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Last Updated on 24 Mar 2017

Author: Benedikt Eckhardt

CAPInv. 656: katochoi sybomoi (l. symbomoi) Aphrodeites


i. Geographical area The Near East and Beyond
ii. Region Phoenicia (Beqaa)
iii. Site Baalbek-Heliopolis


i. Full name (original language) κάτοχοι σύβωμοι (l. σύμβωμοι ) Ἀφροδείτης (IGLS VI 2733, ll. 2-3)
ii. Full name (transliterated) katochoi sybomoi (l. symbomoi) Aphrodeites


i. Date(s) 60 AD


ii. Name elements
Cultic:katochoi, lit. "the possessed ones"
iii. Descriptive terms σπεῖρα, speira
Note speira: IGLS VI 2733, l. 3


i. Source(s) IGLS VI 2733 (AD 60)
Online Resources IGLS VI 2733
i.a. Source type(s) Epigraphic source(s)
i.b. Document(s) typology & language/script Greek votive inscription
i.c. Physical format(s) Drum of a column
ii. Source(s) provenance Found in the great court of the temple complex


iii. Members κάτοχοι, katochoi (l. 2). The term means "possessed"; Aliquot compares it to fanaticus. If the speira is taken as a term for association, it follows that the katochoi ... en speira are the members. Seyrig 1937: 96, who assumes an architectural meaning for speira, argues that the katochoi "peuvent être des personnes soumises à la règle d'un temple".


iv. Honours/Other activities Ll. 3-4 seem to refer to an offering of beards: ἔθ[η]καν τοὺς πώγων[ας], eth[e]kan tous pogon[as]. Seyrig 1937: 96-7 points to the shaving of priests in Syria.


i. Comments Seyrig 1937: 96 assumes an architectural meaning for speira (it refers "à la rigueur à l'astragale"), because "cohort" does not make sense. He does not consider the use of the term as a designation for an association. This has been done by Rey-Coquais 1967. The question remains where the genitive Ἀφροδείτης, Aphrodeites belongs. Rey-Coquais and Aliquot 2009: 99, 115, 122 see it as dependent on σπεῖρα, speira ("le thiase d'Aphrodite"), but since the text reads ἐν σπείρᾳ, en speirai this is not necessarily the best option. The group is more probably called katochoi and symbomoi of Aphrodite.
Seyrig and Rey-Coquais (in IGLS) had read ΣΡΒΟΛΛΟΣ, SRBOLLOS in l. 2. Milik 1972: 414 has read σύβωμοι, sybomoi (for σύββωμοι, sybbomoi = σύμβωμοι, symbomoi), and this reading has later been accepted by Rey-Coquais 1988: 400.
iii. Bibliography Aliquot, J. (2009), La vie religieuse au Liban sous l’empire romain. Beyrouth.
Milik, J.T. (1972), Dédicaces faites par des dieux (Palmyre, Hatra, Tyr) et des thiases sémitiques à l’époque romaine. Paris.
Rey-Coquais, J.-P. (1967), Inscriptions grecques et latines de la Syrie VI: Baalbek et Beqa‘. Paris.
Rey-Coquais, J.-P. (1988), ‘Sur une comparaison entre le clergé phénicien et le clergé "africain"’, in A. Mastino (ed.), L'Africa romana. Atti del V convegno di studio Sassari, 11-13 dicembre 1987, Sassari: 397-402.
Seyrig, H. (1937), ‘Heliopolitana’, BMB 1: 77-100.


i. Private association Probable
Note "Les κάτοχοι ... sont les membres d’une confrérie" (Rey-Coquais 1967: 65). This conclusion is probable, but not certain due to the ambiguous term speira.