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Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum: 39.1244


KOLOPHON HONOURS MENIPPOS


Greek text:   SEG_39.1244
Date:   c. 120-110 B.C.
Format:   see key to translations

Menippos went as an envoy from Kolophon to Rome on no less than five occasions, and the details of these visits, which have been preserved in column 1 of the inscription, provide valuable evidence about the early development of the Roman province of Asia Minor. It is clear that even the nominally free cities, such as Kolophon, had to work hard to preserve their autonomy; see F.Santangelo, "Sulla, the Elites and the Empire" pp.63-64 ( Google Books ).  The importance of the first part of the inscription, describing Menippos' further education in Athens, is explained by G.J.Oliver, in "The Cambridge Companion to the Hellenistic World", pp.131-132 ( Google Books ).

The inscription was found in the sanctuary of Klaros, along with a similar decree in honour of Polemaios ( SEG 39.1243 ); they were published with a French translation and commentary by L.Robert, Claros I ( 1989 ).



[i]   . . . when he had performed these [sacrifices] in a manner worthy of both the people who sent him and of the mother city {Athens}, he remained there, attending the best teachers; and he first gave the finest proof of his mode of life, and the education that he had received, to the city that imparted it to him; he gained deserved approval from the Athenians themselves, who crowned him and by a decree made him a citizen, and he received fitting commendation of his whole stay there. 10 When he came back from his studies, immediately from his youth he conducted himself in keeping with what has been said before; he acted as envoy and gave very effective advice, with honourable conduct that was not inferior to any of the other citizens; for he went on many embassies to the governors and the quaestors and the other Romans who came to Asia, and many embassies to the kingdom of the Attalids and to not a few cities; and he went on important embassies about very urgent matters to the senate of the Roman leaders; he went twice to Rome 20 on behalf of the city itself and kept the privileges of the people intact; on a third occasion he went concerning the territory of Dios-hieron and the places in the Stena {'Narrows'} and the Prepelaion; on a fourth occasion he went because the Romans who came to Asia transferred judicial proceedings from the laws of the city to their personal control and in turn forced the citizens whenever they faced legal charges to offer pledges; on a fifth occasion he went because a letter had been sent from Rome concerning the legal decision that was given against the city in the presence of the consuls, 30 and concerning the citizen who was summoned on a capital charge. In all these embassies, together with the envoys who were sent with him, he achieved a successful result and obtained the finest and most advantageous decrees from the Roman leaders; he consolidated the people's possession of the coastal territory; and he kept the traditional borders in the Stena and Prepelaion; and he freed the residents of the city from the necessity of making pledges and from the control of the governor, after the Roman province was separated from the autonomous states; 40 and he kept the laws of the city in force on every charge, even against the Romans themselves, as the senate issued a decree that both a Roman who wronged one of our citizens and a Roman who made an accusation against any of our citizens should have their case decided in our courts; and he rescued the citizen, who was accused (?) of killing a Roman and was summoned on a capital charge and handed over for judgement, preserving at the same time the city and its laws; on account of this, envoys rightly arrived from our kinsmen and friends to congratulate the people and to join in offering a sacrifice. 50 When the Metropolitans made an accusation that our magistrates had seized some persons from their territory and had registered some false enquiries against the men who at that time appeared to be prominent amongst them in the. . .

[ii]   . . . the plots of the opposing envoys, but also he achieved the addition of a clause to the response of the senate, that the governor should not make judgements or interfere outside the Roman province, so that Menippos procured a response that was most fine and suitable for democracy. When he was elected to be general of the hoplites in wartime, while the Roman armies were present, and when afterwards he was given the same office again, 10 he personally received the Romans who came to the city, and ensured that the homes of the citizens were exempt from billeting, and he showed great forethought for the public interests by taking on himself the expense of this; and he provided the Roman leaders with what they needed for the war, always advising and voting for the measures that were most effective, and he saved a considerable sum of money for the city. Along with the other magistrates, he maintained both the public concord of the citizens with each other, 20 and the possessions of each citizen; and in general, by introducing many measures that were useful and advantageous to all the residents of the city, he always had an evident reputation for his good character. When he was elected to be agonothete, he declared that he would use a talent of silver to construct the doorway of the pronaos dedicated to Apollo Kathēgemōn {'Leader'} of the city, and he surpassed himself in constructing a doorway that was better than he promised, using considerably more money; and by presiding over the actual games carefully and justly, 30 he achieved an enviable fame amongst all the Greeks and 'barbarians' who attended the festival. When during the same year he wore the crown of a prytanis, he not only successfully performed the sacrifices to the gods on behalf of the city during the katagōgē {'bringing down'} of Dionysos and gave a public feast, but also in the monthly assemblies of the prytany he honoured the citizens in turn by inviting them to the public hearth; and he gave a share of his generosity 40 on the second day of the public feast to those with equal tax rights and to the resident foreigners; and when more than once the Roman governor Quintus Mucius and the quaestor and the military tribunes came to the city, he welcomed them all, and remitted the money given by the city for the expense of this back to the city. When, in the year of Euphranor as prytanis, the people decreed that 'royal meals' should be held for the youths and the older men, but the money given for this was insufficient and the men who were appointed as monthly officials {epimēnioi} 50 contributed a considerable amount from their own resources, Menippos freed the incoming monthly officials from the necessity of this expense, and remitted the money that was given by the city for this back to the city . . . the intention of the people and the . . . of the kings . . .

[iii]   . . . which he performed as a free gift, and he has made many other offers to the people, missing no opportunity and overlooking no essential requirement, and in his duties both towards the gods and towards men, his honourable conduct has been manifest; for that reason, on account of his virtue in all matters he was associated with the most important of the Romans, and because he acted as envoy on their behalf and was deemed worthy of their trust, he gained a great reputation among many of the Greek cities; 10 and having made the Romans genuine patrons of our city, he was most useful to the people in his contacts with the Roman leaders, in whose presence the most important business is conducted for all men; and he declares that in the future too he will maintain the same good attitude towards the interests of his fatherland.   Therefore, so that the council and people may be seen to honour good men appropriately for the benefits that they have received, it is resolved by the council and the people to praise Menippos son of Apollonides, 20 by birth son of Eumedes, of the Prometheos deme and the Seleukis tribe, and to crown him with a crown of gold and with a golden statue on account of his virtue and his righteousness towards the people; and that the honours shall always be announced in the contests at the Dionysia and the Klaria festivals, and that the prytanis shall take care of the announcement at the Dionysia and the agonothete shall take care of it at the Klaria in the war-dance {pyrrhikē} and the gymnastic contests; and the herald shall proclaim as follows: 'The people crowns Menippos son of Apollonides, 30 by birth son of Eumedes, with a crown of gold and a golden statue, who is our benefactor and zealous concerning the state and virtuous, and who led his fatherland in critical times.'   It is resolved to praise him also because, seeing that the city is in difficult circumstances, upon receiving this honour from the people and acting in accordance with his previously mentioned behaviour, he has offered to pay the cost incurred in erecting the statue from his own resources, although the people would have willingly covered the cost 40 on account of its zeal towards Menippos. He shall be invited to privileged seating at the games that the city holds whenever the other benefactors are invited; and he shall be given meals in the prytaneion; and his statue shall be set up in the temple of Apollo Klarios in the place indicated by the treasurer, and the stated announcement shall be inscribed on it; and a stele containing this decree shall be placed next to it.




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