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Last Updated on 13 Jun 2019

Author: Stella Skaltsa

CAPInv. 222: eranistai


i. Geographical area Aegean Islands
ii. Region Delos
iii. Site Delos


i. Full name (original language) ἐρανισταὶ (IG XI.4 1223, l. 2)
ii. Full name (transliterated) eranistai


i. Date(s) 196 BC


ii. Name elements
Other:eranistai: the term derives from eranos denoting (1) a loan, (2) communal meal to which each contributed his share, (3) an association.


i. Source(s) IG XI.4 1223 (196 BC)
Note The dedication was made in the month of Lenaios in the archonship of Diogenes (IG XI.4 1223, ll. 1-2) (See also 'Comments').
See also:
CE no. 20
RICIS 202/0134
Bricault 2013: no. 91
Online Resources IG XI.4 1223

AGRW ID 7444
i.a. Source type(s) Epigraphic source(s)
i.b. Document(s) typology & language/script Dedicatory inscription. The eranistai dedicated couches (klinai) to Sarapis, Isis and Anubis.
i.c. Physical format(s) Marble slab. H. 20 x W. 27 x. Th. 7 cm.
ii. Source(s) provenance Found not far away from Sarapieion B, in one of the workshops, east of the Inopos reservoir. Now in the Museum on Delos.


i. Archaeological remains Sarapieion B (GD 96) lies in the Inopos river valley, on a terrace west of the Sanctuary of the Oriental Gods. It was probably constructed at the end of the 3rd or the beginning of the 2nd c. BC, as suggested by a dedication that dates to 196 BC (CAP Inv. 222). It seems to have fallen out of use sometime in the period of the Second Athenian Occupation. Sarapieion B may not have operated as a sanctuary of Sarapis but rather as a meeting place of associations centered around the cult of the Egyptian gods, appropriately equipped with dining facilities for banquets.
ii. References to buildings/objects κλίναι, klinai (IG XI.4 1223, l. 10)


ii. Leadership ἐραναρχοῦντος, eranarchountos (IG XI.4 1223, ll. 2-3)
iii. Members ἐρανισταὶ, eranistai (IG XI.4 1223, l. 2)
iv. Officials ἱερεύς hiereus ? (IG XI.4 1223, l. 3)
The hiereus was presiding the eranos (eranarchountos (IG XI.4 1223, ll. 2-3).
According to Bricault (RICIS no. 202/0134) Lampron must have been an official in Sarapieion C, who presided over reunions held in Sarapieion B.


i. Number Fifteen individuals, called eranistai, dedicated an unspecified number of couches.
ii. Gender Men
Note All names inscribed on the stone are male.
iv. Status All names are of Greek origin.
The lack of patronymics should not be considered conclusive as to the status of the eranistai. However, Bricault (2013: 289) suggests that the absence of patronymics and demotics may point toward metics rather than citizens.
v. Relations Two of the eranistai bear the name Apollonios. In the koinon ton enatiston (IG XI.4 1228, 1229) three individuals bear the same name. One of these Apollonioi is the grammateus of the association, also bearing the title melanephoros (IG XI.4 1228 ll. 3-4, 24-7, 1229 ll. 3-4, 24-7).
The name Aischrion is also attested in IG XI.4 1228, 1229.
There might be homonyms. However, we should not exclude the possibility that we are dealing with the same individuals, members in more than one association centered around Sarapieion B (all these inscriptions were found in or have been attributed to Sarapieion B).
Bricault (RICIS nos. 202/134, 202/191) tentatively suggested to identify Nikis (l. 7) with Nikis, who made a dedication along with Kleiso in Sarapieion C (IG XI 4, 1307 l. 9 ; the object donated is unknown but it weighted 73 dr 2 ob).
Apollodoros (l. 8) may be identified with Apollodoros, member of the koinon ton dekadiston kai dekadistrion (IG XI.4 1227 l. 5).


iii. Worship The dedication is addressed to Sarapis, Isis, Anubis, who are called theoi synnaoi kai symbomoi (IG XI.4 1223, ll. 11-12).
Deities worshipped Sarapis

iv. Honours/Other activities The eranistai dedicated couches (klinas) to Sarapis, Isis and Anubis.


i. Comments The inscription dates in the archonship of Diogenes. Diogenes was archon in 196 BC (Vial 1984: 302)

Sarapieion B has yielded a number of inscriptions attesting to six associations, active within its premises (CAP Inv. 215; CAP Inv. 216; CAP Inv. 217; CAP Inv. 218; CAP Inv. 219; CAP Inv. 222). All inscriptions date to the first half of the 2nd c. BC. A certain degree of connectivity is to be noted among the various associations on the basis of individuals who were members of more than one association (see esp. CAP Inv. 218).
iii. Bibliography Bricault, L., (2013), Les cultes isiaques dans le monde gréco-romain. Paris: 288 no. 91.
Dunand, F. (1973), Culte d'Isis. Leiden: vol. II: 101 n. 4, vol. III, 292
Vial, C. (1984), Délos indépendante (314-167 avant J.-C.): Etude d'une communauté civique et ses institutions. (BCH Suppl. 10). Paris.


i. Private association Probable
Note The activity of the association suggests a permanent organisation. The private nature of the association seems likely, but remains uncertain.