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Last Updated on 13 Jun 2019

Author: Stella Skaltsa

CAPInv. 262: ho demos ton tetelesmenon


i. Geographical area Aegean Islands
ii. Region Lemnos
iii. Site Chloe


i. Full name (original language) ὁ δῆμος τῶν τετελεσμένων (ASAA 1941/43: 76 no. 2 l. 10)
ii. Full name (transliterated) ho demos ton tetelesmenon


i. Date(s) iv - iii BC


ii. Name elements
Cultic:tetelesmenoi: the initiated in the mysteries of the Kabeiroi in Lemnos. For the mysteries and the cult of the Kabeiroi in Lemnos see Bremmer 2014.
iii. Descriptive terms δῆμος, demos
Note ASAA 1941/43: 76 no. 2 l. 10
ASAA 1941/43:79 no. 3 l. 15
ASAA 1941/43: 81 no. 4 l. 9
ASAA 1941/43: 89 no. 11 l. 7


i. Source(s) 1. ASAA 1941/43: 76 no. 2 (330-320 BC: date of the resolution on the tenth prytany of Hippothontis, to a day in Skirophorion)
2. ASAA 1941/43: 79 no. 3 (250-200 BC?)
3. ASAA 1941/43: 81 no. 4 (250-200 BC?: date of the resolution on the first prytany, on the seventh day of 'Second Hekatomabaion', i.e. the intercalary month of a thirteen-month year)
4. ASAA 1941/43: 87 no. 7 (end of v BC?)
5. ASAA 1941/43: 89 no. 11 (350-300 BC)
6. SEG 50: 826 (late iv BC)
Note For the date of ASAA 1941/43: 76 no. 2 see now Culasso Gastaldi 2011: 234.
New reading of the demotikon in line 5 of ASAA 1941/43 76 no. 2: Antikrates, Kephisieus instead of Prasieus (Culasso Gastaldi 2011: 239).
New reading of the personal name in lines 8-9 of ASAA 1941/43 76 no. 2: Ekphantos, instead of Euphantos (Culasso Gastaldi 2011: 235, 241).
Online Resources ASAA 1941/43: 76 no. 2
ASAA 1941/43: 79 no. 3
ASAA 1941/43: 81 no. 4
ASAA 1941/43: 87 no. 7
ASAA 1941/43: 89 no. 11
i.a. Source type(s) Epigraphic source(s)
i.b. Document(s) typology & language/script 1. ASAA 1941/43: 76 no. 2: honorific decree of the demos ton tetelesmenon for Nikostratos, son of Archedemos, Phegaieus, treasurer of sacred money.
2. ASAA 1941/43: 79 no. 3: honorific decree of the demos ton tetelesmenon for the theoroi (sacred ambassadors) sent by the demos of the Athenians at Myrina.
3. ASAA 1941/43: 81 no. 4: partly preserved honorific decree of the demos ton tetelesmenon for Aristokrates [...], treasurer of sacred money.
4. ASAA 1941/43: 87 no. 7: very poorly preserved honorary inscription
5. ASAA 1941/43: 89 no. 11: honorary inscription for an appointed boones from Methymna, crowned by the isoteleis and the demos ton tetelesmenon.
6. SEG 50: 826: honorific decree of the demos of the initiated (wrongly identified as the demos of Hephaistia in SEG 50: 826).
All in Greek
i.c. Physical format(s) Marble stelai
ii. Source(s) provenance All inscriptions were found in the sanctuary of the Kabeirioi in Lemnos.


i. Archaeological remains Italian excavations in the sanctuary have revealed architectural remains that date as early as the 7th century BC. The Telesterion was the most prominent building in the sanctuary.
ii. References to buildings/objects τὸ ἱερόν, to hieron (ASAA 1941/43 no. 3 l. 9)


iv. Officials ὁ ταμίας τῶν ἱερῶν χρημάτων, ho tamias ton hieron chrematon (ASAA 1941/43: 76 no. 2 l. 12; 81 no. 4 l. 10)

ὁ ἱερεύς, ho hiereus (ASAA 1941/43: 87 no. 7 l. 4)
Due to the poor preservation of the decree it is not clear whether the priest was an official of the demos ton tetelesmenon.
v. Other staff βοώνης, boones (ASAA 1941/43: 89 no. 11 L. 2)

official responsible for bringing oxen for the sacrifices.
Known practice of appointment χειροτονηθείς, cheirotonetheis (ll. 2-3)


ii. Gender Men
Note All names attested in the inscriptions are those of men.
iv. Status Four out of five symproedroi in ASAA 1941/43 76 no. 2 seem to have been well-off individuals in light of the prosopography. Some of them were actively involved in the political, economic and religious life in Lemnos and/or Athens (Culasso Gastaldi 2011).
- Nikostratos, son of Archedemos, Phegaieus (ASAA 1941/43: 76 no. 2 l. 10; PAA 718792), may be identical with Nikostratos (Accame 1941/1943: 75-6 no. 1 l. 1), proposer of a decree in honour of five hieromnemones and their grammateus ca. 20-30 years earlier (see Culasso Gastaldi 2011: 238).
- Philostratos, Xypetaion, symproedros (ASAA 1941/43: 76 no. 2 l. 8) is probably the son of Glaukos, son of Philostratos, Xypetaion, an hieromnemon (Accame 1941/1943: 75-6 no. 1 ll. 5-6) (Culasso Gastaldi 2011: 239).
- Ekphantos Acharneus, symproedros (ASAA 1941/43: 76 no. 2 ll. 8-9) is probably to be identified with the syntrierarchos of the treteris Kratusa in 322 BC in Athens (Culasso Gastaldi 2011: 241).
- Pamphilos Rhamnousios, symproedros (ASAA 1941/43: 76 no. 2 ll. 9-10) may be identified with an Pamphilos, creditor in one of Demosthenes' speeches (Dem., In Dionysodorum 6.7), grammateus and bouleutes in 306/5 and 304/3 BC respectively (Culasso Gastaldi 2011: 241).


i. Assemblies ἐκκλησία τῶν τετελεσμένων, ekklesia ton tetelesmenon (ASAA 1941/43: 76 no. 2 ll. 3-4; ASAA 1941/43: 81 no. 4, ll. 3-4)
σύνλογος τῶν τετελεσμένων, synlogos ton tetelesmenon (SEG 50: 826, ll. 2-4)
The assembly was presided over by a proedros (chairman) (ASAA 1941/43: 76 no. 2 ll. 4-5; 81 no. 4 ll. 4-5) and symproederoi (ASAA 1941/43: 76 no. 2 ll. 5-6; 81 no. 4 l. 6). There are eight symproedroi attested in ASAA 1941/43: 76 no. 2 who along with the proedros would be nine in total, thus in accord to the one-day committee presiding over the Athenian assembly. The Athenian cleruchy on Samos also had the institution of the proedroi.
iii. Worship The demos was involved in the organization of the festival of the Horaia (ASAA 1941/43: 79 no. 3 l. 5) during which sacrifices to the Kabeiroi took place. Theoroi from other cities in the island were sent to the sanctuary and were welcomed by the demos.
Deities worshipped Megaloi Theoi
iv. Honours/Other activities The demos ton tetelesmenon honoured its own officials (ASAA 1941/43: 78 no. 2; 81 no. 4), theoroi sent to the sanctuary (ASAA 1941/43: 79 no. 3), and officials involved in oxen sacrifice jointly with other groups (isoteleis) (ASAA 1941/43: 89 no. 11).


i. Local interaction Sacred ambassadors (theoroi) were sent to festivals at the sanctuary by the demos of the Athenians at Myrina, the island’s other town (ASAA 1941/43: 79 no. 3).

The demos ton tetelesmenon honoured jointly with the isoteleis, a boones from Methymna (ASAA 1941/43: 89 no 11 ll. 5-7).


i. Comments Beschi (1996-1997: 42-5 no. 23) considers SEG 50: 826 a decree issued by the demos of Hephaistia on the proposal of the assembly of the initiated. In line 3 the text reads as follows: the demos resolved (ἔδοξεν τῶι δήμωι, edoxen toi demo). However, the assembly that has convened is that of the synlogos ton tetelesmenon (ll. 2-3). In light of this together with the findspot of the inscription, i.e. the Kabeirion) it seems quite likely that the demos is not other than the demos ton tetelesmenon, the body responsible for passing decrees in the sanctuary (for a similar interpretation see also Culasso Gastaldi 283: n. 64).

Cargill (1995: 181) thinks that the demos of the initiated stands for the assembly of the cleruchs of Hephaistia, excluding those citizens who have not been initiated yet into the local mysteries. Cargill builds on Accame's suggestion (1941-1943: 78-9) that the demos of the initiated resembled the demos of Hephaisteia. Parker (1994: 345) also speaks of a high degree of resemblance between the demos of Hephaisteia and the demos of the initiated.

It is to be noted that the demos ton tetelesmenon closely resembles the Athenian model when it comes to the way in which the assembly operates (dating of the decrees according to the prytane and presiding over of the assembly by the board of proedroi).

Τhe decrees date after the eponymous archon of Lemnos (ASAA 1941/43 76 no. 2 l. 1; 79 no. 3 l. 1; 81 no. 4 l. 1; SEG 50: 826 l. 1)
iii. Bibliography Accame, S. (1941-1943), 'Iscrizioni del Cabirio di Lemno', ASAA 19-21, n.s. 3-5: 75-105.
Beschi, L. (1996-1997), 'Cabirio di Lemno, testimonianze letterarie ed epigrafiche', ASSA 74-75: 7-145.
Bremmer, J.N. (2014), Initiation into the Mysteries of the Ancient World. Berlin.
Cargill, J. (1995), Athenian Settlements of the Fourth Century B.C.. Leiden.
Culasso Gastaldi, E. (2008), 'Tra Atene e Lemnos: questioni di terra', in E. Greco & E, Papi (eds.), Hephaistia 2000-2006. Ricerche e scavi della Scuola Archeologica Italiana di Atene in collaborazione con il Dipartimento di Archeologia e Storia dell Arti dell'Università di Siena. Paestum - Atene: 271-94.
Culasso Gastaldi, E. (2011), ‘Riconsiderando i decreti del Kabirion di Lemnos: alcune question cronologiche (Accame 1 et 2)’, Historikὰ 1: 233-46.
Parker, R. (1994), 'Athenian Religion Abroad', in R. Osborne & S. Hornblower (edd.), Ritual, Finance, Politics: Athenian Democratic Accounts presented to David Lewis. Oxford: 339-46.


i. Private association Discarded
Note The compound demos normally designates the popular assembly, the citizen's body or a civic subdivision. In this case the word demos is followed, not by an ethnic as expected in the case of the citizen's body, but by the perfect participle tetelesmenoi, namely those who have been initiated. Given that all inscriptions referring to this body come from the sanctuary of Kabeiroi, a close link between the initiated and the demos ton tetelesmenon is to be expected. Although scholarly opinion tends to identify the demos ton telesmenon with the demos of the Athenians in Hephaisteia, the different nomenclature to designate these two bodies should warn us against such an identification. The demos seems to have been administering the sanctuary, with a treasurer of the sacred money, among its officials. The official cult of Kabeiroi in Lemnos would point to a religious body of official character being in charge of the administration and supervision of the sanctuary and the cult.