Thursday, September 22, 2005

Ante Diem IX Kalendas October

Modern Date : September 23rd

Ante Diem IX Kalendas October
Ninth Day to the Kalends of October

This is one of the dies comitiales when committees of citizens could vote on political or criminal matters.

Drusilla, the mad Emperor Caligula's beloved sister and lover, was deified this day in 38 BCE.

On this day in 480 BCE the Greeks defeated the Persian fleet at the battle of Salamis. This essentially ended Persian attempts to dominate the West. An extended period of peace and golden age culture followed in Greece.

One of the greatest playwrights of ancient Greece, Euripides, was born also on this this day in 480 BCE. Euripides introduced numerous radical innovations to the stage, including large casts of actors, siongers and musicians, night-time plays with light and fire, machines for creating real or illusory motion, and shocking levels of violence. The stage was never the same again. Almost half of his tragedies have survived.

September is the 'magical' seventh month (after March).

The Feast of Nemesis
The Greeks celebrated the Feast of Nemesis on this day. Nemesis is the goddess of divine justice and vengeance. Her anger is directed toward human transgression of the natural, right order of things and of the arrogance causing it. Nemesis pursues the insolent and the wicked with inflexible vengeance. Her cult probably originated from Smyrna. She is regarded as the daughter of Oceanus or Zeus, but according to Hesiod she is a child of Erebus and Nyx.

She is portrayed as serious looking woman with in her left hand a whip, a rein, a sword, or a pair of scales. In the Hellenistic period she was portrayed with a steering wheel. Also called Rhamnusia, from a temple and statue of her in Rhamnus, a village in the northern part of Attica. The epithet Adrasteia "she whom none can escape", properly of the those of the Phrygian Cybele, was later applied to her.

The Greater Eleusinian Mysteries
This is the first day of the Greater Eleusinian Mysteries, which started on the 16th. They continued for nine more days in honor of Ceres and Proserpine (Roman) or Demeter and Persephone (Greek). The first day of the celebration was called Agormos, "Assembly," as the worshippers first met together. A gathering was held of candidates for initiation. The guides gave precise instructions, knowledge of which was necessary in the course of the initiation. In the evening, matrons journeyed to the rites in oxen drawn carriages. A select company of Athenian matrons, referred to as the Camphorae, carried a small coffer or basket called the Kalathion of Ceres. Within the basket were the comb of Ceres, her mirror, a serpentine figure, and some wheat and barley. The procession ended at the temple, where this sacred charge was left with the greatest solemnity.

This day is in celebration of the Finnish Goddess Mielikki. Mielikki may be considered a Finnish Artemis. She is a protector of animals. She may also be called Mimerkki, Mieulutar, and Mielus. Mielus means "friendly" and Mieli means "mind" or even "intelligence."

Her husband often refers to her as 'All-Pleasing Woman'. But as he's a tree, it's hard to know what to make of that. How do you please a tree? In the Kalevala, the Finnish national epic based on the runo-songs, the hero Lemminkäinen offers her and Tapio(her husband) both prayers and gold and silver so he can catch the Hiisi elk. In annother passage Mielikki is asked to protect cattle grazing in the forest. In a country where the forest was central for providing food through hunting, gathering and cattle grazing, it was probably very important to stay on her good side so the hunting would be good and so the predators stayed clear of the cattle.


Anonymous JACK said...

Mielikki's husband was a tree? Thoughts head toward middle earth and the mean willow tree and to middle american tales of the wooden people.

Perhaps the willow tree was angry because he at one time was human and for whatever reason got "turned" into a tree and could no longer roam.

Don't know of anything of the "wooden" people other than that was a people experiment that didn't work and it come from middle america lore.

It's good to hear that one tree wasn't an angry one. 8=) I wonder what the state of mind is of trees in this day and age.

One blip of propoganda that I got from the Uof North Carolina's PBS station is that the current forest are upping their capacity to work with our increasing pollution levels. They are becoming more "dense" or something.

Along that same line of carrot dangling was another blip, herralding the return of a previously thought extinct wood pecker.

I find both the carrots affirming yet since they're from such a public, established institution...

What about the frogs up there in the Den? Any change with them? I forget how I found that bit of news...

9:35 AM  
Blogger Aereaus said...

Well as you know Tolkin got much of his inspiration from Finnish myth. The tree is a powerful symbol in many cultures.

If I was a tree I'd be happy for all the carbon dioxide in the air, but would be pissed that these short lived humans kept cutting down my people to make room for more of their people.

About the frogs in Denmark... haven't a clue. I've only been here a year, originating from New Mexico in the states. Thanks for commenting. I hope your enjoying my blog.

11:23 PM  
Anonymous JACK said...

Thanks. Yer blog is very informative about our days and the stories behind them, especially for folk curious about the whys of today. Thank you again.

9:31 AM  

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