festival celebrated by the Athenians in honour of Boreas (Hesych. sub voce
), which, as Herodotus (7.189
) seems to think, was instituted during the
Persian war, when the Athenians, being commanded by an oracle to invoke
their γαμβρὸς ἐπίκουρος,
Boreas. The fleet of Xerxes was soon afterwards destroyed by a north wind,
near Cape Sepias, and the grateful Athenians erected to his honour a temple
on the banks of the Ilissus. But considering that Boreas was intimately
connected with the early history of Attica, since he is said to have carried
off and married Oreithyia, daughter of Erechtheus (Herod. l.c.;
), and that he was familiar to
them under the name of brother-in-law,
reason to suppose that even previous to the Persian wars certain honours
were paid to him, which were perhaps only revived and increased after the
event recorded by Herodotus. The festival, however, does not seem ever to
have had any great celebrity; for Plato (Phaedr.
represents Phaedrus as unacquainted even with the site of the temple of
Boreas. Particulars of this festival are not known, except that it was
celebrated with banquets.
) mentions a festival
celebrated with annual sacrifices at Megalopolis in honour of Boreas, who
was thought to have been their deliverer from the Lacedaemonians. (Comp.
Aelian, Ael. VH 12.61
) says that the Thurians also offered an
annual sacrifice to Boreas, because he had destroyed the fleet with which
Dionysius of Syracuse attacked them; and adds the curious remark, that a
decree was made which bestowed upon him the right of citizenship, and
assigned to him a house and a piece of land. This, however, is perhaps
merely another way of expressing the fact, that the Thurians adopted the
worship of Boreas, and dedicated to him a temple, with a piece of land.