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Last Updated on 14 Jun 2019

Author: Stella Skaltsa

CAPInv. 902: Midapedeiton speira


i. Geographical area Western Asia Minor
ii. Region Mysia
iii. Site Pergamon


i. Full name (original language) Μιδαπεδειτῶν σπεῖρα (Ι.Pergamon 319, 320)
ii. Full name (transliterated) Midapedeiton speira


i. Date(s) i (?) AD


ii. Name elements
Cultic:speira - the term is often used for associations of mystai ('Mystenverein', cf. Poland 1909: 153).
Topographical:The editor of the inscriptions, Fränkel (followed by Poland 1909: 84), thought that the name of the association derived from a region in Phrygia, called Midapedion on the basis of the first compound of the word (Midas: name of Phrygian origin). This region, however, is otherwise unattested. In other words, the first compound does not need denote a place in Phrygia, and the assumption that the members of the speira originated from Phrygia seems rather ambiguous.

In an ephebic list from Pergamon a couple of ephebes are designated as coming from τῶν ἐκ] Μιδαπεδίου (MDAI(A) 1902: 121 no. 133 ll. 3, 5; 1907: 441 no. 312). In light of this Robert convincingly argued that Midapedion was a village in Pergamene territory (Robert 1935: 79; see also Ohlemutz 1968: 110; Schwarzer 2002: 243). Robert (1973: 485) explained the toponyme Midapedion in light of the name of the Pergamene mythical hero Midios, putting forward that the area would have been in the vicinity of the Pergamene capital.

Jaccottet (2003: 191) does not take into account the literature after Fränkel and Poland. Thus, one should read with some reservations her interpretation.
iii. Descriptive terms σπεῖρα, speira


i. Source(s) I.Pergamon 319, 320 (i c. AD)
Note Jaccottet 2003: nos. 100, 101
Online Resources I.Pergamon 319

I.Pergamon 320

AGRW ID 8857
i.a. Source type(s) Epigraphic source(s)
i.b. Document(s) typology & language/script I.Pergamon 319: Dedication to Dionysos Kathegemon and the Midapedeiton speira) by Dionysios son of Dionysios.

I.Pergamon 320: Partly preserved dedication to Dionysios Kathegemon and the
Midapedeiton speira.

In Greek.
i.c. Physical format(s) I.Pergamon 319: Altar of trachyte (Altar aus Trachyt) with elaborate mouldings on top and bottom. H. 113 x W. 69 x L. 69 cm. (the dative would rathr indicate a base for a votive offering than an altar).

I.Pergamon 320: fragment of a marble altar or a base. H (max.) 38 x W (max.) 33 x L (max.) 14 cm.
ii. Source(s) provenance I.Pergamon 319: Found built into a medieval wall south of the Upper Agora.

I.Pergamon 320: Found south of the Upper Agora.


iii. Worship Dionysios son of Dionysios set up an offering to Dionysos Kathegemon and the Midapedeiton speira (I.Pergamon 319).
The cult of Dionysos Kathegemon was especially endorsed by the Attalids, but its cult continued to enjoy prominence even after the end of the dynasty.
Deities worshipped Dionysos Kathegemon


i. Comments Fränkel (I.Pergamon 319, p. 235) thought that the speira was a closed circle of members within the boukoloi, on grounds that both associations worshipped Dionysos Kathegemon. The name of the speira, i.e. Midapedeiton speira, however, would set it apart from the boukoloi. It seems that the cult of Dionysos Kathegemon, was endorsed by various groups, active in Pergamon (boukoloi) as well as in the Pergamene territory (Midapedeiton speira) (Ohlemutz 1968:110, 112).
The name of the dedicator, Dionysios son of Dionysios, underlines a personal relation with the god (Dionysos Kathegemon) and the speira.
ii. Poland concordance I.Pergamon 319: Poland B 399α
I.Pergamon 320: Poland B 399β
iii. Bibliography Jaccottet, A.-F. (2003), Choisir Dionysos. Les associations dionysiaques ou la face cachée du Dionysisme. II. Documents. Paris.
Ohlemutz, E. (1968), Die Kulte und Heiligtümer der Götter in Pergamon. Darmstadt.
Robert, L. (1935), Villes d'Asie Mineure: études de géographie antique. Paris.
Robert, L (1973), 'Sur les inscriptions de Délos, in BCH Suppl. 1: 435-89.
Schwarzer, H. (2002), 'Vereinslokale im hellenistischen und römischen Pergamon', in U. Egelhaaf-Gaiser & A. Schäfer (eds.), Religiöse Vereine in der römischen Antike: Untersuchungen zu Organisation, Ritual und Raumordnung: 221-60.


i. Private association Certain
Note The association was centered around the cult of Dionysos, as suggested by the name speira and further confirmed by the dedication being addressed to both Dionysos Kathegemon and the Midapedeiton speira. The name of the association probably derives from a locale within the Pergamene territory.