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OGIS: 456


MYTILENE HONOURS THE EMPEROR AUGUSTUS

Greek text:   IG_12.2.58
Date:    c. 20 B.C.
Tags:     divine_honours
Format:   see key to translations

This inscription describes the cult of the Roman emperor and his family in a Greek city, at an early stage in its development. The exact date of the decree is disputed; some writers suggest that it was not long before the death of Octavia in 11 B.C., but a date around 25 B.C. is preferred by C.P.Jones, "The Earthquake of 26 BCE in Decrees of Mytilene and Chios" ( academia.edu).

The translation is by G. Rowe, "Princes and Political Cultures", pp.133-136 ( PDF ); except for lines 35-48, which are taken from K.Buraselis, in "The Politics of Honour in the Greek Cities of the Roman Empire", pp. 386-7 ( PDF ).


[A]   . . . [it is resolved that] . . . having written in . . . of the hymn by . . . among the existing spectacles . . . theatrical contests  . . . as many prizes as the law pertaining to Zeus . . . and of the high priest and of the stephanephoros 10 . . . heralds of the first [contests] that will be [held . . . ] to the most famous cities, to put up plaques  [ . . . in the (?) temple] being put up to him by Asia in Pergamum and . . . and Actium and Brundisium and Tarraco and Ma[ssalia . ] and Antioch near Daphne. The annual [sacrifices . . . ] and in the temple of Augustus {Sebastos}. 

- that there is to be an oath of the [judges . . . ] with the ancestral gods, and Augustus  . . . the image of the god. 

- that those of the . . . of the shrine or precinct and the other rights and privileges . . . according to his own ability. 

- that on the table of the offerings 20 . . . each month on his birthday and . . . of the same sacrifices, as is offered also to Zeus. That there are [to be reared (?) bulls . . . ] (?) mottled as beautiful and large as possible . . . [by the annual] generals, two by the overseers {epistatai} . . . [by the] agoranomoi, three by the high priest . . . four [hundred] drachmas to each from the public treasury . . . 

- that the animals reared are to be displayed . . . [in] the contests to be reared the equal [time . . . ] his birthday . . . giving to no one 20 30 . . . to the stephanephoros and . . . each year  . . . to be placed on . . .

[B]   . . . for benefactions . . . return.  

- that we reckon on his magnanimity to see that those who have attained celestial glory, and divine superiority and might, can never stand on the same level 40 with what is humbler by both fortune and nature. However, if something more honouring should be discovered in the time to come, the city’s willingness and piety will omit nothing that could contribute more effectively to his deification.

- that the envoys call on him to allow a plaque to be put up 50 in his home and, in the Capitolium, a plaque or a stele bearing a copy of this decree. 

- that the envoys offer thanks concerning him to the Senate and the Vestal virgins and his wife, Julia, and his sister, Octavia, and his children and relatives and friends.

- 60 that a crown be sent of two thousand gold pieces, which should be presented by the envoys. 

- that the envoys properly in his presence offer thanks to the Senate for having conducted itself most sympathetically toward the city and for its traditional kindness.


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