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Last Updated on 01 Mar 2017

Author: Paschalis Paschidis

CAPInv. 486: hoi mystai


i. Geographical area Macedonia
ii. Region Bottia
iii. Site Beroia


i. Full name (original language) οἱ μύσται (Ι.Beroia 122, l. 5)
ii. Full name (transliterated) hoi mystai


i. Date(s) e. iii AD


ii. Name elements
Cultic:mystai: The dedicants refer to themselves only as initiates.


i. Source(s) Ι.Beroia 122 (e. iii AD)
Ι.Beroia 127 (e. iii AD) (?)
Note Ι. Beroia 127 does not necessarily refer to the same priestess. Nevertheless, the fact that its dedicant, the priest Terpnos, son of Alkestis in Ι.Beroia 122, carries the same name as the father of Klaudia Alkestis the priestess in Ι. Beroia 127, makes the identification very likely.
Online Resources Ι.Beroia 122
Ι.Beroia 127
i.a. Source type(s) Epigraphic source(s)
i.b. Document(s) typology & language/script Both Greek inscriptions are dedicatory.
i.c. Physical format(s) Ι.Beroia 122 is a statuette base; Ι.Beroia 127 was inscribed on an undefined monument reused as a capital.
ii. Source(s) provenance The provenance of Ι.Beroia 122 is unknown. Ι.Beroia 127 was found at the western part of ancient Beroia.


ii. Leadership If this is indeed a private association, the priestess (ἱέρεια, hiereia, Ι.Beroia 122, l. 3) honoured was certainly its leader.


iv. Status The ancestry of the priestess Klaudia Alkestis is referred to in some detail (Ι.Beroia 122): not only are the full names of her parents recorded but also the fact that she is a descendant of Iouliane Nikolaïs and Plotiane Alkestis. This detailed record is undoubtedly due to the fact that the priestess is termed ἱέρεια ἐκ προγόνων, hiereia ek progonon , 'priestess by ancestry'; her office was therefore hereditary and restricted to her family, undoubtedly a prominent one in Roman Beroia.
v. Relations See IX.iv, above. If Ι.Beroia 127 refers to the same priestess, then her son and dedicant of Ι.Beroia 127 carries his grandfather's name.


iv. Honours/Other activities The initiates (Ι.Beroia 122) and her son (Ι.Beroia 127) honour their priestess in the only available sources.


i. Comments For lifelong or hereditary priesthoods in Hellenistic and Roman Macedonia, see Hatzopoulos 1996: I 154, no. 2, I.Beroia 115-117, 121, 123, SEG 49: 817 and Nigdelis 1995: 181-2 (emperor cult in the koinon of the Macedonians), I.Beroia 20 and 36 (same priest for life for Aphrodite Euschemon and Isis Lochia in second-century AD Beroia).
iii. Bibliography Hatzopoulos, M.B. (1996), Macedonian Institutions Under the Kings. Athens.
Nigdelis, P.M. (1995), ‘Μακεδονικὰ σύμμεικτα’, Tekmeria 1: 173-90.


i. Private association Possible
Note Under normal circumstances, there would be no reason to assume that we are dealing with a private association here; the collective identity of the initiates (of Dionysos?) is not, by itself, a sufficient indication for such an interpretation. Nevertheless, the fact that this priesthood clearly remained in the hands of one particular family for generations allows us to suppose -very tentatively- that this may have been a privately founded associative cult.