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Last Updated on 28 Feb 2017

Author: Sophia Zoumbaki

CAPInv. 560: thiasos artokreonikos


i. Geographical area Peloponnese with Adjacent Islands
ii. Region Corinthia
iii. Site Kenchreai


i. Full name (original language) θίασος ἀρτοκρεωνικός (Rife 2010: 415, 2-3)
ii. Full name (transliterated) thiasos artokreonikos


i. Date(s) i - ii AD


ii. Name elements
Other:ἀρτοκρεωνικός, artokreonikos. A combound word that consists of two elements, ἄρτος, artos (bread) and κρέας kreas (meat). The editor, Rife (2010: 416), suggests that it is an "association for the distribution of bread and meat, presumably sacrificial" and stresses the importance of common banquets in both, associations and civic religious life. Rife, 416 stresses that it is an otherwise unattested word; he cites attestations of the rare word ἀρτόκρεας, translitterated in Latin as artocreas.
iii. Descriptive terms θίασος, thiasos
Note thiasos: Rife 2010: 415, l. 2


i. Source(s) Rife 2010: 415 (I-II AD)
i.a. Source type(s) Epigraphic source(s)
i.b. Document(s) typology & language/script A dedication in Greek to the thiasos by Heius Agathemeros and Terentia Polla in honour of their daughter Heia Paulina.
i.c. Physical format(s) A block of hard, blue-grey limestone with a thin cyma reversa at the lower edge of the inscribed face.
ii. Source(s) provenance Kenchreai; the stone was built into the wall of a modern farm building.


ii. References to buildings/objects According to the editor, the inscription commemorates the dedication of a sacred object (poma). The word is extremely rare and means “cover for a burial” or the “stone slab” and also “drink” and more rarely “drinking cup”, for which the word ἔκπωμα, ekpoma, is more frequently used.
However, the word read by Rife as ΠΩΜΑ, POMA is to be read as ΠΩΛΛΑ, POLLA, which is namely Terentia's cognomen.


iv. Officials λικναφόρος, liknaphoros, l. 4-5:
Heia Paulina, in honour of whom her parents erect the monument, is designated as liknaphoros, see Rife 2010: 415-6, who also cites parallels of the use of the term liknaphoros. The term liknaphoros is so far only epigraphicaly attested in connection with Dionysos, in three lists of Dionysiac groups, two from Thrace, Apollonia and Philippopolis, and one from Torre Nova (Apollonia: IGBulg I2 401 = CIG 2052 = CAPInv. 1116; Philippopolis area [Kellai]: IGBulg 1517 = CAPInv. 650; Torre Nova: IGUR I 160 col. B.3, ll. 11-14). However from Harp. 194.2-3 we know that likna were used for every ceremony and sacrifice and the bearer was called liknophoros. Likna were used also for the cult of Demeter, cf. Callimachos’s Hymn to Demeter, l. 126 (ὡς δ’ αἱ λικνοφόροι χρυσῶ πλέα λίκνα φέροντι..., hos d' hai liknophoroi chryso plea likna pheronti). In Corinthia a connection of the liknon with the cult of Demeter is testified by the numerous votive miniature likna of local Corinthian clay found in the sanctuary of Demeter and Kore on the Acrocorinth.


ii. Gender Men
Note Heia Paulina was a member of the thiasos with the role of liknaphoros. It is not clear, but it is likely that her parents were also members of the thiasos artokreonikos. In this case, the thiasos included men as well.


iii. Worship The name of the thiasos, which implies ritual banquets and sacrifices containing bread and meat, and the mention of a liknaphoros as official of the group suggest worship by the group.
Deities worshipped Dionysos (?)


i. Local interaction Heii was an outstanding family in Corinth in the 1st and 2nd c. AD, connected to the duovirate of the colony, see Rizakis and Zoumbaki 2001: COR 305-311.
As Rife 2010: 415 notes, it is possible that they lived in Corinth and were connected with the religious life of the port of Kenchreai. However, as the stone was not found in situ, we do not know, whether it was originally placed at Kencreai or in Corinth.


i. Comments In the busy port of Kenchreai various cults were mingling. A characteristic case is a fragment of a column of fine blue-veined marble, found in secondary depositional context, bearing the inscription ΟΡΓΙΑ, ORGIA. Citing earlier scholarly remarks Rife 2010: 407-9 is inclined to read Ὀργία, Orgia, i.e. an epithet of Isis, in the sense of a dedication "to Isis of the mysteries".
iii. Bibliography Rife, J. (2010), ‘Religion and society at Roman Kenchreai’, in: S. Friesen, D. Schowalter, and J. Walters (eds.), Corinth in context. Comaparative studies on religion and society, Leiden, Boston: 391-433.
Rizakis, A.D. and Zoumbaki, S. (2001), Roman Peloponnese I. Roman personal names in their social context. Athens.


i. Private association Certain
Note The terminology used (thiasos) and the dealings of the group point to a private association.