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Last Updated on 23 May 2019

Author: Sofia Kravaritou

CAPInv. 1809: Oraoi


i. Geographical area Central Greece
ii. Region Thessaly. Tetras of Pelasgiotis.
iii. Site Atrax


i. Full name (original language) ΟΡΑΟΙ (Tziafalias 1984: 198, no. 26, l. 1; unpublished inscription mentioned in Darmezin and Tziafalias 2007: 26)
ii. Full name (transliterated) Oraoi


i. Date(s) iv - iii BC


ii. Name elements
Cultic:Helly (BE 1988: no. 706; BE 1995: no. 33) suggested that this is a votive inscription to the Horai.
Topographical:Tziafalias (1984: 231, no. 26) has originally related the name of the group with ὄρος, oros ('mountain') and identified them as a phratry of herdsmen.
Lately, the name has been associated with ὅρος, horos (‘border’, ‘frontier’) thus suggesting that we are dealing with 'frontier men' (Darmezin and Tziafalias 2007: 26).


i. Source(s) Tziafalias 1984: 198, no. 26 (iv - iii BC)
Note Unpublished inscription mentioned in Darmezin and Tziafalias 2007: 26; also García-Ramón, Helly and Tziafalias 2007: 84).
i.a. Source type(s) Epigraphic source(s)
i.b. Document(s) typology & language/script Tziafalias 1984: 198, no. 26 is a votive inscription on behalf of three magistrates of the group called archons.

The second very fragmentary inscription deals with a treaty Darmezin and Tziafalias 2007: 26).
i.c. Physical format(s) Tziafalias 1984: 198, no. 26 is a flat topped stele of white marble.

No information is provident for the second inscription (Darmezin and Tziafalias 2007: 26; cf. Mili 2015: 67, n. 55, 347).
ii. Source(s) provenance Ancient city of Atrax


i. Archaeological remains The site of Ancient Atrax has delivered public architecture (acropolis, remains of sanctuaries and a theatre, fortification walls), as well as a rich record of public and private inscriptions, including decrees, votives, inscribed tombstones, etc (Decourt, Nielsen, Helly et al. 2004: 692; I.Atrax in print).


iv. Officials Tziafalias 1984: 198, no. 26 lists three men without patronymic - Stasidamos, Agasippos and Battas - which are called magistrates (archons).
vi. Laws and rules It has been argued that the second unpublished inscription that deals with a treaty prescribes certain stipulations - someone had to be free, take part in certain activities and isotimos - in order for him to be part of the group (García-Ramón, Helly and Tziafalias 2007: 84).


iii. Bibliography Darmezin, L., and Tziafalias, A. (2007), ‘The twelve Tribes of Atrax: a Lexical Study’, in E. Matthews (ed.), Old and New Worlds in Greek Onomastics, Oxford: 21-8.
Decourt, J.-C., Nielsen, Th.H., Helly, Br. et al. (2004), ‘Thessalia and adjacent regions’, in M.H. Hansen and Th.H. Nielsen (eds.), An Inventory of Archaic and Classical Poleis, Oxford: 676-731.
García-Ramón, J.L., Helly, Br., and Tziafalias, A. (2007), ‘Inscriptions inédites de Mopsion: décrets et dédicaces en dialecte thessalien’, in M.B. Hatzopoulos (ed.), ΦΩΝΗΣ ΧΑΡΑΚΤΗΡ ΕΘΝΙΚΟΣ. Actes du Ve Congrès International de Dialectologie grecque (Meletemata 52), Athens: 63-103.
Mili, M. (2015), Religion and Society in Ancient Thessaly. Oxford.
Tziafalias A. (1984), ‘Ανέκδοτες Θεσσαλικές επιγραφές’, Thessaliko Hemerologio 7: 193-237.


i. Private association Possible
Note The group has already been interpreted as a civic subdivision, in the sense of a syngeneia of the Basaidai type -cf. CAPInv. 1808 - or a phratry comprised of three gene (Darmezin and Tziafalias 2007: 26; cf. Mili 2015: 347). However, since the publication of the second inscription is still pending, the question of the character of the group remains open.