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Last Updated on 22 May 2019

Author: Nikolaos Giannakopoulos

CAPInv. 770: synbolaphoroi (l. symbolaphoroi)


i. Geographical area Western Asia Minor
ii. Region Bithynia
iii. Site Nikomedeia


i. Full name (original language) συνβολαφόροι (TAM IV.1 76, ll. 3-4)
ii. Full name (transliterated) synbolaphoroi (l. symbolaphoroi)


i. Date(s) Inc.


ii. Name elements
Cultic:symbolaphoroi, see below under field XII.i: Comments.


i. Source(s) TAM IV.1 76 (inc.)
Note See also:
Dörner 1963: 133-4
BE 1965: no. 390
Online Resources TAM IV.1 76
AGRW ID# 13314
i.a. Source type(s) Epigraphic source(s)
i.b. Document(s) typology & language/script Dedication in Greek offered as a thanksgiving to Theos Preeitos and the symbolaphoroi.
i.c. Physical format(s) Altar of limestone.
ii. Source(s) provenance The inscription was found near Şile in the area of Izmit.


ii. References to buildings/objects An altar was dedicated to Theos Preeitos and the symbolaphoroi.


ii. Realty The altar dedicated to Theos Preeitos and the symbolaphoroi was presumably used by the latter in their cultic activities and might have belonged to them (cf. field XII.i: Comments).


i. Comments The full text of the inscription is the following: . . . λ̣ας Γοργίο[υ] | [θε]ῷ Πρειέτῳ | καὶ τοῖς συν̣|βολαφόροις | εὐχαριστή|ριον ἐπισε|βάσας τὰ τῶν | προγόνων (... las Gorgio[u] [the]oi Preietoi kai tois synbolaphorois eucharisterion episebasas ta ton progonon). According to Dörner (1963: 133-4), the formula ἐπισεβάσας τὰ τῶν προγόνων (episebasas ta ton progonon) in the end of the inscription possibly indicates that the dedication was conceived as a sign of respect for the dedicator’s ancestors that played a key role in the cult of Theos Preeitos, being priests and symbolaphoroi. J. and L. Robert (BE 1965: no. 390), while admitting that the dedicator’s ancestors were heavily involved in the cult of Theos Preeitos, perhaps as priests, preferred to read in the final lines of the inscription ἐπισ<κ>εβάσας τὰ τῶν προγόνων (epis<k>ebasas ta ton progonon), assuming a mistake on the part of the graver. According to this interpretation the dedicator had in fact repaired monuments dedicated by his ancestors. Following P. Hermann’s interpretation of a homonymous group attested in a Lydian inscription (see Hermann 1962: 39 no. 27; the inscription now in TAM V.1 576: CAPInv. 816), J. and L. Robert considered that the symbolaphoroi were a religious group, presumably devoted to Theos Preeitos, which carried sacred symbols in processions (cf. also Lane 1976: 36; on Theos Preeitos see Ŏğüt-Polat and Şahin, 1985: 111). The connection between Theos Preeitos and the symbolaphoroi is also indicated by the fact that the dedication took the form of a thanksgiving offered to both these parties. It is thus possible that the dedicator believed that some sort of divine assistance was provided to him through the actions or the mediation of the symbolaphoroi.
iii. Bibliography Dörner, F.K. (1963), ‘Vorbericht über eine Reise in Bithynien und im bithynisch-paphlagonischen Grenzgebiet 1962’, AAWW 100: 132-9.
Hermann, P. (1962), Ergebnisse einer Reise in Nordostlydien. Wien.
Lane, E. (1976), Corpus Monumentorum Religionis Dei Menis III. Interpretations and Testimonia. Leiden.
Ŏğüt-Polat, S. and Şahin, S. (1985), ‘Katalog der bithynischen Inschriften im archäeologishen Museum von Istanbul’, EA 5: 97-124.


i. Private association Possible
Note While it is rather safe to conclude that the symbolaphoroi were a religious group involved in the cult of Theos Preeitos, whether they constituted an organized association cannot be demonstrated with absolute certainty.