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Last Updated on 26 Jun 2019

Author: Benedikt Eckhardt

CAPInv. 143: he semnotate ergasia ton porphyrabaphon


i. Geographical area Western Asia Minor
ii. Region Phrygia
iii. Site Hierapolis


i. Full name (original language) ἡ σεμνοτάτη ἐργασία τῶν πορφυραβάφων (Altertümer von Hierapolis 42, ll. 5-7)
ii. Full name (transliterated) he semnotate ergasia ton porphyrabaphon


i. Date(s) ii - iii AD


i. Name in other forms οἱ πορφυραβάφοι (Altertümer von Hierapolis 133, ll. 4-5)

ἡ τέχνη τῶν πορφυραβάφων (An.Ép. 1985: no. 804, l. 14)
ii. Name elements
Professional:πορφυραβάφοι, porphyrabaphoi
Other:σεμνοτάτη, semnotate
iii. Descriptive terms ἐργασία, ergasia
τέχνη, techne
Note ergasia: Altertümer von Hierapolis 41, l. 1; Altertümer von Hierapolis 42, ll. 5-6; Altertümer von Hierapolis 227, l. b5
techne: An.Ép. 1985: no. 804, l. 14


i. Source(s) Altertümer von Hierapolis 41 (ii - iii AD)
Altertümer von Hierapolis 42 (ii - iii AD)
Altertümer von Hierapolis 133 (ii - iii AD)
Altertümer von Hierapolis 227 (ii - iii AD)
Altertümer von Hierapolis 342 (ii - iii AD)
AAT 101: 305, no. 23 (ii - iii AD)
An.Ép. 1985: no. 804 (ii - iii AD)
Note See also:
Altertümer von Hierapolis 41:
Dittmann-Schöne V.5.6
Altertümer von Hierapolis 42:
Dittmann-Schöne V.5.7
Altertümer von Hierapolis 133
Dittmann-Schöne V.5.12
Altertümer von Hierapolis 227:
Dittmann-Schöne V.5.11
Altertümer von Hierapolis 342:
SEG 46: 1656
AAT 101: 305, no. 23:
SEG 54: 1323
Dittmann-Schöne V.5.9
An.Ép. 1985: no. 804:
Dittmann-Schöne V.5.8
Online Resources Altertümer von Hierapolis 41
Altertümer von Hierapolis 42
Altertümer von Hierapolis 133
Altertümer von Hierapolis 227
Altertümer von Hierapolis 342
AAT 101: 305, no. 23
i.a. Source type(s) Epigraphic source(s)
i.b. Document(s) typology & language/script Four documents (Altertümer von Hierapolis 133, 227, 342; AAT 101: 305, no. 23) are epitaphs with regulations for funerary foundations. Altertümer von Hierapolis 41 and 42 are honorific decress. An.Ép. 1985: no. 804 is a building inscription. Greek.
i.c. Physical format(s) Both honorific decrees are damaged; in the second one (Altertümer von Hierapolis 42), the honored person is missing.
ii. Source(s) provenance The honorific decrees were found near the theatre of Hierapolis. The building inscription is written on the architrave of the theatre. The four epitaphs all come from the northern necropolis of Hierapolis.


i. Archaeological remains Sarcophagi, theatre (architrave)
ii. References to buildings/objects Sarcophagi, theatre (architrave)


ii. Leadership ἡ (σεμνοτάτη) προεδρία τῶν πορφυραβάφων, he (semnotate) proedria ton porphyrabaphon (SEG 46: 1656, l. 4; SEG 54: 1323, l. 7)

This designation is used in inscriptions almost as if the proedria was a separate association, including the epithet semnotate. Thus, the proedria could be chosen as the recipient of an endowment. Its appearance alongside the annually appointed epimeletai (AAT 101: 305, no. 23 = SEG 54: 1323) might suggest that proedria was in fact the term for the leadership of the association of porphyrabaphoi. However, it is not clear whether or not the epimeletai were regular officials of the association.
iv. Officials οἱ κατὰ ἔτος ἐπιμεληταί, hoi kata etos epimeletai (AAT 101: 305, no. 23, ll. 7-8 = SEG 54: 1323).
Known practice of appointment It is likely that the annually chosen epimeletai are identical to the klerothentes (members chosen annually by lot in order to celebrate a banquet at the tomb). In that case, epimeletai would not refer to regular officials of the association, but should be taken as a non-technical term meaning "those in charge" of the funerary celebration in a given year.


iv. Endowments The association is the recipient of several funerary endowments: it receives a sum of money and is thereby obligated to honor the grave of the deceased according to that person's wishes. In one inscription, it its stipulated that each year, members selected by lot (οἱ κληρωθέντες, hoi klerothentes) shall use the interest of a sum awarded them to celebrate a banquet at the tomb of the donor (AAT 101: 305, no. 23, ll. 9-11).


ii. Meetings and events The only information on meetings and events comes from the four epitaphs. By accepting the donation, the association was obligated to come together in honor of the deceased person on the date chosen by that person. Thus, the purple-dyers celebrated Pesach, because a Jewish married couple had obligated them to do so (Altertümer von Hierapolis 342 = SEG 46: 1656). This does of course not mean that the purple-dyers themselves were partly or even predominantly Jewish. In Hierapolis, there is no obvious connection between funerary endowments and membership in an association.
iii. Worship See X.ii.
iv. Honours/Other activities The honorific decrees (Altertümer von Hierapolis 41 and 42) honor a) a man who had served as strategos, agonothetes, grammateus of the temples of Asia, presbeutes and archiereus; he is described as a "benefacter of the homeland" (the same person is honored by the erioplytai, Altertümer von Hierapolis 40); b) an epitropos tou Sebastou, who is described as "its [i.e. the association's] benefactor".


i. Local interaction Altertümer von Hierapolis 41 honors the same man as do the erioplytai (Altertümer von Hierapolis 40), but this does not show interaction (rather the lack thereof, since there was no joint decision of the two associations). In the epitaphs, the porphyrabaphoi are sometimes mentioned alongside other associations, not always in the first place (they are the third option in Altertümer von Hierapolis 133). The porphyrabaphoi contributed to the theatre of Hierapolis, as is shown by their building inscription on the architrave (An.Ép. 1985: no. 804).


ii. Poland concordance Poland Z 68a (Altertümer von Hierapolis 342)
Poland Z 68b (Altertümer von Hierapolis 227)
Poland Z 68*c (Altertümer von Hierapolis 41)
Poland Z 68*d (Altertümer von Hierapolis 42)
Poland Z 68*e (Altertümer von Hierapolis 133)
iii. Bibliography Ameling, W. (2004), Inscriptiones Judaicae Orientis. Band II: Kleinasien. Tübingen: 414-22.
Dittmann-Schöne, I. (2010), Die Berufsvereine in den Städten des kaiserzeitlichen Kleinasiens. 2nd. ed. Regensburg: 236-43.
Pennacchietti, F.A. (1967), ‘Nuove iscrizioni di Hierapolis di Frigia’, AAT 101: 287-328.
Ritti, T. (1985), Hierapolis. Scavi e ricerche I: Fonti letterarie ed epigrafiche. Rome: 108-13.
Ritti, T. (1995), ‘Associazioni di mestiere a Hierapolis di Frigia’, in Maria Giannattasio, B. (ed.), Viaggi e commerci nell'antichità. Atti VII Giornata Archeologia, Genova: 65-84.


i. Private association Probable
Note It is plausible to assume that all seven inscriptions refer to the same association of porphyrabaphoi.

Professional associations in the 2nd/3rd century were often very close to the official civic institutions, but they probably remained essentially private associations.
ii. Historical authenticity Certain