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Last Updated on 01 Mar 2017

Author: Sophia Zoumbaki

CAPInv. 776: hoi sitethentes


i. Geographical area Peloponnese with Adjacent Islands
ii. Region Laconia
iii. Site Sparta


i. Full name (original language) οἱ σιτηθέντες (IG V.1 206, l. 1)
ii. Full name (transliterated) hoi sitethentes


i. Date(s) i BC


ii. Name elements
Other:sitethentes: The name derives from σίτησις sitesis.


i. Source(s) IG V.1 206 (i BC)
IG V.1 207 (inc.)
IG V.1 208 (i BC)
IG V.1 209 (i BC)
Note See also: AGRW 29
Online Resources IG V.1 206
IG V.1 207
IG V.1 208
IG V.1 209 and
AGRW ID 2545
i.a. Source type(s) Epigraphic source(s)
i.b. Document(s) typology & language/script Fragmentary Greek catalogues
i.c. Physical format(s) IG V.1 206: the uper part of a marble stele. On the top a relief representing Helen and the Dioscuri.
IG V.1 207: a fragment of a marble stele bearing a relief representing Helen between the two Dioscuri; below only the first line of the inscription is preserved.
IG V.1 208: a fragment of a marble stele.
IG V.1 209: a marble stele, now broken into two pieces. The inscription is crowned by a relief representing Helen and Dioscuri.
ii. Source(s) provenance IG V.1 206, 207, 209: Sparta, in the museum
IG V.1 208: it was built into the church of Koimesis tes Theotokou in Magoula, near Sparta.


ii. Gender Men
Note In the catalogues of sitethentes both men and women are listed.


i. Comments The individuals listed in the catalogues of sitethentes are followed by their functions; some of them are civic magistracies and others are functionaries of the sanctuary either related to rituals or to the upkeep of the sanctuary.
The iconography of the sculpted pediments of the stelai bearing the catalogues of sitethentes shows that they are diners (σιτηθέντες, sitethentes) gathering to honour Dioscuroi and Helen. Cartledge and Spawforth 1989: 98, 99, 135, 164, 195 and Spawforth 1992: 233-4 suggest that this cult was transferred from Menelaion to Phoibaion in the 2nd c. BC and in the 2nd and 3rd c. AD was the official civic cult. Kourinou 2000: 206-10 and Hupfloher 2000: 118-20 object to this suggestion. Ziebarth 1896: 65, 211 and Chapouthier 1935: 45-6 suggest that the titles of the civic magistrates listed in the sitethentes catalogues's are to be understood as cultic functions. This is objected by Spawforth 1992: 234 n. 42.

iii. Bibliography Cartledge, P. and Spawforth, A. (1989), Hellenistic and Roman Sparta: A tale of two cities. London.
Chapouthier, F. (1935) Les Dioscures au service d' une déesse. Paris.
Hupfloher, A. (2000), Kulte im kaiserzeitlichen Sparta. Eine Rekonstruktion anhand der Priesterämter. Berlin.
Kourinou, E. (2000), Σπάρτη. Συμβολή στη μνημειακή τοπογραφία της. Athens.
Poland, F. (1909), Geschichte des griechischen Vereinswesens. Leipzig: 70-72.
Spawforth, A. (1992) ‘Spartan cults under the Roman empire: some notes’, in: J.M. Sanders (ed.), ΦΙΛΟΛΑΚΩΝ. Laconian studies in honour of Hector Catling, London: 227-38, esp. 233-4, n. 42.
Van Nijf, O. (1997), The civic world of professional associations in the Roman East. Amsterdam.
Ziebarth, E. (1896), Das griechische Vereinswesen. Leipzig.


i. Private association Discarded
Note The question whether these lists represent simple diners or members of a private cult-association has caused a lengthy discussion. The most recent arguments on this debate are summarized by Spawforth 1992: 233-4, n. 42 who is in accordance with Poland 1909: 70-2. Both scholars object to the view that these documents are lists of private cult associations. Poland stresses the variation of the members of these lists and suggests that they are participants in a festivity but not an organized association. Van Nijf 1997: 175 also regards them as participants of an official banquet but not as members of an association.
Ziebarth 1896: 62 includes these lists in "incerta" in regard to the question whether they document associations.
It is remarkable that the lists include civic magistrates and the groups of sitethentes bear no further concrete name, but only the indication of their common meals.
This seems to be the case for two further catalogues from Thalamai, in which individuals are listed along with their official titles, their professional or occupational designations, IG V.1 1314-5, who participate in the festivities for Damoia.
Both in the case of the sitethentes of Sparta and of the worshipers of Damoia the mention of several civic magistrates suggests that they participated in the festivities as representatives of their co-officials.