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Sylloge Inscriptionum Graecarum: 698


DELPHI HONOURS THE DIONYSIAC ARTISTS OF ATHENS


Greek text:   FD_3.2.47 ,   FD_3.2.137 ,   FD_3.2.138
Date:   128 B.C.
Format:   see key to translations

In 138 B.C. the Athenians renewed the custom of sending a Pythaïs, a sacred deputation to the temple at Delphi. This inscription refers to the second Pythaïs, sent ten years later, and the long list of names shows that it was intended to be a very impressive ceremony. It has been estimated that the total number of participants was between three hundred and five hundred; see J.D.Mikalson, "Religion in Hellenistic Athens", pp.269-270 ( Google Books ).

The name of Limenios son of Thoinos, who composed one of the surviving Delphic Hymns, can be found in line 23 of the inscription; the composer of the other Hymn may be Athenaios son of Athenaios, who is mentioned in line 20 of the inscription. It is usually assumed that the Pythaïs was the occasion of the first performance of these hymns.


[A]   Since the guild of the artists in Athens, which always honours and reveres the divinity, and seeks to enhance the rites and traditions of the gods, prompted by these motives, has performed the greatest and finest deeds that lead to glory and commemoration for all time; and now, when the people of Athens voted to send the Pythaïs to us through many years, in accordance with the oracles and histories, the guild has offered its assistance, and has sent

- for all [of which] their supervisor Philomelos declares that [the guild of the] artists has spent a considerable amount of money;   therefore with good fortune, it is resolved by the city of Delphi [to praise] the guild of artists at Athens for their goodwill towards the city and [their] piety [towards] the divinity, and to crown them with the wreath of the god, as [is] traditional at Delphi, and also to crown those of the artists who have stayed here and provided their services; they shall all [have] priority in access to the oracle, and the inviolability that has been passed on to them by their forebears, [and] all the other privileges that are held by the other proxenoi and benefactors of the city. This decree shall be inscribed in the temple of Apollo, on the treasury of the Athenians; and a copy shall be sent to the council and the people of Athens and to the association of the Dionysiac artists.

{ The headings of the two Delphic Hymns are printed below the text of the inscription in Sylloge³. }

[B]   [Hymn] to the god, [(?) accompanied by cithara, composed] by . . . Athenaios.   { followed by the Paian of Athenaios }

[C]   Paian and processional hymn to the [god], composed [by] . . . Limenios [son of] Thoinos [(?) of Athens].   { followed by the Paian of Limenios }

inscription 699


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