Associations in the Greco-Roman World (AGRW)

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

Dedication of a Lion-Headed Figure by Gerontios the “Father of the Customs” (188 or 389 CE) Sidon - Syria and Phoenicia


Sidon (Syria and Phoenicia, Greater Syria and the East — Pleiades map), 188 or 389 CE
IMithras 78-79 = F. Baratte, "Le Mithreum de Sidon : Certitudes et questions," Topoi 11 (2001) 205-227, at 207.  = ID# 23050


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Inscription on the base of a statue of a lion-headed figure of Parian marble (108 cm high). Now in the Louvre. The statue (see photo below) depicts a naked male figure with a lion's head (sometimes identified as the god Aion) with a snake coiling around his body and carrying two keys. The dedicator Gerontios appears on two other inscriptions from Sidon (see IMithras 76 and 84-85 – also on this site). His title of "father" pertains to his role in the mysteries of Mithras. The title "father of the customs" or "lawful father" is also attested at Tomis (in Scythia) in connection with a priest of Hekate (see SEG 57 [2007], 680 on this site). For the use of fictive parental language for leaders or benefactors of associations, see Harland 2009.

I, Flavius Gerontios, father of the customs (patēr nomimos), set this up in the 500th year (either of the Seleukid era or the Sidonian era).

Translation by: Harland



Φλ. Γερόντιος πατὴρ νόμιμος, ἀνεθέμην τῷ φʹ ἔτει.

IMithras (IMithras) 78-79. Photo by Carole Raddato from Wikimedia Commons. Used under a Creative Commons license.

IMithras (IMithras) 78-79.

Photo by Carole Raddato from Wikimedia Commons.

Used under a Creative Commons license.

Item added: February 22, 2016
Item modified: February 22, 2016
ID number: 23050
Short link address:
http://www.philipharland.com/greco-roman-associations/?p=23050

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