CGRN 219

Funerary inscription with a sacrificial regulation from Arsada in Lycia

Date :

ca. 100 BC (or somewhat later?)

Justification: late Hellenistic lettering and the form μηθέν in line 7 (Bean; the latter is late Classical-Hellenistic, see LSJ s.v. μηθείς). Bean's early dating may be somewhat optimistic, however, especially given the form Ἀρτεμεισίῳ in lines 2-3: ει for ι and implied iota subscriptum are both features of Roman-era inscriptions (Carbon).

Provenance

Arsada  in Lycia, once located in the house of Süleyman Karaman. See Bean for a brief survey of the site and his finds there (p. 40-41).

Support

Loose block of stone, broken on all sides. The text is however complete at the bottom.

  • Height: 33 cm
  • Width: 35 cm
  • Depth: unknown

Layout

Elegant cutting of the text, with modest apices.

Letters: 17-18 mm high, round letters smaller.

Bibliography

Edition here based on Bean 1948: 43-44 no. 3, with ph. of a squeeze fig. 8.

Cf. also: Strubbe 1997: esp. 547 no. Ars 3.

Further bibliography: Robert 1937: 391 with n. 5.

Text


[..?..]
[ὁ] κτήτωρ θύσει κ[ατ’ ἐ]-
ν⟨ι⟩αυτὸν
ἐν μηνὶ [ρτε]-
μεισίῳ
ἱερεῖον ἐπ[ὶ τοῦ]
βωμοῦ· ἐὰν δὲ μὴ θύσ[ῃ, ἁ]-
5μαρτωλὸς
ἔστω θε[ῶν]
πάντων καὶ ἡρώων, κα
μὴ [...6...] μηθὲν αὐ[τῷ].
vacat

Translation

[The] owner will sacrifice [each] year in the month of Artemeisios a sacrificial animal on the altar. If he does not sacrifice (it), (5) may he be an offender of all the gods and heroes, and may there not (be) [...] anything for him.

Traduction

[Le] propriétaire sacrifiera [chaque] année durant le mois d'Artemeisios un animal sacrificiel sur l'autel. S'il ne (le) sacrifie pas, (5) qu'il soit coupable envers tous les dieux et héros, et qu'il ne [...] aucun pour lui.

Commentary

This document is included in the present Collection as a well-preserved, relatively early example of a particular type of inscription: brief and funerary texts prescribing periodic offerings. Rather than being set up at a sanctuary, where they informed worshippers about sacrifices for specific deities, these inscriptions were typically set up at a private place—usually a tomb or a familial cult-site—and they instructed, or recorded prescriptions for, the owner of the site or the descendants and inheritors. The recipient of the sacrifice is in the present case perhaps left implicit, but was typically defined as the deceased; alternatively, the name of the honorand may now be missing in lines above the first extant line. One may compare and contrast some other examples of private instructions for sacrificial performance in the present Collection, which are usually related to divine cult: e.g. CGRN 60 (Thera) and CGRN 215 (Attica).

The phenomenon of recording such periodic sacrifices for the deceased seems to have been particularly prevalent in Roman-era Asia Minor, and especially in Lycia. Robert already collected six similar inscriptions from western Lycia; as Bean notes, one of the closest parallels to the present text is 636 (from 1st-century-AD Tlos), lines 8-14: θύσει δὲ̣ | [ὁ κ]τήτωρ τῆς οἰ̣κίας | [κα]τ’ ἐνιαυτὸν ἐν τῇ ιβ′ | [το]ῦ Ξανδικοῦ ἔριφον | [δ]ι⟨ε⟩τῖ· ἐὰν δὲ μὴ θύσει, | [ἁ]μαρτωλὸς ἔστω | θεοῖς καὶ ἥρωσι. As can be seen from this other example, the sacrificial offering prescribed, as well as the date of the offering, may occasionally be more specific. In the present case, these are left rather generic: an offering—presumably any type of sheep—is to be sacrificed "on the altar" (i.e. at the tomb or a structure in front of it) during the month of Artemisios (a month of the Macedonian calendar, used in Lycia from the Hellenistic period onwards). But as can be shown both by the other example from Tlos cited above and the present case from Arsada, the general season for such funerary sacrifices was the spring (Xandikos ≈ March; Artemisios ≈ April). This observation coheres well with what can be observed many other areas of the Greek world, where rituals for the dead centered around the springtime, for example the rituals of the Hyakinthia in Sparta or in Hyakinthios on Rhodes (e.g. IG XII.1 155, lines 66-69), a phenomenon which might find even broader parallels.

Lines 4-7: Though fines are sometimes prescribed for the failure to perform the due sacrifice (cf. TAM II 458, Patara; in that case, payable to the city), Bean rightly notes that curses are more common as a form of threatened punishment in this type of inscription. Curses were comparatively easier to invoke and did not require an appeal to a political authority to enforce. Here, the infraction will be treated as an offense to all the gods and heroes, again a notion commonly expressed in inscriptions from Anatolia: for similar curses against infractors, cf. here CGRN 71 (Metropolis), lines 11-13, CGRN 93 (Xanthos), lines 32-34 (also employing the formulation ἁμαρτωλὸς ἔστω), and CGRN 104 (Halikarnassos), lines 51-52 (an implicit curse). Though the final phrase is fragmentary, Bean rightly surmises that the sense is that the transgressor will no longer have anything beneficial or advantageous come to him ([ἄγαθον] or [ὄφελος] might be suggested as possible restorations). Prayers for "good things" to happen to pious worshippers, and curses with the opposite intent occur with some regularity in ritual norms, cf. here e.g. CGRN 205 (Antiocheia-ad-Pyramum), lines 29-30. For the wider phenomenon of funerary imprecations, and especially those invoked against desecrators of graves, see Strubbe.

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 DOI (https://doi.org/10.54510/CGRN219), as well as the year of consultation (see “Home” for details on how to cite or click “Export Citation” to create a reference for this specific file).

Authors

  • Jan-Mathieu Carbon
  • Saskia Peels
  • Vinciane Pirenne-Delforge

How To Cite

Brief citation of the Greek text : CGRN 219, lines x-x.

Reference to the file as a critical study of the inscription : Jan-Mathieu Carbon, Saskia Peels et Vinciane Pirenne-Delforge, "CGRN 219: Funerary inscription with a sacrificial regulation from Arsada in Lycia", in Collection of Greek Ritual Norms (CGRN), 2017-, consulted on September 25, 2022. URL: http://cgrn.ulg.ac.be/file/219/; DOI: https://doi.org/10.54510/CGRN219.

Full citation of the CGRN in a list of abbreviations or a bibliography is the following : Jan-Mathieu Carbon, Saskia Peels-Matthey, Vinciane Pirenne-Delforge, Collection of Greek Ritual Norms (CGRN), 2017-, consulted on September 25, 2022. URL: http://cgrn.ulg.ac.be; DOI: https://doi.org/10.54510/CGRN0.

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	    			<author>Jan-Mathieu Carbon</author>
	    			<author>Saskia Peels</author>
	    		<author>Vinciane Pirenne-Delforge</author></titleStmt>
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			<p><origDate notBefore="-0125" notAfter="-0050">ca. 100 BC (or somewhat later?)</origDate></p>
			<p><desc>Justification: late Hellenistic lettering and the form μηθέν in line 7 (Bean; the latter is late Classical-Hellenistic, see <bibl type="abbr" n="LSJ">LSJ</bibl> s.v. μηθείς). Bean's early dating may be somewhat optimistic, however, especially given the form Ἀρτεμεισίῳ in lines 2-3: ει for ι and implied <foreign>iota subscriptum</foreign> are both features of Roman-era inscriptions (Carbon).</desc></p>
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		<provenance><p><placeName type="ancientFindspot" key="Arsada" n="Asia_Minor_and_Anatolia"><ref target="http://pleiades.stoa.org/places/638764" type="external">Arsada</ref></placeName> in Lycia, once located in the house of Süleyman Karaman. See Bean for a brief survey of the site and his finds there (p. 40-41).</p>
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					<head>Bibliography</head>
					
					<p>Edition here based on <bibl type="author_date" n="Bean 1948">Bean 1948</bibl>: 43-44 no. 3, with ph. of a squeeze fig. 8.</p>
					
					<p>Cf. also: <bibl type="author_date" n="Strubbe 1997">Strubbe 1997</bibl>: esp. 547 no. Ars 3.</p>
					
					<p>Further bibliography: <bibl type="author_date" n="Robert 1937">Robert 1937</bibl>: 391 with n. 5.</p>
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	    				<head>Text</head>
	    				<ab>

<lb/><gap reason="lost" extent="unknown" unit="line"/>	    							
	    					
<lb xml:id="line_1" n="1"/><supplied reason="lost">ὁ</supplied> <name type="person"><w lemma="κτήτωρ">κτήτωρ</w></name> <name type="sacrifice"><w lemma="θύω">θύσει</w></name> <w lemma="κατά">κ<supplied reason="lost">ατ’</supplied></w> <w lemma="ἐνιαυτός"><supplied reason="lost">ἐ</supplied>
	    						    					
<lb xml:id="line_2" n="2" break="no"/><unclear>ν</unclear><supplied reason="omitted">ι</supplied>αυτὸν</w>  <w lemma="ἐν">ἐν</w> <w lemma="μείς">μηνὶ</w> <name type="month"><w lemma="Ἀρτεμίσιος">Ἀ<supplied reason="lost">ρτε</supplied>
	    					
<lb xml:id="line_3" n="3" break="no"/>μεισίῳ</w></name> <name type="animal" key="generic"><w lemma="ἱερεῖον">ἱερεῖον</w></name> <w lemma="ἐπί">ἐπ<supplied reason="lost">ὶ</supplied></w> <supplied reason="lost">τοῦ</supplied>
	    					
<lb xml:id="line_4" n="4"/><name type="structure"><w lemma="βωμός">βωμοῦ</w></name>· <w lemma="ἐάν">ἐὰν</w> δὲ <w lemma="μή">μὴ</w> <name type="sacrifice"><w lemma="θύω">θύ<unclear>σ</unclear><supplied reason="lost">ῃ</supplied></w></name><supplied reason="lost">,</supplied> <name type="punishment"><w lemma="ἁμαρτωλός"><supplied reason="lost">ἁ</supplied>
	    					
<lb xml:id="line_5" n="5" break="no"/>μαρτωλὸς</w></name> <w lemma="εἰμί">ἔστω</w> <name type="deity" key="generic"><w lemma="θεός">θε<supplied reason="lost">ῶν</supplied></w></name>
	    					
<lb xml:id="line_6" n="6"/><w lemma="πᾶς">πάντων</w> καὶ <name type="deity" key="generic"><w lemma="ἥρως">ἡρώων</w></name>, κα<unclear>ὶ</unclear>
	    					
<lb xml:id="line_7" n="7"/><w lemma="μή">μὴ</w> <gap reason="lost" quantity="6" unit="character"/> <w lemma="μηθείς"><unclear>μ</unclear>ηθὲν</w> <w lemma="αὐτός">αὐ<supplied reason="lost">τῷ</supplied></w>.

<lb/><space extent="unknown" unit="line"/>
	  
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					<head>Translation</head>
	    				
<p>[The] owner will sacrifice [each] year in the month of Artemeisios a sacrificial animal on the altar. If he does not sacrifice (it), (5) may he be an offender of all the gods and heroes, and may there not (be) [...] anything for him.  </p>
				</div>
	    		
				<div type="translation" xml:lang="fre">
					<head>Traduction</head>
					
<p>[Le] propriétaire sacrifiera [chaque] année durant le mois d'Artemeisios un animal sacrificiel sur l'autel. S'il ne (le) sacrifie pas, (5) qu'il soit coupable envers tous les dieux et héros, et qu'il ne [...] aucun pour lui. </p>
				</div>
	    		
					<div type="commentary">    
						<head>Commentary</head>    
						
<p>This document is included in the present Collection as a well-preserved, relatively early example of a particular type of inscription: brief and funerary texts prescribing periodic offerings. Rather than being set up at a sanctuary, where they informed worshippers about sacrifices for specific deities, these inscriptions were typically set up at a private place—usually a tomb or a familial cult-site—and they instructed, or recorded prescriptions for, the owner of the site or the descendants and inheritors. The recipient of the sacrifice is in the present case perhaps left implicit, but was typically defined as the deceased; alternatively, the name of the honorand may now be missing in lines above the first extant line. One may compare and contrast some other examples of private instructions for sacrificial performance in the present Collection, which are usually related to divine cult: e.g. <ref target="CGRN_60">CGRN 60</ref> (Thera) and <ref target="CGRN_215">CGRN 215</ref> (Attica). </p> 
		
<p>The phenomenon of recording such periodic sacrifices for the deceased seems to have been particularly prevalent in Roman-era Asia Minor, and especially in Lycia. Robert already collected six similar inscriptions from western Lycia; as Bean notes, one of the closest parallels to the present text is <bibl type="abbr" n="TAM II"/> 636 (from 1st-century-AD Tlos), lines 8-14: θύσει δὲ̣ | [ὁ κ]τήτωρ τῆς οἰ̣κίας | [κα]τ’ ἐνιαυτὸν ἐν τῇ ιβ′ | [το]ῦ Ξανδικοῦ ἔριφον | [δ]ι<supplied reason="omitted">ε</supplied>τῖ· ἐὰν δὲ μὴ θύσει, | [ἁ]μαρτωλὸς ἔστω | θεοῖς καὶ ἥρωσι. As can be seen from this other example, the sacrificial offering prescribed, as well as the date of the offering, may occasionally be more specific. In the present case, these are left rather generic: an offering—presumably any type of sheep—is to be sacrificed "on the altar" (i.e. at the tomb or a structure in front of it) during the month of Artemisios (a month of the Macedonian calendar, used in Lycia from the Hellenistic period onwards). But as can be shown both by the other example from Tlos cited above and the present case from Arsada, the general season for such funerary sacrifices was the spring (Xandikos ≈ March; Artemisios ≈ April). This observation coheres well with what can be observed many other areas of the Greek world, where rituals for the dead centered around the springtime, for example the rituals of the Hyakinthia in Sparta or in Hyakinthios on Rhodes (e.g. <bibl type="abbr" n="IG XII.1">IG XII.1</bibl> 155, lines 66-69), a phenomenon which might find even broader parallels.</p>

<p>Lines 4-7: Though fines are sometimes prescribed for the failure to perform the due sacrifice (cf. <bibl type="abbr" n="TAM II">TAM II</bibl> 458, Patara; in that case, payable to the city), Bean rightly notes that curses are more common as a form of threatened punishment in this type of inscription. Curses were comparatively easier to invoke and did not require an appeal to a political authority to enforce. Here, the infraction will be treated as an offense to all the gods and heroes, again a notion commonly expressed in inscriptions from Anatolia: for similar curses against infractors, cf. here <ref target="CGRN_71">CGRN 71</ref> (Metropolis), lines 11-13, <ref target="CGRN_93">CGRN 93</ref> (Xanthos), lines 32-34 (also employing the formulation ἁμαρτωλὸς ἔστω), and <ref target="CGRN_104">CGRN 104</ref> (Halikarnassos), lines 51-52 (an implicit curse). Though the final phrase is fragmentary, Bean rightly surmises that the sense is that the transgressor will no longer have anything beneficial or advantageous come to him ([ἄγαθον] or [ὄφελος] might be suggested as possible restorations). Prayers for "good things" to happen to pious worshippers, and curses with the opposite intent occur with some regularity in ritual norms, cf. here e.g. <ref target="CGRN_205">CGRN 205</ref> (Antiocheia-ad-Pyramum), lines 29-30. For the wider phenomenon of funerary imprecations, and especially those invoked against desecrators of graves, see Strubbe.</p>
						
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