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Last Updated on 24 Jun 2019

Author: Jan-Mathieu Carbon

CAPInv. 838: toi Bakchoi


i. Geographical area Western Asia Minor
ii. Region Caria
iii. Site Knidos


i. Full name (original language) τοὶ Βάκ[χοι] (I. Knidos 160, line 3)
ii. Full name (transliterated) toi Bakchoi


i. Date(s) 350 (?) - 300 (?) BC


ii. Name elements
Cultic:Βάκ[χοι], Bakchoi
The name refers to worshippers or celebrants in the cult of Dionysos Bacchos, see X.iii below.


i. Source(s) I. Knidos 160 (ca. 350-300 BC?), with further bibliography.
Note Cf. also SEG 17, 494; Jaccottet 2003: 257-8, no. 154 (with further refs.).
Online Resources PHI: I. Knidos I 160 (the same text can also be found in PHI: Knidos 17 )
Harland, AGRW no. 9731
i.a. Source type(s) Epigraphic source(s)
i.b. Document(s) typology & language/script Decree of the city of Knidos in Greek, referring to a petition by the Bakchoi concerning the purity (ὅπω̣[ς]
ἁγνεύηται, lines 4-5) of the sanctuary of Dionysos Bakchos, and specifically concerning restricting camping in the sanctuary.
i.c. Physical format(s) Fragmentary stele.
ii. Source(s) provenance Okçular.


ii. References to buildings/objects τὸ [ἱαρὸ]ν τοῦ Διονύσ[ου το]ῦ Βάκχου, to [hiaro]n tou Dionys[ou to]u Bakchou (lines 5-7)

[τῶ]ι ἱαρῶι τῶν̣ [Βάκ|χων],
[to]i hiaroi ton [Bacchon]
(lines 9-10)

The Bakchoi appear to be concerned with the sanctuary of Dionysos Bakchos, but it is unclear what sort of claim or authority they had over this structure (see also below XIII.i). The first phrasing seems to be generic, while the second, if correctly restored, might imply that the Bacchoi did have possession of the sanctuary in question. Alternatively, it could refer to the Bacchoi as worshippers (see below).


iii. Worship The group appears to be primarily concerned with cult and worship, and is possibly to some degree in control of the sanctuary.
Deities worshipped Dionysos Bakchos.


i. Local interaction The Bakchoi made a request to the city of Knidos in relation to their concerns.


ii. Poland concordance B307


i. Private association Possible
Note Little can be said with any assurance on the basis of this short and laconic text. Jaccottet raises again the question of whether we have here a private group controlling a sanctuary or a board of officials such as a "college of priests". She finds the arguments for both sides of the question relatively equivalent (cf. her summary of the discussion on this text). An institutional group of officials, a hypothesis somewhat favoured by Jaccottet, is perhaps a valid possibility in fourth-century BC Knidos, though it remains conjectural.
Though the Bakchoi are to some degree organised and consult the city of Knidos on the matter of the proper use of the sanctuary of Dionysοs, this also shows that the sanctuary in question was not strictly 'private' and that the Bakchoi did not have complete authority over it. While conceivably a private association or even a board of officials, it is thus also possible that the term Bakchoi merely reflects a group of anxious worshippers of Dionysos, formed ad hoc in this instance.