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Last Updated on 04 Mar 2018

Author: Sophia Zoumbaki

CAPInv. 1918: xystos


i. Geographical area Southern Italy with Sicily
ii. Region Puglia
iii. Site Taras


i. Full name (original language) ξυστός (Gasperini 1984: 476-9, pl. LXXIX, 1-2, ll. 8-9)
ii. Full name (transliterated) xystos


i. Date(s) 200 - 250 AD


iii. Descriptive terms ξυστός, xystos
Note xystos: Gasperini 1984: 476-9, ll. 8-9


i. Source(s) Gasperini 1984: 476-9, pl. LXXIX, 1-2 (AD 200-250)
Note See also: SEG 34: 1022
Online Resources SEG 34: 1022
i.a. Source type(s) Epigraphic source(s)
i.b. Document(s) typology & language/script Greek funerary inscription of M. Aurelius Serenus qui et Heliodorus.
Characteristic letters: lunatae and apicatae.
i.c. Physical format(s) Seven fragments of a marble plaque
ii. Source(s) provenance Taras


iv. Officials Grammateus
The deceased M. Aurelius Serenus qui et Heliodorus is mentioned as the grammateus xystou (ll. 8-9).


ii. Gender Men
Note As the xystos includes athletes, its members are men.
iv. Status M. Aurelius Serenus qui et Heliodorus probably originated from Alexandria, as Alexandreus appears first among the citizenships of other towns, which he acquired. As Gasperini 1984: 478, mentions, famous athletes of this period often acquired honorary citizenship of several towns (see examples given by Gasperini). M. Aurelius Serenus qui et Heliodorus was apparently bouleutes of his home-town as well as of Elis and Delphi and citizen of Sparta. Parallels show that there is a division between the honorary citizenships and the (honorary ?) office of bouleutes of these athletes.


ii. Interaction abroad The fact that the grammateus xystou mentioned in our inscription had acquired the citizenship of various poleis, shows that the officeholder was an individual enjoying a world-wide fame.


i. Comments Gasperini 1984 reads Λακεδαιμόνιος γραμματεὺς ξυστοῦ, Lakedaimonios grammateus xystou (ll. 6-9), and interprets accordingly that the deceased was a grammateus of the local xystos of Sparta. This interpretation is reproduced in SEG 34: 1022. However the wording of Λακεδαιμόνιος γραμματεὺς ξυστοῦ, Lakedaimonios grammateus xystou, sounds somehow strange and has no parallels. It would be perhaps more rational to read the inscription as ...Ἀλεξανδρεὺς καὶ Ἠλῖος καὶ Δελφὸς βουλευτὴ[ς] καὶ Λα[κ]εδαιμόνιος, γραμματεὺς ξυστοῦ... , ...Alexandreus kai Elios kai Delphos bouleuth[s] kai La[k]edaimonios, grammateus xystou... (ll. 3-9). It is thus to be understood that the individual was bouleutes of Alexandria, Elis and Delphi, citizen of Sparta and grammateus xystou. The latter is to be understood as the "oecumenical xystos" and not the local Spartan one.
Cf. entry "sympas xystos", CAPInv. 1485.
iii. Bibliography Gasperini, L. (1984), 'Un buleuta alessandrino a Taranto', in Alessandria e il mondo ellenistico-romano: studi in onore di A. Adriani, Roma 1984: 476-9.


i. Private association Possible
Note If the oecumenical xystos is to be understood, cf. comments of CAPInv. 1485