Associations in the Greco-Roman World (AGRW)

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

[303] Imperial Letters to Athletes and “Diploma of the Boxer” (194 CE) Hermoupolis Magna - Upper Egypt

Hermoupolis Magna (Upper Egypt, Egypt — Pleiades map), 194 CE
AGRW 303 = GRA III 267 = PLond III 1178 = GCRE 27, 28, and 37 = AGRW ID# 3183
Copenhagen Inventory info: 1952


A papyrus roll with 102 lines (only lines 1-37 are translated here), now in the British Museum. The first letter (lines 1-7) is from one branch of the synod to another, confirming that Hermeinos the boxer had paid his entrance fee. (This letter is repeated again in lines 37-44). This is followed by two earlier letters of emperor Claudius (lines 8-31) and the letter from emperor Vespasian (lines 32-36), all from the first century. Then comes the diploma of Hermeios itself (ca. 194 CE), which is divided into a formal notification of his admission as a member (ll. 37-44) and a list of the club’s officials (ll. 50-56), including three chief priests (ll. 50-57), a president of the games (ll. 58-59), a treasurer, and a secretary (ll. 60-65). This is followed by the signatures of those named (ll. 66-83). Finally there is another certificate indicating Hermeinos’ payment of an additional 50 denarii at the great games of Asia in Sardis (ll. 84-102).

(lines 1–7) Hermeinos, also called Moros, from Hermopolis, a boxer.  The sacred, travelling athletic synod (synodos) of athletes who honor Augustus Hadrian Antoninus Septimius, to those belonging to the same synod, greetings.  Know that Hermeinos, also called Moros, a boxer from Hermopolis about . . . x years old is a member of our synod (synoditēs), and has fully paid the entrance fee of one hundred denarii in accordance with the regulation.  We have written to you, therefore, so that you might know. Farewell.

First Letter from Claudius (lines 8–15)

Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus Sarmaticus, greatest high-priest (pontifex maximus), with tribunician power for the sixth time, consul designate for the fourth time, proclaimed emperor (imperator) twelve times, father of the fatherland, to the athletic synod of travelling athletes, greetings.  The golden crown that was sent by you for the victory over Britain I have gladly accepted as a symbol embracing the piety that you have for me. Your envoys were Tiberius Claudius Hermas, Tiberius Claudius Kyros, Dion son of Mikkalos of Antioch. Farewell.

Second Letter from Claudius (lines 16–31)

Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus Sarmaticus, greatest high-priest, with tribunician power for the seventh time, consul for the sixth time, proclaimed emperor (imperator) for the eighteenth time, father of the fatherland, to the athletic synod of travelling athletes of Herakles, greetings.  In the two decrees that were shown to me at the same time. . . you commended to me Gaius Julius Antiochus, the king of Commagene, and Julius Polemo, the king ofPontus, honorable men and my friends.  They have acted toward you energetically and generously at the time that they held the games which were established by them in my name.  I have acknowledged your gratitude toward them, and I recognized, rather than being surprised at, the goodwill that they show towards me and the generosity shown to you. Those who are mentioned in the decree are Diogenes son of Mikkalos of Antioch, who is to be the next high-priest of the synod, whom I have considered to be worthy of Roman citizenship along with his two daughters, Sandogene and . . .  of Mikkalos of Antioch. Farewell.

Letter from emperor Vespasian (lines 32–36)

Emperor Caesar Vespasianus Augustus, to the sacred athletic synod of travelling athletes of Herakles, greetings. Recognizing your athletic accomplishment and honor, I, the god Claudius concede to you all the privileges for which you asked, and I myself propose to maintain them. Farewell.

Translation by: Kloppenborg

(hand 11) Ἑρμεῖνος ὁ καὶ [Μῶρος] Ἑρμοπολείτης, πύκτης. | (hand 12) ἡ [ἱ]ε̣[ρὰ] ξυστικὴ̣ π̣ε̣ριπολισ̣τικὴ 〚Σεβαστὴ〛 Ἁδριανὴ Ἀντωνιανὴ | Σεπτιμιανὴ [σ]ύνοδος τοῖς ἀπὸ τῆς αὐτῆς συνόδου χαίρειν· | γεινώσκετε ὄν[τ]α ἡμῶν συνοδείτην Ἑρμεῖον τὸν καὶ Μῶρον || Ἑ[ρ]μοπολείτη[ν πύκτ]η̣ν̣ ὡς ἐτῶν καὶ ἀποδεδωκότα τὸ̣ κα|τὰ τὸν νόμον̣ [ἐντά]γιον̣ πᾶν ἐκ πλήρους [δ]ηνάρια ἑκατόν . | ἐγράψαμ[εν οὖν] ὑ̣μῖν, ἵνα εἰδ̣ῆ̣τε· ἔρ[ρ]ωσθε. | (hand 1) Τιβέριος [Κλ]αύδιος Καῖσαρ Σεβαστὸς Γερμανικὸς Σαρματικὸς ἀρχιερεὺς | μ̣έγι[στο]ς, δημαρχικῆς ἐξουσίας τὸ ϛ̣, ὕπατος ἀποδεδειγμένος || τ̣ὸ̣ [δ αὐ]τοκράτωρ τὸ ιβ, πατὴρ πατρίδος, συνόδ[ῳ] ξυστικῇ | [περιπολιστικ]ῇ χαίρειν· τὸν πεμ[φ]θέντ[α μο]ι̣ ὑφʼ ὑμῶν ἐπὶ τῇ κατὰ Βρεταννῶν νείκῃ χρυ|σοῦν σ̣[τέ]φ[α]νον ἡδέως ἔλαβον σύμβολον περιέχοντα τῆς ὑμετέ|ρας πρός με εὐσεβείας. οἱ πρεσβεύοντες ἦσαν Τιβέριος Κλαύδιος Ἑρμᾶς, || Τιβέριος Κλαύδιος Κῦρος, Δίων Μικκάλου Ἀντιοχεύς. ἔρρωσθε. | [Τιβέριος Κ]λαύδιος Καῖσαρ Σεβαστὸς Γερμανικὸς Σαρματικὸς ἀρχιερεὺ[ς] | [μέγιστος], δημαρχικῆς ἐξουσίας τὸ ζ, ὕπατος τὸ ϛ, αὐτοκρά|τωρ τὸ ιη, πατὴρ πατρίδος, συνόδῳ ξυστικῇ περιπολιστικ̣ῇ̣ | τῶν περὶ τὸν Ἡρακλέα χαίρειν· || ἐν [ψηφίσμα]σ̣ι̣ τοῖς κατὰ τὸν αὐτὸν χρόνον ἀποδοθεῖσ[ί]ν̣ μοι δυσὶν̣ | [- ca.18 -] (?) ἐμ̣[α]ρ̣[τυ]ρ̣εῖτε ἐπʼ ἐμοῦ Γαίῳ Ἰουλίῳ Ἀντιόχῳ | τ̣[ῷ Κομμαγηνῆς] βασιλεῖ καὶ Ἰουλίῳ Πολέμωνι τῷ Πόντου, ἄνδρασι | τειμίοις μο̣[ι καὶ] φίλοις, ὡς πάσῃ σπουδῇ καὶ φιλανθρωπίᾳ χρήσαιν|το πρὸς ὑμᾶς ἡνίκα τοὺς ἐπὶ τῷ ἐμῷ ὀνόματι τιθέμενος ὑπʼ ἀυ||[τ]ῶν ἐπιτέλουν ἀγῶνας· ὑμᾶς μὲν τῆς πρὸς αὐτοὺς εὐχαριστίας | ἀ̣πεδεξάμην, ἐκείνων δὲ τὴν πρὸς ἐμαυτὸν μὲν εὔνοιαν, πε|ρὶ δὲ ὑμᾶς φιλανθρωπίαν ἐγνώρισα μᾶλλον ἢ ἐθαύμασα. οἱ τοῖς | ψηφίσμασιν ἐνγεγραμμένοι ἦσαν Διογένης Μικκάλου Ἀντιοχεύς, | ὁ ἔνγ̣ι̣σ̣τ̣α τῆς συνόδου ἀρχιερεὺς γενόμενος, ὃν ἐγὼ τῆς Ῥωμαίων || π̣[ολιτείας μετ]ὰ δυεῖν θυγατέρων ἄξιον ἡγησάμην εἶναι, Σανδογένης | [- ca.10 - Μ]ικκ[άλου Ἀ]ντιοχεύς. ἔρρωσθε. | Αὐ[τοκράτωρ Καῖσαρ] Οὐεσπασιανὸς Σεβαστὸς ἱερᾷ ξυστικῇ περιπο|λιστικῇ συ[νόδ]ῳ τῶν περὶ τὸν Ἡρακλέα χαίρειν· | [εἰ]δὼς ὑμῶν τῶν ἀθλητῶν τὸ ἔνδοξον καὶ φιλότειμον πάντα ὅσα || [θεὸ]ς Κλαύδιος αἰτησαμένοις ὑμεῖν συνεχώρησε καὶ αὐτὸς φυλάττειν | [π]ροαιροῦμαι. ἔρρωσθε. | ἡ ἱερὰ ξυστικὴ περιπολιστικὴ Ἁδριανὴ Ἀντωνιανὴ Σεπτιμιανὴ | σύνοδος τῶν περὶ τὸν Ἡρακλέα καὶ τὸν ἀγώνιον καὶ Αὐτοκράτορα | Καίσαρα Λ(ύκιον) Σεπτίμιον Σευῆρον Περτίνακα Σεβαστὸν τοῖς ἀπὸ τῆς || [αὐτῆς συνό]δ̣ου χαίρειν· | [γεινώσκετε] ὄντα [ἡμῶν] συνοδείτην Ἑρμεῖνον τὸν καὶ Μῶρον | [Ἑρμοπολείτην πύ]κ̣την ὡς ἐτῶν καὶ ἀποδεδωκότα τὸ κατὰ | τὸν νόμ[ον ἐν]τάγιον πᾶν ἐκ πλήρους δηνάρια ἑκατόν · ἐγράψα|μεν οὖν ὑμεῖν ἵνα εἰδῆτε. ἔρρωσθε. || [ἐγέν]ετο ἐν Νέᾳ πόλει τῆς Ἰταλίας, ἐπὶ τῆς μθ πενταετηρίδος | [ἀγῶ]νος ἀγομένου τῶν μεγάλων Σεβαστῶν Ἰταλικῶν Ῥωμα[ί]ων, ἐπὶ | ὑπάτων Λ(υκίου) Σεπ[τ]ιμίου Σευήρου Περτίνακος Σεβαστοῦ τὸ β καὶ | Κλωδίου Σεπτιμίου Ἀλβείνου Καίσαρος τὸ β, πρὸ ι Καλαδῶν Ὀκτω|βρίων, || ἐπ̣[ὶ ἀρ]χιε[ρέ]ω̣ν τοῦ σύμπαντος ξυστοῦ καὶ ξυσταρχῶν διὰ βίου καὶ | [ἐπὶ βαλανεί]ων τοῦ Σεβαστοῦ Μ(άρκου) Αὐρ(ηλίου) Δημοστράτου Δαμᾶ | [Σαρδιανοῦ Ἀλεξανδρέως Ἀν]τ̣ινο̣έως Ἀθηναίου Ἐφεσίου Σμυρναίου | Π̣ε̣ρ̣[γαμηνοῦ Νε]ικομηδέως Μειλησίου Λακεδαιμονίου Τραλλιανοῦ, | παγκρα[τιασ]τοῦ, δὶς περιοδονείκου, πύκτου ἀλείπτου, παραδόξου, || καὶ Μ(άρκου) Αὐρ(ηλίου) Δημητρίου Ἀλεξανδρέως Ἑρμοπολείτου, παγκρατι|[αστ]οῦ περιοδονείκου παλαιστοῦ παραδόξου, καὶ Μ(άρκου) Αὐρ(ηλίου) Χρυσίππου | ̣[ ̣ ̣]ου Σμυναίου Ἀλεξανδρέως, παλαιστοῦ περιοδονείκου παραδόξου, | ξυσταρχοῦν[το]ς διὰ βίου Μ(άρκου) Αὐρ(ηλίου) Δημητρίου τοῦ ἀρχιερέως καὶ | ἐπὶ βαλανείων Σεβαστοῦ, || ἀρχόντων τῆς συνόδου Ἀλεξάνδρου β τοῦ <καὶ> Ἀθηνοδώρου Μυρέως καὶ | Ἐφεσίου, παλαιστοῦ παγ[κ]ρατιαστοῦ παραδόξου, καὶ Προσδέκτου | [τοῦ ̣ ̣ ̣ ̣ ̣ ̣ ̣]ου Μυτιληναίου, δρομέως παραδόξου, ἀργυροταμίου δὲ | [Κ ̣ ̣κτα(?)]βηνου Π̣[ρόκλο]υ̣ Ἐφεσίου, γυμναστοῦ παραδόξου, | [γραμματεύοντος] τῆ[ς συ]νόδου Ποπλίου Αἰλίου Ε̣ὐ̣κ̣τ̣ήμονος || [ἀρχιγραμματέ]ως ξ[υ]στοῦ. | (hand 2) [Ἀλ]έξανδρος [β] ὁ καὶ Ἀ[θην]όδωρος Μυρεὺς καὶ Ἐφέσιος, παλαιστὴς παν|[κρατι]αστὴς πυθιον[είκ]ης σεβαστονείκης ἁλιονείκης παράδοξος, | [ἄρχω]ν τῆς ἱερᾶς ξυ[σ]τικῆς συνόδου, ὑπέγραψα καταταγέντι | [ἐπʼ ἐμ]οῦ ἐν Νέᾳ πόλ[ει] τῆς Ἰταλίας ἐπὶ τῆς μθ πενταετηρίδος || [Ἑρμείνῳ τῷ καὶ Μώρῳ Ἑρμοπο]λ̣είτῃ πύκτῃ (δηνάρια) ρ. | (hand 3) [Πρόσδεκτος ̣ ̣ ̣ ̣ ̣ ̣ ̣]ου Μυτιληναῖος, ἄρχων, ὑπέγραψα | δ[ι]ὰ τοῦ ἀλείπτο[υ ̣ ̣ ̣ ̣]λητου. | (hand 4) Κ̣ ̣ ̣κ̣ταβηνος Πρόκ̣λ[ου ̣ ̣ ̣ ̣]ανος Ἐφέσιος, ἀλίπτης περιοδονί|κης δὶς ἄριστος Ἑλλή[νω]ν, ἀργυροταμία̣[ς] τῆς ἱερᾶς συνόδου, || ὑ[πέγ]ρα[ψα] κατατ̣[αγέν]τι ἐπʼ ἐμοῦ ἐν Νέᾳ πόλει τῆς Ἰταλίας ἐπὶ τῆς | [μθ πενταε]τηρίδο[ς Ἑ]ρμείνῳ τῷ καὶ Μ[ώρ]ῳ Ἑρμοπολίτῃ | [πύκτῃ]. | (hand 5) [Μ(ᾶρκος) Αὐρ(ήλιος) Δημήτρ]ιος ἀρχιερεὺς τοῦ σύμπαντος ξυστοῦ, διὰ βίου ξυστάρ|[χη]ς, ἐπὶ βαλανείων Σεβαστοῦ, πανκρατιαστὴς περιοδονίκης παλαιστὴς || [παρ]άδοξος, ὑπέγραψα ἐν Νέᾳ πόλει καταταγέντι ἐπʼ ἐμοῦ Ἑρμείνῳ | [τῷ] καὶ Μώρῳ Ἑρμοπολείτῃ πύκτῃ. | (hand 1) Πό(πλιος) Αἴλιος Εὐκτήμων, ἀρχιγραμματεὺς | ξυστοῦ, γραμματεύσας τῆς συνόδου, ἐτέλεσα. | (hand 6) Φωτίων Καρπίωνος Λαδικεῦ καὶ Ἐφέσιος, πύκτης ὀλυμπιονίκης || [ ̣ ̣ ̣ ̣ ̣ ̣ ̣]η̣ς̣ π̣α̣[ράδοξο]ς, ἄρχων τῆς ἱερᾶς ξυστικῆς περι|[πολιστικῆς συνό]δου, ὑπέγραψα ἱερασαμένῳ ἐπʼ ἐμοῦ ἀγῶνι ἱερῷ | [εἰσελασ]τ̣ι̣κῷ εἰς τὴν οἰκουμένην κοινῷ τῆς Ἀσίας ἐν Σ̣ά̣ρδεσιν | [Ἑρμῖ]νον τὸν καὶ Μῶρον Ἑρμοπολείτην (δηνάρια) ν. | (hand 7) [ ̣ ̣ ̣ ̣ ̣ ̣ ̣ Ζ(?)]ωσίμου Φιλαδευφεὺς καὶ Ἐφέσιος καὶ Τραλιανὸς δρομευ ὀλυ<μ>ολυπι||[ονίκ]ηςπαράδοξος, ἄρχων τῆς ἱερᾶς ξυστικῆς περιπολιστικῆςσυωδ|[ου ὑπέγρ]αψα ἱερασαμένου ἐπὶ ἐμου ἀγῶνο̣ς ἱεροῦ ἰσελαστικοῦ ἰς τ̣ὴ̣ν | [οἰκου]μένην κοινῶν Ἀσίας ἐν Σάρδισι̣ Ἑρμῖνον τὸν καὶ Μῶρον | Ἑρμοπολίτη[ν] (δηνάρια) ν. | (hand 8) Γλύκων δὶς̣ [Θ]υατειρηνός, ἀλε̣ίπτης, παράδοξος, ἀργ̣υ̣||ρ[ο]ταμίας εἱερᾶς ξυσστικῆς περιπολισστικῆς συνόδ[ου], | ὑ̣π̣έγραψα. | (hand 9) [Μ(ᾶρκος) Αὐ]ρ(ήλιος) Δημό[στρατος Δ]αμᾶς ὁ ἀρχιε[ρ]εὺς τοῦ σύνπαντος | [ξυστοῦ καὶ ξυσ]τ̣άρχης, ἐπὶ βαλ[α]νείων Σεβα̣[στοῦ], | [ὑπέγραψα] 〚 ̣ ̣ ̣ ̣ ̣ ̣ ̣〛 Ἑρμείνῳ τῷ καὶ Μυ[ρῳ] || [Ἑρμοπολ]ε̣ί̣τ̣ῃ̣ πύκτῃ ἱερ[α]σαμένῳ̣ (δηνάρια) ν̣. | (hand 10) [Κυι]ντ̣[ίλιος] Καρποφόρος Ἐ̣φ[έσ]ιος [ -ca.?- ] | α[ ̣ ̣ ̣ ̣ ̣] γραμ̣μ̣ατεύων τῆς [συ]νόδου ὑπ̣[έγραψα].

Item added: September 18, 2012
Item modified: November 1, 2022
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