Κυριακή, 28 Αυγούστου 2011

Homeric Hymn to Demetra - Mixing the Kykeon

Mixing the Kykeon and Breaking the Fast

"In Homer the kykeôn, a "mixed drink" that contains the grain sacred to Demeter, is used to refresh Nestor and the wounded Machaon after battle (Iliad ii). [...] In the Hymn (in contrast to Homer) the drink is neither wine (wineless offerings were standard in the cult of the goddesses and in chthonic cults, and this passage offers an aition for the practice), the most civilized mortal drink, nor nectar, the immortal drink. [...] The theory that the barley grains were fermented, and thus the drink had an hallucinatory effect, is unlikely to be correct. Indeed, the mild and medicinal quality of the drink may explain its suitability for breaking a fast. In drinking the kykeôn, the initiates partake of food sacred to the goddess and thus perhaps begin to share in the prosperity promised by the Mysteries."

from "The Homeric Hymn to Demeter: Translation, Commentary, and Interpretive Essays," p. 47, by Helene P. Foley (1994)

206
Then Metaneira offered her a cup* with honeyed wine
___ τῇ δὲ δέπας Μετάνειρα δίδου μελιηδέος οἴνου
___ têi de depas Metaneira didou meliêdeos oinou

207
filled: but she refused it, for she said, it was not lawful for her
___ πλήσασ': ἣ δ' ἀνένευσ': οὐ γὰρ θεμιτόν οἱ ἔφασκε
___ plêsas': hê d' aneneus': ou gar themiton hoi ephaske

208
to drink red wine, but bade* them to mix some barley and water
___ πίνειν οἶνον ἐρυθρόν: ἄνωγε δ' ἄρ' ἄλφι καὶ ὕδωρ
___ pinein oinon eruthron: anôge d' ar' alphi kai hudôr

209
and give her the mixture* to drink with delicate* pennyroyal.*
___ δοῦναι μίξασαν πιέμεν γλήχωνι τερείνῃ.
___ dounai mixasan piemen glêkhôni tereinêi.

210
So she prepared* and gave the goddess the draught (kykeôn)*
as she bade.
___ ἣ δὲ κυκεῶ τεύξασα θεᾷ πόρεν, ὡς ἐκέλευε:
___ hê de kukeô teuxasa theai poren, hôs ekeleue:

211
And the great queen Deo received it for the sake* of the rites.*
___ δεξαμένη δ' ὁσίης ἕνεκεν πολυπότνια Δηώ
___ dexamenê d' hosiês heneken polupotnia Dêô

206 δέπας / depas
cup - beaker - goblet - of the golden bowl in which the sun floated back from West to East during the night

208 ἄνωγε / anôge
command - order - advise - urge - bid

209 μίξασαν / mixasan
mixture - to be mixed up with - mingled among - join - bring together

209 γλήχωνι / glêkhôni (Illustrated above, Wikipedia)
pennyroyal - mint - Mentha pulegium
"Pennyroyal is a plant in the mint genus, within the family Lamiaceae. Crushed pennyroyal leaves exhibit a very strong fragrance similar to spearmint. Pennyroyal is a traditional culinary herb, folk remedy, and abortifacient." (Wikipedia)

209 τερείνῃ / tereinêi
soft - delicate - tender - that causes tender feelings

210 τεύξασα / teuxasa
prepare - produce by work or art - form - create - well-wrought

210 κυκεῶ / kukeô (κῠκ-εών)
mixed drink - the "kykeon," a type of Eucharist in the Demeter mysteries - literally, draught - potion - metaphorically = mixture, medley, union

211 ἕνεκεν / heneken
to observe - on account of - according to - for the sake of

211 ὅσιος / hosiês
rites - sanctioned by divine law - [what is] hallowed - holy - a sacrament

Both Jests & Kykeon
Break the Fast
"The Homeric hymn to Demeter offers us an almost complete picture of mysteries of the Great Goddesses under their primitive form, which they still retained at the date when the hymn was composed...[Joseph Daniel] Guigniaut thus describes the chief of them: 'Demeter seeks her daughter during nine days throughout all the earth, carrying torches in both hands; and on the tenth day she arrives at Eleusis, where she rests and breaks her long fast by drinking the restorative kykeon, of which she has herself prescribed the form of preparation. Here are so many points of afhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.giffinity, but not of strict correspondence, between the legend so poetically developed by the author of the hymn and the rites observed during the first nine days of the great Eleusinian festival. [...] Ihttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifambe, who by her jests diverts the goddess from the gloomy grief into which the loss of her daughter had plunged her, personifies, with the iambic verses, the comic scenes which interrupted the mourning, [in the same way] as the kykeon broke the fast of the initiated.'"

from "The Eleusinian Mysteries," The Contemporary Review, Vol 27, p.953 (Oxford. 1880) by François Lenormant

http://earlywomenmasters.net/demeter/myth_206.html
http://www.uh.edu/~cldue/texts/demeter.html
http://www.erowid.org/chemicals/lsa/lsa_article1.pdf
THE ROAD TO ELEUSIS


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