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Idia kai dèmosia

 | 
Véronique Dasen
, 
Marcel Piérart

Crossing Communal Space: The Classical Ekphora, ‘Public’ and ‘Private’

Athena Kavoulaki

Texte intégral

Introduction

  • 1  F. de Polignac, P. Schmitt-Pantel, ‘Introduction’, Ktèma 23 (1998), p. 13; also p. 7: ‘catégories (...)

1The difficulties that lie in the effort to analyse ancient phenomena in modern terms or alternatively to trace modern (and often seemingly ‘evident’) concepts and categorisations in the sphere of ancient Greek life, as documented by the surviving sources (textual and other), have been exposed in recent years in many instances and have been realised perhaps better than before. The 23rd volume of Ktema which offers a collection of valuable articles on the notions of ‘public’ and ‘private’ in ancient Greece is one such instance which demonstrates in multiple ways and on many levels what is pointed out already in the introduction to the volume: ‘il peut être impudent de transcrire hâtivement les réalités anciennes avec les mots d’aujourd’hui’.1 On the other hand, investigations such as those presented in Ktèma 23 are so indispensable in the process of discerning modern fallacies and understanding ancient phenomena that they call for continuation and revisiting. Responding to this need, the recent colloquium of the CIERGA was dedicated again to the issues of ‘public’ and ‘private’ not generally this time but in relation to the field of Greek religion, a particularly difficult field as regards the categorisation under study.

2One of the questions posed by the organisers was whether particular rites were primarily ‘public’ or ‘private’ and whether such terms would be pertinent for the study of Greek religion. The present paper aims at tackling with these questions, advancing from the point of view of death rites and focusing especially on the funeral procession, the Greek ekphora. I would like to suggest that while a distinction between ἰδίᾳ and δημοσίᾳ as regards the organisation of the ekphora does seem to hold according to extant sources, this does not mean that the ekphora could be ‘private’ or ‘public’ in terms of modern communicative practices. From a modern perspective the ekphora would rather be a public, interactive ritual, an indication that (on the level of death ceremonial at least) we cannot talk of isolated (or contrasted) zones but rather of degrees or levels of a larger system.

3My overall analysis aims at assessing the public impact of the ekphora and at studying the various contexts (mainly in Athens) in which this impact is felt, suggesting that the study of these contexts provides a vantage point from which the relation between ἰδίᾳ and δημοσίᾳ can be perceived. The funerary legislation constitutes an indispensable frame, so a substantial part of the discussion is focused on it. From the point of view of processional practices the legislative arrangements seem primarily to support, mould and promote the cosmotheoretical direction and the ritual tradition permeating the life and sustaining the structures of the polis and not simply to ‘echo’ or follow developments in other spheres of life; on the contrary, the repercussions of the legislation could well have been felt on the various interlocking parts of social activity. Death emerges as a potent ‘centre’ in the wider ritual nexus which sustains relations in the polis and constitutes, thus, an important cultural context within which the idiai (ἰδίᾳ) and dèmosiai (δημοσίᾳ) facets operated.

Basic arrangement and effect2

  • 2  The following list includes the works that will be referred to henceforth in the abbreviated form (...)
  • 3  Date of monument and inscription 433 B.C. (or differently 375 B.C.); see CEG, 2, p. 3-4.
  • 4  Many examples in CEG; indicatively (from Attica): 25, 35, 50, 57, 96, 97, 530, 534.
  • 5  On ἴδιος, cf. de Polignac, Schmitt-Pantel, l.c. (n. 1) p. 8: ‘… idios qui n’est pas le ‘privé’ au (...)

4In ancient Athens – according to the extant sources – a burial could be conducted ἰδίᾳ or δημοσίᾳ. The funeral for the war dead during the Peloponnesian war was conducted δημοσίᾳ, as Thucydides explicitly says (II, 34), and in other cases too in which the polis takes the responsibility for the funeral and covers the expenses, the funeral is also conducted δημοσίᾳ and the event is often recorded; when two Corcyraean ambassadors, for example, died in Athens, the Athenians buried them δημοσίᾳ, as it is recorded on the funerary monument for them: ἐνθάδε Θέρσανδρον καὶ Σιμύλον ... |πρέσβες ἐλθόντας, κατὰ συντυχίαν δὲ θανόντας |παῖδες Ἀθηναίων δημοσίᾳ κτέρισαν (CEG 469).3 There are more examples in which the responsibility of the burial is ascribed to the demos or the polis (Athenai) (e.g. CEG I, 11, 12). Μore often, however, the extant funerary epigrams of the Archaic and Classical periods explicitly record or imply that it is the family, the οἰκεῖοι or φίλοι who erect the monument and conduct the burial: Χαιρεδέμο τόδε σε–μα πατὲρ ἔστε[σε] (CEG 14, 1).4 In these last cases it is not the public who bears the responsibility for the burial but ἰδίᾳ ἕκαστος, each one ‘privately’ which here means ‘individually’, ‘particularly’, distinguishably from the ‘all together’, the collective body of the παῖδες Ἀθηναίων who acted in the case of the Corcyrean ambassadors and in other cases.5

  • 6  A. Van Gennep, The Rites of Passage, trans. M.B. Vizedom and G.C. Caffee, London and Henley, 1960. (...)
  • 7  On ritual lament see E. Reiner, Die rituelle Totenklage der Griechen, Stuttgart/Berlin, 1938 and M (...)
  • 8  On ancient Greek funerary rites see E. Rohde, Psyche: The Cult of Souls and Belief in Immortality (...)
  • 9  Early sources tend to emphasize the role of prothesis as almost synonymous with mourning and death (...)

5‘Public’ or ‘private’, the funeral had a ritual structure which in its basic parts (despite divergencies and alterations) seems to have been maintained almost throughout Antiquity and which relates to the general van Gennep schema of rites de passage.6 In rough lines, the structure comprises the care for the dead body; its laying-out for mourning (πρόθεσις in Greek) and the intense lamentation that accompanies it (γόος, ἐπικήδειον, θρῆνος);7 the processional transportation of the body to the place of its disposition (the ἐκφορά, the ‘carrying-out’); and last the cremation or inhumation of the body (followed variably by a funeral oration at the spot and/ or funeral games, or by a funerary meal at home, περίδειπνον).8 Although each stage of this sequence is a whole set of customs and practices with its own separate significance, the extant sources seem to place particular attention to the central stages or phases, i.e. primarily to the prothesis and secondarily to the ekphora (perceived as intimately linked with the prothesis).9

  • 10  The basis for the analysis of death ritual as a rite of passage was laid by Van Gennep, o.c. (n. 6 (...)
  • 11  In relation to prothesis the funeral procession may be classified more as a rite of separation; in (...)
  • 12  On γέρας θανόντων cf. R. Garland, ‘Γέρας θανόντων: An Investigation into the Claims of the Homeric (...)
  • 13  The series of funerary plaques of the sixth century present a view of prothesis and ekphora as an (...)

6The particular focus on the prothesis is not surprising. Within the context of the funeral prothesis, the laying-out of the body, is the main intersticial ritual and marks the phase of transition in the familiar van Gennep schema; anthropologists have noticed that the rites of the phase of transition attract most attention in rites de passage worldwide.10 In the ancient Greek context prothesis marks the transitional point when the status of both the deceased and the bereaved remains suspended. The end of this suspension is marked by the setting-off of the procession which forms simultaneously the beginning of a transition into a new status.11 Both prothesis and ekphora are parts of the complicated sequence of funerary rites which are indicative of a special, honorary status conferred upon the deceased since they are both perceived as γέρα, prizes of honour (Il. XVI, 456, 675; XXIII, 9; Od. IV, 197; XXIV, 190; 292; Plato, Laws, 947e), granted at the completion of a person’s lifetime (αἰών).12 In the sources the ekphora is usually perceived as directly connected with the prothesis and in art the two events are presented linked in a sequence.13

  • 14  See T. Hölscher, Öffentliche Räume in frühen griechischen Städten, Heidelberg, 1999², p. 63 sq.
  • 15  The concrete and actual polis space that a funeral procession would have to traverse in order to r (...)
  • 16  In Patroklos’ ekphora in the Iliad (XXIII, 128-137) the procession induces an enlargement of commu (...)

7For our general topic of interest, the important fact is that both actions concentrate on the display of the dead to the community in a manner which increases the dead’s honour. Πρό-θεσις literally means setting the body ‘in front of’, ‘before’ the eyes of the community (being that of the family, an extended circle of relatives, or the polis) and ἐκφορά is the action whereby the body is ‘born’, carried (φέρω) out of the familiar environment to the cemetery – which is a public place14 – along the streets and across the polis, i.e. across the public space of the community.15 The prothesis ritual enables a more direct communication with the fact of death as emblematized by the immovable presence of the dead body (placed in the midst of the community); but whenever the public appeal of the funeral is at stake, the sources focus on the ekphora. Its potential to attract a wider public is noticed in a wide range of literary texts, from Homer to the novel, but also in our historical sources.16 In an epigram from Thasos of around 500 (CEG 159) we read:

[ὅ]στις μὴ παρ[ε]τύνχαν’ ὅτ’ ἐ[χσ]έφερόν με θ[αν]όντα,
νῦν μ’ ὀ[λο]φυράσθω· μν[ῆμ]α δὲ Τηλεφ[άνε]ος.

Whoever was not present when they carried me out in death, let him now lament me. [This is or I am] the mnema of Telephanes.

  • 17  That the tomb was meant to be conspicuous is the basic idea underlying the very terms mnema and se (...)
  • 18  On the religious axes of the city space, see Hölscher, o.c. (n. 14), p. 74-83; for the potential o (...)

8Participation in the ekphora is here correlated with the occasional encounter of the funerary monument (mnema) by passers-by and failure to participate in the ekphora can be redressed by showing respect through lamentation at the sight of the grave. Moving along the streets, the ekphora is, thus, so open to sight and attendance, as the grave standing by the street (ἐγγὺς ὁδοῦς CEG 16, 39, 74, 142), ‘open’ to and addressing not only family members but all passers-by.17 In many epigrams the addressee is explicitly called παριών or παροδίτης (‘passer-by’, ‘traveller’ CEG 80, 108, 174, 110), and these terms convey an awareness of the fact that the environment, the hodos, here the routes and the passages, in which the monument and the living ‘interlocutor’ stand is definitive for the social interaction sought or achieved. The ekphora by equally marking the hodoi, the natural and built environment of the community, and by uniting the distinct poles of communal space, i.e. the residential (or public) areas with the peripheral cemeteries,18 can provoke a social interaction analogous to that sought by the epigram, all–inclusive and wide-ranging.

  • 19  The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary s.v. ‘private’.
  • 20  Similar implications of idios hold in other contexts, too; see Casevitz, l.c. (n. 5).

9Despite, thus, the ‘private’ arrangement of the funeral, funerary rites and especially the ekphora which demarkated communal space, had an ‘open’, ‘public’ character, ‘public’ in the sense that it did not preclude outsiders but it welcomed or even provoked interaction with on-lookers. Although ‘private’ in English (or privé in French) may connote ‘not open to public’,19 avoiding public sight, in the context of the ancient Greek funeral the idiai aspect does not entail an avoidance of ‘public’, social contact, but rather welcomes it, since the personal honour of the dead which is the central dimension of the ritual, is concomitant with social interaction. The idiai dimension of the funeral implies, thus, interpersonal acknowledgment and contact.20 The ekphora marks the limit by which this interaction can be achieved in bodily, corporeal terms and within the living space of the community; in this way, it constitutes the culmination point of the process of social definition and presence. After this point the social existence of the dead is entrusted to μνήμη (memory), and μνῆμα (the funerary monument) plays an important role in this direction.

Legislative intervention

  • 21  R. Garland., ‘The Well-Ordered Corpse: An Investigation into the Motives behind Greek Funerary Leg (...)
  • 22  Apart from [Dem.], 43, 62, the other main sources for the Athenian funerary legislation (which was (...)

10That the potential of the funeral to mark the environment and affect a wider public (even a public unwilling to participate) was felt to rest in the processional ritual and in the type of burial (resulting in a funerary monument) receives confirmation from the funerary legislation which Athens and many other communities (even a phratry) issued from the sixth century onwards and which attempts to control behaviour and practices in public, affecting thus (primarily) the ekphora and the burial practices, the monument included. It is characteristic that according to the extant text of the Athenian law preserved indirectly in the speech Against Makartatos ([Dem.], 43, 62), within the house the prothesis could be arranged in whatever manner one wished (τὸν ἀποθανόντα προτίθεσθαι ἔνδον, ὅπως ἂν βούληται).21 As soon as the mourning group, however, left domestic space, certain restrictions had to be observed, in Athens from the time of Solon (apparently) onwards: the procession was to be conducted before sunrise, women should follow men, wild expressions of grief were prevented in public and excessive offerings were curbed; the numbers of women under sixty years of age were reduced but participation of older women or men of any age was free. Offerings were allowed, except for the sacrifice of a bull and large numbers of garments.22

  • 23  [Plato], Min., 315c; cf. Etymologicum Magnum s.v. On food offerings for the dead see X. De Schutte (...)

11Reconstructed in reverse, the picture of funeral procession that the law attempted to prevent, would amount to an event with considerable acoustic and visual power and an outward, ‘public’ dimension: the body, amply decorated and covered with an abundance of garments, would be the pole of attraction; around the body mixed groups of men and women would move, the women probably holding the most prominent positions close to the body. This proximity would further incite wild expressions of female mourning, featuring laceration of cheeks, tearing of hair and garments, shrieks and lamentation. Sacrificial animals would be escorted, while at the head of the procession women ἐγχυτρίστριαι23 would probably carry further offerings to the grave. The procession would advance along the streets and amidst the loud cries of lamentation, stopping perhaps at places in order to perform set laments.

  • 24  Cicero mentions a maximum of ten tibicines (De leg. II, 59) and Plato mentions hired musicians acc (...)

12To this picture the law juxtaposes a model of funeral procession, which – though lowered in tone – would still retain considerable spectacle: the body would be the focal point – carried by pall-bearers or on a cart – decorated and adorned but not overloaded with garments. Men and women, dressed in black, would escort it, arranged in sequence, the larger group of men preceding that of the women. Offerings such as food, lekythoi, hydriai and alabastra would be carried to the tomb and the whole group would probably move by the light of blazing lamps (and perhaps by the accompaniment of instrumental music)24. The darkness of early morning would probably heighten the emotional tone of the ritual.

  • 25  See, for example, Rohde, o.c. (n. 8), p. 161; R.C.T. Parker, Miasma: Pollution and Purification in (...)
  • 26  The main pieces of evidence (on non-Athenian laws) are the Labyadai (phratry) inscriptions at Delp (...)
  • 27  Sourvinou-Inwood, l.c. (n. 8) [1983]; ead., o.c. (n. 9), p. 438-440.

13The two models are somehow antithetical, but both seem to find support in the surviving historical data. The historicity of the first ‘extravagant’ model, however, seems to be supported by archaeological and literary evidence connected with aristocracy, i.e. mainly by the Geometric funeral vases and the descriptions of funerals in the epics, examples which have been seen as grand scale, aristocratic (and not ordinary) burials. This fact has led to the formation of an almost communis opinio that the restrictions on the ekphora (let alone on other mortuary aspects) aimed at curbing ostentation and aristocratic display.25 The emergence of similar laws, however, not only in Athens but throughout Greece over many centuries (from the sixth to the third), laws which were issued not only by the polis but also by a phratry,26 creates a major difficulty with such an approach, a difficulty already pointed out by Sourvinou-Inwood.27 The contextualization of the Athenian legislation by modern scholars leaves open the question of the relationship between the various funerary laws spread in time and places and of the role of the phratry in this process.

  • 28  J. Baudrillard, L’échange symbolique et la mort, Paris, 1976, especially ch. 5. Cf. also Taylor’s (...)
  • 29  See (indicatively): on economic parameters L. Gernet, A. Boulanger, Le génie grec dans la religion(...)
  • 30  See Ph. Ariès, Western Attitudes toward Death: From the Middle Ages to the Present, trans. P.M. Ra (...)
  • 31  I. Morris, Death-Ritual and Social Structure in Classical Antiquity, Cambridge, 1992, p. 147; earl (...)

14The above objection does not imply that the dynamics of power are irrelevant in this respect. From a modern perspective Baudrillard has argued that manipulating death and legislating about it procures power and control, but this happens precisely because death constitutes a primary boundary, a boundary involving fundamental concerns.28 In the context of the ancient polis the encounter with this boundary was dealt with ritually, through common basic ritual means, and for this reason death occupied a central place in the ritually-based religious system. Located in such a context the issuing of the legislation is not limited but potentially more broad in its impact, since religion was polis-based and permeated the structuring of society. A potential range of developments on other levels, interacting with funerary practices, could include the change of the political situation, the diminishing power of the aristocratic gene, the gradual emphasis on polis manifestations, as well as economic factors and heritage rights, moral standards relating to avoidance of excesses and gender hierarchy.29 The priority, however, of these parameters over the ritual-religious dimension that a body of religious authority such as the polis or the phratry can shape and express, cannot be taken for granted. On the one hand, after the work of Ph. Ariès (who takes death practices and strategies as ‘deep’ structures) there has been substantial critique of synchronic models which see death rituals as the outcome of other socio-political institutions.30 On the other hand, the historical data preserved about the funerary legislation are important; as Ian Morris has to admit, ‘when our sources say why funerary laws were passed the reasons are always religious rather than political’; still, however, he reverts to a political perspective involving elite and communal symbolism and ideals.31 The persistence in acknowledging the political effects of mortuary practices as primary seems to rest in the conviction (conscious or subconscious) that ritual practices cannot have any serious religious or ideological basis but are simply manipulated for political reasons. A study of the ekphora (especially from the point of view of demosiai and idiai) seems to help in this direction and suggest that the related measures were compatible with tendencies in the larger religious system; the possible forms of the ekphora combine with and highlight wider patterns of the ritual praxis articulating relations and activities in the city (Athens in particular).

Processional honours under the weight of the legislation

  • 32  N. Loraux, The Invention of Athens: The Funeral Oration in the Classical City, trans. A. Sheridan, (...)
  • 33  On the place of prothesis and the route see Loraux, supra, p. 20.
  • 34  As conjectured by Loraux, supra, p. 20.
  • 35  Prominently Loraux, supra, p. 24 who follows Marchant and is followed thereafter by many.
  • 36  ἐπί with accusative never means station; see R. Kühner, Ausführliche Grammatik der griechischen Sp (...)
  • 37  The text of the law talks of female relatives ἐντὸς ἀνεψιαδῶν and allows free access to elderly wo (...)
  • 38  ὀλοφύρομαι, of course, does not necessitate cries and wild gesticulation; in the Classical period (...)

15If the aristocratic model of ekphora and burial had such a prestige that could be considered potentially dangerous for an egalitarian / democratic community and thus had to be controlled, it would be expected that the Athenian polis would assimilate this power and would render it available to its anonymous but publically honoured war dead at the democratically arranged public burials (which were mentioned at the beginning of this paper). The tendency of the democratic polis to appropriate aristocratic values and to render them available to the demos, is well-documented and established.32 In this case the funeral games are also a vestige of older traditions. The public funerary ritual, however, from prothesis to interment does not revert to older patterns of mourning but remains in various respects – and as far as the sources permit us to see – compatible with the legislation. The locus classicus is Thucydides, II, 34, the funeral for the warriors killed in the first year of the Peloponnesian war. The public dimension of the ceremony is reflected in the public setting of the prothesis (probably a place in the Agora) as well as in the route of the procession (most likely through the Agora, crossing the central axis of the city, to the Kerameikos).33 It is most recognizable, however, in the arrangement of the ekphora which the Thucydidean text describes and which reflects – apart from the shared social role of the deceased as warriors – the articulation and unity of the city: the bones of the dead are arranged by tribe and placed collectively in chests of cypress wood; each of the chests is carried by a cart. An appropriately decked empty litter is escorted in the procession for the aphaneis, those whose bodies were unrecovered after battle. The presence of Athenian military regiments escorting the procession34 is not unlikely; they formed the standard προπομπή granted to warriors, alluding also to the generic social feature shared by the dead. Thucydides’ description seems also to follow details of arrangement: the men first, allowed open access to the ceremony, whether citizens or foreigners (ἀστῶν καὶ ξένων ὁ βουλόμενος). The women are mentioned just after the men but their attendance differs; comparably to the situation in the funerary legislation, they are explicitly distinguished in both numbers and stance (καὶ γυναῖκες πάρεισιν αἱ προσήκουσαι ἐπὶ τὸν τάφον ὀλοφυρόμεναι). This differentiation has led modern scholars to question even the presence of women in the ekphora and to assume that the textual reference is to female lamentation at the tomb.35 The narrative, however, makes clear that the author describes the event in chronological sequence (τοιῷδε τρόπῳ): first prothesis, then ekphora, the burial, and finally the epitaphios. It would be absurd either to break the sequence and mention a detail occurring later, or to have the women lament at the graveside when there would be no literal grave, since the ekphora was still in progress. Syntax is also important, since the expression ἐπὶ τὸν τάφον in Thucydides’ text precludes the meaning of station at the tomb.36 In contrast, thus, to the attendance of men which was free (as in the law), the women’s attendance was limited to the relatives of the deceased (αἱ προσήκουσαι), an aspect of arrangement shared with the private ekphora.37 The attitude of women is also differentiated: they were lamenting (ὀλοφυρόμεναι).38

  • 39  Loraux, o.c. (n. 32), p. 44-49, 54.
  • 40  Although lamentations took place after the epitaphios: Lys., 2, 81; Dem., 60, 37.

16It is notable that the public ekphora was primarily a male event featuring magistrates, state officials and military orders of a male society and incorporating only a restricted number of women with a marginal and distinct attitude. Ὀλοφυρμός was not only marginal; in the epitaphioi and the public epigrams, as Loraux amply demonstrates, the οἶκτος and γόος emerge as redundant.39 This feature should be seriously taken under consideration when assessing the cause and effects of the funerary legislation. The public and not private character of the burial does not mean a return to an older model of ekphora. Lamentation and extravagant performances are still restricted and even made redundant. Furthermore, the unity of the polis that the funerary rite seems to promote, does not necessitate a ‘solidarity-in-lamentation’ pattern.40 The older model is not applicable any more and a different set of associations seems to prevail which constructs death positively as a reserve of power for both the individual and the community.

  • 41  Cf. Loraux, o.c. (n. 32), p. 47; Sourvinou-Inwood, o.c. (n. 9), p. 192-195.
  • 42  Cf. Herakl., B 24 Diels-Kranz; in post-Homeric times warriors acquired a supranormal status in con (...)

17The focus on the polis as a source of life for all citizens makes death in its service not a loss but a gain.41 A death which ensures the existence and prosperity of the polis is experienced not as a disruption but as a means to assert life; it is thus associated with life values, life symbolism and life-preserving perspectives: expressions of honour, avoidance or overcoming of grief and the possibility of acquiring and extending benefits even beyond death, in other words, a rewarding eschatology which secures a superior status for the dead42 and the potential for the polis to assimilate and activate this superior power for public benefit.

  • 43  E.g. Marathon dead: Paus., I, 32, 4 (along with the archaeological evidence; cf. E. Kearns, The He (...)
  • 44  The dead had also their festivals and reciprocal benefits were expected from them too (e.g. Aristo (...)

18In the context of such a ‘good’ (positively marked) death pattern heroisation played an important role, and extant sources confirm the heroic status of many of Athens’ war dead.43 If not explicitly heroes, all of them became ἄνδρες ἀγαθοί, all of them received ἐναγίσματα from the polis, along with the heroes (Ath. Pol., 58), and were thus expected to avail the polis;44 as Lysias says, they were honoured by the polis ταῖς αὐταῖς τιμαῖς καὶ τοὺς ἀθανάτους (Lys., 2, 80). Even if this is a rhetorical exaggeration, it reflects the tendency to exalt ritually the status of the war dead and to associate it with the death-opposing realm, the realm of the non-dying gods (ἀ-θανάτους).

  • 45  Sources confirming such tendencies have survived in relation to historical public figures of the t (...)
  • 46  Plato (Laws, 800d) allows the performance of mourning music – εἴ ποτ’ ἄρα δεῖ ... ἐπηκόους γίγνεσθ (...)

19The extreme pole of such attitudes is articulated in Plato’s Laws (947b) in which the ekphora – for those euthynoi who have proved καθαροί – acquires the characteristics of a sacred procession and is explicitly called καθαρεύων (τάφος), alien to any sense of miasma and in approximation to the domain of the divine.45 To this ‘clean’, ‘pollution-free’ funeral Plato contrasts a different type of funeral on which the restrictions of the funerary legislation – as he explicitly says – must be imposed (Laws 960). While retaining, however, prothesis ritual as ‘in the law’ (ἐν τῷ νόμῳ), Plato strengthens prohibitions about the ekphora abolishing τὸν νεκρὸν εἰς τὸ φανερὸν προάγειν τῶν ὁδῶν and demanding that the dead be outside the polis πρὸ ἡμέρας. Θρηνεῖν, φωνὴν ἐξαγγέλλειν and φθέγγεσθαι must also be prohibited. For Plato mourning was explicitly associated with μὴ καθαρεύειν,46 and thus the mourning sight and sound of an ordinary ekphora can be disruptive and potentially polluting; for this reason, such a spectacle must be controled or avoided.

  • 47  See Burkert, o.c. (n. 42), p. 73, 199, 375 n. 2. In Sophokles’ Philoktetes the homonymous hero κατ (...)
  • 48  On this aspect see Chr. Sourvinou-Inwood, ‘Early Sanctuaries, the Eighth Century and Ritual Space: (...)
  • 49  A. Kavoulaki, ‘The Ritual Performance of a Pompê: Aspects and Perspectives’, in A. Serghidou (co-o (...)
  • 50  The sources are abundant; see e.g. Hes., Works and Days, 735; Hdt., 6, 58; Aristoph., Ek., 1033; L (...)
  • 51  In the surviving sources we have explicit testimony for the avoidance of all interaction, even thr (...)
  • 52  See Sourvinou-Inwood, l.c. (n. 8) [1983], p. 48. On this and other points concerning miasma in the (...)
  • 53  Cf. the prescription for καθαρμός of the whole deme if death happens in a public place: [Dem.], 43 (...)

20The closeness of Platonic prohibitions with the known legislative restrictions may suggest that similar concerns about miasma may have also prevailed in the curtailing of the sound effect of the funeral procession in the law. Cries of pain and grief are by definition δύσφημοι, signs of ill omen, and as such they have to be kept apart from any serious business. The condition of εὐφημία was considered necessary in all important undertakings, more so in cultic activities.47 In a community where the political was fused with the sacred, where private ritual could be conducted even at home, and where the communal space itself was interspersed with sacred loci,48 could the δυσφημία of a passing ekphora be tolerated? The sight and sound of a procession in general are twin aspects of its overall effect.49 Through its visual and aural character, the procession makes an appeal to the community for communication and interaction. With respect to the ekphora, potential viewers could be called to respond to the mourning songs, the black garments and, most importantly, to the dead body, the focal point of the whole arrangement. Belief in the dead body as a source of μίασμα was well rooted in Greek tradition.50 Physical contact was the primary channel of pollution, but social contact was also important. Even if viewing the ekphora was not the same as taking actual part in it, the interaction with such a spectacle could well be problematic.51 The total covering of the body (face included), prescribed in the laws of Ioulis and Delphi, seems also to have to do with a concern to prevent any interaction with a physical part of the corpse.52 Spatially, the procession follows the axis which connects the oikos, already polluted, with the tomb through the public space of the community. As mentioned above, the environment plays a vital role in the interaction sought and achieved through the funeral procession and is inseparable from its overall effect. The explicit prescription in the Labyadai inscription against stopping at turnings (LSG, 77, 15-17) may be another attempt to dissociate the life-space of the community from the reality of death, and even perhaps to prevent laying down the coffin (and thus polluting the ground) during performances of lamentations.53

  • 54  Burkert, o.c. (n. 42), p. 202-203; id., Homo Necans: The Anthropology of Ancient Greek Sacrificial (...)

21That at the time of Solon, to whom the Athenian funerary legislation is ascribed, such anxieties about death and miasma could reach extremes and cause serious disruption in communal life (a disruption that the law attempted to avert by creating distinctions and imposing restrictions on death practices) receives support from the information about the Kyloneion agos (Kylon’s pollution), a description preserved in Plutarch’s account of Solon’s beneficiary statemanship and reforms (Plutarch, Sol., 12). The crisis bearing the name of Kylon involved increased superstition and fear of apparitions; for its resolution the Athenians invited Epimenides, a religious reformer, who redressed the religious balance attaching sacrifices to the funeral ceremonies and – as Plutarch says – taking away the harsh and barbaric element of women’s mourning. This pattern of festivity following mourning, Olympian cult succeeding and – to some extent – superseding death cult was established in religious practices to underscore the prevalence of life values and reassert life itself.54 It appears that a crisis which involved an intensification of metaphysical fears was resolved through a religious reform which reasserted the priority of life, and was ultimately conducive to communal, political life, since κοινωνία meant sharing in sacrifice.

  • 55  Cf. S. Mazzarino, Fra Oriente e Occidente. Ricerche di Storia Greca Arcaica, Firenze, 1947, p. 191 (...)
  • 56  Plutarch’s text explicitly mentions Epinenides’ influence on Solon: προωδοποίησεν αὐτῷ τῆς νομοθεσ (...)
  • 57  Characteristic of women in traditional societies as observed by anthropologists (Danforth – Tsiara (...)

22At the same time, Epimenides seems to have set a certain measure to lamentations and for this reason he seemed to have taken away the ‘harsh and barbaric’ manner of female lamentation. ‘Barbaric’ customs were perceived as lacking the correct measure which befits human nature,55 and to redress the balance Epimenides asserted the mortal nature of the recipients of lamentations (in contrast to the superhuman recipients of sacrifices). By urging the correct measure which befits the mortal status of the dead and the need for engagement in sacrifice, i.e. in communal life, Epimenides seems to have shaped dispositions towards death, making people περὶ τὰ πένθη πρᾳοτέρους (Plut., Sol., 12, 5). In Archaic Athens, thus, Epimenides restored the religious balance by contrasting the realm of the dead with the higher order of life symbolised by the Olympian festive sacrifice and by encouraging a rhythm of transition from the state associated with the first to the state associated with the latter.56 It is interesting that centuries later in Gambreion in Asia Minor the funerary legislation (LSA 16, 3rd century B.C.) included a central injunction for women to engage in religious processions after the official period of mourning. The religious and hierarchically arranged order of the cosmos is again addressed in this instance and an equilibrium is sought between overattachement to the dead57 and participation in festive communal life. As in Athens, the balance is worked out in ritual terms.

  • 58  Burkert, o.c. (n. 42), p. 202; Sourvinou-Inwood, l.c. (n. 8) [1981], p. 38 and [1983], p. 46 assoc (...)
  • 59  E.g. [Dem.], 43, 66 (citation of an oracle): θεοῖς Ὀλυμπίοις καὶ Ὀλυμπίαις ... ἥρῳ ... τοῖς ἀποφθι (...)
  • 60  Both modern and ancient ethnography provide examples: see e.g. Hdt., V, 4; R. Huntington, P. Metca (...)
  • 61  On this process cf. also M. Bloch, J. Parry (eds.), Death and the Regeneration of Life, Cambridge, (...)
  • 62  See Burkert, o.c. (n. 42), p. 202; reasserted by S. Scullion, ‘Olympian and Chthonian’, ClAnt 13.1 (...)

23The contrast between different orders of existence which expresses and results in a cosmotheoretical-religious view and which finds (in the Classical period) various expressions such as the purification of Delos58 or the formulation of Delphic oracles,59 seems to pervade and sustain (but be also sustained by) the mode of funerary rituals and especially of the ekphora which is the primary bearer of the tone and character of the funerary practices. The place of death (and the dead) in the wider religious-cosmic order is inseparably connected with the rituals shaping and manifesting it;60 Thus the acceptance of ‘good’ death is worked out through a number of positive associations with a ‘higher’ order of existence, while ordinary death is associated with the experience of miasma.61 However, in the context of funerary practices – it must be stressed – the antithesis is not rigid. The variety of ritual transformations that the ekphora can take suggests that between extreme poles (mainly theoretically suggested as in Plato), the historical reality is ‘a conglomerate’ with various possible grades.62 The funerary legislation may seem to accentuate the difference between the idiai and demosiai funerary practices but it may also work dialectically between the two. The potential impact of the ‘privately’ arranged funeral is undeniable and amply confirmed by the very issuing of the legislation but within certain (prescribed) limits the ‘privately’ arranged ekphora could work as a testing ground for the smooth transition to communal practices and the reassertion of the hierarchy of the cosmos (which secured a place for distinctive, potent dead). The demosiai arranged practices acquired, hence, full significance and effect on the basis of the operation of the ritual on the level of idiai which is not isolated but only hierarchically arranged in the wider system.

  • 63  As a result there appeared gradually efforts to imitate or even usurp the demosiai by individuals (...)
  • 64  I owe sincere thanks to C. Sourvinou-Inwood who was the first to discuss the above ideas with me. (...)

24Death emerges as an inherently ambivalent experience for both the community and the individual, and the characteristics of the death ritual point each time to the prevalent (but probably not sole) aspect. The tendency, however, (supported by the funerary legislation) seems to have been to differentiate along metaphysical boundaries articulated by miasma and according to a hierarchical order of the cosmos in which the realm symbolising life is juxtaposed with the realm of the ordinary dead. Within this context mortuary practices seem to have aimed at asserting life in the face of death, without pretending to ignore or marginalize death. The ekphora in particular, as a ritual with a public impact in all cases, contributed to an ordering of the powers of the world and realms of existence in a way that would benefit the community most, strengthening and manifesting the positive – ‘public’ dimension, while delimiting but not denying the effect of the ‘privately’ arranged ritual. In this process ἰδίᾳ acquires the sense of ordinary (but still considerable) in opposition to the δημοσίᾳ which connotes positive distinction and which seems to stand in a more privileged light.63 It is important to note that these distinctions were worked out within the frame of mortuary rites and not imported from outside, and the results of this evaluating, forming and transforming process may have been felt on many levels.64

Notes

1  F. de Polignac, P. Schmitt-Pantel, ‘Introduction’, Ktèma 23 (1998), p. 13; also p. 7: ‘catégories grecques qui … ne peuvent être enfermées dans les deux concepts rigidement antithétiques de notre terminologie’.

2  The following list includes the works that will be referred to henceforth in the abbreviated form cited: CEG: P.A. Hansen, Carmina epigraphica graeca saeculorum VIII-V a. Chr. n., Berlin / New York, 1983; id., Carmina epigraphica graeca saeculi IV a. Chr. n., Berlin/ New York, 1989; LSA: F. Sokolowski, Lois sacrées de l’Asie Mineure, Paris, 1955; LSG: F. Sokolowski, Lois sacrées des cités grecques, Paris, 1969; LSS: F. Sokolowski, Lois sacrées des cités grecques, supplément, Paris, 1962.

3  Date of monument and inscription 433 B.C. (or differently 375 B.C.); see CEG, 2, p. 3-4.

4  Many examples in CEG; indicatively (from Attica): 25, 35, 50, 57, 96, 97, 530, 534.

5  On ἴδιος, cf. de Polignac, Schmitt-Pantel, l.c. (n. 1) p. 8: ‘… idios qui n’est pas le ‘privé’ au sens où nous l’entendons, mais le rapport de l’unité au tout’; M. Casevitz, ‘Note sur le vocabulaire du privé et du public’, Ktèma 23 (1998), p. 44: ‘l’unité particulière de l’ensemble public’; also A. Fouchard, ‘Dèmosios et dèmos: sur l’État grec’, Ktèma 23 (1998), p. 59-69; cf. also P. Schmitt-Pantel, ‘Collective Activities and the Political in the Greek City’, in O. Murray, S. Price (eds.), The Greek City: from Homer to Alexander, Oxford, 1990, p. 199-214, and especially p. 208.

6  A. Van Gennep, The Rites of Passage, trans. M.B. Vizedom and G.C. Caffee, London and Henley, 1960. Beyond the level of practice, the Greek language also seems to shape and express the perception of death as a transitional experience with expressions such as βέβηκε or οἴχεται (‘has departed’, ‘has gone’ i.e. the deceased).

7  On ritual lament see E. Reiner, Die rituelle Totenklage der Griechen, Stuttgart/Berlin, 1938 and M. Alexiou, The Ritual Lament in Greek Tradition, Second Edition, revised by D. Yatromanolakis and P. Roilos, Lanham/Boulder /New York/Oxford, 20022 (respectively p. 2-7 and 102-108 on terminology).

8  On ancient Greek funerary rites see E. Rohde, Psyche: The Cult of Souls and Belief in Immortality among the Greeks, trans. W.B. Hillis, London, 1925, p. 162-74; M. Andronikos, Totenkult, Göttingen, 1968 (Archaeologia Homerica Band III Kap. W) (Homeric death ritual); D.C. Kurtz, J. Boardman, Greek Burial Customs, London, 1971, p. 142-61; E. Vermeule, Aspects of Death in Early Greek Art and Poetry, Berkeley/Los Angeles/London, 1979, p. 11-23; C. Sourvinou-Inwood, ‘To Die and Enter the House of Hades: Homer, Before and After’, in J. Whaley (ed.), Mirrors of Mortality: Studies in the Social History of Death, London, 1981, p. 15-39 and ead., ‘A Trauma in Flux: Death in the 8th Century and After’, in R. Hägg (ed.), The Greek Renaissance of the Eighth Century B.C.: Tradition and Innovation Proceedings of the Second International Symposium at the Swedish Institute in Athens, 1-5 June, 1981, Stockholm, 1983, p. 33-48; R. Garland, The Greek Way of Death, London 1985, p. 21-37; Alexiou, o.c. (n. 7), p. 4-23 (and bibliographical supplement); see also the bibliography compiled by M. Herfort-Koch, Tod, Totenfürsorge und Jenseitsvorstellungen in der griechischen Antike. Eine Bibliographie, München, 1992. The conservatism of the rites is observable in Byzantine and modern Greek death practices: see (indicatively) Alexiou, o.c. (n. 7); C.N. Seremetakis, The Last Word: Women, Death and Divination in Inner Mani, Chicago, 1991.

9  Early sources tend to emphasize the role of prothesis as almost synonymous with mourning and death; in the Iliad, for example, the prothesis ritual (for Patroklos and Hektor) lasts longer in terms of both the time of narrative and the time of the story. In art the extant prothesis scenes outnumber by far the extant examples of an ekphora; see W. Zschietzschmann, ‘Die Darstellungen der Prothesis in der griechischen Kunst’, MDAI(A) 53 (1928), p. 17-47 (Beil. VIII-XVIII); J. Boardman, ‘Painted Funerary Plaques and Some Remarks on Prothesis’, ABSA 50 (1955), p. 51-66 (pl. 1-8); Kurtz – Boardman, o.c. (n. 8); G. Ahlberg, Prothesis and Ekphora in Greek Geometric Art, Göteborg, 1971; D.C. Kurtz, ‘Vases for the Dead, an Attic Selection’, in H.A.G. Brijder (ed.), Ancient Greek and Related Pottery: Proceedings of the International Vase Symposium Amsterdam 1984, Amsterdam, 1985, p. 314-28; H.A. Shapiro, ‘The Iconography of Mourning in Athenian Art’, AJA 95 (1991), p. 629-56; C. Sourvinou-Inwood, ‘Reading’ Greek Death: To the End of the Classical Period, Oxford, 1995, p. 217 sq. Extant ekphora scenes: three examples on Geometric vases (Ahlberg, supra); clay-model of 7th century B.C. (Kurtz – Boardman, supra, pl. 16); the harnessing of the mule cart on funerary plaques of 6th c. (Exekias series of plaques in Berlin and series of plaques in Brussels, Boardman, supra); (the crude terra-cotta plaque featuring ekphora, published by O. Rayet, Monuments de l’art antique, 2 vols., Paris, 1884, II no. 75, p. 6 and reproduced in Daremberg – Saglio – Pottier, Dictionnaire des antiquités, s.v. ‘funus’, fig. 3341, is probably fake); two black-figure kyathoi found in Italy (Kurtz, supra, p. 321, Shapiro, supra, p. 633); two vases by the Sappho painter (Kurtz – Boardman, supra, pl. 36, 37, 38); no extant red-figure examples. On the relief fragment allegedly depicting a state ekphora cf. R. Stupperich, Staatsbegräbnis und Privatgrabmal im klassischen Athen, Diss. Münster, 1977, p. 29 and id., ‘The Iconography of Athenian State Burials in the Classical Period’, in W.D.E. Coulson et al., The Archaeology of Athens and Attica under Democracy, Proceedings of a conference celebrating 2500 years since the birth of democracy in Greece, held at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, December 4-6 1992, Oxford, 1994, p. 96; as he remarks, it is very small to make any identification secure.

10  The basis for the analysis of death ritual as a rite of passage was laid by Van Gennep, o.c. (n. 6) and R. Hertz, Death and the Right Hand, trans. R. and C. Needham, Aberdeen, 1960. In sum, the dead must be separated from life and undergo processing to join the community of the dead. The bereaved must be separated from the deceased and finally reintegrated into the living. For an important study of the Greek (and especially Homeric) funeral as a rite of passage see Sourvinou-Inwood, l.c. (n. 8).

11  In relation to prothesis the funeral procession may be classified more as a rite of separation; in different categorisations, however, the whole funeral is considered as a liminal period; cf. L.M. Danforth, A. Tsiaras, The Death Rituals of Rural Greece, Princeton, 1982, p. 36 sq. drawing on Hertz, o.c. (n. 10).

12  On γέρας θανόντων cf. R. Garland, ‘Γέρας θανόντων: An Investigation into the Claims of the Homeric Dead’, Ancient Society 15-17 (1984-86), p. 5-22. On the honorific aspect of the funerary rites and their relation to the encomiastic aspect of both the funerary epigram and monument see also J.W. Day, ‘Rituals in Stone: Early Greek Grave Epigrams and Monuments’, JHS 109 (1989), p. 16-28.

13  The series of funerary plaques of the sixth century present a view of prothesis and ekphora as an unbroken chain of ritual events involving family and friends (Boardman, l.c. [n. 9]). Ritual gestures, such as the so-called ‘Prozessiongestus’ (performed in art by long rows of men), are common to both events.

14  See T. Hölscher, Öffentliche Räume in frühen griechischen Städten, Heidelberg, 1999², p. 63 sq.

15  The concrete and actual polis space that a funeral procession would have to traverse in order to reach the nekropolis, the appointed place for burials, can be better grasped with a look at ancient city planning; W. Hoepfner (ed.), Frühe Stadtkulturen. Beiträge aus Spektrum der Wissenschaft, Heidelberg/Berlin/Oxford, 1997 and especially W. Hoepfner, E.-L. Schwandner, Haus und Stadt im klassischen Griechenland, München, 1986 (19942) offer valuable help in this direction; for Athens Travlos’ works are important (J. Travlos, Bildlexikon zur Topographie des antiken Athen, Tübingen, 1971; Bildlexikon zur Topographie des antiken Attika, Tübingen, 1988); on the types of settlements and the location and types of houses see also O. Racham, ‘Ancient Landscapes’, in Murray – Price, o.c. (n. 5), p. 85-112 (especially p. 102 sq.) and M. Jameson, ‘Private Space and the Greek City’, in Murray – Price, o.c. (n. 5), p. 171-198. The use of even private space for the needs of a passing ekphora seeems to have been issued in Gortyn; see below, n. 26.

16  In Patroklos’ ekphora in the Iliad (XXIII, 128-137) the procession induces an enlargement of community involvement in the rites for the dead; the whole Achaean camp participate. It is interesting that after the end of the processional escort and the accompanying lament the masses of the army are dispersed and only those people closely connected stay for the cremation and burial of the bones (Il. XXIII, 155-160). Further examples which emphasize the ekphora as the primary funerary ritual with a public character: CEG, 159; Eur., Alk., 606-746; Aischin., 3, 235; Lys., fr. 4, 3 (cf. Lys., 1); Lykourg., 1, 45, 3; Plut., Sol., 6; Mor., 187b; Chariton, 6. Sources of this kind must have led N. Loraux, Les mères en deuil, Paris, 1990, p. 131, n. 44 to assert that the ekphora constituted the ‘heart of the whole funerary ceremony’.

17  That the tomb was meant to be conspicuous is the basic idea underlying the very terms mnema and sema; but it is often explicitly indicated in the epigrams (CEG, 517, 4: μνημ<ε>ῖον ὁρᾶν τό<δ>ε τοῖς παριο–σιν, cf. CEG, 19, 51). The cemeteries were public places, frequented by members of the community on various occasions (Hölscher, o.c. [n. 14], p. 64-65, 71-72) and they ‘normally lined the roads leading away from the cities’ (I. Morris, s.v. ‘cemetery’ in the Oxford Classical Dictionary³ [1996]).

18  On the religious axes of the city space, see Hölscher, o.c. (n. 14), p. 74-83; for the potential of processions (generally) to unify the poles of the territory see mainly F. de Polignac, Cults, Territory, and the Origins of the Greek City-State, trans. J. Lloyd, Chicago and London, 1995; focusing on Athens: R. Osborne, ‘Archaelogy, the Salaminioi, and the Politics of Sacred Space in Archaic Attica’, in S.E. Alcock, R. Osborne (eds.), Placing the Gods: Sanctuaries and Sacred Space in Ancient Greece, Oxford, 1994; C. Sourvinou-Inwood, ‘Reconstructing Change: Ideology and Ritual at Eleusis’, in M. Golden, P. Toohey (eds.), Inventing Ancient Culture: Historicism, Periodization and the Ancient World, London/New York, 1997; A. Kavoulaki, ‘Processional Performance and the Democratic Polis’, in S. Goldhill, R. Osborne (eds.), Performance Culture and Athenian Democracy, Cambridge, 1999, p. 293-320, especially p. 298 sq.

19  The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary s.v. ‘private’.

20  Similar implications of idios hold in other contexts, too; see Casevitz, l.c. (n. 5).

21  R. Garland., ‘The Well-Ordered Corpse: An Investigation into the Motives behind Greek Funerary Legislation’, BICS 36 (1989), p. 3, is obviously wrong to translate ‘inside, wherever one liked’ and hence to obscure the facts.

22  Apart from [Dem.], 43, 62, the other main sources for the Athenian funerary legislation (which was attributed to Solon) are Cicero, De leg. II, 59-66 and Plut., Sol., 21. In the non-Athenian epigraphically attested legislation the attention to the ekphora (rather than the prothesis) is also conspicuous, as noted by F. Frisone, Leggi e regolamenti funerari nel mondo greco. I. Le fonti epigraphiche, Lecce, 2000, p. 97-168.

23  [Plato], Min., 315c; cf. Etymologicum Magnum s.v. On food offerings for the dead see X. De Schutter, ‘La marmite et la panspermie des morts’, Kernos 9 (1996), p. 333-345.

24  Cicero mentions a maximum of ten tibicines (De leg. II, 59) and Plato mentions hired musicians accompanying the body to the grave and playing what is obscurely referred to as Carian music (Laws, 800e).

25  See, for example, Rohde, o.c. (n. 8), p. 161; R.C.T. Parker, Miasma: Pollution and Purification in Early Greek Religion, Oxford, 1983, p. 36; Garland, l.c. (n. 21), p. 3-4; Shapiro, l.c. (n. 9), p. 641; S.C. Humphreys, The Family, Women and Death: Comparative Studies, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1993, p. 85; R. Seaford, Reciprocity and Ritual: Homer and Tragedy in the Developing City-State, Oxford, 1994, p. 79; E. Fantham et al., Women in the Classical World, Oxford, 1994, p. 46; Alexiou, o.c. (n. 7), p. 17-18.

26  The main pieces of evidence (on non-Athenian laws) are the Labyadai (phratry) inscriptions at Delphi (c. 400 B.C.; LSG 77; SEG 15, 574) and the funerary legislation of the city of Ioulis in Keos (late fifth century; LSG 97, Syll.³ 1218); further epigraphical evidence: IC IV, xxii, 46, 76 (Gortyn); LSA 16 (Gambreion); Syll.³ 1220 (Nisyros). Other indirect evidence: Stob., 44, 40 (Catana); Cic., De leg. II, 66 (Mytilene); Plut., Lyk., 27 and Mor., 238d (Sparta); Diod. Sic., XI, 38 (Syracuse). Some of the above texts also in I. Arnaoutoglou, Ancient Greek Laws: A Sourcebook, London /New York, 1998. For a full presentation of and commentary on the inscriptional evidence see Frisone, o.c. (n. 22).

27  Sourvinou-Inwood, l.c. (n. 8) [1983]; ead., o.c. (n. 9), p. 438-440.

28  J. Baudrillard, L’échange symbolique et la mort, Paris, 1976, especially ch. 5. Cf. also Taylor’s remark that ‘power and authority could not be derived from such symbolic activities if they were not powerful in their own right’: L.J. Taylor, ‘The Uses of Death in Europe’, Anthropological Quarterly 62.4 (1989), p. 154.

29  See (indicatively): on economic parameters L. Gernet, A. Boulanger, Le génie grec dans la religion, Paris, 1932, p. 136-7; on moral standards C. Ampolo, ‘Il lusso della città arcaica’, AION (Arch. e St. Ant.) 6 (1984), p. 71-102; on gender hierarchy G. Holst-Wahrhaft, Dangerous Voices: Women’s Laments and Greek Literature, London, 1992 (her general thesis; but her methodology is shaky).

30  See Ph. Ariès, Western Attitudes toward Death: From the Middle Ages to the Present, trans. P.M. Ranum, London, 1976; Seremetakis, o.c. (n. 8), especially p. 12-15.

31  I. Morris, Death-Ritual and Social Structure in Classical Antiquity, Cambridge, 1992, p. 147; earlier similar views on egalitarian trends, e.g. Hoepfner – Schwander, o.c. (n. 15), p. 256 sq., but the schema seems restricted in many ways and does not account for the legislation in general. The difficulty in such current interpretations is noted by Frisone, o.c. (n. 22), p. 15 sq., 163-174, who acknowledges the religious character of the epigraphically attested funerary legislation and the inextricably linked religious and socio-political balance promoted therein.

32  N. Loraux, The Invention of Athens: The Funeral Oration in the Classical City, trans. A. Sheridan, Cambridge, Mass., 1986, p. 180-202, 217-220, 334-335.

33  On the place of prothesis and the route see Loraux, supra, p. 20.

34  As conjectured by Loraux, supra, p. 20.

35  Prominently Loraux, supra, p. 24 who follows Marchant and is followed thereafter by many.

36  ἐπί with accusative never means station; see R. Kühner, Ausführliche Grammatik der griechischen Sprache II, rev. by B. Gerth, Hannover, 1898-1904³, p. 503-505; E. Schwyzer, Griechische Grammatik. vol. 2: Syntax und syntaktische Stilistik, München, 1950, p. 2, 465-468. J. Rusten, Thucydides: The Peloponnesian War, b. 2, Cambridge, 1989, p. 137 comments correctly on the line, while S. Hornblower, A Commentary on Thucydides I, Oxford, 1991, p. 293 translates wrongly ‘present at the place of burial’.

37  The text of the law talks of female relatives ἐντὸς ἀνεψιαδῶν and allows free access to elderly women ([Dem.], 43, 62).

38  ὀλοφύρομαι, of course, does not necessitate cries and wild gesticulation; in the Classical period it implies grief, pity, regret, complaint; e.g. Thuc., VI, 78; Plato, R., 329a; Lys., 29, 4, etc.

39  Loraux, o.c. (n. 32), p. 44-49, 54.

40  Although lamentations took place after the epitaphios: Lys., 2, 81; Dem., 60, 37.

41  Cf. Loraux, o.c. (n. 32), p. 47; Sourvinou-Inwood, o.c. (n. 9), p. 192-195.

42  Cf. Herakl., B 24 Diels-Kranz; in post-Homeric times warriors acquired a supranormal status in contrast to the infranormal in the Odyssey XI, 38-41; cf. J. Bremmer, The Early Greek Concept of the Soul, Princeton, NJ., 1983, p. 103-105. Eschatological developments and new attitudes towards death (involving increased anxiety and a concern for the fate of the individual) have been proposed as ideological factors connected with the funerary legislation by Sourvinou-Inwood, l.c. (n. 8); o.c. (n. 9) but with earlier roots; cf. W. Burkert, Greek Religion: Archaic and Classical, trans. John Raffan, Oxford, 1985, p. 197-199.

43  E.g. Marathon dead: Paus., I, 32, 4 (along with the archaeological evidence; cf. E. Kearns, The Heroes of Attica, London, 1989 [BICS, Suppl. 57], p. 55 and 183). Plataia dead: Plut., Arist., 21, 3. On the problem concerning the status (heroized or not) of all war dead, cf. Stupperich, o.c. (n. 9), p. 57-71 and l.c. (n. 9), p. 99-100; Loraux,, o.c. (n. 32), p. 39-42; Sourvinou-Inwood, o.c. (n. 9), p. 192-195.

44  The dead had also their festivals and reciprocal benefits were expected from them too (e.g. Aristoph.. Tagenistai, fr. 504, 12-15 Kassel-Austin).

45  Sources confirming such tendencies have survived in relation to historical public figures of the third century B.C., e.g. Aratos the Sikyonian (Plut., Arat., 41: εἰς ἑορτὴν τὸ πένθος μεταβαλόντες) or Philopoimen (Plut., Phil., 31: ἐπινίκιόν τινα πομπὴν ἅμα ταῖς ταφαῖς μείξαντες).

46  Plato (Laws, 800d) allows the performance of mourning music – εἴ ποτ’ ἄρα δεῖ ... ἐπηκόους γίγνεσθαι – ὁπόταν ἡμέραι μὴ καθαραὶ ἀλλ’ ἀποφράδες ὦσι. The immersion of the whole community in a state μὴ καθαρόν makes mourning tolerable.

47  See Burkert, o.c. (n. 42), p. 73, 199, 375 n. 2. In Sophokles’ Philoktetes the homonymous hero κατεῖχ᾿ ἀεὶ πᾶν τὸ στρατόπεδον δυσφημίαις βοῶν, στενάζων, with the result that it became impossible λοιβῆς or θυμάτων προσθιγεῖν (Soph., Ph., 8-11). Plato (Laws, 800c) abolishes all γοωδέσταται ἁρμονίαι, sung by altars during heortai.

48  On this aspect see Chr. Sourvinou-Inwood, ‘Early Sanctuaries, the Eighth Century and Ritual Space: Fragments of a Discourse’, in N. Marinatos, R. Hägg (eds.), Greek Sanctuaries: New Approaches, London, 1993, p. 1-17, especially p. 12-13.

49  A. Kavoulaki, ‘The Ritual Performance of a Pompê: Aspects and Perspectives’, in A. Serghidou (co-ordinator), Δώρημα: A Tribute to the A.G. Leventis Foundation on the Occasion of its 20th Anniversary, Nicosia, 2000, p. 145-58, especially p. 146-148.

50  The sources are abundant; see e.g. Hes., Works and Days, 735; Hdt., 6, 58; Aristoph., Ek., 1033; LSG, 97, 25 sq.; LSG, 77C, 20sq.; [Dem.], 43, 58; Dem., 47, 70, etc. See Sourvinou-Inwood, l.c. (n. 8) [1981], p. 38-40; Parker, o.c. (n. 25), p. 32-73 (most detailed); Garland, o.c. (n. 8), p. 39-47.

51  In the surviving sources we have explicit testimony for the avoidance of all interaction, even through sight, in cases of extreme miasmata; e.g. the keeping of silence and the covering of the head of participants and bystanders in cases of purifications from homicide: Parker, o.c. (n. 25), p. 371 (referring to the inscription of Kyrene and Eur., IT, 951, 1218). There are also δεισιδαιμονίαι related to tombs (Plut., Lyk., 27; Mor. 238d); cf. regarding the location of cemeteries Morris, o.c. (n. 31), p. 26; id., Burial and Ancient Society: The Rise of the Greek City-State, Cambridge, 1987. How should the confrontation with the corpse in transport be evaluated? Explicit testimony that the sight of an ekphora can cause miasma is found in the emperor Julian (Ep., 77 Hertlein).

52  See Sourvinou-Inwood, l.c. (n. 8) [1983], p. 48. On this and other points concerning miasma in the epigraphical sources see also Frisone, o.c. (n. 22), p. 165-170, and passim.

53  Cf. the prescription for καθαρμός of the whole deme if death happens in a public place: [Dem.], 43, 57.

54  Burkert, o.c. (n. 42), p. 202-203; id., Homo Necans: The Anthropology of Ancient Greek Sacrificial Ritual and Myth, trans. P. Bing, Berkeley, p. 83, 93-103 and passim.

55  Cf. S. Mazzarino, Fra Oriente e Occidente. Ricerche di Storia Greca Arcaica, Firenze, 1947, p. 191-252; E. Hall, Inventing the Barbarian: Greek Self-Definition through Tragedy, Oxford, 1989, p. 121-33; for a contrast between Greek and other attitudes see, for example, Plut., Sol., 27, 6.

56  Plutarch’s text explicitly mentions Epinenides’ influence on Solon: προωδοποίησεν αὐτῷ τῆς νομοθεσίας. This has been taken to imply the funerary legislation: Alexiou, o.c. (n. 6), p. 15.

57  Characteristic of women in traditional societies as observed by anthropologists (Danforth – Tsiaras, o.c. [n. 11], p. 133-139); the pattern is associated with female definition of status and identity through personal ties. On the objective of balance cf. also Frisone’s acknowledgement and conclusion mentioned above n. 31.

58  Burkert, o.c. (n. 42), p. 202; Sourvinou-Inwood, l.c. (n. 8) [1981], p. 38 and [1983], p. 46 associating it with a hardening of boundaries. The emphasis on miasma, however, and delineation of boundaries cannot be taken as an expression of ‘repugnance’ and ‘revulsion’ towards death, as Sourvinou-Inwood, l.c. (n. 8) [1983], p. 44, 45, 47 seems to imply. Unintentionally perhaps, her use of terminology similar to Ariès’ description of contemporary Western (‘unfamiliar’) attitudes to death suggests a parallelism and may confuse (Aries, o.c. [n. 30], p. 90 ‘repugnance’, ‘morbid’, p. 93 ‘rejected’, p. 102 ‘repugnance’). The two situations are not comparable. As Parker has shown, emotions behind miasma are hardly recoverable (Parker, o.c. [n. 25], p. 63-73) and ‘funerary pollution is not explained by man’s fear and hatred of death’ (Parker, supra, p. 65). In medieval Greek village communities in which attitudes to death were of the familiar type, the sense of miasma was very strong; an example: νεόνυμφοι – even if close kin – should not participate in funerals (F. Koukoules, Bυζαντινν Bίος κα Πολιτισμός IV, 1951, p. 178).

59  E.g. [Dem.], 43, 66 (citation of an oracle): θεοῖς Ὀλυμπίοις καὶ Ὀλυμπίαις ... ἥρῳ ... τοῖς ἀποφθιμένοις; cf. Plato, Laws, 717a-b: πρῶτον τὰς μετ’ Ὀλυμπίους ... τοῖς χθονίοις ... δεύτερα ... μετὰ θεοὺς δὲ τούσδε καὶ τοῖς δαίμοσι ... ἥρωσι δὲ μετὰ τούτων; ibid., 828c.

60  Both modern and ancient ethnography provide examples: see e.g. Hdt., V, 4; R. Huntington, P. Metcalf, Celebrations of Death. The Anthropology of Mortuary Ritual, Cambridge, 1979, p. 42-43, the example of a Javanese funeral in which abstention from lamentation is explicitly linked with religious beliefs. The acceptance of the order of the cosmos is directly relevant and associated in the sources with funerary practice (and the legislation): cf. Stob., 44, 40 referring to the lawgiver Charondas of Catana; Cic., De leg. II, 66 on Pittakos of Mytilene. In modern times the stance of the Orthodox Church towards lamentation (cf. Alexiou, o.c. [n. 7], p. 24-35, 49-51; Seremetakis, o.c. [n. 8]) seems also to have to do with an order of things upheld by God.

61  On this process cf. also M. Bloch, J. Parry (eds.), Death and the Regeneration of Life, Cambridge, 1982, p. 17-18. In the context of Greek practices, G. Ekroth, The Sacrificial Rituals of the Greek Hero-Cults, Liège, 2002 (Kernos, suppl. 12), has also shown that in terms of ritual (in particular sacrifice) the distinctive heroic dead are associated with the ‘higher’ order of the gods.

62  See Burkert, o.c. (n. 42), p. 202; reasserted by S. Scullion, ‘Olympian and Chthonian’, ClAnt 13.1 (1994), p. 75-119, with emphasis on the double and ambivalent character of various suprahuman figures. Ekroth (supra [n. 61]) questions the applicability of the conventional Olympian/Chthonian dichotomy and challenges the categorisation of heroic cults as chthonian (converging with various points made also here). Variations of the ekphora could be also related to the degree of observance of the legislation after its issuing; a loosening of attention is generally assumed (e.g. Kurtz – Boardman, o.c. [n. 8], p. 121 sq.; general reservations on strict observance: Alexiou, o.c. (n. 7), p. 22 sq.; Humphreys, o.c. (n. 25), p. 118-122; H.P. Foley, ‘The Politics of Tragic Lamentation’, in A.H. Sommerstein et al., Tragedy, Comedy and the Polis. Papers from the Greek Drama Conference, Nottingham 18-20 July 1990, Bari, 1993, p. 106; but these variations, which show how contestable the field of death was, illustrate better the need for an intervention which would set the basic religious frame.

63  As a result there appeared gradually efforts to imitate or even usurp the demosiai by individuals in the death context (Morris, o.c. [n. 31], p. 142 sq.) and in different contexts (e.g. [Andok.], 4, 29, cf. Plut., Alk., 13, 3 regarding Alkibiades).

64  I owe sincere thanks to C. Sourvinou-Inwood who was the first to discuss the above ideas with me. I would also like to thank A. Gartziou-Tatti, V. Pirenne-Delforge and M. Piérart for their invitation to the CIERGA conference, as well as the audience in Fribourg. I would like to dedicate this paper in memory of Stelios Konstantinidis, φιλτάτη κεφαλή, ‘gone’ unexpectedly while I was preparing it, and to the abbess and nuns of Chrisopigi (Chania) for their engagement in the cause of the protection of the environment.

Auteur

University of Crete
Department of Philology
Gallos
GR – 74100 Rethymnon

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