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Theoroi (Ancient Greek: θεωροί or θεαροί) in Ancient Greece were sacred ambassadors, messengers sent out by the state which was about to organize a Panhellenic Game or Festival. Theoroi were received and hosted by Theorodokoi.[1]

In ancient Greece theoroi meant something like "observers". They were envoys sent by city-states to consult oracles, to give offerings at famous shrines or attend festivals.

Theoria was a word for their duties. It came to mean any act of observing, and was used by Greek philosophers, generally, in the sense of "contemplation".


  1. ^ Dillon, Matthew. Pilgrims and Pilgrimage in Ancient Greece. Routledge, 1997, ISBN 0-415-12775-0, p. 12. "A city about to celebrate a festival would send out ambassadors to various Greek cities inviting them to attend that festival and to accept the terms of a truce covering the festival. These ambassadors were often termed theoroi, the same term as the one used for those ambassadors sent as the official delegation to a festival. Both types of theoroi would be received by theorodokoi: there were theorodokoi who received theoroi announcing a festival and other theorodokoi who received theoroi representing their states at the actual celebrations. The theoroi bringing word of a festival would not have to find their own accommodation upon arriving at a city or town, but rather would be provided with lodging and hospitality by a theorodokos."