Heroes of Attica (Bulletin Supplement) by Emily Kearns

By Emily Kearns

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Extra resources for Heroes of Attica (Bulletin Supplement)

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As with the Hyakinthides there are elements of selfsacrifice which complicate the picture, and none of the sisters has quite a straightforward cult. As a group, however, there are several factors which link these heroines with the care of children. It is easier perhaps to trace this kourotrophic function than an interest in birth, since the latter really depends solely on one interpretation of the puzzling ritual of the Arrephoria. But the former is suggested both by the association of a cult of Aglauros and Pandrosos with Kour~trophos~’ and by inference from the myth of the child Erichthonios, where the daughters of Kekrops act as his nurses.

But the former is suggested both by the association of a cult of Aglauros and Pandrosos with Kour~trophos~’ and by inference from the myth of the child Erichthonios, where the daughters of Kekrops act as his nurses. The more spectacular elements of this story do not conceal the original primary function of these heroines. Whether this was a function actively continued in historical times is not clear; there is no direct evidence for any of the sisters as protectors of young children. ~’ There is more direct evidence for a historical connexion with adolescents tha’n with young children.

And the Coan evidence suggests the same: S. M. Sherwin-White. I’ent Cos (Gottingen 1978) 276. ”) Paus. 4; E. Schmidt, AM 38 (19 13) 73-7. “’The myth is attested in E. El. 1258; Hellanicus. FGrH 323a F I , 22; Philochorus, FGrH 328 F 3. For the association of a myth of rape with a sanctuary not used by women, compare Eunostos of Tanagra (Plut. QG 40 = Mor. 300D). although here there is the important difference that in Plutarch’s story the rape is a false accusation, and entry to the sanctuary is actually formally forbidden to women.

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