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Last Updated on 09 Jul 2018

Author: Paschalis Paschidis

CAPInv. 472: thiasus


i. Geographical area Macedonia
ii. Region Pieria
iii. Site Dion


i. Full name (original language) thiasus (ILGR 183, l. 3)
ii. Full name (transliterated) thiasus


i. Date(s) s. ii - f. iii AD


i. Name in other forms θίασος thiasos (Année Épigraphique 1954: no. 22, l. 1)
ii. Name elements
Theophoric:Dionysos (Année Épigraphique 1954: no. 22, l. 1)
iii. Descriptive terms thiasus
θίασος, thiasos
Note thiasus: ILGR 183, l. 1; 184, l. 3; 185, l. 2; 186, l. 1.
thiasos: Année Épigraphique 1954: no. 22, l. 1.


i. Source(s) ILGR 183 (ii/iii AD)
ILGR 184 (ii/iii AD)
ILGR 185 (ii/iii AD)
ILGR 186 (ii/iii AD)
Année Épigraphique 1954: no. 22 (ii/iii AD)
Note See also: Jaccottet II nos. 13-17; BE 1953: no. 105; Année Épigraphique 1951: no. 21 (ILGR 183); Année Épigraphique 1954: no. 23 (ILGR 186); Année Épigraphique 1954: no. 24 (ILGR 185); Année Épigraphique 1954: no. 25 (ILGR 184)
Online Resources ILGR 183: TM 120921
ILGR 184: TM 120896
ILGR 185: TM 120895
ILGR 186: TM 120894
Année Épigraphique 1954: no. 22
i.a. Source type(s) Epigraphic source(s)
i.b. Document(s) typology & language/script All sources are dedications by aediles to the god (Liber Pater / Dionysos) and the thiasos. ILGR 183-186 are in Latin; Année Épigraphique 1954: no. 22 is in Greek.
i.c. Physical format(s) ILGR 183 and 186 and Année Épigraphique 1954: no. 22 are statue or statuette bases.
ILGR 185 is a small altar.
ILGR 184 is inscribed on a solar clock.
ii. Source(s) provenance All sources come from the so-called Dionysion of Dion, probably the sanctuary of the god (Pandermalis 1977: 331-2).


i. Archaeological remains The few archaeological remains of the so-called Dionysion and the god's holy house (aedes) attested in another dedication (ILGR 180) should not be connected with the thiasos as such but with the god's cult in general; see below, XI.i: Local interaction and XIII:i: Evaluation.


iv. Officials The aediles dedicating to the god in the Latin sources are most probably officials of the colony and not of the thiasos. On the possibility that the ἀγορανόμος, agoranomos in Année Épigraphique 1954: no. 22 is indeed an official of a private association, see XI.i: Local interaction and XIII.i: Evaluation, below.


Deities worshipped Dionysus / Liber Pater


i. Local interaction Makaronas 1937: 529-30 claimed that the aedilis of ILGR 183 was an agoranomos of the cult association of Dionysos, and not an aedilis of the colony, as in ILGR 180. As J. and L. Robert (BE 1953: no. 105) made clear, however, these dedications to the thiasos of Dionysos should be seen as a standard obligation of the colony's aediles to the cult and, in that respect, to the colony as a whole. Tsochos' reservations (2012: 26-7) on this interpretation are unfounded.

Année Épigraphique 1954: no. 22 is perhaps an exception, not only because it is in Greek, but also because the ἀγορανόμος, agoranomos dedicating to Dionysos and the thiasos does not bare a Roman name (and uses a metronym instead of a patronym), thus making highly unlikely the assumption that he could have been an aedilis of the colony. In this particular case, in other words, we must allow for the eventuality that we are indeed dealing with a private association (I owe this observation to P.M. Nigdelis).


iii. Bibliography Makaronas, C. (1937), ‘Νέαι ειδήσεις εκ Δίου του Πιερικού. Η θέσις του ιερού του Διός’, ΑΕph 1937: 527-33.
Pandermalis, D. (1977), ‘Λατρείες και ιερά του Δίου Πιερίας’, Ancient Macedonia II: 331-42, esp. 331-2.
Paschidis, P. (forthcoming), ‘Civic cults and (other) religious associations: in search of collective identities in Roman Macedonia’ in A. Casemier and S. Skaltsa (eds.), Associations in Context: rethinking associations and religion in the post-classical polis, Copenhagen.
Tsochos, C. (2012), Die Religion in der römischen Provinz Makedonien. Stuttgart: 26-7.


i. Private association Possible
Note Since all Latin dedications to the thiasos are offered by the colony's aediles, and were found in the area of the god's sanctuary, and since the thiasos is always mentioned in the singular, without any other attribute, the thiasos mentioned was most probably not a private association distinct from the god's cult, but in fact the sum total of the god's devotees (see Jaccottet II 13-17 and Paschidis, forthcoming). J. and L. Robert (BE 1953: no. 105) have proposed that this thiasos run the affairs of the colony's official cult.

On the possible exception of the thiasos of the Greek inscription, see XI.i: Local interaction, above.