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Last Updated on 13 Jun 2019

Author: Stella Skaltsa

CAPInv. 346: the people of QDMT


i. Geographical area Aegean Islands
ii. Region Naxos
iii. Site Near the modern town of Naxos


i. Full name (original language) [ Ṭ L ‛ M Q D M T (SEG 58: 899)
ii. Full name (transliterated) the people of QDMT


i. Date(s) l. iv BC


ii. Name elements
Geographical:(1) and (2)
Other:People of Qdmt: Qdmt can stand for:
(1) Qedemot a place in the desert of Jordan
(2) Kadmos, a river and a mountain in southwest Phrygia
(3) an ethnic (Qdmt) referring to 'people from the East' in general.


i. Source(s) SEG 58: 899 (ca. 300 BC)
Note The date of the inscription is based on the shape of letters. A date around 300 BC is inferred by the Greek text, while the letter shape of the Phoenician text bears resemblance to Phoenician writing from Cyprus that dates to the second half of the 4th c. BC (see Lambrinoudakis 2006; Röllig 2006).

The inscription has been published almost simultaneously by two scholars (Bardani; Lambrinoudakis), who may not have been aware of each other's publication. The inscription was allocated two distinct entries in two separate volumes of SEG, as if each entry relates to a new text (SEG 57: 760 and SEG 58: 899). However, both entries record the same text, even if the information varies from one entry to another.

See also: SEG 57: 760
i.a. Source type(s) Epigraphic source(s)
i.b. Document(s) typology & language/script Bilingual inscription. The Phoenician text is inscribed on the upper part of the shaft and it runs in one line, whereas the Greek text is inscribed under the Phoenician text, running in two lines. Due to the poor preservation of the text, the content of the inscription is not entirely clear. It is probably a funerary inscription (SEG 57: 760; see also V.i.c.).
The extant Greek text contains a personal name (Dioskourides) and a collective name (synthiasitai) both in the nominative, followed by a partly preserved word, only the three first letters of which are preserved: ΕΠΕ. The letters belong probably to a verb ἐπέ[θηκαν or ἐπέ[στησαν or ἐπέ[γραψαν (Lamrbinoudakis 2006: 278).
In the Phoenician text the term 'memorial' is fully restored.
i.c. Physical format(s) Partly preserved marble stele, broken on top, bottom and right. A band, tied in a knot in the middle of the front side, is painted in red on the three sides (front and lateral) below the Greek text (red bands like this decorate funerary stelai).
H. 43 x W. 27 x Th. 9.5 cm.
ii. Source(s) provenance Found near the modern town of Naxos, in the site of Mersinia according to SEG 58: 899 (= Bardani 2004-2009: 487 no.8) and Agios Artemios according to SEG 57: 760 (Lambrinoudakis 2006: 275-280), in the intersection of the roads that lead to Melanes and Tragaia (Potamia according to Lambrinoudakis 2006: 275).

According to SEG 57: 760, the stele was found in second use in a dump near Agios Georgios in Naxos in 1990. Lambrinoudakis attributes the provenance of the stele to Rheneia in light of the onomastics (foreigners). In the same dump another inscription (funerary stele; SEG 57: 761; SEG 58: 900) was found, which has been also attributed to Rheneia by Lambrinoudakis.

Note that Bardani calls the site Mersinia (probably a local toponym), whereas Lambrinoudakis calls it Agios Artemios.


iii. Members οἱ συνθιασῖται, hoi synthiasitai (SEG 58: 899)


iv. Status In light of the bilingual text, the members of the association might have been foreigners from the Levante. Lambrinoudakis (2006) argues that the name of Dioskourides, who along with the synthiasitai may have set up the funerary stele in commemoration of the deceased (name not preserved), is well attested in Hellenistic Delos among the Phoenician community.


i. Comments Lambrinoudakis (2006) thinks that the funerary stele was transported to Naxos from Rheneia (the island of Rheneia was the cemetery of Delos). He adduces the following in support of his argument:
1. the deceased is a foreigner, member of a thiasos.
2. in the early Hellenistic period a substantial number of foreigners is only attested in Delos and not in Naxos.
iii. Bibliography Bardani, V. (2004-2009), ‘Επιγραφές Νάξου ανέκδοτες’, Horos 17-21: 483-98.
Lambrinoudakis, V. (2006), 'Interrelations between the Aegean and the Levant during the late classical period: the case of two inscriptions from Naxos', in N. Stampolides (ed.), Γενέθλιον. Αναμνηστικός τόμος για την συμπλήρωση είκοσι χρόνων λειτουργίας του Μουσείου Κυκλαδικής Τέχνης. Athens: 275-80.
Röllig, W. (2006), 'Eine zweisprachlig phönizisch-griechisch Inschrift aus Delos',in N. Stampolides (ed.), Γενέθλιον. Αναμνηστικός τόμος για την συμπλήρωση είκοσι χρόνων λειτουργίας του Μουσείου Κυκλαδικής Τέχνης. Athens: 281-83.


i. Private association Possible
Note Due to the nature of the evidence (epitaph) it cannot be established with certainty whether the synthiasitai formed a durable private association, or whether they acted collectively on the occasion of the death of one of their compatriots/ members. In the Phoenician text they call themselves 'people QDMT'. Their name and collective effort (setting up of an epitaph) demonstrate their sense of common descent and identity.