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Sylloge Inscriptionum Graecarum: 742


DECREE OF EPHESOS CONCERNING WAR AGAINST MITHRIDATES

Greek text:   Ephesos_134 , Ephesos_135
Date:     86/85 B.C.
Format:   see key to translations

The Ephesians had previously supported Mithridates, but in about 86 B.C. they turned decisively against him, and killed the king's general Zenobius ( Appian, Mith_48 ). There are other English translations of this inscription by R.K.Sherk, "Rome and the Greek East to the Death of Augustus", no. 61 ( Google Books - part A only ), and by I.Arnaoutoglou, "Ancient Greek Laws: A Sourcebook", no. 90 ( Google Books ).


[A]   [Since, while the people was maintaining] its [ancient] goodwill towards the Romans, our common [saviours], and [eagerly obeying] all their instructions, Mithridates [king] of Cappadocia, [in transgression of the] treaty with the Romans, gathered [his forces and attempted] to become master [of territory] that in no way belonged to him; and [treacherously] seizing the cities that lay in front of us, he also captured our city, overawing us by the size of his forces and the unexpectedness of his attack; but our people, maintaining the goodwill towards the Romans that it has always had, 10 as soon as it had an opportunity to come to the aid of the common welfare, decided to declare war on Mithridates on behalf of the Roman dominion and our common freedom, and with one accord all the citizens devoted themselves to the struggle about these affairs; therefore it is resolved by the people, as the matter relates to war and defence and security and the safety of the temple of Artemis and the city and its territory, that the generals and the secretary of the council and the presidents shall promptly introduce a decree and also confer about concessions, as is expedient; and the people (?) decided about this matter.

[B]   20 It was resolved by the people, as recommended by the presidents and the secretary of the council, Asklepiades son of Asklepiades son of Euboulides, and announced by the generals; since, while very great dangers are threatening the temple of Artemis and the city and all the citizens and the residents of the city and its territory, it is necessary for everyone to co-operate in withstanding the danger; therefore it is resolved by the people, as the matter pertains to the defence and security and safety of the temple of Artemis and the city and its territory that those who have been erased from the official list or subjoined by the sacred or public auditors in whatever manner, shall have their rights restored and their erasure and debts shall be cancelled; 30 and those who have been subjoined for sacred or public fines or for sacred or public penalties or for other debts of whatever kind shall all be released from the debts and enforcement of payment against them shall be invalid; but if any are renting sacred land or public property until now, payment from these can still be exacted through the existing arrangements, in accordance with the laws; as for the sacred loans, all those who owe and administer payments shall be released from their debts, except for loans made by the magistrates {systemata} or by the officers appointed by them upon pledges, and the interest on these latter shall be remitted from the coming year onwards, until the people attains a better condition; 40 and if any persons have been enrolled as citizens up until the current time, they shall have full rights and they shall share in the same privileges as others; they shall be released from fines and sacred and public convictions shall be invalid, unless there are any convictions connected to removal of land-markers or disputed inheritances; and the equal tax-payers and foreign residents and sacred attendants and freedmen and foreigners, who take up arms with us and are enrolled with the commanders, shall all become citizens on an equal and similar basis: the commanders shall make their names known to the presidents and the secretary of the council, who shall allot them to tribes and to ‘thousands’; and the public slaves who have taken up arms shall be freed and have the status of resident foreigners. Those who had lent money – for marine contracts and written agreements 50 and for deposits and pledges and additional pledges, and for purchases and agreements and payments with drafts and loans – all gladly approached the people, and willingly consented with the people to release the debtors from what they owed, with . . . possession remaining with those who now hold possession, unless any persons either here or . . . have made loans or entered into contracts. As for arrangements with bankers, [whoever have within the] current year made deposits or taken out loans or [given] pledges, enforcement of payment shall remain against them as before, in accordance with the [laws; as for deposits] or loans from previous years, [the bankers shall make payments] of these [to the depositors] and the depositors shall make payments to the bankers [in turn, from] the coming year for the next ten years, 60 [and they shall repay the interest in] proportion; and if in any year . . . paying the . . . in the laws . . .

inscription 743


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