Associations in the Greco-Roman World (AGRW)

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

[179] Oracle from Didyma Involving Builders at Miletos (ca. 120 CE) Miletos - Ionia

Miletos (Ionia, Asia Minor — Pleiades map), ca. 120 CE
AGRW 179 = GRA 133 = IMilet 935 = Joseph Fontenrose, Didyma: Apollo’s Oracle, Cult and Companions (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988) 193-94 (no. 19) = PHI 252569 = AGRW ID# 1348
Copenhagen Inventory info: 1034


Block of limestone with an oracle in hexameter verse (67 x 84 cm; letter height: 2– 3 cm).

Should the builders (oikodomoi) associated with … Epigonos—that is, the contractors for the section of the theatre in which the prophet of the god, the late Ulpianus, was superintendent of works and the architect, Menophilos, assigns the work—fashion and construct the arches and the vaults over the columns or should they consider other work?  The god answered: For good uses of wise building techniques, (10) it is expedient to consult a skillful man for the best suggestions, performing sacrifices to thrice–born Pallas and strong Herakles.

Translation by: Harland

οἱ οἰκοδόμοι οἱ περὶ Ε[ . . . . . . ]νι[ ] | Ἐπίγονον, ἐργολάβοι τοῦ μέρους τοῦ̣ | θεάτρου, oὗ ἐργεπιστατεῖ ὁ προφήτ̣[ης] | [θε]ο̣ῦ Οὐλπιανὸς ἥρως, ἐργοδοτεῖ ὁ ἀ[ρ]–||[χι]τέκτων Μηνόφιλος, τὰ εἰλήμ̣α[τα] | [κ]αὶ τὰ τετ[ρ]άετα κατὰ τῶν κειόνων | περιειλῶσιν καὶ ἐνεγκοῦσ[ιν ἢ] ἄλλην ἐρ̣–|γ̣οδοσίαν σκέπτωνται θεὸς ἔχρησε· | ἐμπεράμοις πινυταῖς δωμήσεσιν εὐτεχνίαις τε || εὐπαλάμου φωτός τε ὑποθημοσύναισι φερίστου | χρῆσθαι σύμφορόν ἐστι λιταζομένοις θυσίαισι | Πάλλαδα Τριτογένειαν ἰδ’ ἄλκιμον Ἡρακλ[ῆα.]

Item added: December 13, 2011
Item modified: November 6, 2020
ID number: 1348
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