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 Mithras Scene by Gerontios the “Father of the Customs” (188 or 389 CE) Sidon - Syria and Phoenicia

Sidon (Syria and Phoenicia, Greater Syria and the East — Pleiades map), 188 or 389 CE
IMithras 76 = F. Baratte, "Le Mithreum de Sidon : Certitudes et questions," Topoi 11 (2001) 205-227, at 207. = SEG 15 (1958), no. 848 = PHI 321389 = AGRW ID# 23028


Inscription across the base of a statue of Parian marble (79 x 87 cm). Now in the Louvre. The statue (see photo below) depicts the so-called tauroctony scene, with Mithras in "Persian" clothing slaying the bull accompanied by the usual dog, snake, scorpion. Gerontios appears on two other inscriptions from Sidon (see IMithras 78-79 and 84-85). The title "father of the customs" or "lawful father" is also attested at Tomis (in Scythia) in connection with a priest of Hekate (see SEG 57 [2007], 680 on this site). For the use of fictive parental language for leaders or benefactors of associations, see Harland 2009.

I, Flavius Gerontios, father of the customs (patēr nomimos) of the rites (teletai) of the god, dedicated this as a thanksgiving in the 500th year (either of the Seleukid era or the Sidonian era).

Translation by: Harland

Φλ. Γερόντιος πατὴρ νόμιμος τῶν τελετῶν τοῦ θεοῦ εὐχαριστῶν | ἀφιερωσάτω τῷ φʹ ἔτει.

IMithras (IMithras) 76. Photo by Carole Raddato from Wikimedia. Creative Common license.

IMithras (IMithras) 76.
Photo by Carole Raddato from Wikimedia.

Creative Common license.

Item added: February 22, 2016
Item modified: February 22, 2016
ID number: 23028
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