Hellenic Reconstruction is sometimes jokingly referred to as 'Athenian Reconstruction', as so much of our information about ancient Hellas was preserved in the city of Athens. As soon as you set foot outside the city of Athens, only a few 'hot spots' provide any information about ancient Hellenic life, and in between the hotspots, there is no information at all. The annual sacrifice at Erchia to Zeus Epoptes (Εποπτες) is a perfect example of this. Still, it is a sacrifice to the King of the Gods, and we will celebrate it on August 28, at 10 AM EDT. Will you be joining us?

'Epoptes' (sometimes 'Epopteus') is often translated as 'overseer' or 'watcher'; 'to look down upon'. Among the ancient Hellenes, the title of 'epoptes' was used of those who had attained the third grade of initiation, the highest, of the Eleusinian Mysteries; a religious cult at Eleusis, with its worship, rites, festival and pilgrimages open to all Hellenes willing to undergo initiation. The epopteia were--appropriately--charged with overseeing the proceedings at Eleusis, but seemingly received the name mostly because they had beheld the full mysteries of the Mysteries.

From the calendar we have recovered from Erchia, we know that the sacrifice to Zeus Epoptes was a pig, burned completely in a holókaustos, without an offering of wine. It cost the Erchians three drachmas.

You can find the ritual for the sacrifice here, and if you would like to join our community page for it, come on over to Facebook here. We would jove it if you could join us!