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nately, Lobeck, who published the Greek description of the turndun (Aglaophamus, 700), was unacquainted with the modern ethnological evidence.

3. The custom of plastering the initiated over with clay or filth was common in Greek as in barbaric mysteries. Greek examples may be given first. Demosthenes accuses Æschines of helping his mother in certain mystic rites, aiding her, especially, by bedaubing the initiate with clay and bran.[1] Harpocration explains the term used (ἀπομάττων) thus: "Daubing the clay and bran on the initiate, to explain which they say that the Titans when they attacked Dionysus daubed themselves over with chalk, but afterwards, for ritual purposes, clay was used." It may be urged with some force that the mother of Æschines introduced foreign, novel, and possibly savage rites. But Sophocles in a fragment of his lost play the Captives uses the term in the same ritual sense—

          στρατοῦ ϰαθαρτὴς ϰᾱπομαγμάτων ἴδρις

The idea clearly was that by cleansing away the filth plastered over the body was symbolised the pure and free condition of the initiate. He might now cry in the mystic chant—

               ἔφυγον ϰάϰον, εὗρον ἄμεινον.
          Worse have I fled, better have I found.

That this was the signifiance of the daubing with clay in Greek mysteries and the subsequent cleansing seems quite certain. We are led straight to this

  1. De Coronâ, 313.