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Last Updated on 16 Mar 2017

Author: Loredana Cappelletti

CAPInv. 1088: thiasus Placidianus


i. Geographical area Southern Italy with Sicily
ii. Region Campania
iii. Site Pozzuoli (ancient Puteoli)


i. Full name (original language) thiasus Placidianus (CIL X 1585, l. 8)
ii. Full name (transliterated) thiasus Placidianus


i. Date(s) 130 - 220 AD


i. Name in other forms orgiophantae (CIL X 1583, l. 7; AE 1956: no. 138, l. 1)
ii. Name elements
Personal:Placidianus, from Placidius or Placidus, personal name of the founder?
iii. Descriptive terms thiasus
Note thiasus: CIL X 1585, l. 8
schola: AE 1956: no. 138, l. 1


i. Source(s) CIL X 1583 (AD 190-220)
CIL X 1584 (AD 190-220)
CIL X 1585 (AD 198-209)
AE 1956: no. 138 (AD 130-200)
Note See also:
CIL X 1583: ILS 3364; EDR102386
CIL X 1584: ILS 3365; EDR113256
CIL X 1585: ILS 3366; EDR113254
AE 1956: no. 138: EDR074099
Online Resources TM 254094 and EDR102386 (CIL X 1583)
TM 257642 (CIL X 1584)
TM 256270 and EDR113254 (CIL X 1585)
TM 250246 and EDR074099 (AE 1956: no. 138)
i.a. Source type(s) Epigraphic source(s)
i.b. Document(s) typology & language/script All inscriptions are written in Latin.
CIL X 1583 is a dedication to Liber Pater (l. 1) made by the sacerdotes orgiophantae Titus Flavius Eclectianus and his son, Titus Flavius Olympianus. CIL X 1584 is a dedication of an altar to Liber Pater (l. 1) on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the priesthood of Titus Flavius Eclectianus, consacrated by the Imperial freedman Aurelius Draco, who was parastata (l. 5), an assistant of the cult. CIL X 1585 is adressed to some deity on behalf of the salus (l. 2) of the Emperor Septimius Severus, his wife Iulia Domna and their two sons Caracalla and Geta. The dedicator is Stlaccia (l. 10), a priestess of the Cereres (l. 7). She made an unknown donation to the thiasus Placidianus upon becoming member (introitus causa, l. 7), when Titus Flavius Eclectianus, son of Titus, was priest, and the Stlaccii Soter and Reparatus held perphaps some office within the thiasus. AE 1956: no. 138, l. 1 records a schola org[iophantarum].
i.c. Physical format(s) CIL X 1583 and CIL X 1584 are marble altars. CIL X 1585 is a fragmentary square marble tablet. AE 1956: no. 138 is a fragmentary marble block, part of the lintel of an architrave.
ii. Source(s) provenance CIL X 1583 and CIL X 1584 were found in Pozzuoli, the exact place of discovery is unknown. CIL X 1585 was found near the Puteolan Forum. AE 1956: no. 138 was found in Pozzuoli, in the passageway of the Flavian Amphitheater.


i. Archaeological remains According to the find spot of AE 1956: no. 138 it is likely that a collegial meeting place, schola or sacellum, of the orgiophantae was in one of the rooms beneath the seating of the cavea of the Flavian Amphitheater, see Bollmann 1998: 377; Demma 2007: 73.


i. Founder(s) The name thiasus Placidianus (CIL X 1585, l. 8) was most probably based on that of the founder, a certain Placidius or Placidus, see Dubois 1902: 26.
Gender Male
ii. Leadership Sacerdos.
From CIL X 1583, 1584, 1585 the priest T. Flavius Eclectianus emerges as the leader of the association. According to CIL X 1584 he held this position for twenty years.
iii. Members Referred to as orgiophantae (CIL X 1583; AE 1956: no. 138). Some members were priests: Stlaccia was already priestess of the Cereres when she became a member of the thiasus (CIL X 1585); T. Flavius Olympianus, the son of T. Flavius Eclectianus, was a priest as well (CIL X 1583).
iv. Officials The freedman Aurelius Draco was parastata (assistant, CIL X 1584). The Stlaccii Soter and Reparatus held perphaps some office within the thiasus, which was noticed in the fragmentary l. 10 of the inscription CIL X 1585.


ii. Realty The schola of the orgiophants in the Flavian Amphitheater (AE 1956: no. 138) was perhaps not their property, but a place exclusively used by the association or rented out to the association, cf. Steuernagel 1999: 155.
iii. Income Stlaccia provided the thiasus Placidianus with an unknown gift introitus causa, i.e. because of her joining the thiasus (CIL X 1585).


ii. Gender Men
Note Male members (CIL X 1583; 1584; 1585). Female members (CIL X 1585); cf. Peterson 1919: 145.
iii. Age Adults
iv. Status The assistant Aurelius Draco was an Imperial freedman (Augusti libertus, CIL X 1584, l. 4). Stlaccia was a public priestess of the Cereres, see Peterson 1919: 106. She and the Stlaccii Soter and Reparatus (CIL X 1585) were surely citizens of Puteoli, see Demma 2007: 73.
v. Relations Flavius Eclectianus and his son Olympianus were both priests orgiophants. The priestess Stlaccia and the Stlaccii Soter and Reparatus (CIL X 1585) were relatives, members of the same Puteolan gens, see Demma 2007: 73.


ii. Meetings and events The existence of a schola orgiophantarum (AE 1956: no. 138) suggests some collegial meetings and events organized by the association. It seems most likely that a special religious ceremony took place on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the priesthood of Flavius Eclectianus (CIL X 1584).
iii. Worship The sacerdotes orgiophantae Titus Flavius Eclectianus and his son Olympianus dedicated an altar to Liber Pater (CIL X 1583). The parastata Aurelius Draco consacrated an altar to Liber Pater during the twentieth anniversary of the priesthood of Flavius Eclectianus (CIL X 1584).
From the dedications CIL X 1583 and 1584 and from the terms thiasus and orgiophantae it appears that the association worshipped Dionysius-Liber Pater, cf. Schuddeboom 2009: 227-38.
Deities worshipped Dionysius/Liber Pater


i. Comments For the interesting hypothesis, according to which the orgiophants together with other local associations and private individuals financed the restoration of the Flavian Amphitheater under the Antonines see Steuernagel 1999: 154-60.
iii. Bibliography Bollmann, B. (1998), Römische Vereinshäuser: Untersuchungen zu den Scholae der römischen Berufs-, Kult- und Augustalen-Kollegien in Italien. Mainz.
Demma, F. (2007), Monumenti pubblici di Puteoli. Per un'archeologia dell'architettura. Roma.
Dubois, Ch.-A. (1902), ‘Cultes et Dieux à Pouzzoles’, MEFRA 22: 23-68.
Peterson, R.M. (1919), The cults of Campania. Rome.
Schuddeboom, F.L. (2009), Greek Religious Terminology: Telete & Orgia. A Revised and Expanded English Edition of the Studies by Zijderveld and Van Der Burg. Leiden.
Steuernagel, D. (1999), ‘Corporate Identity. Über Vereins-, Stadt- und Staatskulte im kaiserzeitlichen Puteoli’, MDAI(R) 106: 149-87.


i. Private association Certain
Note The terms thiasus and schola used to define this group, in combination with its cultic character and a well organized internal structure, suggest the existence of a private religious association.