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Last Updated on 11 Jun 2019

Author: Stella Skaltsa

CAPInv. 14: to koinon tou Anthisteros tou pythochrestou


i. Geographical area Aegean Islands
ii. Region Thera
iii. Site Ancient Thera


i. Full name (original language) τὸ κοινὸν τοῦ Ἀνθιστῆρος τοῦ πυθοχρήστου (IG XII.3 329, ll. 1-2)
ii. Full name (transliterated) to koinon tou Anthisteros tou pythochrestou


i. Date(s) iii / ii BC


ii. Name elements
Cultic:Pythochrestos denotes consultation of the Delphic oracle.
Theophoric:Anthister is a name for Dionysos. In Athens there was a major festival of Dionysos, called the Anthesteria (see Hiller von Gaertringen 1899)
iii. Descriptive terms κοινόν, koinon
Note koinon (l. 1)


i. Source(s) IG XII.3 329 + IG XII.3 Suppl. 1295 (iii/ii BC)
Note Other editions:
Laum 1914: no 44
SGDI 4705
Online Resources IG XII.3 329 + IG XII.3 Suppl. 1295
i.a. Source type(s) Epigraphic source(s)
i.b. Document(s) typology & language/script Decree in Greek of the koinon for Argea, wife of Dion. Argea promises (ἐπαγγέλλεται, ll. 6-7) 500 drachmas to the koinon. The revenues accrued from the interest would fund a celebration in commemoration of Argea and her daughter, Isthmo.
i.c. Physical format(s) Stele (3 fragments)
ii. Source(s) provenance The largest fragment of the stele (IG XII. 329) was found in the village of Gonia (north of Prophitis Ilias mountain), while the fragment of the upper right corner of the stele (IG XII.3 329) was found NW of the Agora of ancient Thera, close to the retaining wall of the sanctuary of Dionysos (Thera III: 107-9). These two pieces join nicely together.
A fragment (IG XII.3 Suppl. 1295, frg. 1 ll. 1-5) that was found east of the Agora has been attributed to the stele (it does not join the other two).


i. Archaeological remains Dedications addressed to Dionysos were found in the area NW of the Agora and in light of this, the area has been identified as the sanctuary of Dionysos.


iv. Officials ἐπίσκοποι, episkopoi (IG XII.3 329, l. 12): financial administrators responsible for managing Argea's endowment.
vi. Laws and rules κατὰ τ[ὰ γε]γραμμένα, kata ta gegrammena (l. 16)
The stele breaks after 'gegrammena' and for this reason it is not entirely clear whether these regulations refer to general rules and regulations of the koinon or more probably to stipulations set by Argea about the funding of the commemorative event organized for her and her daughter.


ii. Realty The episkopoi should lend out the principal (ll. 11-12: ἀργύριον, argyrion) upon worthy security (ll. 12-14: ἐγδανεῖσαι ... ἐπὶ ὑ[ποθέμα]τι ἀξιόχρεωι, egdaneisthai epi hy[pothema]ti axiochreoi).
iii. Income ll. 14-15: τοῦ πίπ[τοντος] διαφόρου (tou pip[tontos] diaphorou). Revenues generated from lending out at interest.
iv. Endowments Argea endowed 500 dr. to the koinon to finance a gathering in commemoration of herself and her daughter on the 7th day of a month which is not specified (provided that ἑβδόμαν refers to a day). The principal was to be lent out at interest. The accrued revenue would finance the gathering of the koinon. Hiller von Gaertringen (Thera III: 114) assumed that the interest would be of 7% (as in the case of Epikteta), thus generating a revenue of 35 drachmas a year. He wrongly considered that the association would meet once every 7 years. However, the term [τὰν ἑ]βδόμαν (ll. 8-9) rather refers to the 7th day of a month and not to a period of 7 years.


ii. Gender Men
Note There is no explicit evidence for the gender of the members. Argea might have been a member of the koinon, for she promised to endow 500 drachmas to the koinon in order to subsidize the gathering in commemoration of herself and her daughter, Isthmo. Her husband, Dion, was one of the episkopoi (financial administrators) of the koinon. Around the same time in Thera, women were members of the koinon tou andreiou ton syggenon (IG XII.3 330).
v. Relations Dion, one of the episkopoi, was Argea's husband (Hiller von Gaertringen thought that Dion was Argea's father: Thera III: 114).


ii. Meetings and events [συναγωγά]ν, [synagoga]n (IG XII.3 329, ll. 15-16). The term is heavily restored. Commemorative event for Argea and her daughter Isthmo.
This commemorative event was introduced on the 7th of a month ? κατὰ [κ]οινόν (l. 10 kata koinon). This phrase is to be understood either as 'collectively' or 'in accordance with the association'.


i. Comments The text is written in the Doric dialect unlike the inscriptions pertaining to associations centered around the Ptolemaic garrison in Thera which are written in the koine.
Jaccottet (2003: 280 n. 570) put forward that the epithet pythochrestos might denote an official cult of Dionysos. Dionysos' cult was particularly popular in Hellenistic Thera and it appealed to the local community as well as the Ptolemaic garrison. Ptolemies claimed descent of Dionysos and they cultivated his cult.
ii. Poland concordance Poland B 221.
iii. Bibliography Hiller von Gaertringen, F. (1898), 'Anthister', in A. Hölder (ed.), Festschrift für Otto Bennford zu seinem 60. Geburtstage gewidmet von Schülern, Freunden und Fachgenossen. Wien: 224-30.
Jaccottet, A.-F. (2003), Choisir Dionysos: les associations dionysiaques, ou, La face cachée du dionysisme. Kilchberg: no. 170.
Thera III: Hiller von Gaertringen, Fr. (1904), Thera: Stadtgeschichte von Thera. Volume III. Berlin.


i. Private association Certain
Note The use of the term koinon followed by a theophoric/ cultic name, the decision-making process (decree) together with the presence of officials suggest that this groups is a private association.