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Last Updated on 24 May 2019

Author: Andreas Victor Walser

CAPInv. 998: Temenitai


i. Geographical area Western Asia Minor
ii. Region Ionia
iii. Site Miletus


i. Full name (original language) Τεμενῖται (Milet VI.2 795 l. 3)
ii. Full name (transliterated) Temenitai


i. Date(s) 189 - 180 BC


ii. Name elements


i. Source(s) Milet VI.2 795 ll. 1-17
Note Günther 1995: 45-47 no. 1 (Bresson 1997: 502-3)
i.a. Source type(s) Epigraphic source(s)
i.b. Document(s) typology & language/script List of members in Greek
i.c. Physical format(s) Marble stele
ii. Source(s) provenance Necropolis at the Değirmentepe, reused as a tomb-stone in the later imperial period (iii AD).


iii. Members Τεμενῖται, Temenitai
iv. Officials χρυσονόμος, chrysonomos

If he was an eponymous official (below), they must have administered their office for a year.

Most other milesian inscriptions listing Τεμενῖται, Temenitai, mention the chrysonomos together with a γραμματεύς, grammateus. It seems likely that this is just a formal inaccuracy in the prescript of the inscription and does not reflect a different structure of the association (Günther 1995: 47; but cf. also CAPinv. 1022).
Eponymous officials The chrysonomos is mentioned in the praescript after the milesian στεφανήφορος, stephanephoros, the eponymous of the city. Therefore, he seems to be the eponymous official of the association.


i. Treasury/Funds Since the chrysonomos was the treasurer of the association, it must have had some kind of treasury.


i. Number 13, later 15 members (Milet VI.2 795)

The inscription originally listed the names of 13 members, those of two more have been added at a later stage.

2 or 3 more names were added at a still later stage. It is not clear whether they belong to the list of the temenitai (so Bresson 1999: 504-5) or belong to a separate, later inscription (Günther 1995: 45).
ii. Gender Men
Note 14 men and 1 woman are listed.
iii. Age Children
Note The age of the members is not given but the name suggests that the members included several generations of the same family.
iv. Status The civic status of the members is not specified. However, since other lists of Temenitai explicitly identify foreigners with their ethnicon, in this case all members seem to be citizens of Miletus.

According to the editior, the name of one member (Σαβίων, Sabion) suggests a judeo-aramaic origin, but he, too, was a citizen.
v. Relations No relations are explicitly indicated, but the list of members includes at least one (and probably more) father-son pair. Other members could belong to one and the same family (Bresson 1999: 504), but this is highly conjectural.

1) Demetrios, s. of Apatourios in l. 6 is obviously the son of Apatourios, s. of Demetrios named in l. 5. 2. Epaphroditos s. of Apollonios (l. 16) is probably the son of Apollonios s. of Epaphrodeitos (l. 8).


ii. Meetings and events The list of the members is styled as the record of a meeting (οἵδε συνήχθησαν Τεμενῖται, hoide synechthesan Temenitai). This formula suggest a meeting in the form of a banquet (Herrmann, Milet VI.2: p. 93 with reference to Ph. Gauthier, BE 1991, 426).

iii. Worship The designation of the association's members as temenitai indicates its religious character and suggests activities related to a temenos. Other milesian inscriptions mentioning temenitai usually name one or several gods worshipped by the association.

What exactly the association did is not mentioned for this or other associations of temenitai. It seems likely that they were not (or not only) involved in the establishment of a temenos but also in its maintenance and managed the cultic activities more generally.
iv. Honours/Other activities The provenance of the inscription from a necropolis further suggests that the association was also involved in funerary activities, though nothing in the inscription itself attests to that. Cf. also the comments below (XII.i.)


i. Comments P. Herrmann (Milet VI.2: p. 94) suggests that the names of the two persons added to the list in ll. 16-17 at a later stage do not belong to members of the association but are part of the funerary inscription ("… nicht schon den Übergang zur Grabinschrift darstellt."). This is, however, highly unlikely because Epaphroditos, s. of Apollonios, mentioned in l. 16, is obviously related to and probably the son of Apollonios, s. of Epaphroditos, listed in l. 8.

The inscription does not specify the name of the association but just uses the generic term Τεμενῖται, Temenitai, without the usual references to certain gods. The association could therefore be identical with one of the other milesian associations of Τεμεν(ε)ῖται, Temen(e)itai, or τεμενίζοντες, temenizontes.

On groups of temenizontes, Temenitai in Miletus in general cf. Herrmann, Milet VI.2: p. 93; Herrmann 1980; Carbon 2013; Harland 2014: 285-287.

According to Bresson 1999: 502, the Milesian Temenitai were associations with a "caractère funéraire" and – that seems to be implied – no other cultic function. Their temenos was nothing else but the area with the collective tomb(s) of the associations. While there is indeed evidence that the Temenitai were involved in funerary activities, it seems unlikely that this was their sole purpose. Several associations of Temenitai are designated as the Temenitai of one or several Gods and are therefore clearly religious associations. Cf. already the critical remarks by A. Chariots and J. Mylonopoulos, EBGR 1997, 38.
iii. Bibliography Bresson, A. (1999), 'De Marseille à Milet: Lettres lunaires et associations cultuelles', REA 99: 491-506.
Carbon, J.-M. (2013), 'Dolphin-Pillars', ZPE 46: 27-34.
Harland, Ph.A. (2014), Greco-Roman Associations: Texts, Translations and Commentary. II. North Coast of the Black Sea, Asia Minor. Berlin, Boston.
Herrmann, P. (1980), 'Urkunden milesischer Temenitai', MDAI(I) 30: 223-239.
Günther, W. (1995), 'Zwei neue Temenitenverzeichnisse aus Milet', Chiron 25: 43-53.


i. Private association Certain
Note The terminology, the activity and the internal organisation of the association suggests a private association.