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Last Updated on 03 Mar 2017

Author: Maria-Gabriella Parissaki

CAPInv. 684: bakcheion


i. Geographical area Thrace
ii. Region Inland Thrace
iii. Site Bizye


i. Full name (original language) βακχεῖον (IGBulg III.2 1864, l. 1; IGBulg III.2 1865, ll. 4-5)
ii. Full name (transliterated) bakcheion


i. Date(s) f. iii AD


i. Name in other forms βακχῖον (IGBulg III.2 1864)
βακχεῖον μέγα (IGBulg III.2 1865)
iii. Descriptive terms βακχεῖον, bakcheion
Note bakcheion: IGBulg III.2 1864, l. 1; IGBulg III.2 1865, ll. 4-5


i. Source(s) IGBulg III.2 1862 (?)
IGBulg III.2 1864 (?)
IGBulg III.2 1865 (f. iii AD)
Note See also:
IGBulg III.2 1864:Jaccottet II no. 43
IGBulg III.2 1865:Jaccottet II no. 44
IGBulg III.2 1862:Jaccottet II no. 45; SEG 33: 563
Online Resources IGBulg III.2 1862 and AGRW ID 13946
IGBulg III.2 1864 and AGRW ID 13948
IGBulg III.2 1865 and AGRW ID 13950
i.a. Source type(s) Epigraphic source(s)
i.b. Document(s) typology & language/script (All inscriptions are in Greek)
IGBulg III.2 1862: Funerary epigram
IGBulg III.2 1864: Dedication
IGBulg III.2 1865: Dedication
i.c. Physical format(s) IGBulg III.2 1862: Marble stele, broken at its upper and left side (1.48 x 0.81 x 0.20). At its upper part partly preserved relief decoration, possibly of the so-called 'Thracian Rider' or of funerary banquet.
IGBulg III.2 1864: Marble altar (0.55 x 0.50 x 0.04)
IGBulg III.2 1865: Marble altar (0.70 x 0.68 x 0.64)
ii. Source(s) provenance IGBulg III.2 1862 originates from the site of Miškova niva near Gradišteto Hill, appr. 4 km south of Malkovo Tărnovo.
IGBulg III.2 1864: from Malkovo Tărnovo
IGBulg III.2 1865: Found reused at the church of the village Brăšljan (f. Sarmasik).

Inscriptions IGBulg III.2 1864 and 1865 were both originally set up at the sanctuary of Zeus-Dionysos (as indicated by the text), securely located at Malkovo Tărnovo; the site of Miškova niva -where the funerary inscription IGBulg III.2 1862 originates- is thought to have been a small mining and metallurgical agglomeration, with its own tumular necropolis, see Delev 1983: 11.


i. Archaeological remains At Miškova niva excavations have revealed remains of dwelling complexes (Roman villa?) two tholos tombs, inscriptions and reliefs, all dating from the Roman period, see Baltac 2013: 291, no. 8 for further bibliography.
ii. References to buildings/objects The two inscriptions set up at the sanctuary of Malkovo Tărnovo (IGBulg III.2 1864 and 1865) are both designated as βωμoί, bomoi (IGBulg III.2 1864, l. 1 and 1865, l. 2), in the text.
IGBulg III.2 1862 was erected at the τύμβος, tymbos (l. 1), of the deceased.


ii. Leadership ἱερεύς, hiereus (for the two male priests of IGBulg III.2 1864, l. 1 and IGBulg III.2 1865, l. 4).

πρόπολος, propolos (for the priestess of IGBulg III.2 1862, l. 12).
iii. Members Referred to collectively as μύστες, mystes (IGBulg III.2 1865, l. 8) or συνμύστες, synmystes (IGBulg III.2 1864, l. 4).

In IGBulg III.2 1864 the συνμύστες, synmystes, are also designated as the priest's παῖδες, paides (ll. 3-4: τῶν πέ[δ]ων (sic) μου συνμύστων, ton pe[d]on (sic) mou synmyston) that may be interpreted as a kind of affective language.


ii. Gender Men
Note The members were both men and women.
iv. Status All persons named (four) follow the Greek onomastic formula, using names of Greek origin.


iii. Worship Zeus-Dionysos as indicated by IGBulg III.2 1864 and IGBulg III.2 1865.

A reference to Semele in the funerary epigram IGBulg III.2 1862 has been interpreted as pointing to initiation rituals and to beliefs connected to death and rebirth, see Jaccottet, 2003: 93.
Deities worshipped Zeus-Dionysos and Semele (?)
iv. Honours/Other activities Inscriptions IGBulg III.2 1864 and IGBulg III.2 1865 have been set up by two priests of the backheion in honour of their fellow μύστες, mystes.


i. Comments The word συμμύστες, symmystes, has been restituted in an inscription probably originating from Bizye itself, see Dawkins and Hasluck (1905-1906): 178, no. 3: οἱ] Αυλω|[π]όρεος συμ[μύσται] | Ἀπόλ[λωνι..., hoi] Aulo| [p]oreos sym[mystai] | Apol[loni... But, as indicated by the editors, 'the stone is so fragmentary that conjecture is unprofitable'.
iii. Bibliography Baltac, A. (2013), ‘Types of Habitation in the Rural Environment of the Roman Province of Thrace: The villa Type Structures’, in Parissaki, M.-G. (ed.), Thrakika Zetemata II. Aspects of the Roman Province of Thrace, Athens: 289-97.
Delev, P. (1983), ‘L’épitaphe de Chréstè et le sanctuaire de Zeus-Dionysos à Malko Tărnovo’, Arheologija 25: 1-11.
Jaccottet, Fr. (2003), Choisir Dionysos: Les associations dionysiaques ou la face cachée du dionysisme. 2 vols. Zürich: 90-3, nos. 43-5.


i. Private association Certain
Note The terminology used points to a private association.