CGRN 46

Decree of Athens concerning the cult of Asclepius in Piraeus

Date :

ca. 400-375 BC

Justification: lettering (Hiller von Gaertringen).

Provenance

Piraeus . Now in the Museum of Piraeus.

Support

Stele. The inscription is a decree inscribed after an inventory list (of medical instruments). The two texts are inscribed in different hands.

  • Height: 55 cm
  • Width: 33 cm
  • Depth: 75 cm

Layout

The stone is worn and difficult to read. The decree is non-stoichedon.

Letters: 0.8 cm high

Bibliography

Edition here based on Kirchner IG II² 47, with the exception of lines 8-9 where we adopt the new reading and restoration of Papazarkadas.

Cf. also: Sokolowski LSS 11.

Further bibliography: Ampolo 1982; Aleshire 1991: 244-246; Parker 1996; Papazarkadas 2011: 42 n. 109.

Text


ἔδοξεν τῶι δήμωι· Ἀθηνόδω[ρος] εἶπεν· περὶ ὧνἱε-
ρεὺς
λέγει ὁ τοῦ Ἀσκληπιο̑ Εὐθύδημος, ἐψηφίσθ-
αι
τῶι δήμωι· ὅπως ἂν τά τε προθύματα θύηται
ξηγε̑ται Εὐθύ[δ]η[μ]ος ἱερεὺς το̑ Ἀσκληπιο̑ κα-
5 ὶ ἡ ἄλλη θυσία γίγνηται ὑπὲρ το̑ δήμο το̑ Ἀθηναίω-
ν
, ἐψηφίσθαι τῶι δήμωι τοὺς ἐπιστάτας τοῦ Ἀσκ-
ληπιείο
θύεν τὰ προθύματα ἐξηγε̑ται [Εὐ]θύδη-
μος ἀπὸ τοῦ ἀργυρίο το̑ ἐκ το̑ λιθοτομε[ί]ο [τοῦ] θ̑-
[ε]ο̑
ἐξαιρομένο, τὸ δὲ ἄλλο ἀργύριον [κα]τα[βά]λλ-
10 [ε]ν
ἐς τὴν οἰκοδομίαν τοῦ ἱερο̑· ὅπως δ᾽ ἂν καὶ Ἀθ-
ηναῖοι
κρέα νέμωνται ὡς{ς} πλεῖστα τοὺς ἱεροπ-
[οι]ὸς
τὸς ἱεροποιο̑ντας ἐπιμε{με}λε̑σθαι τῆς ἑ-
[ο]ρτῆς
τὸ ἐκ τοῦ δήμο γιγνόμενον· νέμεν δὲ τὰ
[κρέ]α το̑ μὲν ἡγεμόνος βοὸς τοῖς πρυτάνεσιν
15 [καὶ τ]οῖς ἐννέ’ ἄρχοσιν κα[ὶ] τ[οῖ]ς [ε]ροποιοῖς [κ]α
[τοῖς πο]μ[π]εῦσιν, τὰ δὲ ἄλλα [κρέα Ἀθηναίοις μερί]-
[ζειν
..?..]ΛΣΟΓ[..?..]

Translation

The people decided. Athenodoros spoke. With respect to what the priest of Asclepius, Euthydemos, proposes, the people have decreed. So that the preliminary sacrifices, which Euthydemos, the priest of Asclepius, expounds, are offered and (5) the other sacrifices take place, in name of the Athenian people, the people have decreed: that the epistatai in charge of the sanctuary of Asclepius should make the preliminary sacrifices that Euthydemos expounds, using the money from the quarry set aside for the god, the other money must be paid (10) towards the building of the temple. So that the Athenians distribute as much meat as possible, the hieropoioi in service must see to the festival with respect to what comes from the people. The meat of the ox leading (the procession) should be distributed to the prytaneis and to the (15) nine archontes and the hieropoioi and those participating in the procession, the other [meat should be distributed to the Athenians ...].

Traduction

Il a plu au peuple. Athenodoros a fait la proposition. Au sujet de ce que propose le prêtre d’Asclépios, Euthydemos, qu'il plaise au peuple de décréter. Afin que les sacrifices préliminaires qu'Euthydemos, le prêtre d'Asclépios, a édictés soient célébrés et (5) que le reste des sacrifices soit accompli au nom du peuple des Athéniens, qu'il plaise au peuple de décréter que les épistates du sanctuaire d’Asclépios célèbrent les sacrifices préliminaires qu'Euthydemos a édictés avec l’argent tiré de la carrière réservée au dieu et dépensent l’argent restant (10) pour la construction du sanctuaire. Afin que les Athéniens distribuent le plus de viande possible, que les hiéropes en charge s’occupent de la fête publique en regard de ce qui vient du peuple. Qu’ils distribuent la viande du boeuf de tête aux prytanes, (15) aux neuf archontes, aux hiéropes et à ceux qui participent à la procession, et que le reste [de la viande soit réparti entre les Athéniens...].

Commentary

The inscription is a decree of the city of Athens (cf. line 1), inscribed after an inventory list (of medical instruments) in a different hand. It concerns the cult of Asclepius in Piraeus, in particular the carrying out of preliminary sacrifices (προθύματα) that have been 'declared' by the priest, Euthydemus (on the priest Euthydemus' activities, ca. 370-350 BC, cf. Aleshire). The content of these sacrifices is not specified in this document but is apparently considered evident. Rather, the point of the text is to define the responsibilities of the cult personnel, and to stipulate means of financing the cult. The final part of the inscription concerns meat-distribution.

This text is somewhat unusual in that it concerns new sacrifices, for which the priest is the authority. Sacrificial norms are more often presented as traditional, ancestral customs. It also seems to be the case that the temple is not finished (line 10). What is the precise context of the decree? The cult of Asclepius in Piraeus may have been inaugurated some time before the cult of this god in Athens was established, in 420 BC (Parker, p. 175). Perhaps the text is a witness to a reorganisation due to the adoption of the cult by the Athenian community, while it was a private cult previously. But it is also possible that the cult in Piraeus is also still fairly new at this stage, and that we are witness to a cult in the making (Parker, p. 181-182).

Preliminary offerings (προθύματα) were important in the cult of Asclepius and were conventionally offered to Apollo Maleatas as well as to Asclepius. Those coming to a sanctuary of Asclepius to worship had to offer preliminary sacrifices to these gods before commencing their incubation. Compare also CGRN 54, an inscription that prescribes the offering of προθύματα to Asclepius and various deities associated with him, in some detail. In that text, too, there are hints that the cult is in the process of creation. That text makes mention of a set of stelai, dedicated by the same Euthydemos, containing a contained a graphic image (εἰκών) of the appropriate shape of the cakes (πόπανα) that should be offered. Uncertainty concerning the nature of the πόπανα that should be sacrificed may have been at the origin of this .

Lines 7-8: As Ampolo pointed out, any stone extracted from quarries belonged to the state or to sanctuaries. For a convincing identification of this quarry as that “reserved" or "belonging to the god”, see Papazarkadas.

Line 13: The phrase τὸ ἐκ τοῦ δήμο γιγνόμενον should be taken as an accusative of respect, but its precise sense remains somewhat opaque. As the δῆμος must refer to the Athenian assembly or the people collectively, the phrase ought to refer to Athenian preferences or demands.

Lines 13-17: For a closely analogous meat distribution in Athens, on the occasion of the Lesser Panathenaia (335-330), compare CGRN 92, lines 11-17. There, some of the high magistrates (such as prytaneis and the nine archons) and possibly the participants of the procession receive multiple portions, whereas here these participants share the βοῦς ἡγεμών. On this 'ox-leader', cf. LSJ s.v. ἡγεμών (ΙΙ), with several parallels from literary sources. This is the ox that is the most beautiful and therefore leads the procession.

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 46, l. x-x.

Alternatively, a more detailed version of this citation, with the relevant URL, can be:
CGRN 46, l. x-x (http://cgrn.philo.ulg.ac.be/file/46/).

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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                <p>Edition here based on Kirchner <bibl type="abbr" n="IG II²">IG II²</bibl> 47, with the exception of lines 8-9 where we adopt the new reading and restoration of Papazarkadas.</p>
                
                <p> Cf. also: Sokolowski <bibl type="abbr" n="LSS">LSS</bibl> 11. 
                </p>
                <p>Further bibliography: <bibl type="author_date" n="Ampolo 1982">Ampolo 1982</bibl>; <bibl type="author_date" n="Aleshire 1991">Aleshire 1991</bibl>: 244-246; <bibl type="author_date" n="Parker 1996">Parker 1996</bibl>; <bibl type="author_date" n="Papazarkadas 2011">Papazarkadas 2011</bibl>: 42 n. 109.
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                    <lb xml:id="line_1" n="1"/>  <w lemma="δοκέω">ἔδοξεν</w> τῶι <name type="group"><w lemma="δῆμος">δήμωι</w></name>· Ἀθηνόδω<supplied reason="lost">ρος</supplied> <w lemma="λέγω">εἶπεν</w>· <w lemma="περί">περὶ</w> <w lemma="ὅς">ὧν</w> ὁ <name type="personnel"><w lemma="ἱερεύς">ἱε           
                        
                        <lb xml:id="line_2" n="2" break="no"/>  ρεὺς</w></name> <w lemma="λέγω">λέγει</w> ὁ τοῦ <name type="deity" key="Asclepius"><w lemma="Ἀσκληπιός">Ἀσκληπιο̑</w></name> Εὐθύδημος, <w lemma="ψηφίζω">ἐψηφίσθ
                    
                            <lb xml:id="line_3" n="3" break="no"/> αι</w> τῶι <name type="group"><w lemma="δῆμος">δήμωι</w></name>· <w lemma="ὅπως">ὅπως</w> <w lemma="ἄν">ἂν</w> τά τε <name type="sacrifice"><w lemma="πρόθυμα">προθύματα</w> </name> <name type="sacrifice"><w lemma="θύω">θύηται</w></name>
                    
                    <lb xml:id="line_4" n="4"/> <w lemma="ὅς">ἃ</w> <w lemma="ἐξηγέομαι">ἐ<unclear>ξ</unclear>ηγε̑ται</w> Εὐθύ<supplied reason="lost">δ</supplied>η<supplied reason="lost">μ</supplied>ος <name type="personnel"><w lemma="ἱερεύς">ἱερεὺς</w></name> το̑ <name type="deity" key="Asclepius"><w lemma="Ἀσκληπιός">Ἀσκληπιο̑</w></name> κα
                    
                    <lb xml:id="line_5" n="5" break="no"/> ὶ ἡ <w lemma="ἄλλος">ἄλλη</w> <name type="sacrifice"><w lemma="θυσία">θυσία</w></name> <w lemma="γίγνομαι">γίγνηται</w> <w lemma="ὑπέρ">ὑπὲρ</w> το̑ <name type="group"><w lemma="δῆμος">δήμο</w></name> το̑ <name type="ethnic"><w lemma="Ἀθηναῖος">Ἀθηναίω
                    
                        <lb xml:id="line_6" n="6" break="no"/> ν</w></name>, <w lemma="ψηφίζω">ἐψηφίσθαι</w> τῶι 
<name type="group"><w lemma="δῆμος">δήμωι</w></name> τοὺς <name type="personnel"><w lemma="ἐπιστάτης">ἐπιστάτας</w></name> τοῦ <name type="deity" key="Asclepius"><w lemma="Ἀσκληπιός">Ἀσκ
                    
                            <lb xml:id="line_7" n="7" break="no"/> ληπιείο</w></name> <name type="sacrifice"><w lemma="θύω">θύεν</w></name> τὰ <name type="sacrifice"><w lemma="πρόθυμα">προθύματα</w></name> <w lemma="ὅς">ἃ</w> <name type="authority"><w lemma="ἐξηγέομαι">ἐξηγε̑ται</w></name> <supplied reason="lost">Εὐ</supplied>θύδη
                    
                    <lb xml:id="line_8" n="8" break="no"/> μος <w lemma="ἀπό">ἀπὸ</w> τοῦ <w lemma="ἀργύριον">ἀργυρίο</w> το̑ <w lemma="ἐκ">ἐκ</w> το̑ <w lemma="λιθοτομεῖον">λιθοτομ<unclear>ε</unclear><supplied reason="lost">ί</supplied><unclear>ο</unclear></w> <supplied reason="lost">τοῦ</supplied> <name type="deity" key="Asclepius"><w lemma="θεός">θ̑
                    
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                                <lb xml:id="line_12" n="12" break="no"/> <supplied reason="lost">οι</supplied>ὸς</w></name> τὸς <name type="personnel"><w lemma="ἱεροποιέω">ἱεροποιο̑ντας</w></name> <w lemma="ἐπιμελέομαι">ἐπιμε<surplus>με</surplus>λε̑σθαι</w> τῆς <name type="festival"><w lemma="ἑορτή">ἑ
                    
                                    <lb xml:id="line_13" n="13" break="no"/> <supplied reason="lost">ο</supplied>ρτῆς</w></name> τὸ <w lemma="ἐκ">ἐκ</w> τοῦ <name type="group"><w lemma="δῆμος">δήμο</w></name> <w lemma="γίγνομαι">γιγνόμενον</w>· <name type="portion"><w lemma="νέμω">νέμεν</w></name> δὲ τὰ
                    
                    <lb xml:id="line_14" n="14"/>  <name type="portion"><w lemma="κρέας"><supplied reason="lost">κρέ</supplied>α</w></name> το̑ μὲν <name type="quality"><w lemma="ἡγεμών">ἡγεμόνος</w></name> <name type="animal" key="ox"><w lemma="βοῦς">βοὸς</w></name> τοῖς <name type="title"><w lemma="πρύτανις">πρυτάνεσιν</w></name>
                    
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            <div type="translation" xml:lang="eng">
                <head>Translation</head>
             <p>The people decided. Athenodoros spoke. With respect to what the priest of Asclepius, Euthydemos, proposes, the people have decreed. So that the preliminary sacrifices, which Euthydemos, the priest of Asclepius, expounds, are offered and (5) the other sacrifices take place, in name of the Athenian people, the people have decreed: that the <foreign>epistatai</foreign> in charge of the sanctuary of Asclepius should make the preliminary sacrifices that Euthydemos expounds, using the money from the quarry set aside for the god, the other money must be paid (10) towards the building of the temple. So that the Athenians distribute as much meat as possible, the <foreign>hieropoioi</foreign> in service must see to the festival with respect to what comes from the people. The meat of the ox leading (the procession) should be distributed to the <foreign>prytaneis</foreign> and to the (15) nine archontes and the <foreign>hieropoioi</foreign> and those participating in the procession, the other [meat should be distributed to the Athenians ...].</p>
                                                        </div>
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                <head>Traduction</head>
                <p>
                    Il a plu au peuple. Athenodoros a fait la proposition. Au sujet de ce que propose le prêtre d’Asclépios, Euthydemos, qu'il plaise au peuple de décréter. Afin que les sacrifices préliminaires qu'Euthydemos, le prêtre d'Asclépios, a édictés soient célébrés et (5) que le reste des sacrifices soit accompli au nom du peuple des Athéniens, qu'il plaise au peuple de décréter que les épistates du sanctuaire d’Asclépios célèbrent les sacrifices préliminaires qu'Euthydemos a édictés avec l’argent tiré de la carrière réservée au dieu et dépensent l’argent restant (10) pour la construction du sanctuaire. Afin que les Athéniens distribuent le plus de viande possible, que les hiéropes en charge s’occupent de la fête publique en regard de ce qui vient du peuple. Qu’ils distribuent la viande du boeuf de tête aux prytanes, (15) aux neuf archontes, aux hiéropes et à ceux qui participent à la procession, et que le reste [de la viande soit réparti entre les Athéniens...].</p>
                    
                
            </div>
            <div type="commentary">    
                <head>Commentary</head>  
                
<p> The inscription is a decree of the city of Athens (cf. line 1), inscribed after an inventory list (of medical instruments) in a different hand. It concerns the cult of Asclepius in Piraeus, in particular the carrying out of preliminary sacrifices (προθύματα) that have been 'declared' by the priest, Euthydemus (on the priest Euthydemus' activities, ca. 370-350 BC, cf. Aleshire). The content of these sacrifices is not specified in this document but is apparently considered evident. Rather, the point of the text is to define the responsibilities of the cult personnel, and to stipulate means of financing the cult. The final part of the inscription concerns meat-distribution.</p>
                    
<p>This text is somewhat unusual in that it concerns new sacrifices, for which the priest is the authority. Sacrificial norms are more often presented as traditional, ancestral customs. It also seems to be the case that the temple is not finished (line 10). What is the precise context of the decree? The cult of Asclepius in Piraeus may have been inaugurated some time before the cult of this god in Athens was established, in 420 BC (Parker, p. 175). Perhaps the text is a witness to a reorganisation due to the adoption of the cult by the Athenian community, while it was a private cult previously. But it is also possible that the cult in Piraeus is also still fairly new at this stage, and that we are witness to a cult in the making (Parker, p. 181-182).</p>

<p>Preliminary offerings (προθύματα) were important in the cult of Asclepius and were conventionally offered to Apollo Maleatas as well as to Asclepius. Those coming to a sanctuary of Asclepius to worship had to offer preliminary sacrifices to these gods before commencing their incubation. Compare also <ref target="http://cgrn.ulg.ac.be/CGRN_54">CGRN 54</ref>, an inscription that prescribes the offering of προθύματα to Asclepius and various deities associated with him, in some detail. In that text, too, there are hints that the cult is in the process of creation. That text makes mention of a set of stelai, dedicated by the same Euthydemos, containing a contained a graphic image (εἰκών) of the appropriate shape of the cakes (πόπανα) that should be offered. Uncertainty concerning the nature of the πόπανα that should be sacrificed may have been at the origin of this .</p>
                
 <p>Lines 7-8: As Ampolo pointed out, any stone extracted from quarries belonged to the state or to sanctuaries. For a convincing identification of this quarry as that “reserved" or "belonging to the god”, see Papazarkadas.</p>
    
 <p>Line 13: The phrase τὸ ἐκ τοῦ δήμο γιγνόμενον should be taken as an accusative of respect, but its precise sense remains somewhat opaque. As the δῆμος must refer to the Athenian assembly or the people collectively, the phrase ought to refer to Athenian preferences or demands.</p>
                    
<p>Lines 13-17: For a closely analogous meat distribution in Athens, on the occasion of the Lesser Panathenaia (335-330), compare <ref target="CGRN_92">CGRN 92</ref>, lines 11-17. There, some of the high magistrates (such as prytaneis and the nine archons) and possibly the participants of the procession receive multiple portions, whereas here these participants share the βοῦς ἡγεμών. On this 'ox-leader', cf. <bibl type="abbr" n="LSJ">LSJ</bibl> s.v. ἡγεμών (ΙΙ), with several parallels from literary sources. This is the ox that is the most beautiful and therefore leads the procession.
                    
                </p>
                
               
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