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Sylloge Inscriptionum Graecarum: 735


ORACLE FOR THE MESSENIANS AT ARGOS

Greek text:   { Syll_735 }
Date:     ? 92/1 B.C.
Tags:   oracles
Format:   see key to translations

It has traditionally been assumed that this oracular response was a precursor to the Sacred Law of Andania ( Syll_736 ), based on the occurrence of the name Mnasistratos in both inscriptions, but interpretation of this connection has been complicated by the possibility of a later date for the Andania inscription; see N.Luraghi, "The Ancient Messenians", pp.295-299 ( Google Books ).


When Hieron son of Epikydes was secretary of the councillors {synedroi}, and Damosthenes Parionidas son of Nikokrates was priest of Apollo Pythaeus; and the prophets were Soïbios son of Soïbios and Antigenes son of Polykrates, both from Nauplion; and the scribes were Thersagoras Dmaippidas son of Nikophaeus and Philokles Dmaippidas son of Xenophantos; and the fire-carrier {pyrphoros} was Timagoras Kleodaidas son of Charotimos; and the prophetess was Philokrateia daughter of Lysion Aithaleus; the oracle that was given to the city of Messene was inscribed in accordance with the decree of the archons and the councillors, after Mnasistratos the hierophant consulted the oracle about the sacrifice and the mysteries.

The god responded: it would be better for you if you sacrifice with good omens to the Great Gods at the Karneia festival, according to your ancestral custom. I say also to the Messenians that they should perform the mysteries . . .

inscription 736


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