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Translations of Hellenistic Inscriptions: 195


MESSENE HONOURS ARISTOKLES

Greek text:   IG_5.1.1432
Provenance:   Messene , Pelopponnese
Date:   c. 70-30 B.C.
Tags:     taxation
Format:   see key to translations

These two decrees were accompanied by another inscription (Greek text: IG_5.1.1433) which recorded the details of the sums raised by the 'eight-obol impost', a special tax of 1.33% on all property. For an explanation of the calculations in the second inscription, which could be expressed in terms of Roman denarii as well as Greek drachmas, see C. Doyen, "Pratiques comptables en Grèce hellénistique", paras 42-53 ( OpenEdition ). For a discussion of the date of the inscriptions, see L. Migeotte, "La date de l'oktôbolos eisphora de Messène" ( Persée ); the two Roman magistrates who are mentioned cannot be identified with any certainty.


[A]   In the year of Agathos . . . from the decree.   [Since] Aristokles the secretary [of the councillors] provided to the councillors an assessment of the eight-obol impost and gave an account of the money accruing from it, and explained how all of the money had gone for the purposes ordained, and that it had been used for no other purpose than these; and concerning the money that was still due from the impost, he presented a report to the individuals in the theatre, in the presence of the praetor Vibius, who was concerned that as much as possible of the money should be paid to the city, just as the councillors in attendance themselves thought right, in order that the instructions should be carried out, and there should be no borrowing or deficiency concerning this impost; and concerning these matters and concerning these matters all the councillors along with the praetor Vibius acknowledged his carefulness and integrity, 10 and they were moved to crown him with a bronze statue; and the praetor Vibius, in person in front of the citizens, granted him the right of wearing a gold ring, and the councillors themselves gave him the same honour as well as the statue; and many declared that it was right to take care that Aristokles the secretary of the councillors accepted these honours, and Aristokles has accepted them; therefore it is resolved to praise Aristokles for the carefulness and integrity that she shows concerning the public affairs of the city, both in these matters and in all other matters that he has managed on behalf of the city; and that the honours granted to him by the councillors and the praetor shall be permanent; and that he shall be permitted to place the statue in front of the office of the secretary of the councillors, and to inscribe on its base: 'The city honours Aristokles son of Kallikrates on account of his virtue and the goodwill that he continually has towards it.' 20 Money for the cost of the statue and the base shall be supplied from the revenues of the city, and Aristokles himself shall supervise the production of the statue and the base.

[B]   Since Aristokles the secretary of the councillors, upon assuming the role that was entrusted to him by the archons and the councillors, promptly took thought of how he might protect the city and its residents in an appropriate manner, as far as he was able, and first he took care that all the transactions of the city should openly be inscribed on the wall from day to day by those who were managing any of the city’s affairs, setting an example for good men of how to conduct public business honestly and justly; and he himself, wishing to be completely above suspicion among all the citizens, showing that his conduct was entirely honest, did not make any financial transaction in his own name or in the guise of someone else’s name, but by appointing good men as collectors {eklogeis} for each liturgy and financial transaction, he ensued that all these things were done in a fitting manner for the city; 30 and when demands were imposed on the city involving many great expenses, he obtained many great benefits for the city from the Roman leaders, sometimes in the city and sometimes going to them as an envoy; and in welcoming to the city the leaders and many others of the Romans he used his personal resources for the good of the city; and in other matters he took care for the residents of the city, that their affairs should be managed justly and fairly; he showed himself worthy of the duties that had previously been assigned to him by the city, in which because of his good conduct he had been honoured by the city with statues; and because of all that has been said above the proconsul Memmius and the praetor Vibius recognised his good conduct and each of them of them granted him the right to wear a gold ring - also the councillors confirmed this right; and when everyone with one accord declared that because of all that has been said above, Aristokles should be granted the appropriate honours, all the citizens were moved to grant him the honour of a statue and two painted portraits; 40 and since it is fitting that men, who are good and patriotic and who take care of public affairs with all fairness, should be praised and honoured with the appropriate honours; therefore it was resolved by the councillors and the people to praise Aristokles son of Kallikrates, the secretary of the councillors, for his carefulness and integrity concerning public affairs, and for the fairness that [he continually shows towards] the citizens, and likewise for the many great [benefits that he has obtained for the city] . . .

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