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Last Updated on 03 Jul 2019

Author: Annelies Cazemier

CAPInv. 13: to koinon ton Samothraikiaston


i. Geographical area Aegean Islands
ii. Region Lesbos
iii. Site Methymna


i. Full name (original language) τὸ κοινὸν τῶν Σαμοθραικιαστῶν (IG XII.2 507, l. 5)
ii. Full name (transliterated) to koinon ton Samothraikiaston


i. Date(s) l. iii - ii BC


i. Name in other forms οἱ Σαμοθραικιασταὶ, hoi Samothraikiastai (IG XII.2 507, ll. 3-4, 9, 12; cf. IG XII.2 506, ll. 7-8) -- shorter (without koinon)
ii. Name elements
Theophoric:Samothracian Gods
iii. Descriptive terms κοινόν, koinon
Note koinon: IG XII.2 507, l. 5


i. Source(s) IG XII.2 506 in new ed. IG XII Suppl. pp. 30-1 (l. iii - e. ii BC, based on letter forms: Labarre 1996: 177, no. 54)
IG XII.2 507 (ii BC, based on letter forms: Labarre 1996: 177, no. 54)
Note Other editions:
CIG II Add. 2167b (outdated ed. IG XII.2 506)
Wilhelm 1896 (different eds. of both texts, not mentioned in IG XII.2, but taken into account in the new updated ed. of IG XII.2 506 in IG XII Suppl. pp. 30-1)
Online Resources IG XII.2 506 (old ed.)
IG XII.2 506 in new ed. IG XII Suppl. pp. 30-1
IG XII.2 507
i.a. Source type(s) Epigraphic source(s)
i.b. Document(s) typology & language/script Honorific decrees in Greek.
i.c. Physical format(s) Fragmentary marble stelai
ii. Source(s) provenance IG XII.2 506 seen at the church of Taxiarchis, Molyvos (Boeckh 1843, from Kiepert, in CIG II Add. 2167b); later recorded at the church of Aghios Panteleimon, Molyvos (Conze 1865: 22 and Paton 1899 in IG XII.2 506); subsequently moved to the museum in Mytilene, Inv. 1032 (Von Gaertringen 1939 in IG XII Suppl. pp. 30-1 and Charitonidis, Ἐπιγραφαί: p. 81).
IG XII.2 507 seen built into the wall of the church of Taxiarchis, Molyvos (Wilhelm 1896: 237); subsequently recorded by Paton at 'Molivos in aula ecclesiae B. Virginis' (in IG XII.2 507, without mention of Wilhelm 1896).


ii. References to buildings/objects buildings/spaces:
ἱερόν, hieron (IG XII.2 507, l. 13) -- Procession (restored) of the Samothraikiastai from the prytaneion to the hieron -- it is not clear whether this sanctuary was owned by the association.
τέμενος, temenos (IG XII.2 506, l. 18; cf. l. 2) -- Prescribed location of the stele with the honorific decree for Iolaos; possibly also the location where an eikon was set up for him.
For discussion of hieron and temenos, see Buchholz 1975: 62, A 17; Labarre 1996: 177-8.

πρυτανεῖον, prytaneion (IG XII.2 507, l. 13) -- This building was used as a starting point for the procession (restored) of the Samothraikiastai to the hieron. See below: Local interaction.

[ε]ἰκώ[ν χαλκῆ], [e]iko[n chalke] (IG XII.2 506, l. 1) -- An image, possibly a statue of bronze (restored), may have formed part of the honours for Iolaos.
στήλη λιθ[ίνη], stele lith[ine] (IG XII.2 506, l. 17) -- The honorific decree for Iolaos was to be inscribed on a stone stele which was to be set up at the temenos.


iv. Officials [γραμμα]τεύς, [gramma]teus (IG XII.2 506, ll. 15-16) -- It is possible that the Samothraikiastai had a secretary, but the mention of this grammateus depends on restoration.
v. Other staff Some kind of staff must have been mentioned in the honorific decree for Iolaos (IG XII.2 506, ll. 14-15), with suggested restorations varying between [ἐπιμήνι]οι, [epimeni]oi (Paton 1899 in IG XII.2 506) and [ἱεροποι]οί, [hieropoi]oi (Wilhelm 1896: 239, followed by Von Gaertringen in IG XII Suppl. p. 31; cf. Labarre 1996: 177).


ii. Realty It is not clear who owned the hieron (destination of the procession of the Samothraikiastai: IG XII.2 507, l. 13) or the temenos (in which the stele for Iolaos was to be set up: IG XII.2 506, l. 18; cf. 2). See above: 'References to buildings/objects'.


i. Assemblies The Samothraikiastai issued decrees (IG XII.2 507, l. 7; cf. IG XII.2 506, l. 16), but our sources do not inform us about assemblies, unless these are in fact the meetings (σύνοδοι, synodoi) at which honours to benefactors were announced/renewed. See below: Meetings & Events.
ii. Meetings and events σύνοδος, synodos (IG XII.2 507, l. 11; cf. IG XII.2 506, l. 12) -- The fact that benefactors were to be crowned 'at each synodos for the rest of their lives' (IG XII.2 507, ll. 10-11) suggests that these synodoi were regular gatherings.
iii. Worship [πομπ]ὴ, [pomp]e (IG XII.2 507, ll. 11-12) -- It is likely that the Samothraikiastai held a procession from the prytaneion to the hieron, even though the word pompe is largely restored. The wording 'of the Samothraikiastai' (τῶν Σαμοθραικιαστῶν, ton Samothraikiaston, l. 12) suggests that this was a procession of the Samothraikiastai themselves, even though it may have been part of wider local celebrations, considering that the prytaneion was used as starting point.

It is possible that the honours for Iolaos were proclaimed after libations (σπονδαὶ, spondai) had been made, but the mention of these spondai depends entirely on restoration (IG XII.2 506, l. 6).

Note also that sacrifices (thysiai) may have been performed by the honoured Iolaos. See below: Honours/other activities.
iv. Honours/Other activities The Samothraikiastai honoured a certain Iolaos (son of Hegesipolis? restored; cf. Buchholz 1975: 186, H.115) as well as some unknown individuals.

The fragmentary text of the honorific decree for Iolaos (IG XII.2 506) has significant gaps and different restorations have been proposed in the various editions of the text. Iolaos may have received an image, possibly a statue of bronze (l. 1, restored), as part of his honours. He was honoured for his goodwill (ἀρετή, arete, l. 4) toward the Samothraikiastai. Iolaos possibly performed sacrifices (θυσίαι, thysiai, l. 8, restored) and he supervised something (l. 10). There was most likely a proclamation or renewal of Iolaos's honours at each gathering (synodos, l. 12, restored) for the rest of his life (l. 13). The honorific decree was to be inscribed on a stone stele and to be set up at the temenos (ll. 16-18).

The unknown individuals (IG XII.2 507) were praised for their reverence (εὐσέβεια, eusebeia) toward the gods and their munificence (ll. 9-10: φιλοτιμία, philotimia or φιλοδοσία, philodosia; different restorations Wilhelm 1896: 238 and Paton 1899 in IG XII.2 507) toward the Samothraikiastai (ll. 7-10). There is also mention of their benevolence (εὔνοια, eunoia, l. 3). The honorands were to be crowned at each gathering (synodos) for the rest of their lives (ll. 10-11).

More generally, the Samothraikiastai state that they want it to be clear to all that they honour those who show benevolence (φιλοτιμουμένοι, philotimoumenoi) toward them (IG XII.2 507, ll. 4-6).


i. Local interaction The procession of the Samothraikiastai (see above: Worship) may well have been part of wider local celebrations. It went from the local prytaneion to a hieron, about which we know nothing more (Buchholz 1975: 62, A 17; cf. Labarre 1996: 177-8). The prytaneion is attested also in other texts (cf. Buchholz 1975: 62, A 13; Labarre 1996: 174-5 and 177).


ii. Poland concordance Poland B 156a (IG XII.2 507 = Cole 1984: 151, no. 21)
Poland B 156b (IG XII.2 506 = Cole 1984: 150-1, no. 20)
iii. Bibliography Buchholz, H.-G. (1975), Methymna: archäologische Beiträge zur Topographie und Geschichte von Nordlesbos. Mainz.
Cole, S.G. (1984), Theoi Megaloi: the cult of the great gods at Samothrace. Leiden.
Conze, A.C.L. (1865), Reise auf der Insel Lesbos. Hannover.
Labarre, G. (1996), Les cités de Lesbos aux époques hellénistique et impériale. Paris.
Wilhelm, A. (1896), ‘Beschlüsse lesbischer Samothrakiasten’, MDAI(A) 21: 237-9.


i. Private association Certain
Note The use of the term koinon and the theophoric name Samothraikiastai together with the regularity of meetings (synodoi) suggest that this group is a private association. To this should perhaps be added the sense of durable collectivity speaking from the general comment about honouring 'those who show benevolence' toward the Samothraikiastai.