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Thread: Questions about Chryseis

  1. #1

    Questions about Chryseis

    I just finished re-reading the Iliad. The first time I read it was years ago. In that version I think I read that Chryseis was a priestess of Apollo. In the version that I just read, she is only the daughter of a priest of Apollo.

    I am curious, does anybody know;

    Who/what Chryseis was before the Greeks captured her?

    Was she a priestess of Apollo herself or just the daughter of a priest of Apollo?

    Could she have been a member of the priest class?

    (In The Histories, Herodotus refers to a caste system in Egypt during a time when there was considerable contact between the Greeks and Egyptians. The Egyptian caste system had seven different castes including a warrior class at the top and an untouchable class at the bottom)

    Does her status vary from translation to translation?

    Did the Greeks ever sack any temple of Apollo anywhere?

    I am a new member of this forum. I can't wait to hear from you guys.

    Sincerely,

    Ainia

  2. #2
    aspiring Arthurianist Wilde woman's Avatar
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    Chryseis is the daughter of the priest of the Apollo, Chryses. I suppose there could be some mix up between father and daughter because their names are so similar. (Just like Briseis is the daughter of Briseus. This makes me wonder if -eis is a feminine ending in Greek.)

    Which version did you read that said Chryseis was the priestess? I've never heard that.

    Could she have been a member of the priest class?
    I can't give you a definitive answer here, since I don't know ancient Greek law, but I would point out that some women at least are allowed to be religious figures. Many of the goddesses had their own all-women cults, like Diana or Hestia. Also, some of the seers were women, like the Apollonian Sibyl at Delphi.

    I have no idea about your temple question.
    Ecce quam bonum et jocundum, habitares libros in unum!
    ~Robert Greene, Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay

  3. #3
    I have done some research since I posted that question and have found no sources that say Chryseis herself was a priestess. I think I must have misunderstood it the first time I read it.

    I did however discover that there was a caste system of sorts in Sparta with the warrior class on top. Women were always members of the same class as their fathers until they were married. Once married they would be members of the same class as their husbands. Their was no mention of any Priest class though.

    I also was unable to find any sources which say that the Greeks ever sacked any temples of Apollo. So until I do find such sources, I guess I'll have to assume that they never did.

    Thanks for responding to my questions.

    Sincerely,

    Ainia

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