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Last Updated on 24 Jun 2019

Author: Jan-Mathieu Carbon

CAPInv. 830: U-WAM-024


i. Geographical area Western Asia Minor
ii. Region Caria
iii. Site Halikarnassos


i. Association with unknown name U-WAM-024


i. Date(s) 285 (?) - 240 (?) BC


i. Source(s) Carbon 2013 (new edition, with commentary).
Note Earlier editions: Paton and Myres 1896: 234-6, no. 36; Hirschfeld, GIBM 4, 896.
Cf. also Laum 1914: II, 111-2, no. 117; LSAM no. 72; SEG 15, 637.
Online Resources PHI: Halikarnassos 188
Harland, AGRW no. 10993
CGRN 104
i.a. Source type(s) Epigraphic source(s)
i.b. Document(s) typology & language/script The inscription consists of three parts, each carefully separated from the other through spacing and paragraphs marks: an oracle (χρησμός, chresmos, lines 1-11) sought by Poseidonios, a pledge of properties that Poseidonios made to his familial group (ὑποθήκη, hypotheke, lines 12-22), and finally a decree (δόγμα, lines 22-52) passed by Poseidonios and his familial group. Cf. lines 49-51 for the gathering of these 3 documents on the stele (see immediately below).
All parts of the text appear to be written in Greek and in the same hand.
i.c. Physical format(s) Stone stele (full description in Hirschfeld, GIBM, and Carbon 2013); cf. ἐν στήληι λιθίνηι, line 50.
ii. Source(s) provenance The stone was found rebuilt into the house of Hadji Captan at the site of Bodrum (Halikarnassos).


i. Archaeological remains For a discussion of the possible context at Halikarnassos, cf. Carbon 2013.
ii. References to buildings/objects ἀγρός, agros (line 15)
αὐλή, aule (line 17)
κῆπος, kepos (line 17)
τὰ περὶ τὸ μνημεῖον, ta peri to mnemeion (line 17)
τὸ... τέμενος, to.. temenos (line 29)
Properties pledged by Poseidonios for the financing of the group include: a field; also a courtyard, a grove, and "the land surrounding the tomb". The last of these three elements, "the land surrounding the tomb", (and possibly others) can be thought to define the cultic precinct of the group (temenos). This temenos is to be rented out separately from the other pledged properties (τὰ ὑποκείμενα, lines 28-30). For a reference to votive offerings, see below VIII.3.


i. Founder(s) Ποσειδώνιος Ἰατροκλέους, Poseidonios Iatrokleous (line 12; cf. lines 1, 9-10, 19-20, 22-23, 34-35)
Poseidonios the son of Iatrokles sought an oracle which helped to confirm the worship of ancestral gods (καθάπερ καὶ οἱ πρόγονοι, lines 6-7) as well as of his Daimon Agathos (see below X.iii). Pledging properties to his descendants to fund sacrifices (12ff.), he maintains a prominent role in the functioning of the group (line 22).
Gender Male
ii. Leadership ἱερεύς, hiereus (lines 25-26; cf. line 19)
Other than the founder himself (see above VII.1), the principal functionary of the group is (continually) a priest (appointed presumably for life) who is the eldest in Poseidonios' line of male descendants (κατ’ ἀνδρογένειαν, kat' androgeneian, lines 19-20). The priest is responsible for the pledged properties (lines 19-20) and can derive profit from them (καρπευέτω, karpeueto, lines 18-19; cp. lines 27-28, however, which imply that he can chose to abstain from this role and privilege).
iii. Members αὐτός (Poseidonios) καὶ οἱ ἐξ αὐτοῦ γινομένοι καὶ ὄντες, ἔκ τε τῶν ἀρσένων καὶ τῶν θηλειῶν, autos kai hoi ex autou ginomenoi kai ontes, ek te ton arsenon kai ton theleion (lines 2-4)
οἱ ἐξ ἑαυτοῦ (Poseidonios)
καὶ οἱ ἐκ τούτων γινόμενοι, ἔκ τε τῶν ἀρσένων
καὶ τῶν θηλειῶν, καὶ οἱ λαμβάνοντες ἐξ αὐτῶν, hoi ex heautou kai hoi ek touton ginomenoi (lines 12-15)
οἱ ἔκγονοι οἱ ἐκ Ποσειδωνίου (lines 19-20)
Ποσειδώνιος καὶ οἱ ἔκγονοι οἱ ἐκ Ποσειδωνίου καὶ οἱ εἰληφόντες ἐξ αὐτῶν, Poseidonios kai hoi ekgonoi hoi ek Poseidoniou kai hoi eilephontes ex auton (lines 22-23)
All the current and future descendants of Poseidonios, both male and female, are included in the group, as well as probably male in-laws by marriage, "those who take (wives) from them" (οἱ λαμβάνοντες ἐξ αὐτῶν, vel sim.).
iv. Officials ἐπιμήνιοι, epimenioi (lines 24 and 30)
Three cult officials, subsidary to the priest but assisting him (ἐπιμελεί|τωσαν... τῶι ἱερεῖ, lines 31-32), are appointed annually from the family (lines 23-24). In the case of a default on the priest's part (lines 27-28), the epimenioi take over his responsibilities over the pledged properties (lines 27-31), which are necessary for the annual financing of the cultic activities of the familial group. In any case, the epimenioi appear responsible for the securing of the stipulated sum (whether the priest provides it or not) and thus for the provisioning of sacrificial animals and other accoutrements (lines 25-27 and 31-32).
vi. Laws and rules See above V.i.b.
Beyond the sanctioning oracle which introduces the inscription (lines 1-11), the remainder is taken up by Poseidonios' bequest (lines 11-22), and by a decree of the family (lines 22-52), both of which are to be considered as binding laws or rules. Together, the documents constitute the charter of the association.
ix. Privileges κρέα, krea (meat)
The priest obtains special sacrificial perquisites (lines 38-40), as do the epimenioi (line 44). Other members of the group, whether dining during the rites or absent or women who do not dine, receive an 'equal' portion of the meat (lines 40-43).


i. Treasury/Funds The familial group does not appear to possess a treasury, but has operational funds (see immediately below).
ii. Realty See VI.ii.
The properties are held in trust by the priest (lines 18-20). If the priest defaults, the properties are held in common (εἶναι τὰ ὑποκείμενα κ[οι]νά, τὸ δὲ τέμενος εἶναι [κοι]νόν, lines 28-29) and then the epimenioi administer them for the association.
iii. Income Income for the group is provided by renting out the pledged properties and the temenos (cf. above VI.ii, lines 29-31), as well as by the half of the rights for plowing ( ἐνηρόσιον, enerosion) other land (sacred land?) at Taramptos (lines 18 and 30-31). This amount is to total 4 Ptolemaic gold staters (chrysoi) annually. The income is used to fund and perform the rites listed in the regulations. Further income is derived from the sale of the fleeces of sacrificial animals after the annual rites (lines 44-45), but any remaining profit from the account of the annual proceedings is to be used for the purchase of votive offerings (ἀναθήματα, anathemata, lines 45-48).


ii. Gender Men
Note Both men and women are explicitly included as members (see above VII.iii).
iv. Status Probably citizens of Halikarnassos or nearby towns, though this is never explicitly stated.
v. Relations Male membership through marriage was possible. Expressions in lines 14 and 23 likely refer to men who have "taken wives" from Poseidonios' female descendants. Therefore, in-laws also formed a part of the familial group.


i. Assemblies The final part of the inscription preserves a decree (ἔδοξεν, line 22; δόγμα, line 50) decided by Poseidonios and all of his family. This indicates that the familial group met in a constituent assembly (see also below, X.ii).
ii. Meetings and events θίασος, thiasos (line 45)
This term refers to the cultic group constituted by the family during the annual rites.
An assembly of the group appears to take place on the second day of the rites during the month of Hermaios before the dinner (lines 31-32ff.). For this new reading (pro tou deipnou instead of pro tou demou) see Carbon 2013.
iii. Worship The annual celebrations involve sacrifices over the course of two days (lines 32-38 and 44-46). On the first day of the rites, the Good Fortune (Tyche Agathe) of Poseidonios' parents is worshipped (no doubt around the family tomb, see above VI.ii), as well the Daimon Agathos of Poseidonios and his (presumed) wife Gorgis. On the second day, ancestral gods are the recipients of sacrifice: Paternal (i.e. Ancestral) Zeus, Apollo who rules over Telemessos, the Fates (Moirai) and the Mother of the Gods.
Deities worshipped Ἀγαθός Δαίμων Ποσειδωνίου καὶ Γοργίδος, Agathos Daimon Poseidoniou kai Gorgidos (lines 9-10 and 35)
Ἀπόλλων Τελεμεσσοῦ μεδέων, Apollon Telemessou medeon (lines 7-8 and 36-37; cf. also line 2 for the oracle of an Apollo)
Ζεύς Πατρῶιος, Zeus Patroios (lines 7 and 36)
Θεῶν Μήτηρ, Theon Meter (lines 8-38)
Μοῖραι, Moirai (lines 8 and 37)
Τύχη Ἀγαθὴ πατρὸς καὶ μητρὸς Ποσειδωνίου, Tyche Agathe patros kai metros Poseidoniou (line 34)
iv. Honours/Other activities Following the two days of sacrifices to the deities worshipped, a distribution of meat is to take place (lines 40-43). A dinner, for men only, is held on the second day after the selling and accounting (lines 41 and 46).


ii. Poland concordance B308
iii. Bibliography Carbon, J.-M. (2013), 'Appendix: The Stele of Poseidonios', 99-119 in the article: J.-M. Carbon and V. Pirenne-Delforge, 'Priests and Cult Personnel in Three Hellenistic Families' 65-119, in: M. Horster and A. Klöckner (eds.), Cities and Priests: Cult personnel in Asia Minor and the Aegean islands from the Hellenistic to the Imperial period, Berlin (with detailed references).
Laum, B. (1914), Stiftungen in der griechischen und römischen Antike, 2 vols., Leipzig.
Paton, W.R. and J.L. Myres (1896), 'Karian Sites and Inscriptions', JHS 16: 234-6 no. 36.


i. Private association Probable
Note Though the association founded by Poseidonios does not appear to have a formal name, it provides one of the best and most detailed accounts of the constitution of a private cultic group in Caria.