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p450 Elaphebolia

Article by Leonhard Schmitz, Ph.D., F.R.S.E., Rector of the High School of Edinburgh
on p450 of

William Smith, D.C.L., LL.D.:
A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, John Murray, London, 1875.

ELAPHEBO′LIA (ἐλαφηβόλια), the greatest festival in the town of Hyampolis, in Phocis, which was celebrated in honour of Artemis, in commemoration, it is said, of a victory which its inhabitants had gained over the Thessalians, who had ravaged the country and reduced the Phocians in the neighbourhood of the town nearly to the last extremity (Plut. De Mul. Virt. p267; Paus. X.35 § 4). The only particular which we know of its celebration is, that a peculiar kind of cake (ἔλαφος) was made on the occasion (Athen. XV p646). These cakes were, as their name indicates, probably made in the shape of a stag or deer, and offered to the goddess. The festival of the elaphebolia was also celebrated in many other parts of Greece, but no particulars are known (Etym. Magn. s.v. Ἐλαφηβολιών).


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