CGRN 171

Dedication to Zeus Ourios and Astarte Palaistine Aphrodite Ourania, followed by a small sacrificial regulation, from Delos

Date :

2nd century BC

Justification: lettering (Clermont-Ganneau).

Provenance

Delos . Found close to the sourthern wall of the Hypostele stoa.

Support

Small cylindrical white marble altar, "à la partie supérieure et à la partie inférieure, moulure". Width here denotes the diameter of the altar.

  • Height: 53 cm
  • Width: 41 cm

Layout

Letters: 1.2 cm high; in lines 6 and 7: 0.8 cm high.

Bibliography

Edition here based on Roussel - Launey, ID 2305.

Other editions: Clermont-Ganneau 1909: 307-309, with ph.; Wallensten 2014.

Cf. also: Sokolowski LSS 55.

Further bibliography: Bonnet - Pirenne-Delforge 1999; Decourt - Tziaphalias 2015; Bouchon - Decourt 2017.

Text


Διὶ Οὐρίωι καὶ Ἀστάρτηι Παλαιστινῆι
Ἀφροδίτηι Οὐρανίαι, θεοῖς ἐπηκόοις,
Δάμων Δημητρίου Ἀσκαλωνίτης
σωθεὶς ἀπὸ πειρατῶν,
5 εὐχήν.
οὐ θεμιτὸν δὲ προσάγειν
αἴγειον, ὑικόν, βοὸς θηλείας.

Translation

To Zeus Ourios, to Astarte Palaistine Aphrodite Ourania, gods who listen, Damon, son of Demetrios, of the city Ascalon [has dedicated this altar], having been saved from pirates, (consecrated the altar as a result of his) fulfilled vow. It is not allowed to bring in for sacrifice goat meat, pork or (meat) from a cow.

Traduction

À Zeus Ourios, Astartè Palaistinè Aphrodite Ourania, divinités qui écoutent les prières, Damon, fils de Démétrios, de la cité d’Ascalon, après avoir été sauvé des pirates, (a consacré l'autel) pour avoir exaucé son voeu. Il n’est pas permis d'apporter pour le sacrifice de la viande de chèvre, ni du porc, ni (de la viande) de vache.

Commentary

On this small altar dedicated on Delos and in Greek, by a citizen of Ascalon who escaped an attack from pirates, two oriental divinities are evoked, and the dedication is followed by a small cultic regulation in the same hand (lines 6-7).

Lines 1-2: Zeus Ourios is the god of favourable wind, known on Delos by multiple dedications in which the context is navigation and maritime expeditions (ID 1561; ID 2128). We sometimes find an association of this god with Egyptian deities, themselves protectors of those who navigate (ID 2179). Four dedications to Zeus Ourios were found in the Sarapieion C; three others, among which the present document, in the proximity of the Hypostele room to the south of the Sarapieion, where there was also an altar of Poseidon Nauklarios: most probably this conjunction of gods is not a coincidence but reflects a locus of cult relating to maritime affairs. Astarte Palaistine Aphrodite Ourania is known on Delos by another dedication on an altar (ID 1719). In both cases, a (former?) inhabitant of Ascalon made the dedication. The goddess Astarte 'of Palestine' was worshipped in the sanctuary of the gods of Ascalon at the foot of Mount Kynthos, together with Poseidon of Ascalon; she also had a famous sanctuary at Berytos. On Aphrodite Ourania in this context, cf. Bonnet - Pirenne-Delforge, and Wallensten.

Line 2: The adjective ἐπήκοος is used in literature and inscriptions to indicate that gods "listen to prayer". Apparently, such an appeal to the 'good reputation' of the god, as well as upholding a reciprocal relationship with faithful worshippers, was thought (hoped) to have a performative effect.

Line 5: The word εὐχήν on its own is an abbreviated form of saying that the dedication is made "in return for a fulfilled prayer", as a result of a vow.

Lines 6-7: At first sight, it would be tempting to take the verb προσάγω here in the sense of "lead in to sacrifice", thus referring to sacrificial animals (cf. e.g. the restoration at CGRN 43, line 29). However, the final phrase of the inscription, βοὸς θηλείας, expressed in the genitive following the two accusatives αἴγειον and ὑικόν makes this reading improbable. In other words, αἴγειον and ὑικόν, both adjectival, do not appear to refer to whole animals, but rather to their meat, and the implicit referent behind the genitive βοὸς θηλείας must very probably be something like κρέας. Interestingly in this regard, the verb προσάγω can refer, not to bringing in a sacrifice as such, but rather to serving food: cf. LSJ s.v. (4) . It would therefore seem that the prohibition here is one that is specific to this Near Eastern cult established on Delos: no meat from goats, swine, or cows is to be offered on trays as a sacrifice and served as such in the sanctuary. For the offering of trays containing meat and other items in Near Eastern cult, see e.g. the inscription from Marmarini, Decourt and Tziaphalias, face A, lines 30ff. (see Bouchon and Decourt for an improved text, with p. 177 on the "plateaux"), but note that these were also featured in Greek cult too, e.g. at the Panathenaia (cf. LSJ s.v. σκαφηφορέω, σκαφηφόρος). The prohibition of particular species of animals in connection with sacrificial ritual, such as goat and swine here, are common in cultic regulations and the significance of any possible parallels is to be deprecated, though it can still justifiably be recalled that the interdiction against swine was particularly widespread in a Near Eastern context. For similar interdictions concerning goats and swine, see esp. here CGRN 27 (Thasos). The interdiction against cow meat is more singular, however, and thus noteworthy; it remains to be more satisfactorily explained.

Publication

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike International License 4.0 .

All citation, reuse or distribution of this work must contain somewhere a link back to the URL http://cgrn.ulg.ac.be/ and the filename, as well as the year of consultation (see “Home” for details of how to cite).

Authors

  • Jan-Mathieu Carbon
  • Saskia Peels
  • Zoé Pitz

Project Director

Vinciane Pirenne-Delforge

How To Cite

CGRN 171, l. x-x.

Alternatively, a more detailed version of this citation, with the relevant URL, can be:
CGRN 171, l. x-x (http://cgrn.philo.ulg.ac.be/file/171/).

The full citation of the CGRN in a list of abbreviations or a bibliography is the following:
J.-M. Carbon, S. Peels and V. Pirenne-Delforge, Collection of Greek Ritual Norms (CGRN), Liège 2015- (http://cgrn.ulg.ac.be, consulted in [2019]).

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	    			<author>Jan-Mathieu Carbon</author>
	    			<author>Saskia Peels</author>
	    			<author>Zoé Pitz</author>
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	    			<head>Bibliography</head>
	    			
	    			<p> Edition here based on Roussel - Launey, <bibl type="abbr" n="ID">ID</bibl> 2305.</p>
	    			<p> Other editions:                   
	    				<bibl type="author_date" n="Clermont-Ganneau 1909">Clermont-Ganneau 1909</bibl>: 307-309, with ph.; <bibl type="author_date" n="Wallensten 2014">Wallensten 2014</bibl>.</p>
	    			
	    			<p> Cf. also:
	    			Sokolowski <bibl type="abbr" n="LSS">LSS</bibl> 55.
	    				
	    			</p>
	    			
<p> Further bibliography: <bibl type="author_date" n="Bonnet - Pirenne-Delforge 1999">Bonnet - Pirenne-Delforge 1999</bibl>; <bibl type="author_date" n="Decourt - Tziaphalias 2015">Decourt - Tziaphalias 2015</bibl>; <bibl type="author_date" n="Bouchon - Decourt 2017">Bouchon - Decourt 2017</bibl>.</p>
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	    				<lb xml:id="line_1" n="1"/> <name type="deity" key="Zeus"><w lemma="Ζεύς">Διὶ</w></name> <name type="epithet" key="Ourios"><w lemma="οὔριος">Οὐρίωι</w></name> καὶ <name type="deity" key="Astarte"><w lemma="Ἀστάρτη">Ἀστάρτηι</w></name> <name type="epithet" key="Palaistine"><name type="ethnic" key="Palestine"><w lemma="Παλαιστινή">Παλαιστινῆι</w></name></name>
	    				
	    				<lb xml:id="line_2" n="2"/> <name type="deity" key="Aphrodite"><w lemma="Ἀφροδίτη">Ἀφροδίτηι</w></name> <name type="epithet" key="Ourania"><w lemma="Οὐρανία">Οὐρανίαι</w></name>, <name type="deity" key="generic"><w lemma="θεός">θεοῖς</w></name> <w lemma="ἐπήκοος">ἐπηκόοις</w>,
	    				
	    				<lb xml:id="line_3" n="3"/> Δάμων Δημητρίου <name type="ethnic" key="Askalon">Ἀσκαλωνίτης</name>
	    				
	    				<lb xml:id="line_4" n="4"/> <w lemma="σῴζω">σωθεὶς</w> <w lemma="ἀπό">ἀπὸ</w> <w lemma="πειρατής">πειρατῶν</w>,
	    				
	    				<lb xml:id="line_5" n="5"/> <name type="invocation"><w lemma="εὐχή">εὐχήν</w></name>.
	    				
	    				<lb xml:id="line_6" n="6"/> <w lemma="οὐ">οὐ</w> <w lemma="θεμιτός">θεμιτὸν</w> δὲ <name type="sacrifice"><w lemma="προσάγω">προσάγειν</w></name>
	    				
	    				<lb xml:id="line_7" n="7"/> <name type="animal" key="goat"><w lemma="αἴγειος"><unclear>α</unclear>ἴγειον</w></name>, <name type="animal" key="swine"><w lemma="ὑϊκός">ὑικόν</w></name>, <name type="animal" key="ox"><w lemma="βοῦς">βοὸς</w></name> <name type="gender"><w lemma="θῆλυς">θηλείας</w></name>.
	    				
	    				
	    
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					<p>To Zeus Ourios, to Astarte Palaistine Aphrodite Ourania, gods who listen, Damon, son of Demetrios, of the city Ascalon [has dedicated this altar], having been saved from pirates, (consecrated the altar as a result of his) fulfilled vow. It is not allowed to bring in for sacrifice goat meat, pork or (meat) from a cow.</p>
					</div>
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					<head>Traduction</head>
					<p> À Zeus Ourios, Astartè Palaistinè Aphrodite Ourania, divinités qui écoutent les prières, Damon, fils de Démétrios, de la cité d’Ascalon, après avoir été sauvé des pirates, (a consacré l'autel) pour avoir exaucé son voeu. Il n’est pas permis d'apporter pour le sacrifice de la viande de chèvre, ni du porc, ni (de la viande) de vache.</p>
				</div>
					<div type="commentary">    
						<head>Commentary</head> 
						
<p> On this small altar dedicated on Delos and in Greek, by a citizen of Ascalon who escaped an attack from pirates, two oriental divinities are evoked, and the dedication is followed by a small cultic regulation in the same hand (lines 6-7).</p>

<p> Lines 1-2: Zeus Ourios is the god of favourable wind, known on Delos by multiple dedications in which the context is navigation and maritime expeditions (<bibl type="abbr" n="ID">ID</bibl> 1561; <bibl type="abbr" n="ID">ID</bibl> 2128). We sometimes find an association of this god with Egyptian deities, themselves protectors of those who navigate (<bibl type="abbr" n="ID">ID</bibl> 2179). Four dedications to Zeus Ourios were found in the Sarapieion C; three others, among which the present document, in the proximity of the Hypostele room to the south of the Sarapieion, where there was also an altar of Poseidon Nauklarios: most probably this conjunction of gods is not a coincidence but reflects a locus of cult relating to maritime affairs. Astarte Palaistine Aphrodite Ourania is known on Delos by another dedication on an altar (<bibl type="abbr" n="ID">ID</bibl> 1719). In both cases, a (former?) inhabitant of Ascalon made the dedication. The goddess Astarte 'of Palestine' was worshipped in the sanctuary of the gods of Ascalon at the foot of Mount Kynthos, together with Poseidon of Ascalon; she also had a famous sanctuary at Berytos. On Aphrodite Ourania in this context, cf. Bonnet - Pirenne-Delforge, and Wallensten. </p>
	
<p> Line 2: The adjective ἐπήκοος is used in literature and inscriptions to indicate that gods "listen to prayer". Apparently, such an appeal to the 'good reputation' of the god, as well as upholding a reciprocal relationship with faithful worshippers, was thought (hoped) to have a performative effect.</p>

<p> Line 5: The word εὐχήν on its own is an abbreviated form of saying that the dedication is made "in return for a fulfilled prayer", as a result of a vow.</p>
	
<p> Lines 6-7: At first sight, it would be tempting to take the verb προσάγω here in the sense of "lead in to sacrifice", thus referring to sacrificial animals (cf. e.g. the restoration at <ref target="http://cgrn.ulg.ac.be/CGRN_43">CGRN 43</ref>, line 29). However, the final phrase of the inscription, βοὸς θηλείας, expressed in the genitive following the two accusatives αἴγειον and ὑικόν makes this reading improbable. In other words, αἴγειον and ὑικόν, both adjectival, do not appear to refer to whole animals, but rather to their meat, and the implicit referent behind the genitive βοὸς θηλείας must very probably be something like κρέας. Interestingly in this regard, the verb προσάγω can refer, not to bringing in a sacrifice as such, but rather to serving food: cf. <bibl type="abbr" n="LSJ">LSJ</bibl> s.v. (4) . It would therefore seem that the prohibition here is one that is specific to this Near Eastern cult established on Delos: no meat from goats, swine, or cows is to be
offered on trays as a sacrifice and served as such in the sanctuary. For the offering of trays containing meat and other items in Near Eastern cult, see e.g. the inscription from Marmarini, Decourt and Tziaphalias, face A, lines 30ff. (see Bouchon and Decourt for an improved text, with p. 177 on the "plateaux"), but note that these were also featured in Greek cult too, e.g. at the Panathenaia (cf. <bibl type="abbr" n="LSJ">LSJ</bibl> s.v. σκαφηφορέω, σκαφηφόρος). The prohibition of particular species of animals in connection with sacrificial ritual, such as goat and swine here, are common in cultic regulations and the significance of any possible parallels is to be deprecated, though it can still justifiably be recalled that the interdiction against swine was particularly widespread in a Near Eastern context. For similar interdictions concerning goats and swine, see esp. here <ref target="http://cgrn.ulg.ac.be/CGRN_27">CGRN 27</ref> (Thasos). The interdiction against cow meat is more singular, however, and thus noteworthy; it remains to be more satisfactorily explained.</p>



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