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Last Updated on 28 Feb 2017

Author: Sophia Zoumbaki

CAPInv. 548: U-PEL-002


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


i. Association with unknown name U-PEL-002


i. Date(s) iii - iv AD


i. Source(s) IG IV 666 (III-IV AD)
Online Resources IG IV 666
i.a. Source type(s) Epigraphic source(s)
i.b. Document(s) typology & language/script A metrical inscription in Greek commemorating the dedication of a statue of Archelaos, son of Archelaos, to Dionysos (called also Bacchos and Lyaios) and Demeter as well as to Apollo and to the "torch-bearer (pyrphoroi) goddesses" in the temple of Demeter (Deo) at Lerna. As dedicants of the monument appear Archelaos's wife, the people of Prosymna and the torch-bearers of Apollo.
i.c. Physical format(s) A bathron crowned with a cymation; at the top of its sides there are holes.
ii. Source(s) provenance Found in the modern village Myloi, at the place of the ancient Lerna. The editor of IG IV M. Fraenkel could not relocate the stone.


ii. References to buildings/objects Δηοῦς ἐν κατηρεφε̣[ῖ] δόμω[ι] (Deous en katerephe[i] domoi, ll. 3-4): A temple of Demeter. It must be placed in the plane-trees grove mentioned by Pausanias (2.37.1), where he saw statues of Demeter and Dionysos and where the initiation into their mysteries took place.


i. Comments The inscription shows that there was a combination of mystery cults of Dionysos and Demeter at Lerna, in accordance with Pausanias's description (2.36.7, 2.37.1) of their common sanctuary and mentions of the related mystic rituals; in the inscription Apollo is also mentioned. Archelaos, son of Archelaos, whose statue was dedicated in the temple of Demeter (Deo), was apparently initiated into the mysteries of Lerna, as it arises from his designation as Bacchos (ll. 1 and 5). It seems that in the 4th c. the mysteries of Lerna enjoyed a broader acceptance. The wife of the praetorian prefect, proconsul Vettius Agorius Pretextatus, Fabia Aconia Paulina, was also initiated into both the Eleusinian mysteries and the mysteries of Lerna, as Latin inscriptions from Rome (CIL VI 1779 and 1780) testify. On the mysteries of Lerna see Nilsson 1974: 354, 358; Loukas 1989: 231-40; Casadio 1994: 316-25.
Archelaos is identified by Loukas (1989: 236) with a namesake who dedicated a taurobolium in Athens (IG II2 4841). Franz 1988: 49-51 discerns three homonymous men, the dedicant of a statue for the proconsul Phosphorios (IG IV 1608), the individual of the inscription from Lerna, who is identified with the former's son, and the dedicant of a taurobolium in Athens (IG II2 4841), who is regarded as the grandson of the first Archelaos.
ii. Poland concordance Poland B 5
iii. Bibliography Casadio, G. (1994), Storia del culto di Dioniso in Argolide. Roma: 316-25.
Franz, A. et al. (1988), The Athenian Agora XXIV. Late Antiquity: A.D. 267-700, Princeton: 49-51.
Loukas, I. (1986), ‘Περί των αργολικών μυστηριακών λατρειών κατά τους υστερορρωμαϊκούς χρόνους’, in Πρακτικά του Β' Τοπικού Συνεδρίου Αργολικών Σπουδών, Άργος 30 Μαίου-1 Ιουνίου. Athens: 231-240.
Nilsson, M.P. (1974), Geschichte der griechischen Religion. Band II. Die hellenistische und römische Zeit. München.


i. Private association Discarded
Note Although it cannot be excluded that the mystai of the mysteries of Lerna were organized as a private association, there is no indication of its existence in the preserved sources. Therefore, Archelaos's designation as Bacchus is no sufficient evidence for this.