Associations in the Greco-Roman World (AGRW)

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

[18] Decree of Thracian Sacrificing Associates of Bendis (240/239 BCE) Piraeus - Attica

Piraeus (Attica, Greece and Macedonia — Pleiades map), 240/239 BCE
AGRW 18 = GRA I 23 = IG II² 1283 = LSCG 46 = PHI 3497 = AGRW ID# 3099
Copenhagen Inventory info: 232


Slab of white marble with a relief, now in Piraeus Museum. This inscription records the forming of a new Thracian group in the Asty in Athens and their construction of a temple. The new group desires to accompany the Piraean group in procession from the Prytaneion (civic presidency building) in Athens to the Bendis shrine in the Piraeus, perhaps as part of the festival of the Bendideia. For another monument from the Piraeus that depicts devotees (probably athletes) approaching the Thracian goddess Bendis, see the photo in figure 3. Cf. Ferguson 1944, 96-107 (no. 13).

Gods! In the year that Polystratos was civic leader (archōn), on the 8th of the month of Hekatombion, at the regular assembly, Sosias son of Hippokrates made the motion: Whereas, the People of Athens granted to the Thracians, alone of all of the immigrant groups (ethnē), the right to own property (enktēsis) and to build a sanctuary in accordance with the oracle of Dodona and to have a procession from the hearth of the building of the civic presidency (prytaneion). Now those who have been chosen to build a sanctuary in the Asty think that both groups should be favorably disposed to each other, so that the sacrificing associates (orgeōnes) may also be seen to be obedient to the law of the city, which orders the Thracians to have their procession continue to the Piraeus, and being favorably disposed towards the sacrificing associates who are in the Asty. For good fortune, the sacrificing associates resolve that, when those in the Asty choose to arrange the procession, the procession shall therefore proceed from the building of the civic presidency to the Piraeus in the same procession with those members from the Piraeus. Further, they resolve that the supervisors in the Piraeus shall promise to supply sponges in the sanctuary (or: during the festival) of the Nymphs and to supply cups, water, wreaths, and a meal in the sanctuary, just as they prepare for themselves.

When the sacrifices occur, the priest and the priestess shall pray – in addition to the prayers that they normally pray and in the same way – for the sacrificing associates who are in the Asty, so that when these things take place and the entire immigrant group (ethnos) lives in concord, the sacrifices and other rites shall be made to the gods, in accordance with both the ancestral customs of the Thracians and the laws of the city. So that it will turn out well and in a manner reflecting piety for the entire immigrant group (ethnos) in matters concerning the gods.

Furthermore, if one of the sacrificing associates (of the Asty) should wish to have access to the sacrificing associates (of the Piraeus) concerning some other matter, they shall always have priority following the sacred rites. Also, if one of the sacrificing associates of the Asty should wish to join the sacrificing associates, they may do so, and receive portions of the sacrifice without paying the fee, for life, the portion . . .

Translation by: Kloppenborg

θεοί. | ἐπὶ Πολυστράτου ἄρχοντος μηνὸς Ἑκατομβαιῶνος ὀγδόη|ι ἱσταμένου· ἀγορᾶι κυρίαι· Σωσίας Ἱπποκράτου εἶπεν· vv | ἐπειδὴ τοῦ δήμου τοῦ Ἀθηναίων δεδωκότος τοῖς Θραιξὶ μ||όνοις τῶν ἄλλων ἐθνῶν τὴν ἔγκτησιν καὶ τὴν ἵδρυσιν τοῦ | ἱεροῦ κατὰ τὴν μ[α]ντείαν τὴν ἐγ Δωδώνης καὶ τὴν πονπὴν π|ένπειν ἀπὸ τῆς ἑστίας τῆς ἐκκ τοῦ πρυτανείου καὶ νῦν οἱ | ἡι[ρη]μένοι ἐν τῶι ἄστει κατασκευάσασθαι ἱερὸν οἴοντα|ι δεῖν οἰκείως διακεῖ[σθ]αι πρὸς ἀλλήλους· ὅπως ἂν οὖν φα||[ίν]ωνται καὶ οἱ ὀργεῶνες τῶι τε τῆς πόλεως νόμωι πειθαρ|χοῦντες ὃς κελεύει τοὺς Θρᾶικας πέμπειν τὴμ πομπὴν εἰ|[ς Π]ε[ι]ραιᾶ καὶ πρὸς τοὺς ἐν τῶι ἄστει ὀργεῶνας οἰκείως [δ]|ιακείμενοι· v ἀγαθεῖ τύχει δεδόχθαι τοῖς ὀργεῶσιν v [τὴ]|[ν μὲν] πονπὴ[ν ὡ]ς ἂν [ἕ]λωνται οἱ ἐν τῶι ἄστει συνκαθι[στάνα]||ι τὴμ πομπὴν καὶ τήνδε <ο>ὖν ἐκ τοῦ πρυτανείου εἰς Πει[ραιᾶ] | πορεύεσσθαι ἐν τῶι αὐτῶι τοῖς ἐκ τοῦ Πειραιέως· τ[οὺς δὲ ἐ]|ν τῶι Πειραιεῖ ἐπιμελητὰς ὑποδέχεσσθαι τούτου[ς παρέ]|χοντας ἔν τε τῶι Νυμφαίωι σφ<ό>γγους καὶ λεκάνας κ[αὶ ὕδωρ] | καὶ στεφάνους καὶ ἐν τῶι ἱερῶι ἄριστον καθάπερ [καὶ ἑαυ]||τοῖς παρασκευάζουσιν· ὅταν δὲ ὦσιν αἱ θυσίαι εὔ[χεσθαι] | τὸν ἱερέα καὶ τὴν ἱέρειαν πρὸς ταῖς εὐχαῖς ἃς εὔ[χονται] | καὶ τοῖς ὀργεῶσι τοῖς ἐν τῶι ἄστει κατὰ ταὐτά, ὅ[πως ἂν τού]|τῶν γινομένων καὶ ὁμονοοῦντος παντὸς τοῦ ἔθ[νους αἵ τ]|ε θυσίαι γίνωνται τοῖς θεοῖς καὶ τὰ ἄλλα ὅσα πρ[οσήκει] || κατά τε τὰ πάτρια τῶν Θραικῶν καὶ τοὺς τῆς πόλ[εως νόμου]|ς καὶ ἔχει καλῶς καὶ εὐσεβῶς παντὶ τῶι ἔθν[ει τὰ πρὸς τοὺ]|ς θεούς· εἶναι δ’ αὐτοῖς καὶ ἐὰν περὶ ἄλλο[υ τινὸς βούλωντ]|αι προσιέναι πρὸς τοὺς ὀργεῶνας πρ[όσοδον ἀεὶ πρώτοις] | μετὰ τὰ ἱερὰ καὶ ἐάν τινε[ς βούλωνται τῶν ἐν τῶι ἄστει] || ὀργεώνων ἐπεισιέ[ναι εἰς τοὺς ὀργεῶνας ἐξεῖναι αὐτοῖ]|ς εἰσιέναι κ[αὶ λαμβάνειν καὶ μὴ τελοῦντας τὴν φορὰν διὰ] | βίου τὸ μέρ[ος — — — ]

Item added: September 17, 2012
Item modified: April 29, 2020
ID number: 3099
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