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date: 22 September 2023



  • Robert Parker


The sun. In early Greece Helios was always treated with reverence but received little actual cult. *Anaxagoras' announcement that the ‘sun was a red-hot mass’ caused outrage (DL 2. 12, etc. ) and it was not uncommon to salute and even pray to the sun at its rising and setting (Pl. Symp. 220d, Leg. 887e, cf. Hes. Op. 339, and for respect Pl. Ap. 26c), but *Aristophanes(1) can treat the practice of sacrificing to sun and moon as one that distinguishes *barbarians from Greeks (Pax406). Hence evidence for actual cults is scarce and usually cannot be shown to be ancient (Farnell, Cults 5. 419 f.; but for Athens in the 3rd cent. bce see now SEG 33. 115. 12). The exception was *Rhodes, where Helios—subject in fact of the original ‘colossus of Rhodes’—was the leading god and had an important festival, the Halieia (Nilsson, Feste, 427); the myth explaining this prominence is told in Pindar, Ol.


  • Greek Myth and Religion

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