Though she was honored throughout Greece Athena was the object of an especial cult in Athens. On the Acropolis she has, besides the Parthenon, two other temples: the temple of Athena Nike and the Erechtheum.
The chief festivals of the cult of Athena were: the Arrephoria, in the course of which two little girls of noble family, from seven to eleven years old, descended from the Acropolis to deposit in an underground chamber near the sanctuary of Aphrodite mysterious objects which they carried in a basket; the Scirophoria, when priests and priestesses walked in solemn procession under a vast parasol (sciron); and finally the Panathenaea which dated from the days of Theseus and consisted of a solemn procession to the Acropolis in which was carried to the Goddess a peplos made by the most skilled workmen in Athens. Taking part were not only priests and magistrates but also girls carrying baskets, old men bearing olive branches and young men on horseback. During the Panathenaea were held races, gymnastic games, regattas and contests of music, singing and dancing.
Copyright ©1998-1999 Roy George