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Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum: 43.311


SURVEY OF THE CITY WALLS AT SKOTOUSSA


Greek text:   SEG_43.311
Date:   197-185 B.C.
Tags:     walls+fortifications
Translated by: V. Missailidou-Despotidou
Format:   see key to translations

This inscription was first published with a commentary and English translation by V. Missailidou-Despotidou in 1993 (AJP, vol. 88). It provides an exceptionally detailed description of the fortifications of a Hellenistic city. Skotoussa was a city of Pelasgiotis in Thessaly. At the time of this inscription, Thessaly had recently become independent from Macedonia, after the Macedonians were defeated by the Romans in a battle fought near Skotoussa in 197 B.C. But the region remained unstable, and the citizens clearly thought it prudent to improve their defences while they were free to do so.

The original translation, which successfully dealt with the difficulties caused by the unusual subject matter and the peculiar Thessalian dialect, is reproduced here. It begins with a decree of the city, but the transition from the decree to the survey of the walls has been lost in a long gap in the middle of side A of the inscription.


[A] When Phoxinos, son of Empeddion, was priest of Asklepios, on the 22nd day of the month of Hermaios, during the term of office of the tagoi Nikokrates son of Deinos, Megalokleas son of Kleboulidas, Orthagoras son of Philokrates, ...stratos son of Amphittolemos, Nikokrates son of Phryniadas, after Nikokrates and Praylos sons of Phoxinos, Agesippos son of Nikokrates, Kleomenes son of Nikiadas, Echestodoros son of Astodamos had proposed and with the support of Daimonios son of Pleistoxenos and Gorgidas son of Gorgos, the city voted that . . . toward them . . . towards the city walls and . . . 10 by the city Nikokrates son of Deinos . . . son of Kleoboulidas . . . Polykrates son of Nikokrates (?). . . Kleomenes son of Nikiadas * * *

* * * from the second tower . . . ten akainai (?), from the third tower 70 five akainai . . . from the upper (?) . . . as far as the bend of the curtain near the Kerdoion because there was more public space, there it has been left uncultivated as pasturage; from the bend of the curtain near the Kerdoion, 4 akainai [2] feet; from the tower at the corner below the Kerdoion, 5 akainai 5 feet; from the tower near the corner one below the Kerdoion as far as the river to be public area as far as towards Bystas, but the conduit to be private.

From Bystas, from the first tower, 6 akainai 6 feet; from the second tower near the bend of the curtain, 6 akainai 5 feet; from the second tower, 5 akainai 6 feet; [B] from the bend of the curtain, 7 akainai 3 feet; from the third tower, 5 akainai; from the corner of the curtain which turns towards the fourth tower, 5 akainai 4 feet; from the fourth tower, 5 akainai 6 feet; from the bend of the curtain towards the Herakleion on the right hand as you go out of the gate leading to Skabai, 7 akainai 7 feet.

By the first tower near the cliff, pasture; by the second curtain near the cliff, pasture; by the second tower near the cliff, pasture; by the third tower near the 10 cliff, pasture; by the fourth tower near the cliff, pasture; by the next curtain above the conduit at the foot of the cliff, pasture; by the fifth tower above the conduit at the foot of the cliff, pasture; by the sixth tower above the spring, pasture; by the seventh tower toward the threshing-floor (?), pasture; by the following curtain towards the threshing-floor (?), pasture.

From the tower at the corner by Akerateion, which turns towards the gate leading to Skotessa, 7 akainai; from the second tower, 7 akainai 3 feet; from the third tower, 6 akainai 3 feet; from the fourth tower, 8 akainai; from the fifth tower, 5 akainai; from the 20 sixth tower, 5 akainai 3 feet; from the seventh tower, 6 akainai and 1 foot; from the middle of the curtain lying on the left hand as you go out of the gate leading to Skotessa, 4 akainai 3 feet.

From the corner of the angled wall {epikampion}, 4 akainai 8 feet; from the angled wall of the second curtain, 4 akainai 2 feet; from the third curtain near the water-channel towards the same pasture, 5 akainai 5 feet; from the second tower, 5 akainai 3 feet; from the third tower, 4 akainai 8 feet; from the fourth tower, 4 akainai 8 feet; from the next curtain of the second 30 exit (?), 5 akainai 8 feet; from the corner of the fifth tower, 6 akainai; near the same tower from the corner of the curtain, which turns toward the citadel, 5 akainai 7 feet.

From the first tower of the citadel situated next to Miroundas, 7 akainai 3 feet; from the bend of the following curtain, 6 akainai 5 feet; from the second tower, 6 akainai;from the following angled wall, 6 akainai; from the upper (?) angled wall where the (?) propapbasson is, to be public area; from the third tower on the high place (?) from the propbasson, 5 akainai 8 feet; from the following curtain, 5 akainai 8 feet; from the fourth tower, 6 akainai; 40 from the fifth tower, 6 akainai; from the sixth tower, 6 akainai; from the seventh tower, 5 akainai 5 feet; from the eighth, 6 akainai 2 feet; from the ninth, 6 akainai; from the tenth, 6 akainai and 1 foot; from the exit (?) near the following curtain towards the postern, 6 akainai.

From the first tower near the postern which turns towards the gate leading to Aulon, 6 akainai and 1 foot; from the water-channels by Heleneion, 6 akainai and 1 foot; from the bend of the second tower from the water-channels, 8 akainai 6 feet; by the second exit (?) of the same curtain, 50 9 akainai 3 feet; from the bend of the curtain where the water-channel is located, 9 akainai 2 feet; from the following bend, 5 akainai 8 feet; from the following curtain, 5 akainai 3 feet; from the following bend of the curtain, 5 akainai; from the tower at the corner situated near the cliff which is towards the gate leading to Aulon, 5 akainai 3 feet.

As for the properties inside the city, we decided that from the Antilaeia to the tower of the Auroschadophoros gate they should be kept from the wall 12 feet; from the second tower of the Auroschadophoros gate to the gate leading to Enneapelethron because there was more public space, 60 there it was left as pasturage; from the gate leading to Enneapelethron, from the city wall all around as far as to Miroundas where there is the construction of another wall from the city wall to the citadel wall, to be kept away 20 feet and (?) to be the places where there are pasturages inside (?) the city; by the three-storeyed tower above the sally-port from the three-storeyed tower; by the second tower from three-storeyed one; by the first ascent to the wall from three-storeyed tower; by the fourth tower; by the first bend of the of the wall from the following tower; by the sixth tower; by the postern; by the tower by the gate leading to Skabai; by the second tower; by the third tower; by the fourth 70 tower; by the fifth tower; by the sixth tower; by the seventh tower; by the corner of the eighth tower; by the ninth tower; by the tenth tower where the ascent to the walls is; by the eleventh tower from the angled wall of the curtain located by the Perseia; by the . . . (?), inside the garden of Daimonios son of Pleistoxenos; by the fountain near the property (?) of Gordidas; by the ascent to the walls by the property of Gorgidas.


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