Associations in the Greco-Roman World (AGRW)

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

Honorary Decree by Idumean Soldiers for Dorion (112/111 BCE) Memphis - Delta region


Memphis (Delta region, Egypt — Pleiades map), 112/111 BCE
OGIS 737 = SB V 8929 = J.G. Milne, Greek Inscriptions, Catalogue général des antiquités égyptiennes du Musée du Caire 18 (Oxford: OUP, 1905), 19-20 (no. 33027) = PHI 219148  = ID# 20335


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Tall rectangular slab with triangular top and acroteria (160 x 44 cm). Received in the Cairo Museum in 1902. For a detailed discussion of the Idumeans in Memphis (based on this inscription and SB I 681), see Thompson Crawford 1984. She clarifies that, based on other dedications, it seems likely that Dorion's father was also named Dorion and that the younger Dorion's mother was a priestess of Horos of Athribis (who died in 132 BCE). His mother was likely a hellenizing Egyptian. Besides his time as priest for the sabre-bearers, the younger Dorion himself held offices in the cults of Horos, Onnophris, and Osiris and was also a royal scribe at one point (see Thompson Crawford 1984, 1070-1071). The god Apollo here was likely identified with Qos (קוש), the patron deity of Idumeans / Edomites. On Idumeans in Egypt, see also Rapaport 1969.

In the sixth year during the gathering (synagōgē) of the corporate body (politeuma) and of the Idumaeans from the city which took place in the upper temple of Apollo (Apollonieion).  Since Dorion, kinsman (of the Ptolemies), commander, and priest (hiereus) of the group (plēthos) of sabre-bearers (machairophoroi), has been seen to act as a benefactor in many matters, both publicly and individually.  Being piously disposed towards the deity, he has with much, abundant expenditure completed the plastering and whitening of the temple seen here by everyone.  It was resolved that the other honors which he has are to remain for him for life; that during the sacrifices that take place, they are to publicly proclaim for him a palm branch according to ancestral custom; and, that the priests (hieroi) and the temple-singers (hieropsaltai) shall be responsible to remember him in the hymns.  Furthermore, he shall be crowned with a special crown during the banquets of the corporate body.  This decree shall be inscribed on a stone monument (stele) and set up in the most prominent place in the temple (hieron), and a copy of it shall be transmitted to Dorion, so that he may be aware of the city’s thankful response to him.

Translation by: Harland



ἔτους ἕκτου· ἐπὶ συναγωγῆς | τῆς γενηθείσης ἐν τῶι ἄνω Ἀπολλ[ω]|νιείωι τοῦ πολιτεύματος καὶ τῶν | ἀπὸ τῆς πόλεως Ἰδουμαίων. || ἐπεὶ Δωρίων ὁ συγγενὴς καὶ στρατηγὸς | καὶ ἱερεὺς τοῦ πλήθους τῶν μαχαιροφόρων | ἐν πολλοῖς εὐεργετηκὼς ἐφαίνετο καὶ κοινῆι | καὶ κατ’ ἰδίαν ἕκαστον, εὐσεβῶς τε διακείμενος | πρὸς τὸ θεῖον προθύμως πεπόηται μετὰ πολλῆς || καὶ δαψιλοῦς δαπάνης τήν τε καταλιφὴν καὶ | κονίασιν τοῦ δηλουμένου ἱεροῦ καθάπερ καὶ | πᾶσι πρόδηλόν ἐστιν· ἔδοξεν τὰς μὲν ἄλλας | ἃς ἔχει τιμὰς μένειν αὐτῶι διὰ βίου· καὶ ἐπὶ | τῶν δὲ ἀεὶ γινομένων θυσιῶν ἀναγορεύ||εσθαι αὐτῶι θαλλὸν κατὰ τὸν πάτριον νόμον | καὶ ἐπιτάξαι τοῖς ἱερεύσι καὶ ἱεροψάλταις | ἐπὶ τῶν ὕμνων μεμνῆσθαι αὐτοῦ· ἔτι δὲ καὶ | ἐπὶ τῶν τοῦ πολιτεύματος εὐωχιῶν στε|φανοῦσθαι διὰ παντὸς ἐξάλλωι στεφάνῳ. || τὸ δὲ ψήφισμα ἐνγράψαντας εἰς στήλην | λιθίνην ἀναθεῖναι ἐν τῶι ἐπιφανεστάτωι | τοῦ ἱεροῦ τόπωι καὶ μεταδοθῆναι αὐτοῦ ἀντί|γραφον τῶι Δωρίωνι, ἵν’ εἰδῆι ἣν ἔσχηκεν | πρὸς αὐτὸν ἡ πόλις εὐχάριστον ἀπάντησιν.

OGIS 737. Facsimile by Milne 1905, 20. Public domain.

OGIS 737. Facsimile by Milne 1905, 20. Public domain.

Item added: December 13, 2015
Item modified: September 11, 2018
ID number: 20335
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http://www.philipharland.com/greco-roman-associations/?p=20335

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