), a great
national festival, celebrated by the Spartans in honour of Apollo Carneios,
which, according to Sosibius (ap. Athen.
), was instituted Olymp. xxvi.; although Apollo, under
the name of Carneios, was worshipped in various places of Peloponnesus,
particularly at Amyclae, at a very early period, and even before the Dorian
migration. (Müller, Dor.
2.8.15.) Wachsmuth (Hellen. Alterthumsk.
ii. p. 582, 2nd
ed.), referring to the above passage of Athenaeus, thinks that the Carneia
had long before been celebrated; and that when, in Olymp. xxvi., Terpander
gained the victory, musical contests were only added to the martial
solemnities of the festival. But the words of Athenaeus, who is the only
authority to which Wachsmuth refers, do not
allow of such an interpretation, for no distinction is there made between
earlier and later solemnities of the festival, and Athenaeus simply says,
the institution of the Carneia took place Olymp. xxvi. (Ἐγένετο δὲ ἡ θέσις τῶν Καρνείων κατὰ τὴν ἕκτην
καὶ εἰκοστὴν Ὀλυμπιάδα, ὡς Σωσίβιός φησιν, ἐν τῷ περὶ
) The festival began, on the seventh day of the month
of Karneios= Metageitnion of the Athenians, and lasted for nine days. (Athen. 4.141
; Eustath. ad Il.
It was, as far as we know, a warlike festival, similar to the Attic
Boëdromia, and was celebrated by all the Dorians. During the time
of its celebration nine tents were pitched near the city, in each of which
nine men lived in the manner of a military camp, obeying in everything the
commands of a herald. Müller also supposes [p. 1.366]
that a boat was carried round, and upon it a statue of the Carneian Apollo
), both adorned
with lustratory garlands, called δίκηλον
in allusion to the passage of the Dorians from
Naupactus into Peloponnesus. (Dorians,
1.3.8, note s.
) The priest conducting the sacrifices at the
Carneia was called Ἀγητής,
festival was sometimes designated by the name Ἀγητόρια
(Hesych. sub voce
); and from each of the Spartan
tribes five unmarried men (Καρνεᾶται
chosen as his ministers, whose office lasted four years, during which period
they were not allowed to marry. (Hesych. sub voce
) Some of them bore the name of
(Hesych. sub voce
compare Bekker, Anecd.
Terpander was the first who gained the prize in the musical contests of the
Carneia, and the musicians of his school were long distinguished competitors
for the prize at this festival (Müller, Dor.
4.6.3), and the last of this school who engaged in the
contest was Perikleidas (Plut. de Mus.
we read in Herodotus (6.106
) and Thucydides (5.54
, and in other places) that the Spartans during the celebration
of this festival were not allowed to take the field against an enemy, we
must remember that this restriction was not peculiar to the Carneia, but
common to all the great festivals of the Greeks: traces of it are found even
in Homer (Hom. Od. 21.258
Carneia were also celebrated at Cyrene (Callimach. Hymn. in
), in Thera (Callimach. l.c.;
Pindar, Pind. P. 5.99
), in Gythion, Messene, Sicyon, and Sybaris
, and 24.5; 4.33.5; 2.10.2;
Theocr. 5.83; compare Müller's Orchom.
p. 327 ;
Welcker, Griech. Götterlehre,
i. p. 469,