CGRN 36

Sacrificial regulation or abbreviated contract concerning the perquisites of the priest of Zeus Pelinaios on Chios

Date :

end of 5th century BC

Justification: lettering and style (Graf).

Provenance

Chios . Now in Chios Museum (inv. no. MX 81).

Support

Stele of grey limestone.

  • Height: 37 cm
  • Width: 30 cm
  • Depth: 23 cm

Layout

Stoichedon 14.

Letters: 1.2 cm high.

Bibliography

Edition here based on Graf 1985: 429-430, I.Chios 4.

Cf. Sokolowski LSS 129; Körner - Hallof no. 64; SEG 50, 808.

Text


[τῷ] ἱέρεῳ Πελιναί-
[ο
δ]ίδοσθαι γλάσ- v
[σα]ς
, γέρα, θύα ἀφ’ ὧν
[ἂν] θύῃ, σπλάγχνα v
5[ἐς] γόνατα καὶ ἐς v
[χ]έρας, μοίρας δύω,
δέρος· ἢνἱέρεως
μὴ πάρῃ, βωσάτω [ἐ]ς
τρὶςθέλων γεγω-
10νεῖν
καὶ αὐτὸς π[ο]-
είτω
τὰ ἱερὰ, ἄλω[ι]
δὲ παρεχέτω μηδ[ε]-
νί
· ὃς ἄν τι τούτ[ων]
παραβαίνῃ εἰθ- v
15[νη]ν
πέντε στατῆ- v
[ρ]ας
ἀποδότω. vacat

Translation

Give to the priest of Pelinaios tongues, honorific portions, burnt-offerings from which (5) one makes smoke, the entrails on the knees and the hands (of the statue), two portions, the skin. If the priest is absent, the one who wishes to make himself heard should call out three times, (10) and (then) make the sacrifice himself, but not to give (the sacrifices) to anyone else. The one who transgresses against any of these rules must (15) pay five staters as a punishment.

Traduction

Que l’on donne au prêtre de Pelinaios les langues, les parts d’honneur, les offrandes à brûler (5) dont on fait des fumigations, les viscères (placés) sur les genoux et les mains (de la statue), deux portions, la peau; en cas d’absence du prêtre, que celui qui souhaite s’annoncer l’appelle trois fois à grands cris (10) et qu’il accomplisse lui-même le sacrifice; qu’on ne le permette à personne d’autre; que celui qui transgresse l’un de ces règlements verse une (15) amende de cinq statères.

(traduction J. Wilgaux)

Commentary

This regulation mostly probably belongs to a mountain cult of Zeus. The Pelinaios was the highest mountain (1300 m) in the north of the island of Chios. Hesychius (s.v. Πελινναῖος) explains this as an epithet of Zeus. The use of epithets of Zeus without the mention of the god's name itself occur especially with chthonic and heavenly functions of Zeus (e.g. Μειλίχιος, Κεραύνιος) and this example could be seen as comparable (Graf, p. 37-39). It is not clear if the regulation emanates from the city (cf. the heavy fine as a deterrent, lines 15-16), or perhaps equally probably a subcivic group who controlled the cult of Zeus Pelinaios (cp. CGRN 50).

The inscription concerns the perquisites of the priest and discusses what the worshipper should do if the priest appears to be absent. The priests' perquisite include specific parts of the animal, incense (cf. the commentary on CGRN 37 and CGRN 41, both from Chios), the entrails which were originally offered to the god (by placing them on the hands and knees of the god's statue). As more often, the priest receives parts of the animal that are specifically designated as the perquisite (the tongues, the skin) but he also receives portions (μοίραι) of the rest of the meat otherwise distributed among the participants (here, two portions).

Line 3: It is not clear what the γέρα ("honorific portions") mean, since they constitute an item in a list of perquisites (rather than introducing such a list, e.g. CGRN 86 D (Kos), lines 20-21, γέρη λαμβάνει ὁ ἱα-|ρεὺς· σκέλη καὶ τὰ δέρματα). On Chios we find γέρας (in singular) as part of lists of priestly perquisites (CGRN 38, line A7, and CGRN 88, line 4), and so presumably these were traditional and well-known portions.

Lines 7-11: Procedures to be undertaken if the priest is absent are prescribed in another text from Chios (CGRN 50, lines 9-14). In CGRN 75 (Oropos), lines 25-28, the priest needs to be present only part-time, and the regulation prescribes sacrificial procedures in case of both his presence and absence. At CGRN 128 (Lissos), line 3, whoever wishes may sacrifice. Such optionality shows us that the sacrificial rules and practices were very well known to the worshippers, who did not necessarily need a priest to help them with the ritual.

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

Project Director

Vinciane Pirenne-Delforge

How To Cite

CGRN 36, l. x-x.

Alternatively, a more detailed version of this citation, with the relevant URL, can be:
CGRN 36, l. x-x (http://cgrn.philo.ulg.ac.be/file/36/).

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 [2017]).

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                <p> Edition here based on <bibl type="author_date" n="Graf 1985">Graf 1985</bibl>: 429-430, I.Chios 4.</p>
                <p> Cf.
                    Sokolowski <bibl type="abbr" n="LSS">LSS</bibl> 129;
                    <bibl type="abbr" n="Körner - Hallof">Körner - Hallof</bibl> no. 64;
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                    <lb xml:id="line_4" n="4"/><w lemma="ἄν"><supplied reason="lost">ἂν</supplied></w> <name type="sacrifice"><w lemma="θύω">θύῃ</w></name>, <name type="portion"><w lemma="σπλάγχνον">σπλάγχνα</w></name> <space quantity="1" unit="character"/>
                    
                    <lb xml:id="line_5" n="5"/><w lemma="εἰς"><supplied reason="lost">ἐς</supplied></w> <name type="object"><w lemma="γόνυ">γόνατα</w></name> καὶ <w lemma="εἰς">ἐς</w> <space quantity="1" unit="character"/>
                    
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                    Give to the priest of Pelinaios tongues, honorific portions, burnt-offerings from which (5) one makes smoke, the entrails on the knees and the hands (of the statue), two portions, the skin. If the priest is absent, the one who wishes to make himself heard should call out three times, (10) and (then) make the sacrifice himself, but not to give (the sacrifices) to anyone else. The one who transgresses against any of these rules must (15) pay five staters as a punishment.
                </p>
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                <head>Traduction</head>
                <p>
                    Que l’on donne au prêtre de Pelinaios les langues, les parts d’honneur, les offrandes à brûler (5) dont on fait des fumigations, les viscères (placés) sur les genoux et les mains (de la statue), deux portions, la peau; en cas d’absence du prêtre, que celui qui souhaite s’annoncer l’appelle trois fois à grands cris (10) et qu’il accomplisse lui-même le sacrifice; qu’on ne le permette à personne d’autre; que celui qui transgresse l’un de ces règlements verse une (15) amende de cinq statères. </p>
                <p>(traduction J. Wilgaux)</p>
                
            </div>
            <div type="commentary">    
                <head>Commentary</head>    
                <p>This regulation mostly probably belongs to a mountain cult of Zeus. The Pelinaios was the highest mountain (1300 m) in the north of the island of Chios. Hesychius (s.v. Πελινναῖος) explains this as an epithet of Zeus. The use of epithets of Zeus without the mention of the god's name itself occur especially with chthonic and heavenly functions of Zeus (e.g. Μειλίχιος, Κεραύνιος) and this example could be seen as comparable (Graf, p. 37-39). It is not clear if the regulation emanates from the city (cf. the heavy fine as a deterrent, lines 15-16), or perhaps equally probably a subcivic group who controlled the cult of Zeus Pelinaios (cp. <ref target="http://cgrn.ulg.ac.be/CGRN_50/">CGRN 50</ref>).</p>
                
                <p> The inscription concerns the perquisites of the priest and discusses what the worshipper should do if the priest appears to be absent. The priests' perquisite include specific parts of the animal, incense (cf. the commentary on  <ref target="CGRN_37">CGRN 37</ref> and <ref target="CGRN_41">CGRN 41</ref>, both from Chios), the entrails which were originally offered to the god (by placing them on the hands and knees of the god's statue). As more often, the priest receives parts of the animal that are specifically designated as the perquisite (the tongues, the skin) but he also receives portions (μοίραι) of the rest of the meat otherwise distributed among the participants (here, two portions).</p>
                
                <p>Line 3: It is not clear what the γέρα ("honorific portions") mean, since they constitute an item in a list of perquisites (rather than introducing such a list, e.g. <ref target="CGRN_86">CGRN 86</ref> D (Kos), lines 20-21, γέρη λαμβάνει ὁ ἱα-|ρεὺς· σκέλη καὶ τὰ δέρματα). On Chios we find γέρας (in singular) as part of lists of priestly perquisites (<ref target="CGRN_38">CGRN 38</ref>, line A7, and <ref target="CGRN_88">CGRN 88</ref>, line 4), and so presumably these were traditional and well-known portions.</p> 
                
                <p>Lines 7-11: Procedures to be undertaken if the priest is absent are prescribed in another text from Chios (<ref target="CGRN_50">CGRN 50</ref>, lines 9-14). In <ref target="CGRN_75">CGRN 75</ref> (Oropos), lines 25-28, the priest needs to be present only part-time, and the regulation prescribes sacrificial procedures in case of both his presence and absence. At <ref target="CGRN_128">CGRN 128</ref> (Lissos), line 3, whoever wishes may sacrifice. Such optionality shows us that the sacrificial rules and practices were very well known to the worshippers, who did not necessarily need a priest to help them with the ritual. 
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