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Last Updated on 19 Jun 2019

Author: Stella Skaltsa

CAPInv. 1585: hoi apo M[an]drothemios


i. Geographical area Aegean Islands
ii. Region Paros
iii. Site Paroikia


i. Full name (original language) οἱ ἀπὸ Μ[αν]δροθέμιος (IG XII 5.1 1027 ll. 2-3 + SEG XIII: 449c)
ii. Full name (transliterated) hoi apo M[an]drothemios


i. Date(s) vi / v BC


ii. Name elements
Personal:hoi apo Mandrothemios: the format of the name, i.e. hoi + apo + personal name in the genitive, is reminiscent of the names of philosophical schools (hoi apo tou Pythagora), denoting descent of or affiliation to a person.


i. Source(s) IG XII 5.1 1027 + SEG XIII: 449c (l. vi/ e. v BC)
Note For the correct restoration of the cult epithet of Zeus (Elastero instead of Endrendro as read by the editor of IG XII 5.1 1027) see SEG XIII: 449c.
Online Resources IG XII 5.1 1027
i.a. Source type(s) Epigraphic source(s)
i.b. Document(s) typology & language/script Altar of Zeus Elasteros by those of Mandrothemis. The name of the deity and the name of the group appear both in the genitive case, probably to underline ownership (of the altar). A supra-dot separates the name of the deity from the name of the group.

The text is written in the Parian alphabet (e.g. βομώς instead of βωμός).
i.c. Physical format(s) Marble slab. H. 21 x W. 52 x Th. 8 cm.
ii. Source(s) provenance Found in the district Choriatika in Paroikia (ancient town of Paros) (Kontoleon 1948-49: 2).


ii. References to buildings/objects βομώς, bomos, l. 1


iii. Worship Altar of Zeus Elasteros (Avenger) set up by those of Mandrothemis. Libations of honey are to be performed as prescribed in lines 3-4 (μέλιτι σπένδεται, meliti spendetai).
Deities worshipped Zeus Elaster


i. Comments LGPN I considers Mandrothemis as a personal name, which is otherwise unattested. The first compound, Mandros, is attested in personal names in Asia Minor.

The cult of Zeus Elaster is fairly well attested in Paros as manifested by four more inscriptions, spanning the period from the late sixth to the fourth century BC (IG XII Suppl. 208; SEG XIII: 449a; SEG XLVIII: 1136; 1138). In one inscription the cult epithet Elaster is followed by the cult epithet Patroios. Zeus Patroos is considered the god of kinship groups (Parker 2008; Robertson 2010: 236).
The cult of Zeus Alaster Patroos is attested in Thasos, a Parian colony founded in the early seventh century BC. There the name of the dedicants ends in -idai, pointing to a kind of gentilician groups, which are thought to stand for civic subdivisions (i.e. patrai) (Salviat 1958, 220; Rolley 1965: 452-6). The way in which the name of this group is formed (definitive article + apo + personal name in genitive) is reminiscent of Chian groups, where the definitive article is followed by a personal name in the genitive.
Groups, whose exact nature cannot be determined with safety (civic subdivisions or kinship groups), worshipped Zeus Patroos in Kos too (IG XII 4.1 1260-1263).
What is striking in all the aforementioned cases is the following:
- the inscriptions are carved in altars or boundary stones
- in most cases the name of the deity as well as the name of the group appear in the genitive case
- most names ends in -idai, pointing to gentilician groups
- all date between the sixth and second centuries BC

This inscription has been mostly discussed in relation to the cult of Zeus Elaster, whereas the nature of the group (ton apo Mandrothemios) has not attracted scholars' interest but a brief note in SEG LI: 1071, where it is suggested that the existence of phratries in Paros 'could be indirectly inferred from IG XII 5, 1027'.
iii. Bibliography Kontoleon, N.M. (1948-49), 'Ζευς Ελάστερος εν Πάρω', AEph: 1-5.
Parker, R. (2008), 'πατρῷοι θεοί: The Cults of Sub-Groups and Identity in the Greek World', in A.H. Rasmussen & S.W. Rasmussen (eds.), Religion and Society. Rituals, Resources and Identity in the Ancient Graeco-Roman World. Rome: 201-14.
Robertson, N. (2010), Religion and Reconciliation in Greek Cities. The Sacred Laws of Selinus and Cyrene. Oxford.
Rolley, C. (1965), 'Le sanctuaire des dieux patrôoi et le Thesmophorion de Thasos', BCH 89: 441-83.
Salviat, F. (1958), 'Une nouvelle loi thasienne:institutions judiciaires et fêtes religieuses à la fin du IVe siècle av. J.-C.', BCH 82: 193-267.


i. Private association Possible
Note The group takes its name from a leader, founder or ancestor as denoted by the preposition apo + personal name in the genitive. The group worshipped Zeus Elaster; Zeus Elaster is also attested as Zeus Elaster Patroios in Paros and therefore he can be considered as the patron deity of kinship groups (see XII.i).
In Thasos, a Parian colony, Zeus Patroos was worshipped by groups identified as civic subdivisions. By analogy to the Thasian examples, one could argue that our group may have stood for a civic subdivision. Although the social organization of Paros was until recently poorly known, the publication of a phratry law regulating burial practices (SEG LI: 1071) attests to the existence of phratries in Paros, giving ground to the hypothesis that this group may have stood for a phratry. However, Parian phratries are not known by their names. In our case the personal name would suggest a smaller group, claiming descent of or stressing their relation to 'Mandrothemis'.
Due to the early date of the inscription and our limited knowledge about the social organization of Paros in the late archaic/ early classical period, it should remain open to question whether this group stood for a civic subdivision or for a kinship group, the latter not being part of the state.