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Last Updated on 25 Nov 2018

Author: Mario C.D. Paganini

CAPInv. 156: U-EGY-006


i. Geographical area Egypt
ii. Nome Oxyrhynchites (U19)
iii. Site Spania


i. Association with unknown name U-EGY-006


i. Date(s) ii BC


iii. Descriptive terms σύνοδος, synodos
Note Synodos: SEG 41: 1635, ll. 3-8.


i. Source(s) SEG 41: 1635 (II BC)
Note is Heinen 1991: 258-267.
Online Resources SEG 41: 1635
TM 47368
i.a. Source type(s) Epigraphic source(s)
i.b. Document(s) typology & language/script Greek fragmentary list of names (possibly a dedication?).
i.c. Physical format(s) Fragmentary block of stone.
ii. Source(s) provenance Found in the village of Spania (Safaniya), ca 200 m away from the entrance of a house.


ii. Leadership The epimeletes may have been at the head of the associations: Θόας Ἀμμωνίου Ἡ̣[ρ]ακλεώτης ἐπιμελητ[ὴς τῆς συ]ν̣ό[δου], Thoas Ammoniou Herakleotes epimeletes tes synodou (l. 8). On the title of epimeletes to indicate the leader of an association, cf. San Nicolò 1972: 61.
iv. Officials The coterminous presence of one ἱερατεύων τὴν σύνοδον, hierateuon ten synodon (Νουμήνιος Λυσιμάχου Ἡρακλεώτης ἱερατεύων τὴν [σύνοδον], Noumenios Lysimachou Herakleotes hierateuon ten synodon, l. 4), and of two ἱερατευκότες τὴν σύνοδον, hierateukotes ten synodon (Λεόννατος Σαδά̣λου Θρᾶιξ ἱερατευ̣[κ]ὼς τὴν σύνοδ[ον], Leonnatos Sadalou Thrax hierateukos ten synodon, l. 3, and Μηνόδωρος Ἀσκληπιάδου Ἀρκὰς ἱερατευκὼς τὴν σύνο[δον], Menodoros Asklepiadou Arkas hierateukos ten synodon, l. 5), proves that the association had religious officials, who held office for a limited period of time only. Furthermore, depending on the restoration of l. 1 (Σαραπίων Διοσκουρίδου Πέρσης τῶν κατοίκων ἱππέων ἱερεὺς τῆς [ ], Sarapion Dioskouridou Perses ton katoikon hippeon hiereus tes [...] ), the association may have also had other religious officials: if the word [συνόδου], [synodou] is to be restored in the lacuna at the end of the line, then the association had also a priest for life, charge which was most certainly honorific. However, the lacuna may have contained the name of a female divinity and this would make Sarapion priest of that temple (along with a certain Haryotes of l. 2 who is priest of a local temple: Ἁρυώτης Ἀμεννέως ἀρχιστολιστὴς τῶν̣ εἰς τὸ ἄδυτον [εἰσπορευομένων(?)], Haryotes Amenneos archistolistes ton eis to adyton [eisporeuomenon(?)]) and his presence in the inscription would be justified because the association met in that temple or had some particular connection with it.
The association had magistrates, called συνάρχοντες, synarchontes: Καλλίστρατος Ἀσκληπιάδου Ἀρκὰς συνάρχων τ[ῆς] συν̣[όδου], | Ἀπολλώνιος Ἀπολλωνίου Μακεδὼν συνάρ[χων τῆς συ]νό[δου], Kallistratos Asklepiadou Arkas synarchon tes synodou, Apollonios Apolloniou Makedon synarchon tes synodou (ll. 6-7).


ii. Gender Men
Note The names attested are all male names and therefore it seems likely that the association was formed by men only.
iii. Age Adults
Note It seems reasonable to believe that the members were all adults.
iv. Status The members of the synodos are recorded with their 'ethnic': there is one Persian (l. 1; it is however doubtful whether the man is actually a member of the association), one Thracian (l. 3), two Heracleians (l. 4 and 8: to what city or community this refers is uncertain), two Arcadians (l. 5 and 6), and one Macedonian (l. 7).
Sarapion in l. 1, who may have been priest of the association for life (cf. VII.iv), was one of the κάτοικοι ἱππεῖς, katoikoi hippeis, the mercenary cavalry-men who had been granted land by the Ptolemies: his social status (and consequently wealth) was not insignificant. It is uncertain, although likely, that the other members of the association came from a military background. In fact, the consider this a military-religious association.
v. Relations On the basis of patronymics, two members of the association were probably siblings: the Arcadian Menodoros (l. 5) and Kallistratos (l. 6), both sons of Asklepiades. They both occupied a position of importance in the association, as the former was an ex-priest of the association, whereas the latter was a magistrate of the synodos.
vi. Proper names and physical features Λεόννατος Σαδά̣λου Θρᾶιξ ἱερατευ̣[κ]ὼς τὴν σύνοδ[ον],
Νουμήνιος Λυσιμάχου Ἡρακλεώτης ἱερατεύων τὴν [σύνοδον],
Μηνόδωρος Ἀσκληπιάδου Ἀρκὰς ἱερατευκὼς τὴν σύνο[δον],
Καλλίστρατος Ἀσκληπιάδου Ἀρκὰς συνάρχων τ[ῆς] συν̣[όδου],
Ἀπολλώνιος Ἀπολλωνίου Μακεδὼν συνάρ[χων τῆς συ]νό[δου],
Θόας Ἀμμωνίου Ἡ̣[ρ]ακλεώτης ἐπιμελητ[ὴς τῆς συ]ν̣ό[δου]

Not certain whether these two are members:
Σαραπίων Διοσκουρίδου Πέρσης τῶν κατοίκων ἱππέων ἱερεὺς τῆς [— — —]
Ἁρυώτης Ἀμεννέως ἀρχιστολιστὴς τῶν̣ εἰς τὸ ἄδυτον [εἰσπορευομένων(?)]


i. Local interaction Given the presence of priests of a local temple (ll. 1 (?) and 2) the association might have had dealings with the local shrine.


i. Comments The states that before the list of names there should have been some other text no doubt indicating the reason for the present inscription (indeed there are traces of letters before line 1, and the interlinear space is larger than the one in the list of names, thus pointing towards the fact that the missing part contained the body of the text, after which some space was left before carving the list of names). It does not seem unlikely to me that it was a dedication of some sort, which had appended at the end the list of (all or part of) the members of the association. Bingen, BE 1992 no. 570 suggests that the present list of names may be the final part of SEG 41: 1634, a very fragmentary dedication on behalf of the Royal House, found 200 m away from the list of names. The dedication indeed mentions in its last line the presence of an appended list of names. The state of preservation of the dedication is too fragmentary to understand much (only the very last part of every line is preserved): given the presence of τεταγμένοι, tetagmenoi in l. 6, it may be connected with the military background.
iii. Bibliography Heinen, H. (1991), 'Zwei neue ptolemäische Inschriften aus Mittelägypten (Ṣafānīya)', in F. Gomaà, R. Müller-Wollermann, and W. Schenkel (eds.), Mittelägypten zwischen Samalūṭ und dem Gabal Abū Ṣīr. Beiträge zur historischen Topographie der paranoische Zeit, Wiesbaden: 251-67.
San Nicolò, M. (1972), Ägyptisches Vereinswesen zur Zeit der Ptolemäer und Römer. 2nd edn. München.


i. Private association Certain
Note The terminology used (synodos) and the internal organisation make it certain that we have here a private association.