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Ancient Greek Hero Cult

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8°, XVI

ANCIENT GREEK HERO CULT organizecl^v^h ° ! f IC ^nterna['°nal Seminar on Ancient Greek Cult, b Υ the Apartment of Classical Archaeology and Ancient History, Göteborg University, 21-23 April 1995 edited by Robin Hiigg


Ancient Greek Hero Cult Proceedings of the Fifth International Seminar on Ancient Greek Cult, organized by the Department of Classical Archaeology and Ancient History, Göteborg University, 21-23 April 1995 edited by

Robin Hägg

STOCKHOLM 1999 Distributor Paul Äströms Förlag William Gibsons väg 11, SE-433 76 Jonsered, Sweden

Editorial Committee: Prof. Robin Hägg, Göteborg, Chairman; Prof Jerker Blomqvist, Lund, Vice-chairman; Bank di­ rector Per-Eric Mattsson, Södertälje, Treasurer, Dr. Gullög Nordquist, Uppsala, Secretary·, Prof. Birgitta Bergquist (t), Stockholm; Prof. Pontus Hellström, Uppsala; Dr. Anne-Marie Leander Touati, Rome; Prof. Sten Âke Nilsson, Lund; Prof. Jan Öberg, Stockholm; Prof. Eva Rystedt, Lund; Mrs. Birgitta Leppänen Sjöberg, Uppsala; Dr. Berit Wells, Athens.

Secretary’s address: Department of Archaeology and Ancient History, S:t Eriks Torg 5, SE753 10 Uppsala, Sweden. Editor: Dr. Brita Alroth, Uppsala. Assistant editor: Hedvig von Ehrenheim, Stockholm. Distributor: Paul Äströms Förlag, William Gibsons väg 11, SE-433 76 Jonsered, Sweden. The English text was revised by Mr. Neil Tomkinson. Recommended abbreviation for this series ActaAth-80.

Published with the aid of a grant from the Swedish Council for Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences

Abstract Hiigg, Robin fed.) Ancient Greek hero cult Proceedings of the Fifth International Seminar on Ancient Greek Cult, organized by the Department of Clas­ sical Archaeology and Ancient History, Göteborg University, 21-23 April 1995. Skrifter utgivna av Svenska Institute! i Athen, 8", 16. Stockholm 1999, 207 pp. ISBN 91-7916-037-9. A collection of twelve papers, read at an international seminar in Göteborg, that deal with various phenom­ ena of the ancient Greek hero cult, based on literary, iconographical and archaeological evidence. Among the special topics discussed are the hero cults in Early Iron Age Greece, the relationship between funerary ritual, the veneration of ancestors and the cult of heroes, the Danaides of Argos as “ancestors”, the multilocality of heroes, patriotic heroes, the politics of the transferal of the bones of heroes, the position of the Dioskouroi as Laconian heroes worshipped also in Attica, the origins of Greek hero cult in the context of overseas founda­ tions, the heroon of Asclepius in Athens, the sacrificial rituals of Greek hero cults in Pausanias, the hero Melikertes-Palaimon at Isthmia, and the development of hero cults in the Hellenistic and Roman periods. Keywords: altars, bone transferal, bothros, colonies, cult, Greek religion, heroes, heroic cult, Pausanias, poli­ tics, sacrifice, tombs.

Cover illustration: Tegea Museum. Echemos relief. (Cf. p. 74, fig. 6.)

ISSN 0081-9921 ISBN 91-7916-037-9 © 1999 Svenska Institute! i Athen Printed in Sweden 1999 Textgruppen i Uppsala AB


P reface............................................................................................................................................. A lexander M azarakis A inian , Reflections on hero cults in Early Iron Age Greece R obin H ä g g , Funerary ritual, veneration of ancestors and the cult of heroes in Geo­ metric Greece (abstract)......................................................................................................... C hristoph A uffa rth , Constructing the identity of the polis: the Danaides as “an­ cestors” ...................................................................................................................................... J onathan M. H a ll , Beyond the polls: the multilocality o f heroes ................................ U ta KRÖN, Patriotic heroes ....................................................................................................... B arbara M c C a uley , Heroes and power: the politics of bone transferal....................... H. A lan S hapiro , Cult warfare: the Dioskouroi between Sparta and A th en s............. C arla M. A nto naccio , Colonization and the origins of hero cult ................................ JÜRGEN W. R ieth m üller , Bothros and tetrastyle: the heroon of Asclepius in Athens G unnel E kro th , Pausanias and the sacrificial rituals of Greek hero-cults .................. E lizabeth R. G ebhard and M atthew W. D ickie , Melikertes-Palaimon, hero of the Isthmian games ....................................................................................................................... D ennis D. H ugh es , Hero cult, heroic honors, heroic dead: some developments in the Hellenistic and Roman periods ...........................................................................................

7 9-36 37 39-48 49 -5 9 61-83 85-98 99-107 109-121 123-143 145-158 159-165 167-175

177-178 Programme and participants of the Sem inar.................................................................. Abbreviations ................................................................................................................................ 179 Indexes .................................................................................................................................. 181-207


The series of “International Seminars on An­ cient Greek cult”, which was inaugurated at the European Cultural Centre o f Delphi in 1990' and continued three times at the Swedish Insti­ tute at Athens in 1991-1993,1 2 has found a new, congenial venue at the “Âgrenska Villan”, a conference facility belonging to Göteborg uni­ versity. The first meeting o f the new order took place from 21 to 23 April 1995. After the sys­ tematic treatment o f the iconographical, the epigraphical and the archaeological evidence during the previous seminars, the Greek hero cult in all its aspects was chosen as the theme o f the fifth seminar. Eleven of the twelve papers delivered at the seminar are published here in enlarged and an­ notated form, whereas one is presented only as a summary.3

I wish to thank Göteborg University and the Wenner-Gren Center Foundation for Scientific Research, Stockholm, for generously sponsor­ ing the fifth seminar.

Robin Hägg Göteborg, December 1998

1 The iconography of Greek cult in the Archaic and Classical periods (Kernos, Suppl. 1), ed. by R. Hägg, Liège & Athens 1992. 2 Ancient Greek cult practice from the epigraphical evidence (ActaAth-80, 13), ed. by R. Hägg, Stock­ holm 1994; The role of religion in the early Greek polis (ActaAth-80, 14), ed. by R. Hägg, Stockholm 1996; Ancient Greek cult practice from the archae­ ological evidence (ActaAth-80, 15), ed. by R. Hägg, Stockholm 1998. 1 ‘Funerary ritual, veneration of ancestors and the cult of heroes in Geometric Greece’ by Robin Hägg.

Reflections on Hero Cults in Early Iron Age Greece By

A. Mazarakis Ainian

Abstract Hero cults in Early Iron Age Greece can be divided into three major categories: tomb cults at prehistoric tombs, cults of eponymous heroes from the epic and mythic cycles and cults in honour of the recently heroized deceased. However, it is rather difficult to distinguish hero cult from ancestral cult and further­ more from cults addressed to chthonian divinities and therefore each case should be examined sepa­ rately. Modern scholars have focused their attention on what has become known as “tomb cult”. In this study, I locus on another aspect of hero cult in Early Iron Age Greece, that connected with the “recently heroized”. Into this category fit the cases of Toumba at Lefkandi, Thermon, Eleusis, Eretria and a few more. Each case, however, may be interpreted in a different way. The Toumba building at Lefkandi seems to have been a dwelling which was turned into a “memorial” after the death of its occupants. Here, however, there is no positive evidence for the practice of rituals in honour of the deceased after their death. At Thermon, the situation is still ob­ scure, but the recent excavations at the site point in the direction of a hero cult associated with Early Iron Age burials, both inside Megaron A and in con­ nection with Megaron B. The case of Thermon, however, cannot easily be fitted into a pattern, since several pieces of the puzzle are still missing. If the cases of hero cult dated at the beginning of the Iron Age are ambiguous, those of the LG period are less so. At Eleusis, a cult was associated with a young male who was buried next to a building which ap­ pears to have been his home, transformed at his death into a place of worship. The nature of this cult is discussed in the light of unpublished material. There can be no doubt that a hero cult existed in as­ sociation with the rich cemetery by the West Gate at Eretria. Several details, however, suggest that there are connections between this cult and the sequence observed in the sanctuary of Apollo Daphnephoros. It has been suggested that the rise of hero cults in the

LG period was partly due to the spread of the Homeric epics. The establishment of sanctuaries in which heroes of the epic cycle were worshipped The original paper delivered during the Symposium was a summary of the ideas in my recent publication From rulers’ dwellings to temples: architecture, re­ ligion and society in Early iron Age Greece (SIMA, 121), Jonsered 1997, esp. chapter III, part 5, pp. 349ff. For this reason, the present article is not in­ tended to offer new ideas nor to provide detailed ar­ guments and data, but rather to bring together some of my general ideas about certain aspects of hero cult in Early Iron Age Greece. Acknowledgements. I wish to thank Professor Hägg for inviting me to participate in the Seminar. The de­ tails concerning the Sacred House at Eleusis are from Travlos’ archives at the Greek Archaeological Society, which the Board of the Society and Dr. V. Petrakos in particular kindly authorised me to study and publish (a detailed account will appear soon in ArchEph). Abbreviations: Antonaeeio, C.M. Antonaeeio, An archaeology of ancestors: tomb cult and hero Ancestors cult in Early Iron Age Greece, Lanham 1995. ’ K. Fagerström, Greek Iron Age Fagerström, architecture: developments through G1AA changing times (SIMA, 81), Göte­ borg 1988. A. Mazarakis Ainan, From rulers’ Mazarakis, dwellings to temples: architecture, RDT religion and society in Early Iron Age Greece (SIMA, 121), Jonsered 1997. J. Travlos, Ιερά Οικία, 1938, un­ Travlos, Ιερά Οικία. published report in the archives of the Greek Archaeological Society.

A. Mazarakis Ainian proves the impact of the poems upon the religious cult”, i.e. the veneration of heroes or remote attitude of the Greeks (Agamemnoneion, Meneancestors at tombs o f the prehistoric period, the Jaion, etc.). Moreover, the rise of hero cults during vast majority belonging to the Late Bronze this period, especially in connection with tombs of prominent individuals of the Early Iron Age, reflects the wish of the ruling class to emphasize its ties with 1 Concerning hero cults during the LG and Early Ar­ the old rulers and the legendary heroes, justifying by chaic periods, see in general H. Abramson, Greek this act its own privileged position. In other in­ hero shrines, Ph.D. diss., Berkeley 1978, and Antonaccio. Ancestors. Other important studies are J.N. stances, especially in the case of the less formal Coldstream, ‘Hero cults in the Age of Homer’, JHS tomb cults, these activities were instigated for social or more complex political reasons. In general, the i 96, 1976, 8-17; Th. Hadzisteliou-Price, ‘Hero-cult and Homer’, Historia 22, 1973, 129-144; eadem, act of honouring heroes and ancestors in the LG pe­ ‘Hero-cult in the age of Homer and earlier’, in A/7criod should be interpreted as a wish of certain fami­ touros. Mélanges B.W.W. Knox, ed. G.W. Bowerlies or social groups, and in some cases of entire sock, Berlin & New York 1979, 219-228; C. communities, to preserve and emphasize for various Bérard, ‘L’héroïsation et la formation de la cité: un reasons their ties with the past. conflit idéologique’, in Architecture et société de l’archaïsme grec à ia fin de la république romaine. In the last two decades, several scholars have Acres du colloque international organisé par le focused their attention on the phenomenon of CNRS et l'École Française de Rome, Rome, 2-^t Dec., 1980 (CEFR, 66), Paris & Rome 1983, 43-62; the emergence of hero cult in Early Iron Age idem, ‘Récupérer la mort du prince: héroïsation et Greece, each following a different approach or formation de la cité’, in La mort, les morts dans les emphasizing certain aspects of the topic.1 In sociétés anciennes, eds. G. Gnoli & J.-P. Vernant, Cambridge & Paris 1982, 89-105; A. Snodgrass, earlier years, the discussion had focused on the ‘Les origines du culte des héros dans la Grèce an­ question whether these cults were conditioned tique’, in ibid., 107-119; idem, ‘The archaeology of by the rise of the Homeric epics2 or the other the hero’, Annali Sezione di Archeologia e Storia way round. ’ Today, the rise of hero cults is re­ Antica 10, 1988, 19-26; idem, ‘The rural landscape and its political significance’, Opus 6/7, 1987/89, garded as a phenomenon conditioned by more 60-62; F. de Polignac, La naissance de la cité complex, sociological, political or religious grecque, Paris 1984; I, Morris, ‘Tomb cult and the reasons, and several scholars have adopted “Greek renaissance”: the past in the present in the Nagy’s view, according to which the rise of 8th century BC’, Antiquity 62, 1988, 750-761; J. Whitley, ‘Early states and hero cults: a re-appraisal’, hero cults is a development of normal worship JHS 108, 1988, 173-182; idem, ‘The monuments or veneration of ancestors.4 that stood before Marathon: tomb cult and hero cult From an archaeological point of view, hero in Archaic Attica’, AJA 98, 1994, 213-230; C. Anor ancestral cults in Early Iron Age Greece can tonaccio, ‘Contesting the past: hero cult, tomb cult, and epic in early Greece’, AJA 98, 1994, 389—410; be divided into three broad categories: tomb eadem, ‘The archaeology of ancestors’, in Cultural cults at prehistoric tombs, cults of eponymous poetics in Archaic Greece, eds. C. Dougherty & L. heroes from the epic and mythic cycles and Kurke, Cambridge 1993,46-70; eadem, ‘Placing the past: the Bronze Age in the cubic topography of cults in honour of the recently heroized de­ early Greece’, in Placing the gods. Sanctuaries and ceased. If this elementary subdivision is easy to sacred space in ancient Greece, eds. S.E. Alcock & construct, the refinements of classification R. Osborne, Oxford 1994, 79-104. present numerous problems. One of the major 2 L. Farnell, Greek hero cults and ideas of immortal­ ity, Oxford 1921; Coldstream, supra n. 1. problems consists in distinguishing hero cult ' E. Rohde, Psyche, Freiburg 1894. from ancestral cult and furthermore from cults 4 G. Nagy, The best of the Achaeans: concepts o f the addressed to chthonian divinities, especially hero in Archaic Greek poetry, Baltimore 1979. since there seem to have been no specific ritu­ 5 Cf. R. Hiigg, ‘Gifts to the heroes in Geometric and als or distinct votive offerings that would en­ ! Archaic Greece’, in Gifts to the gods. Proceedings of the Uppsala Symposium 1985 (Boreas. Uppsala able us to distinguish one category from an­ ; Studies in Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern other.5 Civilizations, 15), eds. T. Linders & G. Nordquist, Modern scholars have focused their atten­ Uppsala 1987, 93-99; Antonaccio, Ancestors, 247tion on what has become known as “tomb 249.

Reflections on Hero Cults Age. Apart from the various explanations that have been proposed in seeking the reasons for the popularity of such cults, one of the main concerns of modern scholarship has been to distinguish a profane re-use or disturbance from a conscious act of worship, something which C. Antonaccio made clear in her recent monograph.6 The same author stressed also the fact that cults at Bronze Age tombs were less durable than hero cults at shrines, since “the visits to a given tomb were in nearly all cases restricted, often to a single instance” (with some notable exceptions, such as the cases of the tholos tomb at Menidi7 or that of the deposit at a chamber tomb at Solygeia,8 where cult ac­ tivities extend from the end of the Geometric period to the first half of the 5th century B.C.), and was able to show that, despite the fact that this practice characterized the second half of the 8th century, the first occurrences date from the PG period.9 The instances of shrines which were connected with eponymous heroes from the epic and mythic cycles form a separate group. As typical examples, one could mention the Agamemnoneion near Mycenae,10 as well as the Spartan shrines of Menelaus and Helen at Therapne,11 of Alexandra/Cassandra and Agamemnon (Pausanias 3.19.6) at Sklavochori,12 and two further hero shrines not far from the acropolis of Sparta, perhaps that of Astrabakos (Pausa­ nias 3.20.8)11 and the Achilleion.14 Leaving aside the fact that mythical figures such as Helen or Alexandra were presumably dis­ placed local divinities, assimilated in the Ar­ chaic period to mythical figures, the heroes in these shrines apparently received worship on their own, as early as the LG period.15 In other places, _eponymous heroes were worshipped beside divinities of the Olympian pantheon: Hyacinthus at Amyklai, presumably a pre-Do­ rian divinity who may have been connected with the cult of the dead,16 evolved into a heroconsort of Apollo.17 Despite the fact that the sanctuary was active during the Mycenaean pe­ riod, there seems to have been a gap in the se­

quence during the Dark Ages. At Olympia, it is not clear when Pelops started to be worshipped, though it now seems that Zeus and Hera pre6 Antonaccio, Ancestors, passim. 7 N. Verdelis, Prakt 1958, 135-145; idem, ‘A sanc­ tuary at Solygeia’, Archaeology 15, 1962, 184—192. # H. Lolling et al., Das Kuppelgrab bei Menidi, Athens 1880; Coldstream (supra η. 1), 11 & η. 31. 9 Antonaccio, ‘The archaeology’ (supra n. 1), 55. 1(1J.M. Cook, BSA 48, 1953, 30-68; idem, in Γέρας A. Κεραμόπουλλου, Athens 1953, 1121'f.; Antonac­ cio, Ancestors, 147-152. 11 A.J.B. Wace, M.S. Thompson & J.P. Droop, ‘The Menelaion', BSA 15, 1908/09, 108-157; H. Catling, ‘New excavations at the Menelaion, Sparta’, in Neue Forschungen in griechischen Heiligtümern, ed. U. Jantzen, Tübingen 1976, 77-90; idem, AR 1976— 1977, 24-42; idem, ‘Sparta: a Mycenaean palace and a shrine to Menelaus and Helen’, Current Ar­ chaeology 130, 1992, 429-431; idem. Λακωνικοί Σπουδαί 2, 1975, 258-269; 3, 1977, 408-415; 7, 1983, 23-31, and 10, 1986, 205-216; Antonaccio, Ancestors, 155-166. 12 Ch. Christou, Prakt 1956, 21 If.; 1960, 228-231; Antonaccio, Ancestors, 181f. n A.J. Wace, BSA 12, 1905/06, 288-294, esp. 29If., 293; V. Desborough, Protogeometric pottery, Ox­ ford 1952, 283, 289f.; J.N. Coldstream, Greek Geo­ metric pottery, London 1968, 212-232, 407f.; idem. Geometric Greece, London 1977, 329. 14 G. Dlckins, BSA 13, 1906/7, 169-173, who, how­ ever, noted at the time that the pottery ranged from Orientalizing to Hellenistic. Now see C. Stibbe, ‘The Achilleion near Sparta: some unpublished finds’, in Peloponnesian sanctuaries and cults. Pro­ ceedings of the Ninth International Symposium at the Swedish Institute at Athens 11-13 June, 1994, in press. 15 Antonaccio, Ancestors, 165f., 182. 16 B.C. Dietrich, ‘The Dorian Hyacinthia: a survival from the Bronze Age’, Kadtnos 14, 1975, 133-142; M. Pettersson, Cults of Apollo at Sparta. The Hyakinthia, the Gymnopaidiai and the Karneia (Acta Ath-8", 12), Stockholm 1992, 8-41, 92-100; Anto­ naccio, Ancestors, 178-181. 17 Ch. Tsountas, ArchEph 1892, 12-15; W. von Massow, AM 52, 1927, 34-53; Ch. Christou, Prakt 1961, 178; 1962, 113; Coldstream (supra n. 13), chapter 10; K. Demakopoulou, To μυκηναϊκό ιερό στο Αμυκλαίο και η ΤΕ ΙΙΙΓ περίοδος στη Λακωνία, Ph.D. diss., Athens 1982; Pettersson (supra n. 16), 8-41,92-100; Antonaccio, Ancestors, 178-181. See also P.G. Calligas, ‘From the Amyklaion’, in ΦΙΛΟΛΑΚΩΝ. Lakonian studies in honour of Hector Catling, ed. J. Motyka Sanders, London 1992,31-48.


A. Mazarakis Airiian Fig. 1. Map of sites mentioned in the text. 1. Mende. 2. Vitsa3. Polis. 4. Aetos. 5. Thermon· 6. Delphi. 7. Plierai. 8. Volos. 9. Halai. 10. Ptoion. 11. Paralimni. 12. Aulis. 13. Oropos. 14. Lefkandi. 15. Eretria. 16. Athens (Acropolis, Areopa­ gus, Olympieion), 17. Acad­ emy. 18, Tourkovounia. 19. Menidi. 20 Eleusis. 21. Mount Hymettos. 22. Lathouriza. 23. Anavyssos. 24. Sounion. 25. Thorikos. 26. Brauron. 27. Marathon. 28. Corinth. 29. Isthmia. 30. Solygeia. 31. Nemea. 32. Mycenae (My­ cenae, Agamemnoneion, Aspra Chomata). 33. Argos. 34. Argive Heraion. 35. Tiryns. 36. Asine. 37. Trotzen· 38. Aigeira. 39. Olympia. 40. Nichoria. 41. Sparta (Heroon of Astrabakos, Achilleion), 42. Therapne (Menelaion). 43. Amyklai. 44. Sklavochori (Alexandra/Cassandra). 45. Gortsouli. 46. Zagora. 47. Xobourgo. 48. Koukounaries. 49. Naxos (Grotta, Mitropolis Square). 50. Tsikalario. 51. Vathy Limenari. 52. Minoa. 53. Troy. 54. Old Smyrna. 55. Miletus. 56. Knossos. 57. Vrokastro.

ceded his cult (Pausanias 5.13.1 ).IKHippolytus was worshipped close to Asclepius at Trotzen, but the origins of his cult are also obscure and certainly cannot be placed earlier than the end of the Geometric period, and probably much later.*19 Odysseus was honoured in a caveshrine at Polis in Ithaca (Od. 8.3901'. and 13.13C), together with Hera, Athena, Artemis (?) and the Nymphs.20 Cult activities in the cave may have already started in the PG period (the character of the Bronze Age human activ­ ities in the cave remains obscure) but whether Odysseus received worship from the very be­ ginning remains an enigma. Erechtheus and Athena were worshipped together on the acropolis of Athens (cf. also Od. 7.80f.) but it is not possible to tell whether the former was the recipient of a portion of the earliest Iron Age votive offerings (9th century onwards).21 A group o f terracotta figurines found in the area of the bastion of Athena Nike have some-

'« H. Kyrieleis, ‘Neue Ausgrabungen in Olympia’, in Proceedings o f an International Symposium on the Olympic Games. 1988, eds. W. Coulson & H. Kyrieleis, Athens 1992, 19-24, esp. 22-24; idem, AntW 21,1990, 187. For a summary of the questions related to the cult of Pelops from the Bronze through the Iron Ages see Antonaccio, Ancestors, 170-176, See also H.-V. Herrmann, ‘Pelops in Olympia’, in Στήλη. Τόμος εις μνήμην Νικολάου Κοντολέοντος, Athens 1980, 59-74. 19 For the presence of Geometric pottery in the area of the Asclepieion, see G. Welter, Trotzen und Ka~ laureia, Berlin 1941, pi. 11. For a summary of the evidence, see A. Foley, The Argolid 800-600 B.C. (SIMA, 80), Göteborg 1988, 198. 20 S. Benton, BSA 35, 1934/35, 45-73; 39, 1938/39, 1-51; eadem, ‘A votive offering to Odysseus’, An­ tiquity 10, 1936, 350; W. Coulson, BSA 86, 1991, 42-64 (1 lth-9th/early 8th century pottery); Anto­ naccio, Ancestors, 152-155; F. de Polignac, ‘Medi­ tation, competition, and sovereignty’, in Placing the gods (supra n. 1), 11, n. 23. 21 Ch. Kardara, ‘Πυκινός δόμος και Παν­ αθηναϊκός πέπλος’, ArchEph 1960, 165-184, esp. 169, 172; Hadzisteliou-Price, in Arktouros (supra n.

Reflections on Hero Cults times been regarded as offerings to Erechtheus, but even if this is so, they should presumably be dated in the 7th century B.C., rather than in the Submycenaean period.22 Judging by the earliest votive material, the cult of Phrontis in the temenos of Athena at Sounion (Od. 3.278ff.) may have been established around 700 B.C.2' Lastly, Heracles, who, however, was something more than an ordinary hero, was the consort of Zeus on Mt. Hymettos24 and of Athena at Zagora,25*and he was also con­ nected in one way or another with stories in­ volving important sanctuaries, such as Olym­ pia, Nemea, Isthmia and Delphi.2(>Some myth­ ical figures or heroes were subsequently as­ similated with divinities. The hero Ptoïos was

assimilated with Apollo in the sanctuary at Perdikovrysi, where the earliest material is dated in the LG period, but in the 6th century his sanctuary may have been transferred to a neighbouring site, Kastraki.27* lphigeneia was fused with Artemis at Brauron212 and Aigeira (Pausanias 8.26.5), though the identification of the latter sanctuary with the summit of the acropolis is far from certain.2'' At Gortsouli (ancient Ptolis), Artemis was perhaps assimi­ lated to Penelope:"1 indeed, in later times, the inhabitants of Mantineia may have identified the goddess with Odysseus’ wife, for, accord­ ing to the local myth, she was expelled from Ithaca and finally settled at Mantineia, where she ended her days (Pausanias 8.12.5-7). The

I), 224-226. Kardara identified this shrine with that of Erechtheus and assumed that the cult dated back to the Mycenaean period and continued on this spot into the Geometric period. 22 G. Oikonomos, Ή επί της Ακροπόλεως λατρεία της Αθήνας Νίκης’, ArchEph 1939-41, 105-107, fig. 2; S. lakovides, H μυκηναϊκή ακρύπολις των Αθηνών, Athens 1962, 186, η. 361. For the revised dating of the figurines: J. Travlos, Bildlexikon :ur Topographie des antiken Athen, Tübingen 1971, 148, fig. 201 at p. 151, and K. Kokkou-Vyridi, Πρώιμες πυρές θυσιών στο Τελεστήριο της Ελευσίνας, unpublished Ph.D. diss., Athens 1991, 275. 22 V. Stais, ArchEph 1917, 178-181, 180, η. I, 209, fig. 19 (painted clay plaque of c. 700 B.C.); Ch, Picard, RA 16, 1940, 1-28; H. Abramson, in Califor­ nia Studies in Classical Antiquity 12, 1979, 1-19; M. Oikonomakou, Αρχαιολογία 39, 1991,83-87. 24 M.K. Langdon, A sanctuary of Zeus on mount Hymettos (Hesperia Suppl., 16), 1976, esp. 97f. See also R.S. Young, AM 44, 1940, 3. The sanctuary was established during the LPG period. 21 A. Cambitoglou, Αρχαιολογικό Μουσείο 'Αν­ δρου. Οδηγός, Athens 1981, 89, no. 285. Concern­ ing the identification of the main deity with Athena, see ibid., 89, n. 284 and idem, Prakt 1972, 266T. The earliest votives in the sanctuary are dated in the last quarter of the 8th century. 2,1 See C. Morgan, Athletes and oracles, Cambridge 1990, 220f. Likewise, lphigeneia was associated with the sanctuary of Artemis at Aulis, where cull activities began in the LG period: J. Threpsiades, Prakt 1959, 28f.; idem, ArchDelt 17, 1961/62, Citron., 14. 22 J. Ducat, Les kouroi du Ptoton, Paris 1971,49-65,

96-99; J. Fossey, Topography and population of an­ cient Boiolia, Chicago 1988, 265-275; Antonaccio, Ancestors, I77f. 28 The earliest finds in the area, which has been iden­ tified with the cenotaph of lphigeneia, are dated in the 8th century: K. Eustratiou, Αρχαιολογία 39, 1991, 80. See also P.G. Themelis, Frühgriechische Grabbauten, Mainz 1976, 53. The Geometric pot­ tery marking the beginning of cult activities at Brau­ ron belongs to the LPG or EG period: Eustratiou, op. cit., 79, and P.G. Themelis, Βραυρών, Athens s.a., 11. See also J. Papadimitriou, Prakt 1945/48, 86; 1949, 79; 1955, 118; Ergon 1960, 23. In general, see A. Antoniou, Βραυρών. Συμβολή στην ιστορία του ιερού της Βραυρωνίας Αρτέμιδυς, Athens 1990, 42L, 43, 46, 54, 56, 75f. 27 W. Alzinger, in Πρακτικά του XII Διεθνούς Συνεδρίου Κλασικής Αρχαιολογίας, Δ', Athens 1988, 23; idem, ‘Aigeira-Hyperesia und die Sied­ lung Phelloë in Achaia (I)’, Klio 67, 1985, 389-451, esp. 450f; S. Gogos, ‘Kult und Heiligtümer der Ar­ temis von Aigeira’, ÖJhBeibl 57, 1986/87, 108-139. For a discussion of the identification of the site, see Mazarakis Ainian, KDT, 165. N. Papachatzis, Παυσανίου Ελλάδος περιήγησις 4: Αχαϊκά-Αρκαδικά, Athens 1980, 219f., η. 2, ρ. 221, η. 1. See also Μ. Jost, Sanctuaires et cultes d’Arcadie (Études péloponnésiennes, 9), Paris 1985, 134, I36f. Excavation reports: Th. Karageorgha, ArchDelt 18, 1963, Giron., 88f.; eadem, ‘H Mavτινική Πτόλις’, in Πρακτικά του Δ' Διεθνούς Συνεδρίου Πελυποννησιακών Σπουδών, Κόρινθος, 9-16 Σεπτ. 1990, B’ (Πελοποννησιακά 19, Παράρτημα), Athens 1992/93, 97-111; eadem, ‘Πτόλις Μαντινείας’, ΑΑΑ 22, 1989, 113-122. The sanctuary was established in the LG or Subgeometric period.

A. Mazarakis Ainian

Fig. 2. Mycenae. Topographical plan of acropolis and environs. 1. Early Iron Age buildings and sanctuary. 2. Apsidal build­ ing. 3. Pavings above chamber tomb 220. 4. Agamemnoneion. The tombs within the cit­ adel were Submycenaean and PG. Adapted from A.J.B. Wace, Excavations at Mycenae, 1939-1955 (BSA Suppl. 12), London 1979, viii, and Antonaccio, Ances­ tors, 31, fig. 3 (based on R. Hägg, Gräber der Argolis, Uppsala 1974, 67, fig. 10). case of the alleged “Heroon of the Seven against Thebes” at Eleusis could be included in this section, though it may be equally classified as an instance of tomb cult. As Antonaccio has shown, it may represent a conscious act of appropriation of the area in order to create “a link between Iron Age buriers and Bronze Age forebears”, rather than as the heroon of the Seven against Thebes.31 Lastly, one could mention here the possible shrine o f Glaucus at Knossos, where architectural remains of the LG or Orientalizing period were uncovered in the deeper levels, but the excavators, judg­ ing by the date of the earliest votives (late Archaic), rightly concluded that the earlier remains belonged to a house.323* The main problem consists in determining whether the cult of the heroes belongs to the early history of the cult at these sites. In the ma­ jority of the cases, cult activities start in the second half o f the 8lh century, but in some places the origins of the sanctuary can be placed in the 9th century and even in the PG pe­ riod. Yet it is, as a rule, difficult to prove that the heroes received worship from the moment of the foundation of these shrines. Antonaccio

remains sceptical, with the exception of the case o f the Menelaion,13 but since the votive material seldom enables us to define the nature of the cult, it would be preferable not to under­ estimate the role of the heroes in these shrines. In my opinion, the evidence o f the character o f the votives in not enough to deny the early date of the establishment of these hero shrines. On the contrary, I would be willing to consider the foundation o f hero shrines o f eponymous he­ roes as a conscious act o f the rising polis, as op­ posed to the more informal and perhaps private initiative o f individuals who practised at the same time the tomb cults. The reasons which dictated the selection o f the locations of hero shrines are often ambiguous. The choice of the site was presumably 31 Ancestors, 112-117, esp. 117. 32 H. Catling, AR 1976-1977, 19f.; P.J. Callaghan, ‘KRS 1976: excavations at a shrine of Glaukos, Knossos’, BSA 73, 1978, 1-30, esp. 1. 33 Ancestors, 147-197, esp. 151 f. (Agamemnon­ eion), 154 (Polis cave), 165f. (Menelaion), 169 (Sounion), 176 (Pelopion), 177f. (Ptoi'os), 178-181 (Amyklai) and 181 f. (Alexandra/Cassandra and Agamemnon) for her conclusions.

Reflections on Hero Cults more often conditioned by the local, pre-exist­ ing oral tradition, rather than the opposite. The hero shrines at Therapne'1 and Sounion ( Od. 3.2781T.) were established in places where, ac­ cording to tradition, the tombs of these heroes would have been situated, but it is not easy to tell whether the myth preceded the inaugura­ tion of the cult or viceversa. Moreover, in the former place, there was an important Myce­ naean “Mansion”, the ruins of which would have been visible in the 8th century, when the shrine was founded. The same applies to the lo­ cation of the Pelopion at Olympia, where a conspicuous, EH II tumulus was presumably pinpointed in the historical age as the hero’s tomb (supra n. 18). It has been suggested that an EH (?) stone kerb was regarded as the ceno­ taph of a local hero on Tourkovounia hill," but this opinion has not received much support, while the “heroic” character of the cult is far from certain.3(’ It is not clear why the Agamemnoneion (cf. Fig. 2) was located c. 1 km away front the al­ leged tomb of Agamemnon (cf. Pausanias 2.16.6), but there must have existed a local tra­ dition linking this spot with the hero: Cook suggested that Agamemnon was supposedly murdered here,'7 while Snodgrass argued that the location was chosen on account of the prox­ imity of a Mycenaean bridge."1 Moreover, it is possible that the spot was chosen by the Mycenaeans in order to define their territorial claims against the Argives,'1' and similar reasons may have dictated the foundation of the sanctuary of Enyalios at Aspra Chomata, at an equal dis­ tance to the N. of the citadel.*38*40*On the other hand, the choice of the cave of Polis at Ithaca may have been conditioned by the epics, and specifically from the passage in Odyssey 13 where the 13 Phaeacian kings each offered Odysseus a bronze tripod. The tripods found in the cave were indeed 13, but it is not clear what came first, the story which generated the cult or the cult which generated the story. The latter explanation appears more probable, though the former can also be upheld if one accepts that the epics circulated in an oral form well before Homer’s age. " Whether the presence of Myce­


naean tombs in the cave had something to do with the inauguration of the cult cannot be proved. This reminds us of the case of a cave at Koukounaries at Paros; here, too, the people who performed rituals inside it from c. 950 B.C. onwards may not have been aware that a Mycenaean tomb existed there (see also infra, p. 25).42* In some cases, the choice of the sacred spot was conditioned by the belief that the hero’s home was located there: tradition placed the palace of Erechtheus on the acropolis and, in­ deed, there was a Mycenaean palace here and the area may have also been the seat of the Athenian basileis until around the beginning of the 9th century, the date of the earliest vo­ tives.4' Two uncertain instances of hero or an­ cestral cults associated with ruined dwellings of important figures, real or mythical, have " Catling (supra n. 32), 34. " H. Lauter, Der Kultplatz auf dem Twkovuni, Ber­ lin 1985 (AM-BH, 12), 41-45. Antonaccio, Ancestors, 1941'.; Mazarakis Ainian, RDT, 89. 57 Cook, in Γέρας (supra η. 10), 113. 38 Snodgrass, ‘Les origines’ (supra η. 1), 112. -w Antonaccio, Ancestors, 53, 1511. m G.E. Mylonas, Prakt 1965, 95f.; 1966, 111-114. 11 A. Mazarakis Ainian, ‘ Όμηρος και αρχαιο­ λογία: H συμβολή των Ευβοέων στη δι­ αμόρφωση του έπους’, in Με τον Όμηρο και την Οδύσσεια στο Ιόνιο. Κέρκυρα 13-15 Οκτ. 1995, Kerkyra 1996,421'. 42 Morris (supra n. 1), 7511'., 753. " fakovides, supra n. 22. On the metal votive offer­ ings of the Geometric period (tripods and figurines), see A.G. Bather, JUS 13, 1892/93,232ΙΊ'.; A. de Rid­ den Catalogue des bronzes trouvés sur l'Acropole (BEFAR, 74), Paris 1896, nos. 1-28, 48-49; S. Papaspyridi-Karousou, ArchEph 1952, 135-149; E. Touloupa, ‘Bronzebleche von der Akropolis in Athen. Gehämmerte geometrische Dreifüsse’, AM 87, 1972, 57-76; M. Weber, ‘Die geometrischen Dreifusskessel’, AM 86, 1971, 13-30; eadem, ‘Zu frühen attischen Gerätfiguren’, AM 89, 1974, 27-46; E. Touloupa, in New perspectives in early Greek art. National Gallery of Art, ed. D. Buitron-Oliver, Washington, Hannover & London 1991, 242. Pot­ tery: B. Graef & E. Langlotz, Die antiken Vasen von der Akropolis von Athen l, Berlin 1925,23ff., pis. 811; Coldstream, Geometric Greece (supra n. 13), 329. Terracotta figurines: supra n. 22.

A. Mazarakis Ai nian individual (Fig. 3, Building C).444 5At the A cad' emy in A thens, an ancestral or hero cult was eS' tablished in the LG period next to an EH apsL dal building (Fig. 4); the excavator suggested that the focus o f the cult was in fact the “rediS' covered” EH building, which would have been regarded as the house o f the local mythical hero, Academ us, though it is m ore than prob' able that the cult was aimed at the contem po' rary tom bs in the surroundings, and perhaps not at a specific m ythical figure, while it is not certain that the rediscovery o f the house had anything to do with the inauguration o f the cult.44 On the other hand, Lauter has suggested that the edifice was used by a burial association which gathered here to honour a common hero,46 w hile Fagerström has upheld an ex~ treme view, i.e. that the edifice was the house of a patrician or a farm stead.47 Calligas has claim ed that certain sanctuaries associated with the cult of named heroes (Am yklaion, Sounion) were originally the seats of patriarchal households (oikoi).4* He d e ' veloped the same theory in relation to sanctua^ ries in which O lym pian divinities were ex clu ' sively worshipped, such as those at Pherai o r

Fig. 3. Asine. Karmaniola plot. Buildings B and C, PG tombs and cult area around pithos. Dotted area: circular paving of the LG period. Adapted from B, Wells, Asine If, 4:2, Stockholm 1983, 21, fig. 2, 27, fig. 8, and 29, fig. 11.

been found at Asine and the Academy. At the former site, an ancestral (?) cult was perhaps inaugurated in the LG period around a raised, circular, stone platform (74F) above a ruined, apsidal building of the 10th century, which ap­ pears to have been the dwelling of a prominent

" S. Dietz, Asine II, I (ActaAth-4", 24:2:1), Stock' holm 1982, 34-36. See also The Greek renaissance of the eighth century B.C.: tradition and innovation. Proceedings o f the Second international Symposium at the Swedish Institute in Athens, 1-5 June, 198/ (ActaAth-4", 30), ed. R. Hägg, Stockholm 1983, 193 (intervention by B. Wells and reply by R. Hägg). However, no evidence for cult activities was re~ covered in association with the platform, which may therefore have served a domestic function. 45 Sacred House: Ph. Stavropoullos, Prakt 1958, 5 9; 1961, 8-10; 1962, 5-7. Tombs above the EH house: idem, Prakt 1956, 49-51. Deposit of intact vases in the same area: idem, Prakt 1956, 52. A de~ posit of EG I vases which was found nearby cannot possibly be associated with the cult of Academos: idem, Prakt 1959, 8f., pi. 6; Ergon 1958, 9, fig. 5. In general see Mazarakis Ainian, RDT 140-143. Lauter (supra n. 3d;, 159-162. 47 Fagerström, G1AA, 46f. Calligas (supra n. 17), 44f,; idem, ‘Πρώιμη ισ­ τορία τσ>ν ιερών του Σουνίου’, in Πρακτικά Α ' Επιστημονικής Συνάντησης ΝΑ. Αττικής, Kaly' via 1993,301-312, esp. 303f.

Reflections on Hero Cults


Fig 4. Academy (Athens). LG Sacred House, EH house and LG graves. Adapted from J. Travlos, Pictorial dictionary of an­ cient Athens, New York 1980, 50, fig. 62, and Ph. Stavropoullos, Prakt 1958, 9, fig. 1, and 1961, 6, fig. 1.

Aetos.‘w The evidence from these sites is incon­ clusive, but Calligas’ assumption may in the long run prove correct, provided that the term patriarchal oikos is replaced by the more gen­ eral term “ruler’s dwelling”. Indeed, the social, economic and political organization of the Greeks of the Dark Ages was by no means uni­ form and was certainly not confined to free­ standing, patriarchal oikoi, as appears to have been the case of Lefkandi in the 10th century, which is presumably the primary model which Calligas has in mind. Yet, certain LG and Early Archaic sanctuaries appear to have encroached upon habitation quarters of members of the previous élites, for instance, at Thermon (temple of Apollo over Megaron B), Tiryns

(LH I1IC ruler’s house converted into a temple of Hera— or Athena?— in the mid-8th century), Aigeira (Temple B, which replaced Building A, presumably the old ruler’s dwelling), Ere­ tria (apsidal hekatompedon built next to the socalled Daphnephoreion, which may have been an aristocratic dwelling) and Eleusis (Unit B/ B 1-3 converted into the temple of Demeter in1 9

19 P.G. Calligas, ‘Θεσσαλία και Εύβοια κατά την Πρώιμη Εποχή του Σιδήρου’, in Διεθνές Συνέδριο για την αρχαία Θεσσαλία στη μνήμη του Δημήτρη Ρ. Θεοχάρη, Athens 1992, 300; /ί/ί-Ήΐ, ‘H Ομηρική Κεφαλονιά’, in Πρακτικά Ε' Διεθνούς Πανιονίου Συνεδρίου, 17-21 Μαίου 1986, 3, Argostoli 1991,73.


Mazarakis Ainian

the second half of the 8th century). Indeed, it seems that there must have been some connec­ tion between the locations of old rulers’ dwell­ ings or the graves of warriors of high status and the rise of certain sanctuaries, which often be­ came the centres of worship for several com­ munities in the surroundings (Thermon, Eleu­ sis, Aigeira).50 However, the pattern defined by Calligas concerns individual cases and does not characterize the Greek world as a whole. Had it been so, one would have expected a sanctuary to have sprung up from the ruins of the so-called Heroon at Lefkandi.

Cult in honour of the recently deceased was of­ ten performed inside or next to contemporary cemeteries, in roofed or simply enclosed struc­ tures. Usually, this category is not associated with hero cult but mostly with the veneration of ancestors or simply with the cult of the dead. At Asine, in an unusual number of the excavated plots, evidence has been recovered for the ex­ istence of assemblages which were supposedly associated with the cult of ancestors.51 Here, however, the dead were buried throughout the PG and Geometric periods near the houses (Karmaniola, Kapsorachis and Samaras plots), while children were sometimes buried beneath the floor of the house (Levendis plot).52 More­ over, already in the PG period, traces of cult ac­ tivities in connection with burials have been noted in the Karmaniola plot: in the immediate vicinity of Building C, five tombs of children and two of adults were excavated (cf. Fig. 3 ),55 and there is evidence for burial rituals, presum­ ably libations, in connection with some of these tombs.54 A few metres to the N. of the apsidal building, an hypaethral cult place was lo­ cated around a pithos; some of the animal bones belong to dogs, which suggests a chthonian cult, perhaps related to healing gods and sickness demons.55 At Argos, tombs were scat­ tered all over the inhabited area, and the case of the EG apsidal house may be singled out as a typical example of the relationship between the space of the living and that of the dead.56 R. Hiigg has also suggested that the material asso-

50 Thermon was the religious meeting-place of the Aetolian ethnos and Aigeira became the principal cult place of the ethnos of the Achaians: see Morgan (supra n. 26), 8f. 51 For a summary of the evidence, see see R. Hagg, ‘Funerary meals in the Geometric necropolis m Asine?’, in The Greek renaissance (supra n. 44), 183-193; idem, ‘Geometric sanctuaries in the At·, golid’, in Polydipsion Argos (BCH Suppl., 22), Athens 1992, 18f. On the Kapsorachis plot, see I. 4 R. Hiigg, eds., Excavations in the Barbouna area qt Asine, Fase. 4 (Boreas. Uppsala Studies in Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Civilizations, 4:4), Uppsala 1980, 23-25; J.M. Fossey, ‘Πολιτικοθρη. σκευτική θέσις της αργολικής Ασίνης κατά την Υστερογεωμετρικήν εποχήν’, in Πρακτικά tj' Τοπικού Συνεδρίου Αργολικών Σπουδών, Άργος 30/5-1/6 1986 (Πελοποννησιακά 14, Παράρτημα), Athens 1989, 57-63. See also Antonaccio, Ances­ tors, 199-201. 52 In general, see R. Hiigg, Die Gräber der Argolis in suhmykenischer, protogeometrischer und geo­ metrischer Zeit 1: Lage und Form der Grübe,· (Boreas. Uppsala Studies in Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Civilizations, 7:1), Uppsala 1974, 47-56. 5:1 B. Wells, Asine 11,4:1 (ActaAth-4", 24:4:1), Stockholm 1976, passim, esp. p. 31; eadem. Asine 11,4:2 (ActaAth-40, 24:4:2), Stockholm 1983, 3()f., with the revised dating of the graves. 54 Wells 1976 (supra n. 53), 24f. A coarse jug pierced by a hole at the bottom (F 70-19) was asso­ ciated with Tomb 1970-15. 55 Wells 1983 (supra n. 53), 33f., where a dating in the late Asine phase 1 is considered likely. Contre see S.H. Langdon, A3A 89, 1985, 533, where a dat­ ing in the late 10th or 9th century is regarded


unfortunately it is not possible to prove this. I have developed my personal opinions con­ cerning the function o f the monumental apsidal building at Toumba, Lefkandi, elsewhere.96 93 K. Fagerstrom, ‘Finds, function and plan: a contri­ bution to the interpretation of Iron Age Nichoria in Messenia’, OpAth 17, 1988, 33-50, esp. 41. Contra, see Antonaccio, Ancestors, 206. 94 McDonald & Coulson (supra n. 55), 109, 260-265 (quotation on p. 326). 95 Morgan (supra n. 26), 99. 96 Mazarakis Ainian (supra n. 61), 6-9; idem, ‘Early Greek temples: their origin and function’, in Early Greek cult practice (supra n. 78), 116; idem, RDT 48-58. Basic publications: M.R. Popham, E. Tonloupa & L.H. Sackett, ‘The Hero of Lefkandi’, Antiquity 56, 1982, 169-174; idem, BSA 77, 1982, esp. 246-248 & n. 47; P.G Calligas, ‘Ανασκαφές στο Λευκαντί Εύβοιας, 1981-1984’, Archeion Euhoikon Meieton 26, 1984/85, 253-269; idem, ‘Hero cult in Early Iron Age Greece’, in Early Greek cult practice (supra η. 78), 229-234; R.W.V. Catling & l.S. Lemos, Lefkandi II. The Protogeometric building at Toumba. Part 1: The pottery (BSA Suppl.. 22), eds. M.R. Popham, P.G. Calligas & L.H. Sackett, London 1990; J. Coulton, H.W. Catling et ah, Lefkandi II. The Protogeometric building at Toumba. Part 2: The excavation, archi­ tecture and finds (BSA Suppl., 23), eds. M.R. Popham, P.G. Calligas & L.H. Sackett, London 1993.

27 Here, too, roughly 200 years earlier than the Nichoria burial, another prominent individual had achieved prominence during his lifetime and was remembered by the living for more than a century after his death: they buried him, together with his wife, in the middle of his anaktoron and subsequently raised a mound over his ruined dwelling, while his descendants chose as a burial ground the area in front of the former entrance of the house (Fig. 10). Yet, as at Nichoria, neither sacrifices nor offerings were made in honour of the deceased. The well-known conditions of the excavation did not allow the excavators to explore the central room. Had they managed to do so, the finds may have answered some of the crucial ques­ tions, such as whether cult ceremonies of any sort were held inside the building as long as it stood and its occupants were alive. As noted above (p. 25), the raised areas in the East Room more likely served domestic needs and may be compared with similar structures of the Early Iron Age, usually associated with agricultural activities. On the other hand, the krater which was found in the central room, next to the burial shafts, appears to have been a cultic vase, but it was presumably used only for the funeral ceremony and was afterwards left be­ hind and buried beneath the tumulus which covered both building and tombs. The same may be true of the contents of the clay con­ tainer in the south-east corner of the central room. A large, circular pit by the north wall of the porch may have held a container for the pu­ rification of those entering the building, but this may have also been placed there during the funeral ritual.97*The huge, bronze tripod by the entrance of the building, of which only the traces in the rock for the placing of its feet have been preserved, may have been positioned there after the burial ceremony but was pre­ sumably a symbol of the status of the deceased, rather than a cubic utensil for the performance of rituals in their honour.91* The circumstances surrounding the death of the warrior of Lefkandi and his companion cannot be reconstructed. What matters here is that at the death of the “basileus” of Lefkandi

and his female companion, the anaktoron was deserted, and only the massive mound with which burials and building were covered pre­ served their memory to the subsequent genera­ tions. The fact that the building was used for only about one generation and the area was henceforth used as a burial ground but no cult was inaugurated in connection with the de­ ceased couple does not favour the heroon theory, but perhaps favours W hitley’s model of “unstable” settlements ruled by Big Men in­ stead.99*Thus, even if the deceased warrior of Lefkandi was regarded as a hero, certainly after his death and perhaps during his lifetime as well, no rituals were performed by the living thereafter. I should recall here, however, that a number of scholars believe that the building post-dates the burials and consequently argue that it was planned from the beginning to serve as a heroon;'w for those who accept this expla­ nation, the edifice should be regarded as a fu­ neral “palace”, i.e. a large-scale model of the as yet undetected residence of the deceased couple.101 The intermediate position, de­ veloped by Crielaard and Driessen, is a combi­ nation of both theories.102 These authors argue that the apsidal building was originally a house, subsequently transformed into a heroon. Yet the explanation put forward both by Popham and by Crielaard and Driessen, i.e. that the building had to be abandoned after a while, owing to some natural disaster or technical fail97 Coulton, in Lefkandi II, Part 2 (supra n. 96), 52; Popham, in ibid., 9. ™M.R. Popham, L.H. Sackett & P.G. Themelis, Lefkandi I. The Iron Age. The settlement, the cem­ eteries (BSA Suppl., 11), London 1979-80, 214, pi. 79. " J. Whitley, ‘Social diversity in Dark Age Cirecce', BSA 86, 1991,341-365, esp. 349. 10,1This is, for instance, the opinion of M. Popham (‘The Hero of Lefkandi’ [supra n. 96J, 171-174; idem in Lefkandi II, Part 2 [supra n. 96], 98), D. Ridgway (L'alha della Magna Grecia, Milan 1984, 30f.) and C. Bérard (MusHelv 42, 1985, 274; idem, Desmos 11/12, 1986,9-11). 101 C. Bérard, MusHelv 42, 1985, 274; idem, Desmos 11/12, 1986, 9f. 1,12 Crielaard & Driessen (supra n. 92), 251-270.

A. Mazarakis Ainian ure, does not appear plausible, since one would have expected religious ceremonies to have persisted even after the destruction of the building, something which, as we have seen, was not the case, a fact acknowledged by all authors.103 The case of Thermon is also ambiguous, ow ­ ing to the confusion surrounding the circum­ stances of the excavation (Fig. 5). Recent re­ search and excavations by Papapostolou have shed some light on the matter. It seems today that the old chief’s house, Megaron A, changed its function in the last period of use, presum­ ably at the beginning of the Early Iron Age. The presence of graves within the apsidal compartment104 and of inverted pithoi contain­ ing ashes in the main room105 indicates that the building was a heroon in the latter part o f its use, as the first excavator had claimed.106 It seems that Megaron B, which replaced Mega­ ron A, was built next to one or more warriors’ cremation graves and that religious ceremonies were held certainly outside and perhaps inside the edifice, both before its construction and during its period of use. Papapostolou tenta­ tively suggests considering a mound crowned by a triangular slab as a burial and some adjoin­ ing pits as installations connected with a cult which would have been practised in honour of the deceased, who was presumably a war­ rior.107 Yet Megaron B does not appear to have been exclusively devoted to cult practice, the more probable interpretation being that it was a ruler’s dwelling. This building was replaced sometime during the 9th century by a mudbrick structure, traces of which were identified in the upper levels of the northern compart­ ment. This light edifice was in its turn sup­ planted in the 7th century (?) by a new struc­ ture, of which only the slabs for the placing of upright posts have survived (in my opinion, perhaps the only traces left of a peripteral, ap­ sidal temple, similar to the one recently discov­ ered at Ano Mazaraki in Achaia).108 I have also argued extensively elsewhere that the area of the sanctuary of Apollo Daphnephoros at Eretria was perhaps initially a residential quarter of the aristocracy which was

given over to the cult o f the gods only toward** the beginning o f the last quarter of the 8th cen'' tury B.C., when the apsidal hekatompedon eft Apollo was built (Fig. 11). The death of t l / “prince”, who was perhaps buried with hi** sceptre by the W est Gate (Fig. 6, Tomb 6)’ roughly coincides with the construction of th^ hekatompedon. Since Building A, which doe? not appear to have been a temple, was piousl/ preserved, one may suggest that it had origj'' nally served as a dwelling o f the “prince”, an^ after his death it would have been preserved aß a memorial o f the person who once dwel1 within.109 Furthermore, since the round, w eir like altar/bothros appears to have been buil£ simultaneously with Building A, one may at"" gue that, initially, the religious ceremonie^ which were held in the immediate vicinity o* the ruler’s house were basically directed i0 chthonian divinities, and perhaps to distant an'' cestors. Another interesting case which may fit int0 this group is the so-called Sacred House a£

103 “With the burying of the building beneath itS mound, its history comes to an end. There are n