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Last Updated on 04 Mar 2018

Author: Sophia Zoumbaki

CAPInv. 224: hoi Leeitai


i. Geographical area Peloponnese with Adjacent Islands
ii. Region Argolid
iii. Site Argos


i. Full name (original language) οἱ Λεεῖται (IG IV 607, l. 1)
ii. Full name (transliterated) hoi Leeitai


i. Date(s) l. i BC - m. i AD


ii. Name elements
Professional:hoi Leeitai: The term is derived from the verb λειόω (leioo, "make smooth"). It refers perhaps to stone-cutters or wood-cutters.


i. Source(s) IG IV 607
Online Resources IG IV 607
i.a. Source type(s) Epigraphic source(s)
i.b. Document(s) typology & language/script Greek honorary inscription erected by the Leeitai for L. Cornelius Ingenuus
i.c. Physical format(s) Unknown. Both A. Boechk (CIG 1136) and M. Fraenkel (IG IV) know the text only from Fourmont's notes.
ii. Source(s) provenance Argos, found near the church of Hagia Paraskevi


ii. Gender Men
Note If the term leeitai is correctly associated with a professional guild (perhaps of stone-cutters or wood-cutters), then the group was formed by men.


iv. Honours/Other activities The Leeitai honour L. Cornelius Ingenuus, cf. XII.i: Comments.


i. Local interaction As L. Cornelius Ingenuus who is honoured by the Leeitai, is an outstanding individual, it seems that his honour by the Leeitai had a resonance in the polis of Argos.


i. Comments L. Cornelius Ingenuus honoured by the Leeitai is an outstanding individual known from a further inscription which was erected in his honour by the polis of Argos (see Charneux 1953: 400-2). L. Cornelius Ingenuus was gymnasiarchos of the three gymnasia of the town, agoranomos, grammateus, twice tamias and had received the so called "τιμαί ἀγωνοθετικαί" (timai agonothetikai, cf. Charneux 1953: 401-2; comments in BE 1955: no. 102 and Pleket 1957: 141-3). On L. Cornelius Ingenuus see also Rizakis, Zoumbaki and Kantirea 2001: 186, ARG 111.
The fact that professional associations are attested in Argos in the Roman period, shows the economic dynamic of the town. It is remarkable that names of Argive komai and phratrai are associated by certain scholars with craftsmen (e.g. Σμιρεῖδα[ι], Smireida[i], cf. Fraenkel, commentary of IG IV 530, "qui smyride utuntur", Poland 1909: 118 "...Σμιρεῖδαι von Argos ... Arbeiter in Metall, die das Glätten desselben betreiben") or with further occupational groups, sodalicia, as Fraenkel states in the commentary of IG IV 530, Πωλαθέες (Polathees, "nutritores equorum"), Ὑάδαι (Hyadai, "nutritores suum"), Κερκάδαι (Kerkadai, "textores"). Remarks on these assumptions and on Argive civic subdivisions see Vollgraff 1909: 171-200.
For the civic organization of komai and phratrai of Argos see Piérart 1981: 611-3; Piérart 1983: 267-75; Charneux 1984: 207-27; Jones 1987: 114-5.
ii. Poland concordance Poland Z 6
iii. Bibliography Charneux, P. (1984), ‘Phratries et Kômai d'Argos’, BCH 108.1: 207-27.
Charneux, P. (1953), ‘Inscriptions d'Argos’, BCH 77: 387-403.
Jones, N.F. (1987), Public Organization in Ancient Greece: A Documentary Study. Philadelphia.
Piérart, M. (1983), ‘Phratries et « Kômai » d'Argos’, BCH 107.1: 267-75.
Piérart, M. (1981), ‘Note sur trois noms de phratries argiennes’, BCH 105.2: 611-3.
Pleket, H. (1957), ‘Three epigraphic notes’, Mnemosyne 10: 141-3.
Poland, F. (1909), Geschichte des griechische Vereinswesens, Leipzig.
Rizakis, A.D, Zoumbaki, S. and Kantirea, M. (2001), Roman Peloponnese I. Roman Personal Names in their Social Context (Achaia, Arcadia, Argolis, Corinthia and Eleia). Athens.
Vollgraff, W. (1909), ‘Inscriptions d'Argos’, BCH 33: 171-200.
Waltzing, J.P. (1899), Etude historique sur les corporations professionelles chez les Romains depuis les origines jusqu' à la chute de l' Empire d' Occident. vol. 3. Louvain: 68, no. 187.


i. Private association Probable
Note The fact that leeitai seem to be identified as a professional group which honours an outstanding figure of the Argive public life, renders the possibility to regard them as a private association probable. However, as names of Argive komai and phratrai are associated by certain scholars with craftsmen, we have to maintain some reservations.
ii. Historical authenticity The epigraphic evidence renders historical authenticity of the association indisputable.