hierophant

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Related to hierophants: hierophantic

hi·er·o·phant

 (hī′ər-ə-fănt′, hī′rə-, hī-ĕr′ə-fənt)
n.
1. An ancient Greek priest who interpreted sacred mysteries, especially the priest of the Eleusinian mysteries.
2. An interpreter of sacred mysteries or arcane knowledge.
3. One who explains or makes a commentary.

[Late Latin hierophanta, from Greek hierophantēs : hieros, holy; see eis- in Indo-European roots + -phantēs, one who shows (from phainein, phan-, to show; see bhā- in Indo-European roots).]

hi′er·o·phan′tic adj.

hierophant

(ˈhaɪərəˌfænt)
n
1. (Historical Terms) (in ancient Greece) an official high priest of religious mysteries, esp those of Eleusis
2. a person who interprets and explains esoteric mysteries
[C17: from Late Latin hierophanta, from Greek hierophantēs, from hiero- + phainein to reveal]
ˌhieroˈphantic adj
ˌhieroˈphantically adv

hi•er•o•phant

(ˈhaɪ ər əˌfænt, ˈhaɪ rə-, haɪˈɛr ə fənt)

n.
1. (in the ancient world) the chief priest of a mystery cult, esp. of the Eleusinian mysteries.
2. any interpreter of sacred mysteries or esoteric principles; mystagogue.
[1670–80; < Late Latin hierophanta < Greek hierophántēs=hiero- hiero- + -phántēs, derivative of phaínein to show, make known]
hi`er•o•phan′tic, adj.
hi`er•o•phan′ti•cal•ly, adv.
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References in classic literature ?
adventure in the bulrushes the Egyptian hierophants of seven centuries
The hierophant of the sun-god made an effort to climb back on his pedestal.
Hierophants are priests who interpret ancient mysteries, but these guys seem content to bang out mid-tempo garage-y rock with a weirdo new wave synth in the mix.
Though they may seem unlikely hierophants, fishing,
In Edward Bulwer-Lytton's The Last Days of Pompeii (1834) for instance, the hierophants of Isis are biddable, volatile and venal (Hoberman 140-1).
Second, what the Renaissance allegorist sought to glimpse were the same mysteries that inspired the hierophants of the later Roman empire, when worship of Isis or Mithras or Orpheus was conducted in controlled rituals in which the votary acted out the psychological experience of dying to experience truth.
Even the most junior acquire within weeks of their employment the officiousness of hierophants tending an eternal flame.
Even the most junior tellers acquire within weeks of their employment the officiousness of hierophants tending an eternal flame.
Poets are the hierophants of an unapprehended inspiration; the mirrors of the gigantic shadows which futurity casts upon the present; the words which express what they understand not; the trumpets which sing to battle and feel not what they inspire; the influence which is moved not, but moves.
Ikon Eastside, Fazeley Street, Digbeth, Birmingham: Oracle And Hierophants - installation by the Delhi-based Raqs Media Collective.
In other places such people were called wizards or magicians; in still other places sorcerers and cognoscenti; the Greeks called them hierarchs, sophists, philosophers, hierophants and so on.
In Percy Bysshe Shelley's memorable formulation, "Poets are the hierophants of an unapprehended inspiration; the mirrors of the gigantic shadows which futurity casts upon the present.