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Last Updated on 03 Mar 2017

Author: Maria-Gabriella Parissaki

CAPInv. 739: hoi therapeutai tou theou


i. Geographical area Thrace
ii. Region Aegean Thrace
iii. Site Maroneia


i. Full name (original language) οἱ θεραπευταὶ τοῦ θεοῦ (I.Thrac.Aeg. E182, ll. 1-2, E183, l. 7-8)
ii. Full name (transliterated) hoi therapeutai tou theou


i. Date(s) ii - i BC


i. Name in other forms οἱ θεραπευταί, hoi therapeutai (I.Thrac.Aeg. E212, l. 4 and l.18-19, E213, l. 5)
ii. Name elements


i. Source(s) I.Thrac.Aeg. E182 (s. ii BC)
I.Thrac.Aeg. E183 (ii BC)
I.Thrac.Aeg. E212 (ii - i BC)
Possibly also I.Thrac.Aeg. E213 (i BC)
Note See also:
I.Thrac.Aeg. E182: RICIS 114/0201
I.Thrac.Aeg. E183: RICIS 114/0203
I.Thrac.Aeg. E212: RICIS 114/0210; AE 2005: no. 1357; SEG 55: 745
I.Thrac.Aeg. E213: RICIS 114/0212
Online Resources I.Thrac.Aeg. E182 and AGRW ID 14072
I.Thrac.Aeg. E183 and AGRW ID 14078
I.Thrac.Aeg. E212 and AGRW ID 14082
I.Thrac.Aeg. E213 and AGRW ID 14084
i.a. Source type(s) Epigraphic source(s)
i.b. Document(s) typology & language/script E182, E183: decrees issued by the therapeutai in honour of priests.
E212: album of the association's members.
Ε213: catalogue of names; but due to its fragmentary state of preservation, its precise nature remains unknown.
All sources are in Greek.
i.c. Physical format(s) E182: Marble stele, broken at its upper and lower part (0.23 x 0.27); two incised laurel wreaths above the text.
E212: Rectangular marble stele, preserved in two joining pieces (1.23 x 0.48); lower part missing.
E183: Marble stele, broken at its upper part (0.28 x 0.45).
E213: Marble block, broken at all sides.
ii. Source(s) provenance Maroneia. Inscriptions E183 and E212 were found at the site of Parathyra, while E182 at the nearby site of Kambana; inscription E213 has been found at the site of Haghios Charalambos, reused as building material at an important public structure of Roman times.


i. Archaeological remains Most inscriptions pertaining to the cult of the Egyptian Gods, whether referring to the association or not (such as I.Thrac.Aeg. E199-E205) have been found at the site of Parathyra and this is a strong indication of the sanctuary's location, see Karadima 1995, 488; but no systematic excavations have as yet been conducted there.
ii. References to buildings/objects Buildings/spaces:
τὸ ἱερὸν τοῦ Σεράπιδος, to hieron tou Serapidos (E183, l. 24), usually referred to as τὸ ἱερόν, to hieron generally (Ε182, l. 6 and E813, l.3, 16, 20). In E183, l. 3, the sanctuary's ἐπιφανέστατος τόπος, epiphanestatos topos is prescribed as the location for setting up the eikon of the honorand, while in E183, l.22-23 the ἱερόν, hieron, in general is mentioned as the place for the erection of the stele commerorating his deeds. The sanctuary was also the place of the association's annual σύνοδοι, synodoi (E183, l.5).

An εἰκών, eikon (Ε183, l. 2, where the restoration [εἰκόνι χαλκ]ῆι vel [γραπτ]ῆι], [eikoni chalk]ei vel [grapt]ei, is suggested) and a χρυσὸς στέφανος (chrysos stephanos, Ε183, l.1 and 5-6) were the honours offerred to the priest Σωκλῆς Θεοξενίδου, Sokles Theoxenidou, and set up at the ἐπιφανέστατος τόπος τοῦ ἱεροῦ, epiphanestatos topos tou hierou.

E183, l. 22: στήλη λευκοῦ λίθου, stele leukou lithou. The honorary decree for Σωκλῆς Θεοξενίδου, Sokles Theoxenidou was to be inscribed on a stone stele and set up at the sanctuary.

E212, l. 3-4: ἡ στήλη ἐν ᾗ ἐνγέγραπται τὰ ὀνόματα τῶν θεραπευτῶν (he stele en hei engegraptai ta onomata ton therapeuton, Ε212, l. 3-4). The cost for the erection of this stele was covered by one of the therapeutai (l.16-19: Διονύσιος Γλαύκου ἐχαρίσατο τὴν στήλην τοῖς τε θεοῖς καὶ θεραπευταῖς, Dionysios Glaukou echarisato ten stelen tois te theois kai therapeutais).

At E182 the following restoration has been tentatively suggested for l. 5-6: τ̣ὸ̣ν̣ τε κ̣[ίονα καὶ?] τὸ ἱερ̣όν̣ ..., ton te k[iona kai?] to hieron ...


ii. Leadership ἀρχιερεύς, archiereus (Ε212, l. 1-2 and l. 5).

In E212, l. 1-2 Xenokritos son of Demetrios is mentioned as the eponymous archiereus of Serapis and Isis (ἐπὶ ἀρχιερέως Σεράπιδος καὶ Ἴσιδος Ξενοκρίτου τοῦ Δημητρίου, epi archiereos Serapidos kai Isidos Xenokritou tou Demetriou), his name being repeated in l. 5, first in the list of the therapeutai (ἀρχιερεὺς Ξενόκριτος Δημητρίου, archiereus Xenokritos Demetriou). Thus it may be surmised that the archiereus was the leader and the eponymous official of the association. The restoration [ἱερητεύ- vel ἀρχιερητεύ]ων τὸ γ', [hiereteu vel archiereteu]on to 3, has also been suggested for E213, l.6-7.

The two ἱερεῖς, hiereis, honoured in E182 and E183 and, in one case, explicitly designated as elected by the demos (E182, l. 2-5: Παράμονος Ἀ[τ]|τάλου ... [α]ἱρεθεὶς ὑ̣πὸ τοῦ δήμου ἱερεὺς | [Σ]α̣ράπ[ι]δος κ̣α̣[ὶ] Ἴ̣σ̣ι̣δ̣ο̣ς̣, Paramonos A[t]talou ... h[a]iretheis hypo tou demou hiereus [S]arap[i]dos ka[i] Isidos) may have been priests of the public cult and not necessarily of the association.
Inscriptions offer no information on the practice of appointment of the ἀρχιερεύς, archiereus. The ἱερεύς, hiereus, honoured by the association in E182 and explicitly designated as elected by the demos was the priest of the public cult and not necessarily of the association as well.
Eponymous office ἀρχιερεύς, archiereus (Ε212, l. 1-2).
iii. Members θεραπευταί, therapeutai
iv. Officials Ε182, l. 7: νεώκορος, neokoros.

E182, l. 12: ἐξεταστής, exetastes. As indicated in l. 10-12 (προνοεῖσθαι δὲ τῶν προγεγραμμένων τὸν ἀεὶ γεινόμενον ἐξεταστήν, pronoeisthai de ton progegrammenon ton aei geinomenon exetasten) the person holding the office was to look after the application of the honours awarded in the decree. For exetastai in private associations, see Nigdelis 2006, 199.

E212, l. 36: θύτης, thytes.

Ε212, l. 49: ἱεροκῆρυξ ἔτει εἰκοστῶ, hierokeryx etei eikosto. According to the editors of I.Thrac.Aeg., this member has served as a sacred herald for twenty years.

E213, l. 3: ἐπιμελητής, epimeletes.
viii. Obligations That members carried a number of recurrent obligations is indicated by the fact that exemption from λειτουργίαι, leitourgiae, and εἰσφοραί, eisphorai, were among the honours awarded to benefactors (E183, l. 13-14: ἀλειτούργητον καὶ ἀνείσφορον πάσης εἰσφορᾶς, aleitourgeton kai aneisphoron pases eisphoras).


i. Number 70 persons mentioned in the two catalogues E212 and E213 (but the lower part of E212 is missing and E213 is fragmentarily preserved).
The two priests honoured in E182 and E183 may have been priests of the public cult and not necessarily members of the association.
ii. Gender Men
Note Only one female member out of 70 (E212, l.7: Euboula daugther of Theoxenos, sister of the two male members of l. 9-10).
iv. Status A foreign origin, or at least ties with other regions of the ancient Greek and Roman world, may be suggested for some of the therapeutai of E212 on the evidence of personal names; thus for persons bearing names of ethnic origin (such as Karystios son of Karystios of l. 46) or rare nomina indicating an Italian origin (such as Volumnius and Apidius).
v. Relations The three persons of E212, l.6-8 (Mykeneus, Euboula and Amynandros son of Theoxenos) were siblings; possibly so for the two persons mentioned in E212, l. 58-59: Bion son of Parmenion and Parmenion son of Parme[nion?]; E212, l. 15 (Anaxippos son of Philoxenos) could have been related to E213, l.6: Teim[--] son of Anaxippos).


ii. Meetings and events σύνοδος, synodos (E183, l. 5). The fact that the honours awarded were to be renewed κατ'ἐνιαυτὸν [ἐν τα]ῖς συνόδοις πάσαις, kat' eniauton [en ta]is synodois pasais, indicate more than one synodos per year. The decrees issued by the therapeutai (E182, E183) could have been voted during these synodoi.

The term ἱερονείκης, hieronikes at E212, l. 51 indicates, according to Chaniotis (SEG), not a victor at local contests in honor of the Egyptian gods but, more likely, a victor in ἱεροὶ ἀγῶνες, hieroi agones.
iii. Worship Μembers are referred to as θεραπευταί (therapeutai, E212, E213) or as θεραπευταὶ τοῦ θεοῦ (therapeutai tou theou, E182, E183); when a reference to the deity worshipped occurs, then this is either to Serapis alone (E183, l.24: ἐν τῶι ἱερῶι τοῦ Σεράπιδος, en toi hieroi tou Serapidos), to Separis and Isis (E212, l. 1-2: ἐπὶ ἀρχιερέως τοῦ Σεράπιδος καὶ τῆς Εἴσιδος, epi archiereos tou Serapidos kai tes Eisidos) or to the θεοί, theoi, in general (E212, l. 17-18: τοῖς θεοῖς, tois theois). Inscriptions connected to the sanctuary (though not necessarily to the association, such as I.Thrac.Aeg. E199, E200, E201, E203) mention Serapis, Isis, Anoubis and Harpocrates.
Deities worshipped Serapis, Isis, (Egyptian) gods
iv. Honours/Other activities The honours awarded by the therapeutai to Sokles son of Theoxenis for the successful completion of his priesthood (l. 9-10: [ἱε]ρητεύσαντα κα[λῶς] καὶ φιλαγάθως, [hie]reteusanta ka[los] kai philagathos) are indeed impressive:
(a) an εἰκών, eikon (l. 2: [εἰκόνι χαλκ]ῆι vel [γραπτ]ῆι, [eikoni chalk]ei vel [grap]tei) of the honorand is to be set up at the most conspicuous part of the sanctuary;
(b) a στεφάνωσις, stephanosis (crowning) of the honorand with a gold wreath is to take place κατ' ἐνιαυτὸν [ἐν τα]ῖς συνόδοις πάσαις (kat' eniauton [en ta]is synodois pasais, l. 4-6);
(c) an ἀναγγελία, anangelia, reminding the reasons behind these honours, is to be made by the neokoros at these same gatherings;
(d) exemption from λειτουργίαι, leitourgiai, and εἰσφοραί, eisphorai, while having the right to participate in all the sanctuary's common activities (l. 12-15) and, finally,
(e) ἀναγραφή, anagraphe of the decree on a stone stele and ἀνάθεσις, anathesis in the sanctuary of Serapis (l. 21-23).


i. Comments Based on lettershapes, the editors of I.Thrac.Aeg. E212 (p. 392) suggested different phases of engraving, lines 1-56 being engraved first (52 members), followed by the second column of l. 39 and 50-54 (5 members) and the second column of l.11-13, 24-26 and 45-47 (3 additional ones). Τhe interval between these three phases may not have been substantial.

Inscriptions E182, E183 and E212 certainly refer to one and the same association, as indicated both by their text and by their finding-place at the site of Parathyra and of nearby Kambana (by the ancient theatre of Maroneia). Inscription E213 has been found at Haghios Charalambos (by the ancient port), where it was transferred in Roman times to be used as building material; thus it is only the presence of the word θεραπευτῶν, therapeuton, in l. 5 that suggests its connection to the rest of the group.

All four inscriptions are dated on the evidence of letter forms. The earliest inscription seems to have been E182, dated at the beginning of the 2nd cent. BC, and the latest E213, dated at the 1st cent. BC.
iii. Bibliography Grandjean, Y. (1975), Une nouvelle Arétologie d’Isis à Maronée. Leiden: 119.
Karadima, C. (2005), ‘Αρχαιολογικές εργασίες στη Μαρώνεια και τη Σαμοθράκη το 1995’, ΑΕΜΘ 9: 487-8.
Nigdelis, P.M. (2006), Επιγραφικά Θεσσαλονίκεια. Συμβολή στην πολιτική και κοινωνική ιστορία της αρχαίας Θεσσαλονίκης. Thessaloniki.
Tacheva-Hitova, M. (1983), Eastern Cults in Moesia Inferior and Thracia (5th Century B.C. – 4th Century A.D.). Leiden: 28-29, no. 49 and 31, no. 51.


i. Private association Certain
Note The associative nature is ascertained by the existence of synodoi and the issuing of decrees. What seems more difficult to define at this stage is the degree of interaction with Maroneia's public cult of the Egyptian Gods. Although still unexplored archaeologically, the sanctuary at Parathyra seems to have been a public one and, actually, one of the most important of Maroneia during the Hellenistic period, as indicated by the number and the importance of the texts found there. That the therapeutai used this sanctuary as their meeting place is further indicated by the fact that most inscriptions referring to them have been found in this same place. More importantly, the priest honoured in E182 is explicitly mentioned as elected by the demos and all the phraseology of the text indicate the close control that the therapeutai had over the sanctuary. An even closer connection between the public cult and the therapeutai would have resulted if the priests honoured at E182 and E183 were also the priests of the association or if the archiereus, mentioned as the eponymous official of the association in E212 was also the archiereus of the public cult.