Associations in the Greco-Roman World (AGRW)

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

Proconsular Edict Concerning Bakers (ca. 150-200 CE) Ephesos - Ionia


Ephesos (Ionia, Asia Minor — Pleiades map), ca. 150-200 CE
IEph 215 = W.H. Buckler, "Labour Disputes in the Province of Asia," Anatolian Studies Presented to Sir William Mitchell Ramsay (ed. Buckler and W.M. Calder; Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1923) 27-50 = SEG 4: 512 = PHI 247938 = AGRW ID# 6299


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This edict by an unknown proconsul (which also includes the beginning of the minutes of a civic Council meeting) was found at Magnesia on the Maeander. The reference to the month of Klareon, which is attested at Ephesos but not at Magnesia, suggests that this document comes from Ephesos. The opening and concluding lines are missing. The nature of the disturbances are not entirely clear and so any suggestion of a "strike" here (as in Buckler) would be conjecture. For another reference to a provincial governor's edict concerning hetaeriae, see Pliny the Younger, Epistles 10.96.

(Edict of the Proconsul)

(missing lines) … and according to an agreement … as a result it happens that the People (dēmos) sometimes bursts into disorder and confusion due to the recklessness of bakers in the market.  They should have been promptly arrested and tried for these riots, but since the city’s welfare should be given priority over their punishment, I have decided to bring them to their senses with an edict (diatagma).  I therefore order the bakers not to gather together as a faction (hetairia) and the leaders not to act boldly.  Rather they are to obey completely the regulations established for the common welfare and to supply the city with the necessary production of bread without fail.  From now on, if any of them (10) is caught attending a meeting contrary to this edict or caught initiating any confusion or faction, he shall be arrested and suffer the appropriate punishment.  Now if anyone dares to plot against the city in secret, he will also be branded on the foot with the word “decuria,” and anyone who shelters such a man will be liable to the same punishment.

(Meeting of the Ephesian Civic Council)

In the year of the civic presidency (prytanis) of Claudius Modestus, on the fourth day of the month Klareon, at a special meeting of the Council, Marcellinus said: “A perfect example of the madness of the leaders of the workshops (ergastēriarchai) was given yesterday by Hermeias, who is associated with … (remaining lines lost)

Translation by: Harland



[. . ca.4 . . ] δὲ καὶ κατὰ συνθήκη̣ν̣ πα[. . . ca.5 . . ]άντ̣ων̣ [. . . . ca.8 . . . .]λ̣ικ̣[. . . . . . ca.12 . . . . . .] ὥστε συμ]ǀ[βαί]νειν ἐνίοτε τὸν δῆμον ἰς ταραχὴν καὶ θορύβους ἐνπίπτιν διὰ τὴν σ[ύλ]ǀλ̣ο̣γον καὶ ἀθρασίαν τῶν ἀρτοκόπων ἐπὶ τῇ ἀγορᾷ· στάσεων ἐφ’ οἷς ἐχρῆν [αὐ]ǀτοὺς μεταπεμφθέντας ἤδη δίκην ὑποσχεῖν· ἐπεὶ δὲ τὸ τῇ πόλει συμφέ[ρον χρὴ] ǀǀ τῆς τούτων τιμωρίας μᾶλλον προτιμᾶν, ǀ ἀναγκαῖον ἡγησάμην διατάγ[ματι] ǀ αὐτοὺς σωφρονίσαι· ὅθεν ἀπαγορεύω μήτε συνέρχεσθαι τοὺς ἀρτοκ[ό]ǀπους κατ’ ἑταιρίαν μήτε προεστηκότας θρασύνεσθαι, πειθαρχεῖν δὲ π[άν]ǀτως τοῖς ὑπὲρ τοῦ κοινῇ συμφέροντος ἐπιταττομένοις καὶ τὴν ἀ[ναγ]ǀκαίαν τοῦ ἄρτου ἐργασίαν ἀνενδεῆ παρέχειν τῇ πόλει· ὡς ἂν ἁλῷ τι[ς αὐ]ǀǀτῶν τὸ ἀπὸ τοῦδε ἢ συνιὼν παρὰ τὰ διηγορευμένα ἢ θορύβου τινὸς [καὶ στά]ǀσεως ἐξάρχων, μεταπεμφθεὶς τῇ προσηκούσῃ τειμωρίᾳ κολασθή[σεται·] ǀ ἐὰν δέ τις τολμήσῃ τὴν πόλιν ἐνεδρεύων ἀποκρύψαι αὑτόν, δεκυείρ[οις ἐπὶ ποǀδὸς προσσημιωθήσεται· καὶ ὁ τὸν τοιοῦτον δὲ ὑποδεξάμενος [τῇ] ǀ αὐτῇ τιμωρίᾳ ὑπεύθυνος γενήσεται. ǀǀ ἐπὶ πρυτάνεως Κλ(αυδίου) Μοδέστου, μηνὸς Κλαρεῶνος δʹ ἱσ(ταμένου), βουλῆς ἀγομέ[νης —] ǀ ἄλλο μέρος· Μαρκελλεῖνος εἶπεν· τῆς ǀ δὲ ἀπονοίας τῶν ἐργαστηριαρχῶ[ν μέγι]ǀστον δεῖγμα χθὲς Ἑρμείας ὁ πρὸς τῇ τ̣αμίᾳ ᾧ μετ̣[. . . . . . . . . ca.16 . . . . . . . . .]αντη․

Item added: November 22, 2012
Item modified: September 11, 2018
ID number: 6299
Short link address:
http://www.philipharland.com/greco-roman-associations/?p=6299

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