Associations in the Greco-Roman World (AGRW)

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

[121] Divine Instructions for the Household Association of Dionysios (late II-early I BCE) Philadelphia - Lydia

Philadelphia (Lydia, Asia Minor — Pleiades map), late II-early I BCE
AGRW 121 = GRA II 117 = TAM V 1539 = LSAM 20 = SIG³ 985 = ILydiaHoz 1.2 = AGRW ID# 141


Slab of white marble with damage along the right side. Zeus Eumenes in this inscription may be a reference to Zeus identified with king Eumenes II, former ruler of the Attalid kingdom centred on Pergamon. Philadelphia itself was founded after 189 BCE by Eumenes II or by his successor, Attalus II Philadelphus. Eumenes may also be simply an epithet of the god Zeus, meaning “Kindly”.

To good fortune!  For health, … common salvation (?), and the best reputation, … the instructions (?) … which were given to Dionysios in his sleep were written down, … giving access (?) … into his house (oikos) to men … and women (?), free people and household slaves…  For in this house altars (?) … have been set up for Zeus Eumenes and Hestia … his consort (?), for the other Saviour gods, and for Eudaimonia (“Prosperity”), Ploutos (“Wealth”), Arete (“Virtue”), … Hygeia (“Health”) (?), (10) Agathe Tyche (“Good Fortune”), Agathos … Daimon (“Good Spirit”) (?), Mneme (“Memory”), the Charitai (“the Graces”), and Nike (“Victory”).  Zeus has given instructions to this man for the performance of the purifications, the cleansings, … and the mysteries (?) …  in accordance with ancestral custom and in accordance with what has now … been written here (?).

When entering (?) … this house let men … and women (?), free people and household slaves, … swear by all (?) … the gods that they do not know about any deceptive action against a man or … a woman (?) … or about any drug harmful to people, and that they neither know nor … use (?) … (20) harmful spells, a love charm, an abortive drug, or a contraceptive.  Nor should they use any other thing fatal to children, or give advice or connive with another person about such things.  Now no one should withdraw their goodwill towards this house, and if anyone should do any of these things or plan them, the others are neither to look the other way nor remain silent, but shall expose and avenge the violations.

Beyond his own wife, … a man (?) … is not to seduce someone else’s wife, whether … free or (?) … slave, … nor a boy (?), nor a virgin girl.  Nor shall he advise someone else to do so.  Should he connive at it with someone, … they shall expose (?) …  such a person, (30) both the man and the woman, and … not conceal (?) … it or keep silent about it.  Let the woman and the man, … whoever does any (?) … of the things written above, … not enter this house (?).  For the gods set up in it are great, and … they watch over these things (?) … and will not tolerate those who transgress … the instructions (?).

A free woman is to be pure … and not know (?) … the bed of another man, … nor have intercourse (?) … with anyone except her own husband.  But if she does know the bed of another man, such a woman is not pure, … but defiled (?), full of endemic pollution, and … unworthy to revere (?) … this god whose sacred things have been established here.  She is not to be present at … the sacrifices (?), (40) nor cause offence…, nor see … the mysteries (?) … being performed. If she does any of these things after the instructions have been inscribed, she will have evil curses from the gods for disregarding these instructions. … For the god (?) … does not want these things to happen at all, … nor does he wish it (?).  Rather, he wants obedience.

The gods will be merciful to those … who obey and will always give (?) … them all good things, whatever things gods give to people whom they love.  But if any transgress, the gods (50) … will hate (?) … such people and inflict upon them great punishments. These … instructions (?) … were stored with the goddess Angdistis, … the holiest (?) … guardian and mistress of this … house.  May she create good (?) … thoughts in men and women, … free people and (?) … household slaves, so that they may obey the … things written here.  During  the monthly (?) … and annual sacrifices, may those … men and (?) … women who have confidence in themselves touch this stone on … which the instructions of the god (?) … have been written, so that those who obey these instructions … and those who do not obey (?) … these instructions may become evident.

(60) Zeus (?) … Soter (“Saviour”), the … accept … kindly (?), and …  Provide (?) … good rewards, … on land and sea … likewise …

Translation by: Harland

ἀγαθῆι τ[ύχηι]. | ἀνεγράφησαν ἐφ’ ὑγιείαι κα[ὶ κοινῆι σωτηρίαι (?)] | καὶ δόξηι τῆι ἀρίστηι τὰ δοθέ[ντα παραγγέλμα]|τα Διονυσίωι καθ’ ὕπνον π[ρόσοδον διδόν]||τ’ εἰς τὸν ἑαυτοῦ οἶκον ἀνδρά[σι καὶ γυναιξὶν] | ἐλευθέροις καὶ οἰκέταις. Διὸς [γὰρ ἐν τούτωι] | τοῦ Εὐμενοῦς καὶ Ἑστίας τ[ῆς παρέδρου αὐ]|τοῦ καὶ τῶν ἄλλων θεῶν Σωτ[ήρων καὶ Εὐδαι]|μονίας καὶ Πλούτου καὶ Ἀρετῆς [καὶ Ὑγιείας] || καὶ Τύχης Ἀγαθῆς καὶ Ἀγαθοῦ [Δαίμονος καὶ Μνή]|μης καὶ Χαρίτων καὶ Νίκης εἰσὶν ἱδ[ρυμένοι βωμοί (?).] | τούτ[ωι] δέδωκεν ὁ Ζεὺς παραγγέλ[ματα τούς τε ἁ]|γνισμοὺς καὶ τοὺς καθαρμοὺς κ[αὶ τὰ μυστήρια (?) ἐπι]|τελεῖν κατά τε τὰ πάτρια καὶ ὡς νῦν [γέγραπται· πορευ]||όμενοι εἰς τὸν οἶκον τοῦτον ἄνδρε[ς καὶ γυναῖκες] | ἐλεύθεροι καὶ οἰκέται τοὺς θεοὺς [πάντας ὁρκούσ]|θωσαν δόλον μηθένα μήτε ἀνδρὶ μή[τε γυναικὶ εἰδό]|τες μὴ φάρμακον πονηρὸν πρὸς ἀνθ[ρώπους, μὴ ἐπωι]|δὰς πονηρὰς μήτε γινώσκειν μή[τε ἐπιτελεῖν, μὴ] || φίλτρον, μὴ φθορεῖον, μὴ [ἀτ]οκεῖον, μ[ὴ ἄλλο τι παιδο]|φόνον μήτε αὐτοὺς ἐπιτελεῖν μήτε [ἑτέρωι συμβου]|λεύειν μηδὲ συνιστορεῖν, ἀποστερ[οῦντες (?) δὲ μη]|δὲν εὐνοεῖν τῶι οἴκωι τῶιδε, καὶ ἐάν τ[ις τούτων τι ποι]|ῆι ἢ ἐπιβο[υλε]ύῃ, μήτε ἐπιτρέψειν μή[τε παρασιω]||[πήσ]ειν, [ἀλ]λ’ ἐμφανιεῖν καὶ ἀμυνεῖσθ[αι. ἄνδρα παρὰ] | [τὴν] ἑαυτοῦ γυναῖκα ἀλλοτρίαν ἢ [ἐλευθέραν ἢ] | δούλην ἄνδρα ἔχουσαν μὴ φθερε[ῖν μηδὲ παῖδα μη]|[δὲ] παρθένον μηδὲ ἑτέρωι συμβουλ[εύσειν, ἄλλ’ ἂν τι]|νι συνιστορήσηι, τὸν τοιοῦτον φα[νερὸν ποιήσειν] | καὶ τὸν ἄνδρα καὶ τὴν γυναῖκα καὶ μ[ὴ ἀποκρύψειν μη]|δὲ παρασιωπήσειν· γυνὴ καὶ ἀνήρ, ὃς ἂ[ν ποιῆι τι τῶν προ]|γεγραμμένων, εἰς τὸν οἶκον τοῦτον μ[ὴ εἰσπορευέσθω·] | θεοὶ γ[ὰ]ρ ἐν αὐτῶι ἵδρυνται μεγάλοι καὶ τ[αῦτα ἐπισκοποῦ]|σιν καὶ τοὺς παραβαίνοντας τὰ παραγ[γέλματα οὐκ ἀνέ]||ξονται· γυναῖκα ἐλευθέραν ἁγνὴν εἶν[αι καὶ μὴ γινώσκ]|ειν ἄ[λ]λου ἀνδρὸς πλὴν τοῦ ἰδίου εὐνὴ[ν ἢ συνουσίαν· ἐ]|ὰν δὲ γνῶι, τὴν τοιαύτην μὴ εἶναι ἁγ[ν]ή[ν, ἀλλὰ μεμιασμέ]|νην καὶ μύσο[υ]ς ἐμφυλίου πλή[ρ]η καὶ σ[έβεσθαι ἀναξίαν] | τὸν θεὸν τοῦ[το]ν [ο]ὗ ταῦτα τὰ ἱερὰ ἵδρυ[ται, μηδὲ θυσίαις] || παρατυγχ[άνει]ν μηδὲ τ[. . . .]ΑΠΟΖΗΙΟΥ[— — —] | προσκόπτειν μηδὲ ὁρᾶν ἐπιτελούμ[ενα τὰ μυστήρια (?)· ἐ]|ὰν δὲ ποιῆι τι τούτων, ἀφ’ οὗ τὰ παρα[γγέλματα εἰς τήν]|δὲ τὴν ἀναγραφὴν ἥκουσιν, κακὰς [ἀρὰς παρὰ τῶν] | θεῶν ἕξει [τὰ πα]ραγγέλματα ταῦτα [παρορῶσα· ὁ θεὸς γὰρ] || ταῦτα οὔτε βούλεται γίνεσθαι μηθ[αμῶς, οὔτε θέλει, ἀλ]|λὰ κατακολουθεῖν. οἱ θεοὶ τοῖς μὲ[ν ἀκολουθοῦσιν — —]|σονται ἵλεως καὶ δώσουσιν αὐτο[ῖς ἀεὶ πάντα τἀγα]|θά, ὅσα θεοὶ ἀνθρώποις, οὓς φιλοῦσιν, [διδόασιν· ἐὰν δέ τι]|νες παραβαίνωσιν, τοὺς τοιούτους [μισήσουσι καὶ με]||γάλας αὐτοῖς τιμωρίας περιθήσου[σιν. τὰ παραγγέλμα]|τα ταῦτα ἐτέθησαν παρὰ Ἄγγδιστιν [τὴν ἁγιωτάτην] | φύλακα καὶ οἰκοδέσποιναν τοῦδε τοῦ ο[ἴκου, ἥτις ἀγαθὰς] | διανοίας ποιείτω ἀνδράσι καὶ γυναιξὶν [ἐλευθέροις καὶ] | δούλοις, ἵνα κατακολουθῶσιν τοῖς ὧδε γ[εγραμμένοις. ἐν δὲ] || ταῖς θυσίαις ταῖς τε ἐμμήνοις καὶ ταῖ[ς κατὰ ἐνιαυτὸν (?) ἁ]|πτέσθωσαν, ὅσοι πιστεύσουσιν ἑα[υτοῖς ἄνδρες τε καὶ] | [γυ]ναῖκες τῆς γραφῆς ταύτης, ἐν [ἧι τὰ τοῦ θεοῦ παραγγἐλ]|[μα]τά εἰσιν γεγραμμένα ἵνα φαν[εροὶ γίνωνται οἱ κατα]|[κολου]θοῦ[ντ]ες τοῖς παραγγέλ[μασιν καὶ οἱ μὴ κατακολου]||[θοῦν]τες. [Ζεῦ] Σωτή[ρ], τὴν ΑΦΗ[ | [εὐμεν]ῶς προσδέχου καὶ προ[— — —] | [πάρεχ]ε ἀγαθὰς ἀμοιβάς, [— — —] | [— —]ν ἐπὶ γῆς καὶ ἐπὶ θαλάσσης [— — —] | [— — —]μένοις ὁμοίως [— — —] | vac.

Item added: November 10, 2011
Item modified: June 21, 2016
ID number: 141
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