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Last Updated on 27 May 2019

Author: Georgios Zachos

CAPInv. 953: U-CGR-009


i. Geographical area Central Greece
ii. Region East Lokris
iii. Site Opous


i. Association with unknown name U-CGR-009


i. Date(s) iii BC - ii AD


Note The association is connected to the cult of Sarapis and Isis, see XII.i Comments.


i. Source(s) IG X.2.1 255 (1st-2nd c. AD)
Note Other editions:
Sokolowski 1974: 441-5
Horsley 1981: 29-32 (text and english translation)
Totti 1985: no. 14
SICIS 113/0536
Archaeology Behind Battle Lines 2012: 195-6, no. 144 (photo)
GRA I no. 77
BCH 97 1973: 588
Online Resources IG X.2.1 255
i.a. Source type(s) Epigraphic source(s)
i.b. Document(s) typology & language/script The tradition about the foundation of Sarapis and Isis cult in Opous. Propagandistic text in Greek.
i.c. Physical format(s) Marble stele mutilated (0.34 x 0.41 x 0.08m)
ii. Source(s) provenance Thessalonike, sanctuary of Sarapis and Isis


i. Archaeological remains The remains of the Sarapis and Isis sanctuary in Thessaloniki at the area of the modern Karaoli and Dimitriou, Ptolemaion and Antigonidon streets (3rd c. BC-4th c. AD), Koukouvou 2012: 104-11, fig. 7.
ii. References to buildings/objects οἶκος, oikos (dormitory) of the Sanctuary of Sarapis and Isis in Thessalonike (l. 3)
ο̣ἰκία, oikia of Sosinike in Opous (l. 18)


i. Founder(s) Xainetos and Eurynomos
Gender Male
ii. Leadership Probably, the high-priestess, since she had the authority to enter members into association.
iv. Officials Two women, called Sosineike and [Eun]osta have important offices. The first one was high-pristess (ll. 18-19) and the second one invited outsiders to participate in the rites (ll. 20-21).


ii. Gender Men
Note Xainetos and Eurynomos founded the cult, Sosinike and [Eun]osta had important offices.
v. Relations Though it has been characterized as household based or a household-like association (in its first period) (Zampfir 2013: 49, n. 68), a family relationship between its members has not been established (Ascough 2003: 31, note 77). On the other hand it is certain that the association opened to a wider group of people (ll. 20-21). It is uncertain that [Eun]osta was granddaughter of Sosinike (Dodson 2009: 30).


iii. Worship Cult of Isis and Sarapis
Deities worshipped Isis and Sarapis


i. Local interaction The cult of Sarapis and Isis was legitimised in Opous by the political authorities of the city (Eurynomos, Xainetos).
ii. Interaction abroad The sanctuary of Sarapis and Isis in Thessalonike was the mother sanctuary of the one in Opous.


i. Comments It seems that the association in Opous was founded as a family cult in the beginning probably (cf. Sokolowski 1974: 444 who amended l. 18 as οἰκoυρός, oikouros) and household like association with oikos as the center of the Sarapis and Isis cult, and in a later stage was extended to a larger group of people (cf. Sokolowski 1974: 444; Dodson 2009: 30; Zamfir 2013: 49, n. 68). On the other hand, it has been argued that the involvement of Eurynomos who does not seem to related to Sosinike is evidence that the cult had a wider (although perhaps not larger) group of adherents in Opous from the beginning (Ascough 2003: 31).

Sarapis appears to the Opountian Xainetos, who sleeps in the sanctuary of the God in Thessalonike, and instructs him to return to his city to report to his political opponent Eurynomos son of Timasitheos that he should establish the cult of the god and his sister Isis in Opous. Also, Sarapis left as proof a letter under his pillow. Xainetos gave the letter to Eurynomos who apoints a woman, called Sosonike, to perform the proper sacrifices in her house. Later, [Eun]osta daughter of Sosibios "transmitted the cult and administered the mysteries among those who were also non-participant in the rites" (translation and completions by Horsley 1981: 29-32)
iii. Bibliography Ascough, R. (2003), Richard Paul's Macedonian Associations. The Social Context of Philippians and 1 Thessalonians. Tübingen.
Busine, A. (2012), ‘The Discovery of Inscriptions and the Legitimation of New Cult’, in B. Dignas and R.R.R. Smith (eds), Historical and Religious Memory in the Ancient World, Oxford: 243.
Dodson, D.S. (2009), Reading Dreams: An Audience-Critical Approach to the Dreams in the Gospel of Matthew. London, New York.
Fraikin, D. (1974), ‘Introduction of Sarapis and Isis in Opus’, Numina Aegea 1: 1-3.
Horsley, G.H.R. (1981), New Documents Illustrating Early Christianity: A Review of the Greek Inscriptions and Papyri 1976. North Ryde.
Kloppenborg, J.S., and Ascough, R.S. (2011), Greco-Roman Associations: Texts, Translations, and Commentary. I. Attica, Central Greece, Macedonia, Thrace. Berlin, New York: 357-61.
Koukouvou, A. (2012) ‘The Sarapieion. The sanctuary of the Egyptian gods rises from the city's ashes’, in P. Adam-Veleni and A. Koukounou (eds.), Archaeology Behind Battle Lines, Thessaloniki: 104-11, fig. 7 and 195-6, no. 144.
Merkelbach, R. (1973), ‘Zwei Texte aus dem Sarapeum zu Thessalonike’, ZPE 10: 45-54.
Moyer, S. (2011), Egypt and the Limits of Hellenism. Cambridge: 168.
Sokolowski, F. (1974), ‘Propagation of the Cult of Sarapis in Greece’, GRBS 15: 441-8.
Totti, M. (1985), Ausgewählte Texte des Isis und Sarapis Religion. Hildesheim, New York.
Zamfir, K. (2013), Men and Women in the Household of God: A Contextual Approach to Roles and Ministries in the Pastoral Epistles. Göttingen.


i. Private association Certain
Note It was probably founded as a family cult in the beginning as a household-like association and it was later legitimised by the city of Opous.
ii. Historical authenticity The inscription may be a copy of an earlier text of 3rd / 2nd c. BC and was exhibited for propagandistic reasons (SICIS 113/0536).