Associations in the Greco-Roman World (AGRW)

An expanding collection of inscriptions, papyri, and other sources in translation

Building [B2]: Hall of the Iobacchoi Devoted to Dionysos (II CE) ? Athens - Attica


Athens (Attica, Greece and Macedonia Pleiades map)
W. Dörpfeld, “Die Ausgrabungen am Westabhange der Akropolis. II. Das Lenaion oder Dionysion in den Limnai,” AM 20 (1895) 161-206 (pdf of archaeological report) = H. Schräder, “Die Ausgrabungen am Westabhange der Akropolis, III: Funde im Gebiete des Dionysion,” AM 21 (1896) 265–286 (pdf of archaeological report) = John Travlos, Pictorial Dictionary of Ancient Athens (New York: Hacker Art Books, 1980), 274-277, 332 = Schäfer 2002  = ID# 23404

 II CE

? bibliography            

Relevant inscriptions on this site: IG II² 1368.

Description: The building or Baccheion (as it was named by members of the group) was located in the ancient district (deme) of Melite within an older, triangular sanctuary between the Pnyx and the Areopagos near the western slope of the Acropolis (on the main ancient road to the agora).  Today the site can be found on the eastern side of the modern road Apostolou Pavlou (north of Dionysiou Areopagitou street), just south of the Areopagus hill.  This older sanctuary was no longer in use by the time the Baccheion was built (by early Roman times there was 2.5 metres of fill; see Pavlos 1980, 274).  The triangular sanctuary has been identified by some archeologists (following W. Dörpfeld) as the sanctuary of Dionysos “in the Marshes” (ἐν Λίμναις) spoken of by Thucydides (History of the Peloponessian War, 2.15.4) and by other archeologists (following A. Frickenhaus, on which see Pavlos) as the sanctuary of Herakles Alexikakos (but see Lalonde’s different identification for Herakles Alexikakos’ sanctuary as described in SEG 56 [2006], no. 41)

The rectangular hall of the Iobacchoi measures 11 m x 18 m and has two rows of columns with a quadrangular apse (semi-circular recess) on the eastern end, which is where the column with the regulations of the Bacchic devotees inscribed on it was found.  The altar in the apse is decorated with Dionysiac scenes, including a sacrificial goat, a satyr (male attendant of Dionysos), and a maenad (female attendant).  A fragment of a statuette of Dionysos was also found in the building.  Objects involving other gods that were discovered within the building include a statuette of Pan, a statuette of Aphrodite, a statuette of Artemis, an altar with two Pan-figures, an altar for Artemis, votives for Cybele, a statuette of Athena Parthenos, a relief of Athena, and an altar for Hadrian (on these items, see the images below and see Schräder 1896 and Schäfer 2002, 189-202).

Translated by: Harland



Building location of Amyneion and Baccheion (within the Dionysion area). From Judeich 1905, 260. Public domain.

Building location of Amyneion and Baccheion (within the Dionysion area).

Building plan of the Iobacchoi. Judeich 1905, 261. Public domain.

Building plan of the Iobacchoi.
Judeich 1905, 261. Public domain.

 

Photograph of the excavation site of the Baccheion taken in 1894. Public domain (derived from Travlos 1980, 374).

Photograph of the excavation site of the Baccheion taken in 1894 (Deutsches Archäologisches Institut).
Public domain (derived from Travlos 1980, 374).

 

AGRW 7: Column with the Regulations of the Iobacchoi from Athens (from Jane Ellen Harrison, Primitive Athens as Described by Thucydides [Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1906], 90, fig. 25). Public domain.

AGRW 7: Column with the Regulations of the Iobacchoi from Athens (from Jane Ellen Harrison, Primitive Athens as Described by Thucydides [Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1906], 90, fig. 25). Public domain.

Naiskos votive of the goddess Cybele found in the building of the Iobacchoi.Schräder 1896, 279 (= Schäfer 2002, B3)

Naiskos votive of the goddess Cybele found in the building of the Iobacchoi.
Schräder 1896, 279 (= Schäfer 2002, B3)

Statuette of Artemis found within the Baccheion.Photo by Giovanni Dall'Orto. Used under a Creative Commons license.

Statuette of Artemis found within the Baccheion (= Schäfer 2002, A13).
Photo by Giovanni Dall’Orto. Used under a Creative Commons license.

Altar with two Pans found in the building of the Iobacchoi. Schräder 1896, 275 (= Schäfer 2002, A16). Public domain.

Altar with two Pans found in the building of the Iobacchoi.
Schräder 1896, 275 (= Schäfer 2002, A16). Public domain.

Item added: March 1, 2016
Item modified: May 17, 2017
ID number: 23404
Short link address:
http://www.philipharland.com/greco-roman-associations/?p=23404

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