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Last Updated on 17 Mar 2017

Author: Loredana Cappelletti

CAPInv. 1112: U-SIS-003


i. Geographical area Southern Italy with Sicily
ii. Region Campania
iii. Site Elea/Velia


i. Association with unknown name U-SIS-003


i. Date(s) i BC - i AD


i. Source(s) I.Velia 20 (i. BC - i. AD)
I.Velia 21 (i. AD)
I.Velia 22 (i. AD)
I.Velia 23 (i. AD)
I.Velia 24 (i. AD)
Ebner 1966: 337 no. 18 (i AD?)
Ebner 1970: 264 no. 9 (i AD)
Note BE 1973, 560 (= I.Velia 20)
SEG 38: 1020; SEG 29: 1078; SEG 48: 1302 (= I.Velia 21-24)
AE 1996: 108 (= Ebner 1966: 337 no. 18)
Online Resources I.Velia 20
I.Velia 21
I.Velia 22
I.Velia 23
I.Velia 24
i.a. Source type(s) Epigraphic source(s)
i.b. Document(s) typology & language/script I.Velia 20 is a very fragmentary Greek decree of the σύν̣[κλητος], synkletos, (I.Velia 20, ll. 1-3) of Elea/Velia in honor of Οὖλις, (Oulis), described as ἰατρό[μαντις], iatro[mantis], i.e. doctor and seer. I.Velia 21, in Greek, mentions the philosopher Parmeneides son of Pyres, described as Οὐλιάδης, Ouliades, and φυσικός, physikos, i.e. physicias/doctor ( I.Velia 21, ll. 1-2) . I.Velia 22, in Greek, mentions Οὖλις Εὐξίνου, Oulis son of Euxinous, Hyeletes, who was ἰατρός, iatros, and φώλαρχος, pholarchos, in the year 379 (?). I.Velia 23, in Greek, mentions Οὖλις Ἀρίστωνος, Oulis son of Ariston, who was ἰατρός, iatros, and φώλαρχος, pholarchos, in the year 280 (?). I.Velia 24 (i. AD), in Greek, mentions Οὖλις Ἱερωνύμου, Oulis son of Hieronymos, who was ἰατρός, iatros, and φώλαρχος, pholarchos, in the year 456(?). Ebner 1966, no. 18 is the Latin funerary inscription set up to Valerius Caepio, who had been a civic magistrate (aedilis and IIIIvir i.d.) and a pholarchos, by his daughter. Ebner 1970: 264 no. 9 (i AD) is a very fragmentary Latin inscription containing the words Apoll[---] and pho]larcho.
i.c. Physical format(s) I.Velia 20 marble slab. I.Velia 21 white marble herm. I.Velia 22 engraved on the base of a white marble toga statue. I.Velia 23-24 are white marble herms.
ii. Source(s) provenance I.Velia 20 found in 1986 in the Insula I of the southern area of Velia. I.Velia 21-24 found during the excavations (1958-1962) in the building complex of the Insula II of the southern area of Velia.


i. Archaeological remains The documents I.Velia 21-24 were discovered in a great, monumental building complex (from the end of the first cent. BC to the first cent. AD), which occupied the whole Insula II of the southern district of Velia. The complex included a porticoed courtyard, a cryptoporticus, a large outdoor area with garden, and some altars. In different rooms of the building were found statues and portraits of members of the Imperial family, and of philosophers (Parmenides, Zenon), of deities (Asklepios, Apollo), of women (perhaps priestesses). Very probably the building was the headquarter (schola?) of a medical association or of a medical school, see I.Velia: 76-81; Bollmann 1998: A 65, 396-402.


i. Founder(s) Most probably the philosopher Parmeneides son of Pyres, Οὐλιάδης, Ouliades, (son of the god Apollo Oulios?) and φυσικός, physikos, (I.Velia 21) was believed to be the (legendary?) founder of the association, see Vecchio 2003: 248-52; Lomas 1993: 136.
Gender Male
ii. Leadership φώλαρχος, pholarchos
This title/office is attested only in Velia and its etymology, functions and character are not clear, see Cappelletti 2011: 20-1; Ustinova 2004: 37-43. Three pholarchoi are iatroi (I.Velia 22-24). The chronological indications mentioned in I.Velia 22-24 (in the years 456, 379 and 280) could be interpreted as: a) the year of office of each pholarchos (so it would be an eponymous/annual office). b) the first year of office of each pholarchos (so it would be an office for life). c) the year calculated a collegio condito; d) the year calculated a Velia condita, see Vecchio 2003: 250-1.


i. Number 6 individuals attested.
ii. Gender Men
Note Attested individuals are men.
iii. Age Adults
Note The pholarchos Valerius Caepio died as he was 42 years old (Ebner 1966, no. 18).
iv. Status All attested members seem citizens of Velia, chiefly of Greek-origin. Four of them were doctors. Valerius Caepio was a civic magistrate, aedilis and IIII vir i.d. (Ebner 1966, no. 18). Surely all members belonged to the Velian élite.
v. Relations Four of the attested individuals were doctors and three of them also pholarchoi; they all had the name Oulis; however they may not belong to the same family - even Parmenides is described as Ouliades! - Lomas 1993: 136 rightly suggests that the name Oulis, closed to the cult epithet of Apollo, could be the title adopted on becoming iatros.


iii. Worship I.Velia 20 (and the fragmentary Ebner 1970 no. 9) mentions Apollo and in the literary sources the term iatromantis is referred to the god. The forms Oulis and Ouliades attested in I.Velia 21-24 evoke the cult of Apollo Oulios. A marble head, very probable of Apollo Oulios (early II cent. AD), was found in the building complex of the Insula II. The divination as well the medicine were very important aspects of the cult of Apollo, see I.Velia: 74-6. In the building complex of the Insula II was also found a statue of Asklepios.
Deities worshipped Apollo/Apollo Oulios and Asklepios


i. Local interaction The civic council, synkletos of Velia honored the person qualified as Oulis and iatromantis (I.Velia 20).


i. Comments Almost surely the great building complex of the Insula II was the meeting place of the association, where celebrations, cultic activities, banquets were organized, see Bollmann 1998: A 65, 396-402.
iii. Bibliography Bollmann, B. (1998), Römische Vereinshäuser: Untersuchungen zu den Scholae der römischen Berufs-, Kult- und Augustalen-Kollegien in Italien. Mainz.
Cappelletti, L. (2011), ‘Elea/Velia. Il quadro istituzionale dalle origini al I sec. d.C.’, Klio 93: 7-22.
Ebner, P. (1966), ‘Nuove epigrafi di Velia’, PP 21: 337-41.
Ebner, P. (1970), ‘Nuove iscrizioni di Velia’, PP 25: 262-67.
Lomas, K. (1993), Rome and the Western Greeks, 350 BC - AD 200. Conquest and acculturation in southern Italy. London.
Ustinova, Y. (2004), ‘Truth Lies at the Bottom of a Cave: Apollo Pholeuterios, the Pholarchs of the Eleats, and Subterranean Oracles’, PP 59: 25-44.
Vecchio, L. (2003), ‘Medici e medicina ad Elea-Velia’, in G. Greco (eds.), Elea-Velia. Le nuove ricerche, Atti del Convegno di Studi, Napoli, 14 dicembre 2001, Pozzuoli: 237-60.


i. Private association Probable
Note It could be a medical or a medical-philosophic association, however its private character seems to me disputable. Furthermore the figure of the pholarchos remains problematic: he has been interpreted as a) the highpriest of the cult of Apollo Oulis or Asklepios, b) the head of a medical school; c) the head of a medical association d) a civic magistrate, see Cappelletti 2011: 21-2.