hierophant


hi·ero·phant

noun \ˈhī-(ə-)rə-ˌfant, hī-ˈer-ə-fənt\

Definition of HIEROPHANT

1
:  a priest in ancient Greece; specifically :  the chief priest of the Eleusinian mysteries
2
a :  expositor
b :  advocate 2
hi·ero·phan·tic \ˌhī-(ə-)rə-ˈfan-tik, (ˌ)hī-ˌer-ə-\ adjective

Examples of HIEROPHANT

  1. <as an early hierophant of birth control, Margaret Sanger had to face down often vehement opposition>

Origin of HIEROPHANT

Late Latin hierophanta, from Greek hierophantēs, from hieros + phainein to show — more at fancy
First Known Use: 1677

hierophant

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Chief priest of the Eleusinian Mysteries in ancient Greece. His main task was to display the sacred objects during the celebration of the mysteries and explain their secret meaning to initiates. The priest was usually an old, celibate man with a forceful voice, chosen from the Eumolpids, one of the original clans of Eleusis. Upon election, he cast aside his former name and was called only hierophantes.

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