The Anaktoron at Eleusis, mentioned in many literary and epigraphic texts, has been the subject of considerable controversy for well over a century, as to whether the term anaktoron refers to the entire hall of initiation (Telesterion) or an inner sanctum or both. After a brief summary of the history of the controversy, special emphasis is given to the evidence of three large statue bases, most probably originally set up outside the Telesterion. Their epigrams proclaim to visitors that they are standing near a monument called Anaktoron, which clearly should be a building, not a structure within a building. While many of the testimonia concerning the Anaktoron unambiguously refer to a building, no testimonium unambiguously shows that it is not the entire building. Finally, close examination of the context of two difficult passages--a fragmentary text in Aelian (fr. 10) and Plutarch, De prof. virt. 81DE--shows that both most likely refer to the Telesterion. Keywords: Eleusis, Sanctuary, Anaktoron, Telesterion, Mysteria In modern discussion of the Eleusinian sanctuary, from the early nineteenth century to the present, the term "Anaktoron" has been interpreted in three ways: 1) an inner sanctum, "Holy of Holies," 2) an inner sanctum or the Telesterion, or
Journal of Ancient History – de Gruyter
Published: Jun 1, 2016
Read and print from thousands of top scholarly journals.
Already have an account? Log in
Bookmark this article. You can see your Bookmarks on your DeepDyve Library.