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Last Updated on 28 Feb 2017

Author: Sophia Zoumbaki

CAPInv. 519: stratoleastai


i. Geographical area Peloponnese with Adjacent Islands
ii. Region Argolis
iii. Site Argos


i. Full name (original language) στρατοληασταί (IG IV 581, l. 1)
ii. Full name (transliterated) stratoleastai


i. Date(s) i BC / i AD


ii. Name elements
Personal:Stratoleastai: The name apparently derives from the personal name Stratoleos.


i. Source(s) IG IV 581 (l. i BC - e. i AD)
SEG 53: 293 (l. i BC - e. i AD)
Note See also: AD 60 B1, 259, AE 2003: 1629; Oikonomou-Laniado 2003: 68-9; CIG 1134
Online Resources IG IV 581 and AGRW ID 2510
i.a. Source type(s) Epigraphic source(s)
i.b. Document(s) typology & language/script IG IV 581: An honorary Greek inscription on a monument erected by the Stratoleastai in honour of M. Antonius Aristokrates, son of Anaxio. It is noteworthy that the honourand is designated as κτίστης, ktistes and ἥρως, heros. The latter apparently indicates that we are dealing with a posthumous honour. For ktistes, see VII.i: Founders, below.
SEG 53: 293: An honorary Greek inscription on a monument which was erected by the gymnasiarch M. Antonius Faustus in honour of Aristokrates -probably M. Antonius Aristokrates- for the Stratoleastai.
i.c. Physical format(s) IG IV 581: The physical format of the stone is unknown, as the monument is lost. Based on the layout and similar inscriptions from Argos, Millis and S. Balzat (2013) assume that it was a rectangular stone statue base.
SEG 53: 293: A rectangular statue base of gray marble.
ii. Source(s) provenance IG IV 581: Fourmont saw the stone "in domo Iosephi" in Argos.
SEG 53:293: Found in the excavations of the Archaeological Service (1992) in a private field. The stone was reused in the stylobate of an Early Christian building, maybe a cubiculum.


i. Founder(s) The fact that M. Antonius Aristokrates is honoured as κτίστης, ktistes in the text no. 1, could be regarded either as a reference to his role in the construction of a building or to his benefactions towards the town, but also as an indication that he was the founder of the association in question, as M. Fraenkel suggested in his comments to IG IV 581.


iv. Honours/Other activities M. Antonius Aristokrates is honoured by the stratoleastai either merely as benefactor of the association or even as its founder. SEG 53: 293 could be regarded as an honorary inscription for Aristokrates, which celebrated his role as a founder or one of the founders and benefactors of the association. The text IG IV 581 could perhaps be regarded as a posthumous honour of its founder and benefactor.


i. Local interaction The fact that M. Antonius Aristokrates was an important personality who played a role beyond his hometown (see Millis and Balzat 2013: 651-72 for his further attestations in Athens, Corinth, Dyme and in Plutarch's works, (Vit.Ant. 69.1), whilst he is identified as the author of an epigram Ant.Palat. 9.102), shows that the association was connected with the upper social group. Furthermore, the fact that the gymnasiarch honours M. Antonius Aristokrates for the stratoleastai, perhaps reveals the close links of this as well as of further Argive associations with the life of the gymnasium. For more comments on this connections see Millis and Balzat 2013: 651-72.


i. Comments In the majuscule text of IG IV 581 the name of the group is given as ΣΤΙΛΤΟΛΗΑΣΤΑΙ, STILTOLEASTAI. This was apparently the word, as it appears in Fourmont's copy, but it was emended by A. Boeckh, CIG 1134 to Σ(πα)τοληασταί, S(pa)toleastai. In the minuscule the word appears therefore as Σ(πα)τοληασταί, S(pa)toleastai. Σπάτος, spatos is a Boeotian word for "leather". The verb λειαίνω or λειόω (leiaino, leioo) means "to make something smooth". The spatoleastai were thus interpreted as "leather-dressers". Libernam (1890: 185 n. 1) suggests to interpret them as "feasters", but this was rejected by the editor of IG IV, M. Fraenkel, and by the subsequent scholars. The correction of the reading of SEG 53: 293 in AD 60 B1, 259 shows that the group was called Stratoleastai. The first editor of SEG 53: 293, A. Oikonomou-Laniado, obviously influenced by the emendation of Fourmont's reading, reads the word as Σπατολεασταῖς, Spatoleastais. However, a note in AD 60 B1, 259 and the photo (fig. 7) of the inscription leave no doubt, that the word is to be read as Στρατολεασταῖς, Stratoleastais.
Since the name of the association is to be read as Stratoleastai, we can perhaps assume that it was derived from a personal name, Stratoleos/Stratolaos. Stratoleos could be the founder of the association or the individual, in whose honour the association was founded.
It is noteworthy that the name of M. Antonius Aristokrates in IG IV 581 is a correct Greek rendering of the Latin onomastic formula (praenomen-gentilicium-affiliation-cognomen), something rather rare during this period. Moreover, the dative case for the honourand's name is according to the Latin standards instead of the Greek use of accusative for such cases.
The common Roman gentilicium, Antonius, borne by both Aristokrates and Faustus indicates some connection between them. Millis and Balzat (2013) assume that Faustus could be regarded as a freedman of Aristokrates. Further, they do not exclude a connection with the Roman diaspora.
For a detailed analysis of M. Antonius Aristokrates's social background and connections as well as for a presentation of all sources where he is attested, see Millis and Balzat 2013.
It is possible that the gymnasiarch M. Antonius Faustus, who erected a monument in honour of M. Antonius Aristokrates for the stratoleastai, was a member or an official of the association.
ii. Poland concordance Poland Z 4
iii. Bibliography Liebenam, W. (1890), Zur Geschichte und Organisation des römischen Vereinswesens. Leipzig: 185 n. 1.
Millis, B. and Balzat, S. (2013), ‘M. Antonius Aristocrates: Provincial involvement with Roman power in the Late 1st c. BC’, Hesperia 82.4: 651-72.
Oikonomou-Laniado, A. (2013), Argos Paléochrétienne: Contribution à l' étude du Péloponnèse Byzantin. Oxford.
Waltzing, J.P. (1899), Etude historique sur les corporations professionelles chez les Romains depuis les origines jusqu' à la chute de l' Empire d' Occident. vol. 3. Louvain: 185.
Zimmermann, C. (2002), Handwerkervereine im griechischen Osten des Imperium Romanum. Mainz: 210.


i. Private association Certain
Note The association's name and activities point to a private association.