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Last Updated on 03 Mar 2017

Author: Maria-Gabriella Parissaki

CAPInv. 530: he pro poleos speira


i. Geographical area Thrace
ii. Region Inland Thrace
iii. Site Augusta Traiana


i. Full name (original language) ἡ πρὸ πόλεως σπεῖρα (SEG 39: 649, l. 2)
ii. Full name (transliterated) he pro poleos speira


i. Date(s) s. ii - f. iii AD


ii. Name elements
Topographical:For the different meanings and uses of the term πρὸ πόλεως, pro poleos, see Robert 1983: 171-5. Here the term should be interpreted as denoting a location outside the city walls. Cf. inscription CAPInv. 92 from Thasos and CAPInv. 161 from Melos.
iii. Descriptive terms σπεῖρα, speira
Note speira: SEG 39: 649, l. 2


i. Source(s) SEG 39: 649 (s. ii-f. iii AD)
SEG 58: 679 (according to Sharankov) (s. ii-f. iii AD)
Note See also:
SEG 39: 649: Jaccottet II no. 49; GRA I 84; AGRW 61
SEG 58: 679: Jaccottet II no. 181; IG XIV 925; CIL XIV 4 (according to Velkov and Nikolov); AGRW 62

Online Resources SEG 39: 649 and AGRW ID 2569
AGRW ID 23295
i.a. Source type(s) Epigraphic source(s)
i.b. Document(s) typology & language/script SEG 39: 649: Dedication in Greek of an altar (βωμός, bomos, l. 4) by four μαγαρεῖς, magareis (l. 3), to the speira
SEG 58: 679: Catalogue of names in Greek
i.c. Physical format(s) SEG 39: 649: Square altar (0.90 X 0.45 X 0.45), molded on top and bottom
SEG 58: 679: Limestone stele, broken at its upper part
ii. Source(s) provenance SEG 39: 649: Found before 1989 (year of publication) at Stara Zagora, during construction work on road Dimitǎr ​​Asenov, no 13. Subsequently lost
SEG 58: 679: Found at Stara Zagora in 1979, reused at the stylobate of a building of the 4th-5th century AD


ii. References to buildings/objects The title μαγαρεύς, magareus, occurring in both SEG 39: 649 and SEG 58: 679, points to the existence of a μάγαρον, magaron.
Inscription SEG 39: 649 mentions the offer of a βωμός, bomos (= altar) to the speira.


iii. Members In SEG 39: 649 all four dedicants are mentioned as μαγαρεῖς, magareis.
In SEG 58: 679 the term μαγαρεύς, magareus, occurs for one person (l. 14: Ῥηγῖνος Σουδίου, Rheginos son of Soudios).
v. Other staff The abbreviation Β̣Α̣ occuring at the end of l. 15 has been interpreted as β̣΄ ἄ̣(ρχων), b΄ a(rchon), by the first editor; but the reading β̣α̣(κχιαστής), ba(kchiastes), has also been suggested by the editors of An.Ép.


ii. Realty The use of the term μαγαρεῖς, magareis, indicates that the association should have owned a μάγαρον, magaron, as indicated by the name of the σπεῖρα, speira, this μάγαρον, magaron should have been located just outside the city walls.


i. Number Four persons named in SEG 39: 649 and 16 in SEG 58: 679 (though originally more, since the upper part is missing).
ii. Gender Men
iv. Status Of the four persons mentioned in the first inscription, one is a gerousiastes (SEG 39: 649, l. 5); but two are of humbler social status as indicated by their professions: in SEG 39: 649, ll. 6-7 a κουκουλάρις, koukoularis (from cucullus = hood) and in SEG 39: 649, l. 11 a κανδιδάρις, kandidaris (baker of a particular kind of white bread).
An eastern origin is further suggested for the gerousiastes, on the evidence of his patronymic (Ναννᾶς, Karteris son of Nannas).

All persons named in the catalogue follow the Greek onomastic formula. Their names denote a mixed ethnic environment (25 personal names, of which 13 of Greek, 6 of Roman, 5 of Thracian origin, 1 person bearing the name Σαρμάθις, Sarmathis). In one case the profession is specified (SEG 58: 679, l. 8: ἰατρός, iatros).
v. Relations One possible case of father and son (l. 6: Μουκιανὸς Πανχᾶ, Moukianos son of Panchas (sic) and l. 13: Ἑρμογένης Μουκιανοῦ, Hermogenes son of Moukianos) and two cases of brothers (ll. 10-12 for Περγάμις, Pergamis, Βάλης, Bales and Πολέμις, Polemis sons of Ὀλυνπιοδώρου, Olympiodoros (sic) and ll. 15-16 for Ἀπλινάρις, Aplinaris (sic) and Δαιτειμούνης, Deiteimounes sons of Ἀπλιναρίου, Aplinarios).


i. Local interaction The presence of a gerousiastes among the four μαγαρεῖς, magareis of SEG 39: 639 shows a certain degree of interaction with local civic authorities.
ii. Interaction abroad For the possible presence of this σπεῖρα, speira in the western part of the Roman empire, see XII.i.


i. Comments Shopova 1999 considers that there were two σπεῖραι, speirai at Augusta Traiana, one at the city's vicinity (πρὸ πόλεως, pro poleos) and one at Cillae (see CAPInv. 650). Based on the evidence of personal names in SEG 39: 649 (presence of Ναννᾶς and absence of distinct names of Thracian origin), she further suggests that the first gathered foreign settlers, while the second native inhabitants, this reflecting (Shopova 1999: 319) 'specific differences in the organisation of the cult association and in the ritual practice'. But the evidence for suggesting this differentiation is insufficient; both set of inscriptions present the same mixed onomastic environment, common for the interior of Thrace; cf. also SEG 39: 64: 'onomastic grounds do not suffice'. Moreover, Cillae may not have belonged to the territory of Augusta Traiana at all, see there for relevant discussion.

That the two inscriptions SEG 39: 649 and SEG 58: 679 should refer to the same association has been suggested by Sharankov on the evidence of their general provenance and the presence of the name Καρτέρις, Karteris, on both texts, in one case as a personal name (SEG 39: 649, l. 4) and in the other probably as a papponymic (SEG 58: 679, l. 15). This second inscription is actually a partially preserved catalogue of names, where one person is further defined as a ἰατρός, iatros (l. 8), one as a μαγαρεύς, magareus (l. 14), while the name of Ἀπλινάρις Ἀπλιναρίου Καρτερίου Aplinaris Aplinariou Karteriou, Aplinaris son of Aplinarios and grandson of Karteris (the possible grandson of the Καρτέρις, Karteris, mentioned in SEG 39: 649) is followed by the letters ḄẠ: β̣' (=δεύτερος, deuteros) ἄ̣(ρχων), a(rchon), according to the first editor, β̣α̣(κχιαστής), ba(kchiastes), according to An.Ép.

A σπεῖρα Τραϊανησίων, speira Traianesion, mentioned in a bilingual inscription from Portus Traiani near Rome (IG XIV 925: ἁγνῆς εὐσέμνοιο σπείρης Τραϊανησίων, hagnes eusemnoio speires Traianesion) has been interpreted either as referring to a σπεῖρα, speira, of immigrants from the eastern part of the Roman empire (Asia Minor for Bruhl and Jaccottet II, or Augusta Traiana for Dessau, Velkov and Nikolov) or to the inhabitants of a vicus of Portus (Sacco). The use of the Greek language points to the first direction. The term Traianenses also occurs in a latin dedication to Artemis from Ostia (CIL XIV 4, cf. Velkov and Nikolov 1989: 17 and n. 23 and Jaccottet 2003: 294). If indeed referring to the same association (as accepted by Dessau, Velkov and Nikolov), then these inscriptions would offer the additional information that the σπεῖρα, speira, honoured not only Dionysos but also Artemis, having at its head priests and priestesses.
iii. Bibliography Jaccottet, A.-Fr. (2003): Choisir Dionysos: Les associations dionysiaques ou la face cachée du dionysisme. 2 vols. Zürich: 101-2, no. 49 and 293-4, no. 181.
Kloppenborg J.S., and Ascough, R.S. (2011): Greco-Roman Associations: Texts, Translations and Commentary, I: Attica, Central Greece, Macedonia, Thrace. Berlin, New York: 383-6, no. 84.
Robert, J., and Robert, L. (1983), Fouilles d’Amyzon en Carie. Tome I: Exploration, Histoire, Monnaies et Inscriptions. Paris.
Sacco, G. (1984), Iscrizioni greche d’Italia: Porto. Rome.
Sharankov, N. (2007): in Ancient Civilisations and the Sea: International Conference in Honour of Prof. Michail Lazarov: Varna 13th-15th October 2004. Varna: 427-29, no 4 (SEG 58: 679, An.Ép 2008, 1216). !editor: cannot find which part of this publication Sharankov has contributed with!
Shopova, I. (1988), ‘To the problem concerning the Dionysiac cult associations in Thracia’, Thracia 12: 210.
Shopova, I. (1999), ‘Greek Inscription of a σπείρη from Thracia’, XIth International Congress of Greek and Latin Epigraphy, Rome 18-24 September 1997. 2 vols. Rome: 315-21.
Velkov, V., and Nikolov, D. (1989), ‘Kultovo sdrouženie (σπείρη) v Avgusta Trajana’ [=‘Association cultuelle (σπείρη) à Augusta Trajana (Thrace)’], Arheologija 31/1: 16-20 (SEG 39: 649 and An.Ép 1991: no. 1399).


i. Private association Certain
Note The terminology and character of the group point to a private association.