Move over Dionysus, Jeopardy!‘s Ken Jennings says there’s a better “boozy” Greek God, and she’s “the official goddess of ‘libations after lunch.”
The Jeopardy! legend’s Twitter excellence continues Monday as the All-Time-Champ and former guest host moves into mythology. Whether he’s spatting brilliant, obscure pop culture references or traipsing the pantheon of Greek Gods, Jennings always brings a laugh to our day.
For his latest, Ken says there’s “Lots of chill Greek gods, but for my money you can’t beat Sponde, the official goddess of “libations after lunch.”
As he often does, the Jeopardy! icon includes a screenshot from his current research. Within, we see the definition of “Sponde” is as follows:
Sponde: “Libations.” The goddess of the hour of libations (poured after lunch). She is one of the Horae.
*Pours afternoon scotch* Sign this author up! As a fellow mythology buff, however, I don’t know if I’d go as far as to say there’s “lots of chill Greek gods”… As ancient deities go, the Greek lot is a good 99% benevolent @$$holes and 1% chill. But Ken Jennings’ brain is the ultimate pop culture resource – and mythology was the original pop culture – so I’d take his word for it over mine. Especially since Ken has written a junior novel on Greek Mythology himself!
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In all honesty, I love this tweet even more for enlightening us on Greek mythology. For myself, “sponde” was only familiar as the Hellenistic (the actual Greek religion concerning their Gods) term for an offering through libation. In this context, a libation is a straight-up offering to a God of your choice.
Whether part of a formal ritual or a simple afternoon drink, those practicing Hellenismos would offer up libations to a specific God from which they seek favor.
According to HellenicGods.org (a fantastic resource for those curious), the sponde, or spondí (sponde, σπονδή) was and is “the most common offering to the Gods.”
Specifically, the libation itself “is a measure of some liquid offered, usually during ritual, such as wine, milk and honey, even fine oil, poured out ceremoniously on the ground, or to a receptacle on the altar.”
But through the Jeopardy! icon’s tweet, we’re exposed to the venerable Goddess of Libations herself, Sponde! Sponde (Greek: Σπονδη) isthe sixth youngest of the Horae, daughter of Chronos and Ananke. What a title! She’s often depicted in ancient artworks as a maiden draped in orange with hints of red.
As Jennings points out, Sponde represents “the time of libation.” And as our little Hellenistic history lesson reveals, “libation” refers to drink, specifically when offered to Gods.
In short: if you’re not following Jeopardy!’s Ken Jennings on Twitter, you need to! Little nuggets of wisdom like this are par for the course. And we love Ken for it here at Outsider.