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Royal Correspondence: 7


LETTER OF LYSIMACHOS TO SAMOS

Original text:   IG_12.6.1.155   ( OGIS_13 )
Date:     283/2 B.C.
Format:   see key to translations

For the subsequent history of the long-running dispute between Samos and Priene, see Syll_599. The people of Priene had previously tried to secure the favour of Lysimachos by granting special honours to him ( RC_6 ), but on this occasion his decision went against them.


King Lysimachus to the council and the people of Samos, greetings. Your envoys and those sent by Priene appeared before us in the matter of the land which they have in fact disputed earlier in our presence. If we had known that you had had this land in possession and use for so many years we should never have undertaken to hear the case; as it was, we thought that your occupation was a matter of only a very short time, for so the Prienean envoys declared to us in their former depositions. At any rate, when your envoys 10 and those from Priene were here, it was necessary to hear through the arguments of both groups. The envoys from Priene tried to prove by means of the histories and the other testimonials and documents including the Six Years' Truce that the original possession of the Batinetis had been theirs. Afterwards they agreed that when Lygdamis invaded Ionia with his army the rest left the country and the Samians withdrew to the island; that Lygdamis, after occupying the land three (?) years, returned them the same lots and the Prieneans [took them over]; that no Samian was there at all [unless one] happened to be among them in the character of a resident alien, and he placed 20 [his crops] at the disposal of Priene; that later, the Samians [returning] seized the land forcibly; that consequently Bias [was sent from] Priene [with full powers] to conclude a peace with Samos, and that [he] concluded the peace and that the settlers [left the] Batinetis. The envoys, then, [argued that affairs] had remained in this state in former times and that up to quite recently [they had been in possession of the land]; now they asked us on the basis of this original [possession to give them back] the land.

Your [envoys declared] that you had received your existing [possession] of the Batinetis [from your ancestors]. They admitted that, after the [invasion] of Lygdamis, 30 the Samians like the rest [left the land and retired to] the island; that afterwards a thousand Samians settled . . .

letter 8


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