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Last Updated on 02 Mar 2017

Author: Paschalis Paschidis

CAPInv. 786: he synetheia ton porphyrobaphon tes oktokaidekates


i. Geographical area Macedonia
ii. Region Mygdonia
iii. Site Thessalonike


i. Full name (original language) ἡ συνήθεια τῶν πορφυροβάφων τῆς ὀκτωκαιδεκάτης (IG X.2.1 291, l. 1-4)
ii. Full name (transliterated) he synetheia ton porphyrobaphon tes oktokaidekates


i. Date(s) l. ii AD


ii. Name elements
Professional:porphyrobaphoi: purple-dyers
Topographical:oktokaidekate: The name of the association specifies that the purple-dyers who are its members are located “on the eighteenth” (πορφυροβάφων τῆς ὀκτωκαιδεκάτης, porphyrobaphon tes oktokaidekates). It is unclear which missing noun is meant here: suggestions put forward include ὁδός, hodos, ‘street’, πλατεῖα, plateia, ‘avenue’, or ἄμφοδος, amphodos, ‘insula’, although the latter noun is more frequent in its neutral form (see Robert 1937: 535 n. 3; cf. Pandermalis 1983: 162; Touratsoglou 1988: 8 n. 23; Vitti 1996: 56 n. 65 and 78-9; Pilhofer 1995: 176-7; vom Brocke 2001: 65 n. 206). This further topographical definition should not necessarily lead us to assume that there were more associations of purple-dyers in Thessaloniki (pace vom Brocke 2001: 81).
iii. Descriptive terms συνήθεια, synetheia
Note synetheia: IG X.2.1 291, l. 1


i. Source(s) IG X.2.1 291 (l. ii AD)
Note See also: GRA I 79
Online Resources IG X.2.1 291 and AGRW ID 2465
i.a. Source type(s) Epigraphic source(s)
i.b. Document(s) typology & language/script Greek funerary inscription.
i.c. Physical format(s) Stele with relief of the Hero Rider.
ii. Source(s) provenance “Porta Roma”, in the southeast edge of Thessalonike, near the Roman harbour.


ix. Privileges As is so often the case, the association paid for the funerary monument of one of its members.


iv. Status The deceased member of the association was a foreigner; he was a citizen of Thyateira, a city well-known for its dyeing industry (see the sources gathered in GRA I 79). The first person converted to Christianism in Philippi was also a purple-seller from Thyateira (Acts 16:11-15).


i. Comments GRA I 79 claims that the association must have worshiped the Thracian/Hero Rider, who is portrayed on the stele's relief. The assumption is unwarranted; the dead are very often portrayed as the Hero Rider from the Hellenistic period onwards; cf. Pandermalis 1983: 162-3; LIMC VI.1.1065.
ii. Poland concordance Poland Z 7
iii. Bibliography Pandermalis, D. (1983), ‘Zum römischen Porträt im kaizerzeitlichen Makedonien’, Klio 65: 161-7.
Pilhofer, P. (1995), Philippi I. Die erste christliche Gemeinde Europas. Tübingen: 176-9.
Robert, L. (1937), Études anatoliennes : recherches sur les inscriptions grecques de l’Asie mineure. Paris: 535 n. 3.
Touratsoglou, I. (1988), Die Münzstätte von Thessaloniki in der Römischen Kaiserzeit. Berlin, New York: 8 n. 23.
vom Brocke, C. (2001), Thessaloniki: Stadt des Kassanders und Gemeinde des Paulus, Tübingen: 65 n. 206 and 81.


i. Private association Certain
Note This is a private association of professionals with workshops in a specific location of Thessalonike.