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Sylloge Inscriptionum Graecarum: 704


THE AMPHICTYONS HONOUR THE DIONYSIAC ARTISTS OF ATHENS

Greek text:   Sylloge_704B ,   FD_3.2.69 ( CID_4.117 ),   IG_2².1134
Date:   c. 117 B.C.
Format:   see key to translations

Under this heading, Sylloge³ collected the evidence for the progress of the long dispute between the Isthmian and Athenian guilds of the Dionysiac artists, which was concluded by the decree of the senate contained in Syll_705.

Inscription B is adduced as evidence that the decision of the senate, referred to in Syll_705 as made "in the time of Publius Cornelius", was made in the year of a praetor called P. Cornelius Lentulus, who is dated (on limited evidence) to about 128 B.C.

The decree E and the official letter H show that, at least in the later stages of the dispute, the Athenian guild had the strong support of the Amphictyonic council. E, F and H were all inscribed on a stele at Athens. A better preserved copy of E has been found at Delphi.

Decree E has been translated into French by Claire Tuan.   For a discussion of another inscription that probably refers to this dispute, see Virtual Seminar on Some Unpublished Inscriptions from Corinth: VII.



[B]   The association of the Dionysiac artists from the Isthmos and Nemea dedicates this statue of its benefactor, Publius Cornelius Lentulus son of Publius, to Pythian Apollo.

[E]   When Eukleidas son of Kalleidas [was archon in Delphi], at the autumn [assembly], with the following men acting as hieromnemon:

10 [It was resolved by the] Amphictyons : since it occurred that a guild of artists was first created and [gathered] in Athens, whose people, [established] as the founder of [all] good pursuits amongst men, transformed men from a beastlike existence into gentleness, and became [the cause] of their [community] with each other, introducing the tradition of the mysteries, and through this proclaiming [to everyone] that the greatest good amongst men [is] fellowship with each other and mutual trust; and likewise the Athenian people personally received [the gift] of the laws that were given [by the gods about] human conduct, of education, and of the custom of growing crops, and passed them on to the other Greeks as its [public] benefaction to them; and their people was the first of all to assemble a guild of artists [and performers], and held theatrical {thymelic} [and] dramatic contests, to which it happens that most of the poets [of its own city] bear witness, and the city [itself] clearly demonstrates the truth, recalling that it is the metropolis [of all performances of drama], both inventing and developing tragedy and comedy; and on account of this the Amphictyons have often acknowledged the Athenian [people] 20 and the Dionysiac artists who are gathered in Athens, and have overlooked nothing that might be of benefit to the [guild] of artists; and in particular they have continually granted them privileges that lead to glory and honour, [considering] that the artists at Athens deserve to share in fine and glorious honours; and likewise now it happens that the guild has sent envoys with [a decree] - the priest of Dionysos Asklepiades son of Hikesias, a tragic poet, and together with him Polystratos son of Alexion, an epic poet, and Thrasymedes son of Demosthenes, an epic poet - who have asked us to renew the [customary and] traditional privileges both of the gods [and of the] artists at Athens, in order that those who are appointed as priests by the artists [at Athens] may have the right [to wear] their traditional crowns in every city, without hindrance by anyone; [and the] envoys have revived the privileges that have been held by the artists since [ancient times], and they have asked the Amphictyons [to act in accordance with the attitude of] their forebears, by maintaining the privileges that the artists have previously held;   therefore so that the Amphictyons [may be seen to have] the greatest concern for Dionysos Melpomenos and also the other gods who dwell in the city of Athens, [and for the association of the] artists, 30 it is resolved by the Amphictyons that the priests [who are appointed by] the artists at Athens shall wear a crown of gold for the gods in every city as is traditional, [and they shall also] wear purple, and no-one shall be permitted [to hinder them], neither a city nor a magistrate nor a private individual; if anyone [does hinder them, he shall pay] a fine of 200 staters, sacred [to Apollo], and the man who is hindered or anyone who wishes on his [behalf may] bring the offender to trial, in the court of the Amphictyons, so that, [when this is done, the] honours of the gods may be increased by the Amphictyons [and] the honours of the artists [may remain valid]; and it is resolved [to praise] the association of the artists at Athens, and to crown it with a wreath [of laurel] on account of its piety [towards the] gods and its honourable conduct towards the Amphictyons; and the hieromnemones [shall announce] the award of the crown in the gymnastic [contest] at the Pythia [as is customary], and the hieromnemones who are in office [at any time] shall take care [that it is done]; and it is resolved [to praise] the [envoys] who have come [from the artists to us - the priest] of the artists Asklepiades [son of Hikesias, a tragic] poet, Polystratos son of Alexion, [an epic poet, and] Thrasymedes son of Demosthenes, an epic poet - 40 [and to crown each] of them with a wreath of laurel, since [they conducted themselves during their residence in a seemly manner, worthy] of the people [of Athens and of the] artists at Athens and of the communal [council of the Amphictyons. This] decree [shall be inscribed] in Delphi, and also [on the] acropolis in Athens, for which a copy shall be sent [to the people] of Athens. The hieromnemones shall bring copies of this decree to every nation and city, [so that] they may all comply with the privileges that have been decreed for the artists in Athens.

[F]   [When Menoitios was archon, in] the eleventh prytany of the Oineïs tribe, [with . . . acting as secretary]; a decree of the people, [on the . . . day] of Thargelion, [as proposed by] . . .; since the league of the Amphictyons . . . [the people of Athens] and the guild of the [Dionysiac artists at Athens] . . . the artists opposed . . . of the Romans, our common benefactors . . . 70 to present accusations against the [guild to the praetor in Macedonia], acting [in accordance with the recommendation] of the communal council [of the Amphictyons] . . . that the people [should send] envoys to the league [of the Amphictyons; therefore with good fortune it is resolved by the council that the] presidents who are allotted for the [next assembly shall raise this matter, and] shall bring [the recommendation] of the council [to the people] . . .

. . . [so that when this] is [done, the people of Athens may] be seen [to maintain its] friendly attitude [towards the Amphictyons].

[H]   [The league of the Amphictyons to the council and] people [of Athens], greetings. Mene... . . ., . . . of Pergasē, Chari... . . ., . . ., Polystratos of Thorikos, . . ., 80 . . . of Phlya, who [have come here as envoys] from you . . . [with] a decree in which you have described . . . on the dissolution of the association . . . of the leading Romans . . . city by city to the Amphictyons . . . recorded in the decree . . . the artists from the Isthmos and Nemea . . . 90 . . . the decrees of the senate and the [(?)] of the Romans . . . enacted in the [(?) autumn assembly that happened] before this . . . and when the envoys arrived . . . of the accusations, and likewise . . . of the artists, and sent out . . . other envoys to make accusations . . . giving nothing that was opposed to the laws and [the league of the] Amphictyons;   therefore we have decided that the measures enacted in the autumn [assembly] when E[ukleides] was archon in Delphi shall be valid and enduring for [all time], and we shall not consider it right to approve anything else that is contrary to these decisions; 100 [and] we shall maintain the honours that have been granted by us to your people; and likewise we shall maintain the privileges that are held by the artists in your city - concerning inviolability and security and the right to wear gold crowns, and also the status of the guild - seeing that the Romans, our common benefactors, are of the same opinion.

The league of the Amphictyons crowns the people of Athens.

The league of the Amphictyons crowns the association of the artists at Athens.

inscription 705


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