The complex dispute between two guilds of the Dionysiac Artists, which was resolved by this decree of the senate, had developed over many years, although the exact chronology is uncertain. The decision of the senate was recorded by the Athenians in a series of inscriptions at Delphi.
This inscription contains the following parts:
The translation is adapted from A.Johnson, P.Coleman-Norton & F.Bourne, "Ancient Roman Statutes", no.49 ( Google Books ).
[A] [When] Dionysios [was archon, in the first prytany of the . . . tribe, with Lamios of Rhamnous, the son of Timouchos as secretary; on the . . . day of the month] Hekatombaion, [which was the . . . day of the prytany].
[B] [ Decree of the senate. The consul Lucius Calpurnius] Piso [Caesoninus], son of [Lucius], [consulted the senate on] June . . . in the Comitium. [Marcus Aemilius] Scaurus, [son of Marcus], of the Camilian tribe; Servius . . . son of Servius . . .; . . ., son of Lucius, of the Cornelian tribe; and . . ., son of Publius, of the Papirian tribe [assisted in the drafting of the decree]. [Whereas the] Athenian [envoys] - Themistokles [son of] . . ., Demochares [son] of (?) Demochares, . . . [son of] . . ., and Theophiliskos [son] of Olympichos - honourable [men] and friends and representatives of [an honourable and friendly] people who are our friends and allies, [reported and reaffirmed] their gratitude, friendship and alliance with us [and petitioned] the senate 10 [on behalf of their Artists who have been wronged] contrary to the decrees [of the senate, requesting that these decrees of the senate] shall remain in force [and that those Artists who contribute to the expenses of the guild at the Isthmos and Nemea shall pay a fine] in accordance with the [decrees] of the senate . . . on the advice of the senate, that . . . If anyone does not obey the [decrees of the senate nor] abides [by the articles of the] agreement, that whichever [of the guilds] brings an action, always [observing the agreement, it may compel] those who do not conform to observe the [decrees of the senate] . . .
[C] [They admit] that we appear to be in accord with [the decree of the Amphictyons] and of the senate, [but they assert that these agreements] were ratified contrary to the instructions, which some of the Peloponnesian Artists had received, [and for that reason they are] void, and therefore they do not abide by them, and they keep [us] from our work [unjustly], and money which belongs to us in common 20 they appropriate for themselves, and they have held a meeting at [Sikyon] contrary to the decree of the senate, passed when Publius Cornelius was consul, whereby it was voted that we should convene at Thebes [and] at Argos. They have also appointed officers and wrongfully exhausted the revenues from the common funds . . . contrary to the [common] rules of the guild of Artists, after we had sent a deputation to Rome and appealed [to the senate. Their gravest fault is that they did not even obey the senate], but even after we had received the decree of the senate, in which . . . and . . . our opponents, [nonetheless they keep us] from our work, appropriate [our money] to themselves, and hold a meeting in Sikyon contrary to the decree of the senate, passed when Publius Cornelius was consul, and [contrary to] the oracles of [Apollo]. We therefore petition the senate that . . . to each . . . of us except the three classes.
[D] [Also] under discussion was the statement made by the envoys sent [from] the guild of Dionysiac Artists 30 [who contribute to the expenses of the guild] at the Isthmos [and Nemea] - namely, Sosikleidas son of Philokrates, Damoxenos son of . . ., . . . son of . . ., Polykrates son of . . ., and Philippos son of Herodes. They affirmed to the senate [that when the Attic Artists] brought charges against their guild in Macedonia [before the praetor Cornelius Sisenna, and] letters to their guild were brought back by them from the praetor stating, as they said, "We should dispatch deputies within . . . days . . . when we had sent deputies - namely, Dionysios, Andronikos, Philokrates and Drakon - to the praetor to discuss the matters which he ordered and defend ourselves to him. These men did not accomplish for us what they were directed, but they defied the decree of the senate and the directives of the praetor and their guild; and, going to Pella, they concluded an agreement with those persons who allege that they are members of the Athenian guild of Artists, and levied a fine of ten talents against their own guild. Wherefore, to be sure, a right of action was granted against them in accordance with the rules of our guild and they were tried at Thebes and found guilty. 40 For this reason they enlisted certain Theban and Boeotian Artists and violently seized the records of the guild and absconded. Also they deserted their old allegiance and formed a new guild together, therein acting contrary to our guild and its constitution. They shattered the jurisdiction of he guild of Artists; they gave some of the sacred offices which they held as pledges, they absconded with money, offerings, and sacred crowns, which they have not as yet returned, as they prevented the performance of sacrifices and libations in accordance with the ancient customs of our guild to Dionysos and to the other gods and to the Romans, our common patrons. We therefore petition the senate, which has been in the past the source of the greatest benefits to our guild, to preserve the honours and benefits granted in the past and to provide that the money and offerings and crowns, 50 which objects the Theban Artists and some of these renegades from Boeotia now hold, shall be returned to our common guild, which contributes to the expenses at the Isthmos and Nemea; and we also petition that the agreements which they made shall be void, since they, [as our deputies], made them contrary to the instructions which we gave them and for that reason they have been found guilty [in accordance with the] rules of [our guild]; and that the rules of the guild of Artists of the Isthmos and Nemea shall be fully valid."
[E] The senators proposed as follows in regard to the said matter. Answer shall be made to the Athenian envoys in a friendly manner, to address them as honourable men and friends, and from a people who are our honourable friends and allies, and we shall reaffirm our kindly feelings, friendship and alliance. However, in regard to the matters which they broached: whatever the guild of Artists of the Isthmos and Nemea proposed or voted among themselves by which the Artists who dwell in Attica are any the less able to work with them shall be null and void. Rather, the agreement that was made between the Artists of Attica and the Artists of the Isthmos and Nemea in the presence of Gnaeus Cornelius Sisenna, praetor or proconsul, 60 shall remain in force.
Wherever formerly they were accustomed to hold the guild meetings in accordance with the decree of the senate, there such meetings shall be held in future. The proposal passed.
In regard to the public or common funds of which they spoke; they shall make representations to Marcus Livius, the consul, and he shall investigate the matter and shall render such decisions as appears to him in the public interest and in accordance with his own good faith. The proposal passed.
The consul Lucius Calpurnius shall direct the quaestors to make gifts of friendship to the Athenians in the customary form, as appears to him in the public interest and in accordance with his own good faith. The proposal passed.
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