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HIEROME´NIA (ἱερομηνία, τὰ ἱερομήνια, Thuc. 5.54) means the “holy season,” during which, “as in the treuga Dei of the mediaeval Church,” all hostilities between different states were suspended (Thuc. 5.54, 2 and schol., τοῦγὰρ Καρνείου πολλὰς ἔχοντος ἱερὰς ἡμέρας καὶ πάσας ἱερὰς μᾶλλον οὺκ ἐστρατεύοντο, and 3.56, 1; 65, 1). Then, as Demosthenes says (c. Timocr. p. 709.29), the law forbade μήτ᾽ ἰδίᾳ (see the case of Evander, who, having obtained a verdict against Menippus in a mercantile suit, seized his person while staying at Athens during the Mysteries, Dem. c. Mid. p. 571.176 ff.) μήτε κοινῇ (Socrates remained in prison until the return of the sacred vessel from Delos) μηδὲν ἀλλήλους ἀδικεῖν μηδὲ χρηματίζειν τι ἂν μὴ περὶ τῆς ἑορτῆς (the Panathenaic festival; the scholiast confines the ἱερομηνία to the day when the Cronia were actually celebrated, whilst in Aug. Mommsen's opinion, Heortologie, p. 108, it extended from the Cronia to the Panathenaic festival). See also Dem. c. Timocr. p. 708.26, p. 716.47: the senate discharged from attendance on account of the Cronia, Aeschin. c. Ctesiph. § 67: on the popular assembly to be held on the festival of Asclepius (ἐν τῇ ἱερᾷ ἡμέρᾳ), and Xen. de Rep. Ath. 3, 8: οὐ δικάζειν during festivals (Aristoph. Cl. 620, and Harpocr. αἱ ἑορτώδεις ἡμέραι ἱερομηνίαι καλοῦνται); Dem. c Mid. p. 571.176, p. 525.34: the same law about the Dionysia as about the Mysteries. The ἱερομηνία in connexion with the great festivals included the time before and after them, and special heralds visited the different states of Greece and proclaimed these σπονδαί (e. g. Ὀλυμπιακαὶ σπονδαὶ in Aeschin. de F. L. § 12 and schol.); hence they were called σπονδοφόροι (σπ. Ἀλεῖοι, Pind. I. 2, 35; τῶν Κορείων, Strab. 2.3, 4, p. 155; cf. Aeschin. de F. L. § 133, οἱ τὰς μυστηριώτιδας σπονδὰς ἐπαγγέλλοντες, and Thuc. 5.49, 2; 8.10, 1). The σπονδαὶ of the Greater Mysteries lasted from the day of the full moon of Metageitnion (ἀπὸ ἀρχομηνίας, C. I. G. No. 71; ἀπὸ διχομηνίας, Sauppe, Inscr. Elecus. p. 6, and C. I. A. i. No. 1) to the tenth day of Pyanepsion, and those of the Lesser from the day of the full moon of Gamelion to the tenth day of Elaphebolion (i. e. 55 days, thus enabling even those at a distance to travel to Athens and back in safety); cf. C. I. G. No. 2954, ἐν μηνὶ (the Ephesian Artemision) πανηγύρεις τε καὶ ἱερομηνίαι ἐπιτελοῦνται . . . . καὶ ἀτελειῶν καὶ ἐκεχειπίας εἰς ὅλον τὸν ἐπώνυμον τῆς θεοῦ μῆνα τυχόντα. Instances are not wanting of the non-observance of this international law: one is related of Agesipolis by Xen. Hell. 4.7 (see also 4.5, 1, 2); another of the soldiers of Philip of Macedon (Dem. de F. L. argum. p. 335, cf. Aeschin. de F. L. § 12); a third of the Achaeans by Plut. Arat. 28. When, in B.C. 420, the Spartans attacked the Elean fort of Phyrcon and occupied Lepreon ἐν ταῖς Ὀλυμπιακαῖς σπονδαῖς, the Eleans condemned them, for this breach of the ἐκεχειπία, to a fine of 2000 minas, according to the Ὀλυμπιακὸς νόμος: and when the Lacedaemonians replied that the ἐκεχειρία had not been proclaimed in Sparta at the time the expedition started, the Eleans pointed out that the ἐκεχειπία had been proclaimed in theirs. From the passage πρώτοις γὰρ σφίσιν αὐτοῖς ἐπαγγέλλουσιν (Thuc. 5.49), E. Curtius (Sparta v. Olympia, p. 131 f.) infers that Sparta was the first state in which the σπονδοφόροι made their proclamation; but its meaning clearly is (Busolt, Forsch. z. griech. Gesch. i. p. 17 f.), that the ἐκεχειρία was first proclaimed in Elis, and that then messengers were sent to the other states. (Hermann, Ueber griech. Monatskunde, Abh. d. hist.-phil. Classe, 2.1845, Göttingen; and Pauly, Real-Encycl. iii. p. 1331 ff.)


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