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Last Updated on 09 Mar 2017

Author: Alexandru Avram

CAPInv. 1186: bakchikos thiasos


i. Geographical area Thrace
ii. Region Euxine Coast
iii. Site Callatis


i. Full name (original language) βακχικὸς θίασος (I. Kallatis 45)
ii. Full name (transliterated) bakchikos thiasos


i. Date(s) l. iii BC - i AD


ii. Name elements
iii. Descriptive terms θίασος, thiasos
Note thiasos: I. Kallatis 36, ll. 7; I. Kallatis 42, l. 13; I. Kallatis 43, l. 7; I. Kallatis 44, l. 6; I. Kallatis 45, l. 8


i. Source(s) I. Kallatis 35 (l. iii BC).
I. Kallatis 36 (l. iii BC).
I. Kallatis 42 (l. i BC).
I. Kallatis 43 (e. i AD).
I. Kallatis 44 (AD 12-15).
I. Kallatis 45 (shortly after AD 15).
I. Kallatis 46 (AD 14-37).
I. Kallatis 47 (ii BC).
I. Kallatis 80 (s. i AD).
Note See also:
I. Kallatis 35: Jaccottet II 54, AGRW 73
I. Kallatis 36: Jaccottet II 55, Syll.3 1108, SIG2 1108, Jaccottet II 55, SEG 45: 902
I. Kallatis 42: Jaccottet II 56
I. Kallatis 43: Jaccottet II 57, SGDI 3090
I. Kallatis 44: Jaccottet II 58, AGRW 74
I. Kallatis 45: Jaccottet II 59
I. Kallatis 46: Jaccottet II 60
I. Kallatis 47: LSCG 90, with an impossible restoration.
I. Kallatis 80: Jaccottet II 61, SEG 24: 1034
Online Resources I. Kallatis 35 and AGRW ID 3270
I. Kallatis 36 and AGRW ID 14453
I. Kallatis 42 and AGRW ID 14463
I. Kallatis 43 and AGRW ID 14467
I. Kallatis 44 and AGRW ID 3276
I. Kallatis 45 and AGRW ID 14469
I. Kallatis 46 and AGRW ID 14471
I. Kallatis 47
I. Kallatis 80 and AGRW ID 14489
i.a. Source type(s) Epigraphic source(s)
i.b. Document(s) typology & language/script All the documents are in Greek. I. Kallatis 35, 36, 42-46 are decrees of the thiasos dating from l. iii BC to the age of Tiberius.
I. Kallatis 47 is a sacred regulation.
I. Kallatis 80 is a dedication made by a priestess of Athena for the θια[σεῖται], thia[seitai].
i.c. Physical format(s) Marble steles, completely preserved or fragmentary.
ii. Source(s) provenance Callatis


ii. References to buildings/objects I. Kallatis 35 (l. iii BC) is a decree concerning a subscription for the building of the ‘temple to the god’ (i.e. Dionysos) (l. 4: ναὸς τῶι θεῶι, naos toi theoi; cf. ll. 13-14: ὁ ναός, ho naos). This temple had a vaulted corridor leading to (subterranean?) vaulted chambers (col. A, ll. 39-40: ἀλέαν εἰς τὸ θύρωμα κοίλαν καὶ ψαλίδας, alean eis to thyroma koilan kai psalidas). It is surely the same building which is called μυχός, mychos in the decree I. Kallatis 44, l. 42. We, therefore, can infer that the temple was an imitation of a Dionysiac cave. See also I. Kallatis 80 (s. i AD), a dedication of a cave, ἄντρον, antron, to the θια[σεῖται], thia[seitai], an edifice which is, however, different from the ναός, naos = μυχός, mychos built in l. iii BC.
This temple received at the age of Tiberius a courtyard, αὐλά, aula, which had a precinct (cf. περιβα[λεῖ]ν, periba[lei]n: I. Kallatis 46, ll. 7-8) and a vestibule, πρόθυρον, prothyron, at the entrance (ll. 7, 12, 22). Thus, the ναός, naos = μυχός, mychos receiving this precinct, the same sanctuary is called in this inscription ἱερὸν τοῦ Διονύσου, hieron tou Dionysou (l. 18).
Another sanctuary is the Δασυλλιεῖον, Dasyllieion (from the epiclesis Δασύλλιος, Dasyllios), mentioned in I. Kallatis 47, ll. 6 and 8, which might have been situated outside the city.


ii. Leadership No leader is known before the age of Tiberius. I. Kallatis 45 (shortly after AD 15) mentions the θιασεῖται οἱ περὶ Φίλωνα Διοσκουρίδα, thiaseitai hoi peri Philona Dioskourida (ll. 2-3), also called ὁ ἱερεὺς Φίλων, ho hiereus Philon (l. 4) as author of the proposition. We, therefore, understand that the thiasos had a hiereus as leader.
iii. Members θιασεῖται, l. θιασῖται thiaseitai, l. thiasitai (I. Kallatis 35, ll. 3, 5, 19; I. Kallatis 36, ll. 1, 12; I. Kallatis 42, l. 4; I. Kallatis 43, ll. 9, 12; I. Kallatis 44, ll. 3, 20, 37; I. Kallatis 45, ll. 2, 3-4; I. Kallatis 46, ll. 5, 21; I. Kallatis 47, l. 6?; 80, ll. 5-6).
iv. Officials Hagemon Pythionos, president of session (cf. I. Kallatis 35, ll. 2-3: πραισιμνῶντος, praisimnontos, i.e. προαισυμνῶντος, proaisymnontos).
v. Other staff Three members of the ad hoc commission in charge of surveying the erection of the temple (I. Kallatis 35, ll. 14-17). The ad hoc commission in charge of the administration of the διάφορα, diaphora for the building of the temple must produce written reports (I. Kallatis 35, ll. 15-17).
vi. Laws and rules The thiasos took its decisions through decrees (I. Kallatis 35, 36, 42-46).
The sacred regulation I. Kallatis 47 very probable belongs to the same thiasos.
A reference to a law (l. 9: κατὰ τὸν νόμον, kata ton nomon; civic law or rule of the thiasos?) occurs in I. Kallatis 36.
The decision of the thiasos is called ψάφισμα, l. ψήφισμα, psaphisma, l psephisma (I. Kallatis 42, ll. 9-10 and 15; 44, l. 38; 46, l. 16).
viii. Obligations


i. Treasury/Funds Τὰ διάφορα, Ta diaphora, i.e. the fund accumulated through subscription for the building of the temple (I. Kallatis 35, l. 16).
Τὸ κοινὸν διάφορον, to koinon diaphoron = τὰ θιασιτικὰ χρήμ[α]τα, ta thiasitika chrem[a]ta (I. Kallatis 36, ll. 5 and 9-10).
One of the members is charged to lend the funds of the thiasos (τὸ κοινὸν διάφορον, to koinon diaphoron, and τὰ θιασιτικὰ χρήμ[α]τα, ta thiasitika chrem[a]ta: I. Kallatis 36, ll. 5 and 9-10).
iii. Income Fund accumulated through subscription (I. Kallatis 35).
Taxation (I. Kallatis 36, l. 4: εἰσφοραί , eisphorai).
Profitable lending of the common fund of the thiasos as capital (I. Kallatis 36, ll. 5-7: τὸ κοινὸν διάφορον πιστευ[θ]εὶς καὶ ἐγδανείσας λυσιτελέως [τῶι θι]άσωι, to koinon diaphoron pisteu[th]eis kai egdaneisas lysiteleos [toi thi]asoi).


i. Number More than 33 members in l. iii BC (I. Kallatis 35).
ii. Gender Men
Note The attested names are male names.
iii. Age Adults
iv. Status Members include a maker of crowns, στεφαναπλόκος, stephanaplokos (I. Kallatis 35, col. B, l. 39)
v. Relations Ariston Aristonos (= Ariston I, honoured by I. Kallatis 42 and 43 from the age of Augustus) is the father of Ariston Aristonos (= II), honoured by I. Kallatis 44 (end of the age of Augustus) and 45 (age of Tiberius).


ii. Meetings and events Trieteric festivals (I. Kallatis 35, ll. 19-20: αἱ σύνοδοι ἅς κα συνῶντι οἱ θιασ[ῖ]ται κατὰ τριετηρίδα, hai synodoi has ka synonti hoi thias[i]tai kata trieterida; 44, l. 2: μηνὸς Διονυσίου ἐν τριετηρίδι, menos Dionysiou en trieteridi).
Festivals performing the ξενισμός, xenismos of Dionysos, τὰ ξενικὰ Διονύσια, ta xenika Dionysia (I. Kallatis 44, l. 40; cf. also I. Kallatis 3, l. 5, from e. iii BC).
iii. Worship On the basis of the dedication to Dionysos Bakcheus (the term is restored) in I. Kallatis 80 and the various other activities of the group, we can infer worship by the group. The epiclesis Bakcheus is certain in I. Kallatis 79 from i AD (Διονύσωι Βακχεῖ [Di]onysoi Bakchei) and, through restoration, the oracular inscription from iv BC I. Kallatis 48 A, l. 3 ([Δι]όνυσος Βακ[χεύς] [Di]onysos Bak[cheus]).
Other epicleseis for Dionysos attested in Callatis are Πα[τρῷος], Pa[troos] (I. Kallatis 48 A, l. 1) and Δασύ[λλιος], Dasy[llios] (I. Kallatis 48 A, l. 4; cf. I. Kallatis 47, ll. 6 and 8: Δασυλλιεῖον , Dasyllieion).
Deities worshipped Dionysos Bakcheus
iv. Honours/Other activities Στέφανος φιλοτιμίας διὰ βίου, stephanos philotimias dia biou, στέφανος ἀπο[δοχᾶ]ς τᾶι τριετηρίδι διὰ βίου, stephanos apo[docha]s tai trieteridi dia biou (for the different interpretations see the bibliography) and the honour to see their names engraved on a stele for the contributors to the subscription for the building of the temple (I. Kallatis 35, ll. 7-8, 10-11, 12-13), a hierarchy depending from the amount of contributions, and the right to wear a crown during the trieteric festivals of the thiasos for the members of the commission in charge of the administration of the fund (ll. 19-20). The crowns were leaves crowns (see the 'maker of crowns', στεφαναπλόκος, stephanaplokos, col. B, l. 39).
Awards of crowns 'for eternity', εἰς τὸ κατ’ ἀΐδιον, eis to kat' aidion, to several members (I. Kallatis 42, l. 14; 44, l. 34; 46, l. 15).
On the occasion of the subscription for the erection of the temple (I. Kallatis 35) the thiasos decides honours for its members depending from the amount of the contributions.
Honorific decrees set up for members: see I. Kallatis 36 (l. iii BC) and I. Kallatis 46 (age of Tiberius), decree for Phileinos Phileinou, who built the vestibule at the entrance and the precinct of the courtyard of the temple.


i. Local interaction The thiasos imitates city practices and awards honours to his benefactors after they just received honours through civic decrees (cf. especially I. Kallatis 42, ll. 2-3: ἐφ’ οἷς [ὁ δᾶμος ἐτείμασεν αὐτὸν] ταῖς τε[ιμαῖς ταῖς μεγίσταις], eph' hois [ho damos eteimasen auton] tais te[imais tais megistais]; and the succession of Ariston I's titles, κτίστας τᾶς πόλιος, l. κτίστης τῆς πόλεως ktistes tes poleos, in I. Kallatis 44, and δεύτερον γενόμενος κτίστας τᾶς πόλιος (l. κτίστης τῆς πόλεως), deuteron genomenos ktistes tes poleos in I. Kallatis 45).


i. Comments The group must have held assemblies for passing decrees (I. Kallatis 35, 36, 42-46): the terminology for such assemblies is never recorded. One document mentions the president of the session (I. Kallatis 35, ll. 2-3: πραισιμνῶντος, praisimnontos [i.e. προαισυμνῶντος, proaisymnontos]). The decrees are introduced, as the city decrees, by the formula ἔδοξε τοῖς θιασ(ε)ίταις, edoxe tois thias(e)itais, and the honours by the formula δεδόχθαι τοῖς θιασ(ε)ίταις, dedochthai tois thias(e)itais.
ii. Poland concordance Poland B 92 (I. Kallatis 43)
Poland B 93 (I. Kallatis 42)
Poland B 94 (I. Kallatis 36)
Poland B 95 (I. Kallatis 47)
iii. Bibliography Avram, A. (1995), ‘Un règlement sacré de Callatis’, BCH 119: 235-52.
Avram, A. (2002), ‘Der dionysische Thiasos in Kallatis. Organisation, Repräsentation, Funktion’, in U. Egelhaaf-Gaiser and A. Schäfer (eds.), Raum und Gruppe. Religiöse Vereine in der römischen Antike. Untersuchungen zu Ordnung, Ritual und Raumordnung, Tübingen: 69-80 (SEG 52, 715).
Jaccottet, A.-F. (2003), Choisir Dionysos. Les associations dionysiaques ou la face cachée du dionysisme. 2 vols. Zürich.
Chiekova, D. (2007), ‘Quelques aspects institutionnels et rituels du culte bachique dans les cités du Pont Gauche’, in M. Mayer Olivé, G. Baratta, and A. Guzmán Alagro (eds.), Acta XII congressus internationalis epigraphiae graecae et latinae, Barcelona 2007: I.275-8 (especially about the crowns).
Chiekova, D. (2008), Cultes et vie religieuse dans les cités grecques du Pont Gauche (VIe–Ier siècles avant J.-C.). Bern: 88-104.


i. Private association Certain
Note Although it is certain that we have to do with a private association, it is also important to note that the main festivals supposed to take place in the theatre were perhaps open to all the citizens. Therefore, the thiasos also had a public character.