Was there a temple dedicated to Old Age (“Geras”) in ancient Athens?

Was there a temple dedicated to Old Age (“Geras”) in ancient Athens?


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Camus, in The myth of Sisyphus, mentions that

"There was in Athens a temple dedicated to old age. Children were taken there." ("Il y avait à Athènes un temple consacré à la vieillesse. On y conduisait les enfants").

Indeed, Old Age is mentioned as a deity in Hesiod's Theogony. It is Geras, son of Nyx (Night).

But I would like to ask for help finding documentation that supports the existence of a temple dedicated to old age in Athens, as I haven't been able to do so in Wikipedia & other online sources.


From "Brill's New Pauly":

(Γῆρας; Gêras, Lat. Senectus). Personification of hated old age, often depicted as a small, naked, wrinkly old man with a long, drooping penis who is defeated by Hercules in a burlesque way 1. As a creature of the night (Hes. Theog. 225), G. belongs to the creatures of horror found at the entrance to the Underworld (Verg. Aen. 6,275; Sen. Herc. f. 696), although he resides on Olympus (Aristoph. Av. 606). Sisyphus is brought back to the Underworld by G. (Eust. Od. 11,592). A sanctuary is attested only for the extremely pious residents of Gades (Philostr. VA 5,4).

The last sentence is a bit vague (or badly translated from the German edition: Ein Heiligtum ist nur bei den äußerst frommen Bewohnern von Gades bezeugt), but what the author means is clearly that the only known temple of Geras was in Gades (now Cadiz in Spain). Hence: no such temple in Athens.


Watch the video: Ταφικά έθιμα στην αρχαία Αθήνα