Richard S. Ascough, Philip A. Harland, and John S. Kloppenborg, Associations in the Greco-Roman World: A Sourcebook (Waco / Berlin: Baylor University Press / de Gruyter, 2012). Paperback, 436 pages; ISBN: 9781602583740.
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“Indispensable. A splendid resource for students at several levels, not merely in religious studies, but for anyone exploring the society and culture of the Hellenistic and Roman worlds.”
—Wayne A. Meeks, Yale University
This accessible collection of materials concerning ancient associations, guilds, synagogues, and other social-religious groups features:
- Over 300 inscriptions and papyri in English translation from all parts of the ancient Mediterranean, particularly the Greek East
- Over 20 inscriptions involving Jews / Judeans in the diaspora
- Over 25 building (meeting-place) descriptions with archeological bibliography
- Over 50 significant passages from ancient Greek, Roman, and Judean authors such as Cicero, Livy, Josephus, Philo of Alexandria, Pliny the Younger, and Lucian of Samosata
- Hundreds of items in an annotated bibliography of scholarship (in English, German, and French) on associations
- A resource ideal for use in courses on social, religious, or economic life in the Greco-Roman world and courses on the contexts of ancient Jewish and Christian groups.
Richard S. Ascough, Philip A. Harland, and John S. Kloppenborg, Greco-Roman Associations: Texts, Translations, and Commentary (Berlin: de Gruyter, 2011-).
This is a multi-volume scholarly resource (with original texts and extensive commentary) arranged by geography:
- Volume 1: Richard S. Ascough and John S. Kloppenborg, Attica, Central Greece, Macedonia, Thrace, 2011 (488 pages).
- Volume 2: Philip A. Harland, North Coast of the Black Sea, Asia Minor, 2014 (565 pages). View a sample PDF of the intro and part 1
- Volumes 3: John S. Kloppenborg, ed., Ptolemaic and Early Roman Egypt, 2020 (740 pages).
- Volumes 4-: Regions to be determined.
The following corrections should be made to the book version of AGRW (first list) or to the multi-volume work GRA (separate list below). These corrections have already been made on this website. Thanks to anyone who has made or will make suggested corrections. Note that the comment form at the bottom of each entry can be used for suggested corrections.
AGRW # Correction
- 3: Soterichos (not: Sothrichos)
- The leaders in this association. (This dedication does not necessarily involve an association, but it does provide background for the other associations devoted to Egyptian deities at Athens).
- Name corrections: Asopokles of Phlya, Sosikrates of Laodikea
- 5: presidency of Aiantis (not: Aiantides).
- 8: should read: by communal deliberation signed an agreement of friendship
- 20: final section of the inscription should read: Neon of Cholargos, Simon of Poros, and Ergasion.
- 25: Apphys (not: Apphydis).
- 31c: Based on a new reading of the Greek (by Marchand 2015, 258 [no. 5), the translation should read: Farewell, Hippomachos! The butchers (mageiroi) who sacrifice together (synthytai) buried him.
- 33: Date at the beginning should read: Year 59 (of the Macedonian era).
- 35: Title should read: Honors by a Society for Paramonos (not: Two Men)
- 45: formerly called Pierion (not: formerly of Pieria; occurs three times)
- 53: philopaiktores (not: philopaiktoroi)
- 68: Title should read (in both the table of contents and the text:  Honors by Initiates of Dionysos Kallon for Semnos
- 69: ILS 7215a (not: ILS 7216)
- 73: Hephaistion (not: Hapheistion)
- 79: Likely a group of “banqueters” (θοινεῖτα), rather than “tuna-fishermen”. The inscription itself likely misspells θοινεῖτα as θυνεῖται (θυννίτης = “tuna-fisherman”).
- the king honored the god and the society with one thousand artabas (Persian measures) of grain (or: with exemption from taxes on one thousand artabas of imported or exported grain).
- who is also the governor (delete duplicate “who is”).
- the care-taker (phrontistēs), Kossos Attas son of Kossos (not: the procurators (phrontistēs), Kossos son of Attas Kossos).
- celebrating the 9th (?). . . day of Tanais (or: celebrating the day of the god (?) Tanais) (Not: celebrating the . . .day of Tanais).
- Diophantos (not: Diophantes).
- 92: Alexion (not: Alexiona)
- Mother Cybele (missing: Mother)
- Final phrase should read: the synagogue of Zeus since she acted in a benevolent manner.
- 98: Menestheus (not Menetheus or Menesthes, needs to be corrected twice)
- 109: Andreas son of Menestratos (not: Menestrates).
- 115: Julius (not: Iulius); Justus (not: Iustus); Julianus (not: Joulianos).
- B, lines 21-23 should read: The leader (archōn) will advance fifteen denarii toward the incense for the deceased, an amount which will be recovered from the one who enters and takes his (i.e. the deceased’s) place. (Not: The leader (archōn) will furnish fifteen denarii toward the incense for the deceased, which will be received near the entrance into the place.)
- 155: Koreskos (not: Koriaskos)
- 156 Boas (not: Boa; twice)
- 157: Boas (not: Boa; twice)
- for many years, (not: in most years)
- also during your time of office (insert: also)
- and priest of the Lords (Anaktores), of King Alexander (not: and priest of the shrine of King Alexander).
- Hermeros (not: Hermerotos)
- Hermeros (not: Hermotos)
- 168: Should read: Emperor Caesar Trajan Hadrian Augustus, son of god Trajan–victorious in Parthia–and grandson of god Nerva, greatest high-priest, with tribunician power, three times consul. The initiates (mystai) before the city (pro poleōs) co-enthroned Hadrian with Dionysos when Claudius Romulus was priest,….. (etc)
- 176: Rephrase first sentence to read: Say “farewell holy priestess”, female bacchants (bakchai) of the city.
- 180: Meniskos, adopted son of Melas, natural son of Zopyros (not: Meniskos Melanos son of Zopyros)
- 185: Should begin: Herakleitos son of Archigenes and the fellow-Anubiasts (dedicated this) to Anubis on behalf of Queen Stratonike
- 209: II-III CE (not: undated).
- 221: Should read: After receiving the sacred things and performing the services (therapeiai) in a diligent manner (etc.).
- lines 20-34 should read: or in whatever other place he may decide, except for the naos or the pronaos (prostoa), where he can erect a statue, and a place in the temple (hieron), whatever he wishes, for setting up a painted bust (eikon).
- lines 53ff should read: Now, in order that the honors being given by the synod to Marcus may remain for all time in accordance with what is just and in order that there may be many emulators to display love of glory towards the synod, knowing that the synod is useful and that it not only decrees appropriate honors for benefactors but eagerly promotes them, which is essential. In order that the honors given to benefactors may continue forever, it is not permitted for anyone, whether a common man or a ruler, to say or to write something as though it is necessary to change the honors which have been given, or to remove or invalidate or to do anything in violation of this decree. May whoever writes or proposes a motion or is the speaker or puts it to a vote or votes for it or inscribes it or proposes it be himself utterly ruined and his children.
- lines 83-90 should read: Let the one who is head of the society at the time summon both the prosecutor and the defendant, and let him distribute a pebble for voting to the members of the society . . . (one or two words missing) . . . goes well, to the one who has made the accusation, being rewarded with one third of the fine. . . But if the head of the society does not do something as stipulated here, let him be prosecuted concerning these things when he is no longer an official of the association. Let the head of the society have the decree inscribed on a white plaque and set up publicly, and let him place it in the courtyard . . . this was done when Phaidrios was civic leader (archōn) . . . Let those in leadership as treasurers at the time pay the expense.
- 225: Add to description: Although an association is not mentioned here, this statue was set up in the meeting-place of the Berytians.
- 234: Should read: The oil-merchants (elaiopōlai) dedicated the temple and the statue of Herakles, when those appointed to supervise the construction were Zenon and Theon, both sons of Hermon and both of Elea, and Publius Plotius Patron, and Posidippos son of Titus of Herakleia, and Eirenaios son of Zoilos of Azotos, and Sporius Arius son of Decimus, a Roman, . . . Menekles son of Pankratos . . . Dedicated to Herakles and Hermes.
- 235: Should read: Thraseas Samiarios (freedman) of Quintus and Publius (Samarius), Agathokles Paconius (slave) of Lucius (Paconius), Alexandros Babyllius (slave) of Lucius (Babyllius), Aulus Atanius (freedman) of Decimus also called Apollodoros, Zenon Mondicius (freedman) of Lucius and Marcus (Mondicius), Stephanos . . . (freedman? slave?) of Quintus, Damonicus Maecius (slave) of Quintus (Maecius), Antiochos Crepereius (slave) of Titus (Crepereius), Tryphon Audius slave of Lucius (Audius). These are the Competaliasts (Competaliastai) who dedicated this in the year that Theodosius was the civic leader (archōn).
- 236: Should read: and when Dionysios of Eupyridai, son of Athenobios, was in charge of the trading-station.
- 243: Echestratos (not: Echestrates)
- 245B: Nikephoros (not: Nikophoros)
- 262: This inscription involves a dedication to Herakles of Thasos (not a society / thiasos). No association is involved.
- “he will recline
aton the sacred banquetcouch”
At the banquetAnd during the drinking bout he will be entitled”
- “he will recline
- 275-276, 278: date of SEG volumes should be SEG 55 (2005) (not (1995)
- 277: date of SEG volume should be SEG 54 (2004) (not: 1994)
- 281: “the 120 silver drachmas including interest on behalf of Syntrophos” (not “without charging any interest”)
- 287: Should read (primarily correcting lines 14–15 and 30–31): For good fortune! Year 15, the 21st of Thoth. At the assembly (synagogē) of fellow-farmers (suggeorgoi) who hold the property around Psenamosis in the nome of Berenike, after discussions concerning other things it was resolved that: whereas Paris, the kinsman (of the king) who conducted himself in a generous way towards the synodos and has received everyone kindly, collectively and individually, and who had some empty land suitable for the construction of a gymnasium and a hall (oikos). And since, when we wished to buy it so that we could build a gymnasium and a hall and conduct sacrifices on behalf of the kings, he did not insist on receiving payment, but donated it and registered it as a free gift to the synod (synodos ). For this reason, it was decided to welcome him (in the synod) and to honour him (10) with two statues which are to be set up, one in the gymnasium and the other in the hall, and that these be crowned on the eponymous days on which we come together to sacrifice on behalf of the kings. Likewise, it was resolved that he shall have a seat on the first couch at the banquet for life, and a day will be observed in his honor each year on these premises, and that a plaque be inscribed and set up on the doorway with the inscription: “Paris, the kinsman (of the king), has donated this place to the synod of landowners.” For it is right that all should honor those who act in a generous way toward the association. And if in his ambition he should leave something else to the association (koinon), it is resolved that another day in his honor will be observed in the city (i.e. Alexandria) and when they hold their banquet, a statue of him will be crowned during the toasts, and three men, who he shall propose to be honored, will be received into the synod without an entrance fee, whose names he shall supply.For good fortune! Below are written (the members), being 29 (in number).(20) In the eighteenth year, in Paophi: Whereas Paris the kinsman (of the king), who has continued to act in a kindly and generous manner towards us, formerly, when there was the land that belonged to him in Psenamosis that happened to be opportune for us to build a hall and a gymnasium, when we offered to pay its price, he did not insist on receiving payment but gave it to us freely; for which reason he has received from us the honor of two statues that have been confirmed by the preceding decree, which are to be set up in the gymnasium and in the hall, and which are to be crowned on the eponymous days on which we gather to sacrifice on behalf of the kings; and likewise, he shall have a seat on the first couch at the banquet for life, and we will observe a day in his honor yearly at those places, and a plaque will be inscribed on the gateway saying: “Paris the kinsman donated this place to the synod of landowners.” (30) For it is right that all should honor those who act in a generous way toward the association. It is further resolved to accept into the synod without any entrance fee three men that he will propose to be so honored, whose names he will give us.And now in the twentieth year, since he had been eager to expand our synod, since he had made gifts for holding two additional days in his honor yearly—so that there are now three days this year, namely one in Alexandria in Thoth, when we set up his engraved image and crown it when we are feasting, and one day in Psenamosis in Pharmouthi, after the first day of Apollo, just as was resolved beforehand, and yet another day in Mesore at the time of vintage—for which days he has given one thousand silver drachmas, so that from the interest of two hundred silver drachmas that is collected each year, the expenses of the other two days may be met. And it is further resolved that he be named (40) priest for life and that he be free from further dues, and free from contributions for the banquets and free from monthly dues and free from the services (leitourgia) and exempt from levies, and will receive a double portion of food. And if he is not present at the banquet, it will be sent to him, and his statue will be crowned by the association at the toasts with a special wreath. And when he in old age he dies, the synodwill yearly observe for him the customary rites of the dead at the tomb and will crown him from common funds with a special crown at the toasts at the banquet, and will inscribe a decree on a monument (stele) regarding all the aforementioned things, and erect it at the gate of the sanctuary, concerning the three days that are held yearly in his honor, and the three statues, in accordance with these decrees. For good fortune!All those members who are present whose names are written below approved, and did everything as indicated above. At the bottom are written their names, all approving.
- 289: title should read:  Letter Concerning Inability to Pay Contributions (184 CE)
- (Feb. 11) (not: (Feb. 13)
- (Oct. 24) (not: Oct. 23)
- (June 20) (not: July 20)
- 309: “(unintelligible words)” should read “goose and cake”
- line 3: for a chapel with a pergola and a marble statue
- lines 9-10: that on the September 19th which is the birthday of our emperor Antoninus Pius, father of the country, they shall distribute the presents in the Temple of the Deified Caesars, in the shrine of the Deified Titus.
- line 11: 4th of November (not 9th of November); also occurs again further on
- line 13: Also, on the 22nd of February, the anniversary of our beloved pact (not: the day of our beloved agreement)
- B2: Replace current description with the following:The building or Baccheion (as it was named by members of the group) was located within an older, triangular sanctuary between the Pnyx and the Areopagos near the western slope of the Acropolis (near the modern streets of Makrygianni / Chatzchristou). 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. 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).
- B8: Établissement (not: Ésablissement)
- L40: under 10.34: civitates (not: civatates)
- L44: Should read: Members (sodales) are those who belong to the same association, which the Greeks call hetaireia. They have the right to make whatever contracts they may wish with one another, provided they do nothing in violation of public law. This law appears to have been taken from a law of Solon, which is as follows: “If the inhabitants of a district (demos) or “brothers” (phratores) of (those associated for the observation) of sacred rites, or sailors or members of groups that dine together (syssitoi) or those who meet to provide for their burial (homotaphoi) or members of a religious club (thiasōtai) or persons engaged in some enterprise for plunder or trade, whatever they agree upon shall be valid unless prohibited by public laws.
GRA, volume 1 corrections
p. 5: Phrygian deity Bendis → Thracian deity Bendis.
pp. 23, 56: Kalcedon → Kalchedon
p. 28: (the right to) lease of the land → the right to acquire the land
p. 35: Thargelian → Thargelion
p. 70: and gave a public accounting → and gave an accounting
p. 70: and what he had delated to the others → and what he had reckoned against others
p. 71: 3x: (votive) plaque → dedication
p. 102: Aristonymous → Aristonymos (bis)
p. 117: Zenon → Xenon
p. 145: the citizens of Rhamnous who had been appointed → those of the citizens who had been stationed at Rhamnous
p. 152: Alopekethe → Alopeke
p. 179: Dionysos, the cult founder → Dionysios, the cult founder
p. 199: Maga of Marathon, → Magas of Marathon
p. 204, l.6: eight day → eighth day
p. 226: Nikander → Nikandros
p. 228: First paragraph line 5: medial sigma, not final sigma.
p. 233: ll. 43–44: ½ττ[ι]καῖς κε? → ll. 43–44: ½ττ[ι]καῖς κε’
p. 303: Torcouatus → Torkouatos
p. 304: Zolius → Zoilus
p. 336: Anthemonte → Anthemous
p. 337–38 (3x): formerly son of Pierion → formerly called Pierion
p. 349 (dedicate this to) → (dedicated this to)
p. 350: Daisius → Daisios
p. 354: Five plethra of land is about 4400m2 or 0.44 ha.
p. 358: l. 19: θεσίας → θ̣υσίας
p. 360: l. 21. Sosibios → Eunosta
p. 362: Delete the second “The table companions bearers … (set this up).”
p. 373: l. B8: Two plethra of land is about 1760m2 or 0.17 ha.
p.383: cultuelle (σπείρη à Augusta Trajana, → cultuelle (σπείρη) à Augusta Trajana
p. 396: will be ﬁlled → will be struck (with terror)
p. 401: fifth year of hieromnemon Domitianus Caesar Augustus Germanicus → ﬁfth year of the hieromnemon of Domitianus Caesar Augustus Germanicus
p. 461: NN formerly son of… read: NN formerly called…
p. 477: donatio mortis causae → donatio mortis causa
GRA, volume 2 corrections
pp. 89-90: change “the sacred partners” (several occurences) to “those participating in the sacred rites” (thanks to Benedikt Eckhardt).
p. 277: Should read: “Emperor Caesar Trajan Hadrian Augustus, son of god Trajan–victorious in Parthia–and grandson of god Nerva, greatest high-priest, with tribunician power, three times consul. The initiates (mystai) before the city (pro poleōs) co-enthroned Hadrian with Dionysos when Claudius Romulus was priest, …”
p. 318 (no. 140, line 17): οὐ θέσ̣[μιον (not: οὐ θέ̣[μιον).