previous next

χοὰς χέασθαι. χοαί were offered to the gods of the under-world (cp. 1599), or to the dead (Ant. 431), as “σπονδαί” to the gods above. “λοιβαί” usu.=“σπονδαί”, but=“χοαί” in El. 52 (to the dead). So Aesch. Eum. 107χοὰς ἀοίνους”, of the Eumenides. The midd. verb as Od. 10.518χοὴν χεῖσθαι”, and Aesch. Pers. 219χρὴ χοὰς γῇ τε καὶ φθιτοῖς χέασθαι”. The verb with cogn. acc. gives solemnity, as in “θυσίαν θύειν, σπονδὰς σπένδειν”, etc.

πρὸς πρώτην ἕω, not meaning, of course, that the time must be dawn. On the contrary it was an ancient custom that sacrifices to the “χθόνιοι” and to the dead should not be offered till after midday: Etym. M. 468 “ἀπὸ δὲ μεσημβρίας ἔθυον τοῖς καταχθονίοις”, and in Aesch. Eum. 109 Clytaemnestra speaks of sacrificing to the Eum. by night, “ὥραν οὐδενὸς κοινὴν θεῶν”.

The schol. here says that persons performing expiatory rites (“ἐκθύσεις”) or purifications (“καθαρμοί”) faced the East (as the region of light and purity), quoting El. 424 f., where Electra “ἡλίῳ δείκνυσι τοὔναρ”, and Cratinus “ἐν Χείρωνι” (the title of the comedy was “Χείρωνες”, Bothe, Frag. Com. p. 47): “ἄγε δὴ πρὸς ἕω πρῶτον ἁπάντων ἵστω καὶ λάμβανε χερσὶ σχῖνον μεγάλην”,—the squill being used in purifications.

Statues of gods were oft. set to face the East (Paus. 5.23.1, etc.): also, victims about to be sacrificed (Sen. Oed. 338). Cp. the precept of Zoroaster “"to face some luminous object while worshipping god"” (Max Müller, Chips 1. 175). Conversely, in pronouncing solemn curses the priests faced the West,—waving red banners: [Lys.] In Andoc. § 51 “στάντες κατηράσαντο πρὸς ἑσπέραν καὶ φοινικίδας ἀνέσεισαν”.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide References (10 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (10):
    • Aeschylus, Eumenides, 107
    • Aeschylus, Eumenides, 109
    • Aeschylus, Persians, 219
    • Homer, Odyssey, 10.518
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 5.23.1
    • Sophocles, Antigone, 431
    • Sophocles, Electra, 424
    • Sophocles, Electra, 52
    • Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus, 1599
    • Seneca, Oedipus, 338
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: