Thence you will ascend by stairs to a sanctuary of Pan. Within the
sanctuary has been made a portico, and a small image; and this Pan too, equally
with the most powerful gods, can bring men's prayers to accomplishment and repay
the wicked as they deserve. Beside this Pan a fire is kept burning which is never
allowed to go out. It is said that in days of old this god also gave oracles,
and that the nymph Erato became his prophetess, she who wedded Arcas, the son
of Callisto. They also remember verses of Erato, which I too myself have read.
Here is an altar of Ares, and there are two images of Aphrodite in a temple, one
of white marble, and the other, the older, of wood. There are also wooden images
of Apollo and of Athena. Of Athena a sanctuary also has been made.
From Acacesium it is four stades to the sanctuary of the Mistress. First in this place is a temple of Artemis Leader, with a bronze image, holding torches, which I conjecture to be about six feet high. As you go to the temple there is a portico on the right, with reliefs of white marble on the wall. On the first relief are wrought Fates and Zeus surnamed Guide of Fate, and on the second Heracles wresting a tripod from Apollo. In the portico by the Mistress there is, between the reliefs I have mentioned, a tablet with descriptions of the mysteries. On the third relief are nymphs and Pans; on the fourth is Polybius, the son of Lycortas. On the latter is also an inscription, declaring that Greece would never have fallen at all, if she had obeyed Polybius in everything, and when she met disaster her only help came from him.
When you have gone up a little, beside the temple of Despoina (the Mistress),
on the right is what is called Megaron, where the Arcadians celebrate mysteries
and sacrifice to the Mistress many victims in generous fashion. Every man of them
sacrifices what he possesses. This Mistress the Arcadians worship more than any
other god, declaring that she is a daughter of Poseidon and Demeter. Mistress
is her surname among the many, just as they surname Demeter's daughter by Zeus
the Maid. But whereas the real name of the Maid is Persephone, as Homer and Pamphos
before him say in their poems, the real name of the Mistress I am afraid to write
to the uninitiated. Beyond what is called the Hall is a grove, sacred to the Mistress
and surrounded by a wall of stones, and within it are trees, including an olive
and an evergreen oak growing out of one root, and that not the result of a clever
piece of gardening.
Beyond the grove are altars of Poseidon Hippios, as being the father of the Mistress, and of other gods as well. On the last of them is an inscription saying that it is common to all the gods.
The actual images of the goddesses, Mistress and Demeter, the throne on which
they sit, along with the footstool under their feet, are all made out of one piece
of stone. No part of the drapery, and no part of the carvings about the throne,
is fastened to another stone by iron or cement, but the whole is from one block.
Τhe size of both images just about corresponds to the image of the Mother at Athens.
These too are works of Damophon. Demeter carries a torch in her right hand; her
other hand she has laid upon the Mistress. The Mistress has on her knees a staff
and what is called the box, which she holds in her right hand. On both sides of
the throne are images. By the side of Demeter stands Artemis wrapped in the skin
of a deer, and carrying a quiver on her shoulders, while in one hand she holds
a torch, in the other two serpents; by her side a bitch, of a breed suitable for
hunting, is lying down. By the image of the Mistress stands Anytus, represented
as a man in armour.
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