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Last Updated on 21 May 2019

Author: Nikolaos Giannakopoulos

CAPInv. 539: U-WAM-006


i. Geographical area Western Asia Minor
ii. Region Bithynia
iii. Site Kalchedon


i. Association with unknown name U-WAM-006


i. Date(s) iii BC


i. Source(s) I.Kalch 13
Note See also:
Syll.² 595;
Syll.³ 1010;
Sokolowski 1955: no.2;
Online Resources I.Kalch 13
AGRW ID# 13204
i.a. Source type(s) Epigraphic source(s)
i.b. Document(s) typology & language/script Regulation in Greek regarding the rights of a priest.
i.c. Physical format(s) Marble pedimental stele.
ii. Source(s) provenance The inscription was found at Hieron (Anadolu Kavaği), near Kalchedon.


ii. References to buildings/objects The association was in possession of a common building called κοινὸν Νικομάχειον, koinon Nikomacheion (I.Kalch 13, l. 7-8). To this building was presumably attached the βωμὸς τῶν θεῶν τῶν δυώδεκα, bomos ton theon ton dyodeka, mentioned in l. 9-10.


i. Founder(s)
Gender Male
iii. Members The members are described as θιασῶται, thiasotai (l. 7)
iv. Officials A priest of the Twelve Gods served for life (ll. 4-5).
He may have been aided by subaltern officials called hieroi, who, if they did exist, certainly were regular (perhaps annual) officials, as Dittenberger’s (Syll.² 595) reading of ll. 8-9 (ποταγόντω δὲ τ[οὶ ἱ]|ερ[οὶ το]ὶ ἑκαστάκι γινόμενοι τὰ ἱέρεια, potagonto de toi hieroi toi hekastaki ginomenoi ta hiereia) would imply. But this reading is not unanimously accepted (see below under field Laws and rules).
Known practice of appointment The priesthood of the Twelve Gods was obtained by purchase (13, l. 3: ὁ πριάμενος τὰν ἱερωτε[ίαν], ho priamenos tan hieroteian) .
vi. Laws and rules Whoever purchased the priesthood of the Twelve Gods was to serve for life. Sacrificial animals were to be led to the altar of the Twelve Gods and their skin and thigh-bones with flesh was to be given to the priest. Non-obeisance was punished but the content of the prescribed penalties is unknown, as the inscription breaks off in l. 11. Whether the implementation of this rule fell upon the thiasotai themselves, or to some subaltern staff attached to the priest depends on the restoration of ll. 7-8: ποταγόντω δὲ τ[οὶ —]|[— το]ὶ ἑκαστάκι γινόμενοι τὰ ἱέρεια (potagonto de toi — | — toi hekastaki ginomenoi ta hiereia). Dittenberger (Syll.² 595), followed by Hiller v. Gaertringer (Syll.³ 1005) suggested τ[οὶ ἱ]|ερ[οὶ το]ὶ (toi hieroi toi), considering these hieroi to be servants of the priest. If accepted, this restoration would mean that the thiasotai were to hand the sacrificial animals to the hieroi who in their turn had to perform the sacrifices according to the rules described above. On the other hand, Sokolowski (1955: 13) rejected this restoration, pointing out that it does not comply with Bechtel’s squeeze, and suggested the reading τ[οὶ θιασῶται το]ὶ (toi thiasotai toi), which would imply that the actual sacrifice and the observation of the rules regarding the portions reserved for the priest was entirely the responsibility of the thiasotai.
viii. Obligations There seems to have been no regular obligation imposed on the members to perform sacrifices but when they chose to do so, they were regularly obliged to give portions to the priest (either themselves or via the hieroi; see above under field Laws and Rules).


ii. Realty The association is known to have owned a common building, styled as κοινὸν Νικομάχειον, koinon Nikomacheion (l. 7-8) and a βωμὸς τῶν θεῶν τῶν δυώδεκα, bomos ton theon ton dyodeka (l. 9-10), presumably attached to this building.


iii. Worship Both the name of the priesthood offered for sale (hieroteia ton theon ton dyodeka, ll. 1-2) and the name of the altar (bomos ton theon ton dyodeka, l. 9-10) indicate that the association was devoted to the worship of the Twelve Gods. Within this framework the individual members offered sacrifices. There is no direct reference to common sacrifices performed by the association, but their existence seems very possible.
Deities worshipped Twelve Gods


i. Comments Judging by the name of the common building (koinon Nikomacheion, l. 8), it appears that the association was founded by a certain Nikomachos.
ii. Poland concordance Poland B 418 (I.Kalch 13)
iii. Bibliography Sokolowski, F. (1955), Lois sacrées de l’Asie Mineure. Paris.


i. Private association Certain
Note The use of the term θιασῶται, thiasotai, and the regulations regarding the rights of the priest indicate that this was an organized private religious association.