previous next


DIOSCU´RIA (διοσκούρια or διοσκούρεια, C. I. G. 1444), festivals celebrated in various parts of Greece in honour of the Dioscuri, the heroes Castor and Polydeuces (Pollux). The Spartan Dioscuria, mentioned by Pausanias (4.27.1; compare with 3.16.3) and Spanheim (ad Callim. Hymn. in Pall. 24), were celebrated with sacrifices, rejoicings, and drinking. At Cyrene the Dioscuri were likewise honoured with a great festival. (Schol. ad Pind. P. 5.629.) The Athenian festival of the Dioscuri has been described under ANAKEIA where they were worshipped under the name of Ἄνακτες. Their worship was very generally adopted in Greece, especially in the Doric and Achaean states (Paus. 10.33, 3; 38, 3), as we conclude from the great number of temples dedicated to them; but scarcely anything is known respecting the manner in which their festivals were celebrated.

The festival of the Dioscuri was celebrated at Rome with great splendour on the Ides of Quinctilis, the 15th of July, the day on which they were believed to have assisted the Romans against the Latins in the battle of the Lake Regillus. On this occasion the Equites, who regarded the Dioscuri as their patrons, went in a magnificent procession, crowned with olive chaplets and wearing their state dress, the trabea, from the temple of Mars outside the city, through the main streets, across the forum, and by the ancient temple of the Dioscuri (Dionys. A. R. 6.13; Liv. 9.46). [EQUITES]


hide References (5 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (5):
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 4.27.1
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 10.3
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 10.33
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 10.38
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 9, 46
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: