Stable URL: as PDF
Last Updated on 11 Jun 2019

Author: Stella Skaltsa

CAPInv. 92: to pro poleos Bachcheion


i. Geographical area Aegean Islands
ii. Region Thasos
iii. Site Thasos


i. Full name (original language) τὸ πρὸ πόλεως Βαχχεῖον (IG XII Suppl. 447, ll. 8-9)
ii. Full name (transliterated) to pro poleos Bachcheion


i. Date(s) l. ii AD


ii. Name elements
Theophoric:Bakchos (note the spelling Βάχχος) - name of Dionysos.
Other:pro poleos: the phrase can apply to divinities, sanctuaries or priests (Robert 1983: 173-5). In this case it refers to the Bachcheion, i.e. the association. It can denote the location of the Bachcheion outside the city walls (extra urban sanctuary) (Picard 1921: 166-7) or it can refer to Dionysos as the protector god of the city (Jaccottet 2003, II: 71).


i. Source(s) IG XII Suppl. 447 (l. ii AD)
Note Edd. pr.: Picard 1921: 165-6 no. 18.

Other editions:
Jaccottet 2003: no. 33
Online Resources IG XII Suppl. 447
i.a. Source type(s) Epigraphic source(s)
i.b. Document(s) typology & language/script Honorary inscription in Greek for Titus Aelius Magnus, hierophantes, by the Bachcheion.
i.c. Physical format(s) Statue base moulded above and below, consisting of a socle (H. 27 cm), shaft (H. 68 cm) and crown (H. 25 cm) with acroteria on the corners (total H. 120 x W. 52 x Th. 70 cm). The back side is roughly picked. Surmounted by a moulded plinth On top two tenons for the feet of a marble statue. Two cuttings (mortises), one in front for an object held by the statue and another one at the back.
ii. Source(s) provenance Found in 1920 built into an ancient wall, west of the bouleuterion, ca. 50-100 m south of the house of C. Proedrou (Picard 1921: 112, 165). A few years later Seyrig (1928: 388) reported that the base was found not far away from the arch of Caracalla (for the arch see CAP Inv. 67).


ii. Leadership The honorand was hierophantes (ἱεροφάντης, ll. 10-11) of the association (τὸν ἑαυτῶν, ton heauton).
In the Dionysiac cult, the hierophantes is usually the highest ranking official.
For the hierophantes in associations centered around mystery cults see Poland 1909: 395-6.


ii. Gender Men
Note The hierophantes is a man.
iv. Status The honorand was a high-profile individual; he belonged to the equestrian class, (κράτιστον δουκηνάριον, ll. 3-4), was πρῶτος τῆς πόλεως (ll. 5-6) and was twice high priest of the imperial cult, responsible for the organisation of gladiatorial games (δὶς ἀρχιερέα δι᾽ὅπλων, ll. 7-8; see Seyrig 1928: 389-90).


iv. Honours/Other activities Titus Aelius Magnus was honoured with a honorific statue as suggested by the formula of the inscription and the format of the stone (statue base).


i. Comments Jaccottet (2003: vol. 2, 72) thinks that the to pro poleos Bachcheion is one and the same association with the hierotaton neon Bakchion (CAP Inv. 67); the change of epithets in the name of the association might reflect a predilection of those in charge and not a juxtaposition between two different associations. This may well hold true, especially if the following is adduced:
- the honorand in both cases is the hierophantes of the association
- the honorand in both cases is a high-profile individual, holding Roman citizenship
Nonetheless, given the popularity that the Dionysiac cult met in the late imperial period and in the light of the prominence of Dionysos' cult in Thasos already from earlier times, the existence of two associations should not be ruled out. Considering that a name is part of the identity of a group, the way in which it fashions itself and is recognised by outsiders, I have created two CAP entries.
iii. Bibliography Jaccottet, A.-F. (2003), Choisir Dionysos: les associations dionysiaques, ou, La face cachée du dionysisme. Kilchberg.
Picard, Ch. (1921), 'Fouilles de Thasos', BCH 45: 86-173.
Seyrig, H. (1928), 'Notes thasiennes', BCH 52: 388-94.

Other bibliography:
pro poleos:
Robert, L. (1983), Fouilles d'Amyzon en Carie I. Paris.


i. Private association Certain
Note The name of the group points to a cultic group centred around the cult of Dionysos. The presence of a cult official (hierophantes) suggests that an internal organization should have been at place.