Hierodfili in Greek cultus, were persons employed it the service of a temple, especially in Syria, Phoenicia, and Asia Minor. They were females, living near temples, who hired themselves out to strangers. They were obliged to care for the decorations of the temple, knitting and cleansing the veils, wreathing the altars, etc. The priests had no other income than the presents which pilgrims to the sanctuary brought, and in order to draw as many of them as possible, the surroundings of the temple were occupied by numbers of priestesses, who gave the presents they received to the temple, as is still the case in India with the Dewadashies (Bajaderes). In Cappadocia, in the temple-woods of the Comanian goddess, Strabo met over six thousand. This custom came to Greece and Sicily, especially in connection with the worship of Venus, and many a beautiful temple was built with the money thus obtained. SEE DIANA; SEE VENUS.

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