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 Room in a Cave for Mother Oreia by a Society (late II CE) Ariassos - Pisidia

Ariassos (Pisidia, Asia Minor — Pleiades map), late II CE
GRA 148 = Sencer Şahin, “Bemerkungen zu Lykischen und Pamphylischen Inschriften,” EA 17 (1991) 113–138, at 126-132, no. 5.7 = CCCA I 754 = SEG 6, no. 718 = SEG 41 (1991), no. 1329 = PHI 276803 = AGRW ID# 9896


Inscriptions on the left and right sides of a niche on the middle column at the entrance to the cave on the south-eastern slope of Mount Tshygh-Dagh, near the village of Iuvadjà / Karain (near ancient Ariassos, about 20 km north of Termessos). This likely involves the dedication of a shrine or room for rituals within the cave. Another more fragmentary inscription in the same area seems to make mention of a head of the mysteries (μ̣υ̣σ̣[τη]ρ̣ι̣άρχης) displaying his pursuit of honor to an "association of fishermen" (τῷ κυνῷ τῶν ἁλιέων) (SEG 41 [1991], no. 1330). Several other inscriptions here are votive dedications to the Mother goddess (SEG 41 [1991], nos. 1323, 1325, 1326, 1327). For a similar dedication of a cave for a goddess with the epithet Oreia, see MAMA III 33 from Seleukeia in Cilicia: "Rhondas made the cave (antron)… for Athena (?) … Krisoua Oreia" (Ἀθηνᾷ] ǀ Κ̣ρισούᾳ ǀ Ὀρείᾳ ǀ Ῥωνδας ǀǀ [τὸ] ἄτ̣ρον ǀ ἐπόησα.).

(C; to the left of the niche, at the top)

Agoratos son of Eupator.

(A; to the right of the niche)

Her society (thiasos) had the stall (anaulitērion) built for the Mountain Oreia Mother goddess, who listens to prayer.  The members of the society are written below: the head of the society (archithiasitēs), Samos son of Arteimos, grandson of Samos, great–grandson of Samos, descendant of Moles, descendant of Madachos, … Name son of Moles, (10) Leti, Arteimide, Kalaue, Kendeas, Oube, Moles son of Artemanos, Apollonios, Koedios, Trokondas, Monosaon (?), Barater (?), Dioteimos, Leto, Lapheides, … Name son of Mousaios, and (20) Marcus Cocceius Troillos.  They had this built from their own resources for the goddess.

(B; to the right and below the niche)

Samos son of Arteimos, grandson of Samos, great–grandson of Samos, descendant of Moles, descendant of Madachos, chief–initiate (archimystēs), dedicated this vow to the Mountain Oreia Mother, who listens to prayer, for the sake of salvation (sotēria).


Translation by: Harland

(C; to the left at the top of the niche)

Ἀγόρατος | Εὐπάτο[ρος]

(A; to the right of the niche, probably engraved later than B)

[— — — τ]ῇ Μ̣η̣τ̣ρ̣ὶ̣ | θεᾷ ἐπηκόῳ Ὀρείᾳ | τὸ ἀναυ̣λιτήριον κα|τεσκεύασεν θίασος || αὐτῆς, ὑπογεγραμέ|νοι· ἀρχιθιασείτης Σά|μος Ἀρτείμου Σάμου | δὶς Μολέους Μαδά| χου, Γ . . ω̣ν Μολέο[υς] || Λητι̣, Ἀρτειμί̣δη̣ Κα| λαυη Κε̣νδέας Ουβ̣ε̣ | Μολῆς Ἀρτεμάνου, | Ἀπολλώνιος vac. (?) | Κοηδιος Τροκόν||δας Μονοσ̣α̣ονο[ς] ?, | Β̣ΑΡΑΤ̣ΕΡ̣ Διό|τειμ̣ος Λη|τω, Λαφείδης | Τ̣ Μουσαί||ου, Μ̣ᾶρκος | Κ̣οκκήϊ|ος Τροΐλ|λος, θεῷ κ̣[ατε]|σκεύασαν || ἐκ τῶν | ἰδ̣ί̣ων·

(B; to the right, continuing in the same column as A, lower than the niche, probably engraved before A)

Σάμος Ἀρτέμου | Σάμου δὶς Μο|λέους Μαδάκου || ἀρχιμύστης Μη| τρὶ Ὀ[ρ]ε̣ίᾳ ὑπὲρ | σωτηρ̣ί̣ας ἐπη|κόῳ vac. εὐχήν.

SEG 41 (1991), no. 1329: Sketch from G. Moretti, “Le grotte sacre di Iuvadjà,” Annuario della Scuola Archeologica di Atene e delle Missioni Italiane in Oriente 6-7 (1924-1923) 547–554. Public domain

Item added: January 22, 2013
Item modified: December 10, 2015
ID number: 9896
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