Translations of Hellenistic Inscriptions: 31


Greek text:   Labraunda_34 , Labraunda_33 , Labraunda_42   ( I.Labr. 7, 5 & 6 )
Provenance:     Labraunda , Caria
Date:   220 B.C.
Tags:     royal_letters
Format:   see key to translations

Olympichos was the local dynast in the area around Mylasa. Previously he had been an adherent of Seleukos II, but by the time these letters were written he was clearly subordinate to Philippos, to whom the people of Mylasa appealed for a resolution to their long-running dispute with the priests of Zeus at Labraunda.

Inscription C contains the end of a letter from Olympichos to Mylasa, following on from the letters of Philippos.

[A]   King Philippos to Olympichos, greetings. If you are well, that is what I would want; I too am well. I have read the letter from you, which you wrote concerning the inhabitants of Mylasa, and the envoys from the city handed me their decree and spoke to me about their requests. I have written a letter to the city, of which I have appended a copy below, saying that the temple and the land and the other property shall be, as you thought fitting, given back to them in accordance with the oaths which you made at the time that Seleukos set the city free. I think that this is right for other reasons and because the city gave no small demonstration of its goodwill, at the time when they welcomed my father { Antigonos } into their city. Therefore hand over the property to them, as was agreed in the oaths. Farewell.   Third year, in the month of Audnaios.

[B]   [King Philippos to the council] and people of Mylasa, [greetings. Your envoys], Kallistratos, Pl... [and . . .] handed over to me the decree [that you passed], concerning the letter that [Hekatomnos the] priest of Zeus Labraundos took from [his] father to the Chrysaoreis, which said that the priesthood belonged to him and that the security of the place remained assured, and that the kings had always conceded to his ancestors that the [land] should be free from taxes; you stated that Hekatomnos was misleading us and what he said was completely untrue, because he did not immediately hand over the letter, and upon the decease of his father the temple did not belong to the Chrysaoreis or to [the] other Carians, but it was yours; and the Chrysaoreis, who were seeking to appropriate it for themselves, had shut you out of there. The envoys greeted me on behalf of [the] people and joined in rejoicing that I was in good health and that my affairs were progressing according to plan, as the decree instructed them; then they addressed me, saying that temple is yours, since it was founded by your ancestors, and the site and the territory at Labraunda belongs to your people, and you have always at all times received the revenues from it, which you have used to perform sacrifices and festivals; they read out the decrees concerning these matters, and exhibited the accounts of the revenues rendered to the city by the priest and those who hired the properties pertaining to the god. They demonstrated that those who dwell in the temple are your citizens, they belong to your tribes, and use the same laws; and that when Seleukos released the city to be free, among the other territory belonging to the city, he gave you the temple, as you had possessed it from the beginning, and Olympichos, as Seleukos instructed him to remove the armed forces, did [this . . . remaining] in defence of the territory; and that Olympichos, [in accordance with what] he had agreed, made an oath [that] was inscribed on steles and put up [in the] temples, in which oath he undertook to record in the (?) registration the temple and the territory at Labraunda and the other territory as being yours. Olympichos himself had [already] written to me at length, saying that he would grant the territory [to you], as what you requested was just, and it was fitting for him to confirm what was agreed in the oaths. Therefore I, following on from [the decree in] which you previously [made clear your goodwill] towards my father . . .

[C]   . . . [(?) about the decisions of the] people you sent a letter to king [Philippos] . . . [and your envoys] handed over the decree [to me], in which you voted that (?) all the citizens [and] the other property owners in your territory should wear wreaths on account of the restoration of the ancestral rites and perform a sacrifice on behalf of king Philippos and on behalf of us to Zeus Osogo and Zeus Labraundos and Zeus Eleutherios; and that the stephanephoros and the [priests] and priestesses should offer prayers to all the gods and goddesses according to the established rites, as you have made clear in your decree. After they had greeted me on behalf of the people, and joined in rejoicing that I and my wife Nikaia and my children were in good health, they handed over the the letter from the king and urged me, as I have previously chosen to be a benefactor of your homeland, for which I helped to make it happen that the city . . . [and I wrote] to king [Philippos (?) at length to assist you] in keeping the temple, as you thought [fitting; and] since the king [wrote] to me that I should make [the transfer of the temple], I propose to act in accordance with your [(?) decrees] and the oaths that I made, [(?) as you requested]. I restore to you the temple of Zeus [Labraundos], both the place and its territory, and Petra [by] Labraunda, and [all] the revenues at Labraunda, as I have previously written to you. I have appended a copy of the letter that the king wrote to me about these matters; and after speaking to your envoys, I instructed them to report back the message from [me] to you. Farewell.

inscription 32

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