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Royal Correspondence: 3


FIRST LETTER OF ANTIGONOS TO TEOS

Greek text:   Teos_59   ( Syll_344 )
Date:     c. 303 B.C.
Tags:     synoecism

This letter shows that Antigonos planned to impose synoecism on the cities of Teos and Lebedos, but the plans were abandoned after this death; see H.S. Lund, "Lysimachus: A Study in Early Hellenistic Kingship", p. 117 ( Google Books ).

There is another translation of the inscription in M.M. Austin, "The Hellenistic World from Alexander to the Roman Conquest", no. 48 ( Google Books ).


[A]   . . . [whoever] is sent to the Panionion, we thought it best that he should [perform all the] common ceremonies for an equal period and should bivouac and attend the festival with [your envoys] and be called Tean.

[B]   We thought it best that a building lot [be given] to each of the [Lebedians] in your city equal to that which he leaves in Lebedos . Until the new houses are built, houses [are to be furnished to all] the Lebedians without charge : if the present city remains , one-[third of the] existing houses ; if it is necessary to tear down the present city, half of the existing houses [are to be left], and of these one-third are to be given [to the Lebedians] and you are to have two-thirds ; if a certain part of the city is torn down and the remaining houses [are enough] to receive both you and the Lebedians, 10 the third part [of these] are to be given to the Lebedians ; if the remaining houses are not enough to receive both you [and the Lebedians], enough of the houses which will be torn down are to be left, [and when] enough houses [have been completed] in the new city, then the houses which [were left] may be demolished, [as far as] they lie outside the walls of the city. [All the Lebedians] are to build houses on their lots within three years ; otherwise the [lots] are to become city property. [We thought] it right that the roofs of the houses be given to the Lebedians, a quarter of the total number each year for four years, [so that] the houses [may be finished as soon as possible].

[C]   [We thought] it right that a place be assigned the Lebedians where they may bury their [dead ].

[D]   We thought it right that [whatever] the city of Lebedos owes [at interest] be met from the common [revenues each year], 20 and that these debts [be assumed] by your city on the conditions under which the Lebedians [owe] them.

[E]   As to the proxenoi of the city of Lebedos or those benefactors who possess [citizenship] or some other grant or honor from the Lebedians, we thought it right [that they have the same among] you, and that their names be inscribed within a year in the place where your proxenoi [and benefactors are] inscribed .

[F]   As to the suits based on injury or breach of contract [now standing] in either city, we thought it right that the litigants be reconciled or the cases adjudged separately [according to the] laws [of that city] and according to our decree, within two years from the time when [the decree] is published. As to those suits which you have against the Lebedians or the Lebedians have [against you, that both cities make] an agreement, and put the agreement before the people for ratification (?), and if any objection is raised [against the] agreement that a decision be given by the arbiter city within six months ; that the arbiter [city be] Mitylene, as both have agreed. 30 [We think it best] that the committee charged with drawing up this instrument should write the other terms as they may choose, but as we hear that the suits over contracts and over injuries are [so numerous] that if they were judged according to the law ], even without interruption , no one would be able to wait for the end - for up to now [it does not appear that any progress] has been made with these nor have the contracts been executed because the suits have [long] remained [unadjudicated] - and if the interest accumulates [from year to year no one] would be able to pay it. We think it best for the committee to provide, if [the debtors pay] of their own accord, that they pay no more than double the value [of the debt], and if they go to court and are adjudged liable, that they pay three times its value.

[G]   Whenever the agreement [is ratified], we think it right that the suits be filed and judged within a year. That any one who does not file his suit [or have it judged] in the time set, 40 if the courts are sitting , should no longer have the right to file it or [to have it judged. If any] of your citizens or of the Lebedians is not in the city during the prescribed period, that it should be possible to serve a summons upon him [in his absence] before the town hall and before his house, notifying the [proper official . . . ] in the presence of two responsible witnesses.

[H]   We thought it right that in the future [penalties] be paid [and received according to] whatever laws you may think are fair to both cities . [That each city appoint] as a committee to draw up the laws three men , [incorruptable], not younger than forty years , and let the men chosen swear to draw up such laws as [they think] are the best and which will benefit the city. After they have taken the oath, [let them draw up what] laws [they think] will be fair to both cities and let them submit them within [six months]. We thought it right that anyone else who wished might draw up and submit a law. That those of the laws [submitted] be put into practice which the committee may agree upon and the people ratify, 50 [and that those which are protested] be sent to us so that we may either decide about them [or designate a city] to do so ; that there be sent also the [laws] which are agreed upon and that it be indicated which were submitted by the committee and [which were submitted by others , so that] if anyone has obviously drawn up a law not for the best but [inappropriately], we may charge him with it and may punish him. That this be done within a year . [Until this code of] laws should have been drawn up, your envoys thought it best [to use the laws] of your city, [but those from] Lebedos asked permission to send for and [ to use ] those from some other city. [Since] we thought it fairer to send for [ laws ] from another city [we directed] both parties to name the city whose laws they wished to use, and as both agreed to use the laws of Kos 60 we decided that this should be done, [and we have requested the Koans] to give you the laws to copy. We think [it best] that three men [be appointed] as soon as this answer is read, and that they be sent [to Kos in] three [days] to copy the laws ; that those who are sent [shall bring back the] laws sealed with the Koan seal in [thirty] days ; that when the laws [are brought back] you and the Lebedians shall elect the new officials [within] ten [days].

[I]   As to those men who have been choregus or trierarch or have performed another [liturgy in] either city , we think it best that they no longer [be liable to the same liturgy]. The envoys of the Lebedians [asked] that they be relieved of [the liturgies] for such time as the synoecism is in process. We think it best , if all of you remain [in the old city], 70 that the Lebedians should be immune from the liturgies for three years . [If any of you] move into the peninsula that they also should be immune for the [same period , and that those whose] houses are not moved { torn down ? } should assume the liturgies.

[J]   The envoys of the [Lebedians] said [that it was necessary] to set aside from the revenues [one thousand] four hundred gold staters for the supply [of grain , so that] any one who wished, taking this money against security , [might import grain into the] city and sell it throughout the year whenever he wished, and that [at the end of the year] he should return the money to the city, both the capital and the interest at the rate [at which he took it. When they particularly requested us] to order that this be done now so that there might be [a sufficient quantity] of grain [in the city] - for you could not produce enough your envoys expressed [their approval but asked] that more money be appropriated as the synoecism [was being completed] and the population was becoming [larger] as you moved into one city. 80 Previously we were un[willing] that [any] city should undertake the importation of grain or maintain a subsidised grain-supply, [for we were not willing to have the] cities spend for this purpose large sums of money unnecessarily ; we did not [wish] even now to give this permission, for the crown [land] is near [and if a need] of grain arose, we think there could easily be brought from [there whatever] one wished. Our anxiety on this point was due [to a desire] to serve the [cities], since you and everyone else [knows that there is] no private profit [for us] in the business, but we maintain the regulation [in the hope that] the cities may become free of debt. Seeing [that as far as lies in our power] we have made you free and autonomous in other respects, [we thought] to exercise care over your debts also 90 that they might be paid off as soon as possible. [As , however], this plan for the supply of grain seems [advantageous], we think it best, in order that we may [omit] nothing [which is just] and advantageous to your people, that the [grain-supply] be established as the Lebedian envoys said, believing that there should be provided against security at the most one thousand [four hundred] gold staters.

[K]   That the import and export of all [grains] be declared [in the portico of the] market, so that if it should not pay any persons to bring the grain into the [market and thence to] export it, they may have the right to export directly, paying the duty on what is declared [in the market]. As to what villages or farms there may be outside [the city], we think it best that each man be ordered to register [the amount of grain] he wishes to export directly from the land, 100 so that he may do so having made declaration [ to the agoranomos and ] paid the duty.

[L]   Your envoys [and those from the] Lebedians asked that three men be appointed from each city to frame any regulations furthering the synoecism [which may have been omitted. It seems to us desirable] that the men be appointed within thirty days [of the time when this answer] is read, and that the committee draw up any measure which has been omitted [by us]. That of their provisions those [are to be valid] which are agreed upon by both cities, and that the disputed points are to be referred to us within the two following months, [so that] we may hear [both sides] and decide as we think [is best] for both.

letter 4


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