Associations in the Greco-Roman World (AGRW)

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

Letters from Sulla with Privileges for the Ionian Dionysiac Performers (81, 84 BCE) Kos - Southeastern islands

Kos (Southeastern islands, Asia Minor — Pleiades map), 84, 81 BCE
IKosS ED 7 = PHI 185587 = AGRW ID# 11438
Copenhagen Inventory info: 1892


Slab of white marble with three documents, only two of which are legible (32 x 43 x 8 cm). The third document, which has not survived, was the senatorial decree.

(Side A [81-82 BCE])

Lucius Cornelius Sulla Epaphrodeitos, son of Lucius, dictator, to the civic leaders (archons), Council and People of the Koans, greetings.  I have granted to Alexandros, citizen of Laodikeia, lyre-player (kitharistēs), a noble and good friend of ours, ambassador from the association (koinon) of performers (technitai) gathered around Dionysos who are from Ionia and the Hellespont and of the performers gathered around Dionysos Kathegemon (“Dionysos the Leader”), permission to set up a monument in the most conspicuous place in your midst with the privileges granted by me to the performers inscribed on it.  Since, having been its ambassador to Rome, the senate passed a decree concerning these things, I want you, therefore, to provide a most conspicuous place in your midst where the monument concerning the performers will be set up.  I attach . . . copies of my letter and the decree (?) . . . of the senate . . .

(Side B [84 BCE])

(opening of earlier letter lost) . . . together with the goodwill which you have towards us.  So I want you to know, on the opinion of my council, I have made known my opinion that you should retain whatever privileges, honors, and exemptions from public service which our senate, consuls, and proconsuls have given or granted as favors in honor of Dionysos, the Muses, and your livelihood.  Just as formerly, you will be exempt from every public service and military service, you will not pay any tax or expenditure, you will not be troubled by anyone regarding supplies and lodging, and you will not be forced to accept any lodger.  Now, in order that . . . (end of letter lost).

Translation by: Harland


[Λ]ε̣ύκιος Κορνήλιος Λευκίου ὑιὸς Σύλλας Ἐπα|φρόδειτος δικτάτωρ Κῴων ἄρχουσι βουλῇ | δήμῳ χαίρειν. ἐγὼ Ἀλεξάνδρῳ Λαοδικεῖ κι||θαριστῇ, ἀνδρὶ καλῷ καὶ ἀγαθῷ καὶ φίλῳ ἡμε|τέρῳ, πρεσβευτῇ παρὰ τοῦ κοινοῦ τῶν περὶ τὸν Διό|[ν]υ̣σον τεχνιτῶν τῶν ἐπὶ Ἰωνίας καὶ Ἑλλησπόντου | [καὶ τ]ῶν περὶ τὸν Καθηγεμόνα Διόνυσον ἐπέτ[ρε]|[ψα στήλην] παρ’ ὑμεῖν ἐν τῷ ἐπισημοτάτῳ τόπωι ἀναθή||[σεσθαι ἐν ᾗ] ἀναγραφήσεται τὰ ὑπ’ ἐμοῦ δεδομένα | [τοῖς τεχνίταις] φιλάνθρωπα· πρεσβεύσαντος δ[ὲ] | [νῦν αὐτοῦ εἰς Ῥώμην], τῆς συγκλήτου δὲ δόγμα π̣[ερὶ] | [τούτων ψηφισαμένης, ὑμᾶς] ο̣ὖν θέλω φροντίσαι ὅπως [ἀπο]|[δειχθῇ παρ’ ὑμεῖν τόπος ἐπισ]ημότατος ἐν ᾧ ἀναθή||[σεται ἡ στήλη ἡ περὶ τῶν τεχνιτῶ]ν̣· ὑπογέγραφφα δὲ | [τῆς παρ’ ἐμοῦ ἐπιστολῆς τοῦ τε δόγματος] τῆς συνκλή|[του τὰ ἀντίγραφα — — —]Ν̣Τ̣Ω̣.


[․․․]δει σὺν δὲ καὶ ἣν ἔχετε πρὸς [ἡμ]ᾶς [εὔ]νο[ιαν], | ὑμᾶς οὖν θέλω [ἐ]πεγνωκέναι ἐμ̣ὲ̣ ἀπὸ συμβο[υ]|λίου γνώμης γνώμην ἀποπεφάνθαι, ἃ φιλάνθ[ρ]|[ω]π̣α κα[ὶ τι]μὰς ἀλειτουργησίας τε ὑμεῖν καταλο||[γῇ] τοῦ Διονύσου καὶ τῶν Μουσῶν καὶ τῆς πο[λι]|τ̣ε̣ί̣ας ὑμῶν χάριτι σύνκλητος ἄρχοντές τε [ἢ ἀν]|τάρχοντες ἡμέτεροι ἔδωκαν σ[υνεχώ]|ρησαν, ἵνα ταῦτα ἔχετε, καὶ κ[αθὼς καὶ πρὶν] | πάσης τε λειτουργίας ἀλε[ιτούργητοι ἦτε] || στρατείας τε, μήτε τινὰ [εἰσφορὰν ἢ δαπά]|νας εἰσφέρετε, μήτε [ἐ]ν̣[οχλεῖσθε ὑπό τινος] | παροχῆς ἕνεκέν τ[ε καὶ ἐπισταθμείας, μήτε] | τινὰ δέχεσθ[αι καταλύτην ἐπαναγκάζεσθε]. | ἵνα δὲ καὶ [— — —] || [․․]ΙΟΝΙΙ[— — —] | ἀναγ[ρ— — —]

Item added: March 6, 2013
Item modified: January 14, 2021
ID number: 11438
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