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Last Updated on 17 Mar 2017

Author: François Chevrollier

CAPInv. 1332: hoi philoteimoi


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


i. Full name (original language) οἱ φιλότειμοι (SEG 20: 728, l. 2)
ii. Full name (transliterated) hoi philoteimoi


i. Date(s) 195 - 211 AD


ii. Name elements
Other:philoteimoi (honorific) may be a group who received specific honours from the city or another group and who may have formed an association.


i. Source(s) SEG 20: 728 (AD 195-211)
Note See also: SEG 35: 1717
Online Resources SEG 20: 728
i.a. Source type(s) Epigraphic source(s)
i.b. Document(s) typology & language/script Greek dedication of the Severan Propylaeum. The text runs on the architrave of the Propylaeum, below a high-relief depicting a battle between Roman and Parthians. The emperor Septimius Severus and Caracalla can be identified on the relief.
i.c. Physical format(s) Architrave made originally of 3 blocks of which only 2 survived. The relief and the inscription originally continued on a third block on the right side.
ii. Source(s) provenance Cyrene, ‘central quarter’ (main city-center during the Roman period).


i. Archaeological remains Remains of the Severan Propylaeum have been uncovered during excavations, including two blocks of the relief depicting the battle between Roman and Parthians. For a full description and photographs of the monument, relief and inscription, see Stucchi 1975: 271-3; Ward-Perkins and Gibson 1976-1977; Bonanno 1976-1977; Strong 1972-1972; Laronde 1983; Stucchi 1987: 47-52; Stucchi 1988; Bonacasa and Ensoli 2000: 153.
ii. References to buildings/objects The association is not mentioned because it has offered the Propylaea themselves, but rather a statue of the emperor in a chariot, which may have been placed on top of the Propylaea. The sculpture has not been found during excavations.


iii. Members hoi philoteimoi may refer to members of the association or to its officials.
iv. Officials hoi philoteimoi may refer to the officials of the association, or to its members.


i. Treasury/Funds The association had administered funds since the statue is dedicated ἐκ τῶν ἰδίων, ek ton idion.


iv. Status Following Wilhelm 1887, the philoteimoi are a group of men who received special honours from the city or from another group. If so, the Cyrenican philoteimoi must belong to the civic elite.


i. Local interaction Possible relations with provincial authorities, but the statue of Septimius Severus on a chariot may also be an initiative of the city.


i. Comments The dating of the inscription is based on the imperial title of Septimius Severus. As the emperor bears the title of Arabicus and Abiabenicus, the inscription must be dated after AD 195. But the third block on the right is missing, and other titles may have been inscribed on it. Strong 1972-1973 suggested for instance to add Parthicus, but Reynolds, in Ward-Perkins and Gibson 1976-1977, rejects Strong's hypothesis: if Septimius Severus was Parthicus in the inscription, then it would date after 198, and at that time Caracalla should have been mentionned as co-emperor, which is not the case. Laronde 1983 also considered a date after 198 because Septimius Severus is invictus, a title which he bears on coins only after 198. Stucchi 1988 suggested a date around AD 202/3 because he thought that the battle depicted on the relief was the battle of Seleucid (AD 198): he added 4 to 5 years, which fit with the supposed duration of the Propylaeum's construction.
The most probable and the most widely accepted date is AD 195-198.
iii. Bibliography Bonacasa, N., and Ensoli, S. (2000), Cirene. Milan.
Bonanno, A. (1976-1977), ‘The Severan Commemorative Relief at Cyrene. The Portraiture’, LibStud 8: 19-25.
Laronde, A. (1983), ‘Septime Sevère et Cyrène’, BSAF: 59-70.
Poland, F. (1909), Geschichte des griechischen Vereinswesens. Leipzig.
Strong, D.E. (1972-1973), ’Septimius Severus at Lepcis Magna and Cyrene’, LibStud 4: 27-35.
Stucchi, S. (1975), Architettura cirenaica. Rome.
Stucchi, S. (1987), Da Batto Aristotele a Ibn El-As. Introduzione alla mostra. Rome.
Stucchi, S. (1988), ‘Il fregio del propileo severiano di Cirene e la presa di Seleucia nel 198 d.C.’, Scienze dell'antichità 2: 497-512.
Ward-Perkins, J.B., and Gibson S. (1976-1977), ‘The Market-Theatre at Cyrene’, LibAnt 13-14: 363-75.
Wilhelm, A. (1887), AAWW 11. (non vidi, refered to in SEG 35: 1717)


i. Private association Certain
Note Poland 1909: 411-3 speaks about the philoteimoi.
Comparisons with inscriptions from Tomis (I.Tomis II 125 and 156) and Istros (I.Tomis I 193, 223, 229).
The word philoteimoi in Greek can sometimes be the equivalent of the Latin munerarii (editors of gladiatoral combats), although the context of the Severan Propylaeum in Cyrene does not fit with this interpretation.