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Last Updated on 01 Mar 2017

Author: Sophia Zoumbaki

CAPInv. 772: to koin[o]n to hypocheti[on t]an kranan tan par' Arista[n] (l. to koinon to hypochetion ton krenon ton par' Aristan)


i. Geographical area Peloponnese with Adjacent Islands
ii. Region Laconia
iii. Site Pakota, 1-2 km SW of Sparta


i. Full name (original language) τὸ κοιν[ὸ]ν τὸ ὑπωχετί[ων τ]ᾶν κρανᾶν τᾶν (l. τ]ῶν κρηνῶν τῶν) παρ' Ἀρίστα[ν] (Le Roy 1974: 233, ll. 1-2)
ii. Full name (transliterated) to koin[o]n to hypocheti[on t]an kranan tan par' Arista[n] (l. to koinon to hypochetion ton krenon ton par' Aristan)


i. Date(s) iii BC


ii. Name elements
Topographical:ton hypochetion tan kranan tan par' Aristan: apparently defines the inhabitants of a neighbourhood of Sparta, those whose houses or properties are near the canal and the fountains beside Arista, perhaps a sanctuary of Artemis, as Kourinou (2000: 224 n. 763) suggests.
iii. Descriptive terms κοινόν, koinon
Note koinon: Le Roy 1974: 233, l. 1


i. Source(s) Le Roy 1974: 233 (III BC)
Note See also: BE 1976: nos. 266, 267
i.a. Source type(s) Epigraphic source(s)
i.b. Document(s) typology & language/script An honorary dedication in Greek.
i.c. Physical format(s) A stele bearing a relief depicting a goddess, apparently Artemis, holding a phiale and a torch and three worshippers.
ii. Source(s) provenance Found in the place called Pakota, 1-2 km south west of Sparta


i. Comments It is remarkable that two further inscriptions of similar content refer to Kynosoureis (Peek 1974: 295-302), one of the obai (subdivisions of the tribes), and to Aiiatai, an otherwise unattested word which possibly refers to a topographical or civic subdivision of the area, perhaps a neighbourhood (cf. CAPInv. 771).
Kourinou 2000: 226 connects the inscription, as well as the two inscriptions mentioned above, with canalization works in Sparta in the second half of the 3rd c. BC, simultaneous with the fortification of the polis by Kleomenes III.
Le Roy reads [τ]ὰν κράναν τὰν παρ' Ἀρίστα[ν] ([t]an kranan tan par' Arista[n], l. ten krenen ten par' Aristan) and interprets the text as a dedication to the gods of both the fountain and the relief depicting the hydragos and the two hyphydragoi. L. Robert (BE 1976: no. 266) prefers the reading [τ]ᾶν κρανᾶν τᾶν παρ' Ἀρίστα[ν] ([t]an kranan tan par' Arista[n], l. ton krenon ton par' Aristan), which is adopted by Kourinou (2000: 223 n. 762).
The hydragos (apparently identifiable with ὑδραγωγός, hydragogos, attested in Hesychios) and the two hyphydragoi mentioned in the inscription were magistrates responsible for water supply. They are interpreted by Le Roy, Robert and Kourinou not as the designer of the canal and his assistants, but as civic magistrates.
The attestation of the inhabitants of a part of a town as a group is a frequent phaenomenon, especially in Asia Minor. Van Nijf 1997: 181-3 refers to the common identity that was developed by traders or artisans working at the same place, so that they often operated as a "neighbourhood association". The attestations of groups of neighbourhoods, which act as a collectivity, either organized as associations or not, are gathered and commented by Pont 2013: 129-56.
iii. Bibliography del Barrio Vega, M.L. (2002), ‘Remarques sur une inscription de Sparte (MS 6747)’, ZPE 141: 134-6.
Kourinou, E. (2000), Σπάρτη. Συμβολή στη μνημειακή τοπογραφία της. Athens.
Le Roy, C. (1974), ‘Inscriptions de Laconie inédits ou revues’, in: Mélanges Hélleniques offerts à Georges Daux, Paris: 219-238.
Peek, W. (1974), ‘Artemis Eulakia’, in: Mélanges Hélleniques offerts à Georges Daux. Paris: 295-302.
Pont, A.-V. (2013), ‘Les groupes de voisinage dans les villes d’Asie Mineure occidentale à l’époque impériale’ in P. Fröhlich and P. Hamon (eds.), Groupes et associations dans les cités grecques (IIIe siècle av. J.-C. – IIe siècle apr. J.-C.), Genève: 129-56.
Van Nijf, O. (1997), The civic world of professional associations in the Roman East. Amsterdam: 181-3.


i. Private association Possible
Note As this group of inhabitants of Sparta displays no feature of an organized association, it is rather to be regarded as a collectivity which acted ad hoc for the honour of the hydragos and the two hyphydragoi. Their self-definition as koinon prevents us from excluding the possibility that they formed an association. However, L. Robert, (BE1976: no. 267) parallels the koinon in question, which apparently includes "les propriétaires des terrains irrigués", with the κοινωνοί koinonoi of the aqueduct at Acharnae (BE 1964: no. 160).