Associations in the Greco-Roman World (AGRW)

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

Dedication to Theos Hypsistos by a Synod Around Julius (173-211 CE) Tanais - Bosporan region

Tanais (Bosporan region, Danube and Black Sea areas — Pleiades map), ca. 173-211 CE
AGRW 91 = IBosp 1277 = IPontEux II 445 = PHI 184019 = AGRW ID# 1841


Slab of marble broken in several pieces, with two eagles depicted at the top (96 x 74 x 9 cm; letter height: 1.5 cm). Found at Tanais in 1869-70, now in Hermitage (inv. TH 325). The identity of the unnamed Theos Hypsistos (“Highest God”) is uncertain, but this may be a Sarmatian (Iranian) deity as argued by Ustinova (1999). There are no indications of a Judean presence at Tanais.

This was dedicated to Theos Hypsistos (“Highest God”).  To good fortune!  During the reign of king Tiberius Julius Sauromates, friend of Caesar and friend of the Romans, pious one, the synod (synodos) which is gathered around … the priest, Julius (?) … son of Rhalchados; the father (patēr) of the synod, Chorouathos …; the synagogue–leader (synagōgos), Ardarakos son of Synegdemos; the benevolent official (philagathos), Diaos son of Kerdonakos; the assistant to the benevolent official (paraphilagathos) … Name son of Phorgabakos; the head of the youths (neaniskarchēs), Demetrios son of Apollonios; the head of the gymnasium, Basileides son of Theoneikos; the friend (?) of the (10) synod, Attas son of Herakleides; and the rest of the society members (thiasitai) were: (a fragmentary list of at least 29 names follows)…

Translation by: Harland

Θεῷ Ὑψί̣σ̣τῳ. ἀγαθῆι τύχηι. ǀ βασιλεύοντος βασιλέως Τιβ(ερίου) Ἰουλ(ίου) Σαυρομάτου ǀ φιλοκαίσαρ[ος κα]ὶ φιλο[ρ]ωμαίου, εὐσεβοῦς, ἡ σύνοδος ǀ ἡ περὶ ἱ[ερέα Ἰού]λ̣ιον̣ Ῥ̣αλ̣χάδου καὶ πατέρα σ[υ]νόδου ǀǀ Χορούαθ̣[ον — —]ο[— —] καὶ συναγωγὸν Ἀρδά[ρα]κον ǀ [Σ]υ̣νεγδήμ̣[ου καὶ φιλ]ά̣γ[αθ]ον Δίαι[ο]ν̣ Κ̣ε̣ρ̣δ̣ω̣ν̣άκο̣υ̣ (?) καὶ ǀ [π]αραφιλάγαθο̣[ν — — —]ιον Φοργαβάκ̣[ου] καὶ [νεα]ν̣ισǀ[κ]ά̣ρχην Δημήτ̣[ριον Ἀπο]λ̣λωνίου καὶ γυμ[ν]ασιά[ρχην] Βαǀ[σι]λείδ̣ην Θεον̣[είκ]ο[υ καὶ Ἄ]τ̣τα̣ν Ἡρακλείδου φίλο̣[ν] (?) τ̣ῆ̣ς ǀǀ [συ]ν̣όδου [καὶ] οἱ λο̣[ιπο]ὶ [θια]σῖτ̣αι· … (a fragmentary list of at least 29 names follows).

IBosp 1277: Facsimile by Ludolf Stephani, “Erklärung einiger im südlichen Russland gefundener Kunstwerke,” Compte rendu de la Commission Impériale Archéologique (1874) [1870-1871] 258.
Public domain.

IBosp 1277: Facsimile by Latyschev (IPontEux II 445).


Item added: June 15, 2012
Item modified: November 9, 2015
ID number: 1841
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