The Brahman or superintending priest; the Hotri or reciter of hymns and verses; the Udgatri or chanter; and the Adhvaryu or offerer, who looks after the details of the ceremonial, including the preparation of the offering-ground, the construction of fireplaces and altars, the making of oblations and muttering of the prescribed formulae.
He was also distinguished as a reciter, and on a visit to the United States in 1871 read extracts from his works before large audiences.
Of these the first is etymologically correct (except that it should rather be " stitcher of verse "); the second was suggested by the fact, for which there is early evidence, that the reciter was accustomed to hold a wand in his hand - perhaps, like the sceptre in the Homeric assembly, as a symbol of the right to a hearing.3 The first notice of rhapsody meets us at Sicyon, in the reign of Cleisthenes (600-560 B.C.), who " put down the rhapsodists on account of the poems of Homer, because they are all about Argos and the Argives " (Hdt.
We can only suppose that the lyre in the hands of the epic poet or reciter was in reality a piece of convention, a " survival " from the stage in which narrative poetry had a lyrical character.
It was not until two centuries later that the historikos, the reciter of stories, superseded the historeon (to-Top&w), the seeker after knowledge.
Herodotus himself was as much a scientific explorer as a reciter of narrative, and his life-long investigation was historie in his Ionian speech.
Telling of stories was a recognized form of entertainment at all feasts and gatherings, and it was the necessity of the reciter which gradually worked them into a regular form, by which the memory was relieved and the artistic features of the story allowed to be more carefully elaborated.