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Translations of Hellenistic Inscriptions: 43


SUBSCRIPTION FOR THE DEFENCE OF THE ISLAND OF KOS


Greek text:   IG_12.4.1.75 (with German translation)
Date:   202/1 B.C.
Format:   see key to translations

The islands in the Aegean Sea were in constant danger of being attacked during the last few years of the third century B.C., as a result of the Cretan War and the increased activity of the Macedonian fleet in the region. Kos decided to respond to this threat by collecting money to pay for the island's defence through residents' contributions, which are recorded in this long inscription. The first part of the translation is adapted from A.Chaniotis, in "Epigraphical Approaches to the Post-Classical Polis", page 95 ( Google Books ).

Most of the contributions were fixed sums of money, varying widely according to means from 50 drachmas up to 8000 drachmas. But some donors (in part D) undertook to provide a soldier's salary for a certain period. The standard pay for a soldier was one drachma per day - see A.Chaniotis, "War in the Hellenistic World", p.116 ( Google Books ); so their pay for a year of twelve lunar months (12 x 29½ days) would be 354 drachmas.

The large number of names in the list has enabled scholars to analyse how many women took part in giving contributions. Angelos Chaniotis ("Epigraphical Approaches", page 104) identifies six women who gave individual contributions, out of about 300 contributors in the list; Anne Bielman (on Migeotte, Souscriptions, 50) counts 24 or 25 women who gave "family contributions" jointly with their husbands or fathers.



[A]   [When] Nikomedes was monarchos, on the first day of the month of ..., as proposed by Diokles son of Leodamas. In order that it may be apparent that the citizens care for the common security in all difficult situations, may the following resolution be passed. Let those of the male and female citizens, 10 the illegitimate children, the foreign residents, and the foreigners, who come forward, pledge a contribution. The names of those who make a pledge shall be immediately announced in the assembly. Through a public vote the people shall decide about the value of the contributions and accept the donation, if it approves of it. In order that there will be an everlasting memorial 20 of those who jointly engaged themselves in the rescue of our fatherland and its allies, the citizens shall let out a contract for three steles to be made, and have one of them set up in the theatre, the second one in the sanctuary of Asklepios, and the third one in the agora, next to the altar of Dionysos. 30 They shall inscribe on the steles the names of those, whose donation has been accepted through a vote. Also the names of those, whose pledge was declined through a vote, shall be inscribed. If some individuals delay their pledge, they shall be able to promise a contribution in the following assembly.

[B]

 

{ The list of names continues for about another 230 lines, through parts B and C, and the start of D. }      

[D]

{ The list of names, of persons contributing a fixed sum of money, is continued on two other stones, IG_12.4.1.76 and IG_12.4.1.77. }

inscription 44


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