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The principal feast of Apollo in Athens, held on the seventh day of Thargelion (May-June), the birthday of the god. Originally it was connected with the ripening of the field produce. A procession was formed, and the first fruits of the year were offered to Apollo, together with Artemis and the Horae. It was at the same time an expiatory feast, at which a peculiar propitiatory sacrifice was offered, which was to purify the State from all guilt, and avert the wrath of the god, lest he should exercise his avenging and destroying power in burning up the harvest with parching heat, and in visiting the people with pestilence. Two persons, condemned to death, a man and a woman, as representatives of the male and female population, were led about with a garland of figs round their necks to the sound of flutes and singing, and scourged with seaweed and with the branches of a fig tree. They were then sacrificed at a certain spot on the seashore, their bodies burned, and the ashes cast into the sea. In later times they seem to have been contented with throwing the expiatory victims from a height into the sea, catching them as they fell, and banishing them from the country. Besides these sacrifices, festal processions and choral contests between men and boys took place. At the same time the great feast of Apollo was probably held at Delos, to which the Athenians sent a sacred embassy in the ancient ship in which Theseus is said to have sailed to Crete, and which was always kept in repair.
Type: Standard
gutter splint
gutter splint
gutter splint