Stable URL: as PDF
Last Updated on 13 Jun 2019

Author: Stella Skaltsa

CAPInv. 426: hoi anabainontes eis Helikonion


i. Geographical area Aegean Islands
ii. Region Samos
iii. Site Heraion


i. Full name (original language) οἱ ἀναβαίνοντες εἰς Ἑλικώνιον
(IG XII 6.1 466; 467)
ii. Full name (transliterated) hoi anabainontes eis Helikonion


i. Date(s) i BC - ii AD


ii. Name elements
Cultic:hoi anabainontes eis Helikonion: those going to the Helikonion, i.e. group performing a cult activity. Helikonios stands for a cult epithet of Poseidon, well attested in a number of Ionian cities (Robert 1935: 480 n. 1).
Strabo (14.1.14) mentions that a sanctuary of Poseidon on Samos was located on the promontory to the right of the ancient city as one sailed there from coastal Asia Minor.
As the name of the group suggests (hoi anabainontes eis Helikonion), the sanctuary would be a mountain peak sanctuary, conforming thus to Strabo's description, placing the sanctuary on a promontory outside the city of Samos (Robert (1935: 480; Dunst 1966).
The Helikonion is attested in another Samian inscription (IG XII 6.1 168) in which provisions are taken for sacrifices to be held in the Helikonion.


i. Source(s) IG XII 6.1 466 (i BC / i AD)
IG XII 6.1 467 (i/ii AD)
Online Resources IG XII 6.1 466

IG XII 6.1 467
i.a. Source type(s) Epigraphic source(s)
i.b. Document(s) typology & language/script Two honorific inscriptions in Greek for unknown benefactors by those ascending/ going to the Helikonion. The text of both inscriptions is poorly preserved. The name of the honouring body is partly restored in both inscriptions, whereas the name of the honor ands is not preserved at all.
i.c. Physical format(s) IG XII 6.1 466: two joining fragments of a base of white marble, with moulding on top. H. 61 x W. 135 x Th. 32 cm.

IG XII 6.1 467: statue base of grey marble broken on the left and right. H. 60 x 75 x Th. 75 cm.
ii. Source(s) provenance IG XII 6.1 466: found in Kolonna (the area of the Heraion on Samos)

IG XII 6.1 467: found on the south side of the Sacred Way in the Heraion on Samos.


i. Archaeological remains The findspot of the inscribed bases suggests that the honorific statues were set up in the Heraion on Samos.


iii. Worship As inferred by the name of the group, Poseidon Helikonios was the venerated deity.
iv. Honours/Other activities Those ascending to the Helikonion honoured their benefactors with honorific statues set up in the Heraion (findspot of bases).


i. Comments The name hoi anaibainontes eis Helikonion is attested in one more inscription from Samos. It constitutes part of the name of one of the civic subdivisions in Samos: the chiliastys of the lesser of Epidaurians ascending to the Helikonion (IG XII 6.1 132). According to Robert (1935) and Dunst (1966) the chiliastys of Epidaurians was subdivided into two branches (the lesser and the bigger Epidaurians). IG XII 6.1 132 is a decree issued by the members of the the chiliastys of the lesser Epidaurians who went up to the Helikonion (Robert 1935: 481) in honour of Xenombrotos son of Philombrotos. Xenombrotos made an endowment to his fellow-chiliasteres ascending to the Helikonion. The donation would fund the sacrifices made at Xenombrotos' tomb.
Although the name element would point to a possible connection between the Roman group honouring its benefactors and the Hellenistic chiliastys, it seems to me that by the Roman period the cult of Poseidon rather than the affiliation to a civic subdivision would constitute the bonding element for this group, which identified itself after an ongoing activity (note the present participle).
iii. Bibliography Dunst, G. (1966), 'Zu einer samischen Inschrift', Philologus 110: 307-11.
Robert, L. (1935), 'Inscriptions de Lesbos et de Samos', BCH 59: 471-88.


i. Private association Possible
Note A sense of collective identity can be discerned in the name of this group: 'those ascending to the Helikonion'. Their name reveals a common action, namely coming together for cult purposes. Although the name may reflect a temporary activity (note the present participle), the erection of two honorific statues in the major sanctuary of the island, the Heraion, would speak against an ad hoc group.