Translations of Hellenistic Inscriptions: 171


Greek text:   Erythrai_18   ( I.Ery. 28 )
Date:   c. 275-265 B.C.
Tags:     corn_supply
Format:   see key to translations

The number and size of his donations suggest that Polykritos was a very wealthy benefactor; see C. Müller, "Oligarchy and the Hellenistic City", p. 35 ( ). It also appears, if the figure for the price of wheat in line 37 is correct, that the city of Erythrai was suffering a serious financial crisis at the time; the price of wheat rarely rose above ten drachmas per medimnos in Greek cities. During this period Erythrai and the other cities of Asia Minor were often exposed to raids by Galatian 'barbarians'; see Syll_410 - a decree proposed by Polykritos.

There is a French translation by A.Bielman, "Retour ŕ la liberté", no. 21 ( Cefael ).

. . . and money to the city . . . he was the cause of [many benefits for the city] . . . the admiral Alkippos and the trierarchs both to provide support to the expedition and to come to the aid of those who were suffering trouble in the territory; on account of this, the people not only honoured the admiral and the trierarchs but also took all possible care of the crews, because by their eager obedience they had been of service in many great ways. When he was appointed to be in charge of the defence of the territory by sea, 10 he protected the places in the territory in a fine and honourable manner, and he took care of the security of the merchants, so that there was an abundance of all things. Also he managed the other embassies to which he was appointed in a way that was fine and advantageous to the people, and when he undertook an embassy to the barbarians in order that the citizens who were held hostage might be able to return to the city, he not only recovered the hostages and led them back to the city, but also he rescued the citizens who he saw were being held prisoner by ransoming them. When he was appointed to be agoranomos, his conduct in the rest of his term of office was fair and just, 20 and as he saw that the city had insufficient corn, he himself sent for some and gave it as an corn-allowance to those who were importing it, and he issued public announcements that the rest should be brought in as quickly, for which he provided money free of interest as a deposit, so that he created an abundance of corn in the city; and later, when no-one was bringing out corn into the agora because of the dearth, he promised the people that he would both give money as a deposit to the corn officers {sitōnai} who were appointed, and bring out the corn that he possessed into the agora for the nourishment of others; and by often readily providing money for the defence of the city and the rest of its administration 30 and for the needs of the king, he brought about many benefits. On account of this the people previously often honoured him, inscribing the honours that had been given to him on a stele and setting it up in the agora. Polykritos, wishing to show his gratitude to the people for this, again performed many other services, and as he saw that a medimnos of wheat was being sold for sixty drachmas because of the dearth of corn, and that many of the citizens were hard pressed and that not enough money could be collected to give a deposit to the corn officers 40 he assured the people that he would lend six thousand Alexandrian drachmas free of interest to provide a deposit; and when the admiral was escorting the embassy to king Antiochos with the undecked ships, and the pay for the sailors ran out because they were detained in the country by a storm, and due to the public shortage the people and the magistrates asked each person to provide something towards their pay, he alone promised to provide the money.   Therefore so that the people may be seen to offer suitable gratitude to good men, it is resolved by the council and the people 50 to praise Polykritos son of Iatrokles and to crown him with a golden crown and a bronze statue on account of his virtue and his goodwill towards the people; his [statue] shall be placed in the agora next to the stele, on which his previous [honours are] inscribed, and the [honours] that have been given to him . . .

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