Associations in the Greco-Roman World (AGRW)

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

Building: Sanctuary of Atargatis and Hadad (ca. 200 BCE) Delos - Southwestern islands

Delos (Southwestern islands, Aegean Islands — Pleiades map), ca. 200-88 BCE
E. Will and M. Schmid, Le sanctuaire de la déesse syrienne (Exploration archéologique de Délos, 35; Paris: de Boccard, 1985) = Nielsen 2014, 102-103 = AGRW ID# 23465


Relevant inscriptions on this site: IDelos 2224, 2225, 2227, 2229, 2230, 2231, 2234, 2240, 2241, 2250, 2274 (therapeutai); G. Siebert, “Sur l’histoire du sanctuaire des dieux syriens a Délos,” BCH 92 (1968) 359-374 (thiasitai).

Description: Located on the so called “Terrace of the Foreign Gods”, the temple of the Syrian goddess, Atargatis (who is also known here as the “Pure Goddess” or “Pure Aphrodite”), initially consisted of a courtyard with porticos dedicated to Pure Aphrodite and Zeus Hadad (see A at the south end of the plan).  The inscription published by Siebert comes from the first half of the second century and refers to the extension of a building (oikos) as far as the adjacent temple of Sarapis (what would expand to become Sarapieion C).  The Atargatis sanctuary was extended to include a temple (naos) and other buildings in the second century and a further shrine was dedicated to a god named Hadran in 92/91 BCE.  In the following two years, the sanctuary was further expanded with another large portico (C), a theatre (D), and dining rooms fitted with benches at the north end (B).  The building was likely destroyed by Mithridates in 88 BCE.  Inscriptions found within the remains indicate that there was a group of therapeutists (therapeutai) that were active within the sanctuary (either as a board of functionaries and / or as an association), as well as a society (thiasitai) devoted to the goddess that met there.

Translation by: Harland

Plan of the so-called Terrace of the Foreign Gods.Adapted from Bruneau and Ducat 1983 (plate 5, plan 4).

Plan of the so-called Terrace of the Foreign Gods.
Adapted from Bruneau and Ducat 1983 (plate 5, plan 4).

Plan of the Sanctuary of Atargatis on Delos.Adapted from Will 1985.

Plan of the Sanctuary of Atargatis on Delos.
Adapted from Will 1985.

Item added: March 29, 2016
Item modified: March 31, 2016
ID number: 23465
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