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Last Updated on 11 Jun 2019

Author: Stella Skaltsa

CAPInv. 57: to koinon Samothrakiastan Aphrodisiastan Borboritan


i. Geographical area Aegean Islands
ii. Region Syme
iii. Site Syme


i. Full name (original language) τὸ κοινὸν Σαμοθρᾳκιαστᾶν Ἀφροδισιαστᾶν Βορβοριτᾶν (IG XII.3 6, ll.1-2)
ii. Full name (transliterated) to koinon Samothrakiastan Aphrodisiastan Borboritan


i. Date(s) l. i BC


ii. Name elements
Cultic:Samothrakiastai - worshippers of the Samothracian gods. As Cole (1984) has shown the associations of Samothrakiastai need not be initiates of the Samothracian Mysteries; instead, possible sailing interests of the members could explain the choice of the name (the Great gods of Samothrace were protectors of sailors).

Theophoric:Aphrodiastai - worshippers of Aphrodite.
Other:Borboritai - LSJ9: βόρβορος, borboros: mire, filth; clay, moist earth; sewer; metaph. foul abuse.
The meaning of Borboritai has perplexed scholars, admitting that 'what is not known' (Cole 1984: 86).
In the 4th c. AD, the theologian Epiphanius of Salamis in Cyprus in his treatise against sects records that a group of Christian heretics, the 'knowers', were called Borboritai, among other names. (see Markschies 2001: 40). In the Codex Justinianus, the Borboritai are listed among heretics against whom several penalties were established (e.g. CJ 1.5.18).
iii. Descriptive terms κοινόν
Note koinon, ll. 1, 15


i. Source(s) IG XII.3 6 (l. i BC)
Note Cole 1984: Appendix I no. 43
The date of the inscription is based on letterforms.

See also Constantakopoulou 2012: 315-6 (with English translation)
Online Resources IG XII.3 6
i.a. Source type(s) Epigraphic source(s)
i.b. Document(s) typology & language/script Honorific inscription in Greek for Euphrosynos Idymeus, metic and benefactor of the koinon by the koinon Samothrakiastan Aphrodisiastan Borboritan to the gods (theois).
i.c. Physical format(s) Limestone block
ii. Source(s) provenance The block is built into the exterior wall of the church of Agios Ioannis tou Gialou in Syme.


ix. Privileges The koinon bestowed the title euergetes (benefactor) to Euphrosynos.


ii. Gender Men
Note Euphrosynos, metic and benefactor of the koinon.
iv. Status Euphrosynos is a metic, μέτοικος (metoikos, IG XII.3 6, l. 3).


iii. Worship Euphrosynos' honorific portrait (see X.iv and XII.i) is dedicated to θεοῖς, theois (IG XII.3 6 l. 16).
Deities worshipped theoi
iv. Honours/Other activities The text of the inscription records honours for Euphrosynos passed by the koinon Samothrakiastan Aphrodisiastan Borboritan. Euphrosynos was εὐεργέτης τοῦ κοινοῦ (euergetes tou koinou, benefactor of the koinon, ll. 3-4). The koinon Samothrakiastan Aphrodisiastan Borboritan set up an honorific statue for Euphrosynos as implied by the phrase ὑπὲρ + genitive (see Comments XII.i), praized him (l. 4: ἐπαιν[εῖ]) and crowned him (l. 4: στεφανοῖ) with a golden crown for life on account of his virtue and goodwill towards them at all times (εἰς τὸν ἅπαντα χρόνον) (ll. 4-7). The inscription also lists past honours granted to Euphrosynos. Euphrosynos before being granted the highest of honours (an honorific portrait), had already been crowned by the koinon Samothrakiastan Aphrodisiastan Borboritan three or four times (the inscription is broken off and only the letter 't' has been preserved) (ll. 7-8). Lines 14-15 refer to an unspecified koinon (l. 15) which should be identified with the koinon Samothrakiastan Aphrodisiastan Borboritan as this is the honouring body. The past honours for Euphrosynos was on account of his kalokagathia towards the koinon.


i. Local interaction Euphrosynos was honoured by another private association, Ἀ[δ]ωνιασ[τᾶν Ἀφροδισιασ[τᾶν] Ἀσκλαπιαστᾶν Σύρων (Adoniastan Aphrodistiastan Asklapiastan Syron) (CAPInv. 151) and by two ktoinai, i.e. public organizations of a territorially defined character, ὑπὸ τᾶς κτοίνας τᾶς ΗΛ[...] (hypo tas ktoinas tas HEL) and ὐπο τᾶς κτο[ίν]ας τᾶς Ἐπι[β]ωμοῦς (hypo tas ktoinas tas Epibomous) (IG XII.3 6, ll. 9-15).


i. Comments The editor of IG XII.3 6 reads Ε[ὐ]φροσύνο[υ] Ἰδυμέως. Idymeos probably stands for an ethnic (i.e. Idyma in Karia was a member of the Delian League, see Hansen 2004: 1119) and not for a personal name, the latter being unattested so far (contra Cole 1984: 85 and Constantakopoulou 2012: 315). Harland (AGRW no. 258), on the other hand, takes Idymeus as an ethnic, Idumea (Edom), the region south of Judea and considers that the association consisted of Syrian immigrants.
The stone is broken off on the left side. There might be some space for the restoration of a letter before Idymeos. One could perhaps restore a 'S' and read Sidymeos (ethnic name). Sidyma was a city in Lycia. Sculptors from Sidyma were active in Rhodes.

As Ma has shown (2013: 166), the phrase ὑπὲρ + genitive (on behalf of, on account for) is mostly found in the SE Aegean (notably Rhodes), the neighbouring areas in Asia Minor and on the Black Sea. The phrase evokes the religious character of the statue, a religious offering 'as an act of thanksgiving, the fulfillment of a vow, a prayer; a religious gesture' (Ma 2013: 166).

ii. Poland concordance Poland B *246
iii. Bibliography Cole, S.G. 1984: Theoi Megaloi: the cult of the great gods at Samothrace. Leiden: esp. pp. 85-6.
Constantakopoulou, Ch. 2012: Beyond the polis: island koina and other non-polis entities in the Aegean, REA 114: 301-21.
Ma, J. 2013: Statues and Cities. Honorific Portraits and Civic Identity in the Hellenistic World. Oxford.
Markschies, C. 2001: Die Gnosis. Munich.


i. Private association Certain
Note The term koinon followed by along a compound name suggests a private association. Although nothing is known about its internal organization the fact that the koinon had its own euergetas suggests some sort of durability.