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Last Updated on 18 Jun 2019

Author: Stella Skaltsa

CAPInv. 1019: symbiosis ton Philosebaston


i. Geographical area Western Asia Minor
ii. Region Mysia
iii. Site Pergamon


i. Full name (original language) συμβίω[σις τῶν] Φιλοσεβάσ[των] (AvP VIII.3 no 85 ll. 6-7)
ii. Full name (transliterated) symbiosis ton Philosebaston


i. Date(s) Imp.


ii. Name elements
Cultic:Philosebastoi: the adjective φιλοσέβαστος, philosebastos is used as an honorific epithet for individuals, cities and institutions (e.g. boule), highlighting their loyalty to the emperor through the endorsement of the imperial cult (Veligianni 2001). The word Philosebastoi denotes those maintaing the cult of the emperor.
iii. Descriptive terms συμβίωσις, symbiosis
Note l. 6


i. Source(s) AvP VIII.3 no. 85
Note IvP 340 (with old reading by Fränkel of lines 5-7: κ[αλῶς] συμβιώ[σασα] Φιλοσεβάσ[τωι]. He considered this inscription an epitaph).
IGR IV 508
Robert (1937: 61-4) proposed a new reading for lines 5-7, dismissing Fränkel's view that the inscription was an epitaph.
See also Hellenica XI-XII (1960): 221 n. 2.
Online Resources AvP VIII.3 no. 85
i.a. Source type(s) Epigraphic source(s)
i.b. Document(s) typology & language/script Dedicatory inscription in Greek. Epiktesis, priestess of Asklepios, dedicated an altar, at her own expense, to Asklepios Soter and the symbiosis Philosebaston.
Invocation to Agathe Tyche in line 1.
i.c. Physical format(s) Small rectangular altar of white marble with moulding. H. 64 x W. 26 x Th. 20 cm.
ii. Source(s) provenance Found in the garden of Alexis east of the Turkish cemetery lying between the rivers Selinus and Ketios.


ii. References to buildings/objects τὸν βωμόν, ton bomon (l. 8)


iv. Officials ἱερατεύουσα, hierateuousa (l. 3-4)
Epiktesis was probably priestess of the symbiosis (Habicht 1969: 117).


ii. Gender Women
Note The dedicator of the altar to Asklepios Soter and the symbiosis ton Philosebaston is a woman, Epiktesis wife/ daughter of Herakla. She dedicated the altar in her capacity as a priestess.


iii. Worship The dedication of the altar is addressed to both Asklepios Soter and the symbiosis ton Philosebaston. As inferred by the name Philosebastoi, the association would have endorsed the cult of the emperor. At the same time, the symbiosis may have also endorsed the cult of Asklepios (Veligianni 2001: 73), whose cult became indissolubly connected to the cult of the emperor in the Pergamene Asklepieion (Habicht 1969: 117).
Deities worshipped Asklepios
Imperial cult


ii. Interaction abroad The symbiosis endorsed the imperial cult and at the same time worshipped Asklepios, whose cult came to be associated with imperial cult in the Pergamene Asklepieion. Through the cultivation of the imperial cult the symbiosis paid tribute to the Imperial authority.


i. Comments Before Robert's new reading of lines 5-7 (1937: 61-4) Epiktesis was considered the priestess of Asklepios.
Robert suggested two different readings for lines 5-7:
1. συμβιώ[σει τῶν] Φιλοσεβάσ[των]
2. συμβιώ[σει τῆι] φιλοσεβασ[τῶι]
In the second reading the adjective philosebastos functions only as an honorific title to the word symbiosis, highlighting that the symbiosis was loyal to the emperor, but without specifying its function (Pleket 1958: 7).
However, he considered more likely the first reading. Habicht in the publication of the inscriptions from the Pergamene Asklepieion follows the first reading, without providing any hint to the second suggestion.
iii. Bibliography Habicht, Ch. (1969), Die Inschriften des Asklepieions. Altertümer von Pergamon VIII.3. Berlin.
Pleket, H.W. (1958), Oudheidkundige Mededelingen uit het Rijksmuseum van Oudheden te Leiden (nuntii ex museo antiquario Leidensi). The Greek Inscriptions in the 'rijksmuseum van Oudheden' at Leiden, (Supplement op nieuwe Reeks XXXVIII). Leiden.
Robert, L. (1937), Etudes anatoliennes, recherches sur les inscriptions grecques de l'Asie mineure. Paris.
Veligianni, C. (2001), 'Philos und philos-Komposita in den griechischen Inschriften der Kaiserzeit', in M. Peachin (ed.), Aspects of friendship in the Graeco-Roman world. Proceedings of a conference held at the Seminar für Alte Geschichte, Heidelberg on 10-11 June, 2000. (JRA Suppl. 43). Portsmouth: 63-80.


i. Private association Certain
Note The terminology used (symbiosis) and the activities in which this group was involved (priestess; imperial cult) makes it certain that we have here a private association.