Stable URL: as PDF
Last Updated on 01 Mar 2017

Author: Paschalis Paschidis

CAPInv. 477: U-MAC-002


i. Geographical area Macedonia
ii. Region Bottia
iii. Site Beroia


i. Association with unknown name U-MAC-002


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


i. Source(s) I.Beroia 26 (f. ii AD)
I.Beroia 27 (s. ii / e. iii AD)
I.Beroia 28 (s. ii / e. iii AD)
Note See also:
I.Beroia 26: AGRW 36; SEG 35: 714
I.Beroia 28: AGRW 38
Online Resources I.Beroia 26 and AGRW ID 2144
I.Beroia 27 and AGRW ID 20675
I.Beroia 28 and AGRW ID 2176
i.a. Source type(s) Epigraphic source(s)
i.b. Document(s) typology & language/script Greek dedications
i.c. Physical format(s) All three dedications (I.Beroia 26-28) are marble steles bearing Zeus Hypsistos' emblem, the relief of an eagle inside a wreath. I.Beroia 26, the earliest of the three, also bears a relief with a small bust of the association's leader.
ii. Source(s) provenance There is no record for the findspot of I.Beroia 27.
I.Beroia 26 was found near the ancient city centre, in second use.
I.Beroia 28 was found near the southwestern gate of the city walls, and may thus have originally been erected on a hill to the southwest of the city gates, where the oldest dedication to Zeus Hypsistos (I.Beroia 25) was found, and where the sanctuary of the god should probably be located (see the commentary in I.Beroia 25).


ii. Leadership Poplios Kornelios Rouphos in I.Beroia 26 and Eros son of Eubiotos in I.Beroia 28 are clearly leaders of the association, since in both cases the diakonoi are recorded as serving under them. No title for the leaders of the association is preserved; it may have been ἀρχισυνάγωγος, archisynagogos, as in most associations of Zeus Hypsistos in Macedonia and as the similar phraseology of SEG 46: 800, ll. 12-14 (Pydna, CAPInv. 41) allows us to assume.
iii. Members For the ambiguous term διάκονοι, diakonoi, see VII.4: Officials, below.
iv. Officials Kριτεύων, kriteuon (I.Beroia 26) is a term otherwise unattested; it is formed in the same manner as the –equally unattested elsewhere– λογιστεύων, logisteuon, of SEG 46: 800 (Pydna), ll. 9-10.

The term διάκονοι, diakonoi, of I.Beroia 26 and 28 is unattested in Macedonia in pre-Christian contexts (for a perhaps illuminating example from Epirus, see CAPInv. 842). If one takes the member list of I.Beroia 28 to be a list of the diakonoi referred to in l. 2, the term should be understood in its original meaning, ‘servant’, ‘worshipper’ and as referring to all of the association's members. It is preferable, however, to view the diakonoi as minor officials, subordinate to the association's leader, as in other ancient cults and in the Christian church since its earliest phase. The names and number of the diakonoi would, in such an interpretation, be unrecorded, unless we take the five names recorded within the wreath both in I.Beroia 27 and in I.Beroia 28 as being the names of the diakonoi, recorded in a prominent and privileged position, next to the god's emblem.


i. Number I.Beroia 27 records the names of 36 members. I.Beroia 28 is too badly preserved to allow an accurate estimate, but the number appears to be comparable (certainly more than 30 members).
ii. Gender Men
Note All of the 36 members in I.Beroia 27, all members with recognizable names in I.Beroia 28, and all the officials in I.Beroia 26-28 are men.
iv. Status The majority of recognizable names in Ι.Beroia 28, including the name of the association's leader, and four of the five names within the wreath follow the Greek onomastic principle (name and father's -or mother's in two cases- name). Given the date of the monument, the lack of the tria nomina should be interpreted as a clear mark of the members' relatively low social standing.

This impression is even more pronounced in Ι.Beroia 27, where only two of the 36 members carry the tria nomina (a third is unorthodoxly identified by two nomina alone), at least nine bear names in the Greek onomastic formula, four have insufficiently preserved onomastic formulas, four are identified by a simple name, and, most importantly, sixteen are identified by a simple name and their profession. This last category may well belong to slaves (see the commentary of Ι.Beroia 27 with previous bibliography); if this assumption is accepted, the majority of the members of this association were not free men.

Even if they were free men, however, their professions make clear that their social status was not elevated: these were people involved in the metal industry (two nail-smiths, two goldsmiths, a coppersmith), in the textile industry (a dyer, a leather straps maker, a hat maker, a cloth dresser), in the building industry (a quarry worker, two stonecutters) in an unidentified industry (a craftsman) and in services (a gardener and a servant in a palaestra).


iii. Worship Dedication to the god suggests worship by the group.
Deities worshipped Zeus Hypsistos


i. Comments There is no compelling reason to treat the three inscriptions as belonging to different associations rather than one association over a period of time. In fact, the presence of subordinate officials (?) with the same title (διάκονοι, diakonoi) and referred to with similar phraseology (“diakonoi serving under X” / “diakonoi around X”) in I.Beroia 26 and I.Beroia 28 makes the assumption that we are dealing with one association more probable. In I.Beroia 27 no officials are attested, but they may well have been recorded on the lost crowning of the stele, in the same manner that in I.Beroia 28 the list of devotees is preceded by the dedication to the god and the reference to the officials (?) of the association.

I.Beroia 371 may be another reference to this association, see CAPInv. 478
iii. Bibliography Chrysostomou, P. (1989-1991), ‘Η λατρεία του Δία ως καιρικού θεού στη Θεσσαλία και στη Μακεδονία’, AD 44-46: 21-72, esp. 35-9 nos. 1-4.
Mitchell, S. (2010), ‘Further Thoughts on the Cult of Theos Hypsistos’ in S. Mitchell and P. Van Nuffelen (eds.), One God. Pagan Monotheism in the Roman Empire, Cambridge: 167-208, esp. 170-1.


i. Private association Certain
Note This cultic group does not have the clearest mark of a private association, a distinctive name, but the fact that it has a hierarchical structure, a leader and officials assures its associative nature.