The following material has been published on the web by Prof. Tom Sienkewicz for his students at Monmouth College. If you have any questions, you can contact him at

Greek Family's Religious Duties and Cults

1.) burying family members and performing funeral rights

only members of oikos could participate

Solonic limit on degree of kinship and age of femal participants in funeral

2.) 3rd and 9th day ceremonies for dead

3.) Kathedra, feast in dead man's honor after 30 days and every month

4.) annual commemorations

a.) private worship at tomb of ancestors (more imp)

b.) public worship such as state festival of Genesia in September--cp. Memorial Day

family rites in cemeteries

5.) maintenance of tombs

6.) festivals to promote fertility and propserity (by both polis and oikos)

a.) great festival of Dionysia in Athens--civic, polis

b.) rural Dionysia--private, oikos

c.) Zeus Ktesios, god of store-chamber= Di Penates

sometimes restricted to members of family only

7.) Anthesteria

oikos festivalin February when dead were thought to walk abroad and visit living

measures taken to assuage anger of man who died by violence

Return to Monmouth College Department of Classics Homepage