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Last Updated on 17 Jan 2019

Author: Matt Gibbs & Philip F. Venticinque

CAPInv. 1941: sympas xystos


i. Geographical area Egypt
ii. Nome Oxyrhynchites (U19)
iii. Site Oxyrhynchus


i. Full name (original language) σύμπας ξυστός (P.Oxy. LXXIX 5207 l. 5)
ii. Full name (transliterated) sympas xystos


i. Date(s) 200 - 250 AD


iii. Descriptive terms ξυστός xystos
Note xystos: P.Oxy. LXXIX 5207 l. 5.


i. Source(s) P.Oxy. LXXIX 5207 (first half III AD)
Online Resources P.Oxy. LXXIX 5207
TM 381932
i.a. Source type(s) Papyrological source(s)
i.b. Document(s) typology & language/script Greek; Receipt
i.c. Physical format(s) papyrus


iv. Officials ξυστάρχης, xystarches (l.4).
ἀρχιερεύς, archiereus (l.4), a high-priest.
viii. Obligations As xystarch, Plutarchus was responsible for the organisation of agonistic events. On the duties of this official, see recently Burgeon 2016.


ii. Gender Men
Note The recorded members are men.
iii. Age Adults
iv. Status Citizen
vi. Proper names and physical features Marcus Aurelius Plutarchus


i. Local interaction The receipts may be connected to the preparation for games in the care of Plutarchus given his position here. Plutarchus' duties as life-long xystarch (he was responsible for the agonistic events), suggest local interaction with respect to these: so perhaps the organisation of banquets and/or celebration. But a definitive answer is impossible.
Plutarchus was also the overseer of the baths of Augustus, presumably at Oxyrhynchus (ll.5-6); see Strasser 2003: 297-98. This was not a liturgy.
ii. Interaction abroad If these receipts were created as part of Plutarchus' duties as life-long xystarch, then regional interaction, between Plutarchus, other members, and other groups should probably be surmised.


i. Comments The term xystos does not seem to be interchangeable with synodos (contra Frisch, n.50, Pap.Agon. 6.50); see Remijsen 2015: 235-37, whose argument suggests that the entire xystos, as opposed to the xystos synodos (cf. P.Lond. III 1178 = Pap.Agon. 6), is represented here.

If this is indeed the entire body of sacred athletes as opposed to a particular synodos, then perhaps this group overlapped with CAPInv. 1952 (see Remijsen 2015: 233-34).

It is also possible that this is the same association as CAPInv. 1957.
iii. Bibliography Burgeon, C. (2016) "Les xystarques de l’Empire romain du Ier au IIIe siècle de notre ère." Réflexion(s), février 2016 (available online here).
Remijsen, S. (2015) The end of Greek athletics in late antiquity. Cambridge.
Strasser, J.-Y. (2003) "La carrière du pancratiaste Markos Aurèlios Dèmostratos Damas." BCH 127.1: 251-99.


i. Private association Certain
Note This association is a famous international collective of athletes, and enjoyed imperial patronage. Although the association may be—at least in part—the same as in Pap.Agon. 6 (CAPInv. 1952), its nomenclature suggests that this group was the whole collective body perhaps made up of several private associations.