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Zeus Meilichios Coming Up

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Zeus Meilichios Coming Up

Post  AgathonZante on Thu Feb 20, 2014 12:33 am

The 23rd of this month is in honor of Zeus Meilichios. What type of festivities and offerings/sacrifices are appropriate here?
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Re: Zeus Meilichios Coming Up

Post  Erodius on Thu Feb 20, 2014 1:19 am

I imagine you are looking at some form of the Attic civil calendar.

Although commonly referenced, being the best attested example of a Greek classical calendar, it should really be remembered that 1. it only reflects the official, state observance of the city of Athens, and 2. only even reflects pre-Hellenistic Athens. After the Macedonian expansion, and through the centuries of the Hellenistic and Roman eras, things changed dramatically. Among them, the calendar.

That calendar you're looking at was already obsolete and out of use 2,000 years ago. While it can be a tool for studying the Greek classical year in Athens, there is no reason to be particularly dedicated to it. There are other perfectly suitable ways to reckon apt days for certain kinds of worship.

Meilichius is a form of Ζεύς/Iuppiter, depicted in art as a grass snake, who represents his good favor. Worship of Meilichius is a fairly typical Jovian worship (typical sacrifice, wine libation, incense, and so forth) aside from the unique depiction.

The associate day of Iuppiter/Ζεύς is Thursday, and his seiric number is 1 and/or 11. Drawing from the deity's seira, you can pinpoint the times down to varying levels of minuteness and specificity, most cosmically aligned and conducive.

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"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


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Re: Zeus Meilichios Coming Up

Post  AgathonZante on Thu Feb 20, 2014 1:23 am

I had no idea that the calendar had been abandoned. I assumed that the ancient Athenians had always used it. What then do we use to mark our annual observances and festivities?
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Re: Zeus Meilichios Coming Up

Post  Thrasyvoulos on Thu Feb 20, 2014 2:35 am

AgathonZante wrote:I had no idea that the calendar had been abandoned. I assumed that the ancient Athenians had always used it. What then do we use to mark our annual observances and festivities?

Many reconstructionists DO use the Attic calendar today, and you're certainly free to use it. There's nothing or no one saying you can't. Erodius, however, is approaching this from our shared tradition's perspective, wherein we have our own liturgical calendar for specific reasons that would be rather lengthy to post here. However, Erodius has a link in his banner space; you could easily find the calendar we use on our teacher's website, along with a sufficient explanation as to why we use it.

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Re: Zeus Meilichios Coming Up

Post  AgathonZante on Thu Feb 20, 2014 3:41 am

What does this particular Epithet of Zeus refer to? What does it mean? I have seen a few meanings here and there on line and in books, but nothing concrete as to what this means.
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Re: Zeus Meilichios Coming Up

Post  Erodius on Thu Feb 20, 2014 7:42 am

To answer the first question, for all of Hellenistic Antiquity onward until, actually, the early Middle Ages, the Greek-speaking world used two calendars. Locally, they used the Macedonian calendar, which had been spread across the various calendarically-disunited cities of Greece by Philip of Macedon and his successors.

It functions much like the Attic calendar (and other near-eastern calendars, including the Jewish and Islamic calendars) in that the months are counted from the dates of the new moon. However, the Macedonian calendar differs from the Attic calendar in that 1. the names of the months are different, 2. rather than counting years in groups of 4, called 'Olympiads', the Macedonian calendar counted years in 19-year cycles called Metonic cycles or ἐννεακαιδεκαετηρίδες/enneakaidecaeterides, and 3. to make the calendar more accurate, two 'added months' exist (the Attic calendar only has 1), one of which is added in every third year, rather than every fourth, meaning it is added 7 times over the course of a Metonic cycle. That was an important addition to keep the calendar accurate.

The Macedonian calendar does not 'come with' a set of fixed dates for religious observances, because the dates for these were different all over the Graeco-Roman world, and different cities often had different sets of festivals anyhow.

One of these days, I'll get around to posting an explanation of the Macedonian calendar and how it works, it's really not that complex. No more so than the Attic calendar. And it is also useful to be familiar with it, academically speaking, because virtually any Greek text after Alexander's time (all the way up to the Byzantine era) will indicate dates and months using the Macedonian calendar.

What does this particular Epithet of Zeus refer to? What does it mean? I have seen a few meanings here and there on line and in books, but nothing concrete as to what this means.

It means 'welcome/friendly/gracious/helpful' etc. — anything along those lines. It is, literally, simply a representation of his good favor and aid, depicted as a grass snake.

_________________
"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


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