previous next


EPHE´SIA (ἐφέσια), a great panegyris of the lonians at Ephesus, the ancient capital of the Ionians in Asia. It was held every year, and had, like all panegyreis, a twofold character, that of a bond of political union among the Greeks of the Ionian race, and that of a common worship of the Ephesian Artemis. Thucydides compares it (3.104) to the ancient panegyris of Delos [DELIA], where a great number of the lonians assembled with their wives and children. Respecting the particulars of its celebration, we only know that it took place at night and was accompanied with much mirth and feasting, and that mystical sacrifices were offered to the Ephesian goddess. (Thucyd. l.c.; Dionys. Antiq. Rom. 4.25, who closely follows Thucydides; Strabo xiv. p.640.) That games and contests formed likewise a chief part of the solemnities is clear from Hesychius (s. v.), who calls the Ephesia an ἀγὼν ἐπιφανής. The drunken revelry described in the love-tale of Achilles Tatius (books vi.-viii.) is not mentioned by these authors. (Compare Paus. 4.31.6; 7.2.4; Müller, Dor. 2.9.8; Boeckh, Corp. Inscript. ii. n. 2909.)

From the manner in which Thucydides and Strabo speak of the Ephesia, it seems that it was only a panegyris of a part of the Ionians, perhaps of those who lived in Ephesus itself and its vicinity. Thucydides seems to indicate this by comparing it with the Dehan panegyris, which consisted only of the lonians of the islands near Delos; and Strabo, who calls the great national panegyris of all the Ionians in the Panionium the κοινὴ πανήγυρις τῶν Ἰώνων (p. 639), applies to the Ephesia the name πανήγυρις (p. 640). It may, however, have existed since the time when Ephesus was the head of the Ionian colonies in Asia.

[L.S] [W.W]

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