Associations in the Greco-Roman World (AGRW)

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

[126] Edict Concerning Zeus and the Mysteries of Sabazios, Agdistis and Ma (II CE / 365 BCE) Sardis - Lydia

Sardis (Lydia, Asia Minor — Pleiades map), II CE / 365 BCE
AGRW 126 = GRA 120 = Herrmann 1996, 329-335 (no. 4) = Louis Robert, “Une nouvelle inscription grecque de Sardes: Règlement de l’autorité perse relatif à un culte de Zeus.” Comptes-rendus des séances de l'Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres (1975) 306-330 = SEG 29 (1979), no. 1205 = PHI 277091 = AGRW ID# 156


(45.5 cm x 58.5cm; letter height: 2cm). This document is presented as though it is a copy of an earlier edict from about 365 BCE, during the time of Artaxerxes III, king of Persia. Baradatian Zeus may be identified with the Persian deity Ahura Mazda with the epithet meaning “the Legislator”, as suggested by Louis Robert. However, this may also be a reference to the founder of a Lydian cult of Zeus (with no specific Persian connection), a man named Baradates (see SEG 46 [1996] no. 1720). The god Sabazios and the goddesses Agdistis and Ma were native to Anatolia for some time.

In the thirty–ninth year of Artaxerxes’ reign, Droaphernes son of Barakes, the governor (hyparchos) of Lydia, dedicated the statue to Zeus of Baradates (or: Baradatian Zeus).


He instructs his temple–warden therapeutists who enter into the shrine and who crown the god not to participate in the mysteries of Sabazios (10) with those who carry the burning incense (or: burnt offerings) and not to participate in those of Angdistis and Ma.

They instruct Dorates, the temple–warden, to abstain from these mysteries.


Translation by: Harland

ἐτέων τριήκοντα ἐννέα Ἀρτα–|ξέρξεω βασιλεύοντος τὸν ἀν–|δριάντα Δροαφέρνης vac. | Βαρ<ά>κεω Λυδίης ὕπαρχος Βαρα–||δατεω Διί. προστάσσει τοῖς | εἰσπορευομένοις εἰς τὸ ἄδυ–|τον νεωκόροις θεραπευ– vac. | ταῖς αὐτοῦ καὶ στεφανοῦσι τὸν θε–|ὸν μὴ μετέχειν μυστηρίων Σαβα–||ζίου τῶν τὰ ἔνπυρα βασταζόν–|των καὶ Ἀνγδίστεως καὶ Μᾶς· προσ–|τάσσουσι δὲ Δορατῃ τῷ νεωκόρῳ τού–|των τῶν μυστηρίων ἀπέχεσθαι.

Item added: November 10, 2011
Item modified: December 4, 2015
ID number: 156
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