Translations of Hellenistic Inscriptions: 146


Greek text:   IGBulg_1.307
Provenance:     Mesambria , Thrace
Date:   280-240 B.C.
Format:   see key to translations

"The reconstruction of the history of ancient Thrace in the period after the death of Lysimachus in the battle of Corupedion in 281 B.C. . . . is rather problematic because of the sad state of the extant sources" (Peter Delev). In that context, this fragmentary decree provides some tantalising information, on which various hypotheses may be built. For a cautious summary of what is known about Sadalas, see P.Delev, "From Corupedion towards Pydna: Thrace in the Third Century", pp.5-6 ( ). There is a more extensive discussion by T.Castelli, "Un «protectorat» thrace? Les relations politiques entre Grecs et Thraces autour de la baie de Bourgas (IIIe-IIe s. Av. J.C.)", pp.90-99 ( PDF ). Despite the proximity of a foreign ruler, the decree shows Mesambria functioning as a normal Hellenistic city; see D.Braund & E.Hall, "Theatre in the Fourth-Century Black Sea Region", page 388 ( ).

There is a photograph and partial translation of the inscription on the kroraina website.   The unusual phrase "hollow letters" in the text apparently means letters carved into the stone, rather than painted onto it; see D.Graninger, "Documentary Contexts for the Pistiros Inscription", page 106 ( PDF ).

[A]   . . . [honours shall be given] to Sadalas, as soon as possible. He shall be crowned with a golden crown in the theatre as a benefactor of the city during the Dionysia. He and his descendants shall be given citizenship of Mesambria, the status of proxenos, privileged seating at the games that the city holds, and the right to sail into and out of the city inviolably and without formality. Sadalas shall be crowned each year with a crown of 50 staters, and the treasurer, after writing down the oath and the agreement in hollow letters on a stone stele, shall place it in the temple of Apollo next to the steles of his ancestors Mopsyestis, Taroutinos, Medistas and Kotys.

[B]   Agreement between Sadalas and the Mesambrians.   Those of the Mesambrians, who are cast out of their ships [into] the territory of Sadalas, after giving ... staters and a half-stater from the freight . . .

inscription 147

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