Associations in the Greco-Roman World (AGRW)

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

Honorary Decree for Aba with Mention of Associations (150-200 CE) Histria - Scythia and Moesia

Histria (Scythia and Moesia, Danube and Black Sea areas — Pleiades map), 150-200 CE
IHistria 57 = Tacheva-Hitova 1983, 102-104 (no. 65) = CCCA VI 458 = PHI 172723 = AGRW ID# 16139
Copenhagen Inventory info: 1208


Slab of marble broken into nine pieces and found reused as building material in the area of Domus I in the southeastern part of the site, now in the Historical Museum in Bucharest (inv. 18704; 97 x 45 x 5 cm). A relief in the pediment depicts the Mother of the gods seated on a throne with crown and mantle. She holds a drum in her left hand and a libation bowl in her right hand. Lions appear on either side with bulls' heads between their forepaws. Several different organizations and associations were included as recipients of Aba's benefactions, including groups of Poseidon-devotees (Tauriasts), Herakles-devotees (Herakleists), hymn-singers, craftsmen, and physicians, as well as a neighbourhood group. The Tauriasts are attested in two other second–century BCE inscriptions from Histria, one of which clarifies that its members celebrated the Tauria festival in honor of Poseidon (IHistria 60.6 [II BCE ]; cf. IHistria 61; IEph 2075 [I CE ]).

To good fortune.  The Council and the People resolved: Ulpius Demetrios made the proposal and Diogenes son of Theodoros put it to the vote: Since Aba–daughter of Hekataios, grand-daughter of Euxenides, and wife of Herakon son of Aristomachos–being among the distinguished women and coming from the most remarkable family, does not avoid any noble honor or service but rather has fulfilled her role in crown-bearing positions, priesthoods, leadership positions, superintending positions, (10) every choral leadership sponsored by the People, and other glorious services in an unsurpassed manner, with every special honor taking place.  Having regarded her family’s grounds for boasting as insignificant, she sought to gain glory through her own beneficence towards the People.  Because of this, she voluntarily restored the priesthood of the Mother of the gods.  Not only did she accomplish things in a generous, noble and pious manner that equalled other holy women, priestesses, and the older generation, (20) but she also did so in a way that was as great as honor-loving men who hold high-priesthoods and certain other offices involving expenditure, as she was eager to imitate these things.  Earlier, she directly arranged important processions, sacrifices, and prayers for the gods at the beginning of the year with cheerfulness.  She also supplied magnificent feasts (euōchia) for all members of the Council, for members of the elders’ organization (gerousiastai), for the devotees of the god to whom you sacrifice bulls (Tauriastai; likely Poseidon Taureios), for the physicians (iatroi), and for the children.  She also gave a distribution of two denarii to each man among those whose names were called, something which had never been done by anyone else before.  (30) She also gave a wine-banquet (oinoposion) to those in the tribes (phylai) according to their arrangement in groups of fifty, and furthermore to the hymn-singers (hymnōdoi), to the craftsmen (tektones), to those from sacred-street (hieroplateitai), and to the Herakles-devotees (Herakleiastai).   She did so in a way that matched men with the greatest reputations for loving honor.  After this, she most liberally and reverently assisted with every new moon celebration, with all the sacrifices each month, with festivals, and with ancestral prayers.  For in so far as she recently accepted the costs of the customary sacred service and, intent on piety, did everything in an honor-loving manner, (40) thinking nothing of these costs, she fulfilled her good reputation without neglect. . . (the remainder is heavily reconstructed but does make reference to the resolution to proclaim the honors and to crown Aba during festivals).

Translation by: Harland

ἀγαθῆι τύχηι. | ἔδοξε τῇ βουλῇ καὶ τῷ δήμωι· Οὔλπιος Δημή|τριος εἶπεν, ἐπιψηφιζομένου Διογένους Θεο|δώρου· ἐπειδὴ Ἄβα Ἑκαταίου τοῦ Εὐξενίδου || θυγάτηρ γυνὴ δὲ Ἡράκωντος Ἀριστομάχου γο|νέων τε ἐπισήμων καὶ προγόνων ἐπιφανεστάτων | οὖσα καὶ οὐδεμίαν φιλοτιμίαν ἢ λειτουργίαν | εὐσχήμονα παρῃτημένων, ἀλλὰ καὶ στεφανη|φορίας καὶ ἱερωσύνας καὶ ἀρχὰς καὶ ἐπιμελεί||ας καὶ πάσας δημοτελεῖς χορηγίας ἢ καὶ ἐνδό|ξους ὑπηρεσίας ἀνυπερβλήτως ἐκτετελεκό|[τω]ν καὶ πάσης ἐξαιρέτου τειμῆς τετυχηκό|[των], μ̣ικρὸν ἡγησαμένη τὴν ἀπὸ μόνου τοῦ | [γένους με]γαλαυχίαν εἰ μὴ καὶ τὴν ἀπὸ τῆς ἰδίας || [πρὸς τὸ]ν δ[ῆμον] εὐποιΐας προσκτήσαιτο δόξαν, | [καὶ δ]ιὰ τοῦτο ἱερ[ωσύ]νην Μητρὸς Θεῶν αὐτεπάγγελ|[τος ἀν]αλαβοῦσα, οὐ μό[ν]ον ὅσα σεμνῶν γυναικῶν καὶ | [ἱερειῶ]ν καὶ τοῦ παλαιο[ῦ αἰῶν]ος ἦν ἴδια {ν} μεγαλο|φρόνως καὶ εὐγενῶς καὶ ε[ὐ]σ[εβῶ]ς ἐτέλεσεν, || ἀλλὰ καὶ ὅσαι μεγάλαι τῶν ἀνδρῶν φιλοτ[είμων ἀρ]|χιερωσύναι ἢ καί τινες ἄλλαι χορηγίαι καὶ τα[ύ]τας [μι]|μήσασθαι σπουδάσασα· πρῶτον μὲν εὐθὺς τὰς πρώτας | προσόδους καὶ θυσίας καὶ εὐχὰς τοῖς θεοῖς ποιου|μένη τὴν τοῦ ἔτους ἀρχὴν μετ’ εὐφροσύνης καὶ εὐ||ωχίας μεγαλοπρεποῦς ἐποιήσατο τοῖ[ς μὲ]ν γὰρ | βουλευταῖς πᾶσιν καὶ γερουσιασταῖς καὶ Ταυ|ριασταῖς καὶ ἰατροῖς καὶ παιδευταῖς καὶ τοῖς ἰδίᾳ | καὶ ἐξ ὀνόματος καλουμένοις ἐκ δύο κατ’ ἄνδρα | δηναρ[ί]ων διανο[μ]ήν, ἣν οὔπω τις ἄλλη πρότερον, || ἔδωκεν τοῖς δὲ ἐ[ν] ταῖς φυλαῖς κατὰ πεντηκονταρ|χίαν διανενεμημ[έ]νοις, ἔτι μὴν καὶ ὑμνῳδοῖς καὶ τέ|κτωσιν καὶ ἱεροπ[λα]τείταις καὶ Ἡρακλειασταῖς οἰ|νοπό[σ]ιον, ὅσον οἱ ἐ[πὶ τ]οῖς μεγάλοις ὀνόμασιν φιλοτει|μούμ[εν]οι, μετὰ [δὲ τοῦ]το πάσῃ νεομηνίᾳ καὶ πά||σαις τα[ῖς ἐ]ν ἑκάσ[τῳ μην]ὶ θυσίαις καὶ ἑορταῖς καὶ πα|τρίοις εὐ[χαῖς] δ[αψιλέστ]ατα καὶ ἱεροπρεπέστατα | ἐξυπηρέ[τησεν· ὅσα] γὰρ τῆς ἐθίμου ἱεροποιίας ἀνα|λώματα α[ὐτίκα ἐδέ]ξατο, καὶ ὅσα ὑπὲρ εὐσεβείας ἐ|πενόει πάν[τα φιλ]οτείμως ἐποίησεν, τῶν μὲν ἀ||ναλωμάτω[ν κατ]αφρονήσασα, τῆς δὲ εὐδοξίας οὐ|χ ὀλιγωρήσα[σα τ]έλει· καὶ παρεπιδημούντων τι|νῶν τῶν τε π[ερὶ τὸν] δῆμον δυναμένων καὶ τοῦ | πλήθους ὡς ε[․․․․]ειν[․․․․]εαν αὐτῶν αἰτουμένων | καὶ τῶν μᾶλλ[ον ․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․]ων ἀναδυομένων οὐ||δὲν τούτων [․․․․․․․․․․․․․] ἡμέραν ἣν ἠθέλησεν | ἡ πόλις τῶ[ν ․․․․․․․․] πᾶσιν ἔδωκεν καὶ κα|θόλου δι’ ὅλ[ου ․․․․․․․․․․]ν καὶ γυναιξὶν φιλο|τειμοτάτη κ[αὶ ἀξιωτάτη γέ]γονεν· δεδόχθαι ἐπῃ|νῆσθαι μὲ[ν ἐπὶ τούτοις· ἀναγ]ορεύ[εσ]θαι δὲ καὶ || στεφανοῦ[σθαι Ἄβαν Ἑκαταίου ἐν πᾶσιν ἑ]ορταῖς, με[τέ]|χειν δὲ αὐ[τὴν καὶ τῶν ἄλλων] τειμῶν ΕΥ[․․․․․ καὶ] | εἰκόνων γ[ραπτῶν — — —] | [— —]εισγ[— — —] | [— — —]λλ[— — —] || [— — —]

Item added: March 23, 2015
Item modified: September 26, 2020
ID number: 16139
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