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Skopje on There was even a special name, hysteropotmoi, for these people, whose condition Professor Rose aptly compares to that of a man in quarantine in the modern world.2 It must also have been the sense of danger from the infection of death that made it seem necessary to conduct a regular trial of inanimate objects which had been its cause. At Athens there was a special court in the Prytaneion for cases of this nature, and the object, if found guilty, had to be cast beyond the boundaries of the state. Aristotle and Demosthenes vouch for the historicity of this procedure and Plato enjoins it in his imaginary city.3 These illustrations of the effects of death, and any contact with it, in ancient eyes, are intended to show how Apollo’s original connexion with homicide explains also his continued authority and interest in it. Both alike proceed from his essential nature as the god of purification (/catharsis). From the story of Orestes, perhaps the most famous myth in all Greek literature, down to the misfortunes of the undistinguished Aristinos, examples of this could be multiplied. Skopje 2016.

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