Stable URL: as PDF
Last Updated on 28 Feb 2017

Author: Sophia Zoumbaki

CAPInv. 561: hoi synieroi tou heroos


i. Geographical area Peloponnese with Adjacent Islands
ii. Region Achaia
iii. Site Pharai


i. Full name (original language) οἱ συνίεροι τοῦ ἥρωος (Rizakis 2008: 113-4 no. 63)
ii. Full name (transliterated) hoi synieroi tou heroos


i. Date(s) ii (?) - i (?) BC


ii. Name elements
Cultic:synieroi: This word shows that there was a group of hieroi. Hieroi in the Peloponnese are always connected with certain important local cults or sanctuaries. On the precision of the nature of the hieroi of Pharai see Papapostolou 1973: 170-173 who regards them as citizens or a considerable status (and not as slaves or freedmen who serve in a sanctuary as hierodouloi), who undertook cultic or administrative duties in relation to a deity or a sanctuary and sometimes they were initiated into chthonic or mystery cults; in this context, there were also hieroi paides who were not necessarily to be regarded as hierodouloi.
Heroic:tou heroos


i. Source(s) Rizakis 2008: 113-4 no. 63. (II-I BC)
Note See also: Papapostolou 1973
i.a. Source type(s) Epigraphic source(s)
i.b. Document(s) typology & language/script A Greek honorary inscription for Thrason, son of Xenophon, erected by the synieroi tou heroos.
i.c. Physical format(s) A statue base of reddish stone of Erymanthos bearing on its upper surface the socket for the statue, which was smaller than life size or represented a child.
ii. Source(s) provenance Found at the place Prevedos of Pharai, in a private field (according to wittnesses) which was outside the centre of the ancient town.


iii. Age Children
Note It is possible that both, the synieroi and the honorand Thrason were children, see below XII.i: Comments.
iv. Status On the basis of parallels of hieroi and hierai of the Peloponnese, Papapostolou (1973) argues that the hieroi of Pharai, as it seems to be the case everywhere in the Peloponnese, were free citizens.


iv. Honours/Other activities They erect a monument in honour of Thrason, son of Xenophon.


i. Comments The situation which is tersely outlined in the inscription from Pharai, is not clear. Either the synieroi are a group of worshippers of an otherwise unknown hero, among whom Thrason was an a outstanding individual, or Thrason is a heroized dead who is honoured by his fellow-members of a group of hieroi.
Papapostolou 1973: 168 inclines to the first suggestion. Papapostolou 1973: 174 finds it possible that Thrason was a child, as the size of his statue seems to lead to this hypothesis (see above V.i.c: Physical format); Rizakis 2008: 113 takes it for granted. In this case, the synieroi are to be regarded as children, as hieroi paides devoted to a local cult.
The identity of the heros in the name of the group remains without a definite answer. Papapostolou 1973: 168-9 mentions that no hero-cult is attested for Pharai. The only candidate would be the oikistes of Pharai, Phares, son of Philodameia, daughter of Danaos. Pausanias (7.22.1-5) records the cult of Hermes Agoraios as an important civic cult and Papapostolou 1973: 169 suggests that Hermes could have taken the place of a local hero, whose memory was still alive. Osanna 1996: 161-3 obeserves however that it was a standard characteristic of the cult practice of ancient Greek poleis that the heros was anonymous either because of a weakness of the historical memory or because they did not pronounce his name out of respect.
iii. Bibliography Osanna, M. (1996), Santuari e culti del Acaia antica. Napoli.
Papapostolou, I. (1973) ‘Συνίεροι των Φαρών’, AEph: 167-174.
Rizakis, A.D. (2008), Achaie III. Les cités Achéennes: Epigraphie et histoire. Athènes.


i. Private association Possible
Note Papapostolou 1973: 173-4 regards the synieroi as a collectivity, possibly but not necessarily an association; Rizakis 2008: 113 supposes the existence of a synodos. In any case, on the basis of this one and only short inscription it is difficult to decide whether we have to do with an organized private association or with a group of worshippers or initiates with a collective identity but no further organization.