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Last Updated on 21 Feb 2017

Author: Ilias Arnaoutoglou

CAPInv. 227: orgeones


i. Geographical area Attica with Salamis
ii. Region Attica
iii. Site Athens


i. Full name (original language) ὀργεῶνες, (Agora 16 161, ll. 2, 12, 24)
ii. Full name (transliterated) orgeones


i. Date(s) f. iii BC


ii. Name elements
iii. Descriptive terms κοινωνία, koinonia (?)
Note Perhaps the term commonality [κοι]νωνία, [koi]nonia, ll. 5-6 describes the association.


i. Source(s) Agora 16 161 (f. iii BC)
Note Ed. pr. Hesperia 11 (1942) 282 no. 55.
Other publications: SEG 21: 530, LSCS 20, GRA I 14, AGRW 1.
Cf. SEG 52: 133, SEG 55: 258, BE 1944, no. 67, BE 1950, no. 71.
Online Resources Agora 16 161
AGRW ID 2874
CGRN 102
i.a. Source type(s) Epigraphic source(s)
i.b. Document(s) typology & language/script Decree in Greek moved by Lysias, son of Periandros of Plotheia, concerning the payment of arrears, the sacrifices and the portions of sacrificial meat to be distributed. Beginning of a second decree.
i.c. Physical format(s) Marble stele broken at both upper corners and bottom, measuring 0,293x0,315m.
ii. Source(s) provenance It was discovered on the north slope of Areopagos Hill, now in Agora I 1906.


ii. References to buildings/objects The decree contains references to a sanctuary (ἱερόν, hieron, l. 7), an altar (βωμός, bomos, l. 6), a stele (to be inscribed with the old decrees, ll. 6, 10), a table (τράπεζα, trapeza, l. 15) for consumating the portions of the sacrificed animal.


iii. Members Members of the group are called ὀργεῶνες, orgeones, ll. 18-20.
iv. Officials Host (ἑστιάτωρ, hestiator, ll. 12, 24).
vi. Laws and rules In ll. 8-9 there is a passing reference to ancient decrees, τὰ ψη[φίσματα] τὰ ἀρχαῖα, ta pse[phismata] ta archaia: it may be a loose reference to the regulations of the group.


i. Treasury/Funds The treasury is expressed with the term κοινόν, koinon, l. 11.
ii. Realty There is a reference to a sanctuary (ἱερόν, hieron, l. 7).
iii. Income In ll. 5-8 the group reports its decision to inscribe on the stele the names of its debtors together with the debt and the interest. Does this suggest that the association was involved in (large-scale?) lending? Or what is described as debts are fees owed by the membership? Note that the deme of Plotheia, the home deme of the rogator, had passed a decree, IG I3 258 (II2 1172) c. 420 BC, that sanctioned the lending of money to the person who offered the highest interest.


ii. Gender Men
Note Λυσίας Περιάνδρου Πλωθεύς, Athenian Onomasticon s.v. (75).
In the section about the distribution of the sacrificed meat, there is an explicit reference to females, either wives or daughters of members. Whether these persons were members of the group, remains vague. Ferguson 1944: 77 thinks that the group consisted of males.
iii. Age Adults
Note It seems likely that the members were adults.
iv. Status Citizen.
v. Relations Sons, wives and daughters of members are referred to as getting a portion of sacrificial meats. However, we do not know whether they were members of the group.


ii. Meetings and events Meeting for sacrifices was held on the 17-18th of Hekatombaion (July/August).
iii. Worship A sacrifice (θυσία, thysia, ll. 12-3) is explicitly mentioned as well as the distribution of the sacrificed animal and the portions to be offered.
Deities worshipped Hero Echelos, (Ἔχελος, Echelos, ll. 4-5), Kearns 1989: 165.
GRA I 14, following Ferguson 1944: 78, assume that Heroines were worshipped by the first of the two groups.


i. Comments The inscription as edited presents us with a puzzle. It assumes that there were two koina, one near the property of Kalliphanes and one devoted to hero Echelos. But then it is not clear which group has issued the decision to re-inscribe the old decrees and the rules about sacrifices. The first editor, B. Meritt, does not comment on it, while Ferguson 1944: 76-79 claims that this is a bi-cellular association like the genos of Salaminioi (followed by GRA I 14). Mikalson 1998: 147 speaks of two amalgamated koina. Nevertheless, these solutions do not address the question. To complicate the situation further the names of the members (of both associations?) owing any amount of money to the koinonia (to be understood as a synonym of koinon?) are to be inscribed on a stone stele to be erected next to the altar in the sanctuary. Does it mean that both associations were using the same hieron?
iii. Bibliography Ferguson, W. (1944), ‘The Attic orgeones’, HThR 37: 61-140.
Ferguson, W. (1949), ‘Orgeonika’, in Commemorative studies in honor of Theodore Leslie Shear. Princeton: 130-63.
Kearns, E. (1989), The heroes of Attica. London.
Millett, P. (1991) Lending and borrowing in ancient Athens. Cambridge.
Mikalson, J. (1998), Religion in Hellenistic Athens. Los Angeles: 147-8.
Jones, N. (1999), The associations of classical Athens. A response to democracy. New York: 251-4.
Ismard, P. (2010), La cité des réseaux. Athènes et ses associations VIe – Ier siècle av. J.-C.. Paris: 95, 210, 238, 287.


i. Private association Certain
Note There is no doubt about the private character of the association, since it has a name and officials, and organizes and finances sacrifices.