Associations in the Greco-Roman World (AGRW)

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

Honors for Artemisia in Connection with Mysteries of Etephila (ca. 200 CE) Mytilene on Lesbos - Northern islands

Mytilene on Lesbos (Northern islands, Aegean Islands — Pleiades map), ca. 200 CE
IG XII,2 255 = R. W. Parker, "Potamon of Mytilene and His Family," ZPE 85 (1991) 128-129 = PHI 74924 = AGRW ID# 17758


Base with a text copied by Cyriacus of Ancona in the fifteenth century. This honorary inscription for a priestess refers to her connection with the mysteries of Etephila, a "truly friendly" goddess. It is not clear whether an association was formed by initiates in these mysteries. Nor is it clear whether these mysteries were financially supported by the city, in which case they would have a more formal character.

The Council and the People honored Aurelia Artemisia . . . daughter of just Eutychos, the eloquent female president (prytanis) and benefactor, priestess of the goddess Etephila and Karissa, water-bearer (ersophoros) of the most holy mysteries (mystēria), descendant of Potamon the legal expert, who was himself the son of Lesbonax the philosopher, benefactors, on account of every virtue.  The honors were set up by the sacred Council, being supervised by the secretary himself, Aurelius Proklos son of Justus.

Translation by: Harland

ἀ βόλλα καὶ ὀ δᾶμος {τὰν} Αὐρ. Ἀρτεμισίαν τ[ὰν] | δίκω τῶ Εὐτύχω θύγατρα, τὰν <λ>όγιον πρ<ύ>ταν<ι>ν | καὶ εὐέργετιν, ἰέρεα<ν> τᾶν θέαν Ἐτ<η>φίλαν καὶ Κα|ρίσσαν καὶ ἐρ<σ>όφορον τ<ῶ>ν ἀγιωτάτων μυ<στ>αρίων, || τὰν ἀπύγονον Ποτάμωνος τῶ νομοθέτα καὶ | Λεσβώνακτος τῶ φιλοσόφω τοῖ<ν> εὐεργέται<ν>, | ἀρέτας ἔνεκα παίσα<ς>· | ὀνσταθείσας τείμας ὐπὸ τᾶς ἴρας βόλλας, ἐπιμελήθεν|το<ς> τῶ γραμμάτεος αὔτας Αὐρ. Πρόκλω τῶ Ἰούστω.

Item added: November 9, 2015
Item modified: November 25, 2015
ID number: 17758
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