Eleusinian Families of Priests

Lenskaya Valeria S.

The Eumolpidae and the Kerykes were the most important families responsible for the Eleusinian mysteries. The hierophant, exegetes and one of the epimeletes were of the Eumolpidae. The Kerykes provided the dadouchos, the hierokeryx, the priest ῷ and one of the four epimeletes. The dadouchos was the chief male priest after the hierophant, other priests of the Kerykes family were of minor importance. The privileges of these two families were due to the special role the Eleusinian Mysteries played in the moral development of the Hellenes. There were other Athenian families who took part in the Eleusinian Mysteries: Philleidae, Croconidae, Coironidae, Eudanemoi, Phytalidae, Bouzygoi and Lykomidae, there functiong being mostly honorary.

Keywords: aristocracy, priests, Eleusin, Eumolpidae, Kerykes, hierophant, dadouchos