previous next


δαφνηφορία). A festival celebrated every ninth year at Thebes in honour of Apollo, surnamed Ismenius or Galaxius. Its name was derived from the laurel branches (δάφναι) which were carried by those who took part in its celebration. A full account of the festival is given by Proclus (Chrestomath. p. 11). At one time all the Aeolians of Arné and the adjacent districts, at the command of an oracle, laid siege to Thebes, which was at the same time attacked by the Pelasgians, and ravaged the neighbouring country. But when the day came on which both parties had to celebrate a festival of Apollo, a truce was concluded, and on the day of the festival they went with laurel-boughs to the temple of the god. But Polematas, the general of the Boeotians, had a vision in which he saw a young man who presented to him a complete suit of armour, and who made him vow to institute a festival, to be celebrated every ninth year, in honour of Apollo, at which the Thebans, with laurel-boughs in their hands, were to go to his temple. When, on the third day after this vision, both parties again were engaged in close combat, Polematas gained the victory. He now fulfilled his promise, and himself walked to the temple of Apollo in the manner prescribed by the being he had seen in his vision; and ever since that time, continues Proclus, this custom has been strictly observed.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: