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Hierophylakes, also known as hierodidaskaloi, hieronomoi, or hierophantai,[1] were priests for the Eumolpidae[2] involved in performing acts of sacrifice.[3]

Pausanias stated that new hierophantai were elected every quadrennial, and so individuals did not maintain an existence within this role for their life-time. He also stated that they might marry if they wished to do so known as, lambanein gynaika.[2]

They are also mentioned in the HGK 1 inscription, an important component of the state calendar created in Kos about 360 B.C. which lists the officials present at sacrifices. The Hierophylakes alongside an archeuontes are noted to make a preliminary announcement before the sacrifice of an oxen.[4]

The Hierophylakes as a role is also mentioned during the early Roman Empire in a votive inscription to Tiberius and Livia.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Dionysius of Halicarnassus (translated by Earnest Cary) – The Roman Antiquities Aeterna Press 30 May 2015 [Retrieved 2015-07-13]
  2. ^ a b W.S. Bubelis (2012). R. Laurence; A. Stromberg) (eds.). Inheritance, Priesthoods, and Succession in Classical Athens:the Hierophantai of the Eumolpidai (in) Families in the Greco-Roman World. A&C Black. ISBN 978-1-4411-3927-6. Retrieved 2015-07-13.
  3. ^ Stéphanie Paul (edited by Marietta Horster, Anja Klöckner) – Cities and Priests: Cult Personnel in Asia Minor and the Aegean Islands from the Hellenistic to the Imperial Period Volume 64 of Religionsgeschichtliche Versuche und Vorarbeiten, Walter de Gruyter 1 Jan 2014, 380 pages, ISBN 3-11-031848-2 [Retrieved 2015-07-13]
  4. ^ Smith, David R. (1973). "The Hieropoioi on Kos". Numen. 20 (1): 38–47. doi:10.2307/3269657. ISSN 0029-5973. JSTOR 3269657.
  5. ^ Buraselis, Kostas; Mpurazelēs, Kōstas (2000). Kos Between Hellenism and Rome: Studies on the Political, Institutional, and Social History of Kos from Ca. the Middle Second Century B.C. Until Late Antiquity. American Philosophical Society. ISBN 978-0-87169-904-6.