Hipponax (Ancient Greek: Ἱππῶναξ; gen.: Ἱππώνακτος), of Ephesus and later Clazomenae, was an Ancient Greek iambic poet who composed verses depicting the vulgar side of life in Ionian society in the sixth century BC. He was celebrated by ancient authors for his malicious wit (especially for his attacks on some contemporary sculptors, Bupalus and Athenis), and he was reputed to be physically deformed (a reputation that might have been inspired by the nature of his poetry). Little of his work survives despite its interest to Alexandrian scholars, who collected it in two or three books. He influenced Alexandrian poets searching for alternative styles and uses of language, such as Callimachus and Herodas, and his colourful reputation as an acerbic, social critic also made him a popular subject for verse, as in this epigram by Theocritus:
Ancient literary critics credited him with inventing literary parody and "lame" poetic meters suitable for vigorous abuse, as well as with influencing comic dramatists such as Aristophanes. His witty, abusive style appears for example in this quote by Herodian, who however was mainly interested in its linguistic aspects (many of the extant verses were preserved for us by lexicographers and grammarians interested in rare words):
where 'navel-snipper' signifies a midwife.
Ancient authorities record the barest details about his life (sometimes contradicting each other) and his extant poetry is too fragmentary to support autobiographical interpretation (a hazardous exercise even at the best of times).
There lived in the island of Chios a sculptor Melas who was succeeded by his son Micciades and his grandson Achermus; the latter's sons, Bupalus and Athenis, had the very greatest fame in that art at the time of the poet Hipponax who was clearly alive in the 60th Olympiad (540-37).—Natural History 36.4.11
Archeological corroboration for these dates is found on the pedestal of a statue in Delos, inscribed with the names Micciades and Achermus and dated to 550-30 BC. The poet therefore can be safely dated to the second half of the sixth century BC. According to Athenaeus, he was small, thin and surprisingly strong The Byzantine encyclopaedia Suda, recorded that he was expelled from Ephesus by the tyrants Athenagoras and Comas, then settled in Clazomenae, and that he wrote verses satirising Bupalis and Athenis because they made insulting likenesses of him. A scholiast commenting on Horace's Epodes recorded two differing accounts of the dispute with Bupalus, characterized however as "a painter in Clazomenae": Hipponax sought to marry Bupalus's daughter but was rejected because of his physical ugliness, and Bupalus portrayed him as ugly in order to provoke laughter. According to the same scholiast, Hipponax retaliated in verse so savagely that Bupalus hanged himself. Hipponax in that case closely resembles Archilochus of Paros, an earlier iambic poet, who reportedly drove a certain Lycambes and his daughters to hang themselves after he too was rejected in marriage. Such a coincidence invites scepticism. The comic poet Diphilus took the similarity between the two iambic poets even further, representing them as rival lovers of the poet Sappho
The life of Hipponax, as revealed in the poems, resembles a low-life saga centred on his private enmities, his amorous escapades and his poverty but it is probable he was another Petronius, depicting low-life characters while actually moving in higher social circles. In one fragment, Hipponax decries "Bupalus, the mother-fucker (μητροκοίτης) with Arete", the latter evidently being the mother of Bupalus, yet Arete is presented as performing fellatio on Hipponax in another fragment and, elsewhere, Hipponax complains "Why did you go to bed with that rogue Bupalus?", again apparently referring to Arete (whose name ironically is Greek for 'virtue'). The poet is a man of action but, unlike Archilochus, who served as a warrior on Thasos, his battlefields are close to home:
Take my cloak, I'll hit Bupalus in the eye! For I have two right hands and I don't miss with my punches.
Hipponax's quarrelsome disposition is also illustrated in verses quoted by Tzetzes, where the bard abuses a painter called Mimnes, and advises him thus:
when you paint the serpent on the trireme's full-oared side, quit making it run back from the prow-ram to the pilot. What a disaster it will be and what a sensation—you low-born slave, you scum—if the snake should bite the pilot on the shin—fragment 28
Hipponax composed within the Iambus tradition which, in the work of Archilochus, a hundred years earlier, appears to have functioned as ritualized abuse and obscenity associated with the religious cults of Demeter and Dionysus but which, in Hipponax's day, seems rather to have had the purpose of entertainment. In both cases, the genre featured scornful abuse, a bitter tone and sexual permissiveness. Unlike Archilochus, however, he frequently refers to himself by name, emerging as a highly self-conscious figure, and his poetry is more narrow and insistently vulgar in scope: "with Hipponax, we are in an unheroic, in fact, a very sordid world", amounting to "a new conception of the poet's function."
He was considered the inventor of a peculiar metre, the scazon ("halting iambic" as Murray calls it) or choliamb, which substitutes a spondee or trochee for the final iambus of an iambic senarius, and is an appropriate form for the burlesque character of his poems. As an ancient scholar once put it:
"In his desire to abuse his enemies he shattered the meter, making it lame instead of straightforward, and unrhythmical, i.e. suitable for vigorous abuse, since what is rhythmical and pleasing to the ear would be more suitable for words of praise than blame."—Demetrius of Phalerum
Most of the surviving fragments are in choliambs but others feature trochaic tetrameter and even dactyls, the latter sometimes in combination with iambs and even on their own in dactylic hexameter, imitating epic poetry. Ancient scholars in fact credited him with inventing parody and Athenaeus quoted this diatribe against a glutton 'Euromedontiades', composed in dactylic hexameter in mock-heroic imitation of Homer's Odyssey:
Most archaic poets (including the iambic poets Archilochus and Semonides) were influenced by the Ionian epic tradition, as represented in the work of Homer. Except for parody, Hipponax composed as if Homer never existed, avoiding not only heroic sentiment but even epic phrasing and vocabulary. He employed a form of Ionic Greek that included an unusually high proportion of Anatolian and particularly Lydian loanwords, as for example here where he addresses Zeus with the outlandish Lydian word for 'king' (nominative πάλμυς):
Eating, defecating and fornicating are frequent themes and often they are employed together, as in fragment 92, a tattered papyrus which narrates a sexual encounter in a malodorous privy, where a Lydian-speaking woman performs some esoteric and obscene rites on the narrator, including beating his genitals with a fig branch and inserting something up his anus, provoking incontinence and finally an attack by dung beetles—a wild scene that possibly inspired the 'Oenothea' episode in Petronius's Satyricon.
"Hipponax remains a mystery. We have lost the matrix of these fascinating but puzzling fragments; ripped from their frame they leave us in doubt whether to take them seriously as autobiographical material (unlikely, but it has been done), as complete fiction (but there is no doubt that Bupalus and Athenis were real people), as part of a literary adaptation of some ritual of abuse (a komos or something similar), or as dramatic scripts for some abusive proto-comic performance. Whatever they were, they are a pungent reminder of the variety and vitality of archaic Greek literature and of how much we have lost."—B.M. Knox
The extant work also includes fragments of epodes (fr. 115-118) but the authorship is disputed by many modern scholars, who attribute them to Archilochus on various grounds, including for example the earlier poet's superior skill in invective and the fragments' resemblance to the tenth epode of Horace (an avowed imitator of Archilochus). Archilochus might also have been the source for an unusually beautiful line attributed to Hipponax[nb 2] (a line that has also been described "as clear, melodious and spare as a line of Sappho"):
Few fragments of his work survived through the Byzantine period despite his earlier popularity with Alexandrian poets and scholars. The Christian fathers disapproved of his abusive and obscene verses and he was also singled out as unedifying by Julian the Apostate, the pagan emperor, who instructed his priests to "abstain not only from impure and lascivious acts but also from speech and reading of the same character...No initiate shall read Archilochus or Hipponax or any of the authors who write the same kind of thing." Moreover, Hipponax's Ionic dialect and his extensive use of foreign words made his work unsuited to an ancient education system that promoted Attic, the dialect of classical Athens. Today the longest fragment of complete, consecutive verses comprises only six lines. Archeologists working at Oxyrhynchus have added to the meagre collection with tattered scraps of papyrus, of which the longest, published in 1941, has parts of over fifty choliambics.
Old Comedy, as a medium for invective and abuse, was a natural successor to iambus from the viewpoint of Aristotle and Aristophanes, the master of Old Comedy, certainly borrowed inspiration from Hipponax: "Someone ought to give them a Bupalus or two on the jaw—that might shut them up for a bit" the men's chorus says about the women's chorus in Lysistrata, and "Wonderful poet, Hipponax!" Dionysus exclaims in Frogs, while trying to disguise the pain inflicted on himself during a flogging. A quote attributed to Hipponax by Stobaeus actually appears to have been composed by a New Comedy poet.[nb 3]
Ananius (Greek: Ἀνάνιος) was a Greek iambic poet, contemporary with Hipponax (about 540 BCE). The invention of the satyric iambic verse called Scazon is ascribed to him as well as to Hipponax. Some fragments of Ananius are preserved by Athenaeus, and all that is known of him was collected by Friedrich Gottlieb Welcker in the 19th century.Archilochus
For the hummingbird, see Archilochus (genus).
Archilochus (; Greek: Ἀρχίλοχος Arkhilokhos; c. 680 – c. 645 BC) was a Greek lyric poet from the island of Paros in the Archaic period. He is celebrated for his versatile and innovative use of poetic meters, and is the earliest known Greek author to compose almost entirely on the theme of his own emotions and experiences.Alexandrian scholars included him in their canonic list of iambic poets, along with Semonides and Hipponax, yet ancient commentators also numbered him with Tyrtaeus and Callinus as the possible inventor of the elegy. Modern critics often characterize him simply as a lyric poet. Although his work now only survives in fragments, he was revered by the ancient Greeks as one of their most brilliant authors, able to be mentioned in the same breath as Homer and Hesiod, yet he was also censured by them as the archetypal poet of blame—his invectives were even said to have driven his former fiancée and her father to suicide. He presented himself as a man of few illusions either in war or in love, such as in the following elegy, where discretion is seen to be the better part of valour:
Archilochus was much imitated even up to Roman times and three other distinguished poets later claimed to have thrown away their shields—Alcaeus, Anacreon and Horace.Bupalus and Athenis
Bupalus (Greek: Βούπαλος) and Athenis (Greek: Ἄθηνις), were sons of Archermus, and members of the celebrated school of sculpture in marble which flourished in Chios in the 6th century BC. They were contemporaries of the poet Hipponax, whom they were said to have caricatured. Their works consisted almost entirely of draped female figures, Artemis, Fortune, The Graces, when the Chian school has been well called a school of Madonnas. Augustus brought many of the works of Bupalus and Athenis to Rome, and placed them on the gable of the temple of Apollo Palatinus. Bupalus supposedly committed suicide out of shame after Hipponax wrote caustic satirical poetry about him to revenge himself on Bupalus for his refusal to let Hipponax marry his daughter and for his caricature of Hipponax.
Aristophanes refers to Bupalus in The Lysistrata. When the Chorus of Men encounter the Chorus of Women near the north-western edge of the Acropolis they ridicule the women, "I warrant, now, if twice or thrice we slap their faces neatly, That they will learn, like Bupalus, to hold their tongues discreetly." (Benjamin Bickley Rogers translation)
It is now suggested that the north (and perhaps also the east) frieze of the Siphnian Treasury in Delphi was the work of Bupalus, based on a partially erased inscription around the circumference of one of the giant's shields, reconstructed as:
Ḅ[όπαλ]ο[ς Ἀρχέρμο̄? τά]δε καὶ τὄπισθεν ἐποίε
Boupalos son of Archermos made these (sculptures) and those behind.Candaules
Candaules (died c.687 BC; Greek: Κανδαύλης, Kandaulēs), also known as Myrsilos (Μυρσίλος), was a king of the ancient Kingdom of Lydia in the early years of the 7th century BC. According to Herodotus, he succeeded his father Meles as the 22nd and last king of Lydia's Heraclid dynasty. He was assassinated and succeeded by Gyges.Based on an ambiguous line in the work of the Greek poet Hipponax, it was traditionally assumed that the name of Candaules meant "hound-choker" among the Lydians. J. B. Bury and Russell Meiggs (1975) say that Candaules is a Maeonian name meaning "hound-choker" and that Aryan conquerors (the Heraclids in Greek tradition) had occupied the Lydian throne for centuries. More recently, however, it has been suggested that the name or title Kandaules is cognate with the Luwian hantawatt(i)– ("king") and probably has Carian origin. The name or title Candaules is the origin of the term candaulism, for a sexual practice attributed to him by legend.Several stories of how the Heraclid dynasty of Candaules ended and the Mermnad dynasty of Gyges began have been related by different authors throughout history, mostly in a mythical sense. In Plato's Republic, Gyges used a magical ring to become invisible and usurp the throne, a plot device which reappeared in numerous myths and works of fiction throughout history. The earliest story, related by Herodotus in the 5th century BC, has Candaules betrayed and executed by his wife, Nyssia, in a cautionary tale against pride and possession.Choliamb
Choliambic verse (Ancient Greek: χωλίαμβος), also known as limping iambs or scazons or halting iambic, is a form of meter in poetry. It is found in both Greek and Latin poetry in the classical period. Choliambic verse is sometimes called scazon, or "lame iambic", because it brings the reader down on the wrong "foot" by reversing the stresses of the last few beats. It was originally pioneered by the Greek lyric poet Hipponax, who wrote "lame trochaics" as well as "lame iambics".
The basic structure is much like iambic trimeter, except that the last cretic is made heavy by the insertion of a longum instead of a breve. Also, the third anceps of the iambic trimeter line must be short in limping iambs. In other words, the line scans as follows (where ¯ is a longum, ˘ is a breve, and x is an anceps):
x ¯ ˘ ¯ | x ¯ ˘ ¯ | ˘ ¯ ¯ ¯As in all classical verse forms, the phenomenon of brevis in longo is observed, so the last syllable can actually be short or long.
The Latin poet Catullus provides an example in Poem 8.Diphilus
Diphilus (Greek: Δίφιλος), of Sinope, was a poet of the new Attic comedy and a contemporary of Menander (342-291 BC). He is frequently listed together with Menander and Philemon, considered the three greatest poets of New Comedy. He was victorious at least three times at the Lenaia, placing him third before Philemon and Menander. Although most of his plays were written and acted at Athens he died at Smyrna. His body was returned and buried in Athens.According to Athenaeus, he was on intimate terms with the famous courtesan Gnathaena. Athenaeus quotes the comic poet Machon in support of this claim. Machon is also the source for the claim that Diphilus acted in his own plays.An anonymous essay on comedy from antiquity reports that Diphilus wrote 100 plays. Of these 100 plays, 59 titles, and 137 fragments (or quotations) survive. From the extant fragments, Diphilus' plays seem to have featured many of the stock characters now primarily associated with the comedies of the Roman playwright Plautus, who translated and adapted a number of Diphilus' plays. Swaggering soldiers, verbose cooks, courtesans, and parasites, all feature in the fragments. In contrast to his more successful contemporaries, Menander and Philemon, Diphilus seems to have had a preference for the mythological subjects so popular in Middle Comedy.To judge from the imitations of Plautus (Casina from the Κληρούμενοι, Asinaria from the Ὀναγός, Rudens from some other play), he was very skillful in the construction of his plots. Terence also tells us that he introduced into the Adelphi (ii. I) a scene from the Συναποθνήσκοντες, which had been omitted by Plautus in his adaptation (Commorientes) of the same play.According to the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition:
The style of Diphilus was simple and natural, and his language on the whole good Attic; he paid great attention to versification, and was supposed to have invented a peculiar kind of metre. The ancients were undecided whether to class him among the writers of the New or Middle comedy. In his fondness for mythological subjects (Hercules, Theseus) and his introduction on the stage (by a bold anachronism) of the poets Archilochus and Hipponax as rivals of Sappho, he approximates to the spirit of the latter.Epigram
An epigram is a brief, interesting, memorable, and sometimes surprising or satirical statement. The word is derived from the Greek: ἐπίγραμμα epigramma "inscription" from ἐπιγράφειν epigraphein "to write on, to inscribe", and the literary device has been employed for over two millennia.
The presence of wit or sarcasm tends to distinguish non-poetic epigrams from aphorisms and adages, which tend to lack those qualities.Iambus (genre)
Iambus or iambic poetry was a genre of ancient Greek poetry that included but was not restricted to the iambic meter and whose origins modern scholars have traced to the cults of Demeter and Dionysus. The genre featured insulting and obscene language and sometimes it is referred to as "blame poetry". For Alexandrian editors, however, iambus signified any poetry of an informal kind that was intended to entertain, and it seems to have been performed on similar occasions as elegy even though lacking elegy's decorum. The Archaic Greek poets Archilochus, Semonides and Hipponax were among the most famous of its early exponents. The Alexandrian poet Callimachus composed "iambic" poems against contemporary scholars, which were collected in an edition of about a thousand lines, of which fragments of thirteen poems survive. He in turn influenced Roman poets such as Catullus, who composed satirical epigrams that popularized Hipponax's choliamb. Horace's Epodes on the other hand were mainly imitations of Archilochus and, as with the Greek poet, his invectives took the forms both of private revenge and denunciation of social offenders.Jan van Aken (writer)
Jan van Aken (Herwen en Aerdt, August 9, 1961) is a Dutch writer, who worked in the cultural sector and in automation. He is currently a professor at the Schrijversvakschool in Amsterdam.
He has written the following historical novels:
Het oog van de basilisk (2000)
De valse dageraad (2001)
De dwaas van Palmyra (2003)
Het fluwelen labyrint (2005)
Koning voor een dag (2008)
De afvallige (2013)
De ommegang (2018)This writer's first three books take place before the Early Modern Period. Het oog van de basilisk's protagonist is Epiphanius Rusticus in the aftermath of the Roman Empire, while De valse dageraar is about Hroswith van Wikala in the Middle Ages, during the first millennium. The third novel De dwaas van Palmyra takes place in the 1st Century and describes the travels of the philosopher Apollonius of Tyana to India, as later seen through the eyes of his student, Damis.
Het fluwelen labyrint takes place in Amsterdam during the 1980s. In Koning voor een dag, the protagonist is the historic poet Hipponax, who lived in Ionia during the 6th Century. Hipponax was known for his sharp tongue and his coarse language. For this book, Van Aken used both original fragments from Hipponax as well as fictional Hipponax poems he created himself.
Jan van Aken's most recent novel is De Afvallige. It takes place during the time of Julian the Apostate, seen through the eyes of a group of boys belonging to a Christian Sect who ended up being involved in an assassination plot. This large-scale novel covers the period between 350 and 392 C.E..
Van Aken was previously published in the magazines Optima and Nieuw Wereldtijdschrift. His second novel was nominated for the Seghers Literatuurprijs. De afvallige came on the longlist for both the AKO and Libris literature prizes.Kandaulos
Kandaulos (Ancient Greek: κάνδαυλος, also κάνδῡλος, ὁ) was an ancient Greek luxury dish of Lydian origin. The Ionian rich savoury confection was a new delicacy in Athens in the early 4th century BC.
According to the Greek rhetorician and grammarian Athenaeus (late 2nd century AD), kandaulos came in three forms. One of them was sweet, and is described by one Hellenistic source as a πλακοῦς, flat cake. A second was savoury, consisting of meat and broth with breadcrumbs. However, what these two kinds of kandaulos had in common with one another or with the third kind is not clear.The term kandaulos appears to be related to the Lydian word Kandaules (Κανδαύλης), recorded by Hipponax and Herodotus. This was a title of Hermes and Heracles and name or title of a Lydian king. But Tzetzes, a Byzantine poet and grammarian from the 12th century, says that kandaules was also Lydian for dog-throttler.Athenaeus (Deipnosophists XII 516c-d) quotes a brief recipe for the meaty version of kandaulos from Hegesippus of Tarentum, an author of Greek works on cookery and on cake-making of the 4th century BC:
The Lydians used also to speak of a dish called kandaulos, of which there were three varieties, not one merely; so exquisitely equipped were they for luxurious indulgence. Hegesippus of Tarentum says that it was made of boiled meat, bread crumbs, Phrygian cheese, anise, and fatty broth.
In the original Greek:
καὶ κάνδαυλον δέ τινα ἔλεγον οἱ Λυδοί, οὐχ ἕνα ἀλλὰ τρεῖς· οὕτως ἐξήσκηντο πρὸς τὰς ἡδυπαθείας. γίνεσθαι δ᾽ αὐτόν φησιν ὁ Ταραντῖνος Ἡγήσιππος ἐξ ἑφθοῦ κρέως καὶ κνηστοῦ ἄρτου καὶ Φρυγίου τυροῦ ἀνήθου τε καὶ ζωμοῦ πίονος.Kubaba
Kubaba (in the Weidner or Esagila Chronicle; Sumerian: Kug-Bau) is the only queen on the Sumerian King List, which states she reigned for 100 years – roughly in the Early Dynastic III period (ca. 2500-2330 BC) of Sumerian history. In later times, she was worshipped as a goddess.Mimnermus
Mimnermus (Greek: Μίμνερμος Mímnermos) was a Greek elegiac poet from either Colophon or Smyrna in Ionia, who flourished about 630–600 BC. He was strongly influenced by the example of Homer yet he wrote short poems suitable for performance at drinking parties and was remembered by ancient authorities chiefly as a love poet. Mimnermus in turn exerted a strong influence on Hellenistic poets such as Callimachus and thus also on Roman poets such as Propertius, who even preferred him to Homer for his eloquence on love themes (see Comments by other poets below). His work was collected by Alexandrian scholars in just two "books" (relatively few compared for example with the twenty-six books for Stesichorus) and today only small fragments survive. The fragments confirm the ancient estimate of him as a "consummate poet" but also indicate that he was a "sturdier character" than the indulgent love poet he was assumed to be by various ancient commentators. Almost no reliable, biographical details have been recorded. One ancient account linked him romantically with a flute girl who subsequently gave her name, Nanno, to one of his two books.Pericleitus
Pericleitus was a Lesbian lyric musician of the school of Terpander, flourished shortly before Hipponax, that is, a little earlier than 550 BC. At the Lacedaemonian festival of the Carneia, there were musical contests with the cithara, in which the Lesbian musicians of Terpander's school had obtained the prize from the time of Terpander himself to that of Pericleitus, with whom the glory of the school ceased.Pharmakos
A pharmakós (Greek: φαρμακός, plural pharmakoi) in Ancient Greek religion was the ritualistic sacrifice or exile of a human scapegoat or victim.Sanctuary of the Mother of Gods and Aphrodite
The Sanctuary of the Mother of Gods and Aphrodite was a sanctuary in ancient Pella dedicated to the goddess Aphrodite and the Mother of the Gods (Cybele). It was a Panhellenic sanctuary and a place of pilgrimage from all over Greece.
The temple was situated in the middle of the east-west axis north of the commercial and administrative center of the city. The sanctuary was founded at the end of 4th century BC, and reorganised and rebuilt in the 3rd century BC. The temple was destroyed by an earthquake in the early 1st century.
The sanctuary was dedicated to both Aphrodite and Cybele, who where worshipped her in parallel. There was a local correlation of
Aphrodite-Cybele, which was mentioned by Hipponax and Photius. Inscriptions and votive offerings found at the site has testified to the parallel worship.
Excavations was first carried out in 1957.Scapegoat
In the Bible, a scapegoat is an animal that is ritually burdened with the sins of others, and then driven away. The concept first appears in Leviticus, in which a goat is designated to be cast into the desert to carry away the sins of the community.
And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats: one lot for the LORD, and the other lot for Azazel.
Practices with some similarities to the scapegoat ritual also appear in ancient Greece and Ebla.Semonides of Amorgos
For the lyric poet, see Simonides of Ceos.Semonides of Amorgos (; Greek: Σημωνίδης ὁ Ἀμοργῖνος, variantly Σιμωνίδης; fl. 7th century BC) was a Greek iambic and elegiac poet who is believed to have lived during the seventh century BC. Fragments of his poetry survive as quotations in other ancient authors, the most extensive and well known of which is a satiric account of different types of women which is often cited in discussions of misogyny in Archaic Greece. The poem takes the form of a catalogue, with each type of woman represented by an animal whose characteristics—in the poet's scheme—are also characteristic of a large body of the female population. Other fragments belong to the registers of gnomic poetry and wisdom literature in which the Hesiodic Works and Days and the Theognidea are classed, and reflect a similarly pessimistic view of the human experience. There is also evidence that Semonides composed the sort of personal invective found in the work of his near contemporary iambographer Archilochus and the later Hipponax, but no surviving fragment can be securely attributed to such a poem.Sindi people
Not to be confused with the Sindhi people.
The Sindi (Greek: Σινδοί, Herod. iv. 28) were an ancient people in the Taman Peninsula and the adjacent coast of the Pontus Euxinus (Black Sea), in the district called Sindica, which spread between the modern towns of Temryuk and Novorossiysk (Herod. l. c.; Hipponax. p. 71, ed. Welck.; Hellanic. p. 78; Dionys. Per. 681; Steph. B. p. 602; Amm. Marc. xxii. 8. § 41, &c.). Their name is variously written, and Mela calls them Sindones (ii. 19), Lucian (Tox. 55), Sindianoi.
Strabo describes them as living along the Palus Maeotis, and among the Maeotae, Dandarii, Toreatae, Agri, Arrechi, Tarpetes, Obidiaceni, Sittaceni, Dosci, and Aspurgiani, among others. (Strab. xi. 2. 11). The Great Soviet Encyclopedia classes them as a tribe of the Maeotae. The Cambridge Ancient History refers to the Sindi as a Scythian people dominant among the Maeotians, whom it considers as either of Cimmerian ancestry or as Caucasian aboriginals under Iranian overlordship.In the 4th century BC, the Sindi were the people inhabiting the Sindike Kingdom, which were under the rule of Hekataios and his wife Tirgatao until the latter was dethroned. The son of Hekataios, Oktamasades, was later the ruler of the people after having usurped the throne from his father and was warred by Leukon and defeated
him shortly thereafter.The Sindi were subjugated by the Bosporan Kingdom presumably during the wars of expansion. They left multiple tumuli which, when excavated by Soviet archaeologists, revealed that their culture was heavily Hellenized. The Sindi were assimilated by the Sarmatians in the first centuries AD.
Besides the seaport of Sinda, other towns belonging to the same people were Hermonassa, Gorgippia, and Aborace. (Strab. xi. 2, et. seq.) They had a monarchical form of government (Polyaen, viii. 55), and Gorgippia was the residence of their kings (Strab. l. c.).
Nicolaus Damascenus (p. 160, ed. Orell.) mentions a peculiar custom which they had of throwing upon the grave of a deceased person as many fish as the number of enemies whom he had overcome.Thargelia
Thargelia (Ancient Greek: Θαργήλια) was one of the chief Athenian festivals in honour of the Delian Apollo and Artemis, held on their birthdays, the 6th and 7th of the month Thargelion (about May 24 and May 25).Essentially an agricultural festival, the Thargelia included a purifying and expiatory ceremony. While the people offered the first-fruits of the earth to the god in token of thankfulness, it was at the same time necessary to propitiate him, lest he might ruin the harvest by excessive heat, possibly accompanied by pestilence. The purificatory preceded the thanksgiving service. On the 6th a sheep was sacrificed to Demeter Chloe on the Acropolis, and perhaps a swine to the Fates, but the most important ritual was the following. Two men, the ugliest that could be found (the Pharmakoi) were chosen to die, one for the men, the other (according to some, a woman) for the women. Hipponax of Kolophon claims that on the day of the sacrifice they were led round with strings of figs on their necks, and whipped on the genitals with rods of figwood and squills. When they reached the place of sacrifice on the shore, they were stoned to death, their bodies burnt, and the ashes thrown into the sea (or over the land, to act as a fertilizing influence). However, it is unclear how accurate Hipponax's sixth-century, poetical account of the ceremony is, and there is much scholarly debate as to its reliability.It is supposed that an actual human sacrifice took place on this occasion, replaced in later times by a milder form of expiation. Thus at Leucas a criminal was annually thrown from a rock into the sea as a scapegoat: but his fall was checked by live birds and feathers attached to his person, and men watched below in small boats, who caught him and escorted him beyond the boundary of the city. Nevertheless, many modern scholars reject this, arguing that the earliest source for the pharmakos (the iambic satirist Hipponax) shows the pharmakos being beaten and stoned, but not executed. A more plausible explanation would be that sometimes they were executed and sometimes they weren't depending on the attitude of the victim. For instance a deliberate unrepentant murderer would most likely be put to death.
Similarly, at Massilia, on the occasion of some heavy calamity (plague or famine), one of the poorest inhabitants volunteered as a scapegoat. For a year he was fed up at the public expense, then clothed in sacred garments, led through the city amidst execrations, and cast out beyond the boundaries.The ceremony on the 7th was of a cheerful character. All kinds of first-fruits were carried in procession and offered to the god, and, as at the Pyanepsia (or Pyanopsia), branches of olive bound with wool, borne by children, were affixed by them to the doors of the houses. These branches, originally intended as a charm to avert failure of the crops, were afterwards regarded as forming part of a supplicatory service. On the second day choruses of men and boys took part in musical contests, the prize for which was a tripod. Further, on this day adopted persons were solemnly received into the genos and phratria of their adoptive parents.