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Last Updated on 01 Mar 2017

Author: Paschalis Paschidis

CAPInv. 43: hoi Mousaistai


i. Geographical area Macedonia
ii. Region Pieria
iii. Site Dion


i. Full name (original language) οἱ Μουσαϊσταί (SEG 49: 697, l. 3)
ii. Full name (transliterated) hoi Mousaistai


i. Date(s) 179 - 168 BC


ii. Name elements
Theophoric:hoi Mousaistai
iii. Descriptive terms σύνοδος, synodos
Note synodos: SEG 49: 697, l. 5
Given that the generosity of the king is directed to the synodos in the sole source for the association, the term most probably refers to the association as a whole, not merely to one of of its meetings.


i. Source(s) SEG 49: 697 (179-198 BC)
Online Resources SEG 49: 697 and AGRW# 24423
i.a. Source type(s) Epigraphic source(s)
i.b. Document(s) typology & language/script Statue base in Greek.
i.c. Physical format(s) Base, re-cut as a Doric capital, and then used as building material.
ii. Source(s) provenance The monument was found during excavations of a third-century AD house near the south gate of Dion, not far from the presumed site of the sanctuary of the Muses (Pandermalis 2001: 415-6; Tsochos 2012: 29).


iii. Worship The only source for the association is a dedication of a honorific statue (presumably of king Perseus) to the Muses and Dionysos.
Deities worshipped Dionysos and the Muses
iv. Honours/Other activities See above, under X.iii: Worship.


i. Local interaction King Perseus was the benefactor of the association, although the exact nature of his benefaction is not alluded to.
ii. Interaction abroad It has been suggested (Hatzopoulos in BE 2001: no. 273) that the Mousaistai may be connected with the local Pierian branch of the Isthmian koinon of the Dionysiac artists (cf. IG VII 2486: [Τὸ κοινὸν τῶν περὶ τὸν Διόνυσον τεχνιτῶ]ν τῶν εἰς Ἰσθ[μὸν καὶ Νεμέαν καὶ] Πιερίαν συντελούν[των], [To koinon ton peri ton Dionyson technito]n ton eis Isth[mon kai Nemean kai] Pierian synteloun[ton], CAPInv. 990). This would explain the high status of the association, attracting royal benefactions.


i. Comments Even if the suggested connection between the Mousaistai and the Isthmian koinon of the Dionysiac artists (see above, under XI.ii: Interaction abroad) is not accepted, it is fairly certain that this association was involved in the celebration of the Pierian Muses and thus probably in the great official Macedonian festival of the Muses and Zeus Olympios at Dion, which featured, among other things, scenic games (Mari 1998 and Mari 2002: 51-60).
iii. Bibliography Mari, M. (1998), ‘Le Olimpie macedoni di Dion tra Archelao e l’età romana’, RFIC 126: 137-69.
Mari, M. (2002), Al di là dell’Olimpo. Macedoni e grandi santuari della Grecia dall’età arcaica al primo ellenismo. Athens.
Pandermalis, D. (2001), ‘Δίον 1999. Μουσαϊσταί – Βασιλεύς Δημήτριος’, Αρχαιολογικό Έργο στη Μακεδονία και στη Θράκη 13: 415-33.
Pingiatoglou, S. (2010), ‘Cults of Female Deities at Dion’, Kernos 23: 179-92, esp. 180-1.
Tsochos, C. (2012), Die Religion in der römischen Provinz Makedonien. Stuttgart: 29.


i. Private association Probable
Note The name of the association seems to suggest a private association; its possible connection with the official festival of the Muses and its certain connection with the Macedonian court, however, dictate caution.