Stable URL: as PDF
Last Updated on 24 May 2019

Author: Ursula Kunnert

CAPInv. 1315: hoi linourgoi


i. Geographical area Eastern Asia Minor
ii. Region Cilicia
iii. Site Tarsos


i. Full name (original language) οἱ λινουργοί (Dio Chrys. 34.21-23)
ii. Full name (transliterated) hoi linourgoi


i. Date(s) e. ii AD


ii. Name elements
Professional:linourgoi, linen-workers


i. Source(s) Dio Chrys. 34.21-23
Online Resources Dio Chrys. 34.21 at Perseus Digital Library
i.a. Source type(s) Literary source(s)


i. Comments In his second Tarsian speech Dio addresses the assembly of the Cilician polis and points out some problems in the city, such as divisions among its own classes. In addition to the discord of the council and the assembly, of the Youth and the Elders there was further unrest caused by a group of no small size, called the “linen-workers”. Most of them had been born in Tarsos. Although they did not have the citizenship they were sometimes allowed to attend the assembly, but without a voice. Since the full citizenship was restricted to those who were able to pay 500 drachmae, it was all but impossible for the poor linen-workers to be enrolled as citizens. This disenfranchisement had caused disturbances. Dio suggests therefore to enroll the linen-workers immediately and free of charge.
Jones 1978: 81 convincingly argues that the linen-workers were organized as a professional association, although Dio does not mention it. Broughton 1975: 844 uses a similar line of argumentation: “Linen workers was a generic name for the lower classes at Tarsos. The relevant passage of Dio Chrysostom (34.21-3) does not imply that they were organized into associations; neither does he imply it for dyers, shoemakers, or carpenters, but the unrest they were causing makes it easy to assume.”
iii. Bibliography Broughton, T.R.S. (1975), ‘Roman Asia Minor’, in Frank, T. (ed.), An Economic Survey of Ancient Rome. New York: 499-916.
Buraselis, K. (1995), ‘Zu Caracallas Strafmassnahmen in Alexandrien (215/6). Die Frage der Leinenweber in P. Giss. 40 II und der syssitia in Cass. Dio 77(78).23.3’, ZPE 108: 166-88, esp. 183-4.
Jones, C.P. (1978), The Roman World of Dio Chrysostom, Cambridge: 71-82.


i. Private association Probable
Note The name and the documented activity suggest that the linen-workers were organized as an professional association.
ii. Historical authenticity Certain