Group Project--Classics 230
4 March 1999
Chapter 4-Group and Single Competitions at the Panathenaia
What is the article about?
This article contains information about the origins of the Panathenaia, the second oldest Greek festival, behind the Eleusinia. The festival took place in the city of Athens, the city of Athena. It was believed that the Panathenaia served both sacred religious and political purposes. The sacred purpose was fulfilled by worshiping Athena's victory over the Giant. The political agenda included Theseus' unification of Attika.
The Panathenaia took place on 28 Hekatombaion. Its procession began at the Pompeion and ended at Athena's temple on the Acropolis. The festival began with a ceremony, the Lampadephoria. This ceremony included the bringing of fire to the altar and sacrifices, followed by the Pannychis, a party that went till the next day. The next day's activities included foot races, the pentathlon, boxing, wrestling, horse and chariot races, as well as other athletic events.
In addition, there was the Euandria, a chorus of young men dressed in ceremonial garb, involving singing and dancing. In short, it was a contest between to teams to determine which tribe had the most handsome men.
What does this tell us about the worship of Athena?
Since much of this festival was done in honor of Athena's victory over the Giant, the Athenians showed an abundance of reverence to the goddess of wisdom. In addition, the festival brought added prestige to the city of Athens itself, as well as its people.
How does this relate to the course?
Since Athena is a female figure in Greek mythology, this chapter shows how Athenian society incorporated the female goddess into their religious and cultural life. This is important in our understanding of the Image of the Female through the study of the impact of myths, deities and heroes/heroines on ancient Greek society.