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Last Updated on 01 Mar 2017

Author: Sophia Zoumbaki

CAPInv. 769: ha (l. he) s[y]nodos ton sidar[eon] (l. sidereon)


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


i. Full name (original language) ἁ (l. ἡ) σ[ύ]νοδος τῶν σιδα[ρέων] (l. σιδηρέων, SEG 42: 273bis, l. 3)
ii. Full name (transliterated) ha (l. he) s[y]nodos ton sidar[eon] (l. sidereon)


i. Date(s) i / ii AD


ii. Name elements
Professional:Sidereis are the blackstmiths.
iii. Descriptive terms σύνοδος, synodos
Note synodos: SEG 42: 273bis, l. 3


i. Source(s) SEG 42: 273bis (l. i - e. ii AD)
Note See also: Charneux 1992
Online Resources AGRW ID 20469
i.a. Source type(s) Epigraphic source(s)
i.b. Document(s) typology & language/script Greek decree by the iron-workers of Argos
i.c. Physical format(s) Upper part of a small stele of gray limestone broken at the bottom.
ii. Source(s) provenance Argos (?), the stone was found by P. Charneux in the storeroom of the new museum under the inventory number E 213; P. Charneux writes: "l'inscription E 213 aussi a été découverte il y a fort longtemps, après 1892 sans doute, car I. Kophiniotis ne l'a pas mentionnée, mais pas nécessairement après 1902, puisqu'il est assuré que l'éditeur d'IG IV a pu laisser échapper des textes".


ii. References to buildings/objects ἄφισμα, aphisma (l. 5): The decree concerns the ἄφισμα, i.e. the cult statue, of Hephaistos, which was stolen or lost from the temple (of the god?). Thus, the blacksmiths were connected to the cult of Hephaistos through the cult-statue and perhaps a temple of the god. Lalagüe-Dulac 2007: 237 wonders whether the temple was built by the polis or by the synodos and is inclined to answer that the synodos paid for its construction.


ii. Gender Men
Note If the members of the group were blacksmiths, they were men.
iii. Age Adults
Note If the members of the group were blacksmiths, they were presumably adults.


i. Assemblies
ii. Meetings and events As it seems from the text, the sidareis had meetings, in which Nikostratos raised a debate about the lost cult-statue of Hephaistos.
iii. Worship Hephaistos, the protector of the blacksmiths, and his cult, was apparently a crucial aspect of the sidareis's life. This explains why Nikostratos was willing to replace the stolen cult-statue on his own costs. Worship by the group may be supposed.
Deities worshipped Hephaistos (?)


i. Comments Members of the synodos ton sidareon were probably the blacksmiths of the town.
It is not explicitly stated that the individual mentioned in the inscription, Nikostratos, son of Nikostratos, was a member of the synodos, but it is very likely. If he was, as he is defined as ἐν [Ἄργει] κατοικ[ῶν], it seems that the group included also foreigners settled in Argos. Lalagüe-Dulac 2007: 237 regards Nikostratos as the leader of the sidereis. However the text does not include any reference on Nikostratos's role in the synodos.
As it is obvious that there was a meeting of the sidareis and Nikostratos took the opportunity to discuss his suggestion regarding the cult-statue of Hephaistos, Arnaoutoglou (forthcoming) wonders whether synodos here is to be understood as the assembly of the sidareis and not as an organized association.
On further attestations of stolen cult statues see Weddle 2010: 138 n. 541.
iii. Bibliography Arnaoutoglou, I. (forthcoming), ‘Cult and craft: Variations on a (neglected) theme ...’, in A. Cazemier and S. Skaltsa (eds.), Associations in Context: Rethinking Associations and Religion in the Post-Classical Polis, Copenhagen.
Charneux, P. (1992), ‘Sur un décret des forgerons d'Argos’, BCH 116: 335-43.
Lalagüe-Dulac, S. (2007), ‘Forgerons et sanctuaires dans l' Anatolie antique’, Res Antiquae 4: 231-40, esp. 237.
Weddle, P. (2010), Touching the Gods: physical interaction with cult statues in the Roman world. Dissertation, Durham University: 138, n. 541.
Zimmermann, C. (2002), Handwerkervereine im griechischen Osten des Imperium Romanum. Mainz: 209.


i. Private association Probable
Note Although Arnaoutoglou (forthcoming) poses the question of the meaning of the word synodos in the context of the Argive inscription, it seems probable that the ironworkers of Argos were organized as an association. The fact that they assembled to discuss common issues as well as their attachment to a cult related to their profession, indicate that they may have had a well-structured association.