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[1489] ὁμιλίας ... ἑορτάς The poet is thinking of his own Athens, though the language is general. ὁμιλίας comprises all occasions on which Attic women could appear in public, —as at the delivery of ἐπιτάφιοιThuc. 2.45): ἑορτάς suggests such festivals as the Thesmophoria, the Panathenaea, or the Dionysia (when women were present in the theatre, at least at tragedy). To feel the force of this passage, we must remember how closely the Greek festivals were bound up with the life of the family. Kinsfolk took part in them together: and at such moments a domestic disgrace, such as that which the sisters inherited, would be most keenly felt. In Athenian law-courts the fact of association at festivals could be cited in evidence of family intimacy: Isoc. 19.10ἕως μὲν γὰρ παῖδες ἦμεν, περὶ πλέονος ἡμᾶς αὐτοὺς ἡγούμεθα τοὺς ἀδελφούς, καὶ οὔτε θυσίαν οὔτε θεωρίαν” (public spectacle) οὔτ᾽ ἄλλην ἑορτὴν οὐδεμίαν χωρὶς ἀλλήλων ἤγομεν. Isaeus 8.15καὶ εἰς Διονύσια εἰς ἀγρὸν ἦγεν ἀεὶ ἡμᾶς, καὶ μετ᾽ ἐκείνου τε ἐθεωροῦμεν” (in the theatre) καθήμενοι παρ᾽ αὐτόν, καὶ τὰς ἑορτὰς ἤγομεν παρ᾽ ἐκεῖνον πάσας. It was the Attic custom for a bridegroom Θεσμοφόρια ἑστιᾶν τὰς γυναῖκας, to provide a banquet at the next Thesmophoria for the women of his deme (Isaeus 3.80), and also φράτορσι γαμηλίαν εἰσφέρειν, to provide a banquet for his clansmen when his bride was introduced into his φρατρίαIsaeus 8.18).

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