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Last Updated on 09 Jul 2018

Author: Paschalis Paschidis

CAPInv. 707: hoi hieraphoroi synklitai


i. Geographical area Macedonia
ii. Region Mygdonia
iii. Site Thessalonike


i. Full name (original language) οἱ ἱεραφόροι συνκλῖται (IG X.2.1 58, ll. 4-5)
ii. Full name (transliterated) hoi hieraphoroi synklitai


i. Date(s) f. i AD


ii. Name elements
Cultic:hieraphoroi. They were officials or initiates of a higher order who were responsible for carrying the gods' (mostly the Egyptian Gods') insignia in processions and rituals. See Dunand 1973: III 157-8; Voutiras 2005: 286; Baldasarra and Ruggieri 2010: 379-83.
For other mentions, see IG X.2.1 16, 222, and 258
Other:synklitai: This term specifies that the members of the association were “participating in the same banquet”, “table companions”. Despite the obvious religious connotations of the term, most scholars follow Edson's interpretation (Edson 1948: 181-88) that this association consists of (some and not all; cf. Steimle 2008: 185) hieraphoroi of the Egyptian Gods who gather at a separate oikos for social purposes; contra RICIS 113/0530 with earlier literature.


i. Source(s) IG X.2.1 58 (f. i AD)
Note See also: RICIS 113/0530; AGRW 47

On the date and the nature of the monument see especially Voutiras comments in Despinis, Stephanidou-Tiveriou and Voutiras 1997: 139-42 no. 111.
Online Resources IG X.2.1 58 and AGRW ID 2307
i.a. Source type(s) Epigraphic source(s)
i.b. Document(s) typology & language/script Greek honorific funerary stele.
i.c. Physical format(s) Stele bearing a relief of a standing, dog-headed Anubis on a pedestal within a laurel wreathe.
ii. Source(s) provenance This is the only inscription pertaining to associations related to the Egyptian Gods which was not found at or near their sanctuary, but in another location of ancient Thessalonike, more than 1 km away from the sanctuary (Despinis, Stephanidou-Tiveriou and Voutiras 1997: 141). This corroborates the interpretation of this association as a distinct club of some hieraphoroi of the Egyptian Gods, gathered outside the sanctuary for social purposes (Edson 1948: 181-8).


ii. References to buildings/objects The honourand is praised for “establishing the house” (IG X.2.1 58, ll. 3-4: καταστήσαντι τὸν οἶκον, katastesanti ton oikon) where the association met.

The representation of dog-headed Anubis alone on a pedestal has been interpreted as a depiction of the dead honourand with the attributes of the god and a reference to a statue of the deceased founder of the association (Despinis, Stephanidou-Tiveriou and Voutiras 1997: 141 with earlier literature).


i. Founder(s) Aulos Papios Cheilon, who established the house where the association met (IG X.2.1 58), was probably the founder of the association.
Gender Male
ii. Leadership Aulos Papios Cheilon, perhaps the founder of the association, may also have been its leader, although he bears no title.

Pace Edson 1948, the last member of the list, Καλίστρατος ὁ καὶ Ἄρχων Kalistratos ho kai Archon, cannot be the association's leader. Archon here is certainly a personal name, the nickname of Kallistratos (BE 1950: no. 134 and Despinis, Stephanidou-Tiveriou and Voutiras 1997: 140).
iii. Members Members are only identified by their name and the term characterizing the association (ἱεραφόροι συνκλῖται, hieraphoroi synklitai); no other term or hierarchy is evident in the association's structure.


ii. Realty The ownership status of the oikos that Aulos Papios Cheilon established for the association is unclear.


i. Number 14 members are mentioned on the stele (which is complete), including the honourand and perhaps founder of the association.
ii. Gender Men
Note All 14 members, including the honourand, are men.
iv. Status One of the members, Annios Sekoundos (IG X.2.1 58, l. 13), is known from a dedication to the Egyptian Gods (IG X.2.1 114). Nine of the fourteen members (including the dead founder) bear Roman nomina, of which only one is Imperial. The onomastic data may thus point to a relatively upper class milieu, as is expected for (even minor) officials of the cult of the Egyptian Gods (see Nigdelis 2010: 23-4 with earlier literature).


iii. Worship Although this association may be of a primarily social rather than religious nature, the iconography of Anubis figures prominently on the stele, perhaps in honour of the deceased founder (see above, VI.ii: References to buildings/objects).
Deities worshipped Anubis (?)
iv. Honours/Other activities The (probable) founder of the association was perhaps honoured with a statue (see VI.ii: References to buildings/objects, above).


iii. Bibliography Baldasarra, D. and Ruggeri, A. (2010), ‘Intorno al sacrifizio: aozos e hierophoros’ in C. Antonetti (ed.), Lo spazio ionico e le comunità della Grecia nord-occidentale: territorio, società, istituzioni. Atti del convegno internazionale, Venezia 7-9 gennaio 2010, Pisa: 374-84, esp. 381-2.
Despinis, G., Stephanidou-Tiveriou, T. and Voutiras, E. (1997), Κατάλογος γλυπτών του Αρχαιολογικού Μουσείου Θεσσαλονίκης Ι. Thessaloniki.
Dunant, F. (1973), Le culte d’Isis dans le bassin oriental de la Méditerranée, vol. III. Le culte d’Isis en Asie Mineure. Clergé et ritual des sanctuaries isiaques. Leiden.
Edson, C. (1948), ‘Cults of Thessalonica (Macedonica III)’, HThR 41: 153-204, esp. 181-8.
Nigdelis, P.M. (2010), ‘Voluntary Associations in Roman Thessalonike: in Search of Identity and Support in a Cosmpolitan Society’, in L. Nasrallah, Ch. Bakirtzis and S. Friesen (eds.), From Roman to Early Christian Thessalonike: Studies in Religion and Archaeology, Cambridge Mass., London: 13-47.
Steimle, C. (2008), Religion im römischen Thessaloniki. Sakraltopographie, Kult und Gesselschaft, 168 v. Chr. – 324 n. Chr. Tübingen: 185.
Voutiras, E. (2005), ‘Sanctuaire privé – culte public? Le cas du Sarapieion de Thessalonique’ in V. Dasen and M. Piérart (eds.), Ἰδίᾳ καὶ δημοσίᾳ. Les cadres «privés» et «publics» de la religion grecque antique. Actes du IXe colloque du Centre International d’Études de la Religion Grecque Antique (CIERGA) tenu à Fribourg du 8 au 10 septembre 2003, Liège: 273-88, esp. 286.


i. Private association Certain
Note This is certainly a private association, most probably of a dual nature (see IV.ii: Name elements and V.ii: Source provenance, above): although the members were minor officials / initiates of a higher order of the cult of the Egyptian God, the association itself was perhaps of a social rather than a religious nature.