Stable URL: as PDF
Last Updated on 12 Jun 2019

Author: Stella Skaltsa

CAPInv. 112: to koinon tou thiasou ton patrion theon


i. Geographical area Aegean Islands
ii. Region Astypalaia


i. Full name (original language) τὸ κοινὸν τοῦ θιάσου τῶν πατρίω[ν θε]ῶν (IG XII.3 178, ll. 3-4)
ii. Full name (transliterated) to koinon tou thiasou ton patrion theon


i. Date(s) iii / ii BC


ii. Name elements
Theophoric:patrioi theoi: the ancestral gods refer to the Syrian gods, Hadad and Atargatis (Baslez 1999: 231). The specification of the ancestral gods strengthens the cultic element in the name of the association, which at the same time highlights the ethnic origin of the cult (Baslez 1986: 295-96 n. 50; 2001: 236).
iii. Descriptive terms κοινὸν, koinon (l. 3)
θίασος, thiasos (l. 3)
Note The term koinon appears again as part of the name in line 8.


i. Source(s) IG XII.3 178 + IG XII.3 Suppl. p. 278 (iii/ii BC)
Note Other editions:
SGDI 3473
Online Resources IG XII.3 178
i.a. Source type(s) Epigraphic source(s)
i.b. Document(s) typology & language/script Honorific decree in Greek for Ophelion son of Enation by Atargatis and the koinon tou thiasou ton patrion theon.
i.c. Physical format(s) Marble stele, moulded on top, broken below, wreath in relief above the inscription.
ii. Source(s) provenance Found built into the church of Archistrategos (above the doorway) that lies on the way between Livadia and the church of S. Basil.


iv. Officials - ἰερεὺς (hiereus, l. 1)
- ἐπιστατεύων (epistateuon, ll. 1-2) - the office of epistates is well attested in Rhodian associations, e.g. in the Haliadan kai Haliastan koinon, CAP Inv. 10 (see also Poland 1909: 367).
Eponymous officials The hiereus is the eponymous official of the association as the decree is dated after him and the epistateuon.
The epistateuon is also the eponymous official of the association as the decree is dated after him and the hiereus.
Known practice of appointment Ophelion was approved (ἀποδειχθείς) priest of the patrioi theoi by the goddess by lot (διὰ κλάρου) (ll. 4-5).
According to Baslez (2001: 242) this is in accordance with a Syrian practice in the way in which the priest is selected by the deity.


iv. Status According to Baslez (2001: 236) the name Syros is indicative of a servile status and foreign origin. However the personal name is followed by a patronymic, and the family seems to be relatively well attested in Astypalaia (see below IX.v.).
v. Relations The officials of the koinon were probably relatives.
Syros son of Viettos was probably nephew of Ophelion son of Enation (i.e. Ophelion and Syros' father were brothers). Viettos son of Enation made a dedication to Dionysos (IG XII.3 191).


iii. Worship The koinon was centered around the cult of Atargatis, who was involved in the passing of the decree. The koinon was also centered around the cult of the patrioi theoi: the koinon had a priest of the patrioi theoi (l. 5).
Deities worshipped Atargatis
patrioi theoi
iv. Honours/Other activities Enation, son of Ophelion, was honoured by Atargatis and the koinon because he was a good man and showed all his zeal (pasan spoudan l. 6) and glory (philodoxia ll. 6-7) towards the priesthood of the gods (hierateian, l. 7) and the koinon. The decree was passed in the year Ophelion was priest.


i. Comments This is the earliest attestation in the Aegean of an ethnic community of Syrians devoted to the cult of Atargatis (Baslez 2001: 237). In the second century BC Syrians devoted to the cult of Atargatis are well attested in Delos (e.g. CAP Inv. 438; CAP Inv. 439).
Despite their Syrian origin, the text of the inscription is fashioned in proper Greek, following the honorific formula of Hellenistic decrees. What sets it apart, however, from a fully-fledged Hellenistic decree, is that the goddess is involved in the decision-making process.
ii. Poland concordance Poland B 227
iii. Bibliography Baslez, M.-F. (1986), 'Cultes et dévotions de Phéniciens en Grèce: Les divinités marines', in C. Bonnet et al. (eds.), Religion Phoenicia. Acta colloquii Namurcensis habiti diebus 14 et 15 mensis Decembris anni 1984, (Studia Phoenicia 4), Namur: 289-306.

Baslez, M.-F. (1999), 'Le culte de la déesse syrienne dans le monde hellénistique', in C. Bonnet & A. Motte (eds.), Les syncrétismes religeux dans le monde méditerranéen antique. Brussels. 229-48.

Baslez, M.-F. (2001), 'Entre traditions nationales et intégration: les associations sémitiques du monde grec', in S. Ribichini et al. (eds.), La questione delle influenze vicino-orientali sulla religione greca: stato degli studi e prospettive della ricerca. Atti del colloquio internazionale, Roma, 20-22 maggio 1999. Rome: 235-47.


i. Private association Certain
Note The name of the group together with its internal organization suggest that this is a private association.