Τετρὰς Φθίνοντος/ Τετρὰς μετ’εἰκάδας, XXVII day
From today’s sunset: twenty-seventh day (fourth waning of the third decade) of Hekatombaion.
Ta Panathenaia (Mikra, annual festivity) in honor of the Queen of Athens, Athena Tritogenia!
First day, dedicated to the Evandria, the equestrian contests and the Pyrrhic dance.
“The Festival of the Panathenaia is the good order that descends from the Intellect in the cosmos and the separation that prevents the cosmic opposites from mixing: because Athena is at the same time ‘friend of wisdom and friend of war’.” (Proklos, in Tim. 85, 10)
“Because, as the creative action of Athena is two-fold, total and partial, hypercosmic and encosmic, relative to the Intelligible and to the Sensible (material), the Parmenides (the Platonic dialogue) corresponds to the transcendent creations of the Goddess, because it reveals the intelligible series of the Gods, and the Timaeus (corresponds) to Her lower creations, because it exposes the influences of the Gods of the cosmos.” (Proklos, in Tim. 87,9)
“The Mikra Panathenaia worship in a peculiar way the encosmic operation of the Goddess, which is coordinated to the period of Selene.” (Proklos, in Parm 1, 16)
“Athena is the one that elevates the soul, the Leader of the Intellect and authentic wisdom , and it is She who reigns more on the celestial sphere and from above accomplishes the sublunary order … The Panathenaia would be appropriate to the second and third meeting (of the Platonic dialogues), which represent the soul that turns to herself and, withdrawing her life from the inferior dimension, closely links her to her own intellect and instead of ordering what is not like herself, remains with what is similar to her and has part of thoughts and events that suit to happy viewers … the ancestral cult -as that of Panathenaia-he puts it as suitable for that soul that turns to the costumes that are proper to her and lives intellectually, and in a way that is compliant ‘with her kindred star’ as Timaeus says. Those are the real costumes of the homeland for the souls, and for this reason our homeland is there, as it is indicated by our demiurgic seed.”(Proklos, in RP. Dissertation I)
“Take care to avoid troubles which eat out the heart on the fourth of the beginning and ending of the month; it is a sacred day: especially during these sacred days it is convenient to get rid of all the activities that make you suffer, which, if at other times you need to choose them as necessary, in these days you should not.”
“Few know that the fourth day after the twenty of the month (τὴν μετ’εἰκαδα τοῦ μηνὸς τετάρτην) is the best day… He (Hesiod) eulogizes all the tetrads, the first, the second and the third…about the third tetrad, he says that few are those who know that it is better during the morning’s hours.”- that is, tomorrow morning from the dawn.
Scholia Erga, 797, 820
(Detail of Athena, from a Panathenaic amphora- from Athens, 363 - 362 B.C. now in the Getty Museum…)
Hellenistic marble male bust with features similar to Alexander the Great, resembling the god Helios but also perhaps intended to represent a Hellenistic ruler, such as one of the Seleukid or Pergamene kings. Note the holes just at the hairline for inserting a metal crown or rays. In the Archaeology Museum, City of Rhodes, Island of Rhodes, Greece.
Photo Credit: Clio Ancient Art and Antiquities
Colossal marble head of Asklepios
c. 325-300 BC
Found on Mílos, Southern Aegean, Greece
The healing god
This head comes from a colossal statue of the god Asklepios, a god of medicine and healing. It was constructed from three separately worked pieces, of which two survive. The calm expression of the face is set off by a full beard and crown of hair. The lead pegs that would have held a gold wreath are still in place, but the wreath is now lost.
The cult of Asklepios was popular throughout Greece and Asia Minor during the Classical period (480-300 BC) and the Hellenistic period (323-30 BC). Important centres were set up in Athens and at Epidaurus in the Peloponnese. Hippocrates was the founding father of modern scientific medicine and, following his death in 357 BC, a healing sanctuary was established on his native island of Cos. There, Asklepios was represented in what became the canonical manner of the later Hellenistic and Roman periods: bearded, semi-nude and supported on one side by a staff around which a serpent is coiled. This head probably comes from such a statue.
Source: British Museum