Sunday, February 15, 2009


Anagyrasian Spirit

In Greek mythology, Erysichthon was punished for cutting down the grove of Demeter. Historical figures who supposedly suffered divine punishment for cutting down sacred trees include Stratonicos and Turullius. There is another example in the Suda, s.v. Ἀναγυράσιος (A 1842 Adler, tr. David Whitehead, footnotes omitted):
Anagyrous is a deme of the tribe Erechtheis, the demesman from which [is an] Anagyrasian. Also [the proverbial phrase] "Anagyrasian spirit [daimon]". And a shrine of Anagyros in the deme of the Anagyrasians. [The phrase] "Anagyrasian spirit" [arose] because a hero Anagyros took vengeance on the elderly settler who cut down the grove. Anagyrasians [were] a deme of Attica. One of them cut down the grove of this [hero]. He made [the man's] concubine fall madly in love with [the man's] son, and she, unable to persuade the son, denounced him to the father as licentious. He [the father] mutilated him [the son] and immured him in the house. Consequently the father hanged himself, and the concubine threw herself into a well. Hieronymus tells the story in his [treatise] On Tragic Poets, comparing the Phoenix of Euripides to them.

Ἀναγυράσιος: δῆμός ἐστιν Ἀναγυροῦς τῆς Ἐρεχθηί̈δος φυλῆς, ἧς ὁ δημότης Ἀναγυράσιος. καὶ Ἀναγυράσιος δαίμων. καὶ τέμενος Ἀναγύρου ἐν τῷ δήμῳ τῶν Ἀναγυρασίων. Ἀναγυράσιος δαίμων, ἐπεὶ τὸν παροικοῦντα πρεσβύτην καὶ ἐκτέμνοντα τὸ ἄλσος ἐτιμωρήσατο Ἀνάγυρος ἥρως. Ἀναγυράσιοι δὲ δῆμος τῆς Ἀττικῆς. τούτου δέ τις ἐξέκοψε τὸ ἄλσος. ὁ δὲ τῷ υἱῷ αὐτοῦ ἐπέμηνε τὴν παλλακήν, ἥτις μὴ δυναμένη συμπεῖσαι τὸν παῖδα διέβαλεν ὡς ἀσελγῆ τῷ πατρί. ὁ δὲ ἐπήρωσεν αὐτὸν καὶ ἐγκατῳκοδόμησεν. ἐπὶ τούτοις καὶ ὁ πατὴρ ἑαυτὸν ἀνήρτησεν, ἡ δὲ παλλακὴ εἰς φρέαρ ἑαυτὴν ἔρριψεν. ἱστορεῖ δὲ Ἱερώνυμος ἐν τῷ περὶ τραγῳδιοποιῶν ἀπεικάζων τούτοις τὸν Εὐριπίδου Φοίνικα.
Related posts: Butchers of Our Poor Trees; Cruel Axes; Odi et Amo; Kentucky Chainsaw Massacre; Protection of Sacred Groves; Lex Luci Spoletina; Turullius and the Grove of Asclepius; Caesarian Section; Death of a Noble Pine; Two Yew Trees in Chilthorne, Somerset; The Fate of the Shrubbery at Weston; The Trees Are Down; Sad Ravages in the Woods; Strokes of Havoc; Maltreatment of Trees; Arboricide; An Impious Lumberjack; Erysichthon in Ovid; Erysichthon in Callimachus; Vandalism.

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