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Last Updated on 27 Feb 2017

Author: Claudia Antonetti

CAPInv. 1087: Chersikratidai patroistai


i. Geographical area Western Greece with the Ionian Islands
ii. Region Corcyra
iii. Site Paleopolis (Corcyra)


i. Full name (original language) Χερσικρατίδαι πατρωϊσταί (IG IX.12.4 1140, ll. 1-2)
ii. Full name (transliterated) Chersikratidai patroistai


i. Date(s) e. ii BC


ii. Name elements
Cultic:patroistai. According to Hallof (ad IG IX.12.4 1140), it is a hapax derived from the verb πατρῴζω (patroizo) with the meaning patrum moribus oboedire.
Heroic:Chersikrates. This name is attested by Timaeus, FGrHist 566 F 80 (who refers to him as a Bakchiades) and Strabo 6.2.4 (who refers to him as a Herakleides).


i. Source(s) IG IX.12.4 1140 (e. ii BC)
i.a. Source type(s) Epigraphic source(s)
i.b. Document(s) typology & language/script Greek dedication or boundary stone, classified after Varia in IG IX.12.4 1140.
i.c. Physical format(s) Limestone stele with pediment, missing at the bottom. Inscription of 2 lines in pediment (with the name of the association in genitive only).
ii. Source(s) provenance Found by W. Doerpfeld in 1914 at Paleopolis (Corcyra) to the north of the foundations of the Artemis temple, perhaps the politically most important for the city, cf. Antonetti 2001. In the temenos there was also found a dedication of the prytaneis, the chief officials of Corcyra: IG IX.12.4 837.


ii. Gender Men
Note It is very likely that the members were male, given the remarkable link with the founder of the colony advertised in the group's name.


iii. Worship Given the place of display of the inscription, a cult of Artemis in the association is very likely.
Deities worshipped Artemis (?)


i. Comments The nature of the inscription mentioning the association is unclear. SEG 51: 665 no. 2 suggests a boundary stone of the patroistai estate. Given the place of display of the stele, the temple of Artemis, I prefer to think of it as a dedication. The genitive of possession of the name should then be understood in connection with other – now lost – archaeological and epigraphical elements. The place of discovery of the inscription, the precinct of Artemis, strongly supports a religious function of the association. The name of the association is derived from that of the founder (oikistes) of the polis. No cult of Chersikrates, however, is attested otherwise.
iii. Bibliography Antonetti, C. (2001), ‘Corcira e l'area ionica in epoca arcaica: l'autorappresentazione in chiave mitologica’, in A. Barzanò et al. (eds.), Identità e valori. Fattori di aggregazione e fattori di crisi nell'esperienza politica antica, Roma: 11-21.
Antonetti, C. (2006), ‘Die Rolle des Artemisions von Korkyra in archaischer Zeit: Lokale und überregionale Perspektiven’ in K. Freitag, P. Funke, and M. Haake (eds.), Kult, Politik, Ethnos, Überregionale Heiligtümer im Spannungsfeld von Kult und Politik (Historia-Einzelschriften 189), Stuttgart: 54-72.
Antonetti, C. (2010), ‘I diversi aspetti di una koine socio-culturale nella Grecia nord-occidentale di epoca ellenistica’, in C. Antonetti (ed.), Lo spazio ionico e le comunità della Grecia nord-occidentale. Territorio, società, istituzioni. Pisa: 301-326.


i. Private association Probable
Note The association should have an elite character, being tied to the historical founder (did he become a hero?), so it is more likely to be private rather than public. The existence of devotees to the memory of the settler is of the greatest interest for the history of the Hellenistic city identity, see Antonetti 2006 and 2010: 314.
ii. Historical authenticity Both the relevant inscription and the literary sources about Corcyra render the historical authenticity of this association indisputable.