1070a; 1071; 1072; 1076

Imperial

Termessos

SEG 57.1620

Imperial

Κανηφόρος

Kanēphoros

‘Basket-bearer’

Athens

e.g. IG II2 3477; 3489; 3554; 3565

Hellenistic/Imperial

Delos

e.g. I.Délos 1869; 1870; 1871; 2061; 2212; 2238

Hellenistic

Delphi

F.Delphes 3.2.29; 31

2nd/1st c. BCE

Egypt

OGIS 90

2nd c. BCE

Eleusis

I.Eleusis 267; 282; 283; 394

1st c. BCE/Imperial

Ephesos

I.Ephesos 1602

2nd c. CE

Ilion

I.Mysia & Troas 214; 215; 216

1st c. BCE

Kos

Iscr. Cos 215; Herzog, KFF 101; Iscr. Cos (Fun.) EF 80

1st c. BCE/Imperial

Skyros

IG XII 8.666

2nd c. BCE

Termessos

TAM III.1.59

3rd c. CE

Kισσοφόρος

Kissophoros

‘Ivy-bearer’

Mytilene

IG XII 2.484

Imperial

Κισταφόρος

Kistaphoros

‘Basket-bearer’

Apollonia (Thrace)

IGBulg 12.401

  

Kellai

IGBulg 3.1.1517

3rd c. CE

Rome

IGUR I 160

2nd c. CE

Sardis

Sardis VII.1.195

1st c. BCE

Thessalonike

IG X 2.1.65

3rd c. CE

Κλᾳκοφόρος

(Κλαϊκοφόρος)

Klakophoros

‘Key-bearer’

Apollonia (Illyria)

I.Apollonia 16

Hellenistic

Messene

IG V 1.1447

3rd/ early 2nd c. BCE

Κλειδοφόρος

(Κλιδοφόρος)

Kleidophoros

‘Key-bearer’

Klaros

Ferrary (2014), no. 40

2nd c. CE

Lagina

e.g. I.Stratonikeia 532; 538–540; 674; 676; 680; 683; 690; 707; 710; 1430; 1431

Imperial

Panamara

I.Stratonikeia 17; 227; 235; 237; 254; 255; 326–327

Imperial

Side

I.Side 17

2nd/3rd c. CE

Stratonikeia

I.Stratonikeia 1028; 1048

Hellenistic/Imperial

Κοσμοφόρος

Kosmophoros

‘Adornment-bearer’

Didyma

I.Didyma 32

2nd c. BCE

Ephesos

I.Ephesos 14

1st c. BCE

Lagina

I.Stratonikeia 690

2nd c. CE

Notion

SEG 38.1220

Imperial

Λαμπαδηφόρος

Lampadēphoros

‘Torch-bearer’

Thessalonike

SEG 49.814

2nd/3rd c. CE

Λαμπτηροφόρος

Lamptērophoros

‘Light-bearer’

Delos

I.Délos 2619

1st c. BCE

Λικναφόρος

(Λεικναφόρος)

Liknaphoros

‘Basket-bearer’

Apollonia (Thrace)

IGBulg 12.401

  

Kellai

IGBulg 3.1.1517

3rd c. CE

Kenchreai

SEG 60.329

1st/2nd c. CE

Rome

IGUR I 160

2nd c. CE

Λιθοφόρος

Lithophoros

‘Stone-bearer’

Athens

IG II2 5077

2nd c. CE

Eleusis

I.Eleusis 300; 624

Late Hellenistic

2nd/3rd c. CE

Λουτροφόρος

Loutrophoros

‘Water-bearer’

Bargylia

I.Iasos 628

  

Iasos

I.Iasos 115

  

Didyma

I.Didyma 330

Imperial

Mαστῑγοφόρος

Mastigophoros

‘Whip-bearer’

Oinoanda

SEG 38.1462

2nd c. CE

Patara

SEG 58.1613

1st c. CE

Perge

I.Perge 47; 48; 193; 350; 351

Imperial

Mελανηφόρος

Melanēphoros

‘Black-wearer’

Delos

e.g. IG XI 4.1226; 1228; 1229; I.Délos 2075–2080

Hellenistic

Euboia

IG XII Suppl. 571

3rd c. BCE

Nαρθηκοφόρος

(Nαρθακοφόρος)

Narthēkophoros

‘Narthex-bearer’

Kellai

IGBulg 3.1.1517

3rd c. CE

Loryma

I.Rhod.Per. 4

4th/3rd c. BCE

Lydia

TAM V.1.817; 822

2nd c. CE

Nεβριαφόρος

(Nεβραφόρος)

Nebriaphoros

‘Fawn-skin-bearer/wearer’

Thessalonike

SEG 49.814

2nd/3rd c. CE

Παστοφόρος

Pastophoros

‘Statue/shrine-bearer’ (?)

Egypt

I.Fayoum 1.60; 2.135; 2.136

Hellenistic

Tomis (Scythia)

I.Tomis 98

2nd/3rd c. CE

Πτεροφόρας

(Πτεροφόρος)

Pterophoras

‘Feather-bearer’

Egypt

e.g. OGIS 56; 90; SEG 31.1556 (Bataille nos. 15, 16, 26)

3rd/1st c. BCE

Πυρφόρος

(Πυροφόρος, Πουροφόρος)

Pyrphoros

‘Fire-bearer’

Athens

e.g. IG II2 1077; 1247; 1803; 1944

Hellenistic/Imperial

Delos

I.Délos 1416; 1417

2nd c. BCE

Delphi

F.Delphes 3.2: 13; 32

Late 2nd/early 1st c. BCE

Didyma

I.Didyma 372

Imperial

Eleusis

I.Eleusis 300; 489; 502, 530

Hellenistic/Imperial

Epidauros

e.g. IG IV2 1.227, 278, 304; 328; 381–385; 530

Hellenistic/Imperial

Lakonike

e.g. IG V 1.991; 992; 997, 999; 1000, 1018.

  

Lerna

IG IV 666

3rd c. CE

Miletos

Milet VI.3.1140

2nd c. CE

Plataiai

IG VII 1667

Early Imperial

Rome

IGUR I 160

2nd c. CE

Thebes

IG VII 2447

1st c. BCE

Thespiai

e.g. IG VII 1760; 1776; I.Thespiai 165; 167; 169; 170; 177; 180

Hellenistic/Imperial

Ῥαβδοφόρος

Rhabdophoros

‘Staff-bearer’

Andania

IG V 1.1390

1st c. CE

Athens

IG II2 1368; 3968

2nd c. CE

Lebadeia

IG VII 3078

1st c. BCE

Σακηφόρος

Sakēphoros

‘Coarse cloth-wearer’

Ephesos

I.Ephesos 293; 1250

Imperial

Σεβαστοφόρος

Sebastophoros

‘Imperial image-bearer’

Athens

e.g. IG II2 2086; 2113; 2130

Imperial

Oinoanda

SEG 38.1462; BCH 24 (1900) 338, no.1

Imperial

Patara

SEG 58.1613

1st c. CE

Tanagra

Robert (1939) 122, II

3rd c. CE

Σελεινοφόρος

Seleinophoros

‘Celery-bearer’

Ephesos

I.Ephesos 14

1st c. BCE

Σημειοφόρος

(Σημεαφόρος, Σημηαφόρος, Σημιαφόρος, Σημιοφόρος)

Sēmeiophoros

‘Sign-bearer’

Augusta Traiana

Sharankov (2017), p. 781–782, n. 5

Imperial

Egypt

e.g. I.Breccia 44a; I.Hermoupolis Magna 4–6; Evelyn-White and Oliver, Hibis II 17; Gauthier (1911–1914) p. 281, no. 30

  

Herakleia Salbake

Robert – Robert (1954), no. 78

2nd c. CE

Hierapolis

I.Hierapolis 153

Imperial

Kaunos

I.Kaunos 136

2nd c. CE

Kellai

IGBulg 3.1.1517

3rd c. CE

Nisyra (Lydia)

SEG 49.1623

1st c. BCE

Perge

I.Perge 469

1st c. CE

Prusias ad Hypium

I.Prusias 104

Imperial

Smyrna

I.Smyrna 741

2nd/3rd c. CE

Σινδονοφόρος

Sindonophoros

‘Fine cloth-bearer’

Tegea

IG V 2.48

1st/2nd c. CE

Σιοφόρος

Siophoros

‘God-bearer’

Sparta

IG V 1.212

1st c. BCE

Σκηπτροφόρος

Skēptrophoros

‘Sceptre-bearer’

Anazarbos

I.Anazarbos 52

2nd c. CE

Sardis

SEG 36.1101

2nd c. CE

Σπαδεικοφόρος

Spadeikophoros

‘Palm branch-bearer’

Tegea

IG V 2.50; 53

2nd c. CE

Σπειροφόρος

Speirophoros

‘Fabric-bearer’

Ephesos

I.Ephesos 14

1st c. BCE

Συνβολαφόρος

(Συνβοληφόρος)

Synbolaphoros

‘Sacred symbol-bearer(?)’

Bithynia

TAM IV.1.76

  

Cayster Valley/Lydia

Herrmann – Malay (2007), no. 97

2nd c. BCE

Lydia

TAM V.1.576

  

Esenyazı (Lydia)

Malay – Petzl (2017) no. 79

Imperial

Συνδαυχναφόρος

See under

Δαυχναφόρος

Syndauchnaphoros

‘Fellow laurel-bearer’

  

  

  

Ὑδροφόρος

Hydrophoros

‘Water-bearer’

Didyma

I.Didyma 307–388

Hellenistic/Imperial

Miletos

Milet I.2.7; Milet I.7.204; 258; 265; Milet VI.3.1427

Imperial

Kazıklı (originally Iasos?)

LBW 310

  

Patmos

SEG 39.855

3rd/4th c. CE

Φαλλοφόρος

Phallophoros

‘Phallus-bearer’

Rome

IGUR I 160

2nd c. CE

Φιαληφόρος

Phialēphoros

‘Phiale-bearer’

Piraeus

IG II2 1328

2nd c. BCE

Φοινεικοφόρος

Phoineikophoros

‘Palm-bearer’

Tegea

IG V 2.47; 48

1st/2nd c. CE

Χαλειδοφόρος

Chaleidophoros

‘Cup-bearer’

Messene

IG V 1.1468; 1469

1st/2nd c. CE

Χρυσοφόρος

Chrysophoros

‘Gold-bearer/wearer’

Ephesos

e.g. I.Ephesos 276; 836; 1081A.

Imperial

Magnesia/Maeander

I.Magnesia 119; 225

Imperial

Tralles

I.Tralleis 73; 90; 145

Imperial

Ὠσκοφόρος

Ōskophoros

‘Vine-branch-bearer’

Athens

SEG 21.527

4th c. BCE

Haut de page

Bibliographie

N. Belayche, “Les hiérophantes marqueurs des « mystères » ? Le cas de l’Artémis éphésienne”, Mètis 14 (2016), p. 49–74.

E. Betts, “The multivalency of sensory artefacts in the city of Rome”, in E. Betts (ed.), Senses of the Empire: Multisensory Approaches to Roman Culture, Abingdon, 2017, p. 23–38.

F. Bömer, “Pompa”, in RE XXI (1952), col. 1878–1993.

J.N. Bremmer, “Imperial mysteries”, Mètis, N.S. 14 (2016), p. 21–34.

J.N. Bremmer, Initiation into the Mysteries of the Ancient World, Berlin, 2014.

C. Brøns, Gods and Garments: Textiles in Greek Sanctuaries in the 7th to the 1st centuries BC, Oxford, 2017.

P. Brulé, La Fille d’Athènes. La religion des filles à Athènes à l’époque classique : mythes, cultes et société, Paris, 1987.

W. Burkert, Savage Energies: Lessons of Myth and Ritual in Ancient Greece, Chicago, 2001 (translated by Peter Bing).

A. Chaniotis, “Sich selbst feiern? Städtische Feste des Hellenismus im Spannungsfeld zwischen Religion und Politik”, in M. Wörrle and P. Zanker (eds.), Stadtbild und Bürgerbild in Hellenismus: Kolloquium, München, 24. bis 26. Juni 1993, Munich, 1995, p. 147–172.

A. Chaniotis, “Konkurrenz und Profilierung von Kultgemeinden im Fest”, in J. Rüpke (ed.), Festrituale in der römischen Kaiserzeit, Tübingen, 2008, p. 67–87.

A. Chaniotis, “Processions in Hellenistic cities: contemporary discourses and ritual dynamics”, in R. Alston, O.M. Van Nijf, and C.G. Williamson (eds.), Cults, Creeds and Identities in the Greek City after the Classical Age, Leuven, 2013, p. 21–47.

A. Chaniotis, “Nessun Dorma! Changing nightlife in the Hellenistic and Roman East”, in A. Chaniotis (ed.), La Nuit : imaginaire et reálités nocturnes dans le monde gréco-romain. Neuf exposés suivis de discussions, Vandœuvres, 2018, p. 1–58.

A.S. Chankowski, “Processions et cérémonies d’accueil. Une image de la cité de la basse époque hellénistique”, in P. Fröhlich and C. Müller (eds.), Citoyenneté et participation à la basse époque hellénistique, Geneva, 2005, p. 185–206.

W. Clarysse, “Egyptian temples and priests: Graeco-Roman”, in A.B. Lloyd (ed.), A Companion to Ancient Egypt, Chichester, 2010, p. 274–290.

K. Clinton, The Sacred Officials of the Eleusinian Mysteries, Philadelphia, 1974.

T. Corsten, “Zu Inschriften aus Kleinasien”, EA 37 (2004), p. 107–114.

G. Cousin, “Voyage en Carie”, BCH 24 (1900), p. 329–347.

J. Day, “Scents of place and colours of smell. Fragranced entertainment in ancient Rome”, in E. Betts (ed.), Senses of the Empire: Multisensory Approaches to Roman Culture, Abingdon, 2017, p. 176–192.

N. Deshours, Les Mystères d’Andania. Étude d’épigraphie et d’histoire religieuse, Bordeaux, 2006 (Scripta Antiqua, 16).

S. Dillon, The Female Portrait Statue in the Greek World, Cambridge, 2011.

K.M.D. Dunbabin, Theater and Spectacle in the Art of the Roman Empire, New York, 2016.

W. Eck, “Der Euergetismus im Funktionszusammenhang der kaiserzeitlichen Städte”, in M. Christol and O. Masson (eds.), Actes du Xe Congrès International d’Épigraphie grecque et latine, Nîmes, 4–9 octobre 1992, Paris, 1997, p. 305–331.

H.G. Evelyn-White and J.H. Oliver, The Temple of Hibis in El Khārgeh Oasis. Part II. Greek Inscriptions, New York, 1938 (Publications of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Egyptian Expedition No. 14).

J. Fejfer, Roman Portraits in Context, Berlin, 2008.

J.‑L. Ferrary, Les Mémoriaux de délégations du sanctuaire oraculaire de Claros : d’après la documentation conservée dans le Fonds Louis Robert, Paris, 2014.

J.M. Fossey, “Some Imperial statue bases from the South West Kopais”, in H. Kalcyk, B. Gullath and A. Graeber (eds.), Studien zur Alten Geschichte: Siegfried Lauffer zum 70. Geburtstag am 4. August 1981 dargebracht von Freunden, Kollegen und Schülern. vol. 1, Rome, 1986, p. 247–259.

S.J. Friesen, Imperial Cults and the Apocalypse of John: Reading Revelation in the Ruins, Oxford, 2001.

H. Gauthier, Le Temple de Kalabchah, 2 vols., Cairo, 1911–1914.

P. Gauthier, Les Cités grecques et leurs bienfaiteurs, Paris, 1985.

L. Gawlinski, The Sacred Law of Andania: A New Text with Commentary, Berlin/Boston, 2012.

B. Gerov, Inscriptiones Latinae in Bulgaria repertae, Sofia, 1989.

F. Graf, “Ritual restoration and innovation in the Greek cities of the Roman Imperium”, in A. Chaniotis (ed.), Ritual Dynamics in the Ancient Mediterranean. Agency, Emotion, Gender, Representation, Stuttgart, 2011, p. 105–117.

L.‑M. Günther, “Eine familienstolze Hydrophoren-Mutter: Die Tantenschaft der Julia Hostilia Rheso (IvDidyma 372)”, Tyche 11 (1996), p. 113–121.

P.A. Harland, “Christ-bearers and fellow-initiates: local cultural life and Christian identity in Ignatius’ Letters”, Journal of Early Christian Studies 11–4 (2003), p. 481–499.

B.V. Head, Historia Numorum. A Manual of Greek Numismatics (Second Edition), Oxford, 1911.

R. Heberdey, “Δαιτίς. Ein Beitrag zum ephesischen Artemiscult”, JÖAI 7 (1904), p. 210–215.

M. Heinz, Thessalische Votivstelen: Epigraphische Auswertung, Typologie der Stelenformen, Ikonographie der Reliefs, Ph.D thesis, Bochum, 1998.

A. Henrichs, “Die Maenaden von Milet”, ZPE 4 (1969), p. 223–241.

A. Henrichs, “Despoina Kybele: Ein Beitrag zur Religiösen Namenkunde”, HSCP 80 (1976), p. 253–286.

P. Hermann, Ergebnisse einer Reise in Nordostlydien, Vienna, 1962.

P. Herrmann and H. Malay, New Documents from Lydia, Vienna, 2007 (Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaftern. Ergänzungsbände zu den Tituli Asiae Minoris, 24).

F. Imhoof-Blumer, “Griechische Münzen”, Numismatic Chronicle 15 (1895), p. 269–289.

F. Imhoof-Blumer, Kleinasiatische Münzen. Band 1, Vienna, 1901.

F. Imhoof-Blumer, “Antike griechische Münzen”, RSN 19 (1913), p. 5–134.

A.‑F. Jaccottet, Choisir Dionysos. Les associations dionysiaques ou la face cachée du dionysisme, Kilchberg, 2003.

C.P. Jones, “Processional colors”, Studies in the History of Art 56, Symposium Papers XXXIV: The Art of Ancient Spectacle (1999), p. 246–257.

C.P. Jones, “A Hellenistic cult-association”, Chiron 38 (2008), p. 195–204.

A. Kavoulaki, “Processional performance and the democratic polis”, in S. Goldhill and R. Osborne (eds.), Performance Culture and Athenian Democracy, Cambridge, 1999, p. 293–320.

R.A. Kearsley, “Women and public life in imperial Asia Minor: Hellenistic tradition and Augustan ideology”, Ancient West and East 4–1 (2005), p. 98–121.

D. Knibbe, Der Staatsmarkt: die Inschriften des Prytaneions: die Kureteninschriften und sonstige religiöse Texte, Vienna, 1981.

D. Knoepfler, Décrets érétriens de proxénie et de citoyenneté, Lausanne, 2001 (Eretria, 11).

C. Kokkinia, “Games vs. Buildings as Euergetic Choices”, in J. Nollé (ed.), L’Organisation des spectacles dans le monde romain, Geneva, 2011, p. 97–130.

U. Kron, “Priesthoods, dedications and euergetism: what part did religion play in the political and social status of women?”, in P. Hellström and B. Alroth (eds.), Religion and Power in the Ancient Greek World. Proceedings of the Uppsala Symposium 1993, Uppsala, 1996, p. 139–82.

J. Kubatzki, “Processions and pilgrimage in ancient Greece: some iconographical considerations”, in U. Luig (ed.), Approaching the Sacred: Pilgrimage in historical and intercultural perspective, Berlin, 2018, p. 129–157.

A.B. Kuhn, “The chrysophoria in the cities of Greece and Asia Minor in the Hellenistic and Roman periods”, Tyche 29 (2014), p. 51–87.

R.J. Lane Fox, “The Letter to Gadatas”, in G.A. Malouchou and A.P. Matthaiou (eds.), Χιακὸν Συμπόσιον εἰς μνήμην W.G. Forrest, Athens, 2006, p. 149–171.

A. Laumonier, Les Cultes indigènes en Carie, Paris, 1958.

I. Leventi (2015), “The relief statue base of Nummius Nigreinos, Sacred herald of the Eleusinian Mysteries. The iconography of Eleusinian cult initiates and officials in Roman Imperial times”, in C.‑G. Alexandrescu (ed.), Cult and Votive Monuments in the Roman Provinces: Proceedings of the 13th Colloquium on Roman Provincial Art, Cluj-Napoca, 2015, p. 63–72.

H. Malay, Researches in Lydia, Mysia and Aiolis, Vienna, 1999 (Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaftern. Ergänzungsbände zu den Tituli Asiae Minoris, 23).

H. Malay and G. Petzl, New Religious Texts from Lydia, Vienna, 2017 (Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaftern. Ergänzungsbände zu den Tituli Asiae Minoris, 28).

M.‑C. Marcellesi, “Les hydrophores d’Artémis Pythiè à Milet”, in M.‑F. Baslez and F. Prévot (eds.), Prosopographie et histoire religieuse. Actes du colloque tenu en l’Université Paris XII–Val de Marne les 27 et 28 octobre 2000, Paris, 2005, p. 85–112.

J.D. Mikalson, New Aspects of Religion in Ancient Athens: honors, authorities, esthetics, and society, Leiden, 2016.

M. Mili, Religion and Society in Ancient Thessaly, Oxford, 2015.

S. Mitchell, “Review: Festivals, games, and civic life in Roman Asia Minor”, JRS 80 (1990), p. 183–193.

J. Mylonopoulos, “Commemorating pious service: images in honour of male and female priestly officers in Asia Minor and the Eastern Aegean in Hellenistic and Roman times”, in M. Horster and A. Klöckner (eds.), Cities and Priests: Cult Personnel in Asia Minor and the Aegean Islands from the Hellenistic to the Imperial Period, Berlin, 2013, p. 121–154.

P.M. Nigdelis, “Voluntary associations in Roman Thessalonikē: in search of identity and support in a cosmopolitan society”, in L. Nasrallah, C. Bakirtzis, and S.J. Friesen (eds.), From Roman to Early Christian Thessalonikē. Studies in Religion and Archaeology, Cambridge, Mass., 2010, p. 13–47.

M.P. Nilsson, “Die Prozessionstypen im griechischen Kult”, JdI 31 (1916), p. 309–339 [reprinted in Opuscula Selecta 1, Lund, 1951, p. 166–214].

J. Nollé, “Frauen wie Omphale?: Überlegungen zu „politischen“ Ämtern von Frauen im kaiserzeitlichen Kleinasien”, in M.H. Dettenhofer (ed.), Reine Männersache?: Frauen in Männerdomänen der antiken Welt, Köln, 1994, p. 229–259.

R. Parker, Polytheism and Society at Athens, Oxford, 2005.

P.J. Parsons, “Callimachus: Victoria Berenices”, ZPE 25 (1977), p. 1–50.

O. Pilz, “The profits of self-representation: statues of female cult personnel in the Late Classical and Hellenistic periods”, in M. Horster and A. Klöckner (eds.), Cities and Priests: Cult Personnel in Asia Minor and the Aegean Islands from the Hellenistic to the Imperial Period, Berlin, 2013, p. 155–175.

H.W. Pleket, “An aspect of the Imperial cult: Imperial mysteries”, HThR 58–4 (1965), p. 331–347.

H.W. Pleket, “Nine Greek inscriptions from the Cayster-valley in Lydia: A republication”, Talanta 2 (1970), p. 55–88.

F. Quantin, “Artémis à Apollonia aux époques hellénistique et romaine”, in P. Cabanes and J.‑L. Lamboley (eds.), L’Illyrie méridionale et l’Épire dans l’Antiquité. 4, Actes du IVe Colloque international de Grenoble (10–12 Octobre 2002), Paris, 2004, p. 595–608.

E.E. Rice, The Grand Procession of Ptolemy Philadelphus, Oxford, 1983.

A.‑K. Rieger, Heiligtümer in Ostia, Munich, 2004.

J. Robert and L. Robert, La Carie, II. Le Plateau de Tabai et ses environs, Paris, 1954.

L. Robert, “Hellenica”, RPh 13 (1939), p. 97–217 [republished in Opera Minora Selecta II, Amsterdam, 1969, p. 1250–1370].

L. Robert, “Recherches épigraphiques VI. Inscription d’Athènes”, REA 62 (1960), p. 316–324 [republished in Opera Minora Selecta II, Amsterdam, 1969, p. 832–840].

L. Robert, “Inscriptions de l’antiquité et du Bas-Empire à Corinthe”, REG 79 (1966), p. 733–770.

L. Robert, Monnaies grecques. Types, légendes, magistrats monétaires et géographie, Paris, 1967.

L. Robert, “Documents d’Asie Mineure”, BCH 101 (1977), p. 43–132 [reprinted in Documents d’Asie Mineure, Paris, 1987, p. 1–90].

L. Robert, “Une vision de Perpétue martyre à Carthage en 203”, CRAI 126–2 (1982), p. 228–276.

N. Robertson, “The riddle of the Arrhephoria at Athens”, HSCP 87 (1983), p. 241–288.

L.J. Roccos, “The kanephoros and her festival mantle in Greek art”, AJA 99–4 (1995), p. 641–666.

G.M. Rogers, The Sacred Identity of Ephesos. Foundation Myths of a Roman City, London, 1991.

P.J. Rhodes and R. Osborne, Greek Historical Inscriptions 404–323 BC, Oxford, 2003.

A. Schachter, Boiotia in Antiquity. Selected Papers, Cambridge, 2016.

J. Scheid, “Le thiase du Metropolitan Museum (IGUR I, 160)”, in L’Association dionysiaque dans les sociétés anciennes. Actes de la table ronde (Rome, 24–25 mai 1984), Rome, 1986 (Collection de l’École française de Rome, 89), p. 275–290.

N. Sharankov, “Notes on Greek inscriptions from Bulgaria”, Studia Classica Serdicensia 5 (2016), p. 305–361.

N. Sharankov, “ЕПИГРАФСКИ ОТКРИТИЯ ПРЕЗ 2016 г./Epigraphic Discoveries in 2016” in АРХЕОЛОГИЧЕСКИ ОТКРИТИЯ И РАЗКОПКИ ПРЕЗ 2016/Archaeological Discoveries and Excavations in 2016, Sofia, 2017, p. 779–782.

M. Slavova, “Mystery clubs in Bulgarian lands in Antiquity. Greek epigraphical evidence”, Opuscula Atheniensia 27 (2002), p. 137–149.

C. Sourvinou-Inwood, Athenian Myths and Festivals: Aglauros, Erechtheus, Plynteria, Panathenaia, Dionysia, Oxford, 2011.

J. Steinhauer, Religious Associations in the Post-Classical Polis, Stuttgart, 2014.

J.H.M. Strubbe, “The Imperial cult at Pessinous”, in L. De Blois, P. Funke and J. Hahn (eds.), The Impact of Imperial Rome on Religions, Ritual and Religious Life in the Roman Empire, Leiden, 2006, p. 106–121.

P. Thonemann, “The women of Akmoneia”, JRS 100 (2010), p. 163–178.

M. True et al., “Greek processions”, ThesCRA I (2004), p. 1–20.

O. Tuplin, “The Gadatas letter”, in L. Mitchell and L. Rubinstein (eds.), Greek History and Epigraphy: Essays in honour of P.J. Rhodes, Swansea, 2009, p. 155–184.

R. van Bremen, The Limits of Participation. Women and Civic Life in the Greek East in the Hellenistic and Roman Periods, Amsterdam, 1996.

R. van Bremen, “The entire house is full of crowns: Hellenistic agōnes and the commemoration of victory”, in S. Hornblower and C. Morgan (eds.), Pindar’s Poetry, Patrons, and Festivals from Archaic Greece to the Roman Empire, Oxford, 2006, p. 345–375.

O. van Nijf, “Public space and the political culture of Roman Termessos”, in O.M. Van Nijf and R. Alston (eds.), Political Culture in the Greek City After the Classical Age, Paris, 2011, p. 215–242.

D. Viviers, “Elites et processions dans les cités grecques : une géométrique variable ?”, in L. Capdetrey and Y. Lafond (eds.), La Cité et ses élites. Pratiques et représentation des formes de domination et de contrôle social dans les cités grecques. Actes du colloque de Poitiers, 19–20 octobre 2006, Paris, 2010, p. 163–183.

W.H. Waddington, Voyage en Asie-Mineure au point de vue numismatique, Paris, 1853.

C. Williamson, “Sanctuaries as turning points in territorial formation. Lagina, Panamara and the development of Stratonikeia”, in. F. Pirson (ed.), Manifestationen von Macht und Hierarchien in Stadtraum und Landschaft, Byzas 13. Veröffentlichungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts Istanbul, Istanbul, 2012, p. 113–150.

M. Wörrle, Stadt und Fest im kaiserzeitlichen Kleinasien. Studien zu einer agonistischen Stiftung aus Oinoanda, Munich, 1988.

A. Zuiderhoek, The Politics of Munificence in the Roman Empire, Cambridge, 2009.

Haut de page

Notes

1 On processions generally, see Nilsson (1951); Bömer (1952); Chaniotis (1995); Graf (1996); Köhler (1996); Kavoulaki (1999); True et al. (2004); Chankowski (2005); Viviers (2010). The abbreviations used in this article follow SEG.

2 On the importance of aesthetics in Greek religion, see Chaniotis (1995), esp. p. 158–159; Mikalson (2016), p. 249–264. For discussion of processional aesthetics, see Kavoulaki (1999); Jones (1999); Viviers (2010); Chaniotis (2013); Dunbabin (2016).

3 See Parker (2005), p. 258–261, for discussion of the visible ranking of the Greater Panathenaia procession during the Classical period; so metics were assigned the role of ‘tray-bearers’, while metic maidens served as ‘parasol-bearers’ and ‘stool-bearers’, alongside the citizen ‘basket-bearers’ and old men who served as ‘olive-bearers’. Cf. Robertson (1983), p. 244–250; Parker (2005), p. 173–177 (Skirophoria); p. 211–217 (Ōschophoria); p. 270–283 (Thesmophoria). Ōschophoroi and deipnophoroi are listed in a 4th c. BCE text from Athens: SEG 21.527. The ōschophoroi are attested carrying vine boughs; see Parker (2005), p. 214–217.

4 On the question of whether the Arrēphoria existed as a separate festival, see Parker (2005), p. 163, 221.

5 Chaniotis (2013), p. 43.

6 See the comments of Chankowski (2005).

7 Athenaeus, 5.197c–203b; his account was derived from Callixeinus of Rhodes. See now Rice (1983).

8 Theocritus, Idylls 2, 64–74, where Simaetha first encounters her beloved Delphis during a procession in honour of Artemis; her acquaintance Anaxo had served as basket-bearer, while her neighbour had ‘begged and pleaded’ with her to see/admire the pompē (τὰν πομπὰν θάσασθαι). Cf. Idylls 15: Praxinoa and Gorgo travel to the palace to see the ‘beautiful show’ (χρῆμα καλόν) of the Adonia, forcing their way through the crowds.

9 In the procession of Artemis at Ephesos as recounted by Xenophon of Ephesos; we are told that the spectacle (θέα) attracted a large crowd, both local and visiting, and that the young girls and ephebes marched in file, carrying torches, baskets, and incense (Ephesiaca 1.2.2–4). Another example is the procession at Delphi as recounted in Heliodorus (Aethiopica 3.1–5).

10 Mikalson (2016), p. 257–260; cf. Chaniotis (2008) on the competitive element of festival culture.

11 I have endeavoured to make this list comprehensive, though it is probable that attestations have been missed. Searches were conducted via the Packard Humanities Institute website, EBGR, SEG, and in the indices of more recent epigraphic corpora. Such titles have been partially listed by Robert (1960), p. 323, n. 6; Pleket (1970), p. 66–67; Henrichs (1976), p. 279; Robertson (1983), p. 245–246; Harland (2003), p. 489–496 (with discussion); Kuhn (2014), p. 54. In a number of instances, there is ambiguity about whether they denote a specifically processional and/or ritual role; for instance, the loutrophoros that is attested at Bargylia (I.Iasos 628), Iasos (I.Iasos 115) and Didyma (I.Didyma 330). At Athens, such a role was occupied by the boys and girls who accompanied the bridegroom at a wedding ceremony (Harpocration, s.v.); however, it is attested as a ritual role in the cult of Aphrodite at Sikyon (Pausanias, 2.10.4). In the three cities in south western Anatolia, the role appears to denote a distinct office, and they have all been included in the table; cf. Laumonier (1958), p. 596, n. 5; p. 602. Similarly, the sēmeiophoros is attested in a number of cities, and with a variety of spellings; a ritual role can be considered in the majority of cases (cf. the silver σημήα [= -εία] dedicated at Almoura for use in a procession related to Mēn; see n. 77), though a specific military context (‘standard-bearer’) can be established at Kaunos (I.Kaunos 136), Perge (I.Perge 469) and Prusias (I.Prusias 104). For completeness, all attestations have been included in the table. I have included the mastigophoros, ‘whip-bearer’, and rhabdophoros, ‘staff-bearer’, in Table 1; although their roles appear to have been to maintain order, rather than to serve in a ritual capacity, they were employed in a festival context. The spondophoros, however, has been omitted. Literary sources could further add to this list, though they have not been included; e.g. the naophoros and christophoros mentioned in Ignatius’ letter to Ephesos (Eph. 9.1–2); cf. Harland (2003), p. 487.

12 e.g. IGBulg 3.1.1517 (Kellai); SEG 49.814 (Thessalonike); IGUR I 160 (Rome).

13 Nigdelis (2010), p. 33–34, discussing the religious associations of Thessalonike, writes that to consider them as cut off from public life would be ‘misleading’. See also Steinhauer (2014), p. 136–137. Cf. IG II2 1283 (240/39 BCE), a decree of the orgeōnes of Bendis, which outlines the role of the association in the festival at Piraeus, including in the procession; Steinhauer (2014), p. 40.

14 Clement of Alexandria suggests that different forms could be used in the same rituals when he records the rather opaque ‘formula’ (σύνθημα) of the Eleusinian mysteries. According to his account, different receptacles were used at different points: ‘I fasted; I drank the draught; I took from the kistē; having done my task, I placed in the kalathos, and from the kalathos into the kistē ’ (Exhortation to the Greeks 2.18: “ἐνήστευσα, ἔπιον τὸν κυκεῶνα, ἔλαβον ἐκ κίστης, ἐργασάμενος ἀπεθέμην εἰς κάλαθον καὶ ἐκ καλάθου εἰς κίστην”). In the epigraphic record, both the kistaphoros and the kalathēphoros are attested, though only the kanēphoros is found at Eleusis and not explicitly linked to the mysteries: I.Eleusis 267; 282; 283; 394. Sculptural representations of processional scenes in the theatre friezes at both Hierapolis and Perge include female figures carrying receptacles filled with fruit on their head; cf. Hel. Aeth. 3.2.

15 Bremmer (2014), p. 108. Cf. Greek Anthology, vol. 6, 165.

16 See Brulé (1987), p. 301–306; Roccos (1995); Parker (2005), p. 223–226.

17 TAM III.1.59 (201–209 CE).

18 I.Ephesos 1602 (2nd c. CE); I.Eleusis 394 (1st/2nd c. CE).

19 I.Eleusis 267.

20 There was another wreath on the base, though the name of the deity is not preserved.

21 I.Délos 2061 (Dionysia); I.Délos 1870 (Lēnaia and Dionysia).

22 I.Délos 1869.

23 I.Délos 2238.

24 I.Délos 2074.

25 IGBulg 3.1.1517, col. 1, l. 7: σπειράρχης.

26 IGBulg 3.1.1517, col. 1, l. 31: Αὐρ(ηλία) Μαξιμῖνα κισταφόρος; l. 32: Αὐρ(ηλία) Χιόνη λικναφόρος; l. 34: Ἰουλία Ἀρτεμιδώρα λεικναφόρος. See Slavova (2002), p. 141–142.

27 Coin imagery often depicts a snake emerging from the kistē (e.g. RPC vol. 4. 1, No. 8262 [https://rpc.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/coins/4/8262]: Athens, c. 120–175 CE) though other sources mention sacrificial cakes, fennel and ivy, or the ‘heart of Dionysos’; see Henrichs (1969), p. 231; Bremmer (2014), p. 108: ‘The contents of the cista will have been a source of speculation and could vary from city to city.’

28 IGBulg 3.1. 1517, col. 1, l. 15: Αὐρ(ήλιος) Μουκιανὸς ναρθηκοφόρος; l. 24: Αὐρ(ήλιος) Μουκιανὸς σημιοφόρος. Sharankov (2016), p. 328, corrects the reading of σιμιοφόρος that appears in IGBulg: ‘the stone-cutter simply omitted to engrave the left vertical of the eta.’

29 Pleket (1970), p. 66–72; Malay (1999), p. 128–129, no. 136 (= SEG 49.1623); Harland (2003), p. 493; cf. n. 8.

30 Cf. Euripides Bacchae 147; 251; 1157; Clement, Exhortation to the Greeks 2.15.

31 IGBulg 3.1.1517, col. 1, l. 7–15. On the office of the sebastophantai, see below.

32 TAM V.1.817; 822.

33 I.Ephesos 1268; 1601; 1602; 1982.

34 e.g. IGUR I 160. Epigraphic attestations of a phallus being carried are more extensive than specific references to the phallophoros; see below.

35 I.Tomis 83; IGBulg 4.1925.b. There was a college of Dendrophori and Cannophori at Ostia, also associated with Mater Deum; see Rieger (2004), p. 168–171; p. 115–117 on the ‘schola of the dendrophori. The role is not epigraphically attested at Magnesia-on-the-Maeander; however, imperial coin types depict male figures carrying trees over their shoulder: Imhoof-Blumer (1895), p. 284–285; RPC vol. 7.1, No. 531 (https://rpc.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/coins/7.1/531/, accessed April 2019). It could allude to the civic cult of Apollo, which, according to Pausanias (10. 32. 6–7), was located in a cave near the city, with an old image of the god that bestowed strength: ‘The men sacred to the god leap down from sheer precipices and high rocks, and uprooting trees of exceeding height walk with their burdens down the narrowest of paths.’ Imhoof-Blumer (1895), p. 285–286, instead drew attention to the account of a statue of Dionysos being discovered in a plane-tree, after which the Magnesians established a cult to the god: I.Magnesia 215. Cf. the discussion of Robert (1977), p. 77–88; he suggests (84) that both cults could be associated with dendrophoroi; for the links between trees and the worship of Dionysos, see p. 83–84. Cf. Artem. Oneirocritica 2.37.141. Lane Fox (2006), p. 166–167, following a suggestion in Robert (1977), connects this practice with the so-called Gadatas letter, purportedly written by Darius I, and the references therein to a tax-exemption for the ‘sacred gardeners’ of Apollo; thus, he seeks to trace the practice back to the sixth century BCE. Cf. Tuplin (2009), p. 158–159, for a more sceptical view of the antiquity of the ritual.

36 IG X 2.1.65.

37 I.Ephesos 14. See also the mysterious βοωφόρος attested at Thessalonike (IG X 2.1.244).

38 See Laumonier (1958), p. 368–369; van Bremen (1996), p. 91, p. 95; Williamson (2012), p. 129–130.

39 In a dedicatory inscription from Panamara, there is a possible reference to a kleidophylakion, a safe for keeping the key: I.Stratonikeia 112.

40 Williamson (2012), p. 129, speculates that it could represent Hekate’s relationship with Hades, functioning to provide passage to the underworld

41 A klidophoros is attested at Side (I.Side 17), while kleidophoroi are also among a delegation sent from Laodikeia-on-the-Lykos to Klaros in the second century CE (Ferrary [2014], no. 40). The variant klakophoros is found at Apollonia in Illyria (I.Apollonia 16) and at Messene (IG V 1.1447); see the discussion of Quantin (2004), p. 596–600. A hero called Klaikophoros is attested at Epidauros in the third century BCE (IG IV² 1.297).

42 Athens: e.g. IG II² 1944; SEG 42.157. Eleusis: I.Eleusis 685. Delos: e.g. I.Délos 1875; 1876; 1891–1895. Olympia: IvO 62; 64; 65; 69. Lydia (sanctuary of Thea Larmene): Malay – Petzl (2017), no. 158.

43 Cf. the commentary of G. Petzl on I.Smyrna 753, l. 24–25: the key could be interpreted literally; another option is that it was related to a ‘gefesseltes Götterbild’, a chained image of the god.

44 IGUR I 160. Cf. Scheid (1986); Jaccottet (2003), p. 30–53; Bremmer (2014), p. 104–105.

45 OGIS 90.A, l. 5. On the athlophoros, see Parsons (1977), p. 45, and the discussion of van Bremen (2006), p. 364. A kanēphoros of Arsinoe is also attested: OGIS 90.A, l. 5. Cf. I.Délos 2212.

46 Harland (2003), p. 494; Clarysse (2010), p. 288.

47 Clarysse (2010), p. 288.

48 I.Tomis 98.

49 A pastophorion is found on the island in the Hellenistic period, connected with the sanctuary of Sarapis, Isis, and Anubis; we can infer the existence of the office of the pastophoros : I.Délos 2085; 2086; 2124. Cf. Rome: RICIS no. 501/0174.

50 See Table 1. A κοινὸν τῶν μελανηφόρων is also attested at Euboia in the third century BCE in association with Isis: IG XII Suppl. 571.

51 Clarysse (2010), p. 288.

52 SEG 52.1402. As with the pyrphoroi, the duties of the pyrouchos may not solely have been processional; see below.

53 IG I3 46 (440–432 BCE; at the Dionysia); Rhodes – Osborne (2003), no. 27 (372/1 BCE; at the Dionysia); IG II3 1 889, l. 11–12: τῆς φαλλαγ[ω]|[γίας] (278/7 BCE).

54 IG XI 2.144, l. 34–36: a reference to τὸ φαλλαγωγεῖον, a ‘platform’ or ‘wagon’ used to transport the phallus (shortly before 301 BCE).

55 I.Beroia 7, l. 30.

56 IG V 1.1390, l. 30 (= Gawlinski [2012]).

57 A general increase in the stratification of ritual roles can be detected in the lists of officials inscribed at the prytaneion of Ephesos from the first to the third centuries CE; see Knibbe (1981); cf. Belayche (2016), who traces the emergence and rise in profile of the hierophant among the named officials.

58 The literature on this is extensive: see e.g. Gauthier (1985), Eck (1997), Zuiderhoek (2009), Kokkinia (2011).

59 An Athenian decree of c. 220 CE records that the hiera would be escorted from Athens to Eleusis by the ephebes: IG II2 1078; cf. the role of the ephebes at Gytheion and Ephesos (below). The ephebes also play prominent roles in the festival of Artemis at Ephesos, as recounted by Xenophon of Ephesos (Eph. 1.2.2), and in the procession of Thessalians at Delphi, as described by Heliodorus (Aeth. 3.3).

60 Errē- predominates in the epigraphic sources, whereas arrē- is uniformly used in literature; see Robertson (1983), p. 242–243.

61 Parker (2005), p. 219; Pilz (2013), p. 162. Cf. Robertson (1983). Roccos (1995), p. 642–643, seeks to downplay the literal meaning of the title of ‘basket-bearer’: ‘The term “kanephoros” does not translate well as “basket-bearer”, however, because the English term tells us only what she does, not who she is.’ While I agree that such ritual titles do not tell us all we would like to know about the status and responsibilities of such roles, the literal task of carrying the basket is central to the responsibilities of the kanēphoros; the title reveals the intended visibility of the office holder during festivals, with the carrying of the basket an essential part of the ritual. Cf. Harland (2003), p. 488–489: ‘Sacred objects, implements, images and statues of various kinds were an essential component in this visual communication for both observers and participants.’

62 Cf. Viviers (2010), p. 171.

63 I.Délos 1871. Other portrait statues record the service of young women in offices other than that of kanēphoros; see Dillon (2011), p. 173–174.

64 On chronological and regional variations in commemorative practices, see Pilz (2013); Mylonopoulos (2013).

65 e.g. I.Stratonikeia 705. See Laumonier (1958), p. 368–369; van Bremen (1996), p. 91.

66 I.Aphr. 1.187, l. 18–24: ἀρετῇ καὶ σε|[μν]ότ̣ητι καὶ φιλανδρί| τὸ προγονικὸν |πικοσμήσασαν ἀξί|ωμα, θυγατέρα πό|λεως, ἀνθηφόρον | τῆς θεοῦ (‘by her virtue, distinction, and love for her husband she enhanced the reputation of her family, was daughter of the city and flower-bearer of the goddess’).

67 I.Aphr. 1.187, l. 6–11: προγόνων ἀρχιε|ρέων πολλῶν γυ|μνασιάρχων στεφ[α]|νηφόρων καὶ τῶ̣ν | σ̣υνκτισάντω[ν τὴ]ν | πόλιν.

68 I.Aphr. 1.187, l. 24–29: διὰ τὸ με|γαλεῖον τοῦ γένους | καὶ τὴν ἀνυπέρ|βλητον τοῦ βίου | σεμνότητα τει|μηθεῖσαν.

69 On female visibility linked with family status, see van Bremen (1996); Pilz (2013).

70 See e.g. Nollé (1994); van Bremen (1996), p. 68–76; Kron (1996), p. 171–182; Kearsley (2005); Thonemann (2010).

71 IG VII 3426; Fossey (1986), p. 258–259, no. 9; RICIS no. 105/0895. Dittenberger in IG VII proposed a date in the early third century CE; Fossey suggests a date in the middle or second half of that century. Cf. Schachter (2016), p. 141–142, 295–296.

72 IG VII 3426, l. 1–9: Φλαβίαν Λανείκαν τὴν ἀρχιέρειαν | διὰ βίου τοῦ τε κοινοῦ Βοιωτῶν τῆς | Ἰτωνίας Ἀθηνᾶς καὶ τοῦ κοινοῦ Φω|κέων ἔθνους καὶ τῆς Ὁμονοίας τῶν | Ἑλλήνων παρὰ τῷ Τροφωνίῳ, τὴν | ἁγνοτάτην | ἱεραφόρον τῆς ἁγίας Εἴσι|δος, ἱέρειαν διὰ βίου τῆς Tαπoσειριάδος | Εἴσιδος. Translation: Schachter (2016), p. 296.

73 Pilz (2013), p. 156, p. 170–172.

74 Laumonier (1958), p. 583–587; van Bremen (1996), p. 90–91; Marcellesi (2005). In a number of cases, the prophētēs was related to the hydrophoros.

75 Banquets: I.Didyma 322; 345. Distributions: e.g. I.Didyma 312; 314. See van Bremen (1996), p. 92, n. 39.

76 van Bremen (1996), p. 94–95; Günther (1996).

77 Pleket (1970), no. 4, l. 4–11 (= I.Ephesos 3252).

78 I.Ephesos 27; cf. Rogers (1991).

79 See Rogers (1991), p. 80–115; Chankowski (2005), p. 185–188; Graf (2011), p. 110–114.

80 It is specified that they should be made of silver, with the exception of one statue of Artemis, which was to be made of gold, and accompanied by two silver stags.

81 The documents state that the guards of the temple, two neopoioi, the beadle and the chrysophoroi hieroneikai were to travel with the statuettes from the Artemision to the Magnesian Gate, where they were to be met by the ephebes, who were then to process with them to the theatre: I.Ephesos 27, l. 48–55, 207–213; the role of the chrysophoroi was defined in a later decree: l. 419–425, 437–438.

82 I.Ephesos 27, l. 202–207.

83 Apollo Daphnēphoros at Eretria: Knoepfler (2001), p. 127, no. 8; p. 159, no. 12; p. 162, no. 13. Dionysos Thyllophoros on Kos: IG XII 4.1.304; 326. Other epithets include pyrphoros, phōsphoros, selasphoros, thesmophoros, karpophoros. Cf. the deities referred to as dorpophoroi, ‘meal-bearing’, on Paros in the 4th c. BCE: SEG 28.708; Robertson (1983), p. 245, n. 12, writes that such a name is ‘plainly deduced from the ritual action.’

84 Robertson (1983), p. 245, n. 12.

85 This will be discussed further below.

86 e.g. the homonoia coins with Hierapolis (Marcus Aurelius): RPC vol. 4, no. 1947 (https://rpc.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/coins/4/1947/); no. 2970 (https://rpc.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/coins/4/2970/); no. 2971 (https://rpc.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/coins/4/2971/). Cf. the homonoia coin with Ephesos, minted under Severus Alexander, which depicts the Amazon Kibyra and the Amazon Ephesos facing each other, carrying small statues; one is identifiable as the Kibyran goddess, carrying a basket on her head, the other as Artemis Ephesia: RPC vol. 6, no. 5419 (https://rpc.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/coins/6/5419/). A Kibyran type minted under Elagabalus depicts the goddess seated on a cart drawn by lions, holding a sceptre and with the basket on her head: RPC vol. 6, no. 5406 (https://rpc.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/coins/6/5406/); it is possible that the image represents the cult statue being transported. All accessed April 2019. On the identity of the goddess as Thea Pisidike, see Robert and Robert (1954), p. 75–76; Robert (1967), p. 64–65. Previous identifications of the deity have included Hekate (e.g. Head, BMC Phrygia, p. xlviii; Imhoof-Blumer [1901] 255, no. 23; though cf. Imhoof-Blumer [1913], p. 70, n. 198, where he refers to the goddess as Thea Pisidike) and Ceres (Waddington [1853], p. 17, nos. 5 and 6); see discussion of Robert (1967), p. 64, n. 3.

87 e.g. RPC vol. 3, no. 2304 (Hadrian) (https://rpc.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/coins/3/2304/); vol. 4, no. 1954 (Antonine) (https://rpc.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/coins/4/1954/); vol. 7.1, no. 669 (Gordian III) (https://rpc.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/coins/7.1/669/). Accessed April 2019.

88 e.g. RPC vol. 9, no. 783 (https://rpc.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/coins/9/783/); no. 784 (https://rpc.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/coins/9/784/); both Decius. Accessed April 2019.

89 It has been speculated that the name Kibyra may have derived from a name for the basket that was similar in sound; see Waddington (1853), p. 19; Head (1911), p. 670. Cf. the discussion of Robert (1967), p. 65, n. 3.

90 Cf. Harland (2003), p. 488–489.

91 I.Aphr. 1.183; 1.187; 5.210; 12.531; 12.532. The role is also attested on Thasos; see Table 1.

92 I.Ephesos 14.

93 Heberdey (1904); see also Sourvinou-Inwood (2011), p. 183–185.

94 Heberdey (1904), p. 214; I.Ephesos 1577a. See also the restored reference to the role of the deipnophoroi : I.Ephesos 1577b. Cf. the deipnophoroi attested at Athens alongside the ōskophoroi; see n. 3.

95 According to Harpocration, α 240, two of the four arrēphoroi were chosen to start the weaving of the peplos; though compare with their responsibilities as recounted by Pausanias (n. 112).

96 On the dressing of statues, see Brulé (1987), p. 227; Brøns (2017), esp. p. 239–263.

97 Sourvinou-Inwood (2011), p. 184, 192; Brøns (2017), p. 246, who also mentions the stolizōn or stolistēs, ‘rober’, associated with Isis.

98 Eἰκονοφόρος: MAMA IX 131 (Aizanoi); I.Ephesos 546 (Ephesos). See Robert (1960).

99 IG XII 6.2.596; IGUR I 160.

100 IG V 1.212, l. 57.

101 IG V 1.210, l. 55; 211, l. 51.

102 Robertson (1983), p. 268, speculates that the god may have taken the form of a sacred stone, and draws a connection with the lithophoros at Athens; see below.

103 TAM III.1.136, l. 9–12: ἀγάλμα|τος πομπικοῦ ἀργυ|ρέου Θεᾶς Ἐλευθέ|ρας. See van Nijf (2011), p. 233–234 on the importance of autonomia to the Termessians in the imperial period.

104 J. and L. Robert, BE (1950), no. 134. An association with Egyptian cults can be noted at Thessalonike, Samos, Boiotia and in one text from Pergamon, though this is not universal.

105 IG II2 4771.

106 Hermann (1962), p. 39, no. 27 (= TAM V.1.576), envisages symbola as ‘göttliche „Symbole“, Insignien’; cf. J. and L. Robert, BE (1965), no. 390. Herrmann – Malay (2007), no. 97, also interpreted a list of synbolaphoroi (= symbolaphoroi) from the Kayster valley as ‘bearers of sacred symbols’. The list records the names of members of an association of ‘hero-worshippers’ (see the accompanying decree no. 96), and they are identified by their places of origin. Jones (2008), p. 203, prefers to interpret the synbolaphoroi as those who made contributions to this association, whether in money or kind, for the performance of the necessary sacrifices. This is attractive, though the notion that these contributors were subsequently distinguished visually in ceremonial proceedings should also be considered; we have observed elsewhere the crossover between ritual office holders and civic donors, and benefactors were often afforded a prominent role in ritual activities. It is possible that they were tasked with carrying something that represented their contribution or were marked out in some other way.

107 Cf. n. 11. See also the description of the procession for Isis in Apuleius, Metamorphoses 11.11.

108 I.Eleusis 300, l. 15–16 (= SEG 30.93).

109 IG II2 5077: ἱερέως | λιθοφόρου. Clinton (1974), p. 98, notes that ἱερέως is carved by a separate hand. Cf. I.Eleusis 624 (= IG II2 3658), dated c. 200 CE, where the title lithophoros was incorporated into the office holder’s name.

110 Livy, 29.11.

111 Pausanias records that on each feast day, the stone was decorated with ‘unworked wool’ (10.24.6: κατὰ ἑορτὴν ἑκάστην ἔρια ἐπιτιθέασι τὰ ἀργά).

112 The office holder in I.Eleusis 300 also acted as ἱερεύς Διὸς Ὁρίου καὶ Ἀθηνᾶς Ὁρίας καὶ Πο|σειδῶνος Προσβατηρίου καὶ Ποσειδῶνος Θεμελιούχου (l. 16–17). Robertson (1983), p. 265–276, sought to associate this stone with the ‘wrapped up’ object that the arrēphoroi brought back up from an underground chamber to the Acropolis (Paus. 1.27.3). He suggests that on this occasion a swaddled stone, representing the deity, was the object transported; he links this object with that carried by the ‘stone-bearer’, and suggested that the incumbent would be required to return this stone at the end of the festival. While it is an interesting proposition, the details are too vague or too few, both about the object referred to by Pausanias, but also about the office of the lithophoros ; it is equally possible that the activities of the lithophoros related to an unconnected ritual.

113 SEG 38.1462 (= Wörrle [1988]); cf. Mitchell (1990).

114 SEG 38.1462, l. 61–62 (= Wörrle [1988]); discussion at Wörrle (1988), p. 216–219. Cf. Cousin (1900), p. 338, no. 1.

115 IG II2 2086; 2113; 2130 (Athens); SEG 38.1462 (= Wörrle [1988]), Cousin (1900), p. 338, no. 1 (Oinoanda); Robert (1939), p. 122, II (Tanagra). See the comments of Robert (1939), p. 124–125; Price (1986), p. 189; Wörrle (1988), p. 216–219. Cf. Suda α 4413.

116 SEG 58.1613.

117 The discovery of the text was announced in the Sofia Globe: https://sofiaglobe.com/2019/07/12/archaeology-third-century-inscription-with-names-of-dionysus-cult-found-in-bulgarias-plovdiv/. Accessed 15/07/2019.

118 SEG 11.923.

119 SEG 11.923, l. 2–4.

120 e.g. a gold bust of an emperor, thought to be Marcus Aurelius, discovered at Aventicum in Switzerland; see Fejfer (2008), p. 167. Robert (1960), p. 317–318, envisaged such statues as bust portraits; cf. Wörrle (1988), p. 216, n. 191.

121 Pleket (1965); Price (1984), p. 190–191; Friesen (2001), p. 113–116; Bremmer (2016). The evidence for the Imperial Mysteries is limited to Pergamon, Bithynia and Galatia; see Bremmer (2016), p. 28. The Sebastophantēs is better attested, but similarly concentrated in Asia Minor; see Strubbe (2006), p. 116, with n. 36.

122 Bremmer (2016), p. 24.

123 Originally suggested by Robert (1960), p. 321–322, and followed by Pleket (1965), p. 343–343, Price (1984), p. 190, and Bremmer (2016), p. 26; though note the cautious position of Strubbe (2006), p. 117. Certain imperial coin types depict busts of the emperor and other members of the imperial family in a temple-like façade; Price (1984), p. 190–191, following Robert (1977), p. 101, tentatively connects the images with the ceremonial revealing of the emperor as part of the mysteries. In particular, he mentions a coin type of Caracalla, depicting a bust being displayed by two deities: e.g. BMC Cilicia, Tarsos no. 183; SNG Copenhagen, Lycaonia no. 370.

124 An imperial list of names from Ephesos may refer to those who wore white: I.Ephesos 907, l. 1: οἵδε ἐλευ[κοφόρησαν]. Interestingly, a number of those listed are identified as chrysophoroi, which might indicate that they were part of the synhedrion; see below.

125 SEG 38.1462 (= Wörrle [1988]), l. 61–62.

126 SEG 11.923, l. 26–28. In this instance, the wreaths were laurel. An archidauchnaphoros and syndauchnaphoroi are attested at Phalanna (IG IX 2.1234) and Pherai (unpublished; mentioned in Mili [2015], Appendix 1, no. 57; see Heinz [1998], no. 75). Cf. IG IX 2.1027 (Larisa, 5th c. BCE); SEG 47.679 (Atrax, 5th c. BCE).

127 IG V 1.1390, l. 15–16 (= Gawlinski [2012]): οἱ τελούμενοι τὰ μυστήρια ἀνυπόδετοι ἔστωσαν καὶ ἐχόντωτὸν | εἱματισμὸν λευκόν. Accessories including gold, rouge, white make-up, hair bands, or plaited hair were prohibited among women; no shoes were allowed unless made of felt or sacrificial leather (l. 22–23). Cf. Deshours (2006).

128 See the comments of Viviers (2010), p. 174–176, on the importance of clothing to processional aesthetics.

129 Wörrle (1988) (= SEG 38.1462), l. 52–53; 56–57. See also at Gerasa: SEG 7.825; Prusias in Bithynia: I.Prusias 72; cf. Robert (1982), p. 258.

130 See n. 50.

131 I.Ephesos 293; 1250. See Jaccottet (2003), p. 242. Cf. the Sindonophoros, ‘fine cloth-bearer’, found at Tegea (IG V 2. 48).

132 SEG 49.814.

133 See Kuhn (2014). E.g. at Athens (e.g. IG II² 4193A) and Argos, where it is paired with the right to wear purple (IG IV 586; 606). At Aphrodisias, the chrysophoros neopoiēs is repeatedly attested: I.Aphr. 1.161; 11.23; 11.403; 13.154.

134 I.Ephesos 27, l. 419–425, 437–438.

135 Harland (2003), p. 492; Kuhn (2014), p. 77–78.

136 I.Ephesos 276, l. 7–11: οἱ τὸν | [χρύ]σεον κόσμον βαστά|[ζον]τες τῆς μεγάλης θεᾶς | [Ἀρτέ]μιδος πρὸ πόλεως ἱερεῖς | [καὶ] ἱερονεῖκαι.

137 I.Ephesos 836, l. 3–4; 1081A, l. 4–5.

138 Cf. the place inscription I.Ephesos 546: τόπος | εἰκονοφόρων | χρυσο|φόρων. It is possible that chrysophoros was a ritual role at Magnesia and Tralles: I.Magnesia 225 (χρυσοφο|ρήσας τῇ θεῶ); I.Tralleis 73 (χρυσοφορήσαντα | τῆι πατρίδι).

139 Jones (1999), p. 252.

140 See the ‘flower-bearers’ attested at Aphrodisias and Thasos, both in the imperial period.

141 The connotations of the title skēptrophoros, ‘sceptre-bearer’, elsewhere used as an epithet of Zeus, are clear; see I.Anazarbos 52 (= Corsten [2004], no. 1); SEG 36.1101.

142 See discussion of Betts (2017) on ‘sensory artefacts’.

143 IG XII 4.1.278.

144 e.g. I.Délos 1417 (155/4 BCE), Face A, col. 1, l. 41, 105, col. 2, l. 49; Face B, col. 1, l. 91 and 142.

145 Day (2017), p. 187. According to Pliny (Natural History 21.17), the best saffron in the Roman era came from Mt. Korykos in Cilicia.

146 Athenaeus 5.197f.

147 See Day (2017), p. 189–190.

148 See n. 94.

149 More generally, the sequence of procession followed by communal feast is engrained, with pompē seen as a natural precursor to the large-scale consumption of food and wine. In the epigraphic sources, benefactors frequently provide funds for both elements, with festivities continuing into the night. E.g. at Almoura (see n. 77), P. Aelius Menecrates’ benefaction extended to securing funds for a banquet for those men who had been selected to carry the kalathos; at Akraiphia in Boiotia in the mid-first century CE, Epameinondas was honoured for his benefactions (IG VII 2712), which involved the reorganisation of the Ptoia festival (including instructions for the procession), and funding for a banquet that was admired by neighbouring cities (l. 25–33). On Epameinondas, see Chaniotis (2008), esp. p. 72–74; (2013), p. 39. Cf. the comments of Chaniotis (2018), p. 20–22.

150 Kubatzki (2018), p. 143–144.

151 I.Ephesos 14, l. 21.

152 I.Eleusis 300, l. 18.

153 I.Pergamon 374; cf. Bremmer (2016), p. 24–25. For general discussion, see Friesen (2001), p. 104–113.

154 See Clinton (1974), p. 67–68. Cf. Chaniotis (2018), esp. p. 23–25.

155 In the Torre Nova inscription (see n. 44), the order in which the functionaries were listed could reflect their arrangement in processions; there the pyrphoroi are listed after the liknaphoroi and the phallophoros¸ and before the hieromnēmōn, the magistrate in charge of religious matters (Side I, Col. B, l. 11–20). The role is attested at various cities across the Greek East, including Athens and Epidauros; see Table 1. On the responsibilities of the office holder, see Robert (1966), p. 746–748; cf. LSJ s.v. ‘bearer of sacred fire’.

156 I.Délos 2619 (Delos); SEG 49.814 (Thessalonike).

157 Antrophylakes, ‘guards of the cave’, are also listed in the Torre Nova inscription (IGUR I 160, Side III, col. B, l. 28–30), which might indicate a dark setting for the rituals of the association, whether they actually took place in a cave or in a setting that was designed to imitate such an atmosphere.

158 Attested in Athens c. 120 CE, associated with cults of Isis (IG II2 4771), and at Leukopetra in 193/4 CE, associated with Meter Theon (I.Leukopetra 39). See Chaniotis (2018), p. 27–28.

159 IGBulg 3.1. 1517, col. 1, l. 30: Αὐρ(ηλία) Ἀρτεμιδώρα λυχνοάπτρια.

160 See Chaniotis (2018). Cf. an imperial-era statue base for a sacred herald at Eleusis, which depicts people processing, holding torches: see Leventi (2015).

161 Apul. Metam. 11.9.

162 Hel. Aeth. 3.2 (trans. B.P. Reardon). Cf. Xen. Eph. 1.2.4

Haut de page

Pour citer cet article

Référence papier

Naomi Carless Unwin, « Basket-Bearers and Gold-Wearers: »Kernos, 33 | 2020, 33-125.

Référence électronique

Naomi Carless Unwin, « Basket-Bearers and Gold-Wearers: »Kernos [En ligne], 33 | 2020, mis en ligne le 31 décembre 2022, consulté le 06 février 2023. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/kernos/3429 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/kernos.3429

Haut de page

Auteur

Naomi Carless Unwin

Department of Classics and Ancient History
University of Warwick
Coventry
CV4 7AL, UK

naomi.carlessunwin@gmail.com

Haut de page

Droits d’auteur

Tous droits réservés

Haut de page
Rechercher dans OpenEdition Search

Vous allez être redirigé vers OpenEdition Search