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Last Updated on 21 May 2019

Author: Nikolaos Giannakopoulos

CAPInv. 193: U-WAM-002


i. Geographical area Western Asia Minor
ii. Region Bithynia
iii. Site Prusa ad Olympum


i. Association with unknown name U-WAM-002


i. Date(s) ii / iii AD


i. Source(s) I.Prusa 159 (ii AD)
Note The inscription was first edited by Cremer 1986: 21-22 with detailed commentary.
See also:
SEG 36: 1114
Jaccottet II 82
AGRW 102
Online Resources I.Prusa 159
i.a. Source type(s) Epigraphic source(s)
i.b. Document(s) typology & language/script Funerary inscription in Greek set up in memory of Rufus son of Gaius by his συνμύσται (synmystai)
i.c. Physical format(s) Marble naiskos-stele with representation of a standing man wearing a tunica with five girdles and two straps over his shoulders at which two bells are hanging. This male figure (i.e. the deceased) holds a λαγωβόλιον (lagobolion) in the right hand and a serpent in the left hand.
ii. Source(s) provenance The inscription was found in Kestel, 20 km. outside Bursa (Prusa).


iii. Members Referred to as συνμύσται (synmystai, l. 1)


ii. Gender Men
Note The only known member of the group (the deceased Rufus) was male.


iv. Honours/Other activities The group of synmystai sets up a funerary inscription in memory of its member Rufus. This suggests that the group saw to the burial of Rufus, but whether this was a general practice applied to all the members or whether the synmystai owned a burial plot cannot be ascertained. Based on the iconography of the male figure represented in the stele, Cremer (1986: 21-2) concluded that Rufus played the role of Pan in the group, being Dionysos’ charioteer (see also the remarks of Th. Corsten in I.Prusa 159, p. 186; cf. SEG 36: 1114 and SEG 35: 1390). In this respect, Rufus may be considered a distinguished member of the group, perhaps holding a high place in the its internal hierarchy, if such an apparatus did exist within this group.


i. Comments Although the group setting up Rufus’ funerary inscription is self-defined as συνμύσται (synmystai), it cannot be ascertained that this was indeed an organized cultic association. See below under the field: Evaluation

Based on the iconography of the male figure represented in Rufus’ funerary stele, Cremer 1986 reached the conclusion that the group of synmystai to which the deceased belonged was devoted to the cult of Dionysos, cf. Jaccottet II, p. 162
iii. Bibliography Ascough, R.S., Harland, P.A., and Kloppenborg, J.S. (2012), Associations in the Greco-Roman World: A Sourcebook. Berlin.
Cremer, M. (1986), ‘Der Schellenmann’, EA 7: 21-34.
Jaccottet, A.-F. (2003), Choisir Dionysos. Les associations dionysiaques ou la face cachée du dionysisme II. Les documents. Zürich.


i. Private association Possible
Note The use of the term συνμύσται (synmystai) to describe the group setting up Rufus’ funerary inscription and the latter’s iconography indicate that we have here a private group devoted to the cult of Dionysos (cf. Jaccottet 2003: II 162). However, it cannot be demonstated that this group constituted an organized association and not just an ad hoc union of Rufus' companions in the cult of Dionysos, formed solely for the purpose of erecting the funerary monument.