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date: 22 April 2024



  • Robert Parker


Panathenaea, the great civic festival of Athens in honour of its patron goddess *Athena, celebrated in Hekatombaion (roughly August). Its core was the great procession, evoked on the *Parthenon frieze, in which representatives of different sections of Athenian society and even *metics marched or rode from the *Ceramicus through the agora to the acropolis (see athens, topography). There followed large sacrifices, the meat from which was publicly distributed. The night before (probably), choirs of boys and maidens had celebrated a ‘night festival’ (*pannychis). Every four years, the Panathenaea was extended to become the ‘greater Panathenaea’. Only then, probably, did the procession bring to Athena the famous Panathenaic robe, embroidered with scenes from the battle of Gods and Giants. The greater Panathenaea also included major athletic and musical competitions (see agōnes), open to all Greece and lasting several days, winners in which received money prizes or *olive oil contained in the distinctive Panathenaic prize *amphoras.


  • Greek Myth and Religion

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