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Last Updated on 17 Mar 2017

Author: François Chevrollier

CAPInv. 1265: hoi hiarateukotes


i. Geographical area Libya with Cyrenaica
ii. Region Cyrenaica
iii. Site Cyrene


i. Full name (original language) οἱ ἱαρατευκότες (Oliverio, Pugliese Carratelli and Morelli 1961-1962: no. 120, l. 3)
ii. Full name (transliterated) hoi hiarateukotes


i. Date(s) i BC / i AD


ii. Name elements
Status-related:hoi hiarateukotes


i. Source(s) Oliverio, Pugliese Carratelli and Morelli 1961-1962: no. 120
Online Resources Will soon be avaiable at Inscriptions of Roman Cyrenaica
i.a. Source type(s) Epigraphic source(s)
i.b. Document(s) typology & language/script Architectural inscription (of a temple?) in Greek. The former priests of Apollo, along with the chrysophorentes, dedicate the doors and the fence of a building
i.c. Physical format(s) Marble stele, moulded above, with a band of laurel in relief below the moulding and above the text
ii. Source(s) provenance Reused in the amphitheatre of Cyrene. Original location unknown.


i. Archaeological remains It has often been thought that the ‘Grotto of the Priests’ in the sanctuary of Apollo, SW of the temple, was the meeting place of the former priests of Apollo, but the discovery of a relief depicting Mithra slaughtering the lion may indicate a mithraeum instead (Bonacasa and Ensoli 2000, 124). However, the identification with a cult place for Mithra remains uncertain.
Nothing really proves that the cave was a place where the priests of Apollo were meeting or dining, even though several graffiti with priest's names are inscribed on the pilasters of the grotto (Wright 1957).
ii. References to buildings/objects τὸ θυρώματον, to thyromaton (Oliverio, Pugliese Carratelli and Morelli 1961-1962: no. 120, l. 6)
ὁ τρύφακτος, ho tryphaktos (Oliverio, Pugliese Carratelli and Morelli 1961-1962: no. 120, l. 7)


iii. Members οἱ ἱαρατευκότες, hoi hiarateukotes (Oliverio, Pugliese Carratelli and Morelli 1961-1962: no. 120, l. 3)
vi. Laws and rules Only former priests of Apollo could become members. Selected benefactors could also become members without having been priests before, like Barkaios son of Theuchrestos (SEG 9: 4, l. 32-33: ἐπικλαρόν τε [αὐτὸν ἐς τὸ]ς ἱαρὲς τῶι Ἀπόλλωνος, epiklaron te [auton es to]s hiares toi Apollonos, cf. Robert 1939).
ix. Privileges According to Ath. XII 549e, it appears that the acting priest of Apollo invited its fellow predecessors to a banquet every year (king Ptolemy Apion inviting the former priests to a banquet).


i. Treasury/Funds οἱ τῶ Ἀπόλλωνος πρόσοδοι, hoi to Apollonos prosodoi (SEG 9: 75, 96, 101)
iii. Income SEG 9: 75, 96 and 101 (dating from the first century BC until the beginning of the second century AD) show the priests of Apollo managing the revenues of the god. If these inscriptions really refer to the same association of the former priests of Apollo, it shows that they retrieved the revenues of the sacred lands of Apollo, which were handled until the second century BC by the damiourgoi. Basically, the priests were renting the sacred lands to farmers who paid in return a usage fee of an amount regulated by production and fixed prices.


ii. Gender Men
Note Restricted to the former priests of Apollo, who were all males.
iii. Age Elders
Note According the diagramma of Ptolemy I (SEG 9: 1, ll. 24-25), someone could become priest of Apollo only when he reached 50 years of age. Therefore, the association of the former priests included only men over 50.
iv. Status Citizens of the highest social status.


ii. Meetings and events Yearly banquet (Ath. XII 549e).
iii. Worship The association worshipped the god Apollo, although the revenues of the sacred land helped with the cult of other deities (Iatro and Iasoi in SEG 9: 75; Apollo and Artemis in SEG 9: 101).
Deities worshipped Apollo
iv. Honours/Other activities Dedications of buildings (Oliverio, Pugliese Carratelli and Morelli 1961-1962: no. 120)


i. Local interaction Joint activity with οἱ χρυσοφορέντες, hoi chrysophorentes (CAPInv. 1268, in the dedication of the doors and the fence of an unknown building (Oliverio, Pugliese Carratelli and Morelli 1961-1962: no. 120).


i. Comments The group of the former priests of Apollo is only mentioned per se in Oliverio, Pugliese Carratelli and Morelli 1961-1962: no. 120. However, several other inscriptions refer to the “priests” making this and that dedication, using the revenues of Apollo (e. g. SEG 9: 75, 96, 101). This may also refers to the collegium of the former priests of Apollo. The former priest of Apollo are also mentioned in Ath. XII 549e. As these sources may only refer to the association indirectly, they have not been included in section V: Sources.
iii. Bibliography Bonacasa, N., and Ensoli, S. (2000), Cirene, Milan
Oliverio, G., Pugliese Carratelli, G., and Morelli, D. (1961-1962), ‘Supplemento epigrafico cirenaico’, ASAA 39-40 (new series 23-24): 219-375.
Robert, L. (1939), ‘Hellenica. Décret de Cyrène pour un évergète’, RPh 13: 156-63.
Wright, G.R.H. (1957), ‘Cyrene: A Survey of Certain Rock-Cut Features to the South of the Sanctuary of Apollo’, JHS 77: 300-310.


i. Private association Certain
Note The collegium has members, rules, activities, funds and income, joint activities with other associations, and maybe a meetting place, making it an association. It may have been private at the beginning and then have extended its prerogatives to the public sphere when it began to manage the sacred funds.