Translations of Hellenistic Inscriptions: 19


Greek text:   Magnesia_40   ( I.Magn. 20 )
Provenance:   Magnesia on the Maiandros
Date:   Late 3rd century B.C.
Tags:     colonies ,   leagues
Format:   see key to translations

It was possible - though certainly rare - for a Greek state to publish a forged document in an inscription. Sometimes it is difficult for modern scholars to determine how much was invented, as in the case of the 'Themistocles Decree'.   In the case of the decree translated here, there is no doubt that it was fictitious; but it was quite carefully forged, as demonstrated by A.Chaniotis, "Archival Research, Formulaic Language, and Ancient Forgeries of Legal Documents", pp.677-680 ( ).

The inscription was engraved in the third century B.C., but purports to have been composed many centuries earlier. For the historical background of relations between Magnesia and the Cretans, see N. Carless Unwin,  "Caria and Crete in Antiquity", pp.178-187 ( Google Books ).

From the league of the Cretans.

It was resolved by the league of the Cretans, with all the cities assembled at the temple of Apollo Bilkonios in Bilkon, under the leadership of the Gortynians, when Kydas son of Kynnios was kosmos.   Since the Magnetes are kinsmen and friends of all Cretans, and it was resolved by some of them to send a colonial expedition to Asia, 10 it is resolved that all the Magnetes shall have kinship and undying friendship with us, and public maintenance in the prytaneion; and they shall be exempt from taxes on what they import and export, inviolably and without formality, throughout all Crete; and they shall have the right to own land and possess citizenship; and each city shall give to those sailing on the expedition four talents of silver and prepared grain and as many victims for their sacrifices as they desire;  and the cities shall accompany them as far as Asia with warships 20 and shall send with them up to five hundred archers; and the men, women and children, according to age, and the priests and priestesses shall accompany and salute them.  This decree shall be inscribed on a stone stele and set up in the temple of Apollo Bilkonios; and all the Cretan cities shall give a talent of silver to Leukippos the Lycian, who is the leader of the expedition to Asia.   The decree that was . . . 30 when Agaimenis of Lappa was priest . . .

inscription 20

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