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Last Updated on 14 Mar 2017

Author: Alexandru Avram

CAPInv. 1317: theas A.SAUAS th[iasos (vel thi[asitai)


i. Geographical area Black Sea Region
ii. Region North coast of the Black Sea
iii. Site Gorgippia


i. Full name (original language) θεᾶς Α.ΣΑΥΑΣ θί[ασος (vel θι[ασεῖται, l. θι[ασῖται) (CIRB 77 + 1136, joined in Kalashnik 1970)
ii. Full name (transliterated) theas A.SAUAS th[iasos (vel thi[asitai)


i. Date(s) 173 - 211 AD


i. Name in other forms θεασεῖ[ται], l. θι[ασῖται, theasei[tai] l. thiasitai (as phonetical variant in Jajlenko 2010: 643, face A, l. 1).
ii. Name elements
Theophoric:Theas A.SAUAS
iii. Descriptive terms θίασος, thiasos (?)
Note thiasos: Kalashnik 1970, l. 2


i. Source(s) IGR I 893 = CIRB 77 (with a wrong restoration) + CIRB 1136, joined in Kalashnik 1970 (AD 173-211).
CIRB 1156 A + CIRB 1182 A + Boltunova 1971: 7 no. 5 A + Boltunova 1971: 9 no. 6 A, attributed to the same inscription in Jajlenko 2010: 643-4.
CIRB 1156 B + CIRB 1182 B + Boltunova 1971: 7 no. 5 B + Boltunova 1971: 9 no. 6 B, attributed to the same inscription in Jajlenko 2010: 641-2 (AD 173-211).
Online Resources CIRB 77
(wrong restoration)
CIRB 1136
(not joined to CIRB 77) and AGRW ID 7794
CIRB 1156
CIRB 1182A
CIRB 1182B
NE 9 (1971) 7,5A
NE 9 (1971) 7,5B
NE 9 (1971) 9,6A
NE 9 (1971) 9,6B
i.a. Source type(s) Epigraphic source(s)
i.b. Document(s) typology & language/script All the records are in Greek.
CIRB 77 + 1136 is a fragmentary list of the members.
CIRB 1156 + CIRB 1182 + Boltunova 1971: 7 no. 5 + Boltunova 1971: 9 no. 6 contains a decision (?) of the thiasos, followed by a large but fragmentary list of members (face A), as well as another fragmentary list of members (face B).
i.c. Physical format(s) CIRB 77 + 1136: four joining fragments of a marble stele (three just joined in CIRB 1136 and a fourth one, CIRB 77, which represents in fact the left part of the same stele, joined in Kalashnik 1970). Thus, we have the rather complete left upper corner of the inscription.
The remaining pieces are four not joining fragments of an opisthograph marble stele recently put together in Jajlenko 2010: 636-46.
ii. Source(s) provenance Gorgippia, at different dates. Only CIRB 77 is given as discovered in Pantikapaion in 1857, which is surely wrong, insofar this fragment joins perfectly CIRB 1136 from Gorgippia (see V.i).


ii. Leadership One ἱερεύς, hiereus ([ - - Aga]thou (tou) Bochorou in CIRB 77 + 1136, ll. 6-7, who is at the same time a λοχαγός, lochagos, i.e. a royal official [see for this office in Gorgippia CAPInv. 1310]; Teimoth[eos] in Jajlenko 2010: 643-4 [face A], l. 4; unknown in Jajlenko 2010: 640-41 [face B], ll. 3-4).
iv. Officials One συναγωγός, synagogos (CIRB 77 + 1136, ll. 7-8, restored; Jajlenko 2010: 643-4 [face A], l. 4; possibly also in Jajlenko 2010: 640-1, for filling the lacuna at l. 4).
One φροντιστής, phrontistes (CIRB 77 + 1136, ll. 8-9).


i. Number More than 40. The lists present a lot of names of ordinary members, all accompanied by their patronymics: at least 12 in CIRB 77 + 1136; at least 30 in Jajlenko 2010: 643-4 (face A); at least 40 in Jajlenko 2010: 640-1 (face B).
ii. Gender Men
Note The preserved names are male names.
iii. Age Adults
iv. Status One ἱερεύς, hiereus ([ - - Aga]thou (tou) Bochorou in CIRB 77 + 1136, ll. 6-7) is at the same time a λοχαγός, lochagos, i.e. a royal official.
Two of the members might be [Phan]agoreis (if we accept Jajlenko's cautious restoration (2010: 643-4 [face A], ll. 26-7, [Φαν(?)]αγορεῖς).


i. Assemblies Possible σύνοδοι, synodoi. A.I. Boltunova (1971: 7 no. 5 A, followed in Jajlenko 2010: 643-4 [face A]) suggests restoring (l. 4) [ἡ σύνοδος (ἡ) περὶ ἱερέα] Τειμόθ[εον], [he synodos (he) peri hierea] Teimoth[eon], however, [ὁ θίασος], [ho thiasos], or [(οἱ) θεασεῖται], [(hoi) theaseitai], (cf. l. 1) are also possible. For σύνοδος, synodos designating the assembly of a θίασος, thiasos see Gauthier in BE 2001: no. 312 and Chaniotis in SEG 47: 1199 and 49: 1053.


i. Local interaction We note a λοχαγός, lochagos, at the head of the thiasos, i.e. a high ranking royal official (cf. Povalahev 2011). This confirms the close connections of the Bosporan thiasoi to the royal court.


i. Comments The enigmatic genitive Α.ΣΑΥΑΣ in the group's name suggests a hitherto unknown epiclesis of a feminine goddess. Jajlenko 2010: 618-21 tries to identify a deity called Saua but the stone shows an Α and another unidentified letter before ΣΑΥΑΣ.
The main problem is to identify the goddess of this thiasos. After CIRB 77 and 1136 have been joined (see now ph. in Zavojkina 2012: 89 fig. 18) it became clear that the heading (l. 3) shows θεᾶς Α.ΣΑΥΑΣ θί[ασος vel θί[ασεῖται], theas A.SAUAS th[iasos (vel thi[aseitai). But there is no likely solution for the name (or rather the epiclesis) of the (local?) goddess.
Jajlenko's restorations and explanations are far from being satisfactory. He also restores l. 1 of Jajlenko 2010: 643-4 (face A) as [θεᾶς Σαῦ]ας (sic) θεασεῖ[ται], [theas Sau]as (sic) theasei[tai]. But a name like Saua is not supported by the autopsy of CIRB 77 + 1136.
With its staff including a ἱερεύς, hiereus, a συναγωγός, synagogos, and a φροντιστής, phrontistes, this association has a very similar organization to the association of sea merchants (CAPInv. 1310).
ii. Poland concordance Poland B 111 (IGRR I 893 = CIRB 77, with its wrong restoration)
iii. Bibliography Boltunova, A.I. (1971), ‘Nadpisi Gorgippii (iz sluchajnykh nakhodok) [Inscriptions from Gorgippia (from Chance Finds)]’, NE 9: 3-15 esp. 7 no. 5; 9 no. 6.
Jajlenko, V.P. (2010): Tysjacheletnij Bosporskij Rejkh [A Thousand Year Bosporan Reich (sic)]. Moscow: 636-46.
Kalashnik, Ju.P. (1970), ‘K nadpisjam KBN, 77 i KBN, 1136 [On the Inscriptions CIRB 77 and CIRB 1136]’, VDI 4: 148-52.
Povalahev, N. (2011): ‘Eine Bauinschrift aus Phanagoreia von 220/1 n. Chr. und ihr historischer Hintergrund: Text und Kommentar’, ZPE 177: 141-56.
Zavojkina, N.V. (2012), Bosporskie fiasy: mezhdu polisom i monarkhiej [Bosporan Thiasoi: Between Polis and Monarchy]. Moscow: 88-90.


i. Private association Certain
Note The terminology employed suggests a private association.