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Royal Correspondence: 52


LETTER OF EUMENES II TO THE IONIAN LEAGUE

Greek text:   Miletos_63   ( OGIS_763 )
Date:     167/6 B.C.
Tags:     divine_honours ,   leagues

For the historical background - just after the end of the Third Macedonian War - see J. Muir, "Life and Letters in the Ancient Greek World", p. 111 ( Google Books ). There is another English translation of the letter in M.M. Austin, "The Hellenistic World from Alexander to the Roman Conquest", no. 239 ( Google Books ).


King Eumenes [to the League of the Ionians, greeting].   Of your envoys, Menekles did not appear before me, but Eirenias and Archelaos meeting me in Delos delivered a fine and generous decree in which you began by saying that I had from the start chosen the finest actions and had shown myself a common benefactor of the Greeks ; consequently I had undertaken many great struggles against the barbarians, 10 exercising all zeal and forethought that the inhabitants of the Greek cities might always dwell in peace and the utmost prosperity. By being indifferent [to the] coming danger and determining [to be zealous and ambitious] in what concerned the League, consistent with my father's policy, I had made clear on many occasions my attitude on these points. Publicly and privately I had had cordial relations with each of your cities and had joined in producing for each much glory 20 and honour. That had actively . . . my ambition to be of service and the gratitude of the League. In view of all this, in order that you might show that you always return fitting thanks to your benefactors, you have voted to crown us with a gold crown of valour, to set up a gold statue in whatever spot of Ionia I might choose, and to proclaim my honours in your common games and throughout the cities in the games held in each. You voted also [to greet me] in the name of the League 30 [and to congratulate me on] the health of myself and my relatives and on the satisfactory condition of my state, and to urge [me, seeing] the gratitude of the people, to take [proper] thought for those things by which the League of the Ionians [would be furthered] and would be always in the most flourishing [condition]. Thus in the future as well [I should receive] glory and honour.

[In accordance with] the contents of the decree your envoys also spoke with great enthusiasm declaring that the goodwill of the whole people 40 towards us was spontaneous and sincere.

The honours I accept kindly and having never failed, as far as it lay in [my] power, to confer always something of [glory and honour] jointly [upon you all] and individually upon your cities, I shall now try not to diverge from such a precedent. May things turn out in accordance with my wish , for so you will have my policy 50 demonstrated more clearly through the facts themselves. In order that for the future, by celebrating a day in my honour in the Panionian Festival, you may make the whole occasion more illustrious, I shall present you with an adequate income from which you will be able to remember us suitably. I shall myself [make] the gold statue, because I desire that the honour should cost the League nothing, and [I wish] to have it set up 60 in the precinct voted us by Miletos. Since it was when you were celebrating the festival in this city that you voted us the honour, and since this city only of the Ionians up to now has set aside a precinct for us, and since it counts itself our relation through the Kyzikenes and since it has done many glorious and memorable deeds for the Ionians, I thought that the erection of the statue would there be most suitable. In detail about my goodwill towards all of you jointly 70 and towards each individual city your envoys have heard and will report to you .   Farewell

letter 53


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