) was a
species of liturgy, and consisted in giving a feast to one of the tribes at
Athens (τὴν φυλὴν ἑστιᾶν,
p. 565.156; Aristot. Pol.
= p. 1320, 37; Pollux, 3.67). It was provided for each tribe
at the expense of a person belonging to that tribe, who was called ἑστιάτωρ.
(Dem. c. Lept.
463.21; c. Boeot. de Nom.
p. 996.7.) Harpocration (s. v.
), states on the authority of
the speech of Demosthenes against Meidias, that this feast was sometimes
provided by persons voluntarily, and at other times by persons appointed by
lot; but, as Boeckh remarks, nothing of this kind occurs in the speech, and
no burthen of this description could have been imposed upon a citizen by
lot. The ἑστιάτορες
appointed, like all persons serving liturgies, according to the amount of
their property in some regular succession; fortunes under three talents seem
to have been excused this and other liturgies (Isae. Or.
], § 80). These banquets of the tribes,
called φυλετικὰ δεῖπνα
by Athenaeus (v. p.
185 c), were introduced for sacred purposes, and for keeping up a friendly
intercourse between persons of the same tribe. They are mentioned as given
at the great festivals of the Dionysia and Panathenaea (see the
newly-discovered scholia on Dem. Lept.
Bulletin de Corresp. Hellén.
1.147), as well
as at the Thesmophoria, when married men entertained the women on behalf of
their wives (Isae. l.c.
). The entertainment appears
to have been of a simple character, including meat but not delicacies
(Pollux, 3.67). Boeckh thinks there may have been 2,000 guests, and the
cost, at the low figure of two obols a head, nearly 700 drachmas; Paley
suggests a doubt whether more than the fifty βουλευταὶ
of each tribe were really entertained (ad
l.c.). The notion of
Boeckh, that there were also “great feastings of the people, defrayed
from the Theorica,” is justly rejected by his editor
Fränkel (n. 779); the Theoric fund was spent in dramatic and other
) or distributions of corn
), not in public
dinners. (Boeckh, P. E.
pp. 452, 465=Sthh.
3 1.537, 554; Wolf, Proleg. ad Lept.
lxxxvii. = 45 tr. Beatson.)