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ARATEIA

ARATEIA (ἀράτεια), two sacrifices offered every year at Sicyon in honour of Aratus, the general of the Achaeans, who after his death was honoured by his countrymen as a hero, in consequence of the command of an oracle. (Paus. 2.9.4.) The full account of the two festive days is preserved in Plutarch's Life of Aratus (100.53). The Sicyonians, says he, offer to Aratus two sacrifices every year: the one on the day on which he delivered his native town from tyranny, which is the fifth of the month of Daisius, the same which the Athenians call Anthesterion; and this sacrifice they call σωτήρια. The other they celebrate in the month in which they believe that he was born. On the first, the priest of Zeus offered the sacrifices; on the second, the priest of Aratus, wearing a white ribbon with purple spots in the [p. 1.159]centre, songs being sung to the lyre by the actors of the stage. The public teacher (γυμνασίαρχος) led his boys and youths in procession, probably to the heroum of Aratus, followed by the senators adorned with garlands, after whom came those citizens who wished to join the procession. The Sicyonians still observe, he adds, some parts of the solemnity, but the principal honours have been abolished by time and other circumstances. (Wachsmuth, Hellen. Alterth. vol. ii. p. 528.)

[L.S]

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