These were three “sacred ploughings” in Attica to commemorate
the institution of agriculture. They were held in Maimacterion (Nov.-Dec.):
see Bötticher in Philologus,
concerning the frieze with the calendar sculptured upon it, from which we
learn the date of this festival. The first ploughing was held at Sciros, the
second on the Rarion (Π̓άριον
) plain near
Eleusis, and the third under the acropolis, which was specially called
42 = ii. p. 114). These ploughings were probably for the
purpose of sowing the corn used in the rites of the temples of Athena
Sciras, of the Eleusinian goddesses and Athena Polias. The family of priests
who took care of the sacred plough and of the oxen who drew it were called
Buzyges, a sort of Arval Brotherhood; and the family derived their descent
from an eponymous Buzyges, who was in later times assimilated with
Triptolemos or Epimenides (Auson. Epist.
22, 46. Cf. Paus. 1.38.7
; and especially Stoll in W. H.
Roscher's Lexikon der griech. und röm. Myth.
s. v. Buzyges). Great difficulty hangs round the question as to whether
Buzyges belonged originally to the Cecropian worship of Athena Polias--as is
held by Preller, Griech. Myth.
i. pp. 169, 181, n. 4; Maury,
Relig. de la Grèce,
2.209; Stoll, l.c.
--on the basis of a passage in Aristides
p. 20, Dindorf); or to the worship of Zeus, as is
maintained by Schömann (Gr. Alt.
pp. 262-271--a good
discussion), on the basis of C. I. G.
491 and an inscription
Ἱερεως Διὸς Τελείου Βουζυγίου
19.360), a worship united with
that of Demeter Thesmophoros. There is no doubt that he did not originally
belong to the worship of Demeter of Eleusis. The ἀραὶ Βουζύγειοι
are well known (Valcken, on Hdt. 7.231
), falling on him who did not show the
road to one who had missed it, who did not give a light or water to one in
need thereof (Ath. 6.239
a; Cic. Off. 3.1. 3
, 55; Holden
), who killed the oxen that ploughed
(Aelian, Ael. VH 5.14
), who left a corpse
unburied (Schol. on Soph. Antig.
), who did not practise what he recommended to others (Clem. Alex.
p. 503, 17), &c. A large mass of literature on the whole subject is
in Stoll, l.c.