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Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum: 43.212


SUBSCRIPTION OF WOMEN FOR A TEMPLE AT TANAGRA


Greek text:   SEG_43.212A
Date:   c. 200 B.C.
Tags:   oracles ,   subscriptions ,   women
Format:   see key to translations

It was not unusual for Greek cities to raise funds for building projects by requesting contributions from their citizens, but in this case the city of Tanagra set the maximum donation at such a low amount - 5 drachmas - that the contributions had little chance of providing enough money for the building. This, and the fact that only women were allowed to contribute, has led some modern scholars to suggest that the contributions were intended to be no more than symbolic acts of piety; see A.Ellis-Evans, "The Ideology of Public Subscriptions", page 110 ( academia.edu ).

There is a French translation of the inscription, with commentary, by L.Migeotte,"Souscriptions publiques dans les citÚs grecques", no.28 ( Google Books ).


When Kaphisias was archon (?) for the third time, decrees of the last day of the month of Thelouthios; Simondas son of Thiomnastos put it to the vote; it was proposed by Telesias son of Tharsoumachos concerning the temple, as had already been notified to the people:   since, when the city consulted the oracle concerning the temple of Demeter and Korē, whether it would be best for the Tanagraians to let the goddesses stay where they are now, or to move them into the area of Euameria or into the city, Apollo replied: "Receive the goddesses into the suburbs, adorning yourselves with fine wreaths; and pray to the goddesses themselves while you do this;"   therefore, so that the temple of Demeter may be constructed in the city in as beautiful a manner as possible, in the place which seems best 10 to the polemarchs and the public advocates {syndikoi} and the appointed commission, it is resolved by the people that, when the decree is ratified, the people shall appoint for three years a committee of three men, not younger than thirty years; the committee that is appointed shall construct the temple in the city, in consultation with the polemarchs and the architect; and if anyone's land or building would be useful for the construction of the temple, the polemarchs shall summon the people and establish eleven men as assessors, according to the common law of the Boeotians.

So that there may be a supply of money, and the temple and the sanctuary may be constructed as quickly as possible, any of the women who wishes shall be allowed to promise a donation of not more than five drachmas, and to give it to the appointed committee within twenty days; 20 upon receiving this money, the committee shall dedicate it to the construction of the temple and to the purchase of what is necessary, [consulting] with the polemarchs as to what seems advantageous to them, and they shall give an account of their receipts and their expenses to the [overseers; if] sufficient money is not produced from the promises, [the treasurer] for sacred funds who is in office shall give [whatever] money is needed, and shall give an account of the expense to the [overseers. So that] it may be clear which [women] have promised and given donations, a list shall be produced of their names and their fathers' names and how much [each of them gave]; a stele shall be bought and on it there shall be inscribed the names of the women [and their fathers' names] 30 and how much each of them gave; and it shall be set up [in the temple] of Demeter and Korē, for a cost of no more than . . . [and] an account of the expense shall be given to the overseers. If any money [remains] from the promises, the committee shall give an account of it [and hand it over] to the treasurer for sacred funds; and the treasurer [shall record] on it "sacred to Demeter and Korē" . . . and if anything in [the temple] needs repair, the treasurer [in office shall take] money from these funds and give an account of [the expense to] the overseers.

The following committee was appointed:

Telesias [son of Tharsoumachos proposed], as already notified by him: 40 the inscription shall contain [the decree that he proposed] concerning the construction [of the temple] of Demeter [and Korē, and] all the [names of the] women who gave donations [for] the construction of the temple of Demeter and Korē in accordance with the decree.

 


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