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Last Updated on 13 Jan 2019

Author: Mario C.D. Paganini

CAPInv. 1491: to politeuma ton Phrygon


i. Geographical area Egypt
ii. Nome Alexandria (L00)
iii. Site Alexandria ?


i. Full name (original language) τὸ πολίτευμα τῶν Φρυγῶν (I.Alex. Imp. 74, ll. 3-4)
ii. Full name (transliterated) to politeuma ton Phrygon


i. Date(s) 3 BC


ii. Name elements
Ethnic:Phrygoi, Phrygians
iii. Descriptive terms πολίτευμα, politeuma
Note Politeuma: I.Alex. Imp. 74, l. 3


i. Source(s) I.Alex. Imp. 74 (Pharmouthi = 27 March – 25 April 3 BC)
Note Other editions of the text are: SB V 7875, OGIS II 658, IG XIV 701, IGRR I 458, AGRW 316.
Online Resources I.Alex. Imp. 74
TM 105972
AGRW ID 1850
i.a. Source type(s) Epigraphic source(s)
i.b. Document(s) typology & language/script Greek dedication to Zeus Phrygios by the former priest of the politeuma of the Phrygians.
i.c. Physical format(s) Black basalt statue base.
ii. Source(s) provenance The stone was found by the forum, on the eastern side of the temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus, at Pompeii (Campania), on 16 August 1818. However, the statue base originally came from Egypt (on the basis of the material, the language, the format of the date according to the Egyptian calendar, and the content), and had been probably set up in Alexandria. The stone is now at the Museo Archeologico of Naples (Inv. 2475).


ii. References to buildings/objects Statue of Zeus Phrygios


iv. Officials The politeuma had at least a priest (whose term of office was limited in time), as the dedicant of the statue to Zeus Phrygios is identified in the inscription as former priest of the politeuma: Γάιος Ἰούλιος Ἡφαιστίωνο<ς> | υἱὸς Ἡφαιστίων ἱερατεύσας | τοῦ πολιτεύματος τῶν Φρυ|γῶν, Gaios Ioulios Hephaistionos hyios Hephaistion hierateusas tou politeumatos ton Phrygon (ll. 1-4). The man may have set up the dedication upon leaving his office or some time afterwards.


ii. Gender Men
Note The ex-priest of the politeuma, who is the only member of the group for which we have any information, was a man.
iv. Status All the members of the politeuma may have belonged to the ethnic group of Phrygian immigrants: the fact that the dedication was set up in honour of Zeus Phrygios suggests that the group (or at any rate, his ex-priest) maintained or at all events had some attachment to a Phrygian ethno-religious identity. Like other politeumata of Egypt, they may have originally had a military character: this character may have evolved over the centuries. The ex-priest of the association was a (newly-created) Roman citizen, as his tria nomina (and patronymic) attest: Gaius Julius Hephaistion, son of Hephaistion. He may have formally been an Alexandrian.
vi. Proper names and physical features Γάιος Ἰούλιος Ἡφαιστίωνο<ς> | υἱὸς Ἡφαιστίων ἱερατεύσας | τοῦ πολιτεύματος τῶν Φρυ|γῶν


iii. Worship If we are to think that the ex-priest was setting up the statue of Zeus Phrygios also on behalf of the politeuma which he had served as official at some point in the past, the group worshiped that god. This would not be surprising.
Deities worshipped Zeus Phrygios (?)


i. Private association Certain
Note Given the fact that the group seems to be well-established and organised with some durable intent, with internal organisation, officials, and dealings typical of private associations, it seems certain that the politeuma of Phrygians was organised as private association or at all events as an ethno-congregational group. It must have derived its origins from a group of Phrygian immigrants (presumably mercenaries) who had settled in Egypt (and Alexandria?) under the Ptolemies and set up a politeuma or similar group (the actual characteristics and nature of this original group can only be speculated). The military character of the group (as well as its strict ethnic nature) probably underwent various developments over the centuries: at all events, it can hardly be expected in Roman times.