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Last Updated on 28 Feb 2017

Author: Sophia Zoumbaki

CAPInv. 430: to koinon tan hiereian tas Damatros (l. to koinon ton hiereion tes Demetros)


i. Geographical area Peloponnese with Adjacent Islands
ii. Region Arcadia
iii. Site Mantinea


i. Full name (original language) τὸ κοινὸν τᾶν ἱερειᾶν τᾶς Δάματρος (l. τὸ κοινόν τῶν ἱερειῶν τῆς Δήμητρος, IG V.2 266, ll. 37-38)
ii. Full name (transliterated) to koinon tan hiereian tas Damatros (l. to koinon ton hiereion tes Demetros)


i. Date(s) 43 / 42 BC


i. Name in other forms αἱ ἱέρειαι τᾶς Δάματρος (hai hiereiai tas Damatros, l. tes Demetros, l. 4)
αἱ ἱέρειαι (hai hiereiai, ll. 9, 10, 12, 16, 18, 23, 28, 34),
ἁ σύνοδος τᾶν ἱερειᾶν (ha synodos tan hiereian, l. he synodos ton hiereion, l. 26),
τὸ κοινὸν τᾶν ἱερειᾶν (to koinon tan hiereian, l. 32)
ii. Name elements
iii. Descriptive terms σύνοδος, synodos
κοινόν, koinon
Note synodos: IG V.2 266, ll. 26, 29
koinon: IG V.2 266, ll. 32, 37


i. Source(s) IG V.2 266 (43/2 BC)
Online Resources IG V.2 266
i.a. Source type(s) Epigraphic source(s)
i.b. Document(s) typology & language/script Greek honorary decree of the association of the priestesses of Demeter for Phaena, daughter of Demetrios, for her numerous benefactions towards the synodos.
i.c. Physical format(s) A stele with "dens" (as in the description of IG V.2 266) at the bottom, probably for its embedding at the point of its erection.
ii. Source(s) provenance The stele was found in the ancient town of Mantinea rebuilt into a wall. It was kept for some time at Tsipiana (Nestani). The content of the text testifies in any case the origin of the stone from Mantinea.


ii. References to buildings/objects In the decree of the association of the priestesses of Demeter it is mentioned that Phaena, among other benefactions, donated to the association 120 drachmas for the repair of the μέγαρον, megaron (l. 27). In ll. 40-42 it is stated however that the decree was to be set up in the koragion. The identification and location of these monuments has caused a lengthy debate, as also Pausanias's references make things more complicated. Pausanias (8.9.2) records the sanctuary of Demeter and Kore under the sanctuaries of Mantinea, where "they keep a fire, taking anxious care not to let it go out", and a further sanctuary of Demeter in Nestane (8.8.1), which he calls ἱερὸν ἅγιον, hieron hagion. According to Stiglitz (1967: 75), this definition indicates the antiquity of both the cult and the sanctuary of Nestane, and explains why Pausanias records just one sanctuary devoted to both Demeter and Kore in Mantinea; it is interpreted as a reflection of the situation of Pausanias’s age, when the cult of Demeter was already added to that of Kore in her urban sanctuary. Stiglitz takes for granted that the megaron whose repair Phaena supported financially, is to be placed in the sanctuary of Nestane and is to be identified with the ἱερὸν ἅγιον (hieron hagion) of Demeter.
Jost (1985: 127) discerns the megaron from the koragion: she identifies the megaron with the sanctuary mentioned by Pausanias (8.9.2), where she places the mysteries recorded in IG V.2 265. She further identifies the temple mentioned in IG V.2 265 with the koragion and wonders, whether it could also be a hall for the meetings of the association of Koragoi.
Jost (2003: 148) suggests more clearly that the term megaron was used for both mysteries of Demeter and Kore (IG V.2 266) and of Kore alone (IG V.2 265). Further she offers (pp. 144-51) a discussion of further megara attested in Arcadia. Genarally on the definition of megaron, see Volanaki-Kontoleontos 1992-1998: 473-90.


iii. Members ἱέρειαι, hiereiai: ll. 12, 16, 18, 23
See also XII.i: Comments, below
iv. Officials ἱέρειαι, hiereiai. Priestess(es) of Demeter.

σιταρχοί, sitarchoi:
For the term see Jost 1985: 346. A sitarchos is further mentioned by Harmodios from Lepreon in the context of the cults of Phigaleia (FrGrH 319), whose obligations are explicitly decribed, see CAPInv. 1475. As in Phigaleia, the sitarcho in Mantinea seems to be responsible for the supplies of a ritual banquet of the association.
vii. Judicial system In ll. 43-45 of the decree in honour of Phaena it is mentioned that in case of failure of awarding her the voted honours (ll. 34-40), the culprit is indictee, liable to prosecution and has to pay 100 drachmas to Phaena or her offsprings. The impression is given that the trial would be conducted by the judicial authorities of the town. Harter-Uibopuu (2013: 250), who studies the judicial details of the whole procedure, stresses that the fine is much larger than the value of her share in common meals and sacrifices, but intends to reward her for a possible insult; the priest/priestess who does not invite the honoured individuals, is to be regarded as the defendant, whilst the whole community seems to be regarded as a plaintiff, since a popular indictment (ἔνδειξις, endeixis) is apparently to be understood in the term ἐνδεικτός (endeiktos, l. 44).


i. Treasury/Funds The synodos had some sort of treasury, accepted funds (120 drachmai from Phaena) and covered the costs of building repairs (of the megaron) and other unspecified needs.
iv. Endowments Zibarth (1896: 160) defines Phaena's donation as "die Krone aller Stiftungen". She offered 120 drachmas for the repair of the megaron and for further needs at the discretions of the priestesses.


ii. Gender Women
Note The association's definition as "the priestesses of Demeter" and the references of IG V.2 266 to only female members may imply that it was an exclusively women-club.
iii. Age Adults
Note The members of the association of the priestesses of Demeter were obviously adults.
iv. Status Judging by Phaena's financial standing and by the fact that generally priestly offices were accessible by individuals of a financial standard, the status of the association's members should have been relatively high.


ii. Meetings and events From ll. 35-36 (ἐν ταῖς γινομέναις ἀντ’ ἐ̣|νιαυτοῦ θυσίαις τε καὶ σιταρχίαις, en tais ginomenais ant' eniautou thysiais te kai sitarchiais) it is evident that sacrifices and sitarchiai took place. In particular, ἀντ’ ἐ̣νιαυτοῦ, ant' eniautou, is to be understood either as annual or as taking place throughout the year, as Hesychios mentions (s.v. ἀνθ' ἡμέρας· δι' ὅλης τῆς ἡμέρας, anth' hemeras: di' holes tes hemeras). Sitarchai are common banquets. Responsible for banquets is sitarchoi (σιταρχοί), for the term, see Jost 1985: 346 and VII.iv: Officials, above.
iii. Worship The activities by the koinon referred to in the source point to worship by the group. The association is devoted to the cult of Demeter, as its name implies, but the cult of Kore should have been also connected with it, as l. 4 shows.
Deities worshipped Demeter, Kore
iv. Honours/Other activities The association issues an honourary decree for Phaena as a return for her benefactions towards the synodos. Phaena is to be invited ἐπὶ τὰ γέρα (epi ta gera, “to receive her perquisite”) in the sacrifices and sitarchiai (banquets) that took place during the year and this was a lifelong privilege (l. 39). As Harter-Uibopuu (2013: 249-50) notes, it is possible that the invitation was announced aloud and before the public, which proclaims the honour to the whole community. This view is further supported by the formulation of the text of the decree, which implies that the invitation was public: ll. 36-39: ἀνακαλούσας τᾶς ἀεὶ | ἀντιτυγχανούσας ἱερείας τε καὶ σιταρχοῦς· "τὸ κοινὸν τᾶν | ἱερειᾶν τᾶς Δάματρος ἐπὶ τὰ γέρα καλεῖ Φαηνὰν Δαματρί|ου τὰν αὐτᾶν εὐεργέτιν" (anaklousas tas aei antitynchanousas hiereias te kai sitarchous: "to koinon tan hiereian tas Damatros epi ta gera kalei Phaenan Damatriou tan autan euergetin"). Honouring benefactors in this way was apparently a common practice of the association, as they should receive γέρα τὰ εἰθισμένα (gera ta eithismena, ll. 39-40).


i. Local interaction The field of the association's activity was the sphere of a public cult and a public sanctuary. The honourand, Phaena, daughter of Pasias from Antigonea (i.e. Mantinea), seems to have been a prominent member of the local society. Besides, civic judicial authorities seem to have the competence to conduct trials in case of internal problems of the association, as e.g. in case of failure of awarding voted honours (see VII.iv: Judicial system). Moreover, civic officers, the archontes and the synedroi of the 103rd year (counting from 146 BC), decide for setting up the decree of the association in the Koragion. The place where the decree was to be in display shows a relation between two different groups of Mantinea, the Koragoi (CAPInv. 428) and the Priestesses of Demeter.


i. Comments Ziebarth (1896: 178) believed that the priestesses of Demeter and other groups of priest in Mantinea (see CAPInv. 432 and CAPInv. 433) were not free religious associations, but collegia of civic priests, organized in the form of associations, and that although they were independent, they enjoyed the protection of the state. Poland (1909: 40-1) regarded them as close collegia of priests and priestesses who joined such collegia after completion of their terms. According to Poland we are dealing with associations of former priests and this was a common practice in Mantinea. This view seems to be accepted by Thür and Taeuber (1994: 119 n. 1). This interpretation is doubted by Steinmüller (2008: 33, 36) who regards Phaena as an actual priestess and interprets the phrase "μετὰ τὸ ἱεριτεῦσαι" (meta to hierateusai) as "beyond her function as a priestess".
From the honorific decree of the priestesses of Demeter we learn that Phaena had already assumed priesthood of the goddess and during her term she fulfilled in the most generous way her duties related both to the cult and to the priestesses of Demeter, as she spent profusely for any need of the cult or the priestesses. It seems therefore that the koinon of the priestesses is something different from the position occupied by Phaena, who is the actual priestess. "Mετὰ τὸ ἱεριτεῦσαι" (meta to hieriteusai), namely after her term as a priestess, Phaena continued to hold splendid banquets and spend profusely on behalf of the cult of Demeter and the synodos. Contra Steinmüller's interpretation, it seems unlikely that Phaena was the current priestess given the perfect forms ἱερίτευχε (hiriteuche, l. 6, cf. Schwyzer 1937: 41) and διαλέλοιπε (dialeloipe, l. 14) as well as her advanced age, since she had a daughter and a granddaughter, to whom she confided the execution of her benefactions towards the synodos in case of her death. It thus seems possible that after her priesthood she joined the association of the priestesses of Demeter, which collaborated closely with her already during her term as a priestess.
ii. Poland concordance Poland B 25
iii. Bibliography Bölte, F. (1930), ‘Mantinea’, RE XIV.2: 1290-1344.
Harter-Uibopuu, K. (2013), ‘Auf dass Ehren ewig währen – Epigraphische Zeugnisse zum Schutz von Auszeichnungen’, in: R. Breitwieser, M. Frass, and G. Nightingale (eds.) Calamus. Festschrift für Herbert Graßl zum 65. Geburtstag. Wiesbaden: 245-61.
Jost, M. (1985), Sanctuaires et cultes d'Arcadie. Paris.
Jost, M. (1996), ‘Évergétisme et tradition religieuse à Mantinée au Ier siècle avant J.-C.’ in: A. Chastagnol, S. Demougin, and C. Lepeley (eds.), Splendidissima civitas. Etudes d'histoire romaine en hommage à François Jacques, Paris: 193-200.
Jost, M. (2003) ‘Mystery cults in Arcadia’, in: M. Cosmopoulos (ed.), Greek mysteries. The archaeology and ritual of ancient Greek secret cults, London, New York: 143-68.
Steinmüller, M. (2008), Gleichheit, Freiheit, Geschwisterlichkeit. Möglichkeiten geschlechtlicher Egalität in antiken Vereinen und frühchristlichen Gemeinden. Dissertation, Universität Wien.
Stiglitz, R. (1967), Die grossen Göttinen Arkadiens. Der Kultname ΜΕΓΑΛΑΙ ΘΕΑΙ und seine Grundlagen. Wien.
Schwyzer, E. (1937), ‘Zwei Perfektformen aus Arkadien’, Zeitschrift für vergleichende Sprachforschung 64: 41.
Thür, G. and Taeuber, H. (1994), Prozessrechtliche Inschriften der griechischen Poleis: Arkadien. Wien.
Volanaki-Kontoleontos, E. (1992-1998), ‘Μεγάρου ἐπίσκεψις Ι’, Horos 10-12: 473-90.
Weddle, P. (2010), Touching the Gods: physical interaction with cult statues in the Roman world. Dissertation, Durham University.
Ziebarth, E. (1896), Das griechische Vereinswesen. Leipzig.


i. Private association Certain
Note The priestesses of Demeter define themselves as a synodos and koinon and they issue decrees, they have an internal organization, a regular activity and certain regulations. They seem to be a private association, the activities of which fall within the domain of a public cult and this is the reason why they apparently interacted with civic authorities (see XI.i: Local interaction).