Associations in the Greco-Roman World (AGRW)

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

Confession Involving a Sacred Association (doumos) (205/206 CE) Saittai area [Kollyda] - Lydia

Saittai area [Kollyda] (Lydia, Asia Minor — Pleiades map), 205/206 CE
GRA 119 = ILydiaHM 85 = SEG 57 (2007), no. 1186 = AGRW ID# 12087


Lower part of a large slab of marble with tenon and a relief above the inscription depicting a man on his knees and an animal to the right, likely attacking the man, now in the Manisa museum (151 x 66 x 13cm; inv. 8346). As a so called confession inscription (Beichtinschrift) characteristic of the region of Lydia, this inscription follows the normal pattern of acknowledging the power of gods who have been offended by the actions of certain individuals; the individuals who have faced some negative consequence then set up the monument as a means of reconciling with the gods and avoiding further punishment. In this case, it seems that two sons somehow hindered their father when the father was engaged in some activity that would have honored the gods. Because the sons hindered the father, the father died. The relief apparently depicts the father's death as having something to do with an attack by an animal (either literally or figuratively). The sons then made a proclamation that no one should ever disparage the gods, following through on their father's earlier written proclamations that likewise acknowledged the power of the gods. Although another confession inscription involves a person's failure to properly engage in mysteries (see MAMA IV 281 on this site), the present document is, to my knowledge, the only confession inscription found so far that expressly mentions an association, in this case a sacred doumos (an associational term common in Phrygia and Lydia). In TAM V 449, also from the area around Saittai, a sacred doumos honors a priest of Artemis Anaetis, the same goddess mentioned in this confession inscription.


In the 290th year of the Sullan era during the month of Peritios, Ammianos and Hermogenes, sons of Tryphon, arrive (sic.), asking the gods Men Motyllites, Zeus Sabazios, Artemis Anaitis, and the great senate and council of the gods and asking the village (katoikia) and the sacred doumos–association that they might find mercy, (10) since they were punished because they overcame their father, who was acknowledging the power of the gods, and their father did not receive mercy.  But after he met his end, they wrote “No one should ever disparage the gods” for the sake of his first written proclamations, and they set it up, blessing (20) the gods.

Translation by: Harland


ἔτους σʹ, μη(νὸς) Περιτίου· Ἀμμι̣|ανὸς καὶ Ἑρμογένης Τρύφω|νος πάρισι ἐρωτῶντες το|ὺς θεοὺς Μῆνα Μοτυλλίτ||ην καὶ Δία Σαβάζιον καὶ Ἄρτε|μιν Ἀναεῖτιν καὶ μεγάλην συ|νᾶτος καὶ σύνκλητον τῶν θε|ῶν, ἐρωτῶντες τὴν κατοικία[ν] | καὶ τὸν ἱερὸν δοῦμον, ἵνα ἐλέ||ου τύχωσιν, ἐπὶ ἐκολάσθη[σ]|αν οὗτοι, ὅτι τὸν πατέρα ἐκρά|τησαν ἐξομολογούμενον | τὰς δυνάμις τῶν θεῶν, καὶ ἐλ<ε>η̣|μοσύνην μὴ λαβόντος τοῦ πα||τρὸς αὐτῶν, ἀλλὰ ἀποτελεσθέ̣| ντος αὐτοῦ μή τίς ποτε παρευ̣|τελίσι τοὺς θεοὺς διὰ τὰς π̣[ρ]| ώτας προγραφὰς αὐτοῦ ἔγρα̣[ψ]|αν καὶ ἀνέθηκαν εὐλογοῦντε̣[ς] || τοῖς θεοῖς.

Item added: May 8, 2013
Item modified: December 3, 2015
ID number: 12087
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