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Παναθηναίων, ‘the night before the Panathenaea’. For the genitive cf. vi. 46. 1. The great Panathenaea were celebrated every fourth year, in the third year of the Olympiad, probably 24-28 Hekatombaion. The chief day, here called the Panathenaea, was the 28th, on which the robe (πέπλος) of Athena was brought in procession to the Acropolis, a scene familiar to us from the great Parthenon frieze. On the whole festival cf. A. Mommsen, Feste der Stadt Athen (p. 41 f.), and on Pisistratus' encouragement of such national festivals cf. Appendix XVI, § 7.

αἰνίσσεσθαι τάδε τὰ ἔπεα, ‘spake these riddling words’. Cf. Soph. Aj. 1158. The words remain obscure even after their fulfilment, but apparently Hipparchus is encouraged to bear his fate with fortitude, sure that his murderers shall pay the penalty for their evil deed. The oracle would have additional point if H. like Aristotle (Ath. Pol. 17) held Thessalus (Hegesistratus, cf. ch. 94) responsible for the insult which excited the wrath of Harmodius and led to the conspiracy, as in that case Hipparchus would be an innocent victim. For the friendship of the Pisistratidae with soothsayers cf. vii. 6. 3 n. and Appendix XVI, § 7. H.'s insistence on the reality of the dream (ch. 55) and on its communication to the soothsayers shows that the story had been doubted.


ἀπειπάμενος: probably ‘dismissing from his thoughts’ (Stein, Abbott) rather than = averrunco, ‘averting by sacrifice’ (L. and S.).

ἔπεμπε τὴν πομπήν. Aristotle (Ath. Pol. 18), while differing on most points from Thucydides (i. 20, vi. 57 f.), agrees that Hipparchus, when he was slain, was marshalling the procession near the Leocorion, a monument in the inner Ceramicus.

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  • Commentary references from this page (3):
    • Aristotle, Constitution of the Athenians, 17
    • Aristotle, Constitution of the Athenians, 18
    • Sophocles, Ajax, 1158
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