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 Bresos with Mention of Mysteries of the Augusti (125-175 CE) Mytilene area on Lesbos - Northern islands

Mytilene area on Lesbos (Northern islands, Aegean Islands — Pleiades map), 125-175 CE
IG XII,2 484 = Guy Labarre, Les cités de Lesbos aux époques hellénistique et impériale (Paris: de Boccard, 1996), no. 50 = IGR IV 116 = PHI 75163 = AGRW ID# 17764


Base (?) of dark marble from Hiera (Chalakais), a town in the area of Mytilene (whose civic institutions are involved here). Found built into the wall of a house in forum of the village of Palaiokipos (74 x 38 cm). The date of 125-175 CE is proposed by Vivian Nutton, "Archiatri and the Medical Profession in Antiquity," PBSR 45 (1977) 223.

The Council and the People honored Bresos son of Bresos, chief-physician (archiatros), free of civic service (i.e. liturgies), whose children and descendents had fulfilled leadership offices, other offices, wreath-bearings, and market-overseeing offices.  He himself was also chair of the Council, protector of the laws, and holder of other offices, including those of Zeus Aetherios (“of the Ether”), of Ammon Eleutherios (“Deliverer”), of Adrasteia (“Inevitable”; perhaps a Phrygian goddess or Nemesis), of the mysteries of the Augusti, of Pnistia, of Etephila, of Poseidon, of Mychios (“Innermost” god) and Mychias (“Innermost” goddess), of the most unavoidable goddesses (i.e. likely the Furies), and of the shrine of Eira (?).  He was attendant (paredros) of Zeus Mainolios (“Frenzied”), caller (parakeleustēs) of Athena Polias (“of the City”) on behalf of the city, leader of the chorus of Artemis and Malean Apollo, sacred herald of the elders (gerontes), temple-warden of Asklepios Soter (“Savior”) and of the most divine emperor, and the one who makes offerings at the assemblies of the city.   He has also been a guide for visitors (periēgētēs) for fourty years until now and, fittingly, without pay or reward, unlike those who were before him.

Translation by: Harland

[ἀ β]όλλα καὶ ὀ δᾶμος | Βρῆσον Βρήσω ἀρχίατρον ἀλιτού[ρ]|γατον, ζὰ τῶν παίδων δὲ καὶ ἐ|κγόνων ἄρχας καὶ ἄλλας καὶ || κισσοφορίας καὶ ἀγορανομία[ς] | ἐπιτετελέκοντα, καὶ αὖτο[ν] | δὲ καὶ βουλαρχίαν καὶ νομο|φυλακίαν καὶ ἄλλας, ὄντα Δίο[ς] | Αἰθερίω καὶ Ἄμμωνος Ἐλευθε||ρίω καὶ τᾶς Ἀδραστείας καὶ τῶ | Σεβάστων μυστηρίω Πνιστί|ας Ἐτηφίλας Ποσείδωνος | Μυχίω καὶ Μυχίας καὶ τᾶν Ἀπα|ραιτήτων Θέαν καὶ τᾶς εἴ||ρας καλίας καὶ τῶ Δίος τῶ | Μαινολίω πάρεδ<ρ>ον, τᾶς τε | Πολίαδος Ἀθάνας παρακε|λεύσ[τ]αν ὑπὲρ τᾶς πόλιος, τᾶ[ς] | τε Ἀρτέμιδος καὶ Ἀπόλλωνος || Μαλ<όε>ντος ἀρχίχορον καὶ ἱε|ροκάρυκα τῶν γερέων, ζά|κορον Σαώτηρος Ἀσκληπί|ω, τοῦ δὲ θειοτάτου Αὐτο-|κράτορος καὶ τῶν τᾶς πό||λιος εἴρων προθύταν, καὶ | {καὶ} περιηγήταν ἐτέων ἤδ[η] | τεσσαράκοντα καὶ πρὸς | ἄνευ συντάξιος καὶ μισ|θοῦ, οὐχ ὡς οἱ πρὸ αὐτοῦ.

Facsimile of IG-XII,2-484 from Alexander Christian L. Conze, Reise auf der Insel Lesbos (Hannover: Rümpler, 1865), plate XVII, 1.

Item added: October 31, 2015
Item modified: October 31, 2015
ID number: 17764
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