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Lousoi, Myth and Meaning

 

Lousoi, Myth and Meaning

Copyright 2006 Mary G. Galvin PhD

Published by Mary G. Galvin PhD at Shakespir

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Table of Contents

Location

The Myth

Meaning

Bibliography

Notes

Table of Figures

Signpost to Temple of Artemis Hemerasia

Hemerasia Temple Remains

Krateriskos Fragment

Proitos Daughters – plaque in Athens Museum

Map showing Tyrins, Argos and Lousoi

Kastria Caves rear entrance / exit

Stalactite – looks like folds of flowing cloth

Route Map

Statue of Artemis Hemerasia with torch and a poppy

Lotus Leaf or Seed pod?

Rose or Poppy?

Acknowledgements

I would like to thank the Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens who provided me with a much-appreciated grant to assist with the cost of travel to Greece in order to complete some necessary research towards my doctoral thesis on the cult of Artemis. During September and October 2005 I was able to visit many sites of Artemis and to seek out some of the artefacts discovered at these sites, now in various museums. It was obviously not possible to visit all of the many hundreds of sites as, to quote the Greeks themselves, ‘there were more sites of Artemis in the ancient world, than any other deity, save Apollo’.

Also, I would like to acknowledge the Liberal Arts department at the University of Newcastle in New South Wales where the information contained in this article was originally presented in a Seminar. The comments and thoughts shared at that Seminar were much appreciated as was the encouragement to explore and investigate topics that sparked my interest but were outside of my broader PhD research.

Prologue

Following in the footsteps of myth is always an interesting challenge. How much is based on fact? How much is fiction? What message was the storyteller trying to convey?

Recent times have yielded discoveries that provide some archaeological, historical or factual basis for an element of reality in the myths and legends of our ancestors. Schliemann’s discovery of Troy; and Diggle and Underhill’s retracing of the voyage of Odysseus are both examples of finding the seeds of reality within the words of the ancient tales.

The tale this article addresses is far simpler and much shorter that either the Iliad or the Odyssey, it is tale of three errant teenage girls who reject marriage and flee from their father’s home and control. This behaviour is seen as madness induced by a deity (Hera). Eventual salvation comes at the hands of a second deity (Artemis) who heals their madness with her poppy.

This is a tale of transition: from daughter to wife; from menarche to marriage; the time of the ‘Parthenos’.

Whether told for the moral in the tale, or as a justification for local rites of Artemis or for some other purpose entirely, it does not really matter. What is perhaps more interesting is to retrace the footsteps of these girls of myth; to experience their world firsthand; and to examine the physical and archaeological evidence behind the myth.

Location

Artemis’ sites might be off the beaten track and of little interest to both tourist and layman alike but they are usually in places which are now, or were in the past, of great natural beauty, places full of peace and serenity. One such site, Lousoi, lies in Achaia near the borderland areas which have alternately been part of Achaia and Arkadia over the centuries. It could feasibly be described as one of her mountain sanctuaries (often sites of Artemis are in the low, marshy areas associated with old meandering river beds or lakes) yet it is not sited on a wind-blown peak or ridge but well below, nestled against the protective mountain side. From this sheltered position it has stunning panoramic views of the valley below, as well as the hills opposite but one shouldn’t wander too far from the site without taking due care as the slope is steep and there are substantial sheer drops in places. Looking back up the slope, across the modern road, the view is also scenic, with a large grove of deciduous trees whose soft yellow-green leaves provide a gentle contrast to the darker green of the many pines which grow in the area.

The ancient site consists of the old settlement lower on the hill plus the temple site higher up. This particular site was excavated by the Austrians over a hundred years ago and continues to be an active site with excavation works being carried out and discoveries made in recent years, as evidenced by the regular reports appearing in the Jahreshefte Des Österreichischen Archäologischen Institutes in Wein over the last two decades.

Lousoi first aroused my interest when my search for information on krateriskoi from sanctuaries of Artemis in Attika, unearthed the article on the krateriskoi fragments from Lousoi by Mitsopoulos-Leon.1 My curiosity was further stimulated by the figures on the bowls from Lousoi which were documented by C. Rogl.2 Both scholars discuss findings from the town of Lousoi in the Hellenistic era although the sanctuary itself spans a much larger time-frame.

While the temple remains indicate a building of the fourth or third century,3 the inscribed temple key has been dated to the fifth century4 and the artefacts found both at the temple and below it span many eras with the oldest finds belonging to the archaic and geometric eras, indicative of a long and continuous use of the site as a sanctuary.5 The temple, in common with many other sanctuaries of Artemis, has an adyton. 6 While many of the votives discovered are typical of Artemisian sanctuaries the excavations of the late nineties produced quantities of a style of votive that appears to be unique to Lousoi, the closed pyxis,7 presumably only produced for dedication as a votive because a pyxis with a sealed lid is not of any practical use.

The archaeological record shows continuous use of the sanctuary from the 8th century BCE through to Roman times with no recorded reason for the cessation of use. The same applies to the settlement of Lousoi below the sanctuary which appeared to have been fairly well-off judging by the homes and the finds, which are indicative of a reasonably wealthy town.8 The wealth apparently came from horses as researchers have shown that the local agricultural land could not have created such wealth, but the quantity of horse bones found points to a thriving business in horses, for which Arkadia was renowned.9 The wealth extended to the sanctuary which led to it being a target for looters (Plb. IV 18:9-12,19:4, IX 34:8-11). Lousoi, like many other sites of Artemis was a place of asylum (Plb. IV 18:9-12,19:4, IX 34:8-11); its other claim to fame being the games of Artemis Hemerasia, with its foot races, weapon races and chariot events conducted for both boys and men, for which there is ample dedicatory evidence (3rd century BCE to 1st century CE).10 These dedications have been found as far afield as Olympia (I.v.O. 184), Aigion (BCH 77 [1953] 77), Thuria (IG V 1.1387) and Perge in Asia Minor (SEG 17.628), indicating an occasion of international importance in order to entice competitors from such a wide area. This was the first evidence I had come across in the northern Peloponnese of a named festival of Artemis with an internationally-renowned sporting competition. The stadium and its environs have been located but have not yet been excavated; however it appears to be an extensive site.11 Despite the obvious earlier importance and fame of Lousoi, by the time of Pausanias, in the second century CE, he could find no trace of it (Paus. VIII 18:8).

The Myth

My interest in Lousoi extends beyond the historical and the archaeological to the religious, which by its very nature includes the mythical. The aetiological myth for the temple at Lousoi (merging the variant sources) runs roughly thus:

Proitos, King of Tiryns in the Argolid had three daughters, Iphianassa, Iphinoe and Lysippé. These young girls foolishly disparaged the unforgiving Hera, goddess of marriage. Hera was angered and in revenge induced madness in the girls causing them to abandon their father’s home and civilisation for thirteen months. They fled west, into the rugged hills, to a cave with running water in the Aroanian Mountains near the well-known town of Kleitor. The distraught Proitos appealed to Artemis to intervene with Hera, and bring sense to his girls. Melampous, son of King Amythaon and his wife Abas (a seer reputed to be the first to devise cures by means of drugs and purifications) volunteered to find and cure the girls in return for half of Proitos’ kingdom. After some negotiation Melampous embarked upon his search. The girls were found and brought down to Lousoi although unfortunately Iphinoe died along the way. The other two were healed of their madness using spells and herbs, and had their wild spirits tamed by Artemis. There the thankful Proitos established the sanctuary and instituted an annual festival with sacrifices and female dances in celebration of the cure. The girls were reconciled with Hera, Melampous then married Iphianassa and became King of Argos while his brother Bias married Lysippé.

There are variants of the story and ancient sources disagree on whether it was Artemis herself who did the healing (B. X 95-112, Call. Dian. 233-236) or whether it was performed by Melampous (Apollod. Bib. 2.2.2, Ov. Met. XV 325, Paus. V 5:10, VIII 18:7-8, Vitr. VIII 3:21), but regardless of the healer it was Artemis for whom the sanctuary was set up and the celebrations instituted (B. X 95-112).

Following in the footsteps of Proitos’ daughters is not easy, despite the work on the old road system conducted by the Austrians in the vicinity of the Lousoi and Pheneos sites.12 In this incredibly rugged and mountainous part of Greece the young girls of the myth must surely have used the existing roads as they fled west from the Argolid.

The cave of Hermes at Kyllene (en route from the Argolid to Lousoi) initially seemed a possibility as the place to which they may have fled. This cave, reputedly the birthplace of Hermes, was an Archaic cave sanctuary for an unidentified female deity, judging from the archaeological finds.13 Unfortunately the miniature votives, female statuettes and bronze panel fragments dated to between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE are too young to belong to the time of the myth (pre 8th century BCE). Also the Kyllene mountain range is well east of Lousoi, which sits on the hillside of Prophitis Ilias, in the Aroanian mountain range, the same range in which Pausanias claims the cave existed (Paus. VIII 18:7-8). Hermes’ cave can therefore be ruled out as a probable location for the myth.

Here local folk-lore came to the rescue, residents claim that Proitos’ daughters fled to the Limnon Cave also referred to as the cave of lakes at Kastria which is in the Aroanian range. This cave system runs for at least 2 kilometres underground (that is as far as speleologists have currently explored) and running through it is a series of lakes that even in the dry season were full of crystal clear water and after the snows when the thaw begins the river system flows with cascading waterfalls.

Visitors are only allowed 500 metres into the system but that was far enough to realise that anyone who chose to live in there would not be uncomfortable. The series of vast cathedral-like caverns remain at a constant, cool but not uncomfortable temperature of 13-16 degrees C throughout the year, the water supply is permanent and drinkable although probably fairly hard as a result of the calcium deposits evident in the quantity of stalagmites and stalactites. There are also unusual ‘curtain’ like stalactites which resemble the folds of flowing robes and it is easy to understand how someone exploring by torchlight could imagine he had seen one of Proitos’ daughters flitting through the darkness. Perhaps as interesting as the glorious natural wonders of this cave system are the archaeological and palaeontological finds, human and animal fossils, as well as Neolithic pottery.14

The age of the finds from this site is in keeping with the era from which the myth could have originated. Although the remains indicate an ongoing settlement and the daughters of Proitos only fled to the cave as a temporary measure, it is possible that in fleeing to the cave they fled to an existing settlement. The strong point in favour of this Aroanian cave system is its proximity to the Lousoi site. About 12km by road, cross country via the hill-tops it is only about 3km, and Kastria is beside the ancient route identified by the Austrians, linking Kleitor and Lousoi,15 should they have travelled by road. (see map).

The old road from Lousoi to Kalavryta went through Ag.Lavra, and at the current monastery they have in their possession a private collection of miniature vessels, an animal votive and some miscellaneous pieces of pottery from the local area, typical sanctuary dedications (no photographs allowed unfortunately). Thus, the Limnon cave at Kastria is a good contender for the role in the myth.

Meaning?

Having found feasible geographic locations for the places mentioned in the myth, one has to question just how the daughters of Proitos were healed of their ‘insanity’ which had caused them to reject marriage.

The clue lies in the cult image found at the site. These images of Artemis of Lousoi, Artemis Hemera or Hemerasia held a torch in one hand and a poppy in the other.16 The torch is an attribute of Artemis in many places and has the obvious connotations of lighting the way, showing the light etc., or for Proitos’ daughters it could have been the torch which Artemis held in the wedding procession17 (Plu. Mor. 263f-264b, ). Although the evidence is principally from later eras,18 Artemis lighting the way to the wedding would be an appropriate gesture in this instance showing her approval of the transition from girl to woman as signified by the wedding ritual. Ultimately the aim of curing Proitos’ daughters was to propel them into marriage (reconciliation with Hera).

The poppy of course represents the healing factor. Although the opium poppy is native to Greece as well as the Orient one assumes that the girls were not simply drugged in order to get them to submit to marriage, but that some genuine healing did take place. Medical research indicates that although the poppy was used medicinally, the use of the pale purple opium poppy as an analgesic was unknown at the time of Hippocrates.19 Yet in the first century CE Dioscorides describes the use of the poppy for its ‘soporific effects’, so it was presumably discovered in the intervening centuries.20There were no poppies of any sort growing while I was there, for poppies have a very short season (around August).21 Regardless of what may grow there now, there are several species of poppy and poppy look-alikes which are native to Europe, the Mediterranean and North Africa which do have medicinal properties.22 From folk-lore to modern research, tales of the therapeutic use of the poppy and its look-alikes abound. Whether for use as poultices, for digestive disorders,23 to make a cow desire a bull,24 for use in diabetic drugs,25 or modern medical26 and other research,27 the reputation of this group of plants has stood the test of time. Theophrastus was certainly aware of them (Thphr. EP IX 12:3-5) and later Hippocrates prescribed various parts of the poppy for healing, for women’s ailments and especially for the wandering womb.28 Did the therapies of times past treat wandering daughters in the same way as wandering wombs? Did the treatment used to heal the daughters of Proitos become part of a Peloponnesian girl’s rites-of-passage? Was the poppy significant to some pre-nuptial rite where a girl symbolically moved from the protection of Artemis to that of Hera?

Although we may never be able to answer these thought provoking questions, others are not so elusive. Was Melampous, whose name means dark-foot, really the son of Amythaon or was the original tale about a variety of poppy with a dark foot that was used to treat the girls, and subsequently conflated with tales of a king’s son? The dark foot could refer to the dark leafed horned poppy or black-footed poppy mentioned by Theophrastus (Thphr. EP IX 12:3).29 These plants grow from a basal rosette at the foot of the plant that varies from grey-green to almost black (the dark foot). This family covers at least eighteen varieties whose habitat ranges from coastal and rocky areas to arid desert and alpine environments, and varies in shade from yellow through to orange-red but its most interesting aspect is its seed pod, which unlike the true poppy (Papaver genus) is elongated (some of them are very long) and when it is ripe the capsule splits vertically leaving the ear-shaped seeds embedded in the wall like a string of pearls.30 This brings me back full circle, to the article of Mitsopoulos-Leon and the krateriskoi.

On the published fragment of a Hellenistic krateriskoi from the Lousoi settlement site (K78/1985), decorations have been identified by Mitsopoulos-Leon as “lotus leaves”, “rosettes”, and figure(s) of Aphrodite at her toilette (see previous pottery fragment image).31 The “lotus leaves” are unusual in that they have a string of pearl-shaped objects running down the central membrane. These decorations (A32) bear a remarkable resemblance to the seed pod of Theophrastus’ horned poppy family (B33). Further investigation of Peloponnese pottery of this era showed that while the small pearl-shaped decoration was often used independently, as vertical stripes on a bowl or encircling an object, its use as part of a vegetal decoration as at Lousoi was rare.34 The only examples I could find came from Argos35 – a remarkable coincidence as Melampous came from Argos to heal the daughters of Proitos at Lousoi.

In addition, the “rosettes” with which these “lotus leaves” are interspersed have large flower heads surmounting long and delicate waving stalks. These stalks are not at all like those of a rose, but very similar to the flexible and slender stalks of the poppy flower. Likewise, the bulky centre of the rosettes is reminiscent of the large group of stamens for which the poppy and its look-alikes are renowned. The “rosettes” appear to be eight-petalled, or perhaps four larger indented petals; for the quality of the published reproduction makes it impossible to tell. True poppies and horned poppies only have four petals, although among poppy look-alikes there are varieties with up to sixteen.

It seems reasonable that at a site where Artemis was represented with a poppy, that the pottery from the area should represent features of the same plant, and also that Peloponnesian potters should adapt imported motifs based on the reality of their local environment. It is unreasonable to assume that they slavishly reproduced foreign designs and had no creativity of their own. It is also common at sites where long surviving myths provide an underlying identity for a settlement, that elements of these myths appear in their artefacts. Moving to the article of C. Rogl, the acanthus leaves which she describes on the Hellenistic bowls bear a remarkable resemblance to the leaf drawing of the poppies (including the black-footed poppy) on the extant Byzantine manuscripts of Dioscorides. This is yet another example of Peloponnesian potters adapting oriental motifs based on their own experience.

This train of thought leads to many other questions relating to the few pieces of published pottery. One could question the identity of the “Aphrodite” who is robing / disrobing as there appear to be two or even three of her on a single krateriskoi; and likewise the identity of the maenads on other Hellenistic bowls. However, any such questions will have to wait until a photographic catalogue is published showing the many finds from Lousoi, or until the items are put on public display.

Do the Lousoi fragments display elements of Artemis’ poppy? Does Melampous refer to a member of this black-footed horned poppy family, a family known from ancient times through to modern medicine for its ongoing medical use? Is there a link to Melampous’ ancestry and his mother’s reputation as the originator of the use of drugs and medicines? This is a multi-faceted myth interweaving: the tale of the taming of the wild Parthenos via the yoke of marriage; the rite of passage from child to wife and mother; and the transition of medical knowledge from east to west across the Peloponnese.

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Notes

1 Veronika Mitsopoulos-Leon, “Krateriskoi Und Ein Teller Mit Reliefdekor: Eine Gefässgruppe Aus Lousoi,” Osterreichischen Jahreshefte 65 (1994): pp185-206.

2 Christine Rogl, “Hellenistiche Reliefbecher Aus Den Österreichischen Grabungen Im Stadtgebeit Von Lousoi: Zur Frage Der Importe Und Der Lokalproduktion,” in Forschungen in Der Peloponnes Akten Des Symposions Anlässlich Der Feier “100 Jahre Österreichisches Archäologisches Institut Athen”, Athen 5.3.-7.3.1998, ed. Veronika Mitsopoulos-Leon, Christa Schauer, and Österreichisches archäologisches Institut (Wien) Zweigstelle Athenai (Wien: Österreichisches Archäologisches Institut, 2001), pp161-167.

33 Veronika Mitsopoulos-Leon, “Lousoi Nach Hundert Jahren,” in Forschungen in Der Peloponnes Akten Des Symposions Anlässlich Der Feier “100 Jahre Österreichisches Archäologisches Institut Athen”, Athen 5.3.-7.3.1998, ed. Veronika Mitsopoulos-Leon, Christa Schauer, and Österreichisches archäologisches Institut (Wien) Zweigstelle Athenai (Wien: Österreichisches Archäologisches Institut, 2001), p131.

4 Maria Pretzler, “Die Antiken Quellen Zum Raum Pheneos-Lousoi,” in Pheneos Und Lousoi, ed. Klaus Ausend, Band 5 (Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 1999), p50.

5 Veronika Mitsopoulos-Leon, “Lousoi,” Osterreichischen Jahreshefte 60 (1989): pp34-36, Veronika Mitsopoulos-Leon and Franz Glaser, “Lousoi 1987,” Osterreichischen Jahreshefte 58 (1987): pp14-18, W. Reichel and A. Wilhelm, “Das Heiligtum Der Artemis Zu Lousoi,” Osterreichischen Jahreshefte 4 (1901): pp1-89, Klaus Tausend, “Heiligtümer Und Kulte Nordostarkadiens,” in Pheneos Und Lousoi, ed. Klaus Ausend, Band 5 (Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 1999), p346.

6 Mitsopoulos-Leon, “Lousoi,” pp32-34.; The adyton or secret room was feature of many of Artemis’ sanctuaries. Halae; Brauron; Aulis; Lousoi; Hyampolis; Ptolis; Kombothekra:

J. Travlos, “Treis Naoi Ths Artemidos: Aulidias, Tauropolou Kai Braurwnias” (paper presented at the Neue Forschungen in Griechischen Heiligtümern, Tèubingen, 1976), pp103-120.

Georg Ladstätter, “Der Artemistempel Von Lousoi,” in Forschungen in Der Peloponnes Akten Des Symposions Anlässlich Der Feier “100 Jahre Österreichisches Archäologisches Institut Athen”, Athen 5.3.-7.3.1998, ed. Veronika Mitsopoulos-Leon, Christa Schauer, and Österreichisches archäologisches Institut (Wien) Zweigstelle Athenai (Wien: Österreichisches Archäologisches Institut, 2001), pp143-153.

Eric L. Brulotte, “The Placement of Votive Offerings and Dedications in the Peloponnesian Sactuaries of Artemis” (PhD, University of Minnesota, 1994), pp93, 149.R.C.S. Felsch, “Tempel Und Altäre Im Heiligtum Der Artemis Elaphebolos Von Hyampolis Bei Kalapodi,” in L’espace Sacrificiel Dans Les Civilisations Méditerranéennes De L’antiquité : Actes Du Colloque Tenu À La Maison De L’orient, Lyon, 4-7 Juin 1988, ed. Roland Etienne and Marie-Thérèse Le Dinahet (Paris: Bibliothèque Salomon-Reinach Université Lumière-Lyon 2 ; Diffusion de Boccard, 1991), pp85-91.

Veronika Mitsopoulos-Leon, “Artemis De Lousoi: Les Fouilles Autrichiennes,” Kernos 5 (1992): p100.

7 Christa Schauer, “Zur Frühen Keramik Aus Dem Artemisheiligtum Von Lousoi,” in Forschungen in Der Peloponnes Akten Des Symposions Anlässlich Der Feier “100 Jahre Österreichisches Archäologisches Institut Athen”, Athen 5.3.-7.3.1998, ed. Veronika Mitsopoulos-Leon, Christa Schauer, and Österreichisches archäologisches Institut (Wien) Zweigstelle Athenai (Wien: Österreichisches Archäologisches Institut, 2001), pp 155-159.

8 Mitsopoulos-Leon, “Lousoi Nach Hundert Jahren,” p142.

9 Klaus Tausend, “Die Wirtschaftlichen Grundlagen De Becken Von Lousoi Und Pheneos,” in Pheneos Und Lousoi, ed. Klaus Ausend, Band 5 (Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 1999), pp366-369.

10 Sabine Tausend, “Sportstätten Und Agone in Lousoi Und Pheneos,” in Pheneos Und Lousoi, ed. Klaus Ausend, Band 5 (Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 1999), pp370-379.

11 “The preliminary results of a survey in the region called “stadion” point to a monumental public building in this area. The foundations of a two-aisled stoa, further traces of walls arranged in a rectangular ground plan, as well as massive worked ashlar blocks suggest that the remains of a Hellenistic civic square should be identified here.” Austrian Archaeological Institute, Oeai Website [Internet] (http://www.oeai.at/eng/index.html, 2006 [cited Feb 2006]).

12 Klaus Tausend, “Die Topographie Des Nordostarkadischen Raumes,” in Pheneos Und Lousoi, ed. Klaus Tausend, Band 5 (Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 1999), pp263-305.

13 Gabriele Erath, “Heiligtümer Und Kulte Nordostarkadiens Der Archäologische Befund,” in Pheneos Und Lousoi, ed. Klaus Ausend, Band 5 (Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 1999), pp242-244.

14 “Tour of the Legendary “Cave of the Lakes” at Kastria Achaia,” (Kastria: Démos Lefkasio, 2005), p2.

15 Klaus Tausend, “Die Verkehrswege Nordostarkadiens Und Ihre Historische Bedeutung,” in Pheneos Und Lousoi, ed. Klaus Ausend, Band 5 (Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 1999), pp268-269.

16 Veronika Mitsopoulos-Leon, “A Statue of Artemis at Lousoi: Some Thoughts,” in Sculpture from Arcadia and Laconia. Proceedings of an International Conference Held at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, April 10-14, 1992, ed. Olga Palagia and William Coulson, Oxbow Monograph (Great Britain: The Short Run press, Exeter, 1993), pp33-39.

The Beazley Cast Archive, No.F52 shows how the statue looked before it was damaged, illustrations in V. Mitsopoulos-Leon’s article only show the statue as it is now, minus the poppy.

17John Howard Oakley and Rebecca H. Sinos, The Wedding in Ancient Athens, Wisconsin Studies in Classics. (Madison, Wis.: University of Wisconsin Press, 1993), pp35-36, 133 n25, 28, Figs 9, 109.

Such scenes with Artemis wielding the torch at the wedding also appear on:
- Amphora, Boston Museum of Fine Arts 68.46 side A, Fondation pour le LIMC, ed., Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae (LIMC), vol. 2 (Zürich: Artemis, 1984), 1245.

- lebes-gamikos, British Museum B298, Tufts University, Perseus Vase Catalogue [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu] ([cited March 2003]).

18 Such as : Artemis holding a torch and accepting the dedication of a bridal belt – Syracuse 21186 c450BCE; the central panel frieze of the François vase showing Artemis at the wedding of Peleus and Thetis – Florence 2509,; the lebes gamikos – London B298; Hekate/Artemis on the calyx krater Ferrara 2893; the bridal procession on the red-figure pyxis by the wedding painter Paris L55 c460BCE; black-figure tripod pyxis showing the marriage of Herakles and Hebe – Warsaw 142319 c500BCE; procession to the bedroom on an amphora by the Copenhagen painter – Levy collection new York c470BCE. Oakley and Sinos, The Wedding, pp14-15, 24, 29, 33, 35, 36 figs 50-53, 57, 90, 100-104, 108-111.

19 Interestingly, a recent medical study assessing the use of the poppy in the Hippocratic Corpus states “The conclusion that the Hippocratic physician did not recognise the analgesic properties of poppy seems to be valid … it is very unlikely that all the preparations of poppy that we have counted would have had a sufficiently high content of opium to produce analgesia; significantly, in a list in the Corpus Hippocraticum of the main pharmacological properties of plants, the capacity to produce analgesia is not mentioned among those of poppy…” P. Prioreschi, R.P. Heaney, and E.Brehm, “A Quantitative Assessment of Ancient Therapeutics: Poppy and Pain in the Hippocratic Corpus,” Medical Hypotheses 51 (1997): pp325-331.

20 to produce analgesia is not mentioned among those of poppy…” P. Prioreschi, R.P. Heaney, and E.Brehm, “A Quantitative Assessment of Ancient Therapeutics: Poppy and Pain in the Hippocratic Corpus,” Medical Hypotheses 51 (1997): pp325-331.

21 I only found the yellow crocus and some stunted hyacinths growing around the sanctuary, the yellow crocuses seemed to grow in most of Artemis’ sanctuaries which I visited – I was there September/October which is obviously their growing season.

22 According to the US Department of Agriculture the Papaveraceae (poppy family) contains 19 genera and 122 accepted taxa. US Department of Agriculture, (2005 [cited Dec 2005]); available from http://plants.usda.gov.

23 David E. Allen and Gabrielle Hatfield, Medicinal Plants in Folk Tradition (Cambridge: Timber Press, 2004), p78.

24 Ibid., p356.

25 Joseph P. Remington, ed., The Dispensatory of the United States of America (Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott, 1918), s.v. Glaucium.

26 G. B. Lapa et al., “HPLC Determination of Glaucine in Yellow Horn Poppy Grass (Glaucium Flavum Crantz).” Pharmaceutical Chemistry Journal 38, no. 8 (2004): pp441-442 (Glaucium), S. Philipov N. Ivanovska, “Comparative Study on the Immunological Activity of a Series of Isoquinoline Alkaloids,” Phytotherapy Research 10, no. 1 (1996): pp62-65 (Glaucium).

27 J. L. Araus et al., “Crop Water Availability in Early Agriculture: Evidence from Carbon Isotope Discrimination of Seeds from a Tenth Millennium Bp Site on the Euphrates,” Global Change Biology 5, no. 2 (1999): pp201-202.

28 For pain: white poppy – On Diseases III xvi; poppy sap – On Women’s Diseases II ccvi; white poppy seeds – On Women’s Diseases II ccvi;
For relief of various symptoms: rind of red and white poppy – On the Nature of Woman xv; poppy rind – On Women’s Diseases II ccix; white poppy- On Regimen in Acute Diseases (App.) xxx; poppy sap – On the Nature of Woman cci;
For other infections / conditions: white poppy – On the Nature of Woman i; juice of poppy – On the Nature of Woman cci; poppy to drink (infusion?) – On the Nature of Woman xxxv;
In 81 cases of pain treatment the poppy receives no mention – Prioreschi, Heaney, and E.Brehm, “A Quantitative Assessment of Ancient Therapeutics: Poppy and Pain in the Hippocratic Corpus,” p329 n23 for a list of these references.

29 Poppies which he refers to as having horns would now be identified as part of the horned poppy or Glaucium genus of the poppy family

30 Christopher Grey-Wilson, Poppies – a Guide to the Poppy Family in the Wild and in Cultivation, Revised ed. (Portland, Oregon: Timber Press, 1995), pp45-50, Readers Digest Association, Wild Flowers in Britain (London: Readers Digest Association, 1981), p34.

31 Mitsopoulos-Leon, “Krateriskoi Und Ein Teller Mit Reliefdekor: Eine Gefässgruppe Aus Lousoi,” pp185-206.

32 Ibid.: from Fig.4: K78/1985 detail.

33 Sketch based upon the picture in Readers Digest Association, Wild Flowers in Britain, p34.

34 Homer.A. and Dorothy.B. Thompson, Hellenistic Pottery and Terracottas (Princeton NJ: American School of Classical Studies at Athens, 1987), Passim. in particular Chapter 7, Pl.7 (DI.87), Pl.20 (DI.124, DI.125), Pl.54 (EI.2), Pl.56 (Inv.2788, Inv.2785).

35 Ibid., Pl.31 (M.101), Pl.75 (7), Pl.79 (8).

About this author

Mary has worked in the field of healthcare technology over the last ten years. She has implemented automated anaesthetic record keeping systems across 43 Queensland hospitals to provide a solution that supports improved clinical decision-making and patient outcomes in the perioperative setting. Mary has delivered patient queuing and wait management systems for Gold Coast outpatient clinics and has integrated electronic cardiotocography and intrapartum recording into the maternity section of the Gold Coast University Hospital.

Prior to this, she worked for more than 20 years across a range of industries including defence, telecommunications, banking and healthcare in both management and consulting roles. Her project experiences range from the highly-technical (such as developing sonar and radio communications for defence) to those that transform businesses (for example, re-engineering company processes to handle a five times increase in the customer base).

This wealth of experience has enabled her to develop advanced skills, not only in project and program management, but also business process re-engineering and organisational change management. Mary has also led, managed and mentored many multi-disciplinary project teams.

This flexibility extends to her academic credentials. Mary holds degrees in Mathematics, as well as in Classics and Humanities. Her PhD thesis on human behaviour and belief systems was completed within three years and was described as outstanding by a senior Professor at Oxford University.

Mary maintains her academic interests in parallel with her working life and has lectured and tutored part-time. She has authored and presented a paper on the mating rituals of the ancient Greek adolescent at .the Australian Society for Classical Studies (ASCS) 2007 conference.

Mary has also authored and presented a paper on the benefits of anaesthetic record keeping at the Health Informatics Conference HIC2009. Her paper has since been published in the electronic Journal of Health Informatics.

Other works by this author

Academic works:

ΒΙΟΣ ~ Αρτεμις 2007 (Doctoral thesis on ‘life’ and ‘Artemis’ available through TROVE, National Library of Australia)

Business / Technology

“Benefits measurement from the Use of an Automated Anaesthetic Record keeping System.” Electronic Journal of Health Informatics Vol.6 (Issue1: Special Issue on HIC 2009): e6 publication date 2009

Emotional Intelligence – training presentation, Prezi 2014

Power and Influence – training presentation, Prezi 2014

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Lousoi, Myth and Meaning

This is an Academic essay exploring the meaning of the Ancient Greek myth regarding Proteus Daughters. Following in the footsteps of myth is always an interesting challenge. How much is based on fact? How much is fiction? What message was the storyteller trying to convey? Recent times have yielded discoveries that provide some archaeological, historical or factual basis for an element of reality in the myths and legends of our ancestors. Schliemann's discovery of Troy; and Diggle and Underhill's retracing of the voyage of Odysseus are both examples of finding the seeds of reality within the words of the ancient tales. The tale this article addresses is far simpler and much shorter that either the Iliad or the Odyssey, it is tale of three errant teenage girls who reject marriage and flee from their father's home and control. This behaviour is seen as madness induced by a deity (Hera). Eventual salvation comes at the hands of a second deity (Artemis) who heals their madness with her poppy. This is a tale of transition: from daughter to wife; from menarche to marriage; the time of the 'Parthenos'. Whether told for the moral in the tale, or as a justification for local rites of Artemis or for some other purpose entirely, it does not really matter. What is perhaps more interesting is to retrace the footsteps of these girls of myth; to experience their world firsthand; and to examine the physical and archaeological evidence behind the myth.

  • ISBN: 9781370363537
  • Author: Mary G. Galvin PhD
  • Published: 2017-09-09 07:20:12
  • Words: 6602
Lousoi, Myth and Meaning Lousoi, Myth and Meaning