Pandora, Αthena, the Kekropides, and the Erechtheides: Female Duality in Athenian Myth and Cult

  Manakidou, Flora P. 2023. “Pandora, Αthena, the Kekropides, and the Erechtheides: Female Duality in Athenian Myth and Cult.” In “Γέρα: Studies in honor of Professor Menelaos Christopoulos,” ed. Athina Papachrysostomou, Andreas P. Antonopoulos, Alexandros-Fotios Mitsis, Fay Papadimitriou, and Panagiota Taktikou, special issue, Classics@ 25.

τὸ περιγραφόμενον ἀπερίγραπτον μένει
To Menelaos for his dedication to Greek myths and cults
ἔστι δὲ τῷ βάθρῳ τοῦ ἀγάλματος [sc. of Athene] ἐπειργασμένη Πανδώρας γένεσις. πεποίηται δὲ Ἡσιόδῳ τε καὶ ἄλλοις ὡς ἡ Πανδώρα γένοιτο αὕτη γυνὴ πρώτη· πρὶν δὲ ἢ γενέσθαι Πανδώραν οὐκ ἦν πω γυναικῶν γένος.
Pausanias 1.2.47
This is how Pausanias during his visit to Athens describes Pandora’s birth carved on the base of the famous statue of Athena Parthenos by Pheidias in the Parthenon. [1] Pliny the Elder who spoke of Πανδώρας γένεσις (sic in Greek) added the information about twenty divinities assisting at the procedure; among them Victory is the most remarkable, together with the snake [2] and the sphinx (Naturalis Historia 6.19).
Pandora’s artistic presence in Polias Athena’s sacred area is a surprising choice. [3] The present paper revisits the problem and advances an answer by examining other female figures of Athenian mythology and cult. These are the three daughters of Kekrops, the legendary first king of Athens, namely, Aglauros (or Agrauros), Pandrosos, and Herse (collectively known as the “Kekropides”), as well as the daughters of Erechtheus, who belong to the next generation, and their mother Praxithea. Already Ogden briefly pinpointed the resemblances between Pandora and the Kekropides and argued for similar contents of their two containers. [4] In a posthumous edition on Athenian myths and festivals (edited by the expert in those matters Robert Parker), Sourvinou-Inwood called these mythical women “mythicoritual personae” (2011:24) and ventured to interpret a series of obscure and controversial versions of mythical narratives and rituals related to them, with regard to the Panathenaia, the Plynteria, and the Kallynteria. Sourvinou-Inwood’s monograph has been an invaluable source of inspiration for the present study. [5]
In discussions of mythical Athenian female figures and the ways in which they acted and influenced Athenians of both sexes in everyday life, cult, and art, we need to take into account the limited role that real Athenian women played in the public sphere and their role in the domestic area of their oikos. [6] Yet in cult, the very same women of all age-groups participated in several rites, many of which were of mystic character and were performed exclusively by them. This creates a paradox that has repeatedly aroused the interest of scholars. Of course, women’s primary role in reproduction within a male-dominated society affects the way men treated them. It is more than likely that many rites of mystic character featuring female participation attempted to sacralize and in a mystic way to control women’s double-sided role in private and public domain. Restriction and necessity go hand in hand with a belief in the dual nature of the female sex as both a blessing due to procreation and a danger due to possible infidelity or other defects (greediness, curiosity, indiscretion, laziness). Pandora’s myth is the one that highlights the dual nature of women, because Pandora is described as an archetype for the constant mixture of enmity to and beneficence for the male sex. Of course, it goes without saying that it is always a male who narrates the myth.
The present study will attempt to show that the belief in the duality of femaleness also operates in Athenian myth as it deals with women of all ages and may explain why Pandora becomes a part of this belief. It will be argued that her presence is explained by her parallel fate with the one of the mythical Athenian women and that all these stories may contribute to the understanding of the relation between the sexes in Athens and beyond. The presentation will revisit the discussion of the generally accepted “misogyny” of the Greeks only to replace it with the more probable belief—reinforced by cultic and literary sources—in the duality and ambivalence of the perception of the female gender by the Athenians. [7]

1. Pandora and Earth outside and inside Athens

As is well known, the canonical texts for Pandora are the two Hesiodic versions of her manufacture in Theogony (507–616) and Works and Days (42–105). She appears as the first of the race of women. The two versions have similarities and divergences in terms of the role of the gods involved and the main message of the two stories. [8] One of the major similarities is the naming κακόν for Pandora (Theogony 570, 600; Works and Days 57). In the Theogony the anonymous first woman embodies the archetypal woman as the “beautiful thing in exchange for that good one” (585), the female “steep deception, intractable for human beings” (589). [9] She represents the reason why “the deadly race and tribe of women” (ὀλοίιον … γένος καὶ φῦλα γυναικῶν, 591) is “a great woe for mortals, dwelling with men, no companions of baneful poverty but only of luxury” (πῆμα μέγα θνητοῖσι μετ᾽ ἀνδράσι ναιετάουσαι, / οὐλομένης πενίης οὐ σύμφοροι ἀλλὰ κόροιο 592–593). In the Works and Days, the main idea focuses on Zeus’ omnipotence (“no one can deceive him,” 105) and on Pandora’s jar that led humans to live by toil and hard work, under the pressure of need. Despite everything, women are indispensable to men, who need to be careful regarding the kind of woman they take as a wife, good or bad (Works and Days 695–705); even so this advice is dominated by the fear of the bad woman. In both versions it is reported that Athena was involved in Pandora’s manufacture by Hephaistos (Athena’s shattered suitor in Athens); the goddess provides for the art of weaving but has nothing to do with Pandora’s mixed nature of negative and positive qualities nor with her influence on mankind, and, particularly, on the lives of men. The question is whether these Hesiodic versions can shed light on the Athenian Pandora in Athena’s cultic place in Acropolis.
May (1984) dealt with this issue in terms of the contradiction between the restriction of Athenian women and the colossal statue of Athena and concluded that the key to the stability of the city is the control of women. She explained the choice of placing Pandora’s birth at the goddess’ feet and the eye level of the viewer as a reminder of the primitive phase of mankind and of the new role of Athena as patron of a wealthy and technologically advanced city, as well as of her role as defender of cult and civilization against barbarism. [10] Yet her remark that the “primary conflict” was that between man and woman does not explain the primacy of Athena and the large number of other mythic female figures subject to her.
Hurwit came to opposite conclusions. In order to understand Pheidias’ choice, he took into account patriarchy and autochthony on the Parthenon and the Acropolis and maintained that Pheidias followed the Hesiodic tradition and created, albeit not faithfully, “a passive, frontal woman with active, attendant divinities” (p. 177). [11] He suggested that the Athenians conflated two Pandoras, a primeval earth-goddess and the first woman, a product-artifice of the Olympian gods. He accepted that something in this depiction had to do with gender and in particular, through Athena, with the race of women (p. 178). Because of Hephaistos and Athena, he saw in Pandora a parallel to Erechtheus/Erichthonios and connected her opening of the jar to the similar story with the basket of Kekropides. In the end, he evaluated Pandora negatively, from the point of view of patriarchal authority as “a punishment,” a “trap,” and therefore as an “Anti-Athena” (p. 185), as the “existence of evil and the possibility of catastrophe.” Ηe justified Pheidias’ artistic choice as “a challenge” and a “warning” for the Athenians that “despite the patronage of Athena … certain things would be beyond resource, impossible to overcome [ἀμήχανον], like Pandora herself” (p. 186). As we shall see, this interpretation leaves Pandora’s significant name and her double-sided nature unremarked upon and therefore narrows the complexity of the woman’s conception.
I consider worthy of further inquiry three other approaches that offer a fresh review of the problem despite their eventually divergent conclusions. Unlike Hurwit, Lissarrague (2001:44–48) preferred to ignore the misogynistic approach of the Hesiodic Pandora and considered that Pandora next to Athena Parthenos might hold “une place légitime et positive” (p. 46); she is not just a “pur mal,” she has a much more important role than she has in Hesiod and perhaps is something “like an echo of Athena herself.” He preferred to see in Pheidias’ choice an artistic dimension, an emphasis on the importance of the artist. [12]
Vergados (2020:115–137) mainly dealt with Pandora’s name and showed that this research also influences the interpretation of her nature. Her depiction by Hesiod “open[s] up multiple avenues of interpretations, each of which leads us to a different understanding of Pandora’s name and function” (p. 115). So, he explored all possible interpretations of her name in order to show the “destabilizing complexity of Pandora as a mythological character” (p. 115) [13] and suggested seeing in the etymology of Pandora’s name a confirmation of “the play between reality and appearance” (p. 115). [14] The first part of Pandora’s name led Vergados to the goddess Earth who is “giver of all gifts” (ζείδωρος, ἀνησιδώρα). [15] Vergados collected other sources that “may support the divine background of Pandora” (p.122) and discussed previous opinions on how much “Hesiod transferred the name of the earth goddess to the first woman” (p.123). [16] He accepted the ambiguity of Pandora’s name and nature and proposed to see her as “both … and not G/gaia,” “if Pandora is the all­giving earth, then the concealment would refer to the planting of the seed in the earth, an agricultural task that is part of the work about which Hesiod preaches later in his poem, and would thus have a positive connotation” (p. 136).
Both Lissarrague and Vergados took into account the artistic representations of Pandora and underlined her earth-bound nature. The relevant material has been collected by Oppermann in the LIMC lemma for Pandora (1994). Ιt is evident that the intermingling of the clay-made Pandora and the earthly nature highlights among other things the artistic aspect of her manufacture. But Pandora is no longer a construct but behaves henceforth as a living woman:

  • LIMC 1: Pandora appears with the name Anesidora together with Athena and Hephaistos in a bowl from Nola (470–460 BCE): [17] a statue-like figure (like a model) named [A]nesidora, Athena, and Hephaistos with a mallet. Here there is no indication of earth-bound nature. 1b) In a cup by the Tarquinia painter (British Museum), the inscribed Anesidora is identified with Pandora (Parker 2005, 423–424 with n. 28).
  • LIMC 2: In an Altamura crater attributed to the Niobides-painter (ca. 460 BCE), a standing female unnamed figure features with branches (Pandora?). On her left stands with a garland Athena (?) and other gods (Iris, Zeus, Poseidon, on the left) and Ares, Hermes, and a goddess with a scepter (Hera? Simon prefers Aphrodite). The attribution to Pandora’s manufacture is a matter of debate, and some attribute it to Aphrodite’s birth. Erika Simon (1981) argued for the influence by a satyr play entitled Pandora or the Hammerers by Sophocles which was a polemic against Hesiod and interpreted the name Pandora correctly as denoting the earth-goddess or nymph. [18]
  • LIMC 4: In a red-figure volute crater attributed to the Polygnotos group (Ashmolean Museum, Oxford 525) the anodos-theme is certain. [19] The named Pandora rises from the earth and is dressed as a bride, and a winged Eros reveals her marriage to Epimetheus who appears with a hammer. There is also Hermes and Zeus in the scene. However, there is no agreement as to the relationship with Pandora’s creation by Hesiod.
  • LIMC 5: Another scene of anodos with an unnamed female figure and a man next to her with a mallet-like instrument is to be found on the one side of a Campanian neck amphora. We cannot be sure whether we have here Pandora and Epimetheus or Elpis and Zeus or Hephaistos; [20] οn the other side there is strange picture of an oval-shaped object with a female head emerging from it and a man holding an instrument and here again some want to see Elpis and the Hesiodic jar and Prometheus. Vergados who followed Giulia Sissa (1990) [21] preferred Hephaistos in the train of molding the still unfinished Pandora. He proposed to see here a comparison of two conceptions of Pandora: Pandora the earth goddess (Pandora ἀνησιδώρα) who emerges out of the earth where she belongs (not Hesiod’s version) and the Hesiodic Pandora made from clay and her jar.

2. Athena, Earth, and Athenian autochthony

(The Athenians) αὐτόχθονες ὄντες τὴν αὐτὴν ἐκέκτηντο καὶ μητέρα καὶ πατρίδα
Lysias 2.17
Pandora’s connection with the earth is both an old and not unanimously accepted idea. [22] Recently Jan Bremmer [23] brought back the relevant discussion “since earth is the primeval substance in Greek thought. After all, everything descends from the goddess Gaia” (22). He diligently linked the Hesiodic cooperation of Hephaistos and Athena in Pandora’s manufacture and adornment with the fact that both gods appeared together in the Athenian myth and cult of Erichthonios’ birth (23). Yet his explanation for Hesiodic influence in Athens is rather pure speculation: Hesiod “may well have been influenced in some way [sic] here by a visit to Attica, or, alternatively, in the course of the transmission of Hesiod’s text Athenians may have inserted this couleur locale” (24).
I will argue that there is close affinity as regards nature between Pandora and the two main mythical models for Athenian women, the Kekropides and the family of Erechtheides. The similar stories and nature can explain the presence of Pandora in an Athenian territory and therefore builds a bridge between two different cultural areas, Archaic Boeotia and Classical Athens. Above all, their genealogy includes a very close bond to earth. In Athens, a well-explored autochthony [24] brings with it the main ideas of seeding, fertility, and life cycle. In Realpolitik this conviction served to promote Athenian supremacy over other non-Athenian Greeks. [25] Leaving aside the temptation to repeat here the various theories of the daimon bound to earth or the child or the god of vegetation, [26] it is an undeniable fact that the mythical origins of Athens, even if “especially confusing,” [27] are closely tied to the E/earth and her role as kourotrophos.
A brief survey on both kings, Kekrops and his successor Erechtheus/ Erichthonius, affirms this idea. Both were believed to originate from earth, and both were called γηγενεῖς. [28] Kekrops had no parents and was believed to have sprung from the earth, had a semi-serpentine form, [29] and enjoyed a privileged protection by the gods (in Aristophanes Wasps at l. 438 he is called δρακοντίδης). It was said that during his rule the conflict between Athena and Poseidon for the patronage of Athens took place and that he witnessed the extraordinary birth of his successor Erechtheus. According to Philochorus (FGH 328 F 93), it was Kekrops and not Demeter who taught humans to confine their wild desires within lawful bounds. [30] His association with agriculture and earth-bound activities is perhaps to be found in a bell krater with a bearded elder hero (Kekrops) ploughing in the presence of a goddess with a sheaf of corn (Demeter or Athena). [31] Another source also connected him with regulations about this crop and the custom of scattering corn upon the earth of a newly covered grave. [32]
After Kekrops, autochthony together with Athena is to be found in the pair Erechtheus/Erichthonius. [33] Erechtheus is known from the oldest source, the Homeric epics, most probably without any later Attic interpolation:

δῆμον Ἐρεχθῆος μεγαλήτορος, ὅν ποτ’ Ἀθήνη
θρέψε Δὸς θυγάτηρ, τέκε δὲ ζείδωρος ἄρουρα,
κὰδ δ᾽ ἐν Ἀθήνῃς εἷσεν, ἑῷ ἐνὶ πίονι νηῷ

Iliad 2.546–551

In the Odyssey he owns a palace in Athens where Athena retires (7.80–81). [34] Ιn its list of Athenian kings the Parian Marble informs us that during Erichtheus (sic) Demeter brought the secret of grain to Athens, and here we see another connection with this crop as in the former king Kekrops. Both his name (ἐρι-χθών) [35] and his death prove his earth-bound nature since we are told that he was sunk in the earth where he belonged (Εuripides Erechtheus fr. 65.21 and 59–60; his birth and death in Ion 269–270 and 282–283). [36] It is significant that he was a major cult recipient, worshiped along with both Athena and Poseidon, and became “both a tribal and a whole polis cult recipient.” [37] As Kekrops he had a connection to Gaia; [38] even more, he was part of the festivities in which the Kekropides, Athena, [39] Hephaistos were also involved.

Erichthonios was also very intensely connected to the earth. [40] Despite her motherless nature (ἀμήτωρ: Euripides Erechtheus fr. 370.64) [41] Athena was the main agent of his abnormal birth, since he was born from the sperm spilled by Hephaistos in his futile attempt to make love to her. [42] His birth was both the product of Athena’s second conflict with a male (after Poseidon) and another sign of his chthonian nature and the final reconciliation between the two divine rivals and probably both sexes. Erichthonios had perhaps a cult at his grave in the sanctuary of Athena.
Sourvinou-Inwood is perhaps right to assume that “Kekrops and his successor can be considered an elaboration of one stage, for both kings were associated, first, with autochthony, and second, with the establishment and crystallization of Athena’s poliadic cult of the polis.” [43] She accurately pointed out the similarities between Erichthonios and Kekrops, among which is their association with snakes, which indicate autochthony. [44] She suggested that Erichthonios’ “construction was … shaped by interactions between Kekrops and Erechtheus.” [45] She also proposed a previous Erechtheus-complex, in which the “complex Erechtheus” even included his chthonian birth, the upbringing by Athena, and the role of the Kekropides; after the construction of Erichthonios in the fifth century BCE, he became a “split Erechtheus,” the warrior king in the patriotic legend with his wife Praxithea and their daughters who sacrificed for their country. [46] As we shall see, this is the plot of Euripides’ drama Erechtheus.

3. The Kekropides, the Erechtheides in myth, art and cult

When it comes to the daughters of the two kings, the confusion of both myth and ritual is part of their mystery. [47]
The three daughters of Kekrops appear as the inseparable trio in the aitiological myth of Erichthonios’ birth, which “expresses very strongly the representation Athenian autochthony.” [48] As such they constitute the mythological prototype for the Athenian rite of Arrhephoria. The locus classicus for this rite (Pausanias 1.18.2 and perhaps Pseudo-Apollodorus 3.14.6) narrates that Athena entrusted them with the basket holding the baby Erichthonios with orders not to open it. Aglauros and Herse disobeyed and opened the basket while Pandrosos was the only daughter who did not disobey Athena’s order (ἀναίτιος τῶν ἀδελφῶν μόνη). Consistently, the naughty Aglauros and Herse met death either by going mad and falling from the Acropolis [49] or were killed by the snake that was hidden in the basket along with the child (Pseudo-Apollodorus 3.14.6). According to Amelesagoras (FGH 330 F1) Aglauros and Pandrosos opened the box not Herse! In other versions not all three daughters committed suicide but only the disobedient (Euphorion fr. 9 Powell: only Herse opened the basket and committed suicide). Alii alia.
In spite of their disobedience and their failure as nurses (kourotrophoi), and with the exception of the rather shadowy albeit significant Herse, Aglauros and Pandrosos held a privileged position in Athenian cult, not as a triad but separately in many different areas. [50] Parker designated them as “powers as closely associated with the growth of children and with ephebes as it is possible to be.” [51] In this quality they are like Athena who also possessed the title kourotrophos, and all three (or four) are linked to the upbringing of the child Erichthonios. [52]
Both Aglauros and Pandrosos had priestesses and sanctuaries on the Acropolis: Aglauros on the east slope of the Acropolis associated with a cave, [53] Pandrosos next to the olive tree of Athena. Both appear in female oaths in everyday life, mostly Aglauros [54] whose name was also said to be a cult name of Athena: Harpokration α 11, Ἄγλαυρος· ἡ θυγάτηρ Κέκροπος. ἔστι δὲ καὶ ἐπώνυμον Ἀθηνᾶς (cf. Scholiast to Aristophanes Lysistrata 439). Occasionally, Aglauros is also found under the name Agrauros [55] and was considered a goddess of agriculture, responsible for the fertility of land. [56] She had a place in two consecutive and mutually complementary festivities dedicated to Athena Polias, the Πλυντήρια and the Καλλυντήρια. The former took place because after Aglauros’ death no washing of the sacred garments (ἱεραὶ ἐσθῆται) was done in her memory for a year and so it was an ominous day; [57] in the Kallynteria the connection with Aglauros was due to the fact that she was believed to be the first to decorate and brighten the divine statues of gods (τοὺς θεοὺς κοσμῆσαι/καλλύνειν):

πλυντήρια ἑορτὴ Ἀθήνησιν, ἣν ἐπὶ τῇ Ἀγλαύρου τῆς Κέκροπος θυγατρὸς τιμῇ ἄγουσιν
Hesychius π 2632.1
Καλλυντήρια καὶ Πλυντήρια ἑορτῶν ὀνόματα γίνονται μὲν αὗται Θαργηλιῶνος μηνός, ἐνάτῃ μὲν ἐπὶ δέκα Καλλυντήρια, δευτέρᾳ δὲ φθίνοντος τὰ Πλυντήρια· τὰ μὲν Πλυντήριά φησι διὰ τὸ μετὰ τὸν θάνατον τῆς Ἀγραύλου ἐντὸς ἐνιαυτοῦ μὴ πλυθῆναι τὰς ἱερὰς ἐσθῆτας, εἶθ᾽ οὕτω πλυθείσας τὴν ὀνομασίαν λαβεῖν ταύτην· τὰ δὲ Καλλυντήρια ὅτι πρώτη δοκεῖ ἡ Ἄγραυλος γενομένη ἱέρεια τοὺς θεοὺς κοσμῆσαι· διὸ καὶ Καλλυντήρια αὐτῇ ἀπέδειξαν· καὶ γὰρ τὸ καλλύνειν κοσμεῖν καὶ λαμπρύνειν ἐστίν. [58]
Photius κ 124

Two girls λουτρίδες, πλυντρίδες were in charge of Athena’s statue (ἕδος) and performed the ritual washing. At both celebrations near the Athenian women the priestess of Athena Polias supervised the procedures. [59]

Pandrosos, who appears as the only obedient and decent girl of the three, Athena’s friend (Athenaeus 15.50.27 παρὰ Πανδρόσου…[ὡς φίλην Ἀθηνᾶν]), also enjoyed a special cult. [60] Her temple stood in a prominent position opposite the Erechtheion (Pausanias 1.27) adjacent to the sacred olive and near Athena’s early temple. The weaving recalls the arrhephoroi who weaved the peplos for Athena and here we have the mytheme (sic Sourvinou-Inwood, 36) for the mythic models, the Kekropides. In terms of her cultic role Pandrosos is mentioned twice along with a ritual dress because she was the first to manufacture woolen clothes together with her sisters. In the sources her name is mistakenly confused with Pandora because of the similarity of their names:

προτόνιον· ἱματίδιον ὃ ἡ ἱέρεια ἀμφιέννυται … προτόνιον ἐκλήθη ὅτι πρώτη Πάνδροσος (corr. for Πανδώρα) μετὰ τῶν ἀδελφῶν κατεσκεύασε τοῖς ἀνθρώποις τὴν ἐκ τῶν ἐρίων ἐσθῆτα.
Suda π 2892
προτόνιον· ἱματίδιον, ὃ ἡ ἱέρεια ἀμφιέννυται. ἐπιτίθεται δὲ ἀπὸ τῆς ἱερείας τῷ σφάττοντι. προτόνιον δὲ ἐκλήθη, ὅτι πρώτη Πανδώρα μετὰ τῶν ἀδελφῶν κατεσκεύασε τοῖς ἀνθρώποις τὴν ἐκ τῶν ἐρίων ἐσθῆτα. [61]
Photius π 465

In a shared sacrifice with Athena:

Ἐπίβοιον· ὅταν τίς τῇ Ἀθηνᾷ ἔθυε βοῦν, ἔθυε καὶ τῇ Πανδώρᾳ [62] ὄϊν μετὰ βοὸς καὶ ἐκαλεῖτο τὸ θῦμα ἐπίβοιον.
Suda ε 2254
ἐὰν δέ τις τῇ Ἀθηνᾷ θύῃ βοῦν, ἀναγκαῖόν ἐστι καὶ τῇ Πανδρόσῳ* θύειν οἶν, καὶ ἐκαλεῖτο τὸ θῦμα ἐπίβοιον.
(* Πανδώρᾳ codd.: Πανδρόσῳ corr. Jacoby/Bekker [63] )
Philochorus FGH 328 F 10

For the third daughter Herse, the Dew, we know nothing of her cult. Her shadowy position, perhaps as a doublet of Pandrosos, is in sharp contrast to some sources that give the name to the main festivity associated to the Kekropides, the Arrhephoria, called ersephoria or errhephoria (ἐρρηφόρια, ἐρρηφόροι or ἐρσηφόροι) as we find them in the inscriptions. [64] Deubner proposed to split the two names/cults, a solution that was rejected by Burkert (1966:6). It is also possible that the name derives not from ἕρση but from ἄριχος [65] and means basket and if so, again she is placed at the heart of the Arrhephoria. It is possible that the dew (δρόσος/ἔρση) symbolizes fertility of earth and this may be related to the ritual symbolism of the box’s content, to which we shall come later. If so, she seems to be the nearest of the three to earth’s fertility and earth in general because of her nature and therefore to autochthony. [66] Different versions make her mistress of Hermes and mythical ancestor of the Eleusinian noble priesthood of the Kerykes: she gave birth to Kephalus or Keryx and thus provided more links to Kekrops for the historical tribes.

As regards the maidens of the next generation, their number is a multiple of the three Kekropides, they are 6 daughters of Erechtheus. In Euripides’ Ion we read more about one of them, Kreousa, lover of Apollo, mother of the homonymous Attic hero and daughter of Praxithea. All of the daughters have names and a story of importance to our survey. The second daughter in line is called Pandora and one of Erechtheus’ sons was called Pandoros (Kron 1981:923):

Παρθένοι τὰς Ἐρεχθέως θυγατέρας οὕτως ἔλεγον καὶ ἐτιμώρησαν δὲ τὸν ἀριθμὸν ἕξ. πρεσβυτάτη μὲν Πρωτογένεια, δευτέρα δὲ Πανδώρα, τρίτη Πρόκρις, τετάρτη Κρέουσα, πέμπτη Ὠρείθυια, ἕκτη Χθονία. τούτων λέγεται Πρωτογένεια καὶ Πανδώρα δοῦναι ἑαυτὰς σφαγῆναι ὑπὲρ τῆς χώρας, στρατιᾶς ἐλθούσης ἐκ Βοιωτίας. ἐσφαγιάσθησαν δὲ ἐν τῷ Ὑακίνθῳ καλουμένῳ πάγῳ ὑπὲρ τῶν Σφενδονίων. διὸ καὶ οὕτως καλοῦνται παρθένοι Ὑακίνθιδες, καθάπερ μαρτυρεῖ Φανόδημος ἐν τῇ πέμπτῃ Ἀτθίδι, μεμνημένος τῆς τιμῆς αὐτῶν…
Suda π 668

In Euripides’ Erechtheus staged in the year of the Erechtheion’s construction (421 BCE), which was an artistic and cultic event of major importance, perhaps celebrated by this drama, we are narrated their politically and religiously significant story. Their father, Erechtheus, acted as a warrior king against the Eleusinians and Eumolpos and during this war his daughters (first one and then all the others but without a name) sacrificed themselves for their country and became models of patriotism. It is a descendant of the opponent Eumolpos who founded the Eleusinian Mysteries, an event important for possible relations with the other kourotrophos and earth-bound deity of prime importance to female cultic actions, Demeter. [67] The wife of the brave warrior king (who Sourvinou-Inwood called the “post-split Erechtheus”) and mother of the heroic maidens, Praxithea, [68] a Naid Nymph connected to the river Kephisos, also played a crucial part in this patriotic act (fr.50) and finally was appointed by Athena (Polias) as her priestess. [69] It is this woman whom Lycourgos afterwards praised for her bravery and courage (μεγαλοψυχία, γενναιότης, 100). From her the genos of Praxiergidai became the genos involved in the Athena-cult in Plynteria and the ritual washing of the statues. In the festivity of Skira, dedicated to both males and women, we know that its eponymous hero Skiron shared with the brave daughters of Praxithea the same heroic end for the sake of their countries. [70] This festivity took place in the month Thargelion (May-June), perhaps in succession, and had to do with the bathing and the refurbishment of Athena’s statue. [71]

A different version of the story makes Aglauros, and not the Erechtheides, the heroine who sacrifices herself in this war and calls her the priestess of Athena in place of the mother of Erechtheides Praxithea:

λέγουσι δὲ ὅτι πολέμου συμβάντος παρ’ Ἀθηναίοις, ὅτε ὁ Εὔμολπος ἐστράτευσε κατὰ Ἐρεχθέως, καὶ μηκυνομένου τούτου, ἔχρησεν ὁ Ἀπόλλων ἀπαλλαγήσεσθαι ἐάν τις ἀνέληι ἑαυτὸν ὑπὲρ τῆς πόλεως. ἡ τοίνυν Ἄγραυλος ἑκοῦσα αὑτὴν ἐξέδωκεν εἰς θάνατον. ἔρριψε γὰρ ἑαυτὴν ἐκ τοῦ τείχους. εἶτα ἀπαλλαγέντος τοῦ πολέμου, ἱερὸν ὑπὲρ τούτου ἐστήσαντο αὐτῆι περὶ τὰ προπύλαια τῆς πόλεως· καὶ ἐκεῖσε ὤμνυον οἱ ἔφηβοι μέλλοντες ἐξιέναι εἰς πόλεμον. ἱέρεια γέγονεν ἡ Ἄγραυλος Ἀθηνᾶς, ὥς φησιν Φιλόχορος.
Philochorus 328 F 105

The same Aglauros is mentioned by Euripides when he calls Athenian girls “Aglauros’ daughters”:

ἵνα χοροὺς στείβουσι ποδοῖν
Ἀγλαύρου κόραι τρίγονοι
στάδια χλοερὰ πρὸ Παλλάδος
ναῶν συρίγγων
ὑπ’ αἰόλας ἰαχᾶς/†ὕμνων†…

Euripides Ion 495–500

According to Philochoros, Aglauros provided the model role for the Athenian ephebes to become ready for fight for their country, and this is why she appeared among the divinities to whom the Athenian male ephebes swore (FHG 328F 106). Parker (2005:434) defined her as “the chief divine patroness of the ephebes” [72] who therefore enjoyed the privilege of being invoked first among many others, in the official oath that Athenian male (n.b.) ephebes took in order to enter the life of adults. [73] On the other hand, she is the foolish maiden who opened the basket and disobeyed Athena and thus threw herself from Acropolis. Ιt is her mixed nature of positive and negative that complicates her evaluation. Trying to answer the question “what has a foolish girl such as Aglauros to do with the rising generation of young men,” [74] Sourvinou-Inwood spent much of her last energy and termed Aglauros an Athenian figure of “a very complex mythicoritual nexus” (27). [75] To explain the “ambiguity” (sic p. 34) of her biography, since some sources call her a virgin, others a mother with children and prominent cult, she accepted different elements of different nexuses and attempted to “reconstruct as much as possible these different contexts and the ways in which the different myths associated with Aglauros functioned in the Athenian conceptual universe” (p. 27). Therefore, she distinguished between myths containing Aglauros as an individuum with a cult presence and afterwards she examined her as part of the trio of the Kekropides in Erichthonios’ birth. So, she came up with the following solution: first, Aglauros is the first priestess of Athena, second, she is the heroine savior of the city in time of war, and this identity explains her role as kourotrophos for young male Athenians. She made the connection between Aglauros and Pandrosos through the function of kourotrophos, [76] rearer of young men/women with a cult of Kourotrophos at the Aglaureion (IG II2 5152). [77] She pointed out that this quality is explained because together with Pandrosos, Aglauros was (via their father) a granddaughter of Gaia, the Athenian kourotrophos: “before the pair Aglauros and Pandrosos became a triad (with the addition of Herse), each of the two sisters was the main patron of a maturation rite of one or the other gender, male in the case of Aglauros, female in the case of Pandrosos” (p. 29). [78] Her identity as a foolish girl appears during the fifth century BCE and in a way, she was “narcotized” (sic 48) and therefore played no role in the rituals such as the ephebic oath, the Plynteria, the Kallynteria. In this line of reasoning Sourvinou-Inwood came to the conclusion of a “constructive contrast” in Aglauros’ biography, namely: “while she failed … she succeeds…” (p. 49). Furthermore, this led Sourvinou-Inwood to the conclusion that Aglauros is an ambivalent figure, a fact she found “not problematic, since certain types of ambivalence are characteristic of heroic figures in the Greek mythological mentality” (p. 50). She could not have been more apt with this last remark, and it is a great misfortune that in this particular remark she intended to write a footnote (number 90) which she did not in the end write (according to the editor of the book). If we compare Aglauros with Pandora as regards their ambivalence, then the puzzling nature of the former is explained by the puzzling nature of the latter.

4. Pandora, the Kekropides, and the Erechtheides

After taking into account that one of the Erechtheides was named Pandora, that Aglauros shares with Praxithea the status of Athena’s priestess and with Praxithea’s daughters the status of heroine for the sake of the homeland, the possibility that similar names and similar qualities and actions led to confusion between different mythical figures is far from unlikely. We may add to that their common relationship to the earth, their kourotrophic function, and their connection to Athena, the patron of female activities (mostly weaving).
Their most striking similarity is their ambivalence, the coexistence of positive and negative in their personalities. The positive side is shown in their presence in the festivals of Athens. The Arrhephoria, the Plynteria, the Kallynteria, and in addition, those of a mixed nature, Skira and Chalkeia, [79] all are connected in some way to each other and highlight the important role that the women had been given in matters of cult. [80] All of them were linked to a cultic myth that contained stories of fertility, procreation, and problematic relationship between the two sexes—and most importantly an ambivalent quality of the females involved. All these festivities had to do with Earth as the primary kourotrophos and with Athena.
At the beginning of the sacred Athenian calendar stands the Panathenaia where the participation of women is visualized at the eastern ends of the Parthenon frieze and in the luxurious dedications of female and maiden statues at the Acropolis. This festivity took place on the twentieth of the month of Hekatambaion (second half of July and first half of August). In the previous month of Skirophorion (June-July), the last month of the Athenian year, two festivities were associated with Athena and women: the Arrhephoria involved the cult of Athena Polias and took place exclusively among women, specifically with Athena’s priestess (who was a married woman like the mythical Praxithea) [81] and two or four maidens of seven to twelve years old from prominent families who had been elected by the archon basileus. [82] It is known that the girls provided the veil for the Panathenaia. [83] Their age is given by Aristophanes in the locus classicus about the religious life of Athenian maidens, [84] and this age has been interpreted as the right period for a girl to learn, before puberty, about her future sexual life. [85] Α few days before, on the twelfth day of the month, another celebration, the Skira/Skirophoria, is also associated with the Panathenaia. [86] The worship included more gods (especially Zeus), but also women were part of the celebration, perhaps in a complementary way to the Arrhephoria. Skira were thought to be an initiation rite that honored the daughters of Erechtheus with the maidens’ dance. Kallynteria and Plynteria are two festivities that belonged to the same cult as that of the Panathenaia and were thus associated with Athena Polias, as Sourvinou-Inwood showed in her extensive presentation. [87] Another festivity with significance for our discussion is the Chalkeia (thirtieth Pyanepsion, October-November), which took place nine months before the Panathenaia and thus symbolized Erichthonios’ birth that was celebrated at the Panathenaia. [88] The festivity was dedicated to Hephaistos and Athena, both patrons of the arts and crafts, former rivals and eternal companions in Athenian cult life, just as Poseidon and Athena. [89] At that time the arrhephoroi started weaving the Panathenaia peplos under the supervision of the priestess of Athena Polias. The procedure is called διάζειν (Suda χ 35 Χαλκεῖα ἑορτὴ ἀρχαία … ἐν ᾗ καὶ ἱέρειαι μετὰ τῶν ἀρρηφόρων τὸν πέπλον διάζονται). The peplos’ weaving can be seen as a symbolic participation of all Athenian women through their representation by the Arrhephoroi, the Ergastinai, and the married priestess of Athena. [90]
There was also an opportunity for a luxurious meal dedicated to all three Kekropides “for a mystic reason”:

Δειπνοφόρια· τὰ φερόμενα δεῖπνα ταῖς Κέκροπος θυγατράσιν Ἔρσῃ καὶ Ἀγραύλῳ καὶ Πανδρόσῳ. ἐφέρετο δὲ πολυτελῶς κατά τινα μυστικὸν λόγον ὑπὸ τῶν φιλοτίμων καὶ πολυτελῶν.
Photius δ 138

The mystical nature of the Kekropides’ worship is best seen in the Arrhephoria that revived their main story as failed kourotrophoi. Walter Burkert (1966) argued that this is a festivity closely tied to the earth, the female life cycle, and the Kekropides: rite and myth are two sides of the same coin and in this case the myth serves as an means to understand worship. [91] Following Jeanmaire [92] and Brelich before him, Burkert interpreted the ritual as an initiation rite and thus rejected the previous theories of Agrarmagie that had been put forward by Deubner and Nilsson and that emphasized its connection with other rituals of sowing and fecundity of the fields. He interpreted the snakes in the story as a metaphor for the newborn child. [93] Despite a superficial bareness on the rocky ground of the Acropolis, the sacred place of Athena is at the same time a place that conceals all the blessings provided by both Athena (the olive) and Poseidon (the sea). The descent and ascent of the arrhephoroi qua Kekropides in the dark and inner space carrying a box filled with secret powers (a child and snake[s] or even a child-snake) symbolize the fertility process that ensures the continuity of the city. Yet, even in this happy event we can detect an unspoken threat and a hidden fear when viewed from the male perspective.

Shapiro (1996) argued that the Kekropides became the intermediaries between Athena and the Athenian people. He accepted Burkert’s explanation for the Arrhephoria as an initiation ritual where the Kekropides were a “kind of mythic paradigm” for Athenian maidens, and “in this context the motif of disobedience and its consequences would have had a practical purpose, as an admonition, in the annual retelling” (41). [94]
We can take this mixture of good and bad further. With their double nature and the linking of positive and negative in terms of obedience, the “narcose” as Sourvinou (p. 48) termed it, we come to Pandora. Like her they were given a container with the explicit order not to open it, but they did so, and despite their disobedience and punishment their place in cult and honor was prominent. In a man’s world the Athenian girls of both groups and Pandora share the ambivalent role of καλὸν κακόν (Theogony 585; Works and Days 56–58). As Hesiod put it (Works and Days 702–703):

For a man carries off as his prize no better thing than a good wife and nothing to chill him to the bone like a bad one. [95]
The well-known case of Pandora had implanted a very clear message: women are indispensable, they are placed at the heart of domestic life, but they also had a role in public life as well with the condition that they always had to obey rules and restrictions set by men. Every time they disobeyed, the consequences were ominous for all parties involved. Τhe similar stories of Pandora and Athenian mythical women allowed in one more case what we can define as “Athenisation,” i.e. the process of incorporating Athens into non-Athenian myths and stories. This is a very common practice that we detect in Attic tragedies and as such became the main device that allowed Athens to participate in famous non-Athenian myths and genealogies.
Indeed, in the Aeschylean Oresteia we find a telling story where the female element is manipulated without disappearing—on the contrary, her ambivalent nature is acknowledged and enshrined by the same goddess, Athena, who is involved in the stories of the mythical girls and, in part, of Pandora. The happy ending in the drama provides a possible parallel case explaining why the final phase of the Arrhephoria differs from the unhappy ending of the mythical story and instead ends on a happy note. Before that, in all cases, in tragedy, in myth and in ritual, we detect the same fear of the actions of women but also the same manipulation of them alongside the recognition of the necessity of women. In the Oresteia the threatening Erinyes become the protective Eumenides. In the Arrhephoria the disobedience recedes, and instead of death we learn that the Athenian arrhephoroi get something different from the cave and carry it covered with a cloth (λαβοῦσαι δὲ ἄλλο τι κομίζουσιν ἐγκεκαλυμμένον). The fear and anxiety about the unknown associated with the secret content of the box result in something positive, worthy of rising to the surface. We cannot say what this “something” is. It is tempting to see a symbol of procreation. Burkert speculated that this thing was a baby (18, cf. Jeanmaire 266–267 μιμήματα δρακόντων καὶ ἀνδρῶν σχημάτων), which could indicate initiation leading to the next stage of womanhood. [96] The same applies to the content of Pandora’s πίθος, and from here follows the difficult meaning of elpis. Ogden argued that this jar is the doublet of the Athenian κίστη and contained Pandora’s teras-baby. [97] The elusive quality of the container belongs to the same (n.b. male) anxiety that existed equally in cult and myth, in both Archaic and Classical times, in rural Boeotia and the Athenian urban community regarding the authenticity of descendants. By being the main vehicle of procreation, the female gender recalls the dual status of the Earth as both provider and destroyer of mankind. And this is where Oresteia is also useful. [98] In the drama the quality of a wife and how this affects both husband and children, especially her son(s), is not just a problem restricted to the family and its stability. Because of her double-sided nature a woman can bring life or devastation in the city as well (always in a man’s point of view). [99] The thorny theme of the faithful and unfaithful wife becomes a matter of civil, even cosmic, order and resolves thanks to Athena’s intervention. The key issue in the heated debate over the guilt of Orestes’ matricide is to decide which of the parents has the greatest importance in childbearing. As in the tragedy and the happy denouement of the crisis, the Arrhephoria ritual also have a happy ending despite the many questions that remain unanswered; in Pandora’s story the elpis remains in the jar. What the ritual does for the community is to reenact the mythical pattern in the hope of transforming instability into a positive end for the sake of the community. After all the relationship between sexes remains one of Haß-Liebe in the real world even after the ending of the ritual or of the Aeschylean story οr of an epic performance. The two-sided quality of Pandora and of the Kekropides and the polarity between the positive case of Praxithea and her offspring and the negative case of Klytaimnestra, all work as paradigmatic reminders of the constant blessing or danger for the stability and order. As such they legitimize the relentless need for manipulation and control (even taming) of the female sex. They speak for the female status as “mediator[s] between nature and culture” in a strictly Athenian way of compromising tensions of power. [100] The fact that the Athenian solution to this fear comes from a divinity of ambivalent gender, the Parthenos Athena, [101] in ritual or in her sacred area and in drama says a lot about the atypicality of the city of Athens. Athena’s rather protective gesture to Aglauros (?) in a red figure lekythos (see Appendix n. 3) may be inscribed in the Athenian “solution” we propose to see as regards the liaisons dangereuses between the two sexes. In a similar way the goddess acted in Pandora’s manufacture too. Still, it remains rather a matter of interpretation whether this divine agency reduces and degrades or on the contrary defends and safeguards the position of women. The coexistence of diametrically opposing qualities of women is part of the complexity of the issue. Speaking about Attic tragedy Vernant told of “ambiguity” and “ambivalence.” In this world he accepted that “an equilibrium is established, but it is based on tensions. In the background the conflict between opposing forces continues.” By analogy we can paraphrase and accept an ongoing conflict between the two sexes in the background of the Athenian real life that strived for equilibrium. [102] It is the empirical recognition of tension(s) and conflict(s) that led to the invention of mythical stories about mythical women and to their representations in cult and art in which the coexistence of positive and negative became a consistent feature of their sex. Praxithea’s multiple roles of exemplary wife, mother of exemplary daughtersm and priestess, as well as exemplary citizen, show that equilibrium, rare as it is, is possible in Athens of all cities.


In art the Kekropides are often represented as being present at the birth οf Erichthonios together with Earth and/or Athene perhaps because of their role as kourotrophoi of the baby as ordered by Athena. In some of these scenes they are presented at the moment of disobedience, in special relationship to Athena. The interesting point is that some scenes do not show hostility on the part of the goddess and there is a tension between good and bad woman that can support the above argued duality of the female sex:

1) LIMC 15 (Aglauros): In a red figure cup, Frankfurt, of the Brygos painter (470 BCE), the two disobedient girls, the snake, and the decent girl at home (Shapiro 1996, fig. 9–10; Sourvinou-Inwood 2011:40–41); is it about fleeing to safety and not being punished?
2) LIMC 31 (Erechtheus, p. 933, LIMC lemma Erysichthon II 2, p. 19): In a Kelchkrater (Malibu, circa 390–380 BCE) Athena in anger, two Kekropides in flight, Pandrosos calm, the box on an altar, olive tree, men. According to Kron (p. 946) this is the oldest scene outside Attica near to the Frankfurter Brygos kylix.
3) LIMC 19 (Aglauros): In a red figure lekythos (Basel BS 404) Athena and one Kekropid (Aglauros?) with the snake and the box. This is a picture of disclosure, but Athena’s gesture seems rather protective than angry, as described by Callimachus in his Hecale.
Some of the known scenes on Erichthonios’ birth and the Kekropides:

1) LIMC 25 (Aglauros): Relief (Acropolis, Nat.Mus. 702) with three maidens (the three Kekropides?) with the child Erechtheus (?).
2) LIMC 3 (Erechtheus = LIMC Athena 477 with literature = LIMC Ge 14 with literature): In a Hydria attributed to the painter of Oinanthe, Earth (in the same position as Pandora) brings Erichthonios to Athena in the company of a Nike. Lissarrague (50) observed that here “the painter privileged here in an exceptional way, unique to our knowledge, the link between Pandora and Earth.”
3) LIMC 7b (Aglauros = LIMC 478 Athene = LIMC Ge 17): In a Berlin cup (ca. 440 BCE) Kekrops, Ge, Athena, the Kekropides, and Hephaistos (all with names).
4) LIMC 4 (Erechtheus = LIMC 15 Ge): in a fragmentary pelike (Leipzig) the Kekropides attend Erichthonios’ birth, along with Gaia and Athena (?). According to Alan Shapiro (1996:45–46) here we are given a proleptic reference to their future role as his nurses. On one side the scene is the same with the Oinanthe-hydria (the reception of the baby by Athena and Earth).



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Most, G. W. 2006–2007. Hesiod. Vols. 2. Cambridge, MA.
Neitzel, H. 1976. “Pandora und das Fass: Zur Interpretation von Hesiod, Erga 42–105.” Hermes 104:387–419.
Ogden, D. 1998. “What was in Pandora’s box?” In Archaic Greece: New Approaches and New Evidence, ed. N. Fischer and H. van Wees, 213–230. London.
Oppermann, M. 1994. s.v. “Pandora.” In LIMC, vol. 7, 163–166. Zürich.
Padgett, J. 2009. “Not silent in Church: Athenian Women and religion.” American Journal of Philology 113:643–650.
Parker, R. 1987. “Myths of Early Athens.” In Interpretations of Greek Mythology, ed. J. Bremmer, 187–214. London.
———. 2005. Polytheism and Society at Athens. Oxford.
Powell, B. 1906. Erichthonius and the Three Daughters of Cecrops. Ithaca.
Redfield, J. M. 2003. The Locrian Maidens: Love and Death in Greek Italy. Princeton.
Reeder, E. D. 1995. Pandora. Women in Classical Greece. Princeton.
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Robertson, N. 1983. “The riddle of the Arrhephoria at Athens.” Harvard Studies in Classical Philology 87:241–288.
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Sissa, G. 1990. Greek Virginity. Trans. A. Goldhammer. Cambridge, MA.
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Van Sichelen, L. 1987. “Nouvelles orientations dans l’étude de l’arrhéphorie attique.” L’Antiquité Classique 56:88–102.
Vergados, A. 2020. Hesiod’s Verbal Craft: Studies in Hesiod’s Conception of Language and its Ancient Reception. Oxford.
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[ back ] 1. LIMC Pandora 6a and b copies with Pandora at the basis of Athena Parthenos.
[ back ] 2. For the importance of the snake(s), see below nn. 42, 44, 90. They appear in Erichthonios’ myth and cult, in the Kekropides’ myth linked to the Arrhephoria, and in Aeschylus’ Oresteia in Clytemnestra’s dream (Choephori 945).
[ back ] 3. Lissarrague 2001:46: “plus remarquable qu’il est rare dans l’imagerie attique.”
[ back ] 4. Ogden 1998, esp. pp. 214–215, 221–222. Cf. Loraux 1994 passim; Hurwit 1995:183.
[ back ] 5. See also Versnel 1994:15–88, and Goff 2004. Zeitlin 1982:130 makes the acute remark that “ritual is both a contrast to and a parallel of social life.” The ritual activities of Athenian women presuppose a series of contradictions.
[ back ] 6. On women in classical Athens, see Αrthur 1977:67–73 (who found in “the relationship between man and woman the model for the relationship between citizen and state,” p. 70), Kaltsas and Shapiro 2008:21 (“It is true that the lives of Athenian women were highly restricted when it came to mobility in the public sphere, participation in the political process, and control over their own bodies. But the study of religion provides a necessary corrective to this unremittingly bleak picture”), and Barlow-Busch 2021:40–41 (“While women were excluded from society, they were simultaneously essential to it,” p. 40). On the ritual year and the cultic calendar of Athenian women, see Goff 2004:35–40, who focuses on the double role of women as domestic and public operators and the dark side of the feminine. For an overview of older opinions on ancient treatment of the female sex, see Katz 1992:70–97; cf. a concise presentation in Foley 1981/1992:127–132 with literature at p. 164 with nn. 4, 5, 6 (Foley speaks of sources as a “distorted or partial conception,” p. 127). For a reconsideration of the vital role of women in rituals, see Foxhall 1995:97–110. In an insightful paper, Arthur 1973, esp. 24–25, spoke of the “beneficence of the female principle when it is subjected to regulation by the patriarchal authority of the male” and of the female as “a force which needs direction and control to become truly human,” as well as of “increasing awareness of the paradox of a social order in which women’s role was crucial and integral, but in which women’s rights … were minimal” (p. 26).
[ back ] 7. Sissa 1990:62 and, on ambiguity, pp. 154–155, in close connection with Pandora. Cf. Foley 1981/1992. Zeitlin’s reading of Oresteia in 1978 (already Arthur 1977:63–64, 65: “misogynistic sentiment … generally expresses a feeling of being at war with nature,” 73) is a good starting point for the discussion of Greek misogyny, matriarchy as Rule of Women vs Rule of Men (following Bamberger), “the battle between the sexes” (so she calls the trial of Orestes in p. 155), and the final subordination of wife in a “gynecocentric document” (150). Zeitlin speaks of “an evolutionary development,” “a new paradigm for the pacification of hostilities” (155). This is in my view also applicable to Pandora’s presence at Acropolis.
[ back ] 8. For a comparison of the two Hesiodic versions, see Vernant 1980:168–185; on Pandora see passim, esp. pp. 171–172, 178–181, and 183 (on Pandora’s dual nature and ambiguity). For a summary of the content of these versions, see Zeitlin 1995:58–59, 67–71. Zeitlin links Pandora with Athena (68), silently adopts the female-nature vs male-culture dichotomy of Levi-Strauss (see Rosaldo 1974:30–31, Arthur 1977:62–65, Foley 1981/1992:140–148 who disagrees with this), and points out that the division between nature and culture takes place in Pandora’s manufacture (68). Cf. Brown 1997:26–30, Holzhausen 2004:16–21, Bremmer 2008:20–29. For the Works and Days, see Vergados 2020:116.
[ back ] 9. Ηesiod’s text and translation are drawn from Most 2006.
[ back ] 10. May 1984:106–123, esp. 110–113, 113: “the Parthenon and the Athena Parthenos presented a conflict between human and animal, culture and nature, Olympian and chthonic deities, reason and unreason.”
[ back ] 11. Hurwit 1995:171–186. Ηe compares the birth-scene with Athena’s birth as depicted in the eastern pediment, but concludes that it is not in fact a birth scene but rather a scene of provisioning (183).
[ back ] 12. p. 46: “… peut-être faut-il oublier Hésiode”; p. 47: “Quelle que soit la nature d’une telle composition, le choix de ce thème pour orner la base de la grande statue … du Parthénon est d’autant plus remarquable qu’il est rare dans l’imagerie attique”; p. 48: “le mythe n’est jamais donné d’avance et ne fait l’objet d’aucune orthodoxie dogmatique”; p. 48: “comme en écho à la déesse elle-même”; p. 48: “la dimension artisanale … joue-t-elle … un rôle plus important que dans la version hésiodique … ici … au pied de la statue … est rappelée l’importance de l’artisan créateur.”
[ back ] 13. Vergados 2020 followed Buxton 1994:212–213 for the ambiguity of some myths. The possible meanings of her name are: 1. all gods gave her as a gift (Bremmer 2008:26, Hurwit 1995:183, Vernant 173); 2. she received gifts from all the gods; 3. she is the one who gives all things (Euphorion, i.e., an active name). Vergados (p. 121) accepts all these readings as equally right and wrong. All sources in Bremmer 2008:27, Holzhausen 2004:18–19.
[ back ] 14. “Sein und Schein,” 120, and 133. Even the word δῶρον itself is a controversial term containing deceit (δόλος 120). On the ambiguity of hope/expectation (ἐλπίς), see Manakidou 2006:305–314 who argued that the straightforward negative image of the female and her generation in the Theogony is replaced in the Works and Days by the mixing of good and evil in the same thing (the positive on the surface, the negative in the content); Pandora incorporates the dialectic relationship of positive and negative aspect of the world which is the key idea in Hesiod for understanding the complexities of his world. See Vergados 2020:132–135 on elpis as a media vox, an ambivalent thing, of both good and bad things (already Walcott 1961:250). More literature in Holzhausen 2004:22–25, who argues that the female “kakon” is however absolutely for men.
[ back ] 15. Even the headgear of the woman in Theogony “would lead us to an earth goddess”: Vergados 2020:123 (with n. 145): “the link between Pandora the earth goddess and Pandora the first woman might have been supported by the agricultural metaphor implied in the marriage formula ἐπ᾽ ἀρότῳ γνησίων τέκνων.” See the praise of Gaia, θεῶν ὑπερτάταν, in Sophocles’ Antigone 338–341.
[ back ] 16. West 1978:164–165 recognized that Pandora is the “name of a chthonic goddess, sometimes identified with Ge,” but came to the conclusion that “there is nothing in the form or behavior … that a chthonic nature helps to explain.”
[ back ] 17. LIMC 1; Lissarrague 2001:40–42, Vergados 2020:124–125, Ogden 1998:218, and LIMC Anesidora 1 (E. Simon, 1, 790–791). Anesidora is connected to Demeter (Vergados p. 125 n. 156 literature).
[ back ] 18. LIMC 2 (= Aphrodite 1303, Lissarrague 2001:42–44, Vergados 2020:125 and 126 n. 160 for different views on this connection). Holzhausen 2002:34–45 argued that a parody of the Hesiodic Pandora (named in l. 971) in Basileia in Aristophanes’ Birds is linked to a sacrifice (44–45); see also Holzhausen 2002:43–44 n. 59 on Sophocles’ Pandora. Simon 1981 claimed that the play dealt with the deeds of young gods and argued that the vase painter made a mistake by confusing Gaia with Pandora.
[ back ] 19. LIMC 4; Ogden 1998:216–217, Lissarrague 2001:48–50, Vergados 2020:125–126, Reeder 1995:284–286.
[ back ] 20. Lissarrague 2001:52 (with reserve: Pandora and Epimetheus) and Oppermann (Pandora and Epimetheus), Neils 2005 (Elpis and Zeus).
[ back ] 21. Sissa 1990:155–156 even spoke of “Pandora a jar”; Vergados 2020:126–127; already Ogden 1998:217.
[ back ] 22. For the older theories of Harrison and Nilsson that argued for a contamination of the myths of Pandora’s manufacture and the anodos of Kore, see Vergados 2020:126 n. 164.
[ back ] 23. 2008:19–34. If we leave aside the socio-economic approaches of the Hesiodic Pandora, he rightly characterized it as the “canonical version” (20), because all ancients referred to Hesiod.
[ back ] 24. Thucydides 1.2.6, 2.36.1; Herodotus 7.161.3; Plato Menexenus 245d. See Loraux 1994:37–71, 148–150, 277–278, 284; Hurwit 1995:181; Kearns 1989:110–119—especially on Kekrops and his daughters pp. 111–115. Parker 1987:194 speaks of “a myth of national origins” that “endorses the Athenians’ claim to the ‘prized’ autochthony.”
[ back ] 25. E.g. Ιsocrates Panegyricus 124 μήτε μιγάδας μήτ᾽ ἐπήλυδας, ἀλλὰ μόνους αὐτόχθονας τῶν Ἑλλήνων, καὶ ταύτην ἔχοντας τὴν χώραν τροφόν, and 126 Ἐριχθόνιος μὲν γὰρ ὁ φὺς ἐξ Ἡφαίστου καὶ Γῆς παρὰ Κέκροπος ἄπαιδος ὄντος ἀρρένων παίδων τὸν οἶκον καὶ τὴν βασιλείαν παρέλαβεν.
[ back ] 26. Mikalson 1976:144.
[ back ] 27. So Gantz 1993:233, who offers a concise overview of the royal house of Athens (esp. 233–247). Some sources: Harpokration s.v. 272 αὐτόχθονες on Danais fr. 2 PEG and Pindar fr. 253 S–M.
[ back ] 28. Hadzisteliou Price 1978:108, 110–112 on Gaia kourotrophos in Attica (p. 112: “by Kourotrophos a Classical Athenian, or an Athenian of later periods, would normally understand the chthonic Goddess Ge”); on Demeter and Kourotrophos pp. 113–114; on Athena Polias and Pandrosos in the area of the Erechtheion pp. 114–115. Hadzisteliou Price 1978, ch. 11, 100–117, on Kourotrophos Athena, and the Kekropides pp. 101–106.
[ back ] 29. Parker 1987:193 remarks that Kekrops “slips to and from between the upper and lower worlds.” The same holds true for Erechtheus. See Gantz 1993:235–237, on Kekropides pp. 237–239.
[ back ] 30. Parker 2005:283.
[ back ] 31. Parker 2005:198 in connection with the festivity of Proerosia (on which see Foxhall 1995:102).
[ back ] 32. Parker 2005:202; on Kekrops and the dead, Parker p. 359.
[ back ] 33. Kron 1988:923–928. Parker 1987:200–201 rather leaves the problem of their connection open and names them as “joint-heirs to a single mythological inheritance” (201). Sourvinou-Inwood 2011 dealt extensively with the issue. For an overview of Burkert 1966 and his older interpretations (divinities of vegetation and the idea of Erichthonios as a god who dies and resurrects) and their replacement by psychoanalytical interpretations of divine stories as projections of conflicts and society with the mortal in the center of all these stories and his/her entrance in adulthood, see Baudy 1992:2–47.
[ back ] 34. Mikalson 1976:144–153 highlights similarities with Hyacinthus and the Hyacinthia (in analogy to Panathenaea) except that Erechtheus is worshiped as a god, not a hero. It is noteworthy that Mikalson fails to see another difference in terms of feminine participation. His conclusion that Erechtheus was finally superseded by the victor Athena further corroborates the paradox of female predominance in a male society.
[ back ] 35. All sources in Kron 1988:926, see also 924: “Insgesamt ist E. für den attischen Kult wichtiger als für den Mythos.” An important source is Herodotus 8.55 ἔστι ἐν τῇ ἀκροπόλι ταύτῃ Ἐρεχθέος τοῦ γηγενέος λεγομένου εἶναι νηός, ἐν τῷ ἐλαίη τε καὶ θάλασσα ἔνι, τὰ λόγος παρὰ Ἀθηναίων Ποσειδέωνά τε καὶ Ἀθηναίην ἐρίσαντας περὶ τῆς χώρης μαρτύρια θέσθαι.
[ back ] 36. Darthou 2005:69–83, Parker 1987:200–204. On Ion, see Calame 2010:465. Hurwit 1995:181 calls his birth “the paradigm for autochthony.”
[ back ] 37. Sourvinou-Inwood 2011:89.
[ back ] 38. He erected an altar of Gaia kourotrophos in Pandroseion, and he leads the prothyma or prothysia for Gaia kourotrophos: see Hadzisteliou Price 1978:108. See Kron 1988:926: “die erwähnten Kulte und Feste tatsächlich meist besonders altertümlich sind und daß E. jeweils in enger Beziehung zu den betreffenden Gottheiten, vor allem zu Ge und Athena, steht.”
[ back ] 39. He set up the wooden image of Athena in the acropolis, founded the Panathenaea (Hellanikos FGH 328F 2; Androtion FGH 324 F 2; Pseudo-Apollodorus Bibliotheca 3.14.6; Photius Παναθήναια); Mikalson 1976:141–153, Parker 1987:201. Erichthonios is mostly linked to the Panathenaea, Erechtheus to the war against Eleusis (Kron 1988:923). He also invented the chariot, married the Naiad Nymph Praxithea, he had a son Pandion, and was buried in the sanctuary of Athena Polias (Pseudo-Apollodorus 3.14.6–15.1: Sourvinou-Inwood 2011:38, 62, 89). See Kron 1988:924 on Κanephoria, Τhallophoria, Skira (in the form Poseidon-Erechtheus), Dipolieia, and Arrhephoria, and perhaps also Chalkeia (see Parker 2005:380: together with Hephaistos?).
[ back ] 40. Again, Isocrates Panegyricus 124 μήτε μιγάδας μήτ᾽ ἐπήλυδας, ἀλλὰ μόνους αὐτόχθονας τῶν Ἑλλήνων, καὶ ταύτην ἔχοντας τὴν χώραν τροφόν, and 126 Ἐριχθόνιος μέν γὰρ ὁ φὺς ἐξ Ἡφαίστου καὶ Γῆς παρὰ Κέκροπος ἄπαιδος ὄντος ἀρρένων παίδων τὸν οἶκον καὶ τὴν βασιλείαν παρέλαβεν. See also Photius κ 1035 (Suda κ 2193) κουροτρόφος γῆ· ταύτῃ δὲ θῦσαί φασι πρῶτον Ἐριχθόνιον ἐν ἀκροπόλει καὶ βωμὸν ἱδρύσασθαι χάριν ἀποδιδόντα τῇ Γῇ τῶν τροφείων· καταστῆσαι δὲ νόμιμον τοὺς θύοντάς τινι θεῷ ταύτῃ προθύειν.
[ back ] 41. Hadzisteliou Price 1978:101–107 on Athena’s virginity and kourotrophic and maternal aspects. See Aeschylus Eumenides 736–738, Aristophanes Birds 826–831.
[ back ] 42. In Amelesagoras’ milder version, FGH 330F (= Antigonus Historia Mirabilia 12), Athena is given to Hephaistos. Hollis 1990:227–228, in his comments on Callimachus᾽ Hecale fr. 70 (= 238.11 Pfeiffer), follows Amelesagoras. For artistic material: LIMC v. Athena pp. 999–1000, fig. 475 (perhaps Hephaistos’ persecution of Athena in an Attic amphora 480–460 BCE; fig. 480 (Athena = 18 Aglauros): Erichthonios and two snakes emerge from a box and two Kekropides (?) in a London pelike 440–430 BCE.
[ back ] 43. 2011:61. Kearns 1989:114 sees “an almost complete contrast of functions between the victor over the Eleusinians and Thracians, and the legislator and introducer of cults.”
[ back ] 44. Euripides’ Ion 20–26 and 267–274 with Sourvinou-Inwood 2001:37–38, 65. Amelesagoras FGH 330 F1. On Erichthonios’ story, snakes, and the projection to cult, see Burkert 1966:20–21, Baudy 1992:5–7, 12–14. Kron 1988:925 does not accept Erechtheus’ connection with the snake that she understands as the oikouros ophis and the guardian of the city, and a “Hypostase der Göttin selbst” (926). See Parker 2005:432 for Athenian mothers who put gold snake bracelets on their children’s wrists in commemoration of Erichthonios’ guardians. Of interest is their possible presence during the Thesmophoria and Skirophoria the festivals of Demeter and Kore, again together with Earth (Parker 2005:273).
[ back ] 45. Sourvinou-Inwood 2011:65.
[ back ] 46. Sourvinou-Inwood 2011:88–89 and on Praxithea pp. 89–94, also Burkert 1973:167, Georgoudi 2006:164–166, and Mikalson 1976 with extensive bibliography. Burkert 1966:24 identified the two on the basis of the principle “Erechtheus ist tot, es lebe Erichthonius,” and found in the former the old king (killed by Poseidon to whom he was later joined in cult on the Acropolis) and the symbol for the past year, and in the latter the symbol for the new year since he is Erechtheus in his youth: cf. Baudy 1992:15, 19: Erechtheus dies and lives again in the newly born Erichthonios. Baudy 1992:16–22, 26 places the date of the festivity in the festivity Skira as one of its parts.
[ back ] 47. Kron 1981:285: “Bis jetzt wurde die Frage nach ihrem Ursprung und Wesen nicht befriedigend gelöst; deutlich sind nur die Bezüge zum Bereich der Fruchtbarkeit und der menschlichen Jugend.” For a concise presentation, see Gantz 1993:235–239.
[ back ] 48. Sourvinou-Inwood 2011:37 with literature in n. 47.
[ back ] 49. Pausanias l.c. and Euripides Ion 267–274: Erechtheus sacrificed his daughters; Callimachus Hecale fr. 70.12–13 Hollis with p. 230.
[ back ] 50. Kron 1981:285, Sourvinou-Inwood 2011: e.g. 27.
[ back ] 51. Parker 2005:216; Shapiro 2008:40: “[they] form a crucial link in the royal genealogy of Athens, since they were born from the first king and were, however briefly, nurses of the second.” See Hollis 1990:229–231 with a good summary of the Kekropides in all versions.
[ back ] 52. Kearns 1989:23–27. Hollis 1990:228–230. On Athena kourotrophos, see a woman with child in the Erechtheion frieze (LIMC Athena 238, p. 979 = LIMC Aglauros 12): see Goff 2004:104.
[ back ] 53. Herodotus 8.53.7; Pausanias ὑπὲρ τῶν Διοσκούρων τὸ ἱερὸν Ἀγλαύρου τέμενός ἐστιν. Its location on Acropolis is disputed. Dontas 1983 denied the northern slope of the Akropolis and proposed the steep eastern side of the Acropolis with the front part.
[ back ] 54. Aristophanes Thesmophoriazusae 533; Photius s.v. ἣν διὰ τιμῆς ἔχουσι καὶ ὀμνύουσιν αἱ γυναῖκες; Hesychius 612,1. Oath to Pandrosos: Aristophanes Lysistrata 439, Burkert 1966:12, with n. 1 and n. 2 (on Aglauros and Kallynteria and Plynteria), Burkert 1972, Brelich 1969:229–239, and Parker 2005:218–219. On the importance of Eros in this service of arrhephoroi, see Burkert 1996:15 and Calame 2010:472, who tends to identify Herse with the Κourotrophos with n. 29.
[ back ] 55. Kekrops’ wife and therefore their mother also appears with this name: see Calame 2010:471 n. 22.
[ back ] 56. Aelius Herodianus περὶ ὀρθογραφίας 3.2.p. 467,1 λέγεται καὶ Ἄγραυλος, ὅθεν Ἀγραυλὴ δῆμος. Christopoulos 1992:30.
[ back ] 57. Οn Plynteria, Aglauros, autochthony, Erichthonios’ birth and ἀποφρὰς ἡμέρα: see Christopoulos 1992:27–39.
[ back ] 58. Sourvinou-Inwood 2011:30 believes that this information of Philochorus must be given due weight.
[ back ] 59. Georgoudi 2006:180–182. See below n. 69.
[ back ] 60. Kearns 1989:24, 26; Calame 2010:471–473: she was the “voisine cultuelle directe d’Athena Polias”; Shapiro 1996:41; Kron 1981:284: “P. —wieder als Beiname der Athena bezeugt— war ursprünglich eine selbständige Gottheit.” Cf. Parker 2005:222 n. 17; Brulé 1987:28–79.
[ back ] 61. Βurkert 1966:11 (with no discussion of the variant), Parker 2005:219, Sourvinou-Inwood 2011:157.
[ back ] 62. Ogden 1998:225n8.
[ back ] 63. Simon 1983:39–46, 48–51; Hurwit 1995:183 with n. 61 defended Pandora here and her connection to Athene. Cf. Aristophanes Birds 971.
[ back ] 64. See below n. 69. Moeris s.v. ἐρρηφόροι ἀττικοί· αἳ τὴν δρόσον φέρουσαι τῇ Ἕρσῃ, ἥτις ἦν μία τῶν Κεκροπίδων. Τhe corpus of the known inscriptions can be found in Donnay 1997:178–205. Shapiro 1996:41 suggests her to be a kind of doublet of Pandrosos. Sourvinou-Inwood 2011:157n87.
[ back ] 65. Baudy 1992:9, with older literature in n. 50.
[ back ] 66. Calame 2010:472.
[ back ] 67. See Kearns 1989:114 on the Thracian element. Pausanias 1.27.4, contrary to Euripides, believed that the Mysteries existed before the war.
[ back ] 68. Burkert 1972:166–168, Gantz 1993:242–243, Georgoudi 2006:164–166, Sourvinou-Inwood 2011:89–94, Goff 2004:56–57.
[ back ] 69. For this sacrifice, see Kearns 1989:59–63 (62: Pandora is a deity over fertility and in connection with children), 202, Larson 1995:101–104, Lefkowitz 1986:95–100.
[ back ] 70. Sourvinou-Inwood 2011:35 spoke of “partial mirror images.”
[ back ] 71. See below nn. 79, 85, 95. See also Foxhall 1995:104–105, 107.
[ back ] 72. Merkelbach 1972:277–283, 279: “die Sondergöttin der Epheben. In ihr ist all das Gute, was in einem Epheben … ist, personifiziert, d.h. als eine lebendige göttliche Person gedacht und vor Augen gestellt.” Bayliss 2013:13–22, esp. 17–19: “the role model par excellence for the teenaged ephebes,” a patroness of the ephebes, she “plays the role of that Athena Polias might play” (19). Shapiro 1996:40–41, passim.
[ back ] 73. Philochoros FGH 328 F 105: see Torrance 2014:113–114 (who is confused about their father). The oath is of the fourth century BCE: Tod 1948, nr. 204.. See Κearns 1989:27 on her civic significance and the shifting of emphasis “from heroine who helps individual women and children in the process of giving birth and raising children born, towards a figure who not only represents the acropolis at Athens but whose mythic and cultic traditions point towards the subordination of the individual to the city.”
[ back ] 74. Parker 2005:434.
[ back ] 75. On Aglauros’ association with autochthony, see Redfield 2003:121–124.
[ back ] 76. pp. 29–30. On the kourotrophoi Kekropides, see Kearns 1989:23–27, Hadzisteliou Price 1978:101–117. On the kourotrophoi Agraulos and Pandrosos and their connection with the kourotrophos Gaia (Salaminioi had a priestess for Aglauros, Pandrosos, and Gaia kourotrophos), see Hadzisteliou Price 1978:117, Shapiro 1996:48n75.
[ back ] 77. She accurately connected it with their role in the Arrhephoria. See Parker 2005:222n19.
[ back ] 78. Parker 2005:426–427. An additional connection of kourotrophos-function is with the river Kephisos through their mother Praxithea. For my own research I am not interested in her possible connection with Ares (with her daughter Alkippe and the genus of Kerykes).
[ back ] 79. For a concise presentation of the festivals, see Georgoudi 2006:177–186, Parker 2005:219–222, 456–487. For the Arrhephoria, see Burkert 1966:1–25, Robertson 1983:241–288, Van Sichelen 1987:88–102, Larson 1995:42, Donnay 1997:177–205, Goff 2004:98–105. For summary of the festivity and the sources, see Brelich 1969:231–238, 235 (the attributes), 236 (the connection to Athena). Main sources: Harpokration s.v. ἀρρηφορεῖν. Anecdota Graeca. I p. 202, 4 Bekker. Etymologicum Genuinum. AB s.v. ἀρρηφόροι καὶ ἀρρηφορία· ἑορτὴ ἐπιτελουμένη τῇ Ἀθηνᾷ ἐν Σκιροφοριῶνι μηνί. λέγεται δὲ <καὶ> διὰ τοῦ ε ἐρρηφορία. παρὰ τὸ τὰ ἄρρητα ἢ μυστήρια φέρειν· ἢ ἐὰν διὰ τοῦ ε, παρὰ τὴν Ἕρσην τὴν Κέκροπος θυγατέρα ἐρσηφορία. ταύτῃ γὰρ ἦγον τὴν ἑορτήν· οὕτω Σαλλούστιος.
[ back ] 80. Burkert 1972:166–173 spoke of “einheitliche Urgeschichte” (166–167) for Skira, Boedromia, Arrhephoria with Athena the “Stadtherrin” (168).
[ back ] 81. See Burkert 1972:168 with n. 59.
[ back ] 82. The role of the Athenian gene is the main object of Sourvinou-Inwood 2011.
[ back ] 83. On the problem of one or two peploi, see Sourvinou-Inwood 2011:267–268.
[ back ] 84. Lysistrata 641–646 ἑπτὰ μέν ἔτη γεγῶσ᾽ εὐθὺς ἠρρηφόρουν· / …κἀκανηφόρουν ποτ᾽ οὖσα παῖς καλὴ᾽χουσα/ ἰσχάδων ὁρμαθόν. In Thesmophoriazusae 482 a woman states that she lost her virginity at the age of seven.
[ back ] 85. Burkert 1966:14–16 with Baudy 1992:12. Calame 2010:238 sees in the Arrhephoria the rite for the beginning of puberty.
[ back ] 86. The main source is Harpokration, on which see Parker 2005:174. Aristophanes Ecclesiazusae 18, 19; Suda σ 624 Σκῖρος: σκιάδιον. ἑορτή τις ἀγομένη τῇ Ἀθηνᾷ, ὅτε σκιαδείων ἐφρόντιζον ἐν ἀκμῇ τοῦ καύματος. According to Parker 2005:173–177, 480, perhaps it was a festival of Demeter and Core for married women, but it was also associated with Athena and Poseidon in a procession from the acropolis to a place called Skiron by the Eteoboutadai. On Erechtheus’ small part in Skira, see Burkert 1972:161–168; and on Erechtheus, Pausanias 1.36.4, Georgoudi 2006:184–186, O’Higgins 2003:20.
[ back ] 87. 2011, chapter 3, 135–224. Also Burkert 1966:12, with nn. 1 and 2.
[ back ] 88. So Kerényi cited by Hadzisteliou Price 1978:102–103.
[ back ] 89. Burkert 1966:5.
[ back ] 90. Sourvinou-Inwood 2011:268–269 with n. 26. Sources in Parker 2005:227n41, 266, 464, and 173–177, Goff 2004:53 and 104 (for the significance of this activity for the Arrhephoria girls).
[ back ] 91. “Ritus und Mythos erhellen sich gegenseitig” 18. Already Brelich 1961:135.
[ back ] 92. 1939:264–267; on Thesmophoria and fecundity p. 267.
[ back ] 93. Calame 2010:470 on fertility, and on snakes and their role pp. 469–470, also Parker 1987:196. The snake is associated with cicadas, symbols of autochthony and the Golden age of Athenians and associated with Erichthonios: see Baudy 1992:10 with nn. 56, 57, and p. 20 with n. 114. On snakes and their qualities and symbolic use, see Khalifa-Gueta 2018:267–274 with older literature.
[ back ] 94. Shapiro 1996:41 and 44 correctly found in both the myth and the iconography the contrast between the obedient and the consequences of the disobedience of the other two. Based on a red figure lekythos (Basel BS 404 = LIMC Aglauros 19, see my appendix n. 3) he tried to explain how the story of their disobedience, madness, and suicide could be compatible with their cult as heroines. He also stressed the strong presence of young, unmarried women in the sanctuaries on and around the Acropolis.
[ back ] 95. See Arthur 1973, esp. 25. Vernant 1970:184–185 concludes: “no Man without Pandora.”
[ back ] 96. In Goff’s 2004:100 words, Burkert understood that “the arrhephoroi … enact the process of human reproduction.” Having accepted the importance of pleasure and love, she interpreted the rite as a performance of human sexuality. Baudy 1992:21 further suggested a middle way between Deubner’s and Burkert’s “soziologische Theorie” and argued for the role of male adolescents also during the Skira, which he took to be a rite of initiation of young male Athenians. In his view this interpretation of the festivity is reinforced by the oath of the Ephebes. Baudy also linked these two parts between the two sexes with the metaphorical meaning of dew and on this point disagreed with Burkert and Harrison (‘Schlangenkind’) and returned to Deubner’s (and Nilsson’s and others) idea of the fertility of the land and the agricultural aspect of the celebration.
[ back ] 97. Ogden 1998 (with discussion of Vernant 1980:168–185), Brown 1997:26–27.
[ back ] 98. This is not the place to deal with the vast literature for this drama. See Zeitlin 1978.
[ back ] 99. Of which see Katz 1992:79.
[ back ] 100. Vernant 1980: esp. 282, 283 outlined the role of women in tragedy. Also Foley 1981/1992:144, with a critical presentation of the structuralist principle of dichotomy at 140–148. Zeitlin 1995:70–71, who followed this approach (see above n. 8), spoke of “the anxiety of the male confronted with fear of a ‘natural’ female superiority” and connected it among others with autochthony. Likewise Zeitlin 1985:72 spoke of the double-sided femininity, the interchangeability of sexes and the predominance of the feminine in Attic theater. Shapiro 1996:41 stressed both in myth and iconography the contrast between the obedient Pandrosos and her disobedient sisters and the consequences of disobedience. He also correctly pointed out the strong presence of young, unmarried women in the sanctuaries on and around the Acropolis (44).
[ back ] 101. Arthur 1977:63 codified Athena as the goddess who “symbolizes male dominance of the universe.”
[ back ] 102. See Vernant 1970:291, along with his analysis of 1980:183–184, where he spoke of tensions and ambivalences in Pandora and the female sex.