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Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum: 38.812


KOS ACCEPTS GAMES FOR ARTEMIS AT KNIDOS


Greek text:   IKnidos_220,K   ( SEG_38.812B )
Date:   c. 200 B.C.
Format:   see key to translations

This epiphany of the goddess Artemis probably occurred while the city of Knidos was being attacked by king Philippos in 201 B.C. ( Polyb_16.11'1 ). It came a few years after the well-publicised epiphany of Artemis in Magnesia ( see, for instance, Syll_557 ). Further epiphanies of gods during the 2nd and 1st centuries B.C. are listed by V.Platt, "Facing the Gods", page 157 ( Google Books ). The Greek word Epiphanēs is often translated as 'Manifest'; and the inscriptions sometimes refer to 'manifest deeds' rather than divine apparitions.

After the epiphany of the goddess, the Knidians instituted games in honour of Artemis Hyakinthotrophos (the spelling of her name is slightly different in the inscription), and put her image on their coins. The original decree of the Knidians, which was carried by their envoys, has been preserved ( IKnidos_220 - Greek text ); it was repeated almost word for word in this reply, and has been used to fill in some of the long gaps in lines 3-9.


[It was resolved by the council and people {of Kos}, as recommended by the] presidents: [since the people of Knidos] has [renewed the friendship and kinship between us] and [has sent three noble men] as envoys [to us, with a decree in which the Knidians declare that their people] demonstrates in everything [the piety towards the gods which it has inherited] from its ancestors, [and shows every zeal] and honourable conduct [in increasing the honours of] Artemis [Hiakynthotropos, and is performing sacrifices and supplications and] processions [on account of the] epiphanies that she has [made], and for this reason is naming the goddess Epiphanes, and has voted to perform for her every four years 10 sacrifices and musical and gymnastic contests; and, since it wishes that its existing friends and allies should share in the aforesaid events, it has decided that it is right to send envoys to them to ask the people of each state to accept the sacrifices and the games - with a status equal to the Pythian games - which are being performed by them for Artemis Hiakynthotropos, the goddess Epiphanes; and in accordance with this the envoys - Dexiphanes son of Theogeiton, Philinos son of Aristarchos and Nikostratos son of Nikostratos - have come before the council and the assembly and have talked about the existing goodwill of our cities towards each other 20 and about the other things that are contained in the decree, speaking with all zeal and honourable conduct; therefore, so that our people may be seen in everything to attach the greatest importance to piety towards the gods and to act in accordance with the existing friendship and kinship and other privileges shared with the Knidians, by accepting the sacrifices and games, and sharing in the increase of [honours] voted by them to the goddess: with good fortune it is resolved to praise the Knidians because they are retaining their existing piety towards the gods, and they are increasing the honours given to Artemis, and they are asking their allies and friends to attend the ceremonies performed by them; 30 and it is resolved to accept the sacrifice and the games with a status equal to the Pythian games, as they request, and to send theoroi with a sacrifice on behalf of our city at the time when they perform the games. [The presidents shall take care] of the appointment of the theoroi and of the transport and sacrifice of the animals that are sent [for the goddess].


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