Translations of Hellenistic Inscriptions: 182


Greek text:   Miletos_55 ;   ( I.Milet. 3.37 )
Provenance:   Miletos , Ionia
Date: 229/8 B.C.
Tags:     oaths
Format:   see key to translations

Men from Hellenistic Crete were often recruited as mercenaries, and it is generally assumed that the Milesians wanted to attract Cretan settlers in order to strengthen the defence of their territory. The initial group of settlers arrived in 234/3 B.C., and a second group arrived in 229/8 in response to this decree. It is estimated that, including their families, up to 4,000 Cretans settled in Milesian territory during this period; see A. Chaniotis, "War in the Hellenistic World", p. 105 ( Google Books ).

This inscription was previously dated to 223/2 B.C., but is now thought to have been six years earlier. As instructed in the decree, the names of the settlers were also recorded in an inscription, which has partially survived ( Greek text : Miletos_142 ).

It was resolved by the people, on the recommendation of the presidents, [as proposed by] Antipatros . . . [since] familiarity and kinship exists between us and the Cretans, [starting from the god], and there is also a treaty with them, which the people has maintained from the time of our fathers, [in accordance with what] has been ordained through the decrees, as was fitting for those who took the beginning of their kinship [from the] god, and through its actions [the people] clearly established its good intentions; it has publicly taken thought of all [the Cretans], and as to those who needed [assistance] from the people, it has complied with their requests, because it determined also in accordance with what was really advantageous [to each party] and following . . . 10 . . .

. . . 30 therefore so that the people [may meet the needs of those who wish to take citizenship] with the Milesians . . . Apollo . . . [as to the matters concerning which] the people declared [its goodwill] when [the god was stephanephoros for the second time after] Athenagoras and received [a response of the god] in agreement with its plans, with [good] fortune it is decreed by the Milesians that to those who have sent messages [about] citizenship, whose names have been sealed up . . . [in accordance with the] previous decree, there shall be granted a share in [citizenship at Miletos, and in the sacred rites] and the magistracies and all the other rights which [are shared by the other Milesians; and in order that] all this may be arranged with the . . . favour of the gods, 40 the prophet and the treasurer in attendance at the temple shall perform a [sacrifice] to Apollo Didymeus, and the stephanephoros shall perform a sacrifice to Apollo Delphinios, and the priests and the prytaneis and those chosen for the defence of the city shall perform sacrifices to Hestia Boulaia and to Zeus Boulaios, praying that the distribution of citizenship may contribute to the safety and concord of all the Milesians; and so that what has been decreed may remain fixed for all time, after [the distribution] it shall not be permitted for anyone who has received a share in citizenship [to go to law against any of the] citizens [about any matter], but [they shall remain] on familiar and [friendly] terms [with the citizens and] the magistrates, and [they shall abide] by the decrees 50 of the people . . .

. . . 60 shall [pay] the due fine. If the prosecutor does not receive [a fifth part] of the jury's votes, he shall pay one half of the due fine . . . on the one hand of the city, and on the other hand of the individual; and the [fixed time for paying the fine] shall be [within] three years. The prytaneis shall also allot [them] to the tribes that the people indicates . . . they shall be able to obtain official posts in defence of the city and as commander of the guard after the passage of twenty years; they shall remain free from official duties {liturgies} for five years from the [year] after the year when Protagoras was stephanephoros, and [also] the assessors shall conduct the sale of the contract to collect the harbour dues, on condition that the buyers [of the contract will exempt] from taxation any of those [enrolled as] citizens who import anything . . . 70 . . .

. . . 80 and the prytaneis . . . shall consider . . .

[The oath shall be: 'I will join in citizenship] with the Milesian people [in full concord, and I will preserve the city] and its guard-posts - whatever [the people currently possesses and whatever] is added to its possessions in future - always to the best of my ability. I will abide] by all the terms [written] in the decree [and I will not contravene them], but I will strive to act as is fitting [on behalf of the city. And if I] abide by my oath, may it be better for me, but if [I break my oath, may I and my household be utterly destroyed.]'

This decree [and the names of those who swear the oath] shall be inscribed in the temple of Apollo [Delphinios] . . . 90 and the wall-builders {teichopoioi} [along with] the architect shall let out [a contract for the inscription]. The managers of the public bank shall provide [for this] from the money [given for] wall-building. This decree shall be regarded as contributing to the defence and security [of the city]. It was resolved by the people to inscribe the [decree] on a whitened board.

inscription 183

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