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Last Updated on 21 Jun 2019

Author: Stella Skaltsa

CAPInv. 1892: to koinon ton peri ton Dionyson techniton ton epi Ionias kai Hellespontou kai ton peri ton Kathegemona Dionyson


i. Geographical area Aegean Islands
ii. Region Kos
iii. Site Kos


i. Full name (original language) τὸ κοινὸν τῶν ἐπὶ Ἰωνίας καὶ Ἑλλησπόντου καὶ τῶν περὶ τὸν Καθηγεμόνα Διόνυσον (ED 7 A ll. 6-8)
ii. Full name (transliterated) to koinon ton peri ton Dionyson techniton ton epi Ionias kai Hellespontou kai ton peri ton Kathegemona Dionyson


i. Date(s) 84 - 81 BC


ii. Name elements
Cultic:peri ton Dionyson
peri ton Kathegemona Dionyson
Geographical:epi Ionias kai Hellespontou
iii. Descriptive terms πολιτεῖα, politeia
Note B l. 5-6


i. Source(s) ED 7 (84-84 BC)
Note Le Guen I 56
Aneziri B 18a-b
Sherk 1969: no. 49
Csapo-Slater 1994: p. 253 no. 46
Online Resources ED 7
i.a. Source type(s) Epigraphic source(s)
i.b. Document(s) typology & language/script Inscription containing two letters of Sulla, written in Greek.
The first letter (Face A) dates to ca. 81 BC (Sulla is called Epaphroditos). It is addressed to the magistrates and the people of Kos.
The second letter (Face B) antedates the first (dating to 84 BC as Sulla did not yet bear the title of dictator). It contains the privileges granted to the technitai by the Roman Senate and Sulla himself.
i.c. Physical format(s) Upper part of an opisthographic, marble stele.
H. 32 x W. 43 x Th. 8 cm.


v. Other staff πρεσβευτής, presbeutes, A l. 6
Alexandros Laodikeus was the ambassador of the technitai sent to Rome to ask permission to erect a stele on Kos that would contain the privileged granted to them.
ix. Privileges The inscription (Face B) enumerates the privileges granted by the Roman Senate and Sulla to the technitai, mainly of fiscal nature.S Sulla confirms that he published a decision based on a Council vote that recognized all the benefits (B ll. 3-4: φιλάνθρωπα, philanthropa), honours (B l. 4: τιμὰς, timas) and freedom from civic liabilities (B l. 4: ἀλειτουργησίας, aleitourgesias). The privileges which are partly preserved in the inscription are the following:
- immunity from all liturgies (B l. 9: πάσης τε λειτουργίας ἀλε[ιτούργητοι] pases te leirourgias aleotourgetoi)
- immunity from military service (B l. 10: στρατείας, strateias)
- immunity from direct taxation or expenditure (B ll. 10-11: μήτε τινὰ [εἰσφορὰν ἢ δαπάνας εἰσφέρητε, mete tina eisphoras e dapanas eispherete)
- freedom from any disturbance for provisioning or [billeting] (B ll. 11-12: μήτε [ἐ]ν[οχλεῖσθε ὑπὸ τινος] παροχῆς ἕνεκεν τ[ε και ἐπισταθμείας])
- no obligation to take in [lodgers] (B l. 12-13: μήτε τινὰ δέχεσθ[αι καταλύτην ἐπαναγκάζεσθαι], mete tina dechesthai katalyten epanagkazesthai).


ii. Interaction abroad The inscription reveals a high complexity of interaction between Rome, the technitai and an independent political community (polis of Kos).
At the end of the Mithridatic War (85 BC) the Ionian-Hellespontine and Pergamene branch of the technitai sought to obtain confirmation of its privilege. The Roman Senate and Sulla granted them the privileges they formerly enjoyed.
A few years later (ca. 81 BC) the technitai sent to Rome an envoy (Alexandros Laodikeus) with the view to ask permission to erect a stele on Kos that would contain a record with the privileges formerly granted to them by Sulla.
Sulla in his letter to the city of Kos stated that he gave permission to the technitai to erect a stele containing the privileges granted to them, that a decree of the Senate had been obtained and that he wished the city to comply with his instructions. As Sherk (1966) has showed the technitai approached Sulla in 81 BC to ask permission for the erection of the stele in Kos, because such a request seems to have been declined by the city itself. Although Kos was not the place of residence of the technitai whose seat had been from Teos to Lebedos, the festivals organized in Kos made their presence indispensable and for this reason, the technitai wished to confirm the privileges they enjoyed before the Mithridatic War.


iii. Bibliography Csapo, E. & Slater, W. (1994), The Context of Ancient Drama. Ann Arbor.
Sherk, R.K. (1966), 'Cos and the Dionysiac Artists', Historia 15: 211-6.
Sherk, R.K. (1969), Roman Documents from the Greek East. Senatus Consulta and Epistuale to the Age of Augustus. Baltimore.


i. Private association Certain
Note This inscription effectively demonstrates the corporate character of the Dionysiac technitai, considered by the Romans as a politeia, a a fully-fledged political community, interacting with the Roman state as well as with the Greek cities.