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Last Updated on 01 Dec 2018

Author: Mario C.D. Paganini

CAPInv. 291: to plethos ton machairophoron


i. Geographical area Egypt
ii. Nome Memphites (L01)
iii. Site Memphis


i. Full name (original language) τὸ πλῆθος τῶν μαχαιροφόρων (I.Prose 25, l. 6)
ii. Full name (transliterated) to plethos ton machairophoron


i. Date(s) 112 / 111 BC


ii. Name elements
iii. Descriptive terms πλῆθος, plethos
Note plethos: I.Prose 25, l. 6


i. Source(s) I.Prose 25 (112/1 BC)
Note Other editions are: OGIS 737, SB V 8929 (with SEG XX 643).
Online Resources I.Prose 25
TM 6421
AGRW ID 20335
i.a. Source type(s) Epigraphic source(s)
i.b. Document(s) typology & language/script Greek honorific decree of the politeuma and hoi apo tes poleos Idumaioi.
i.c. Physical format(s) Limestone stele.


iii. Members The members of the group were military men, part of the guard machairophoroi.
iv. Officials The ἱερεὺς τοῦ πλήθους τῶν μαχαιροφόρων, hiereus tou plethous ton machairophoron: l. 6.


ii. Gender Men
Note Being a military association, the group was made up of men only.
iii. Age Adults
Note The military character of the association points to an adult membership.
iv. Status Dorion, the honorary priest of the association (l. 6: according to Thompson Crawford 1984, these machairophoroi corresponded to the politeuma which, together with hoi apo tes poleos Idoumaioi, set up the present text to honour the man: cf. CAPInv. 163), bore the court title of syngenes and was strategos. Dorion is known from other texts in hieroglyphic: he was also priest of Horos, Onnophris, and Osiris; his mother was a priestess of Horos of Athribis and therefore probably a hellenising Egyptian from a priestly family (cf. Thompson Crawford 1984: 1070-1, Thompson 2012: 95-6, and Mooren 1975: no. 093).
vi. Proper names and physical features Δωρίων ὁ συγγενὴς καὶ στρατηγὸς καὶ ἱερεὺς τοῦ πλήθους τῶν μαχαιροφόρων


i. Comments According to the interpretation by Thompson Crawford 1984, the plethos ton machairophoron corresponded in fact to the politeuma which, together with the hoi apo tes poleos Idoumaioi, set up the present text to honour Dorion, the hiereus of the plethos ton machairophoron (cf. CAPInv. 163).
iii. Bibliography Thompson Crawford, D. J. (1984), 'The Idumaeans of Memphis and the Ptolemaic Politeumata', in Atti del XVII Congresso Internazionale di Papirologia, Napoli: 1069-75.


i. Private association Probable
Note It seems probable that the plethos ton machairophoron was a private association, which gathered together men active in the army. However, there cannot be excluded the possibility that the group was not an independent private association within the army, but was in fact the military unit of machairophoroi itself, which had a priest.
If the interpretation by Thompson Crawford 1984 is correct, the plethos ton machairophoron would be without doubts a private association and would in fact correspond to the politeuma which, together with the hoi apo tes poleos Idoumaioi, set up the present text to honour Dorion: cf. CAPInv. 163.