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p962 Prometheia

Article by Leonhard Schmitz, Ph.D., F.R.S.E., Rector of the High School of Edinburgh
on p962‑963 of

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

PROMETHEIA (προμήθεια), a festival celebrated at Athens in honour of Prometheus (Xenoph. de Re Publ. Ath. 3 § 4; Harpocrat. s.v. Λαμπάς). The time at which it was solemnised is not known, but it was one of the five Attic festivals, p963which were held with a torch-race in the Ceramicus (Harpocrat l.c.; Schol. ad Aristoph. Ran. 131; comp. Lampadephoria), for which the gymnasiarchs had to supply the youths from the gymnasia. Prometheus himself was believed to have instituted this torch-race, whence he was called the torch-bearer (Hygin. Poet. Astr. II.15; Eurip. Phoeniss. 1139; Philostrat. Vit. Sophist. II.20). The torch-race of the Prometheia commenced at the so‑called altar of Prometheus in the academia (Paus. I.30 § 2; Schol. ad Soph. Oed. Col. 53), or in the Ceramicus, and thence the youths with their torches raced to the city (Welcker, Die Aeschyl. Trilog. p120, &c.).


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