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Ephesian Artemis and Initiation

Kent J. Rigsby
p. 145-155

Résumés

L’affirmation selon laquelle le culte d’Artémis d’Éphèse comprenait un rite d’initiation conduit par les courètes doit être mise en doute. Divers magistrats éphésiens de l’époque impériale romaine déclarent qu’ils célébraient « tous les sacrifices et tous les mystères », mais ce ne sont pas les courètes annuels. Dans la terminologie de plus en plus ampoulée de l’époque, évoquer des « mystères » ne signifie rien d’autre que parler de « rites sacrés ». Les auteurs anciens n’ont pas connaissance d’une initiation à Artémis à Éphèse. En revanche, les inscriptions attestent sans ambiguïté l’initiation à Dionysos et probablement à Déméter, comme on peut s’y attendre dans une cité grecque. Dans une dédicace à Aphrodite, nous trouvons à nouveau des « mystères », mais dans ce cas ils sont métaphoriques et désignent le mariage.

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Texte intégral

  • 1 Most fully Picard (1922), p. 277–353, and Rogers (2012).
  • 2 Cf. Rogers (2012), p. 330 n. 154, “the evidence … may seem rather thin”; various hesitations are (...)

1The worship of Artemis of Ephesus is held to have included a rite of initiation, practiced from the classical period into the third century CE and administered by the kouretes in the temple of Artemis, until moved in Imperial times to the prytaneion.1 Reservations have been expressed about elements of this picture,2 but the fact of initiation to Artemis, conducted by the kouretes, is generally acknowledged. I argue here for caution.

2A crucial testimony has been Strabo’s report on the Ephesians’ annual festival (panegyris) held in the grove at Ortygia, where Leto had given birth to her twins while the kouretes made noise (14.1.20):

τῶν Κουρήτων ἀρχεῖον συνάγει συμπόσια καί τινας μυστικὰς θυσίας ἐπιτελεῖ.

  • 3 Bremmer (2008), p. 50; Clinton (2014b), p. 119 (citing Strabo 10.3.9, rituals performed τὰς μὲν μ (...)
  • 4 Strabo 10.3.9 continues: τε κρύψις μυστικὴ τῶν ἱερῶν σεμνοποιεῖ τὸ θεῖον.

3But as has been pointed out, mystikos here simply means ‘secret’:3 “a body of the kouretes gathers to banquet together and conducts certain secret sacrifices.” Secrecy in conducting part or all of a rite is a gesture of theatricality, practiced in various religions ancient and modern4; and a sacrifice is not an initiation. Strabo’s statement should not be read as describing a rite of initiation.

  • 5 See the list and the careful observations of Horsley (1992), p. 143–144 (“mystery activities were (...)
  • 6 On the priestesses of Ephesian Artemis see Bremmer (2008), p. 42–47; Kirbihler (2019). Clinton (2 (...)

4More pertinent are the many citations of mysteries, sometimes explicitly of Artemis, in the inscriptions of Roman Ephesus. Doubt arises because of the broadening application of the term in later Hellenism. Various officials in Ephesus are praised for conducting “the mysteries and sacrifices”, τά τε μυστήρια καὶ τὰς θυσίας, usually without specifying a god.5 Some of these were the young priestesses of Artemis or other of her attendants:6

– Two sisters, priestesses in their respective years, “conducted the mysteries and the sacrifices worthily” (I.Ephesos 987, 988).

– A priestess “renewed all the mysteries of the goddess and established them in the ancient way”, ἀνανεωσαμένην πάντα τὰ μυστήρια τῆς θεοῦ καὶ καταστήσασαν τῷ ἀρχαίῳ ἔθει (3059; cf. 26, quoted below).

– A priestess “conducted the mysteries and paid all the expenses through the agency of her parents”, ἐκτελέσασαν τὰ μυστήρια καὶ πάντα τὰ ἀναλώματα ποιήσασαν διὰ τῶν γονέων (989); another priestess πληρώσασαν τὰ μυστήρια through the agency of her father (3072).

– A man who was a member of the neopoioi and a former essene “fulfilled all the mysteries”, π[ληρώσας δὲ καὶ τὰ] μυστήρια πάντ[α (4330).

– A male hierokeryx of Artemis paid for oil for her monthly birthday celebrations and conducted “the other mysteries of the goddess”, καὶ τὰ λοι̣[π] δὲ μυστήρ̣[ια τῆ]ς̣ θεοῦ (SEG 39, 1195).

5It is not surprising that agents of the city’s most prominent cult loom large in our evidence about rituals. But other Ephesian magistrates as well are praised for celebrating the mysteries:

  • 7 Belayche (2016), p. 54 n. 29, takes this to mean that the prytanis alone underwent initiation.

– A female prytanis ἐκτελεσάσης τὰ μυ]στήρια καὶ τὰς θυσίας ἐπὶ τῇ τοῦ κ[οινοῦ ἡμῶν σωτηρίᾳ (I.Ephesos 1077); so too a male prytanis, together with his wife and children and grandchildren and dependents (1069)7; and a female gymnasiarch (SEG 34, 1104).

  • 8 A list of the year’s kouretes follows this dedication. Kearsley (1992), p. 201, cites this as the (...)
  • 9 Knibbe 1983, p. 169 (= I.Ephesos 1058+1597). Clinton (2014b), p. 126, judges Artemis’ absence fro (...)

– A woman who was high priestess, prytanis, and gymnasiarch, together with her husband and children and slaves, thanks seven gods by name (not including Artemis) “and all the gods” for her health during her year of service, during which she “celebrated all the mysteries” (1060).8 Similarly a hestiouchos, joined by wife and son.9

– A gymnasiarch who had been prytanis and also priest of Rome and Isauricus “made very much of his piety regarding the mysteries”, [τήν τ]ε περὶ τὰ μυστήρια πλη[ρέστα]τα ποιησάμενον εὐσέβειαν (702).

  • 10 See Clinton (2014b), p. 117–119, arguing that Soteira is not Artemis of the great temple. It can (...)

– In the time of Commodus, the gerousia, in deciding how to spend a donation of money, narrates a brief history (26): Lysimachus had arranged (?) “all things concerning mysteries and sacrifices” (πάντα περί τε μυστηρίων καὶ θυσιῶν … [? ἄριστα διακεκοσμηκέναι) and in particular built a temple and a statue of Soteira [– –. The gerousia votes to return to the traditional usages (εἰς τὸ παλαιὸν ἔθος ἐπα[νελθοῦσαν), and assigns the new money to “sacrifices and feasts”.10

6It can be noted here that in all the declarations by those who have conducted mysteries, the kouretes are absent.

  • 11 Clinton (2014b), p. 125, urges that the two phrases mean “the entire Mysteria” and “the remainder (...)
  • 12 The diversity is richly illustrated by Bremmer (2014).
  • 13 TAM V 995 (second century CE); cf. 931 and 996 listing her other priesthoods and her agonothesiai(...)
  • 14 I.Didyma 312.24, cf. 326 (“to the gods”, also 327, 329, 333, 360, 373), 381, 382; more fully 352 (...)

7The language at Ephesus prompts unease: “all the mysteries and sacrifices”, “the other mysteries”,11 conducted/fulfilled by various magistrates, by persons of differing ages, by whole families including slaves. Greek rites of initiation that can be documented show great diversity.12 The question is whether initiation of any sort was required to justify using the term ‘mysteries’. Admittedly, the pair “sacrifices and mysteries” can be found where a rite of initiation is certain, e.g. at Andania (IG V 1, 1390.39, 74, 85). And less than certain (I focus on Artemis): in Thyateira a priestess of Artemis ἐπιτελέσασαν τὰ τῆς θεοῦ μυστήρια καὶ τὰς θυσίας λαμπρῶς καὶ πολυδαπάνως;13 in Roman Miletus, a wealthy young girl served each year as hydrophoros of Pythian Artemis and “supplied the sacrifices and celebrated the mysteries through the whole year”, παρέχουσα τὰς θυσίας καὶ τὰ μυσ[τήρι]α̣ ̣π̣ι̣τ̣[ε]λοῦσα διὅλου τοῦ ἔτους.14

  • 15 As long observed: in 1934, Nilsson (1951), p. 539 (“on soupçonne parfois que les mystères étaient (...)
  • 16 Robert (1960), p. 322, suggested a revealing of the imperial imagines; cf. Pleket (1965), p. 343– (...)
  • 17 Nollé (1986), p. 204–206; Adak et al. (2015), p. 99 [SEG 65, 1437].
  • 18 I.Sardis 21: Ἑρ[μεῖ καὶ Ἡρακλεῖ τ]οῖς κατὰ παλα[ίστραν θεοῖς τ]ά τε μυστή[ρια ἐπιτελέσαν]τα πολυτ (...)

8But in Imperial times the word grew to be broad and vague15; it may sometimes mean no more than the banal Latin arcana. Rhetorical inflation could call various rites ‘mysteries’, easily so if the performance included some element of revealed secrecy. Such a gesture may explain the ‘mysteries’ of the imperial cult attested in some cities.16 More puzzling are the several ἀγῶνες μυστικοί17; “secret contest” seems a contradiction in terms if taken literally. At Sardes a “gymnasiarch of the boys conducted lavishly the mysteries for Hermes and Heracles the palaestra gods and set out the prizes”18; secrecy in the wrestling yard is hard to envisage.

9The word ‘mysteries’ thus does not of itself seem sufficient to prove a rite of initiation in the cult of Ephesian Artemis. These expressions can be generic praise of the magistrates’ piety (and especially their generosity) in one of their normal duties, tending to various holy ceremonies and sacrifices, cited collectively and grandly. Ephesians seem to have been especially vocal in proclaiming their piety (cf. Acts 19: 28).

10In contrast are silences regarding initiation and initiates of Ephesian Artemis:

– A set of regulations, where we might expect precision of usage, about the cult and honors of Artemis mentions sacrifices, processions, her sacred days and month, but not mysteries or initiation (I.Ephesos 24, second century, with Chaniotis [2011], p. 272–276).

– Similar is a sacred law of the third century setting out the religious duties of the prytanis: they include sacrifices, processions, distributions, and not mysteries (I.Ephesos 10); but the text is not complete.

  • 19 Listed in Suys (1998), p. 180–182. On the cults in the prytaneion see Keil (1939); Knibbe (1981), (...)

– Various Ephesian magistrates upon leaving office inscribed their thanks to a number of gods whose cults were in the prytaneion.19 These gods do not include Artemis, to whom no inscription assigns a cult in the prytaneion.

  • 20 On Clement see especially Massa (2016), p. 118–126.

– No ancient author ascribes initiation or mysteries to Artemis of Ephesus. Greek thinkers were given to drawing up lists of the rites of initiation practiced in different cities (e.g. Diodorus 5.77; the Christian apologists, most fully Clement of Alexandria).20 Ephesian Artemis is absent.

  • 21 πόλεις τε νομίζουσιν αἱ πᾶσαι καὶ ἄνδρες. Similarly I.Ephesos 24.b.11–14: παρ̣̣ [Ἕλλησίν τε κ]α̣(...)

– According to Pausanias (4.31.8) Artemis of Ephesus is honored everywhere,21 for five reasons: the fame of the Amazons, the antiquity of the building, its size, the greatness of the city, and the manifestness (τὸ ἐπιφανές) of the goddess there. He does not mention mysteries or initiation.

– No Ephesian inscription mentions a mystes of Artemis, whose honors, as chief divinity, and whose worshipers are abundantly documented.

  • 22 Cf. Rogers (2012), p. 293–308; on Demeter, Graf (2003), p. 247–250; Suys (1998), p. 185–186.

11This silence adds to doubt about initiation. In two other Ephesian cults we do meet initiations and initiates, with an explicitness that is lacking for Artemis.22

12Initiation to Dionysus seems quite probable:

οἱ τοῦ προπάτορος θεοῦ Διονύσου Κορησείτου σακηφόροι μύσται (I.Ephesos 293); οἱ σακηφόροι μύσ[ται] (1250).

– A priest for life of both τῶν πρὸ πόλεως Δημητριαστῶν καὶ Διονύσου Φλέω μυστῶν under an ἐπιμε[λ]ητοῦ δὲ τῶν μυστη[ρί]ων (1595, with Clinton [2014b], p. 123).

– A statue of Hadrian dedicated to Dionysus: οἱ πρὸ πόλεως μύσταιτῷ Διονύσῳ, and a μυσταγωγός (275).

  • 23 The line length is unknown.

– An uncertain case: the neopoioi who shared in “all the mysteries”, [οἵδε ηὐτ]ύχησαν ἀκωλύτως μετασχεῖν πάντων τῶν μυστηρίων [τῆς ἁγιω/τάτης θε]οῦ (SEG 43, 782, second century CE). The verb μετασχεῖν could be strong evidence for an initiation rite of Artemis of Ephesus. But other gods were served by neopoioi (Dionysus I.Ephesos 434, Aphrodite 233), and while the adjective ἁγιωτάτη is found applied to Artemis in the inscriptions, she is not called simply ἁγιωτάτη θεός but always given her name. So the restoration may instead be μυστηρίων [τοῦ (προπάτορος)23 θεοῦ | Διονύσ]ου.

13For Demeter, the testimonia are fewer and weaker:

  • 24 These ‘rights’ may have included a subvention from the provincial government, as Sardes requested (...)

I.Ephesos 213: an agent of those obliged to celebrate of this year’s mysteries (οἱ ὠφείλοντες τὰ μυστήρια ἐπιτελεῖν) urges the provincial governor to be aware of the celebrants’ traditional entitlements (ἐπιγνοὺς αὐτῶν τὰ δίκαια).24 “Mysteries and sacrifices, sir, are celebrated each year in Ephesus to Demeter Karpophoros and Thesmophoros and the divine Augusti by initiates” (μυστήρια καὶ θυσίαι, κύριε, καθἕκαστον ἐνιαυτὸν ἐπιτελοῦνται ἐν Ἐφέσῳ Δήμητρι Καρποφόρῳ καὶ Θεσμοφόρῳ καὶ θεοῖς Σεβαστοῖς ὑπὸ μυστῶν). The mysteries of this year are now approaching (ἐπειγόντων καὶ ἐπὶ σοῦ τῶν μυστηρίων). That this event took place once a year suggests that it is not a reference to ‘ceremonies’ in general, and we can take the word mystai literally.

– Strabo (14.1.3) says that one Ephesian family, called Basileis, had hereditary title to the rites of Eleusinian Demeter; cf. I.Ephesos 1270, a priest of the Eleusinian gods for life. The descriptor ‘Eleusinian’ may point to a rite of initiation.

14Dionysus and Demeter and Kore are the two initiatory cults that we most expect to find in any Greek city; whereas initiation in a cult of Artemis would be a rarity. In my view, then, we do not at present have sufficient grounds to think that the rites of Ephesian Artemis included initiation.

  • 25 On the Ephesian kouretes see Knibbe (1981), Bremmer (2008), p. 50–52, and more widely, Graf (1999 (...)
  • 26 Moved from the Artemision by Augustus, according to Picard (1922), p. 28 etc., Rogers (2012), p.  (...)
  • 27 Knibbe (1983), p. 125, τῶν κουρήτων αὐτοῦ; I.Ephesos 613A, two headings Διήους κούρητες and Ἀλεξά (...)
  • 28 One of the many individuated kouretes was the ἑστιοῦχος, once articulated as the ἱερὸς ἑστιοῦχος (...)
  • 29 Varro, RR, 3.6.6; Pliny, HN, 10.45.2.
  • 30 Cicero, Div. 1.90; Amic. 7; Fam. 7.26.2.

15Also concerning the kouretes,25 a caution is in order. It is held that they presided over the mysteries of Artemis, and that in Julio-Claudian times they or their rites were transferred to the prytaneion.26 No text shows them conducting mysteries (or initiations); their only ritual action on record is the sacrifice when they dined, along with many others, in the grove at Ortygia in honor of Leto and her children. A change of location has been deduced from the fact that in Julio-Claudian times the names of each year’s members began to be inscribed in the prytaneion. That need be no more than a new epigraphic habit, under each prytanis a list of ‘his’ kouretes.27 If the act of inscribing these lists has any institutional implication, it may be that the kouretes dined together in the prytaneion,28 whether daily, or once upon entering office (as in a Roman cena aditialis),29 or at intervals (like the Roman augurs on the Ides).30 But the inscribing may have been honor enough, and in any case not proof of a relocation of either persons or rites. Thus the lists are not compelling evidence that the prytaneion was or became the ‘headquarters’ of the kouretes, less still that a rite of initiation was performed in that building or under the supervision of the kouretes.

  • 31 The two pre-Imperial mentions of kouretes, ca. 300 BCE, are inconclusive. Delegates from the neop (...)
  • 32 Cf. Jaccottet (2003), p. 40, on similar elaboration in the worship of Dionysus in Imperial times: (...)
  • 33 Graf (1999), p. 261–262, offers this analogy.

16No text of Roman date assigns the kouretes exclusively to Artemis.31 The prytaneion lists of each year’s κουρῆτες εὐσεβεῖς name no gods. The lists show that each of the kouretes had a distinct ritual duty, and that these specialties multiplied over time. Belayche (2016) has expertly charted this proliferation of novel honors for the Ephesian elite and recognized it as a product of their ambition to be noticed.32 It may be that the kouretes belonged to no particular god but acted more like the Roman priestly colleges,33 and their collective or individual presence at any ritual insured its correctness and dignity.

  • 34 Keil (1914), with photograph = I.Ephesos 1202. Cf. Rodgers (2012), p. 298 (“we know nothing about (...)

17As a final caution about vocabulary in Roman Ephesus, another inscription offers a nice illustration of ‘initiation’ as metaphor. A small altar is assigned by its crude letter forms to the third century CE. A brother and sister, seconded by their mother and their brother, dedicate to Aphrodite of the Feast an Eros and a lamp:34

Ἡλιόδωρος
καὶ Ναΐς, ἀδελ-
φὸς καὶ ἀδελ-
4 φή, μύστης καὶ
μύστις Δαιτίδ-
ος Ἀφροδείτ-
ης, ἀνέθηκαν
8 τὸν Ἔρωτα καὶ
λύχνον χάλκ-
ειον δίμυξον
κρεμαστὸν
12 [σὺ]ν καὶ Νείκῃ τῇ
[μη]τρὶ καὶ Τροφίμῳ
[τῷ ἀδε]λφ[ῷ·] ἐτέθησ-
[αν — – — – — – — – –]

Heliodorus and Nais, brother and sister, male and female initiates of Daitis Aphrodite, dedicated this Eros and hanging bronze double-wick lamp, together with Nike their mother and Trophimus their brother; these were placed — –

  • 35 s.v. Δαιτίς, with Heberdey (1904) and Keil (1914).
  • 36 In the Etym. Mag., an agalma of Artemis; Keil therefore deduced two festivals, parallel parties f (...)
  • 37 Rather than “daughter of a king”: Heberdey (1904), p. 210 n. 2, was first to see a proper noun he (...)
  • 38 Keil (1914), p. 146–147, took this event to be a mystery cult and theodaisia/dining with the god; (...)
  • 39 In a single-gender precedent for such play, Nausicaa and her girls cast aside their veils (Odysse (...)
  • 40 It may be relevant that the great kinship festival and gathering in Ionian cities, the Apatouria, (...)

18Servius (ad Aen. 1.720) had read of Aphrodite Epidaitia in Ephesus; he gives as aition a feast that led to a marriage, opposed by the parents but compelled by Aphrodite. It is the Etymologicum Magnum that describes a Daitis festival at length35: unmarried girls and youths (κόραι, ἔφηβοι/νέοι) party together in a meadow and then gather a salad as a feast to place before an agalma36 carried to the meadow by the daughter of Basileus.37 That scene shows the least minimum element of cult: no priest, sacred space, temple, or altar, only the presentation of gathered celery and salt to a portable statue.38 This coed outing, a great rarity in Greece, was not a rite of initiation: the young people played together (παιδιὰν καὶ τέρψιν), a release from the norms of daily life.39 Keil saw clearly the focus: in a society of cloistered girls and parental supervision, young men and women looking toward marriage had here a chance to study the possibilities.40 We see this in the Greek romances, a boy and girl noticing each other for the first time at a public festival.

  • 41 Anth. Gr. 5.4, 5, 7, 8, 150, 166, 191, 197, 263, 279, 6.162, 7.219 (prayers that the lovers’ lamp (...)
  • 42 Ovid, Ars Am. 2.609 Veneris mysteria; [Plutarch], Fluv. 7, ἐν τοῖς Ἀφροδίτης μυστηρίοις; Plut. Mo (...)

19The symbolism employed in this dedication was traditional. The sexual implication of the pair Eros/lamp was a frequent literary trope because it was a fact of life, familiar to Greeks, Romans, and Christians.41 The doings in the Daitis meadow, like the dedicated Eros and lamp, looked toward weddings and the banquets that were a feature of weddings. Thus our two ‘initiates’ of Aphrodite: the word here is a metaphor for marriage, and not evidence of an initiatory cult that inducted members into a sanctioned group. This coy metaphor for sex was a cliché of the age, sometimes accompanied by a lamp.42

  • 43 In Roman Egypt most invitations to wedding feasts come from men; but a nice parallel to Nike of E (...)

20No father participates in the dedication or is even named as parent of the brother and sister: Nike probably was a widow. She rejoices in the proximate weddings of two of her children.43 It is a human thing, and familiar, the matter of Austen’s Sense and Sensibility. In antiquity, even more than in the eighteenth century, for a mother to negotiate the marriage of a child without the help and authority and connections of a husband must have been a daunting challenge, and Nike’s double success in behalf of the two ‘initiates’ a triumph.

21In sum, at Ephesus there is good evidence for initiation to Dionysus and probably to Demeter; for Aphrodite, only a metaphor. For Artemis, we have no unambiguous testimony for initiation or for the kouretes’ role in such a rite.

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Notes

1 Most fully Picard (1922), p. 277–353, and Rogers (2012).

2 Cf. Rogers (2012), p. 330 n. 154, “the evidence … may seem rather thin”; various hesitations are cited below.

3 Bremmer (2008), p. 50; Clinton (2014b), p. 119 (citing Strabo 10.3.9, rituals performed τὰς μὲν μυστικῶς τὰς δὲ ἐν φανερῷ, 17.1.29 “secretive priests”); cf. 10.3.21, τὰ δὀνόματα αὐτῶν ἐστὶ μυστικά; LSJ s.v. ii.

4 Strabo 10.3.9 continues: τε κρύψις μυστικὴ τῶν ἱερῶν σεμνοποιεῖ τὸ θεῖον.

5 See the list and the careful observations of Horsley (1992), p. 143–144 (“mystery activities were not a major part of Artemis’ cultic ritual. Yet mysteries there undoubtedly were”).

6 On the priestesses of Ephesian Artemis see Bremmer (2008), p. 42–47; Kirbihler (2019). Clinton (2014b), p. 122, has pointed out that no hierophant is attested for Artemis. She also probably did not have her own architect: in I.Ephesos 1600.6–7, ἀρχιτέκτονος τῆς / [θεᾶς, restore instead τῆς / [πόλεως; and 1061.7–8, — – ἀρχιτέκτονος] | τῆς θεοῦ has rightly been left unrestored by Belayche (2016), p. 67 n. 52.

7 Belayche (2016), p. 54 n. 29, takes this to mean that the prytanis alone underwent initiation.

8 A list of the year’s kouretes follows this dedication. Kearsley (1992), p. 201, cites this as the only inscription in which “the participation of the kouretes” in the mysteries of Artemis is “actually documented”; but it does not specify Artemis or participation by the kouretes.

9 Knibbe 1983, p. 169 (= I.Ephesos 1058+1597). Clinton (2014b), p. 126, judges Artemis’ absence from these lists “curious”.

10 See Clinton (2014b), p. 117–119, arguing that Soteira is not Artemis of the great temple. It can be added that at Ephesus Artemis is not called Soteira alone, but only with a genitive: “protector of the imperial family” (1265; Engelman [1993], p. 287–288), and “of the gerousia” (1587B). On unnamed Soteira in Greek usage see Jim (2015).

11 Clinton (2014b), p. 125, urges that the two phrases mean “the entire Mysteria” and “the remainder of the Mysteria” of Artemis. On the latter phrase Belayche (2016), p. 59, is doubtful: “le reste [?] des mystères”.

12 The diversity is richly illustrated by Bremmer (2014).

13 TAM V 995 (second century CE); cf. 931 and 996 listing her other priesthoods and her agonothesiai.

14 I.Didyma 312.24, cf. 326 (“to the gods”, also 327, 329, 333, 360, 373), 381, 382; more fully 352 “the required sacrifices for the goddess and libations and the celebrations of the mysteries” (τὰς τῶν μυστηρίων τελετάς; Fontenrose [1988], p. 130, is mistaken in claiming that teletai can only mean initiations; see Belayche [2017], p. 619, for references). No mystes of Artemis is mentioned in Milesian inscriptions.

15 As long observed: in 1934, Nilsson (1951), p. 539 (“on soupçonne parfois que les mystères étaient plutôt une façon de parler qu’une réalité ”); in 1952 elaborated by Nock (1972), II, p. 797–801 (examples of ‘mysteries’ as metaphor). See especially Graf (2002) and (2003); Jaccottet (2003), p. 127–129, 138–146 (p. 128: “il y a de vrais mystères sans mystes, tout comme il y a des mystes sans véritables mystères”); Belayche (2013), p. 35. This broadening of usage is a theme of the essays in the Dossier “Les ‘mystères’ : Questionner une catégorie”, Mètis n.s. 14 (2016): e.g., “appliqué de manière extensive à d’autres cérémonies religieuses” (Belayche and Massa, p. 8, cf. p. 12, hesitation about Ephesian Artemis); Jaccottet, p. 81 n. 14 and p. 87; Borgeaud, p. 95 (“banalisation”); Massa, p. 111 and 119. To employ ‘mysteries’ as a metaphor was old, cf. Plato, Grg. 497c.

16 Robert (1960), p. 322, suggested a revealing of the imperial imagines; cf. Pleket (1965), p. 343–345; Bremmer (2016), p. 26.

17 Nollé (1986), p. 204–206; Adak et al. (2015), p. 99 [SEG 65, 1437].

18 I.Sardis 21: Ἑρ[μεῖ καὶ Ἡρακλεῖ τ]οῖς κατὰ παλα[ίστραν θεοῖς τ]ά τε μυστή[ρια ἐπιτελέσαν]τα πολυτελ[ῶς.

19 Listed in Suys (1998), p. 180–182. On the cults in the prytaneion see Keil (1939); Knibbe (1981), p. 101–105; Suys (1998). The prayers I.Ephesos 1064 and 1068 (Keil’s nos. 1 and 2) to Hestia and Artemis are of a different genre (and cf. 1062 and 1063 without Artemis) and need not come from the prytaneion. That two statues of Artemis were found in the prytaneion (Knibbe, p. 102) need not prove cult.

20 On Clement see especially Massa (2016), p. 118–126.

21 πόλεις τε νομίζουσιν αἱ πᾶσαι καὶ ἄνδρες. Similarly I.Ephesos 24.b.11–14: παρ̣̣ [Ἕλλησίν τε κ]α̣̣ [β]α̣ρ̣β̣̣ρ̣[ο]ιςδιὰ τὰς ὑπαὐτῆς γεινομένας ἐναργεῖς ἐπιφανείας.

22 Cf. Rogers (2012), p. 293–308; on Demeter, Graf (2003), p. 247–250; Suys (1998), p. 185–186.

23 The line length is unknown.

24 These ‘rights’ may have included a subvention from the provincial government, as Sardes requested of a governor: Petzl, I.Sardis II 321 (δίκαια τοῦ θεοῦ, 7), cf. 322 (ἐπιτελούν[των τὰ μυστή]ρια καὶ τὰς εἰθισμένας σπο[νδάς, 13–14).

25 On the Ephesian kouretes see Knibbe (1981), Bremmer (2008), p. 50–52, and more widely, Graf (1999), Belayche (2017).

26 Moved from the Artemision by Augustus, according to Picard (1922), p. 28 etc., Rogers (2012), p. 119, and others. Clinton (2014a), p. 376: “the evidence does not demonstrate that the Mysteria were held” in the temple. Scherrer (2015), p. 795, 798: moved not from the temple but from the Ortygian grove and in the time of Claudius.

27 Knibbe (1983), p. 125, τῶν κουρήτων αὐτοῦ; I.Ephesos 613A, two headings Διήους κούρητες and Ἀλεξάνδρου κούρητες. Cf. Suys (1998), p. 186 n. 47, “un collège annuel attaché au prytane”.

28 One of the many individuated kouretes was the ἑστιοῦχος, once articulated as the ἱερὸς ἑστιοῦχος ἐπὶ πρυτανείου (I.Ephesos 1078). On public dining in Ephesus’ prytaneion, see Suys (1998), p. 177–178.

29 Varro, RR, 3.6.6; Pliny, HN, 10.45.2.

30 Cicero, Div. 1.90; Amic. 7; Fam. 7.26.2.

31 The two pre-Imperial mentions of kouretes, ca. 300 BCE, are inconclusive. Delegates from the neopoioi and the kouretes brought to the city council a decree of the gerousia and the epikletoi urging citizenship for a benefactor of the Artemision (I.Ephesos 1449; Knibbe [1981], p. 13). This need not mean that the kouretes were attached solely to Artemis, less still that the kouretes (or the neopoioi) vetted candidates for citizenship as argued by Scherrer (2015), p. 799–800. I.Ephesos 4102 (Knibbe p. 13–14) shows neopoioi and kouretes presiding over letting contracts to buy incense, without specifying a god.

32 Cf. Jaccottet (2003), p. 40, on similar elaboration in the worship of Dionysus in Imperial times: “cette volonté nouvelle de donner des noms pompeux à des actions centrales du culte”.

33 Graf (1999), p. 261–262, offers this analogy.

34 Keil (1914), with photograph = I.Ephesos 1202. Cf. Rodgers (2012), p. 298 (“we know nothing about the details of her mysteries”).

35 s.v. Δαιτίς, with Heberdey (1904) and Keil (1914).

36 In the Etym. Mag., an agalma of Artemis; Keil therefore deduced two festivals, parallel parties for Aphrodite Daitis and Artemis Daitis. Rather than duplicate festivals, it may be that the Etymologist’s ‘Artemis’ is an error for ‘Aphrodite’, influenced by the opening words of the entry, τόπος ἐν Ἐφέσῳ. Artemis can be supported by Menander Cith. 95, δειπνοφορία τις παρθένω[ν for Ephesian Artemis. But Ephesians staged many feasts (I.Ephesos 221; 1577a; at Ortygia, teams of neoi competed in the sumptuousness of feasts, Strabo 14.1.20). The dedication’s Aphrodite seems more suitable for this event than the Etymologist’s Artemis.

37 Rather than “daughter of a king”: Heberdey (1904), p. 210 n. 2, was first to see a proper noun here and at Strabo 14.1.26; cf. Graf (1985), p. 118. The Basileis, descendants of Ephesus’ founder Codrus, enjoyed several ritual privileges (Strabo 14.1.3).

38 Keil (1914), p. 146–147, took this event to be a mystery cult and theodaisia/dining with the god; cf. Picard (1922), p. 312–323; Rogers (2012), p. 298–299. The Etymologicum Magnum does not say that the young people shared in the meal.

39 In a single-gender precedent for such play, Nausicaa and her girls cast aside their veils (Odyssey 6.100, ἔπαιζον, ἀπὸ κρήδεμνα βαλοῦσαι).

40 It may be relevant that the great kinship festival and gathering in Ionian cities, the Apatouria, was not practiced in Ephesus (Herodotus 1.147.2, and the silence of the inscriptions, not even the Ionian month name Apatourion).

41 Anth. Gr. 5.4, 5, 7, 8, 150, 166, 191, 197, 263, 279, 6.162, 7.219 (prayers that the lovers’ lamp not go out); Petronius, PLM IV 100 (secretaque lampas); Lucian, Catapl. 27 (an embarrassed lamp); Apuleius, Met. 5.4, 20 (the oddity of no lamp for Eros), 23; Matt 25: 1–13 (foolish brides with no oil in their lamps). With a later technology, “As merry as when our nuptial day is done / And tapers burnt to bedward!” (Coriolanus I.vi.31–32).

42 Ovid, Ars Am. 2.609 Veneris mysteria; [Plutarch], Fluv. 7, ἐν τοῖς Ἀφροδίτης μυστηρίοις; Plut. Mor. 762a, Ἔρωτος ὀργιασταῖς καὶ μύσταις; Achilles Tatius 1.18.3, Ἔρωτος μυστήριον; 5.15.6, ὢ πυρὸς μυστικοῦ … τὰ τῆς Ἀφροδίτης μυστήρια; 5.16.3, Ἔρωτι καὶ Ἀφροδισίοις μυστηρίοις; 5.26.3, οὐκ αἰσχύνομαι τὰ τοῦ Ἔρωτος ἐξαγορεύουσα μυστήρια. πρὸς ἄνδρα λαλῶ μεμυημένον; Anth. Gr. 5.191, Κύπρι … ὁ μύστης σῶν κώμων; 5.197, λύχνον ἐμῶν κώμων πόλλ’ ἐπιδόντα τέλη; 6.162, Κύπρι φίλη, μύστην σῶν θέτο παννυχίδων; 7.219, μύστην λύχνον.

43 In Roman Egypt most invitations to wedding feasts come from men; but a nice parallel to Nike of Ephesus and the double wedding of her children is Herais of Oxyrhynchus: ἐρωτᾷ σε Ἡραὶς δειπνῆσαι εἰς γάμους τέκνων αὐτῆς ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ αὔριον (W.Chr. 484).

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