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HI´EREUS TON SOTE´RON

HI´EREUS TON SOTE´RON (ἱερεὺς τῶν σωτήρων), priest of the Saviours, that is, of Antigonus and Demetrius, who were received by the Athenians, in B.C. 307, as their liberators with honours and flatteries of every sort. They even went so far as to pay divine honours to these princes under the title of Saviours (σωτῆρες), and to assign a priest (ἱερεύς) to attend to their worship, who was to be elected annually by Cheirotonia (Plut. Demetr. 10). This continued for twenty years till the conquest of Demetrius by Pyrrhus in B.C. 287, when the office was abolished and these extravagant honours annulled (Id. 46). It was formerly believed, on the authority of Plutarch, that while the ἱερεὺς τῶν σωτήρων lasted his name was used to mark the year in state records and private documents (συμβόλαια) in place of the first archon; and this notwithstanding the fact that the magistrates of these twenty years were in later times called archons, as, for instance, by Diodorus and Dionysius of Halicarnassus. Clinton accounted for this by supposing that the Athenians would not leave upon their Fasti this mark of their humiliation. (Droysen, Geschichte des Hellenismus, 1.439; Clinton, F. H. 2.380; Schömann, Antiq. Jur. Publ. Graec. p. 359; Thirlwall, 7.331.) But it has now been convincingly proved that this statement of Plutarch's rests on an error (Schömann, Antiq. 1.537 n., E. T.); Grote passes it over in silence, and, if it were true, there would naturally be evidence of it in the many Attic inscriptions lately discovered. On the other honours paid to Demetrius Poliorcetes, cf. Gilbert, Staatsalterth. 1.154, 190.

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    • Plutarch, Demetrius, 10
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