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PRAXIDIKAI
 
Greek Name Transliteration Latin Spelling Translation
Πραξιδικη
Πραξιδικαι
Praxidikê
Praxidikai
Praxidice
Praxidicae
Exacter of Justice
(praxis, dikê)

THE PRAXIDIKAI (or Praxidicae) were three goddesses or spirts (daimones) of exacting justice. They were named Praxidike (Exacting Justice), Arete (Virtue) and Homonoia (Concord).

In another tradition, three Praxidikai, named Thelxineia, Alkomeneia and Aulis, were daughters of the early Boiotia King Ogygos (who may have been connected with Okeanos-Ogenos). Apparently the two traditions overlapped-- for Thelxineia, Homonoia and the Boiotian goddess-queen Harmonia all seem to versions of the same of the same divine character.

In the Orphic Hymns Praxidike was identified with Persephone, Soter with Zeus, and the Praxidikai with the three Erinyes. The Praxidikai were probably also equated with the Poinai (Retributions).

PARENTS
[1] SOTER & PRAXIDIKE (Suidas s.v. Praxidike)
[2] OGYGOS (Suidas s.v. Praxidike)
NAMES
[1] PRAXIDIKE, HOMONOIA, ARETE (Suidas s.v. Praxidike)
[2] THELXINEIA, ALKOMENEIA, AULIS (Suidas s.v. Praxidike)

ENCYCLOPEDIA

PRAXI′DICE (Praxidikê), i.e. i. e. the goddess who carries out the objects of justice, or watches that justice is done to men. When Menelaus arrived in Laconia, on his return from Troy, he set up a statue of Praxidice near Gytheium, not far from the spot where Paris, in carrying off Helen, had founded a sanctuary of Aphrodite Migonitis (Paus. iii. 22. § 2). Near Haliartus, in Boeotia, we meet with the worship of Praxidicae, in the plural (ix. 33. § 2), who were called daughters of Ogyges, and their names are Alalcomenia, Thelxinoea, and Auilis (ix. 33. § 4; Suid. s. v.; Steph. Byz. s. v. Tremilê). Their images consisted merely of heads, and their sacrifices only of the heads of animals. With the Orphic poets Praxidice seems to be a surname of Persephone. (Orph. Argon. 31, Hymn. 28. 5; comp. Müller, Orchom. p. 122, 2d edit.)
ALALCOME′NIA (Alalkomenia), one of the daughters of Ogyges, who as well as her two sisters, Thelxionoea and Aulis, were regarded as supernatural beings, who watched over oaths and saw that they were not taken rashly or thoughtlessly. Their name was Praxidikai, and they had a temple in common at the foot of the Telphusian mount in Boeotia. The representations of these divinities consisted of mere heads, and no parts of animals were sacrificed to them, except heads. (Paus. ix. 33. § 2, 4; Panyasis, ap. Steph. Byz. s. v. Tremilê; Suid. s. v. Praxidikê; Müller, Orchom. p. 128, &c.)
AULIS (Aulis), a daughter of Ogygus and Thebe, from whom the Boeotian town of Aulis was believed to have derived its name. (Paus. ix. 19. § 5.) Other traditions called her a daughter of Euonymus, the son of Cephissus. (Steph. Byz. s. v. Aulis.) She was one of the goddesses who watched over oaths under the name of praxidikai.

Source: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.


Pausanias, Description of Greece 3. 22. 1 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"Before Gythion [in Lakedaimonia] lies the island Kranae (Cranae), and Homer says that when Alexandros [Paris] had carried off Helene he had intercourse with her there for the first time. On the mainland opposite the island is a sanctuary of Aphrodite Migonitis (Sexual Union), and the whole place is called Migonion. This sanctuary, they say, was made by Alexandros [Paris]. But when Menelaus had taken Ilion and had returned safe home eight years after the sack of Troy, he set up near the sanctuary of Migonitis an image of Thetis and the goddesses Praxidikai (Exacters of Justice)."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 9. 33. 3 :
"At Haliartos [in Boiotia] there is in the open a sanctuary of the goddesses they call Praxidikai (Those who exact punishments) [here they were identified with the Erinyes]. Here they swear, but they do not make the oaths rashly. The sanctuary of the goddesses is near Mt Tilphousios."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 1. 38. 7 :
"The hero Eleusis, after whom the city is named, some assert to be a son of Hermes and of Daeira, daughter of Okeanos; there are poets, however, who have made Ogygos father of Eleusis."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 9. 5. 1 :
"The first to occupy the land of Thebes are said to have been the Ektenes, whose king was Ogygos, an aboriginal. From his name is derived Ogygian, which is an epithet of Thebes used by most of the poets . . . When the Phoinikian army under Kadmos (Cadmus) invaded the land these tribes were defeated."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 9. 19. 6 :
"A little farther on [down the Boiotian coast] is [the town of] Aulis, said to have been named after the daughter of Ogygos."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 9. 33. 5 :
"Alalkomenai [in Boiotia] is a small village, and it lies at the very foot of a mountain of no great height. Its name, some say, is derived from Alalkomeneus, an aboriginal, by whom Athena was brought up; others declare that Alalkomenia was one of the daughters of Ogygos."

Orphic Hymn 29 to Persephone (trans. Taylor) (Greek hymns C3rd B.C. to 2nd A.D.) :
"Hymn to Phersephone . . . Zeus' holy offspring, of a beauteous mien, Praxidike (avenging Goddess), subterranean queen. The Eumenides' [Erinyes'] source, fair-haired, whose frame proceeds from Zeus' ineffable and secret seeds."

Suidas s.v. Praxidike (trans. Suda On Line) (Byzantine Greek Lexicon C10th A.D.) :
"Praxidike (Exacter of Justice): A deity whose head alone is venerated. Mnaseas [Greek C2nd B.C.] in his treatise On Europe says that Soter (Saviour) and his sister Praxidike (Exacter of Justice) had a son Ktesios (Household) and daughters Homonoia and Arete, who were called Praxidikai (Exacters of Penalties) after their mother."

Suidas s.v. Praxidike :
"Dionysios in Foundations says that [it was] daughters of Ogygos--Alkomeneia, Thelxineia, Aulis-who were afterwards named Praxidikai (Exacters of Penalties)."

Greek Name Transliteration Latin Spelling Translation
Πραξιδικη Praxidikê Praxidice Exacter of Justice
(praxis, dikê)
Ὁμονοια Homonoia Homonoea Concord, Unanimity,
Oneness of Mind
Αρετη Aretê Arete Virtue, Excellence,
Valour (aretê)
Αυλις Aulis Aulis Of Aulis
(town in Boiotia)
Αλκομενεια Alkomeneia Alcomeneia Of Alakomenia
(town in Boiotia)
Θελξινεια Thelxineia Thelxinea Charming the Heart

Sources:

  • The Orphic Hymns - Greek Hymns C3rd B.C. - C2nd A.D.
  • Pausanias, Guide to Greece - Greek Travelogue C2nd A.D.
  • Suidas - Byzantine Greek Lexicon C10th A.D.

Other references not currently quoted here: Orphic Argonautica 31; Tab.Defix. 109.2