Associations in the Greco-Roman World (AGRW)

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

Statue of a Hierophant Dedicated by Initiates (200-250 CE) Melos - Southwestern islands

Melos (Southwestern islands, Aegean Islands — Pleiades map), 200-250 CE
IG XII,3 1125 = R. C. Bosanquet, "Excavations of the British School at Melos: The Hall of the Mystae," JHS 18 (1898) 60–80 = PHI 76676 = AGRW ID# 17804
Copenhagen Inventory info: 171


Statue of a hierophant (measuring 180 cm tall) found in the so called "Hall of Mystae" or "Hall of Iniitiates" (for the hall itself see the buildings section of this site). The statue was found without a head, but a head previously found at Melos (Athens Museum, inv. 329) seems to belong to this statue (inscription: 28 cm wide; letter height: 3 cm). Description by Bosanquet (1898, 75): "The statue represents . . . a middle-aged man with broad face, full cheeks, curly hair, and clipped beard. The wreath on his head is of ivy and flowers, a wreath such as Dionysos often wears. He is dressed in a chiton which is girt up above the knee with a deep fold falling over and concealing the girdle, a nebris confined by a broad belt and passing over the left shoulder, and a mantle." This man was likely a hierophant in the mysteries of Dionysos Trieterikos (i.e. whose festival is celebrated in the third year), since another monument was dedicated to this god in the same building. The bust of Aurelia Euposia was found in the same building (see IG XII,3 1126 on this site).

The initiates (mystai) set this up for Marcus Marius Trophimus, the revealer of the sacred objects (hierophantēs).

Translation by: Harland

Μ(ᾶρκον) Μάριον | Τρόφιμον | τὸν ἱεροφάν|την || οἱ μύσται.

Statue of a hierophant from Melos (from Bosanquet 1898, 74).

Item added: November 9, 2015
Item modified: December 18, 2020
ID number: 17804
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