Προκιθαριστής

TitleΠροκιθαριστής
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsAlmazova, N
JournalHyperboreus
Volume12
Issue1-2
Pagination261-278
Abstract

The word procitharistes occurs three times in the inscriptions from Miletus and Didyma dating from the end of I – III AD. The role of the procitharist, priest for Apollo Delphinius, was fulfilled for a year by a young man.
Further conclusions are possible only from the analysis of the meaning of pro- in the compounds. (1) The meaning ‘playing publicly’ adds nothing to the word citharistes (public performance is a musician’s natural task). (2) ‘Playing for’ (Apollo) would duplicate the genitive tou Delphiniou Apollonos and imply that Apollo is not capable of playing himself. (3) ‘Position in front’: a musician could hardly stand in front of other worshipers, hindering the sacrifice. But he could move in front (though the musicians are in most cases pictured in the middle of a procession, auletai followed by citharistai). (4) ‘Priority of order’: many terms with a prefix pro- refer to an instrumental introduction. The procitharist would perform a prelude; the most probable continuation would be a choral hymn. (5) ‘Priority of rank’: the meaning ‘a leading citharist’ suits well the honorable title mentioned in inscriptions. This meaning of pro- corresponds to that of prot- (protos). In the inscriptions of I–III AD the term protaules, meaning a conductor of a group of musicians, can be found. Large ensembles are typical for the Roman period. The reasons for preferring a leading citharist to an aulete in Didyma are to be sought in the peculiarity of the cult of Apollo. The second parts could be performed both b