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Last Updated on 24 May 2019

Author: Georgia Malouchou

CAPInv. 1589: [hoi] epi tou limenos erg[astai]


i. Geographical area Aegean Islands
ii. Region Chios
iii. Site Chios town


i. Full name (original language) [οἱ] ἐπὶ τοῦ λιμένος ἐργ[ασταί] (SEG XVII 382 A ll. 3-4)
ii. Full name (transliterated) [hoi] epi tou limenos erg[astai]


i. Date(s) i BC - i AD


ii. Name elements
Professional:[hoi] epi tou limenos erg[astai]
Topographical:epi tou limenos


i. Source(s) SEG XVII 382 A (i BC).
Online Resources Chios 173
i.a. Source type(s) Epigraphic source(s)
i.b. Document(s) typology & language/script Three honorary inscriptions for xenophylakes by (A) the naukleroi and the epi tou limenos erg[astai], (B) the porthmeis and, (C) the porthmeuontes eis Erythras

All in Greek.
i.c. Physical format(s) Two joining fragments of a base of local grey limestone. Fragment a preserves the original top and left sides, fragment b the original left side. Above the inscription a crown in relief. There are two other honorary inscriptions for xenophylakes (B, C) written on the left side of the base.
ii. Source(s) provenance Found in Chios town by the port (Paspates 1888: 415). Now in the Archaeological Museum of Chios.


iv. Honours/Other activities The naukleroi and the epi tou limenos erg[astai] jointly offer a golden crown to the xenophylakes of the year of the eponymous prytanis Demochares(?).


i. Comments The exact occupation of the ergastai is not known (cf. Poland 1909: 108-9; Robert 1929: 33-4); they were probably traders. The here attested erg[astai] were designated as hoi epi tou limenos because of the place of their activity, i.e. the port (cf. Robert 1929: 33-4).
The restoration of the name of the group (ἐργ[ασταί]) was suggested by Robert on the basis of a similar inscription of about the same date, IG XII.8 16 (Robert 1929: 37. CAP Inv. 1590). Robert further argued that both groups, namely the naukleroi and the epi tou limenos ergastai appear also in IG XII.8 16.
The office of the xenophylakes is otherwise unattested. Τhe name of the office indicates that their function was to watch and protect the xenoi (see LSJ 9, s.v.), i.e. the foreigners who visited Chios. That is why the xenophylakes are honored by professional groups, such as the ferrymen, the shipowners and the ergastai in the harbor (cf. Robert 1929: 38, and Reger 2003: 191). Engelmann and Merkelbach take the word xenophylakes to be ῾Zollbehörde’.
Concerning the date of the inscription. It can be dated by letter forms to the i BC or i AD (i BC, Forrest, SEG XVII 382 A), since we do not know when Demochares (?) was in office. Compared to the inscriptions B and C written on the same stone it is of a later date.
ii. Poland concordance Poland E 32
iii. Bibliography Paspates, A. G. (1888), Τὸ Χιακὸν Γλωσσάριον, Athens: 415 no. 35.
Studniczka, Fr. (1888), ῾Aus Chios’, MDAI(A) 13: 169-70 no. 10 (a).
Ziebarth, E. (1896), Das griechische Vereinswesen, Leipzig: 31.
Robert, L (1929), ῾Trois inscriptions de l'Archipel’, REG 42: 36-7 (D).
McCabe, D. and Brownson, J. (1986), Chios Inscriptions. Texts and List. The Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton: no. 173.
Reger, G. (2003), Aspects of the Role of Merchants in the Political Life of the Hellenistic World, in: Zaccagnini, C. (Ed.), Mercanti e Politica nel Mondo Antico, Roma: 165-197.
Ψφ. Engelmann, H., Merkelbach, R. (1972), Die Inschriften von Erythrai und Klazomenai. Bonn: no. 74 [only C].


i. Private association Certain
Note The professional terminology of the association and their activity towards the xenophylakes ensures the private character of the association.