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Last Updated on 19 Jun 2019

Author: Stella Skaltsa

CAPInv. 1231: U-WAM-018


i. Geographical area Western Asia Minor
ii. Region Troas
iii. Site Parion


i. Association with unknown name U-WAM-018


i. Date(s) i - ii AD


i. Source(s) I.Parion 5
I.Parion 6
Note I.Parion 5:
Dittmann-Schöne I.5.1

I.Parion 6:
Dittmann-Schöne I.5.2
Online Resources I.Parion 5:
IMT 1028
AGRW ID 7112

I.Parion 6:
IMT 1029
i.a. Source type(s) Epigraphic source(s)
i.b. Document(s) typology & language/script I.Parion 5: Dedication of business partners involved in fishing activities.
I.Parion 6: fragmentary inscription, probably a dedication, recording functionaries in the fishing industry.
i.c. Physical format(s) I.Parion 5:
marble base with relief decoration on two sides. The relief depicts Priapos (patron god of sailors and fishermen) next to an altar with a fish upon it, and a dolphin and a thyrsos on the other side.
H. 82 x W. 50 cm.

I.Parion 6: stele broken below and on the right side.
ii. Source(s) provenance I.Parion 5: Found in Gelibolu (Gallipoli). Now in the museum in Izmir. Robert (1950) argued that the stone was transferred to Gallipoli, probably from Parion.

I.Parion 6: found in Kemer (Parion), built into the church of Aghios Demetrios.


ii. References to buildings/objects ἐν τῶι Νε[ι]λαίωι, en toi Neilaioi (I.Parion 5 l. 3) - the dedication was set up by the diktyarchesantes kai telonarchesantes en toi Neilaioi. It refers to a building (sanctuary?). In the past some scholars thought that Nelaion was a festival connected to the Isiac cult; closer examination of the grammatical structure of the sentence leaves no doubt that it stands for a place/ building.


i. Comments In past scholarship I.Parion 5 was attributed to a group of worshippers of Isis, a view which cannot stand close scrutiny any more (see for bibliography Robert 1950: 83-4 n. 7). Another line of thought viewed I.Parion 5, I.Parion 6 and CAP Inv. 1232 as pertaining to professional associations, and more specifically to tax-farmers of fishing rights. As Marzano (2013, 44) has recently argued these texts 'have nothing to do with tax-farmers and lease of marine fishing rights, but attest only to the lease of lookouts and the existence of business partnerships for the purpose of large-scale fishing'. Parion was an area renowned for tuna and mackerel fishing in antiquity (Robert 1950). It was established as a Roman colony by Caesar and refounded under Hadrian. It seems that the community there was involved in the fishing business, with Romans and freedmen taking a leading role in it in the light of onomastics.

The different functionaries and occupations recorded in this inscription attests the complexity of the fishing industry (Marzano 2013: 87). The members/ partners are listed according to the role they had in the fishing operation:
- οἱ δικτυαρχήσαντε[ς], hoi diktyarchesantes (I.Parion 5 l.2)/ δικ[τ]υαρχούντες, diktyarchountes (I.Parion 5 l. 4) - 'masters of the nets'
- τε[λων]α[ρχ]ήσαντες, te[lon]a[rch]esantes (I.Parion 5 ll. 2-3?; I.Parion 6 ll. 2-3?) - this restoration in I.Parion 5 and I.Parion 6 has been contested (see Marzano 2013: 44, who follows Lytle [2006] in favour of the reading τεμαχαρχήσαντες, temacharchesantes: masters of the fish-salting operation)
- ἀρχωνῶν, archonon (I.Parion 5 l. 3) - lessee
- σκοπιάζοντες, skopiazontes (I.Parion 5 l. 7; I.Parion 6 ll. 5-6) - scouts
- κυβερνώντες, kybernontes (I.Parion 5 ll. 8-9) - helmsmen
- φελ[λο]χαλαστών, phellochalaston (I.Parion 5 l. 10) - loosener of the floats
- ἐφημερεύων, ephemereuon (I.Parion 5 ll. 10-1) - accountant
- ἀντιγραφόμενος, antigraphomenos (I.Parion 5 ll. 11-2) - secretary
- λεμβαρχοῦντες, lembarchountes (I.Parion 5 l. 12-3) - captains of the boats
- συνναῦται, synnautai (I.Parion 5 l. 16) - shipmates

I.Parion 5 throws light on a well organized enterprise that brought together Romans and Greeks, probably freedmen or descendants of freedmen (on the basis of onomastics). Family/household relations can be discerned among some members, who belonged to the family of the Avii (see Robert 1950; Marzano 2013). According to Marzano (2013: 75, 87), I.Parion 5 attests a partnership involving at least 40 individuals, with at least five fishing boats.
I.Parion 5 provides insights into the fishing operation, from the leasing of lookouts to the fishing equipment (nets, boats etc.).
iii. Bibliography Dittmann-Schöne, I. (2001), Die Berufsvereine in den Städten des kaiserzeitlichen Kleinasiens. Regensburg.
Marzano, A. (2013), Harvesting the sea, the exploitation of marine resources in the Roman Mediterranean. Oxford.
Robert, L. 1950: 'Inscriptions de l'Hellespont et de la Propontide', Hellenica IX: 78-97.


i. Private association Discarded
Note The two inscriptions, and in particular I.Parion 5, attest to the disparate parties involved in fishing activities, shedding thus light on the complex organization of the fishing business in Parion. Joint activities in business alone, regardless the hierarchical nature of the partnership, do not suffice to identify a group as a private association.