Associations in the Greco-Roman World (AGRW)

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

Building: Sarapis Sanctuary B (ca. 200-88 BCE) Delos - Southwestern islands

Delos (Southwestern islands, Aegean Islands — Pleiades map), ca. 200 BCE
Roussel 1916, 33-46 (pdf of archaeological report) = Kleibl 2009, 218-220 = Nielsen 2014, 128-129 = McLean 1996, 211-212 = AGRW ID# 23968


Relevant inscriptions on this site: IG XI,4 1223 (contributors [eranistai), 1226 (therapeutists, wearers of black, and Sarapiasts), 1227-1229 (ninth- and tenth-day celebrators).

Description: Located in the area designated the “Terrace of the Foreign Gods” on the lower part of mount Kynthos (see plan: 96), Sarapis sanctuary B was excavated by Roussel in 1910 and measured 390 m2.  After ascending a staircase from the street to the west (between two shops), one could enter to the left into a main room (G) where there were three altars (on the east) and three smaller rooms on the western side, likely three shrines according to Roussel.  The large courtyard (10 x 12 m) at the top of the stairs gave access to a small podium temple (A, measuring 7 x 4.5 m).  Benches ran out into the courtyard (north to south) from that temple.  At the eastern end of the structure was another larger room (B, measuring 6.5 x 3.5 m), elevated from the courtyard, where at least one banqueting couch was dedicated to Sarapis, Isis and Anubis by members of a contribution society (IG XI,4 1223).  Also on the east was a portico (C), with what may have been another altar beneath it at the south end (E).  A house was located to the south of this building.  The sanctuary was destroyed in 88 BCE.  Remnants of two statuettes, one of Sarapis and the other Horus (both seated), were found in the building along with a statue of Zeus-Sarapis (also seated).  Inscriptions reveal that there were at least six different associations that attended this sanctuary: a group of contributors (eranistai; IG XI,4 1223); groups of therapeutists, wearers of black, and Sarapiasts (1226); and, societies of ninth- and tenth-day celebrators (1227-1229).

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 Sarapis Sanctuary B on Delos.Roussel 1915, 35, plate 2. Public domain.

Plan of Sarapis Sanctuary B on Delos.
Roussel 1915, 35, plate 2. Public domain.


Item added: April 8, 2016
Item modified: April 10, 2016
ID number: 23968
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