Associations in the Greco-Roman World (AGRW)

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

Letter of Hadrian Concerning Erastus the Shipper (128/129 CE) Ephesos - Ionia

Ephesos (Ionia, Asia Minor — Pleiades map), 128-129 CE
IEph 1487 = GIBM III 487 = GCRE 82 A-B = SEG 44 (1994), no. 929 = PHI 247898 = AGRW ID# 8336


Slab of white marble in several fragments found in the meeting-place of the civic Council (bouleuterion). Although associations of shippers are found elsewhere, no association is mentioned here. The inscription is presented here due to its value for studying the social status of shippers. For another shipper who was a civic councilor, see IEph 946 and SEG 27 (1977), no. 828 (from Nikomedia in Bithynia).

Emperor Caesar Trajan Hadrian Augustus, son of god Trajan–victorious in Parthia–and grandson of god Nerva, greatest high priest (i.e. pontifex maximus), with tribunician power for the thirteenth time, consul for the third time, and father of the fatherland, to the leaders (archons) and Council of the Ephesians, greetings.  Lucius Erastus says he is a citizen of yours who, sailing the sea for many years, did as much as he could to be useful to his homeland from this occupation and he always transported the provincial proconsuls.  He already sailed twice with me, the first time bringing me from Ephesos to Rhodes and now coming from Eleusis to you (i.e. Ephesos). He prays to become a civic councilor, and I leave the determination to you.  Now if there is nothing that presents an obstacle and he seems worthy of honor, I will pay whatever amount the councilors pay for election.  Farewell.

Translation by: Harland

Αὐ[το]κράτωρ Καῖσαρ θεοῦ Τ[ραιανοῦ] | Παρθ[ι]κοῦ ὑιός, θεοῦ Νέρ[ο]υ̣α̣ υ̣[ἱ]ων[ός,] | Τραια[ν]ὸς Ἁδριαν[ὸ]ς Σεβασ[τός, ἀρ]χιερεὺ[ς] | μέγισ[το]ς, δημαρχ[ικῆ]ς ἐξουσί[ας το ι]γʹ, ὕπατος τὸ γʹ, || πατὴ[ρ πατ]ρίδος Ἐφ[εσί]ων τοῖς ἄ[ρ]χουσ[ι καὶ τῆι β]ουλῆι χαίρειν. | Λ(ούκιος) Ἔ[ρ]αστος καὶ πολε̣[ί]της ὑ[μ]ῶν ε̣ῖναί φ[ησιν, κ]αὶ πολλ[ὰ ἔτη] | πλῖ καὶ τ[ὴ]ν θάλασ[σαν, καὶ ὅσα ἀπὸ τούτ̣[ου δυν]ατὸς [ἦν] | χρήσιμ[ο]ς γενέσ[θαι τῇ πατρ]ίδι, καὶ τοῦ ἔθν[ους] τ̣ο̣[ὺς] ἡγε|μόνας ἀεὶ δι[α]κ̣ομ[ίζειν·] ἐ̣[μ]οὶ δὲ δ[ὶς] ἤδη συ̣[νέπλευ]σεν, || τὸ μὲν πρῶτον εἰς Ῥόδον ἀπὸ τῆς Ἐ[φέ]σου κο[μιζ]ομέ[νῳ,] | νῦν δὲ ἀπ’ Ἐλευσεῖνος πρὸς ὑμᾶς ἀφικ[ν]ουμέν[ῳ· εὔ]χετα[ι] | δὲ βουλευτὴς γενέσθαι· κἀγὼ τὴν̣ μὲν [δοκι]μασία[ν ἐ]φ’ ὑμεῖν | ποιοῦμαι· εἰ δὲ μηδὲν ἐνποδὼν [εἴη αὐτῷ, ἀλλὰ δόξαι τῆς τει]μῆς ἄξ[ι]ος, | τὸ ἀργύριον ὅσον διδόασιν οἱ βουλεύοντες [δώσω τῆς ἀρχαι]ρεσίας [ἕ]νεκα. || εὐτυχεῖτε.

Item added: December 20, 2012
Item modified: February 21, 2016
ID number: 8336
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