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 an Offering Receptacle in the Sarapis Sanctuary (ca. 200 BCE) Delos - Southwestern islands

Delos (Southwestern islands, Aegean Islands — Pleiades map), ca. 200 BCE
IG XI,4 1247 = RICIS 202/0124 = PHI 63732 = AGRW ID# 4756


Cylindrical offering receptacle positioned under a quadrangular pedestal, from Sarapis sanctuary A (Sarapieion A). A bronze ornament of an animal was positioned on the front to guard the treasury. The inscription playfully shifts to the perspective of the animal (bronze figure) which protects the offerings and then to the receptacle itself rejoicing when someone throws something into its body. Groups of therapeuontes or therapeutai (servants of the god) met in this sanctuary (see IG XI,4 1299 = RICIS 202/0101; IG XI,4 1217 = RICIS 202/0115; IDelos 1417, lines 131 and 142, which also makes mention of an offering receptacle; and, IG XI,4 1290 = RICIS 202/0121). For other offering receptacles connected with the Sarapis sanctuaries on Delos, see IDelos 372A = RICIS 202/0103, line 28; IDelos 442A = RICIS 202/0106, lines 156-157; IDelos 460t = RICIS 202/0109, line t 43. For another offering receptacle at Thera, see IG XII,3 443 = PHI 75964 on this site.

This is dedicated to Sarapis, Isis, and Anubis.  Ktesias son of Apollodoros of Tenos (island) set up the offering receptacle and the base according to the command (prostagma) of the god.  Do not be surprised when you see me (i.e. the animal in bronze who guards the treasury) looking fierce, oh stranger!  For, patrolling day and night, I guard this divine offering receptacle without sleeping. Yet you please me when you throw whatever your heart desires into my spacious body through the mouth.

Translation by: Harland and Kloppenborg

Σαράπιδι, Ἴσιδι, Ἀνούβιδι | Κτησίας Ἀπολλοδώρου Τήνιος | τὸν θησαυρὸν καὶ τὸ στρῶμα | κατὰ πρόσταγμα τοῦ θεοῦ || ἀνέθηκεν. | μήτι με θαμβήσεις ἐσιδών, ξένε, γοργὸν ἐόντα· | τόνδε γὰρ ἡμέριος καὶ πάννυχος ἀμφιβεβηκὼς | θησαυρὸν φρουρῶ θεῖον, ἄυπνος ἐών· | ἀλλὰ χαρεὶς ἔνβαλλε ὅ τί σο<ι> φίλον ἐστὶ ἀπὸ θυμοῦ || εἰς ἐμὸν εὔδεκτον σῶμα διὰ στόματος.

RICIS 202/0124: Offering receptacle from Sarapis sanctuary A.
Courtesy of Laurent Bricault.
© École française d’Athènes.


Item added: October 24, 2012
Item modified: January 17, 2020
ID number: 4756
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