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Last Updated on 09 Jul 2018

Author: Paschalis Paschidis

CAPInv. 785: synetheia he epi tou Poseidonos


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


i. Full name (original language) συνήθεια ἡ ἐπὶ τοῦ Ποσειδῶνος (IG X.2.1 Suppl. 1372, ll. 1-3)
ii. Full name (transliterated) synetheia he epi tou Poseidonos


i. Date(s) s. ii AD


ii. Name elements
Topographical:epi tou Poseidonos: According to one of the interpretations of the phrase he epi tou Poseidonos, the association was named after a neighbourhood of Thessalonike; see XII.i: Comments, below.
iii. Descriptive terms συνήθεια, synetheia
Note synetheia: IG X.2.1 Suppl. 1372, l. 1


i. Source(s) IG X.2.1 Suppl. 1372 (s. ii AD)
Note Other editions: SEG 56: 767
Online Resources IG X.2.1 Suppl. 1372
i.a. Source type(s) Epigraphic source(s)
i.b. Document(s) typology & language/script Greek funerary inscription
i.c. Physical format(s) Crowned stele with inscription in a moulded panel.
ii. Source(s) provenance Found reused in a pavement near the western cemetery of Thessalonike.


ii. References to buildings/objects If the appelation ἡ ἐπὶ τοῦ Ποσειδῶνος, he epi tou Poseidonos, is understood as a cultic reference (see XII.i: Comments, below), the name of the association may refer to a sanctuary of Poseidon.


ix. Privileges As is the case in the overwhelming majority of our evidence, the only thing we know for this association is that it paid for the funerary monuments of one of its members.


iv. Status The only member of the association that we know of is a perfume-seller (μυροπώλης, myropoles), most probably a liberated slave who belonged to a Macedoniarch and then to an Italian family of negotiatores (see Nigdelis 2006: 165-7). It should also be noted that a second μυροπώλης, myropoles, of Thessalonike attested in the same period (IG X.2.1 Suppl. 1440) is also a slave.


i. Comments Nigdelis 2006: 163-4 hesitantly interprets the awkward name of the association (ἡ ἐπὶ τοῦ Ποσειδῶνος, he epi tou Poseidonos) as a reference to a sanctuary or to the meeting place of the association; either way, he considers the cultic nature of the association's name and function certain. Nevertheless, the presence of the definitive article, absent from the parallel from Pydna he adduces (SEG 45: 746, θρησκευταὶ οἱ συνελθόντες ἐπὶ θεοῦ Διὸς Ὑψίστου, threskeutai hoi synelthontes epi theou Dios Hypsistou, CAPInv. 41), suggests that ἐπὶ τοῦ, epi tou, is a geographic designation. In other words, the association's name may point to a location; this location may indeed be a sanctuary of Poseidon but it may well be a neighbourhood of Thessalonike, presumably near the harbour, where both Poseidon as a place-name and the activities of a perfume-seller such as the deceased of this epitaph would be pertinent. If this interpretation is correct, the association's name should not necessarily be linked to a cult of Poseidon (for this interpretation see Paschidis, forthcoming).
iii. Bibliography Nigdelis, P.M. (2006), Επιγραφικά Θεσσαλονίκεια. Συμβολή στην πολιτική και κοινωνική ιστορία της αρχαίας Θεσσαλονίκης, Thessaloniki: 163-7 no. 7.
Paschidis, P. (forthcoming), ‘Civic cults and (other) religious associations: in search of collective identities in Roman Macedonia’ in A. Cazemier and S. Skaltsa (eds.), Associations in Context: rethinking associations and religion in the post-classical polis. Copenhagen.


i. Private association Certain
Note Despite the uncertainty over the exact nature of the association, its private character should be considered as certain.