The Classical Quarterly (New Series)

Shorter Notes

Restoring a Manuscript Reading at Paus. 9.3.7

M. P. J. Dillona1

a1 University of New England, Armidale


pausanias Preserves what we know about the Little and the Great Daidala, religious celebrations which took place in Plataia from the classical into the Roman period (Paus. 9.3.1–9). To his account can be added a fragment from Plutarch's work (Eusebius, Praeparatio Evangelii 3.1.6 = Plutarch fr. 157), and a brief mention in Menander Rhetor (Peri Epideiktikon, ed. L. Spengel, Rhetores Graeci iii, p. 367.7). At the celebration of the Little Daidala, which occurred about every six years or so (Paus. 9.3.3), the Plataians made an image from the trunk of an oak tree (Paus. 9.3.4); they called the image a daidalon, because ‘the men of old’ called the wooden images, the xoana, daidala (Paus. 9.3.2). Every sixty years, the Plataians celebrated the Great Daidala, to which other Boiotian states sent representations (Paus. 9.3.5–6, Men. Rhet. iii, p. 367.7). At this Great Daidala, all the images which had been made at the Little Daidala were gathered together and burnt (Paus. 9.3.8). The process by which this was done was to allocate by lot to each of the important Boiotian towns one of the daidala, and to distribute the rest amongst the lesser Boiotian states, who would pool their resources so as to be able to participate in the ceremony (Paus. 9.3.6). Each large city, or a group of smaller cities, was thus responsible for one daidalon.