Associations in the Greco-Roman World (AGRW)

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

[223] Honorary Decree of Tyrian Immigrants for a Member and Priest (153-152 BCE) Delos - Southwestern islands

Delos (Southwestern islands, Aegean Islands — Pleiades map), 153/152 BCE
AGRW 223 = IDelos 1519 = IDelosChoix 85 = CIG 2217 = PHI 63955 = AGRW ID# 1572
Copenhagen Inventory info: 12


Slab of white marble found in 1673 (102.9 x 37 cm; letter height: 0.6 cm). Now in the Louvre. This honorary decree was passed by an association of immigrants from Tyre in Phoenicia for a fellow member of the association. Several different terms for an “association”, “gathering” or “meeting” are used in this decree (e.g. ekklēsia, thiasos, synodos, koinon) and it is not always clear how to sort out the relations or distinctions between these different designations. Some terms likely designate sub-groups within the broader association.

When Phaidrias was civic leader (archōn, in Athens) on the eighth of the month of Elaphebolion, during an assembly (ekklēsia) in the temple of Apollo:

Dionysios son of Dionysios the head of the society (archithiasitēs) said: Since Patron son of Dorotheos, who is a member of the synod (synodos), approached the assembly and reaffirmed his existing goodwill towards the synod, and because he has fulfilled numerous needs without hesitation and continues to speak and do what is advantageous both for the association (koinon) and for the synod all the time in accordance with his own existing goodwill toward everyone of the merchants and shippers who sail on the sea. Now adding even more goodwill with the goodwill of the gods, he invited the association to dispatch an embassy to the People of Athens in order that it might grant to them a place in which to build a sanctuary of Herakles, the cause of the greatest good things that happen to people and the founder of our original homeland. Being chosen ambassador to the Council and the People of Athens, he sailed, readily taking upon himself the expenses from his own resources and demonstrating the goodwill of the synod towards the People. In this way he accomplished the will of the society members (thiasitai) and increased honor for the gods, just as it suited him. He spoke often and in a manner demonstrating love of humanity at suitable times and he also spoke appropriate things on the synod’s behalf at the most pressing moment with every kindness and with love of honor, and he received the society (thiasos) for two days on behalf of his son.

Therefore, in order that he may provide in the future without being asked and the synod may display its consideration for people who show goodwill toward it by returning appropriate favours to benefactors, and in order that still other people may become zealous admirers of the synod because of the thanks shown towards that person and in order that those who show love of honor may compete for the favour of the synod: For good fortune! It was resolved by the association of the Tyrian Herakleists of merchants and shippers to praise Patron son of Dorotheos and to crown him with a gold crown each year during the performance of the sacrifices to Poseidon on account of the virtue and goodness which he continues to have towards the association of the Tyrian merchants and shippers. It was also resolved to set up a painted image of him in the sanctuary of Herakles and in another place where he decides. Let him be free of paying his share and free from service with regard to everything that happens in the synods. Let the appointed leaders of the society, the treasurers, and the secretary take care of proclaiming the following proclamation during the sacrifices as they are taking place and in the synods: “The synod of the Tyrian merchants and shippers crown Patron son of Dorotheos, the benefactor.” Let them write this decree on a stone plaque and let them set it up in the sanctuary of Herakles, and let the treasurer and the head of the society share the cost of this.

This was done when Dionysios son of Dionysios was leader of the society and Patron son of Dorotheos was priest.

The People of Athens. The synod of Tyrian merchants and shippers.

Translation by: Harland

ἐπὶ Φαιδρίου ἄρχοντος, Ἐλαφηβολιῶνος ὀγδόει, ἐκκλησί|α ἐν τῶι ἱερῶι τοῦ Ἀπόλλωνος· Διονύσιος Διονυσίου | ἀρχιθιασίτης εἶπεν· | ἐπειδὴ Πάτρων Δωροθέου τῶν ἐκ τῆς συνόδου, ἐπελθὼν || ἐπὶ τὴν ἐκκλησίαν καὶ ἀνανεωσάμενος τὴν ὑπάρχου|σαν αὐτῶι εὔνοιαν εἰς τὴν σύν[ο]δον, καὶ ὅτι πολλὰς χρείας | παρείσχηται ἀπροφασίστως, διατελεῖ δὲ διὰ παντὸς κο[ι]|νεῖ τε τεῖ συνόδωι λέγων καὶ πράττων τὰ συμφέροντ[α] | καὶ κατ ἰ<δί>αν εὔνους ὑπάρχων ἑκάστωι τῶν πλοιζομέ[νων] || ἐμπόρων καὶ ναυκλήρων, νῦν [δ’ ἔτι] μᾶλλον ἐπ<η>υξημέ|νης αὐτῆς μετὰ τῆς τῶν θεῶν εὐνοίας παρεκάλεσεν τὸ | κοινὸν ἐξαποστεῖλαι πρεσβείαν πρὸς τὸν δῆμον τὸν Ἀθη|ναίων ὅπως δοθῇ αὐτοῖς τόπος ἐν ὧι κατασκευάσουσιν τέ|μενος Ἡρακλέους τοῦ πλείστων [ἀγαθ]ῶν παραιτίου γ[ε]||γονότος τοῖς ἀνθρώποις, ἀρχηγοῦ δὲ τῆς πατρίδος ὑπά[ρ]|χοντος· αἱρεθεὶς πρεσβευτὴς πρός τε τὴν βουλὴν καὶ | τὸν δῆμον τὸν Ἀθηναίων, προθύμως ἀναδεξάμενος ἔ|πλευσεν δαπανῶν ἐκ τῶν ἰδίων ἐμφανίσας τε τὴν | τῆς συνόδου πρὸς τὸν δῆμον εὔνοιαν παρεκάλεσεν || αὐτὸν καὶ διὰ ταύτην τὴν αἰτίαν ἐπετελέσατο | τὴν τῶν θιασιτῶν βούλησιν καὶ τὴν τῶν θεῶν τιμὴν <συνηύξησεν> | καθάπερ ἥρμοττεν αὐτῶι· πεφιλανθρωπηκὼς δὲ | καὶ πλείονας ἐν τοῖς ἁρμόζουσιν καιροῖς, εἴρηκεν | δὲ καὶ ὑπὲρ τῆς συνόδου ἐν τῶι ἀναγκαιοτάτωι || καιρῶι τὰ δίκαια μετὰ πάσης προθυμίας καὶ φιλοτι|μίας καὶ ἐδέξατό τε τὸν θίασον ἐφ ἡμέρας δύο ὑπὲρ | τοῦ ὑοῦ· ΙΝ ἵνα οὖν καὶ εἰς τὸν λοιπὸν χρόνον ἀπαρά|κλητον ἑαυτὸν παρασκευάζηι καὶ ἡ σύνοδος φαί|νηται φροντίζουσα τῶν διακειμένων ἀνδρῶν εἰς ἑαυ||τὴν εὐνοικῶς καὶ ἀξίας χάριτας ἀποδιδοῦσα τοῖς | εὐεργέταις καὶ ἕτεροι πλείονες τῶν ἐκ τῆς τοῖς συνό|δου διὰ τὴν εἰς τοῦτον εὐχαριστίαν ζηλωταὶ γί|νωνται καὶ παραμιλλῶνται φιλοτιμούμενοι | περιποιεῖν τι τεῖ συνόδωι· ἀγαθεῖ τύχει· || δεδόχθαι τῶι κοινῶι τῶν Τυρίων Ἡρακλειστῶν | ἐμπόρων καὶ ναυκλήρων ἐπαινέσαι Πάτρωνα Δω|ροθέου καὶ στεφανῶσαι αὐτὸν κατ ἐνιαυτὸν χρυ|σῶι στεφάνωι ἐν ταῖς συντε[λου]μέναις θυσίαις | τῶι Ποσειδῶνι ἀρετῆς ἕνεκεν καὶ καλοκαγαθί||ας ἧς ἔχων διατελεῖ εἰς τὸ κοινὸν τῶν Τυρί|ων ἐμπόρων καὶ ναυκλήρων· ἀναθεῖναι δὲ αὐ|τοῦ καὶ εἰκόνα γραπτὴν ἐν τῶι τεμένει τοῦ | Ἡρακλέους καὶ ἀλλαχῆ οὗ ἂν αὐτὸς βούληται· ἔσ|τω δὲ ἀσύμβολος καὶ ἀλειτούργητος ἐν ταῖς||γινομέναις συνόδοις πάσαις· ἐπιμελὲς δὲ ἔστω | τοῖς καθισταμένοις ἀρχιθιασίταις καὶ ταμίαις | καὶ τῶι γραμματεῖ ὅπως ἐν ταῖς γινομέναις θυ|σίαις καὶ συνόδοις ἀναγορεύηται κατὰ ταύτην | τὴν ἀναγόρευσιν· ἡ σύνοδος τῶν Τυρίων ἐμπό||ρων καὶ ναυκλήρων στεφανοῖ Πάτρωνα Δωροθέου | εὐεργέτην. ἀναγραψάτωσαν δὲ τόδε τὸ ψή|φισμα εἰς στήλην λιθίνην καὶ στησάτωσαν ἐν | τῶν τεμένει τοῦ Ἡρακλέους· τὸ δὲ ἐσόμενον ἀνάλωμ[α] | εἰς ταῦτα μερισάτω ὁ ταμίας καὶ ὁ ἀρχιθιασίτης. || ἐπὶ ἀρχιθιασίτου | Διονυσίου τοῦ Διονυσίου, | ἱερατεύοντος δὲ | Πάτρωνος τοῦ Δωροθέου. | ὁ δῆμος || ὁ Ἀθηναίων. | ἡ σύνοδος | τῶν Τυρίων | ἐμπόρων | καὶ ναυκλήρων.

Facsimile of IDelos 1519 from Clarac, Musée de sculpture antique et moderne (Paris: Imprimerie Royale, 1841), vol. 2.2, plates 41-42. Public domain.

Facsimile of IDelos 1519 from Clarac, Musée de sculpture antique et moderne (Paris: Imprimerie Royale, 1841), vol. 2.2, plates 41-42.

Public domain.

Item added: January 22, 2012
Item modified: November 14, 2020
ID number: 1572
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