Associations in the Greco-Roman World (AGRW)

An expanding collection of inscriptions, papyri, and other sources in translation (run by Philip A. Harland)

[195] Regulations of a Sanctuary of the God Dionysos Bromios (II CE) Smyrna - Ionia

Smyrna (Ionia, Asia Minor — Pleiades map), II CE
AGRW 195 = GRA 140 = ISmyrna 728 = Jaccottet 2003, vol. 2, no. 126 = PHI 255128 = AGRW ID# 1443


Slab of white marble with an inscription in verse (37.5 x 48 x 4 cm; letter height: 1.2 cm).

… son of Menandros, the revealer of the god (theophantēs), set this up…  All you (?) … who enter the sanctuary and shrines of Bromios (“Thunderer”) should refrain from the exposure of new–born infants for forty days, so that blood guilt does not ensue.  Likewise refrain from contact with a woman’s miscarriage (or: abortion) for the same number of days.  Now if death and fate descends on someone in the household, perform the rites outside the gateway of the household after one–third of the month (i.e. ten days), and if some defilement comes from other households, stay away three days after encountering a decaying corpse.  (10) Nor should those wearing black clothing approach the altars of the Lord, nor should anyone lay hands on sacred offerings not yet sacrificed, nor … bring (?) … an egg into the Bacchic festivities, especially during the banquets, nor offer a heart on the sacred altars … also abstain from mint, which Demeter scattered (?) … most hateful root of beans from … make a proclamation about the Titans to the initiates (mystai) … and it is not lawful to rattle the reeds … thrown, by whom the initiates … sacrifices … nor carry …

Translation by: Harland

[. . . .]της Μενάνδρου ὁ θεοφάντης ἀνέθηκεν. | [πάν]τ̣ες ὅσοι τέμενος Βρομίου ναούς τε περᾶτε, | τ̣εσσαράκοντα μὲν ἤματα ἀπ’ ἐχθέσεως (ἐκθέσεως) πεφύλαχθε | νηπιάχοιο βρέφους, μὴ δὴ μήνειμα γένηται, || ἔκτρωσίν τε γυναικὸς ὁμοίως ἤματα τόσσα· | ἢν δέ τιν’ οἰκείων θάνατος καὶ μοῖρα καλύψῃ, | εἴργεσθαι μηνὸς τρίτατον μέρος ἐκ προπύλοιο· | ἢν δ’ ἂρ’ ἀπ’ ἀλλοτρίων οἴκων τι μίασμα γένηται, | ἠελίους τρισσοὺς μεῖναι νέκυος φθιμένοιο, || μηδὲ μελανφάρους προσίναι βωμοῖσι ἄνακ̣τ̣[ος, —] | μηδ’ ἀθύτοις θυσίαις ἱερῶν ἐπὶ χῖρας ἰάλ[λειν, —] | μηδ’ ἐν Βακχείοις ᾠὸν ποτὶ δαῖτα τ[ίθεσθαι (?) —] | καὶ κραδίην καρποῦν ἱεροῖς βωμοῖς̣ [— — — —] | ἡδεόσμου τ’ ἀπέχεσθαι, ὃν Δη̣μ̣[ήτηρ ἀμάθυνεν (?)·] || ἐχθροτάτην ῥίζαν κυάμων ἐκ σπέ̣[— — — —] | Τειτάνων προλέγειν μύσταις̣ [— — — — — ] | καὶ καλάμοισι κροτεῖν οὐ θέσ̣[μιον εἶναι — —] | ἤμασιν, οἷς μύσται θυσί̣[ας — — — — —] | [μηδ]ὲ̣ φορ̣ε̣ῖν Σ̣Υ̣ (?) [— — — — — — — —]

Item added: December 31, 2011
Item modified: December 8, 2015
ID number: 1443
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  • Wolfgang Ernst says:
    May 7, 2015 / Reply

    I think in line 17 there is a sigma missing in the word θέ̣σ[µιον
    καὶ καλάµοισι κροτεῖν οὐ θέ̣σ[µιον εἶναι — —] (see Petzl, and Jaccottet)

  • Phil Harland says:
    May 18, 2015 / Reply

    Thanks for catching this error, Wolfgang. I have now corrected it. Much appreciated.

  • Mark Golden says:
    August 14, 2015 / Reply

    (1) Am I right to think that the 40 days’ prohibition is widespread and not linked specifically to exposure? (2) SEG 42.1131 requires a 14 day purification period for the PARTNER of a woman who’s exposed a chuld. DO you know a parallel? Many thanks.

    • Phil Harland says:
      August 17, 2015 / Reply

      Hello Mark. See the extensive comments on GRA II 140 (= ISmyrna 728), pp. 317-324, which discusses some parallels and confirms that 40ish days is somewhat common in connection with contact with death of infants/fetuses (unlike other forms of death which involve lesser wait periods). I’m not sure of a parallel to your second question, but I don’t have GRA II in front of me right now. The Lydian Philadelphia inscription is concerned about other’s involvement or contact with someone who is involved in the death of a fetus/infant, but does not specify days (GRA 117). You may want to look at that as well Hope this helps.

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