) was a solemnity performed at Sparta at the festival
of Artemis Orthia, whose temple was called Limnaeon, from its situation in a
marshy part of the town. (Paus. 3.16.6
solemnity was this:--Spartan youths (ἔφηβοι
) were scourged on the occasion at the altar of Artemis,
by persons appointed for the purpose, until their blood gushed forth and
covered the altar. The scourging itself was preceded by a preparation, by
which those who intended to undergo the diamastigosis tried to harden
themselves against its pains. Pausanias describes the origin of the worship
of Artemis Orthia, and of the diamastigosis, in the following manner :--A
wooden statue of Artemis, which Orestes had brought from Tauris, was found
in a bush by Astrabacus and Alopecus, the sons of Irbus. The two men were
immediately struck mad at the sight of it. The Limnaeans and the inhabitants
of other neighbouring places then offered sacrifices to the goddess; but a
quarrel ensued among them, in which several individuals were killed at the
altar of Artemis, who now demanded atonement for the pollution of her
sanctuary. From henceforth human victims were selected by lot and offered to
Artemis, until Lycurgus introduced the scourging of young men at her altar
as a substitute for human sacrifices.
The diamastigosis, according to this account, was a substitute for human
sacrifice, and Lycurgus made it also serve his purposes of education, in so
far as he made it a part of the system of hardening the Spartan youths
against bodily sufferings. (Plut. Lyc. 18
p. 254; Cic.
, § 77.) According to
another far less probable account, the diamastigosis originated in a
circumstance, recorded by Plutarch (Plut. Arist.
), which happened before the battle of Plataeae.
The worship of Artemis Orthia was unquestionably very ancient, and the
diamastigosis only a step from barbarism towards civilisation. Many
anecdotes are related of the courage and intrepidity with which young
Spartans bore the lashes of the scourge; some even died without uttering a
murmur at their sufferings, for to die under the strokes was considered as
honourable a death as that on the field of battle. (Cf. Müller's
2.9.6, note k, and 4.5.8, note c;
1.2, p. 183.) [L.S
) or DIA´DOSEIS (διαδόσεις,
Dem. c. Leoch.
p. 1091.37) were
public doles to the Athenian people, resembling the Roman CONGIARIUM
To these belong
the free distributions of corn (Aristoph.
ff.), the cleruchiae [COLONIA
p. 477], the revenues from the mines, and
the theoric fund (Dem. l.c.;
). (Cf. Boeckh,