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The vocabulary of ἀπάρχεσθαι, ἀπαρχή and related terms in Archaic and Classical Greece*

Theodora Suk Fong Jim
p. 39-58

Résumés

Alors que le vocabulaire du sacrifice a fait l’objet d’études détaillées, les termes désignant les offrandes votives en Grèce ancienne souffrent toujours de l’absence d’enquête sémantique spécifique. Il s’agit ici d’étudier un type particulier d’offrandes, à savoir les offrandes de prémices, en Grèce archaïque et classique. Il était habituel en différents lieux du monde grec, tant pour les individus que les cités, d’apporter aux dieux une offrande appelée ἀπαρχή, en prélevant une partie des bénéfices issus de diverses activités humaines. Cette action était désignée par le verbe ἀπάρχεσθαι. Le terme ne se limite pas à l’action dédicatoire. Il est aussi utilisé dans des procédures sacrificielles et des paiements cultuels. Cette étude entend fournir une analyse sémantique de ces termes, en examinant leurs applications religieuses dans différents contextes. Il apparaît que les valeurs attachées à la notion d’ἀπάρχεσθαι doivent être distinguées selon qu’il s’agit du cadre des sacrifices, de l’offrande de prémices et du financement des cultes. Il est particulièrement intéressant de distinguer ainsi les manières dont ces termes se recouvrent ou se différencient les uns des autres dans l’usage qui en est fait.

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Introduction

  • *  I am most grateful to Prof. Robert Parker for helpful comments on an earlier version of this artic (...)

1Offering of aparchai, sometimes known as ‘first-fruits’ in English, is a religious practice widely attested in different parts of the Greek world from the Archaic period onwards. Etymologically speaking an aparche (ap-arche) is a combination of ἀπό and ἄρχω, expressing ‘a preliminary offering from a greater whole’. It was customary for the Greeks, whether on an individual or collective basis, to bring an aparche to the gods using a portion of the proceeds from a wide variety of human activities, such as agriculture, fishing, handcraft work, trade, military victory and mining. Since aparchai might be offered from a wide variety of sources, the English word ‘first-fruits’ with its agricultural connotation is potentially misleading; and aparchai are more appropriately understood as ‘first offerings’ instead. Although the bulk of the evidence pertaining to first offerings concerns dedications, dedicatory practices represent only one of the several contexts in which the language of ‘first offerings’ is used. The act of ἀπάρχεσθαιcould also apply to animal sacrifice to denote certain preliminary rites, but with rather different forces. Different again is sacred finance, where cult payments required of certain individuals or groups of individuals are some­times called aparchai or eparchai, and the act of making such payments is referred to as aparchesthai or eparchesthai.

  • 2  See Rouse (1902), Beer (1914), Van Straten (1981), p. 92-93, Parker (2004), p. 275.
  • 3  E.g. Eur., Andr., 149-150 (οὐ τῶν Ἀχιλλέως οὐδὲ Πηλέως ἀπὸ δόμων ἀπαρχάς), Pl., Prt., 343b (ἀπαρχὴ (...)

2In other words, the vocabularies of ‘first offerings’ and ‘beginning an offering’ are used in different contexts with slightly varying notions and emphases. I am here concerned with the various religious applications of the words aparche, aparchesthai and etymologically related terms (eparche, eparchesthai, katarchesthai, apargma) in inscriptional and literary evidence in Archaic and Classical Greece. Alongside aparchai, there are also dedications termed dekatai and akrothinia whose usages overlap with those of aparchai; but these are not etymologically related and will not be discussed here.2 Metaphoric applications of the words will not be discussed.3 Since there is no identifiable difference in meaning and usage between the applications of these words in epigraphic and literary sources, the two will be treated together. Nor is there any distinction between their attestations in poetry and prose, except that all Homeric usages concern animal sacrifice only, and that Homer uses eparchesthai to express a different ritual from that referred to in the later periods. For this reason Homeric usages and later Greek usages will be treated separately.

1. Homeric Usages

3The term aparche does not appear in Homer. Homer uses the verbs aparchesthai, katarchesthai, eparchesthai, and the noun argmata. All of them appear in sacrifi­cial rather than dedicatory contexts.

ἀπάρχεσθαι

  • 4  Hom., Od. ΙΙΙ, 446; ΧΙV, 422.
  • 5 Theophr., Piet., fr. 2, 26-28 Pötscher = Porph., Abst. II, 6,1 thus explains why barley grains were (...)
  • 6  Hom., Od. II, 443-465.
  • 7  Hom., Od. XIV, 414-424.
  • 8  Hom., Il. XIX, 252-255.
  • 9 Cf. Hom., Il. III, 273-274, an oath sacrifice where the hair was portioned out to the participants (...)

4The word aparchesthai is first attested in Homeric sacrifices to refer to the opening sacrificial rite of cutting some of the sacrificial animal’s hair as a first offering to be burnt in the fire to a god. It appears twice in Homer in the sacrifices by Nestor and Eumaeus respectively.4 When Nestor realizes that it was Athena who accompanied Telemachus, he propitiates the goddess by sacrificing a heifer. Nestor begins the opening rites of hand-washing and sprinkling barley grains on the victim’s head.5 He prays to Athena, cuts some hair from the victim’s head and casts it into the fire, and this act is described by the participle παρχ­μενος (γρων δ’ ππηλτα Νστωρ χρνιβ τ’ ολοχτας τε κατρχετο, πολλ δ’ θν εχετ’ παρχμενος, κεφαλς τρχας ἐν πυρ βλλων).6 I will return to the other verb katarchesthai in this passage later. Similar rituals, described in more or less the same formula, are found in Eumaeus’ sacrifice. A five-year old boar is brought in to honour his guest (Odysseus in disguise); Eumaeus brings it to the hearth, cuts off some of its hair, and casts it into the fire (ἀλλ’ ὅ γ’ ἀπαρχόμενος κεφαλῆς τρίχας ἐν πυρὶ βάλλεν ἀργιόδοντος ὑός), praying to all the gods for the safe return of his master.7 In both passages aparchesthai refers to the preliminary ritual of cutting some of the animal’s hair, to be cast in the fire, before it is slaughtered. Again in Book ΧΙΧ of the Iliad, when Agamemnon swears to Zeus that he never laid hand on the girl Briseïs, he cuts some of the sacrificial boar’s hair as a first offering (κπρου ἀπὸ τρχας ἀρξμενος).8 Here we find the verb archesthai modified byapoused adverbially. There is no mention of the treatment of the hair, and we do not know whether it is cast in the fire or distributed to the participants as has been suggested by some scholars.9

  • 10  Hom., Od. XIV, 427-429.
  • 11  On the word omothetein, see LSJ s.v. ὠμοθετέω, Lupu (2003), p. 74. Etymologically it is derived fr (...)

5In one instance Homer uses the word archesthai without apo in the same religious sense as aparchesthai. It applies to the cutting of bits of raw flesh (instead of hair) from the sacrificial animal as first offerings to the gods. To continue with Eumaeus’ sacrifice, after casting the boar’s hair into the fire and saying a prayer, Eumaeus slaughters and quarters the animal with the help of the others. Then he takes bits of raw meat from all the limbs and lays them in rich fat ( δ’ μοθετετο συβτης, πάντων ρχόμενος μελέων, ἐς πίονα δημόν), sprinkles them withbarley-meal and casts them into the fire (κα τ μν ν πυρ βλλε, παλνας ἀλφτου κτ).10Archesthai here expresses the action of ‘offering part of a whole (the limbs)’, whereas omothetein is used of laying the raw pieces resulting from this archesthai on the rich fat.11 It is evident from this passage that, apart from the victim’s hair, first offerings can be taken from the flesh as well in Homeric sacrifice. Whether the act applies to the animal’s hair or flesh, in both usages the word (ap-)archesthai carries the same idea of offering ‘part of the whole’ to the gods.

ἄργματα

  • 12  Hesch., s.v. ἄργματα; Etym. Magn., s.v. ἄργμα· Ἡ ἀπαρχή. Παρὰ τὸ ἄρχω, ἄργμα, ὡς παρὰ τὸ ἦρμαι, ἄρ (...)
  • 13  Hom., Od. XIV, 435-436. I understand θῆκεν (τίθημι) as ‘set aside’ as most commentators do. But no (...)
  • 14  Hom., Od. XIV, 446-448.
  • 15  Monro (1901), vol. 2, p. 40, Dawe (1993), think that they refer to the flesh of the limbs in line (...)

6It is important to note that the victim’s hair and portions of its flesh for the gods were never expressed by the noun aparche/ai in Homer. In one passage where the preliminary offerings of the meat are referred to, Homer uses a differ­ent but related word argmata. This is a cognate noun of archein and a synonym of apargmata and aparchai in later Greek; and lexicographers are more or less consis­tent in equating argmata with aparchai.12 However, the word argmata appears only once in Homer in Eumaeus’ sacrifice and the reference is uncertain: after bits of raw meat are taken from the limbs and burnt in the fire, the rest of the meat is sliced up, roasted on spits, and divided into seven portions, one portion being set aside for the Nymphs and Hermes with a prayer while the rest is distributed to himself and his guests (τν μν αν Νμφσι καὶ Ἑρμ, Μαιδος υἱεῖ, θκεν πευξμενος, τς δ’ λλας νεμεν κστ).13 In distributing the cooked portions to everyone, Eumaeus honours Odysseus with the chine of the boar, and he sacrifices ἄργματα to the everlasting gods and makes libations: καὶ ἄργματα θῦσε θεοῖσ’ αἰειγενέτῃσι, σπείσας δ’ αἴθοπα οἶνον Ὀδυσσῆϊ πτολιπόρθῳ ἐν χείρεσσιν ἔθηκεν.14 Much controversy centers on the word ἄργματα in line 446: it is uncer­tain whether they refer to the preliminary portions of flesh from the limbs burnt in the fire (line 428) or the share for the Nymphs and Hermes (lines 435-436) or something else.15 It seems to me, following the natural sequence of the proce­dures, that the portion in line 435 is more likely to be meant since the portion in 428 has already been burnt. There is nothing that prevents the portion deposited on the table (θκεν, line 435) from being burnt in the fire (ἄργματα θῦσε, line 466) subsequently. Whatever the argmata might be, the word argmata is evidently a synonym of aparchai (not used in Homer), referring to the first portions of sacri­ficial flesh for the gods.

7It is noteworthy that more than one set of first offerings are made in different stages of Eumaeus’ actions using different parts of the victim and described in slightly different terminologies: the first portion of the victim’s hair (aparchesthai), first portions of flesh from all its limbs (archesthai), and first portions (argmata) of cooked meat. All of them, regardless of the different portions involved, share the same meaning of a preliminary portion of the whole.

κατάρχεσθαι

  • 16  LSJ, s.v. κατάρχω. II.2
  • 17  Hom., Od. III, 444-446.
  • 18  Confirmed by the interpretation of Stanford (1958-9 [1947-8]), vol. 1, p. 264-265.

8From Homer onwards the compound word κατάρχεσθαι refers to various preliminary rituals at the beginning of an animal sacrifice, meaning to ‘begin the sacrificial ceremonies’.16 The term appears only once in Homer: in the passage cited earlier, Nestor begins the opening rites with the lustral water and barley grains for sprinkling (on the victim’s head); he prays to Athena, while cutting the hair from the victim’s head as a first offering and casting it into the fire.17 Homer seems to distinguish between katarchesthai and aparchesthai, using the former with respect to the rites of hand-washing and sprinkling of barley and the latter for cutting the victim’s hair.18 As will become apparent in the next section, in post-Homeric usages it is not always clear what procedures are com­prised in katarchesthai. However, as far as the present (and only) Homeric passage is concerned, the term is restricted to the use of lustral water (χέρνιψ) and barley grains (οὐλοχύται or οὐλαί) but not the cutting of the lock.

2. Post-Homeric Usages

ἀπάρχεσθαι

  • 19 E.g. LSAM 50, 23-25 (ἀπὸ τῶν ἀριστερῶν ἀπαρξάμενοι), Hdt., IV, 188 (τοῦ ὠτὸς ἀπάρξωνται τοῦ κτήνεος(...)
  • 20  On the usual treatment of the splanchna in Greek sacrifice, see e.g. Van Straten (1995), p. 131-13 (...)
  • 21  Hdt., IV, 61, 2.
  • 22 LSCG 151D, 11-13, RO 62D, 11-13, IG ΧΙΙ 4, 275, 11-13. Some of the supplements in Herzog (1928), RO (...)

9After Homer, aparchesthai continued to denote the sacrificial rite of taking some of the animal’s hair or flesh as first portions for the gods.19 But it is worth noting that the act of aparchesthai can also apply to the animal’s entrails.20 This is how Herodotus describes the Scythian sacrificial rites: since there was no wood in Scythia with which to make a fire, the Scythians strangled and skinned the animal; then they made a fire by using its bones and they boiled the flesh in the animal’s paunch. When the meat was cooked, the sacrificer took portions of the flesh and entrails of the animal and threw them in front (ὁ θύσας τῶν κρεῶν καὶ τῶν σπλάγχνων ἀπαρξάμενος ῥίπτει ἐς τὸ ἔμπροσθε). Here the scene is Scythian but the terminology is Greek; and the act of aparchesthai applies to both the flesh and the splanchna.21 A fourth-century sacrificial calendar in Cos also has a possible but uncertain reference to first offerings of entrails.22 One of its regulations concerns the sacrificial portions for Asia:

[- - - - - - - - - - - θ]ύοντι δὲ δύο θυνας ποιήσαντε[ς]

[ἴσας τῶν τε κρεῶν] αὶ τῶν σπλάγχνων, καὶ τὰς θυ-

10

[ώνας τίθεντι ἐπὶ β]μοῦ· ὁπεῖ δὲ τᾶι Ἀσίαι ἐπιτίθεν[̣τι]

[- - - - - - - - - - - -]ρ̣ξάμενοι καὶ τῶν σπλάγχνω[ν]

[- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -] κ̣αὶ τοῦ λίθου τοῦἐν ταῖς ἐλα̣[ίαις]

[ἁψάμενοι ὄμνθντι· - -]

  • 23  Herzog (1928), p. 12-14, adopted in LSCG 151D, 12, RO 62D, 12, and IG XII 4, 275, 12. Herzog quote (...)

10Unfortunately the fragmentary nature of the text makes it difficult to ascertain the construction of lines 11-13 which concern us here. Line 12 is supplemented by Herzogand the recently published IG XII 4 as ἐπα]ρ̣ξάμενοι καὶ τῶν σπλάγχνω[ν]. This is untenable as the words eparchai and eparchesthai never apply to sacrificial practices in Classical usages on the evidence presently available (see below). More recently Pirenne-Delforge has suggested κατα]ρξάμενοι instead of ἐπα]ρ̣ξάμενοι; yet the difficulty is that katarchesthai always refers to the pre-killing stage in animal sacrifices and therefore cannot apply to entrails.23 If it is correct to take τῶν σπλάγχνω[ν] as being governed by the preceding verb ending in –ρ̣ξάμενοι, the most likely supplement would be πα]ρ̣ξάμενοι. The Herodotean passage and possibly the Coan calendar demonstrate that, despite the difference in the part (hair, flesh, splanchna) of the victim from which the first offerings were taken, the act of aparchesthai continued to refer to offering ‘part of a whole’ in sacrificial rites as in Homeric usage.

  • 24  On human hair-offering see Burkert (1985 [1977]),p.70, 374, n. 29, Leitao (2003).
  • 25  Eur., El., 91. Instances where the term does not appear are e.g. Eur., IA, 1437; Eur., Supp., 97; (...)
  • 26  E.g. Hom., Il. XIII, 135-152.
  • 27 E.g. Callim., Hymn 4, 296-299, Plut., Thes., 5, 1, Paus., I, 43, 4. There is no Classical usage of (...)
  • 28  The ritual has been variously interpreted and there is no authoritative explanation: e.g. Pearson (...)

11The offering of hair by humans on various occasions is also referred to by the term aparchesthai.24 In rituals of mourning it was customary to cut a lock(s) of hair and place it upon the corpse or the grave; this act is referred to by the word aparchesthai. Electra, for example, sheds tears and cuts some hair (δάκρυά τ’ ἔδωκα καὶ κόμης ἀπηρξάμην) at Agamemnon’s tomb in mourning for him.25 The custom is already attested in the Iliad, but Homer does not use the term.26 Funeral hair-cutting aside, the word also applies to hair-offering in rites of maturation: on attaining manhood or womanhood boys and girls would cut a lock(s) of their hair and dedicate it to some deity or a river.27 The offering of hair by humans in both contexts intersects with the practice of cutting a sacrificial animal’s hair before killing the animal, as if cutting the hair of humans is an act of aparchesthai of the self. However, in contrast to animal sacrifice where the cutting of hair anticipates the slaughter and the offering of the whole animal, in hair-offering by humans the person is not sacrificed. The hair offered may be considered as a token offering, symbolizing or replacing the offering of the whole person.28

  • 29  Also noted by Jameson (1949), p. 75.
  • 30  E.g. Theophr., Piet., fr. 12, 42-49; 13, 15-22; 19, 3-7 Pötscher = Porph., Abst. II, 24, 1; 27, 1; (...)
  • 31  Theophr., Piet., fr. 12, 43-48 Pötscher = Porph., Abst. II, 24, 1.
  • 32  Theophr., Piet., fr. 13, 15-22 Pötscher = Porph., Abst. II, 27, 1.

12It is worth mentioning that Theophrastus’ usage of the word aparchesthai in the De Pietate, later quoted in Book two of Porphyry’s De Abstinentia, differs from ordinary Greek usages.29 In several instances Theophrastus uses aparchesthai to express the whole act of sacrifice (whether plants or animals) in general without reference to any specific preliminary sacrificial procedures, so that there is a blurring of meaning between aparchesthai and thuein.30 For example, he says that offerings should be made to the gods by reason of honour, gratitude and for want of good things, so that κα τν ζων, εἰ ἀπαρκτέον ατ θεος, τούτων τινς νεκα θυτέον. Here ἀπάρχεσθαι τν ζων is essentially the same as θύειν τὰ ζῷα, meaning ‘if animals should be offered to the gods, they should be sacrificed for one of these reasons’.31 When he condemns human sacrifice, he speaks of σφν ατν πήρξαντο τος θεος, meaning not ‘making first offerings of themselves’ but ‘making sacrifice from among themselves’.32 This identification of aparchesthai with thuein is perhaps deliberate, since Porphyry deplores animal sacrifice as unholy and elevates agricultural first-fruits and bloodless offerings above animal sacrifice.

ἀπαρχή

  • 33  Hdt., I, 92; IV, 71; IV, 88.
  • 34  E.g. LSJ, s.v. ἀπαρχή, 2: ‘firstlings for sacrifice or offering, first-fruits’.
  • 35  E.g. Eur., Meleager, fr. 516.
  • 36  E.g. IG I3 828 (ἀπαρχὴ ἄγρας); Arr., Cyn., 33 (ἀπαρχαὶ τῶν ἁλισκομένων); Anth. Pal. VI, 196 (ἀπαρχ (...)
  • 37 E.g. Eur., Or., 96 (ἀπαρχαὶ κόμης); Eur., Phoen., 1524-1525 (ἀπο χαίτας ἀπαρχαί).
  • 38  E.g. Soph., Trach., 183 (μάχης ἀπαρχαί), 761 (λείας ἀπαρχή).
  • 39  E.g. IG I3 628 (ἔργον ἀπαρχή), 695 (ἔργον ἀπαρχή); IG XI 4, 1248 (ἀπαρχή ἀπὸ τῆς ἐργασίας). There (...)
  • 40  E.g. IG I3 647 (ἀπαρχὴ κτ[εά]νον); IG II2 3846 (χρήμ[ατα] ἀπαρχή), 4904 (χρημ[άτων] ἀπαρχή).
  • 41  Snodgrass (1989-90), p. 291.
  • 42  E.g. IG I3 730 (κτεάνον μοῖραν ἀπαρχσάμενος), IG II2 4320 ([τέχνης] οἰκέας ἔρνος ἀπαρξάμ[ενος]), 4 (...)

13The earliest literary attestation of the noun aparche is in Herodotus, who uses aparche/ai three times in dedicatory contexts.33 As mentioned at the beginning, although the word aparchai has often been translated by modern commentators as ‘first-fruits’ in English,34 etymologically it has no reference to agriculture and is more appropriately understood as ‘first-offerings’ instead. Aparchai might be dedicated of agricultural produce,35 of hunting and (sale of) animals,36 of hair,37 of booty,38 of earnings from work,39 of wealth,40 and of proceeds from any other enterprise. The offerings might be ‘raw’ or ‘converted’: according to Snodgrass’ definition, a ‘raw’ dedication is an existing object normally intended for other usages, such as a weapon and a jumping weight; by contrast, a ‘converted’ dedication involves the conversion of a part of one’s wealth into an object (such as a statue or statuette) produced for the specific purpose of dedication.41 Its cognate verb aparchesthai, apart from sacrificial usages discussed above, is also used in dedicatory practices to refer to the act of making a first offering to the gods using a part of a greater whole. It is sometimes accompanied by a qualifying genitive expressing the source from which the dedication is made.42

  • 43  Eur., Meleager, fr. 516. The fact that Oeneus’ first offerings most probably consisted of animal s (...)
  • 44  Soph., Trach., 760-762.
  • 45  Engelmann ap. Schuler (2007), p. 134-135.
  • 46  The suggestion in Engelmann ap. Schuler (2007), p. 135, ‘die glatte Flache am Unterleib der Tiere’ (...)

14Although aparche is most commonly used for dedications, in isolated instances the word also applies to sacrifice. In Euripides’ lost play Meleager, whose subject is the fate of Oeneus’ first wife Althaea and their son Meleager resulting from Oeneus’ failure to offer aparchai of his harvest to Artemis, his action to the gods (save Artemis) is referred to as θύειν ἀπαρχάς (Οἰνεύς ποτ’ ἐκ γῆς πολύ­μετρον λαβὼν στάχυν θύων ἀπαρχάς), which shows that the offering of aparchai is closely related to sacrifice.43 In Soph. Trach., Heracles offers a literal heca­tomb to the gods, a grand sacrifice of a hundred victims consisting of a mixed herd of perhaps oxen, goats and sheep, of which twelve bulls are killed first as ἀπαρχὴ λείας (ταυροκτονεῖ μὲν δώδεκ᾿ ἐντελεῖς ἔχων λείας ἀπαρχὴν βοῦς· ἀτὰρ τὰ πάνθ᾿ ὁμοῦ ἑκατὸν προσῆγε συμμιγῆ βοσκήματα).44 Here the aparche takes the form of twelve bulls in a blood sacrifice. The word aparche may be understood in two senses here: the twelve bulls are the choicest and the first ones to be sacrificed to the gods among the one hundred animals; they also represent a portion of the revenue derived from Heracles’ military enterprise. In both instances the word aparche refers to the sacrifice offered using a part of a greater source of revenue, but not the part of the victims offered to the gods. There is no Classical example of aparche expressing the first portion of sacrificial victims set aside for the gods.The only available example in which the word aparche possibly refers to a portion of sacrificial flesh is a newly published lex sacra from the city of Patara in Lycia in the Hellenistic period, which requires worshippers who sacrifice to make an aparche from each animal to the priest: τοὺς θύοντας | Διὶ Λαβραύνδωι | ἤ τῶν ἐντεμενίων θεῶν τινι | διδόναι τῶι ἱερεῖ ἀπαρχὴν | ἀφ’ ἑκάστου ἱερε<ί>ου πλάτα ἴσον.45 However, it is uncertain what the obscure phrase πλάτα ἴσον means;46 the inscription is post Classical and its usage of the word aparche is untypical. In any case, the custom here is different from the customary practice of taking a preliminary portion of hair or flesh to the gods denoted by the act of aparchesthai, as this Hellenistic lex sacra concerns priestly perquisites rather than the traditional portion for the gods (see n. 58 below). The use of the word aparche in relation to contributions to participation in a ritual (here a sacrifice) is a different application in another phenomenon to which I will return at the end. Meanwhile it should be reiterated that there is no Classical example of the word aparchai being used to describe the first portions of sacrificial victims offered to the gods.

  • 47  This is neglected by LSJ, s.v. ἀπαρχή.
  • 48 IG II2 1939 = 4339; Parker (2004), p. 275.
  • 49  E.g. IG I3 526, 531, 547, 559, 566, 680, 696, 702, 731, 740, 834, 848, 872.

15Sometimes where there is no specification of the origin of an aparche (or its synonyms) by a qualifying genitive, the idea of a portion is less obvious and the word may resemble an ‘offering’ or anathema.47 A fourth-century aparche dedicated by one Bacchios for being ‘crowned by his association (thiasotai)’ seems to be simply a dedication: Β]χχιος τι θην[ι]| τεῖ Ὀργνηι παρχν | νθηκεν στεφανω|θες π τν θιασωτν.48 There are many other examples where the word aparche is used without a genitive.49 However, in the lack of contextual information (unlike in Bacchios’ case), it is difficult to know whether the aparche is a first offering or simply an offering without a partial sense; and we cannot rule out the possibility that a genitive is implied and not made explicit.

ἀπάργματα

  • 50  The singular apargma is used in e.g. I. Histriae 101 (see n. 61 below).
  • 51 IGASMG I2 no. 53bis; SEG 43, 630; NGSL 27A. A full commentary is provided by Jameson, Jordan and Ko (...)
  • 52  On trapezomata, see Gill (1974).
  • 53  Here I follow Lupu’s interpretation of the rituals entailed: see his commentary on NGSL 27A. James (...)

16While Homer uses argmata, in the Classical period we find apargmata instead of argmata. The word apargmata is used mostly in the plural50 in the same sense as, though much less frequently than, aparchai. We have seen that Homer uses the word argmata in sacrifice only, but in Classical usages apargmata can refer to both sacrificial and dedicatory practices. An example of the former may be found in the fifth-century lex sacra from Selinus. The inscription stipulates that, for the pure Tritopatores as to the gods, a table and a couch are laid on which are placed olive wreaths, honey mixture in new cups, cakes, and meat. First portions are taken from these (cakes and meat) and placed on the altar where they are burnt together with the cups (πλάσματα καὶ κρᾶ κἀπαρξάμενοι κατακαάντο καὶ καταλινάντο τ̣ὰς ποτερίδας ἐνθέντες, lines 15-16). For Zeus Meilichios, worshippers are to set out a table, take out the public hiara, and burn the thigh, the apargmata from the table, and the bones of a ram (προθύμεν καὶ ϙολέαν καὶ τἀπὸ τᾶς τραπέζας: ἀπάργματα καὶ τὀστέα κα[τα]κᾶαι, line 19).51 We have here a theoxenia where food and drink are set on a table before images of the gods. The rituals of aparchesthai in lines 15-16 and taking apargmata in line 19 are very likely to be related. Both seem to involve taking samplings of the food on the table52 and burning them as first offerings to the gods before the rest is consumed.53

  • 54  Ar., Pax, 1056.
  • 55 ΣAr., Pax, 1056. cf. Hsch. s.v. θευμορία·ἀπαρχή. θυσία. ἢ ὃ λαμβάνουσιν οἱἱερεῖς κρέας, ἐπειδὰν θ (...)
  • 56  Sommerstein (1985), p. 183, Olson (1998), p. 270. See also Van Straten (1995), p. 122: ‘[Hierokles (...)
  • 57  Hom., Od. XIV, 446; Olson (1998), p. 270, thinks that the apargmata involve ‘the god’s share of th (...)
  • 58  The only available piece of evidence which possibly speaks of first portions of sacrificial victim (...)
  • 59  E.g. IG II2 1356, 1359, 1363; LSAM 24A; IG V 1, 1390; IG XII 7, 237; SEG 35, 113. On priestly prer (...)
  • 60  Ar., Pax, 1099-1121. See also Ar., Av., 975-976.

17The only appearance of the word in Classical literature is in Aristophanes’ Pax. After Trygaeus has rescued the goddess Peace and a sacrifice is being prepared, the chresmologos Hierocles comes uninvited to claim a share: Ἄγε νυν ἀπρχου κᾆτα δὸς τἀπργματα.54 The scholiaston Aristophanes (Pax, 1056) reports that ἀπργματα were the aparchai which the priests were accustomed to take: τὰς ἀπαρχὰς, ἃς εἰώθασιν οὶ ἱερεῖς λαμβάνειν.55 Perhaps influenced by this view, Sommerstein and Olson explain that apargmata were offered to the gods and passed on to the priests.56 What the apargmata would have consisted of in this case is a matter of conjecture: they could have been a portion of the sacrificial flesh by analogy with the argmata in Eumaeus’ sacrifice seen earlier, or they might have been a portion of the splanchna and the tongue which Hierocles shows interest in.57 However, as far as the Classical period is concerned,58 there is no evidence that ἀπαρχαί or ἀπργματα for the gods would be passed on to the priests or diviners who officiated at the sacrifice. Where priests were allowed the portions intended for the gods, priestly perquisites were variously called ἱερεώσυνα, τραπε­ζώματα and γέρα,59 but never ἀπργματα or ἀπαρχαί. When Hierocles claims a share by saying γε νυν ἀπρχου κᾆτα δὸς τἀπργματα, the comic effect is to dramatize his greed: the chresmologoi were a particular subject for ridicule in Aristo­phanes. Later in the same scene Hierocles is shown as trying to beg and then snatch unsuccessfully a portion of the wine, the splanchna and the tongue.60 The passage therefore cannot be taken as evidence for a regular practice of giving apargmata/aparchai to sacred officials. It is just another instance where Aristophanes makes a mockery of the greed of seers as apargmata were reserved for the gods alone: both aparchesthai and apargmata in Aristophanes (Pax, 1056) refer to the god’s share which should not go to religious officials.

  • 61 I. Histriae 101, amended by Moretti, RFIC 111 (1983), p. 55-57 (= SEG 33, 582), SEG 50, 685, Bîrzes (...)
  • 62 SEG 38, 783d (Ἀθαναίας ἄπαργμα Πείσιος ἀνέθε̄κε), f (Βωλάκριτος : Ἀθαναίαι : ἄπαργμα); Martellin (1 (...)
  • 63 IG I3 703 = DAA no. 284. Note that IG I3 703 has [ἄρ]γ̣ματα, whereas DAA no. 284 has [ἀπάρ]γ̣ματα.

18There are a few attested instances of the word apargma in dedicatory inscriptions. A fragmentary roof tile discovered in Histria in Scythia Minor, dedicated to Aphrodite in the sixth century, is inscribed with the word apargma.61 This is probably the earliest epigraphical attestation of the word; and it shows that the word is by no means confined to sacrificial uses. Two Attic vessels found in Ialysos on Rhodes are inscribed with the word; and Martellin notes that the word apargma, rarely used elsewhere, seems to denote some local variant of the more common aparche.62 However, the word argmata is also attested elsewhere. For example, a fragmentary fifth-century dedicatory inscription on the Athenian acro­polis has been supplemented with the word [ἄρ]γ̣ματα or [ἀπάρ]γ̣ματα.63

κατάρχεσθαι

  • 64  E.g. Hdt., II, 45 (αὐτοῦ κατάρχεσθαι), Ar., Av., 959 (μὴ κατάρξῃ τοῦ τράγου), Eur., Phoen., 573 (κ (...)
  • 65  Hdt., IV, 60.
  • 66  Macan (1895-1908), p. 41, put it vaguely: ‘no beginning with consecration’; How and Wells (1928), (...)
  • 67  Absolute usages: e.g. Hdt., IV, 103 (καταρξάμενοι ῤοπάλῳ παίουσι τὴν κεφαλήν); Asheri, Lloyd and C (...)

19We saw earlier in Nestor’s sacrifice that katarchesthai involves hand-washing and sprinkling barley grains on the animal; the word is used with χέρνιψ and οὐλοχύται in the accusative. However, in later Greek the word is more often followed by a genitive object,64 meaning ‘to begin a sacrifice’ or more precisely ‘to begin sacrificing (a particular victim)’. In post-Homeric usages it is not always clear what ritual procedures are comprised in katarchesthai, especially when the word is used absolutely without a qualifying object. For example, Herodotus notes that the Scythian custom of sacrifice involves no rite of katarchesthai: the sacrificer throws the animal down by pulling the end of a rope, invokes the god, strangles the animal by twisting a rope around its neck; then he skins it and sets about cooking it. There is ‘no fire nor preliminary rites of sacrifice nor libation’ (οὔτε πῦρ ἀνακαύσας οὔτε καταρξάμενος οὔτ᾿ ἐπισπείσας).65 It is the absence of ritual beginning (katarchesthai) that Herodotus is remarking on when he compares Scythian and Greek sacrifices; but it is unclear what preliminary rites Herodotus has in mind.66 The same ambiguity is found in other absolute usages of the word, where we can only tell that it means ‘to begin a sacrifice’ vaguely without knowing what precisely is involved.67

  • 68  Eur., Alc., 74-76.
  • 69  Stengel (1908) denied that there is any question of a sacrifice here at all; Dale (1954), p. 58, c (...)
  • 70  The word occurs three times: Eur., IT,40, 56, 1154.
  • 71 Sprinkling of water: Eur., IT, 53-54, 622; Platnauer (1938), p. 64, Cropp (2000), p. 175. Euripides (...)

20While the above Homeric usage of katarchesthai excludes the cutting of some hair, in Classical Greek literature there is one instance which applies the word explicitly to hair-offering. When Thanatos is about to take Alcestis to Hades,he thus explains his actions: στείχω δ᾿ ἐπ᾿ αὐτὴν ὡς κατάρξωμαι ξίφει· ἱερὸς γὰρ οὗτος τῶν κατὰ χθονὸς θεῶν ὅτου τόδ᾿ ἔγχος κρατὸς ἁγνίσῃ τρίχα.68 Here katarchesthai, followed by the instrumental dative ξίφει, obviously refers to the opening rite of cutting some hair using the sword.69 In another Euripidean passage, however, a different preliminary rite is referred to. The word used for Iphigenia’s priestly duty in Euripides’ IT is katarchesthai: she was to perform the opening sacrificial rites of the ship-wrecked victims but she left the slaughter to others.70 By inference from her sacrificial role described elsewhere in the play, it is evident that katarchesthai involves the sprinkling of lustral water and possibly barley grains on the victim’s head.71 This coincides with the Homeric use of the word seen earlier.

  • 72 Hair-cutting: Hsch. s.v. κατρξασθαι τοῦ ἱερεου·τῶν τριχῶν ἀποσπσαι; Phot. s.v.κατρξασθαι τῶν τρ (...)
  • 73  Ar., Ach., 244.
  • 74  Eur., Alc., 74-76.
  • 75  Absolute use: katarchesthai: e.g. Hdt., IV, 60, 103, Andoc., 1, 126; aparchesthai: Ar., Ach., 244.
  • 76 Katarchesthai with a genitive object: e.g. Hdt., II, 45 (αὐτοῦ πρὸς τῷ βωμῷ κατρχοντο), Eur., Phoe (...)
  • 77 Aparchesthai with a genitive object: e.g. Hdt., IV, 61; IV, 188; Eur., El., 91.

21These different usages have led to scholarly disputes of what the act of katarchesthai entails precisely.72 It seems reasonable to conclude that the word katarchesthai involves no fixed action, and that the preliminary ritual procedure(s) can vary in different sacrificial contexts. Yet the most important distinction between katarchesthai and aparchesthai is that aparchesthai (‘taking a portion from a greater whole’) can apply to any stage of the sacrifice and any portion (whether hair or flesh, raw or cooked) of the sacrificial victims, whereas katarchesthai applies only to the pre-killing stage of the sacrifice and therefore never refers to the sacrificial flesh. Nevertheless, sometimes it is difficult to distinguish between katarchesthai and aparchesthai. When Aristophanes’ Dicaeopolis tells his daughter to put down the basket so that they may begin the sacrifice (ἵν’ ἀπαρξώμεθα), the word used is aparchesthai where we might expect katarchesthai.73 Euripides, by contrast, uses katarchesthai in connection with the cutting of Alcestis’ hair where we would expect aparchesthai.74 Therefore, when used absolutely in sacrificial contexts, sometimes the words katarchesthai and aparchesthai seem to intersect or coincide.75 But when followed by a genitive object, the former usually means to perform an initial act – whatever it may be in the pre-killing stage – to the sacrificial victim,76 while the latter means to offer a preliminary portion of a greater whole.77

ἐπάρχεσθαι and ἐπαρχή

  • 78  Homer uses the word eparchesthai in connection with preliminary rituals of drinking, meaning ‘to p (...)
  • 79  Sacrifice: e.g. LSCG 88 (c. 230?), Parker and Obbink (2000), no. 1, 10-12 (c. 125?) (= SEG 50, 766 (...)
  • 80  E.g. SEG 16, 182 (early 4th century, women getting married), Xen., An. V, 3, 13 (4th century, tena (...)
  • 81 Schlaifer (1940), p. 234, suggested Zeus Soter. Lewis (1960) suggested Apollo Delios; followed by G (...)
  • 82 IG I3 130; both words aparche (line 7) and eparche (line 18) are used in this inscription.
  • 83  Petrakos (1997), nos. 276 (= LSS 35), 277 (= RO 27). In no. 276 the word is supplemented by Petrop (...)
  • 84 IG II2 1215.
  • 85  Engelmann ap. Schuler (2007), p. 134-135.
  • 86  E.g. IG I3 130, 7 (aparche), 18 (eparche); IG II2 1672, 182 (eparche), 263 (eparche), 288 (eparche(...)
  • 87  See n. 78.

22Homer uses the word eparchesthai in rituals of drinking;78 after Homer, the word eparchesthai and its cognate verb eparche were used in another context with very different connotations. In the Classical and Hellenistic periods, the words eparche and eparchesthai, along with aparche and aparchesthai, were used in cult finance to signify ‘a religious payment’ (often in cash, occasionally in kind) and ‘to make a religious payment’ to the gods. In leges sacrae the words may be used in connection with cult fees, taxes, and contributions required of individuals or groups of individuals to increase sacred revenue. Two types of a/eparchai may be identified: first, cult fees payable for the use of cult utilities and services such as for sacrificing and healing;79 and second, obligatory contributions imposed on certain classes of individuals such as shipowners, office-holders and land-holders.80 For example, a regulation in c. 432 BC, which concerns a cult at Piraeus,81 requires shipowners who dock along Phaleron to pay a drachma each per ship as an a/eparche.82 Two fourth-century inscriptions concerning the cult of Amphiaraus in Oropus prescribe a fee called eparche for those who come to be cured by the god.83 At the beginning of the third century, office-holders in an unidentified deme in Attica were required to pay an eparche ες τν οκοδομαν τν ερν κα τν ναθημτων.84 It is in this context that the word aparche is used in the above-mentioned Hellenistic lex sacra from Patara in Lycia: apparently it refers to a portion of sacrificial flesh payable by those who sacrifice to the priest as a fee, but not to the customary preliminary portions set aside for the gods.85 It should also be noted that as far as cult fees and taxes are concerned, both forms aparche/ aparchesthai and eparche/eparchesthai are used; and in some instances both forms appear concurrently in the same text.86 But it is only in the context of cult finance, and never in sacrificial or dedicatory practices, that the forms eparchai and eparchesthai are used. The confusion between the two similar-sounding aparchai/ aparchesthai and eparchai/eparchesthai may be facilitated by the presence of the word eparchesthai in Homer, where it is used in connection with a very different ritual, namely rituals of drinking, which is not relevant to us here.87

  • 88  Not all religious payments of aparche/eparchai are compulsory: e.g. the eparchai in CID II 1, 3, 4 (...)

23I mentioned at the very beginning that the words aparche and aparchesthai carry two connotations: a portion from a greater whole, and a preliminary offering expressing the priority of the gods. We have seen that the two notions are present in both sacrificial and dedicatory applications of the words, that is, except in some cases where aparche is used without a qualifying genitive, in which case the idea of a portion is less obvious and the word aparche may have a general sense of ‘offering’ or anathema. It is only in the last usage, in the sphere of sacred finance, that both notions of the ‘preliminary’ and the ‘portion’ are absent altogether in the words a/eparche and a/eparchesthai. And yet the word a/eparche still retains its religious character in cult finance. These a/eparchai and acts of a/eparchesthai are markedly different from the traditional aparchai and aparchesthai in two respects: most of them are obligatory payments rather than occasional voluntary gifts to the gods;88 they are simply ‘offerings’ or ‘cult payments’ rather than ‘first part offerings’, with a much weakened connotation of a ‘first portion’. Therefore there seems to be a diminished awareness of the partial connotation of the word over time, as reflected in the replacement of the prefix apo with epi.

Conclusion

  • 89  Jameson (1949), passim, emphasized that a thusia offered the whole sacrificial animal to the god, (...)
  • 90  On the notion of ‘taboo’ on food, see e.g. Frazer (1911-15), vol. 3, p. 5, 102; vol. 4, p. 101-2; (...)

24The semantic survey of the use of aparchai, aparchesthai and related terms shows that the vocabulary of ‘first portion’ could be used in relation to sacrifice, dedications, hair-offerings from humans, and sacred finance. Particularly interesting and noteworthy is the fact that the word aparchesthai can apply to both sacrificial and dedicatory practices to denote two seemingly different acts: the act of offering sacrificial portions and of bringing first offerings as dedications to the gods. I hope it has become apparent by now that the two are not as entirely unrelated as they may appear to be at first sight: both acts set aside a portion as a symbolic offering, both express the precedence accorded to the gods over men. And yet it is with rather different forces that the word aparchesthai is used in these two contexts: in animal sacrifice the act of aparchesthai, whether applied to the hair or the flesh, anticipates the offering of the whole animal to the gods. The preliminary portions of hair and flesh may be seen as symbolizing, but are by no means identical to, the gods’ portion, since the gods were subsequently presented with the whole sacrificial animal rather than just locks of hair and bits of meat. By contrast, in dedicatory practices aparchesthai and aparchai refer to the portions assigned to the gods and the rest is retained for human utilization. Generally, the aparche acknowledges the superiority of the recipient over the dedicant; but the offering of a part has no effect on the whole in this case.89 The claim that the part offered renders the rest of the food or objects ‘holy’, ‘safe’ or ‘permissible’ for human consumption by lifting the ‘taboo’ is a misconception indiscriminately applied to Greek religion from other cultures by some anthropologists.90 However, unlike the hair-offering from a sacrificial animal, the offering of a lock of hair by humans in funeral rites or rites of maturation had no effect on the rest of the individual despite the intersection between the two practices. The hair offered may be considered as a token of the whole person, who is not sacrificed.

25Therefore, the vocabularies of ‘first offerings’ relate, intersect with, and diverge from each other in different contexts. One way of expressing the complex relation between these terms is to see aparchesthai as poised midway between katarchesthai and aparche: the verb katarchesthai features only in sacrificial procedures but never dedications, whereas the noun aparchai is used predominantly in dedications and very rarely with reference to animal sacrifice. On the other hand, aparchesthai can apply to both sacrificial and dedicatory practices; so too can the noun apargmata though the latter is used much less frequently. Nevertheless, despite these general trends, sometimes there is a degree of imprecision in the usage of these terms. As its various usages overlap and the distinction between them is elusive, the notion of aparchesthai is sufficiently fluid to allow the Greeks to use the word with varying emphases in different contexts. Thus Theophrastus uses aparchesthai interchangeably with thuein, deliberately blurring the distinction between the two in his attempt to elevate bloodless offerings above animal sacrifice. It is the fluidity of the notion of aparchesthai which allowed Theophrastus to conflate aparchesthai with thuein for his purpose. The way in which imprecision or malleability gave the concept religious potency is one of the most interesting observations.

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Notes

*  I am most grateful to Prof. Robert Parker for helpful comments on an earlier version of this article.

1  Rudhardt (1992² [1958]), Casabona (1966).

2  See Rouse (1902), Beer (1914), Van Straten (1981), p. 92-93, Parker (2004), p. 275.

3  E.g. Eur., Andr., 149-150 (οὐ τῶν Ἀχιλλέως οὐδὲ Πηλέως ἀπὸ δόμων ἀπαρχάς), Pl., Prt., 343b (ἀπαρχὴ σοφίας), Diod. Sic., IX, 10, 1 (ἀπαρχαὶ τῆς ἰδίας συνέσεως), Plut., Cim., 10, 7 (καρπῶν ἑτοίμων ἀπαρχάς).

4  Hom., Od. ΙΙΙ, 446; ΧΙV, 422.

5 Theophr., Piet., fr. 2, 26-28 Pötscher = Porph., Abst. II, 6,1 thus explains why barley grains were sprinkled in preliminary sacrificial rites: το δ Δημητρίου καρπο μετ τν χέδροπα πρώτου φανέντος κριθν, ταύταις π’ ρχς μν ολοχυτετο κατ τς πρώτας θυσίας τ τν νθρώπων γένος.

6  Hom., Od. II, 443-465.

7  Hom., Od. XIV, 414-424.

8  Hom., Il. XIX, 252-255.

9 Cf. Hom., Il. III, 273-274, an oath sacrifice where the hair was portioned out to the participants but not burnt; here the practice of cutting the hair of the animal is still attested although the term aparchesthai is not used. Kirk (1985-93), vol. 5, p. 265, suggests that the hair in Hom., Il. XIX, 252ff might have been treated in the same way as in Hom., Il. III, 273-274. On Hom., Il. III, 273-274, see commentary in Leaf (1900-02), vol. 1, p. 139, Kirk (1985-93), vol.1, p. 303-304. But Kirk goes on to say that ‘if there is a fire, then burning the ritual hairs is an obvious means of disposing of them, and that might sometime have been regarded as an additional symbolic offering to the gods’.

10  Hom., Od. XIV, 427-429.

11  On the word omothetein, see LSJ s.v. ὠμοθετέω, Lupu (2003), p. 74. Etymologically it is derived from ὠμός (raw) and τίθημι; but Eust., 134, 35 says that some derived the word from ὦμος (shoulder). In other Homeric sacrifices (e.g. Hom., Il. I, 461; II, 424; Od. III, 458; XII, 361) it expresses the act of laying the pieces of raw meat that have been cut off from the victim’s limbs on thigh bones wrapped in fat, but here the thigh bones are not mentioned. On the absence of thigh bones, an important anomaly which marks Eumaeus’ actions as unusual in Homeric and later sacrifices, see Meuli (1975), vol. 2, p. 937, n. 3, who suggested that pigs probably received special treatments different from those of other victims. This view is now supported by osteological evidence studied by Ekroth (2009), esp. p. 137-138, 143-146.

12  Hesch., s.v. ἄργματα; Etym. Magn., s.v. ἄργμα· Ἡ ἀπαρχή. Παρὰ τὸ ἄρχω, ἄργμα, ὡς παρὰ τὸ ἦρμαι, ἄρμα. Etym. Magn., s.v. ἀπάργματα: αἱ μεγάλαι ἀπαρχαὶ τῶν θυσιῶν τῶν τελείων. Παρὰ τὸ ἄρχω ἀπάρχω, ἄργμα καὶ ἄπαργμα. LSJ, s.v. ἄργμα· ἄργματα = ἀπάργματα.

13  Hom., Od. XIV, 435-436. I understand θῆκεν (τίθημι) as ‘set aside’ as most commentators do. But note that Petropoulou (1987), p. 141-143, argues at length against the translation of θῆκεν as ‘set aside’, suggesting instead ‘serve before’ or ‘serve up’ (παρατίθημι).

14  Hom., Od. XIV, 446-448.

15  Monro (1901), vol. 2, p. 40, Dawe (1993), think that they refer to the flesh of the limbs in line 428; but then the acts in 428 and 446 would seem to duplicate each other. Others think that the share in lines 435-436 is meant: e.g. Stanford (1958-9 [1947-8]), vol. 2, p. 234, Jameson (1949), p. 126-129, Casabona (1966), p. 70, 122, and Heubeck, West and Hainsworth (1988-92), vol. 2, p. 224-225. Gill (1974), p. 134, assumes that the portion in line 435 is placed at the house table at which Eumaeus and his guests are eating as a form of trapezomata but does not comment on the word argmata. Meuli (1975), vol. 2, p. 938, n. 3, disagreed with Stengel (1894)’s view that the seventh portion in lines 435-6 is meant, arguing that the argmata are the regular offerings cast in to the fire before a meal begins. Kadletz (1984) suggests that the argmata consist not of solid food but first drops of wine poured by Eumaeus as libation in line 447. Petropoulou (1987), esp. p. 138-139, argues that neither the share in line 428 nor 435 is meant, but bits of roasted meat taken from the portions already distributed by Eumaeus to his companions and himself, which serve as first offerings at meals in conformity with preliminary rituals before the consump­tion of daily meals. Two scholiasts B and Q on Hom., Od. XIV, 446 put it vaguely: ἄργματα θῦσε: τὰς ἀπαρχὰς τῶν μερίδων, ἢ τὰ ἀπομερισθέντα τοῖς θεοῖς.

16  LSJ, s.v. κατάρχω. II.2

17  Hom., Od. III, 444-446.

18  Confirmed by the interpretation of Stanford (1958-9 [1947-8]), vol. 1, p. 264-265.

19 E.g. LSAM 50, 23-25 (ἀπὸ τῶν ἀριστερῶν ἀπαρξάμενοι), Hdt., IV, 188 (τοῦ ὠτὸς ἀπάρξωνται τοῦ κτήνεος), Eur., El., 810-812 (the term aparchesthai is not used but the rite is attested).

20  On the usual treatment of the splanchna in Greek sacrifice, see e.g. Van Straten (1995), p. 131-133.

21  Hdt., IV, 61, 2.

22 LSCG 151D, 11-13, RO 62D, 11-13, IG ΧΙΙ 4, 275, 11-13. Some of the supplements in Herzog (1928), RO 62 and IG XII 4 are different; here I follow the supplements given in IG XII 4, but I have omitted those in lines 12-13 because of textual uncertainties.

23  Herzog (1928), p. 12-14, adopted in LSCG 151D, 12, RO 62D, 12, and IG XII 4, 275, 12. Herzog quoted 1) Stengel (1910) in support of this, to the neglect that Stengel’s article primarily concerned the phrase ἐπάρξασθαι δεπάεσσιν in Homer (see n. 78 below); and 2) Syll.3 323, 9 (= IG XII 9, 192; LSS 46) which has a reference to ἐπάρχεσθαι δὲ καὶ τοὺς χοροὺς, but the context is not sacrificial. Pirenne-Delforge (1996), p. 210-211 and n. 103: ‘j’ai préféré restituer κατα]ρξάμενοι et non ἐπα]ρ̣ξάμενοι. Car le premier évoque l’idée de préparation, ce qui permet également de voir apparaître le dépôt des entrailles sur la pierre. Le second évoquerait déjà une aspersion préliminaire quand rien n’indiquerait comment les entrailles sont arrivées là.’

24  On human hair-offering see Burkert (1985 [1977]),p.70, 374, n. 29, Leitao (2003).

25  Eur., El., 91. Instances where the term does not appear are e.g. Eur., IA, 1437; Eur., Supp., 97; Aesch., Cho., 168.

26  E.g. Hom., Il. XIII, 135-152.

27 E.g. Callim., Hymn 4, 296-299, Plut., Thes., 5, 1, Paus., I, 43, 4. There is no Classical usage of the word aparchesthai in adolescent hair-offering to my knowledge, but the practice is attested in Classical sources without using the term, e.g. Hdt., IV, 34, Eur., Hipp., 1425ff, Theophr., Char., 21, 3.

28  The ritual has been variously interpreted and there is no authoritative explanation: e.g. Pearson (1909), p. 190 on Eur., Phoen., 1524-1525: ‘an act of symbolism, by which the survivor devoted himself to the service of the dead. The act is then a substitute for a more primitive self-immolation’; Leaf (1900-02), vol. 2, p. 481 on Hom., Il. XXIII, 135: ‘a part cut straight from the living body represents the whole man, who thus offers himself as an escort to the shades’; Jameson (1949), p. 59: ‘by cutting off a living part of himself and presenting it to a god or a dead relative, a man in effect dedicates himself’; West (1987), p. 187 on Eur., Or., 96: a form of self-mutilation.

29  Also noted by Jameson (1949), p. 75.

30  E.g. Theophr., Piet., fr. 12, 42-49; 13, 15-22; 19, 3-7 Pötscher = Porph., Abst. II, 24, 1; 27, 1; 32, 1. These passages are taken by scholars, e.g. Pötscher (1964), Fortenbaugh (1992), as quoted by Porphyry from Theophrastus and can reasonably safely be regarded as Theophrastus’ use of the word aparchesthai, though it is unclear whether Porphyry was quoting from Theophrastus verbatim.

31  Theophr., Piet., fr. 12, 43-48 Pötscher = Porph., Abst. II, 24, 1.

32  Theophr., Piet., fr. 13, 15-22 Pötscher = Porph., Abst. II, 27, 1.

33  Hdt., I, 92; IV, 71; IV, 88.

34  E.g. LSJ, s.v. ἀπαρχή, 2: ‘firstlings for sacrifice or offering, first-fruits’.

35  E.g. Eur., Meleager, fr. 516.

36  E.g. IG I3 828 (ἀπαρχὴ ἄγρας); Arr., Cyn., 33 (ἀπαρχαὶ τῶν ἁλισκομένων); Anth. Pal. VI, 196 (ἀπαρχὴ ἄγρας); cf. SEG 47, 346 (δεκάταν αἰγῶν).

37 E.g. Eur., Or., 96 (ἀπαρχαὶ κόμης); Eur., Phoen., 1524-1525 (ἀπο χαίτας ἀπαρχαί).

38  E.g. Soph., Trach., 183 (μάχης ἀπαρχαί), 761 (λείας ἀπαρχή).

39  E.g. IG I3 628 (ἔργον ἀπαρχή), 695 (ἔργον ἀπαρχή); IG XI 4, 1248 (ἀπαρχή ἀπὸ τῆς ἐργασίας). There is a reference to ἔρ[γον ἀπαρ]χὲν in DAA 155 (= IG I3 673), but Raubitschek (1949)’s supplement is uncertain and does not appear in IG I3 673.

40  E.g. IG I3 647 (ἀπαρχὴ κτ[εά]νον); IG II2 3846 (χρήμ[ατα] ἀπαρχή), 4904 (χρημ[άτων] ἀπαρχή).

41  Snodgrass (1989-90), p. 291.

42  E.g. IG I3 730 (κτεάνον μοῖραν ἀπαρχσάμενος), IG II2 4320 ([τέχνης] οἰκέας ἔρνος ἀπαρξάμ[ενος]), 4334 (μοῖραν ἀπαρξαμένη κτεάνων); Hdt., III, 24, 4 (πάντων ἀπαρχόμενοι).

43  Eur., Meleager, fr. 516. The fact that Oeneus’ first offerings most probably consisted of animal sacrifices financed by the proceeds of his harvest is supported by Hom., Il. IX, 533-536, in which we are told that all other gods save Artemis enjoyed a hecatomb: καὶ γὰρ τοῖσι κακὸν χρυσόθρονος Ἄρτεμις ὦρσε χωσαμένη ὅ οἱ οὔ τι θαλύσια γουνῷ ἀλωῆς Οἰνεὺς ῥέξ᾿· ἄλλοι δὲ θεοὶ δαίνυνθ᾿ ἑκατόμβας, οἴῃ δ᾿οὐκ ἔρρεξε Διὸς κούρῃ μεγάλοιο. Note, however, that Homer uses the word thalusia rather than aparchai.

44  Soph., Trach., 760-762.

45  Engelmann ap. Schuler (2007), p. 134-135.

46  The suggestion in Engelmann ap. Schuler (2007), p. 135, ‘die glatte Flache am Unterleib der Tiere’ is far from certain.

47  This is neglected by LSJ, s.v. ἀπαρχή.

48 IG II2 1939 = 4339; Parker (2004), p. 275.

49  E.g. IG I3 526, 531, 547, 559, 566, 680, 696, 702, 731, 740, 834, 848, 872.

50  The singular apargma is used in e.g. I. Histriae 101 (see n. 61 below).

51 IGASMG I2 no. 53bis; SEG 43, 630; NGSL 27A. A full commentary is provided by Jameson, Jordan and Kotanski (1993), Dimartino (2003), Dubois (2003).

52  On trapezomata, see Gill (1974).

53  Here I follow Lupu’s interpretation of the rituals entailed: see his commentary on NGSL 27A. Jameson, Jordan and Kotanski (1993) do not comment on what actions are involved in aparchesthai (lines 15-16) and taking apargmata (line 19).

54  Ar., Pax, 1056.

55 ΣAr., Pax, 1056. cf. Hsch. s.v. θευμορία·ἀπαρχή. θυσία. ἢ ὃ λαμβάνουσιν οἱἱερεῖς κρέας, ἐπειδὰν θύηται. θεοῦ μοῖρα.

56  Sommerstein (1985), p. 183, Olson (1998), p. 270. See also Van Straten (1995), p. 122: ‘[Hierokles] shows a particular interest in those parts of the victim that, at a sacrifice where a priest officiated, would normally fall to the priest’; but Van Straten does not say whether the apargmata in line 1056 are supposed to be priestly portions or not.

57  Hom., Od. XIV, 446; Olson (1998), p. 270, thinks that the apargmata involve ‘the god’s share of the splanchna and the tongue, which were dedicated to the divinity and then passed on to his or her servant’.

58  The only available piece of evidence which possibly speaks of first portions of sacrificial victims given to the priests is the Hellenistic lex sacra in Engelmann ap. Schuler (2007), p. 134-135; the difficulties in using this text have already been mentioned above.

59  E.g. IG II2 1356, 1359, 1363; LSAM 24A; IG V 1, 1390; IG XII 7, 237; SEG 35, 113. On priestly prerogatives, see Gill (1974), p. 127-133, Le Guen-Pollet (1991), Van Straten (1995), p. 154-155.

60  Ar., Pax, 1099-1121. See also Ar., Av., 975-976.

61 I. Histriae 101, amended by Moretti, RFIC 111 (1983), p. 55-57 (= SEG 33, 582), SEG 50, 685, Bîrzescu (2005), p. 418, no. G8, Kernos 22 (2009), p. 217 no. 13. Moretti’s interpretation of apargma as equivalent tο ἔργων ἀπαρχή, an offering consisting of a part of the artisan’s earnings (‘offerta fatta con parte del guadagno che un artigiano ricava col suo lavoro’) is problematic; in his footnote he quotes Lazzarini (1976), p. 88 (on the phrase ἔργων ἀπαρχή), but Lazzarini does not give such an explanation of apargma.

62 SEG 38, 783d (Ἀθαναίας ἄπαργμα Πείσιος ἀνέθε̄κε), f (Βωλάκριτος : Ἀθαναίαι : ἄπαργμα); Martellin (1988), p. 114. Also quoted in Herda (2006), p. 244, n. 1739.

63 IG I3 703 = DAA no. 284. Note that IG I3 703 has [ἄρ]γ̣ματα, whereas DAA no. 284 has [ἀπάρ]γ̣ματα.

64  E.g. Hdt., II, 45 (αὐτοῦ κατάρχεσθαι), Ar., Av., 959 (μὴ κατάρξῃ τοῦ τράγου), Eur., Phoen., 573 (κατάρχεσθαι θυμάτων), Dem., 21, 114 (κατάρχεσθαιτῶν ἱερῶν).

65  Hdt., IV, 60.

66  Macan (1895-1908), p. 41, put it vaguely: ‘no beginning with consecration’; How and Wells (1928), vol. 1, p. 326: burning of hair; Asheri, Lloyd and Corcella (2007), p. 626: ‘the sprinkling of lustral water and scattering of barley-grains to consecrate the victim’.

67  Absolute usages: e.g. Hdt., IV, 103 (καταρξάμενοι ῤοπάλῳ παίουσι τὴν κεφαλήν); Asheri, Lloyd and Corcella (2007) do not comment on this word; Eur., Heracl., 529 (στεμματοῦτε καὶ †κατάρχεσθ’ εἰ δοκεῖ†); And., 1, 126 (ἐκέλευον κατάρξασθαι τὸν Καλλίαν); Ath., fr. 1, 40-43 K.-A.: καταρχόμεθ’ ἡμεῖς οἱ μάγειροι, θύομεν, σπονδὰς ποιοῦμεν, τῷ μάλιστα τοὺς θεοὺς ἡμῖν ὑπακούειν διὰ τὸ ταῦθ’ εὑρηκέναι τὰ μάλιστα συντείνοντα πρὸς τὸ ζῆν καλῶς; Malay and Ricl (2009), p. 40, no. I, 42-43 (κατάρξετ[αι] ἐπὶ τοῦ βωμοῦ).

68  Eur., Alc., 74-76.

69  Stengel (1908) denied that there is any question of a sacrifice here at all; Dale (1954), p. 58, considers the passage untypical in that the terminology of ordinary sacrificial ceremony is applied to the ceremony of death, with Thanatos as the officiating priest; LSJ, s.v. κατάρχω, II.b, cite this as an example where the word means ‘sacrifice’ or ‘slay’ (rather than ‘to begin a sacri­fice’). Parker (2007), p. 67, translates line 74: ‘to begin the rites with the sword’.

70  The word occurs three times: Eur., IT,40, 56, 1154.

71 Sprinkling of water: Eur., IT, 53-54, 622; Platnauer (1938), p. 64, Cropp (2000), p. 175. Euripides makes no explicit mention of the procedure of scattering barley grains (οὐλοχύται or οὐλαί) on the victims’ head; but it is possible that this also formed part of Iphigenia’s duty as the two acts were customarily performed together in Greek sacrifice: see e.g. Hom., Od. III, 444-446, Ar., Pax, 948-962, Ar., Av., 850, Eur., IA, 1568-1569, Van Straten (1995), p. 31-40. Note also the noun κατάργματα in Eur., IT, 244: χέρνιβας δὲ καὶ κατάργματα οὐκ ἂν φθάνοις ἂν εὐτρεπῆ ποιουμένη. The κατάργματα seem to refer to barley grain here; but since this word is otherwise unattested in the Classical period (later in Plut., Thes., 22, 5), it is not entirely clear what it signifies precisely. See also LSJ s.v. κατργματα: ‘first offerings’. Etymologically related to κατρχεσθαι and κατργματα is the noun καταρχ, attested in religious use only in IG II2 1359 (= LSCG 29), and its meaning remains obscure. LSJ, s.v. καταρχ. III, explain this as ‘the part of the victim first offered’; but the fact that the word is derived from katarchesthai (a pre-killing rite) makes it unlikely that the flesh of the victim is involved, unless the hair is meant, which is unlikely in this context.

72 Hair-cutting: Hsch. s.v. κατρξασθαι τοῦ ἱερεου·τῶν τριχῶν ἀποσπσαι; Phot. s.v.κατρξασθαι τῶν τριχῶν· ἀπρξασθαι τοῦ ἱερεου; LSJ, s.v. κατάρχω, II.2.a; Parker (2005), p. 97 n. 25. Lustration and scattering of grains only: Stengel (1908). Hair-cutting, lustration, and scattering of grains: Denniston (1939), p. 148, Jameson (1949), p. 56, Dunbar (1995), p. 541-542, on Ar., Av., 959, Parker (2011), p. 134-135, 161.

73  Ar., Ach., 244.

74  Eur., Alc., 74-76.

75  Absolute use: katarchesthai: e.g. Hdt., IV, 60, 103, Andoc., 1, 126; aparchesthai: Ar., Ach., 244.

76 Katarchesthai with a genitive object: e.g. Hdt., II, 45 (αὐτοῦ πρὸς τῷ βωμῷ κατρχοντο), Eur., Phoen., 573 (κατρξηι θυμτων), Ar., Av., 959 (Μὴ κατρξῃ τοῦ τργου), Dem., 21, 114 (κατρξασθαι τῶν ἱερῶν).

77 Aparchesthai with a genitive object: e.g. Hdt., IV, 61; IV, 188; Eur., El., 91.

78  Homer uses the word eparchesthai in connection with preliminary rituals of drinking, meaning ‘to pour the first drops (into the cups) before a libation’. It is used seven times in Homer and always appears in the formula ἐπάρχεσθαι δεπάεσσιν, an expression not found in later Greek literature. See Hom., Il. I, 471, IX, 176, Od. III, 340, VII, 183, XVIII, 418, XXI, 263, 272. See also LSJ, s.v. ἐπάρχεσθαι II.1. The partial sense is present in the Homeric eparchesthai: it signifies also the offering of a first portion of a greater whole (of wine).

79  Sacrifice: e.g. LSCG 88 (c. 230?), Parker and Obbink (2000), no. 1, 10-12 (c. 125?) (= SEG 50, 766), Parker and Obbink (2001), no. 4A (1st century) (= SEG 51, 1066), LSS 72 (1st century), Engelmann ap. Schuler (2007), p. 134-135 (Hellenistic). Healing: Petrakos (1997), nos. 276 (= LSS 35), 277 (= RO 27).

80  E.g. SEG 16, 182 (early 4th century, women getting married), Xen., An. V, 3, 13 (4th century, tenants of sacred land), LSCG 134 = IG XII 3, 436 (4th century, possibly tenants of sacred land), IG II2 1215 (early 3rd century, office-holders), Parker and Obbink (2000), no. 1 (c. 125?, freedmen, fishermen, shipowners) (= SEG 50, 766), Parker and Obbink (2001), no. 6, 85-88 (early 2nd century, contractors) (= SEG 51, 1062).

81 Schlaifer (1940), p. 234, suggested Zeus Soter. Lewis (1960) suggested Apollo Delios; followed by Garland (1992), p. 110-111. Lewis’ view is questioned by Mattingly (1990), p. 112-113 (= SEG 40, 10), who proposes τὸς δὲ λί[θος] instead of τὸς Δελί̣[ος] in line 19; the reference to stones suits the context of temple-building here. Mattingly supposes Zeus Soter to be the god concerned here.However, both τὸς Δελί̣[ος] and τὸς δὲ λί̣[θος] are rejected by Matthaiou (2000-03) (= SEG 51, 31) on the basis of autopsy, who reports that the letter following the lambda is not an iota, but another lambda, so that line 19 should read τὸς δ’ ΕΛΛ[...........].

82 IG I3 130; both words aparche (line 7) and eparche (line 18) are used in this inscription.

83  Petrakos (1997), nos. 276 (= LSS 35), 277 (= RO 27). In no. 276 the word is supplemented by Petropoulou (1981), p. 40-42.

84 IG II2 1215.

85  Engelmann ap. Schuler (2007), p. 134-135.

86  E.g. IG I3 130, 7 (aparche), 18 (eparche); IG II2 1672, 182 (eparche), 263 (eparche), 288 (eparche), 297 (aparche).

87  See n. 78.

88  Not all religious payments of aparche/eparchai are compulsory: e.g. the eparchai in CID II 1, 3, 4 are voluntary contributions for the re-building of the temple of Apollo in Delphi.

89  Jameson (1949), passim, emphasized that a thusia offered the whole sacrificial animal to the god, in contrast to aparchai in meals which were ‘part offerings’ in nature.

90  On the notion of ‘taboo’ on food, see e.g. Frazer (1911-15), vol. 3, p. 5, 102; vol. 4, p. 101-2; vol. 8, p. 56-58; Harrison (1903), p. 83.

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Theodora Suk Fong Jim, « The vocabulary of ἀπάρχεσθαι, ἀπαρχή and related terms in Archaic and Classical Greece », Kernos [En ligne], 24 | 2011, mis en ligne le 01 février 2014, consulté le 25 juillet 2017. URL : http://kernos.revues.org/1932 ; DOI : 10.4000/kernos.1932

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Theodora Suk Fong Jim

St. Antony’s College
Oxford, OX2 6JF

suk.jim@classics.ox.ac.uk

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