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Royal Correspondence: 65


LETTER OF ATTALOS II TO ATHENAIOS

Original text:   IvP_1.248   ( OGIS_331 )
Date:     142 B.C.
Format:   see key to translations

The cult of Dionysos Kathegemon was clearly important to the Attalid kings, because as this letter shows they retained complete control over the appointment of priests. The priests were influential men, and in this case were related by marriage to the royal family (see RC_66 ).


[A] . . . [to inscribe (?) the letters on a stele of white marble] and place it [in the temple of Athene . . . and to include] this decree in the sacred laws of the city and to keep this law as valid for all time.

[B] King Attalos to his cousin Athenaios, greetings. Sosandros, our comrade and your son-in-law, was appointed by the king my brother priest of Dionysos Kathegemon and performed the sacred offices in very many biennial festivals reverently and worthily of the god, and with love towards my brother and towards us and towards all other men; it happened that in the preceding festivals, hampered by a complaint of (?) the ligaments, he performed the sacrifices with us, but was unable to carry out the processions and certain other sacred functions; we decided that his son Athenaios should be deputy-priest, so that what could not be performed by Sosandros might be performed by him. Since, therefore, at that time the necessary functions were carried out with the requisite piety, and since now on the death of Sosandros someone must be appointed priest, I and my brother's son Attalos have decided that this priesthood also shall remain in the hands of his son Athenaios, since he was as a matter of fact even in his father's lifetime inducted into the holy office, and since we understand that both Dionysos himself has so desired and that the man is worthy alike of the dignity of the god and of our whole house. In order that you also may know that we have invested Athenaios with this honour also, I decided to write to you.

Year 18, Audnaios 19; Athenagoras delivered the letter from Pergamon.

letter 66


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