Τετρὰς Ἱσταμένου, IV day
From today’s sunset: fourth day of Elaphebolion.
The fourth is always sacred to Aphrodite Pandemos, to Hermes and to Herakles, as the symbolic day of Their birthday.
Honors are paid to Eros and Hermaphroditos.
Banquet of the Tetradistai.
“So it is no wonder that the ancient cooks were au fait in sacrificial rites; they presided, for instance, at weddings and festivals. Hence Menander, in his Flatterer, makes the cook on duty at the fourth-day club-feast (Tetradistai) or the day of Aphrodite Pandemos, speaks as follow: ‘Libation! Round with the tripe! Mind what you do. Come Sosias, boy, libation! Good for you! And now pour out. To all above we will pray both Gods and Goddesses (take the tongue), and may Life, Health, and many a blessing come of this, and those we’ve got Heaven grant we never miss!”
Athenaios 14. 659D, describing a private celebration of the Tetradistai in Aphrodite’s honor.
“But take care to avoid troubles which eat out the heart on the fourth of the beginning and ending of the month; it is a sacred day: especially during these sacred days it is convenient to get rid of all the activities that make you suffer, which, if at other times you need to choose them as necessary, in these days you should not.“
The fourth day is also a suitable day for marriage.
(This squat lekythos depicts an idyllic garden scene with a seated female, an Eros figure, a small bird, and a pair of trees. The female’s chiton is rendered in the so-called wet-drapery style, with the folds of the dress clinging closely to the body and revealing the contours of the figure underneath. Her hair is pulled back into a tight bun, and she wears jewelry on her arms and ears. Her right arm reaches out toward an approaching winged Eros figure, who is offering a small circular object resembling a piece of fruit. A partridge, the sacred bird of Aphrodite, rests on the ground below Eros’s outstretched arms.
From Attica, 400 BCE; now in the Yale University Art Gallery…)