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Last Updated on 13 Jun 2019

Author: Stella Skaltsa

CAPInv. 857: hoi protoi Assklepiastai


i. Geographical area Western Asia Minor
ii. Region Mysia
iii. Site Yüntdağ (ca. 30 km SE of Pergamon)


i. Full name (original language) οἱ πρῶτοι Ἀσσκληπιασταί (SEG 60: 1332)
ii. Full name (transliterated) hoi protoi Assklepiastai


i. Date(s) f. ii BC


ii. Name elements


i. Source(s) SEG 60: 1332 (first half of ii BC)
Note The date of the inscription is based on letterforms (Müller 2010: 428).
i.a. Source type(s) Epigraphic source(s)
i.b. Document(s) typology & language/script List of the founding members of a cult association in Greek.
i.c. Physical format(s) Stele of andesite, with partly preserved segmental pediment on top.
H. 118 x W 41-46 Th. 14-15 cm.
ii. Source(s) provenance Located by the photographer of the German archaeological team in a private collection in Bergama in 1993. The inscription is said to have been found in a privately owned field in Yaylakale (Yaylaköy) (Müller 2010: 440).


i. Archaeological remains The stele is reported to have been found in a privately owned field in Yalakale. Another inscribed stele was found in the vicinity, being reused as a washboard (Chiron 2010: p. 440). The text is partly preserved. It contains regulations that should be observed upon access to the hieron. The regulations concern the purity/ cleanliness of those entering the sanctuary (in case of intercourse, death and abortion/miscarriage). There is also mention of an incubation hall (ἐν̣κ̣οιμητ̣ήριον, enkoimeterion, ll. 14-15). Sanctuaries of healing gods (e.g. Asklepios) were usually provided with incubation halls.
The content of this inscription provides further evidence that the hieron founded by Demetrios should have been in this area, and it must have been dedicated to Asklepios, as it can also be inferred by the name of association itself.
ii. References to buildings/objects τὸ ἱερὸν, to hieron (l. 3)
ἐν̣κ̣οιμητ̣ήριον, enkoimeterion (ll. 14-15)


i. Founder(s) Demetrios (l. 1), the phrourarchos, founded to hieron (τοῦ κτίσαντος τὸ ἱερὸν, tou ktisantos to hieron, ll. 2-3). It seems that the foundation of the shrine necessitated the formation of a cultic association. The Assklepiastai are called hoi protoi, an indication that the list includes the names of those who came together (synelthon, l. 4) for the first time upon the foundation of the shrine. Hence, Demetrios could also be considered the founder of the association. His name is recorded on the top of the name list (l. 6).
ii. Leadership
Eponymous office The inscription is dated after Demetrios, the φρούραρχος (phrourarchos):
ἐπὶ Δημητρίου φρουράρχου, epi Demetriou phrourarchou (ll. 1-2)
iii. Members οἱ πρῶτοι Ἀσσκληπιασταί, hoi protoi Assklepiastai (Chiron 2010: p. 427, ll. 4-5)


i. Number The names of fifteen members are recorded in the stele (ll. 6-20).
ii. Gender Men
Note All members are male:
Δημήτριος Σεύθου
Μικαδίων Ἀρισταγόρου
Μητρόδωρος Ἀ̣φ̣(?)άρου
Ἀσκληπιάδης Γλαυκίου
Μητροφάνης Ἀρτεμιδώρου
Μακεδὼν ᾽Ανδρέστου
Νικάνωρ Μικαδίωνος
Ἀρτέμων Ἀθηναίου
Ἡρακλείδης Βακχίου
Κάλας Γλαυκίου
Ἀπολλώνιος Δημητρίου (letters ου are inscribed in the previous line)
Σ̣(?)ώνικος Ἀριστοκράτου
Ἀ̣ριστογένης Διονυσοδώρου
Ἁγήνωρ Βακχίου
Πυρρίας Δημέου
iii. Age Adults
iv. Status All names in the stele are Greek followed by patronymics.
The diverse ethnic origin of the members (western Asia Minor [regions of Ionia, Mysia and Lydia], Macedonia and Thessaly), as inferred by the onomastics, can be explained in light of a military background (Müller 2010: 435). It seems that the protoi Asklepiastai were in all likelihood soldiers of an Attalid garrison, stationed in the fortress under the commandership of Demetrios, the founder of the hieron.
v. Relations Family ties can be discerned for some of the members (e.g. father - son or brothers) on grounds of the onomastics:

Father and son:
Μικαδίων Ἀρισταγόρου (l. 7)
Νικάνωρ Μικαδίωνος (l. 12)

Ἀσκληπιάδης Γλαυκίου (l. 9)
Κάλας Γλαυκίου (l. 15)

Ἡρακλείδης Βακχίου (l. 14)
Ἀγήνωρ Βακχίου (l. 19)


iii. Worship The Assklepiastai came together in the newly founded hieron, apparently for cult practices.


iii. Bibliography Müller, H. (2010), 'Ein Kultverein von Asklepiasten im Yüntdağ', Chiron 40: 427-57.


i. Private association Certain
Note The name of the association hoi protoi Assklepiastai suggests that the group expected a certain degree of continuity in its activities. The Assklepiastai would have taken over the administration of the newly founded shrine.