The passage refers to the “κυκεών”, the institution of which the hymnwriter, according to his wont, ascribes to Demeter herself. The drinking of this mixture of meal and water was the actual means of communion with the goddess. and belonged therefore to the most sacred part of the ritual in the “τελεστήριον”. The mystae received certain objects from the hierophant and answered “ἐνήστευσα, ἔπιον τὸν κυκεῶνα, ἔλαβον ἐκ κίστης, ἐγγευσάμενος ἀπεθέμην εἰς κάλαθον, καὶ ἐκ καλάθου εἰς κίστην” ( Protrept. 18, Arnob. v. 26; see Lobeck Aglaoph. i. p. 25, Harrison Prolegomena p. 155).For the “κυκεών” in Homer see Il. 11.624 f., Od. 10.234 f. In the latter passage it is called “σῖτος”, being compounded of “ἄλφιτα”. but it is always drunk (“ἔκπιον κ” 237). So Eusth. 870. 65 “εἰ καὶ μεταξὺ βρωτοῦ καὶ ποτοῦ ὁ κυκεὼν εἶναι δοκεῖ, ἀλλὰ μᾶλλον οἷα ζωμός τις ῥοφητὸς ἦν”, comparing Il. 11.640 f. Cf. Ar. Pax712“οὔκ, εἴ γε κυκεῶν᾽ ἐπιπίοις βληχωνίαν”, schol. on Nicand. Alex. 128 f. (“ἔπιε”). On the sacramental eating of corn see Frazer G. B. ii. p. 318 f.
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