Associations in the Greco-Roman World (AGRW)

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

Dedication of a Banqueting Room for the Ganymedians (II CE) Smyrna - Ionia

Smyrna (Ionia, Asia Minor — Pleiades map), II CE
ISmyrna 722 = PHI 254940 = AGRW ID# 10501
Copenhagen Inventory info: 1181


Large block of marble used as part of a Greek wall on the slope of mount Pagus close to the line of the Byzantine wall. The Ganymedians are likely an association. This may be an association devoted to the mythical figure of Ganymede, who was considered a beautiful Phrygian youth (sometimes a cowherd or shepherd) who was raped by, and snatched away to be the cup-bearer of, Zeus (cf. Apollodorus, Bibliotecha 2.5; 3.12; Longus, Daphnos and Chloe 17). Ganymede is also attested as a personal name (cf. IG II² 2191 [Attica]; SEG 14:553 [Tenos island]; RECAM II 341 [Galatia]), so this may instead be an association named after its human founder. The term stibas (literally a ritual bed of straw) was particularly used by associations devoted to the god Dionysos as a reference to a room or building used for rituals and banquets (cf. AGRW 7 [Athens]; IPergamonS 7; AGRW 72 [hymn-singers at Histria]).

Marcus Septorius Aristolykos finished the banqueting room (stibas) from his own resources for the Ganymedians (Ganymeditai) (?) when M. (?) Ulpius Julianus was treasurer (tamias).

Translation by: Harland

Μᾶρκος Σερτώριος | Ἀριστόλυκος τὴν στι|β̣ά̣δαν ἐξήρτισεν Γα|[νυμ?]ηδείταις ἐκ τῶν || [ἰδί]ων, ἐπὶ ταμίου | [Μ(άρκου) Ο]ὐλπίου Ἰουλιανοῦ.

Item added: February 7, 2013
Item modified: November 6, 2020
ID number: 10501
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