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Last Updated on 24 Mar 2017

Author: Benedikt Eckhardt

CAPInv. GR-48: synodoi pleious, koina ton syndeipnon


i. Geographical area The Near East and Beyond
ii. Region Syria


i.a. Full reference (original language) σύνοδοι πλείους, κοινὰ τῶν συνδείπνων (Posidon. FGH 10 = Ath. 210e-f and 527e-f)
i.b. Full reference (transliterated) synodoi pleious, koina ton syndeipnon
ii. Reference context In a description of decadent life in Syrian cities, Posidonius of Apamea says that the Syrians hold συνόδους πλείους, synodous pleious, and refer to τὰ κοινὰ τῶν συνδείπνων, ta koina ton syndeipnon, as grammateia.


i. Date(s) 100 - 51 BC


i. Descriptive terms σύνοδος, synodos
κοινόν, koinon
Note synodos: Posidon. Athen. dipn. 12.527e-f (F10)
koinon: Posidon. Athen. dipn. 5.210e-f (F10)


i. Source(s) Posidon. FGH 10 = Ath. 210e-f and 527e-f (100-51 BC)
Online Resources Ath. 210e-f and Ath. 527e-f
i.a. Source type(s) Literary source(s)


iii. Bibliography Bowersock, G.W. (1999), ‘Les Euemerioi et les confréries joyeuses’, CRAI: 1241-56.
Ziebarth, E. (1896), Das griechische Vereinswesen. Leipzig.


i. Private associations Probable
Note The wording is strongly reminiscent of voluntary associations. Ziebarth 1896: 125 and others believe that the reference is to associations of σύνδειπνοι. But how could these be called grammateia? Bowersock 1999: 1251-2 uses the reference to show that the oriental marzeah possessed archives and administrative functions. The new LCL-translation of Athenaeus by Olson gives a different impression: σύνοδοι πλείους, synodoi pleious are "large numbers of parties", τὰ κοινὰ τῶν συνδείπνων, ta koina ton syndeipnon are "their communal dining halls". At least in the latter case, the solution is not really satisfactory. It is probable that Posidonius did in fact refer to banqueting associations; the note on their self-designation as grammateia may have a local background that escapes us.
ii. Historical authenticity The tone of Posidonius' report is clearly polemical, so the authenticity is questionable.