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Sylloge Inscriptionum Graecarum: 457


DECREE OF THE DIONYSIAC ARTISTS, CONCERNING A CONTEST AT THESPIAI

Greek text:   IThesp_156
Date:     c. 250 B.C.
Format:   see key to translations

The Mouseia festival continued to be held at Thespiai for several centuries, and many lists of the victors in the contests have survived in inscriptions - for a full account of the development of the festival, see A.Schachter, "Boiotia in Antiquity", pp.344-371 ( Google Books ). The role of the Dionysiac Artists in the festival is discussed by S.Aneziri in "The Greek Theatre and Festivals: Documentary Studies", pp.71-72 ( Google Books ).


The theatrical contest, with prizes of crowns, was held for the first time

[A] when Hierokles was agonothetes, and Mnasion was priest of the Muses, and Aischylos represented the artists, and these decrees were passed about the contest of the Muses:

The artists. It was resolved by the artists from the Isthmos and Nemea, when Hierokles came to them as envoy from the city of Thespiai and the Boeotian League; and he handed them decrees and a letter, in which they called on the assistance of the artists, as the city of Thespiai has voted to hold a theatrical contest on Helikon, dedicated to the Muses, with prizes of crowns for flute-players and aulodes and lyre-players and citharodes and epic poets, and they have decided in which years the contest will be held; therefore the artists should join in promoting this contest wherever the city of Thespiai requests, just as in previous times, and the artists should do whatever else appears to be useful or honourable . . .

[A] Hierokles spoke in accordance with the written decrees, and he described the kindness which the city of Thespiai has shown towards the artists, and the kindness of the artists towards the city of Thespiai, ever since the earliest times. Therefore concerning all of this, with good fortune it is resolved by the artists to praise the city of Thespiai and the Boeotian League on account of the respect which they have shown towards the temple of the Muses and the guild of artists; and to reply to them that previously also the artists, considering that the contest of the Muses was a joint affair between themselves and the city of Thespiai, had shown every eagerness concerning the contest - such as:

- just as the city of Thespiai urged them to do; and to inform them that now also they would be the first to accept this contest, dedicated to the Muses with prizes of crowns, . . .

inscription 458


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