Stable URL: as PDF
Last Updated on 08 Jul 2019

Author: Maria Paz de Hoz

CAPInv. 411: [oikodomoi kai technitai]


i. Geographical area Western Asia Minor
ii. Region Lydia
iii. Site Sardeis


i. Full name (original language) [οἰκοδόμοι καὶ τεχνίται] (Sardis VII 1. 18 1)
ii. Full name (transliterated) [oikodomoi kai technitai]


i. Date(s) 459 AD


i. Name in other forms ἡ ἡμετέρα τέχνη, he hemetera techne (Sardis VII 1. 18, l. 11). This expression could mean "our association" i.e. "the craftsmen association" (cf. van Nijf 1997: 180, contra Dittmann-Schone 2010: 206). The interpretation
of van Nijf is possible, cf. the καμ(άρα) ὑπηρεσίας εἱματιοπωλῶν, camara hyperesias eimatiopolon, as in Sardeis, for a possible similar meaning of hyperesia (Sardis VII 1. 168).
ii. Name elements
Professional:Builders and craftsmen
iii. Descriptive terms τέχνη?, techne?
Note techne?: Sardis VII 1. 18, l. 1

cf. supra (name in other form)


i. Source(s) Sardis VII 1. 18 (459 AD)
Note See also:
Dittmann-Schöne III.4.3
Online Resources Sardis VII 1. 18
i.a. Source type(s) Epigraphic source(s)
i.b. Document(s) typology & language/script Statement and oath of professional regulations for the builders and craftsmen that are relevant to the relationship between employer and worker. Greek.
i.c. Physical format(s) Marble block (probably basement of the statue of Septimius Severus) with the inscription in the left side. On the front side there are two latin inscriptions: a dedication to Septimius Severus and the inicial part of a governor's document dated in the 6th c.AD.
ii. Source(s) provenance The block was found in a field belonging to Sardeis in Roman and Byzantine times.


vi. Laws and rules The association writes a set of rules and swears to accomplish them:
(1) the workers have to finish the work commissioned by the employer provided that this one intends to pay for it.
(2) If for any personal or official reason the worker is not able to finish the work and, being "one of us" (a member of the association), presents an excuse, he will be substituted by another worker of the association.
(3) If the worker that has started a work, or his substitute, does any harm to the employer, the association will compensate the employer in relation to the loan he and the worker had accorded.
(4) If the employer is getting impatient because the work has been interrupted seven days, the same worker shall nevertheless continue the work.
(5) If the worker gets ill, the employer shall wait up to 20 days. After that period, if the technites gets well but neglects his work, he will be substituted by another one, in the way the associations has accorded with him when he presented the excuse.
(6) If the one who accepts the work presents an excuse, but one of the association's members sees him not acting in accordance with the rules, the association will pay a fine for works in the city, and the worker himself must pay 8 gold pieces (nomismata, l. 47) and will be accused because of legal failure in accordance to the divine dispositions; and not less after having the previous fine been required.
(7) The association commits itself, with its common and its private word, to pay the required fine with its present and future possessions of any kind.
vii. Judicial system The professional activity of the association is controlled by the judicial system of the city. The magistrianos (l. 8) and lawyer (ekdikos, l. 8) of the metropolis of Sardeis, Aurelianos, has required from the association a statement and an oath of accomplishment of the professional rules. The requirement is made as result of a charge brought to him by private employers relating failure to comply with their work by some of the association's workers.
viii. Obligations The obligations are stated in the regulations of the association (cf. supra "norms and rules").


i. Treasury/Funds The association must have funds in order to pay possible fines and compensations resulted from the wrongdoing of its workers (ll. 43-46).
It swears to pay for the established fine with all its present and future assets of any kind (ll. 53-56).


iii. Worship The association is christian and swears by the sacred and lifebearing Trinity.
Deities worshipped God


i. Local interaction The association is required by an official magistrate of the city to establish professional rules that regulate the relationship between the association's workers (ἐργολαβήσας, ergolabesas, ll, 24, 31, etc.) and any employer (ἐργοδότης, ergodotes, ll. 13, 14, 22, 31 etc.) of the city who hires any member of the association to do a work.


i. Comments The association is private like all other craftmanship associations, but the fact that its members work for private and official persons of the community, and that they have to work following the legal impositions of the city, makes interaction with the public sphere very strong.
iii. Bibliography Buckler, W.H. (1923 ), ‘Labour disputes in the province of Asia’, in W.H. Buckler and W.M. Calder (eds.), Anatolian Studies presented to Sir W.M. Ramsay, Manchester: 36-44.
Bucker, W.H. (1953), ‘A trade union pact of the 5th century’, in G.E. Mylonas and D. Raymond (eds.), Studies presented to D.M. Robinson 2. Saint Louis (Missouri), Washington: 980-4.
Chastagnol, A. (1976), La fin du monde antique. Paris: 331-2.
van Minnen, P. (1987), ‘Urban craftsmen in Roman Egypt’, MBAH 6.1: 31-88, esp. 62, no. 108.
Dittmann-Schöne, I. (2010), Die Berufsvereine in den Städten des kaiserzeitlichen Kleinasiens. 2nd. ed. Regensburg: 206-9.
Garnsey, P. (1985), ‘Les travailleurs du bâtiment de Sardes et l'économie urbaine du Bas-Empire’, in Ph. Leveau (ed.), L' origine des richesses dépensées dans la ville antique. Actes du colloque d'Aix-en-Provence (mai 1984), Aix-en-Provence: 147-60.
van Nijf, O. (1997), The Civic World of Professional Associations in the Roman East. Amsterdam: 180.


i. Private association Certain
Note It is a craftmanship association.