The PHRC digital library

Uncovering the ritual and social aspects of cultic honours for human beings Until now, the study of cultic honours for Hellenistic political leaders and benefactors has mainly focused on the ideological and diplomatic features of the phenomenon. The project "Practicalities of Hellenistic Ruler Cults...


How it works

This page is meant to provide users with a brief guide to find their way in the PHRC digital library. The active map A quick method to browse the PHRC material is to zoom in on the active map based on OpenStreetMap. Depending on the available information, the precision of the coordinates associated ...


PHRC012 : Oenochoe of King Ptolemy IV, Kourion - Cyprus (221-204 BC) Dedication

This is the only extant specimen of the Ptolemaic oenochoae from Cyprus and the sole which does not depict the traditional ritual scene including a female figure performing a libation, the agyieus pillar, and an altar with akroteria. The particular features of this jug reasonably point to a local ra...


Bibliography

    A         Agelidis 2001 = S. Agelidis, “Kulte und Heiligtümer in Pergamon”, in R. Grüßinger, V. Kästner, A. Scholl (eds), Pergamon. Panorama der antiken Metropole, Berlin 2011, p. 174-183.AGRW = R.A. Ascough, Ph.A. Harland, J.S. Kloppenborg (eds), Associations in the Greco-Roman World: An Expand...


Introducing the beta version of PHRC

Dear readers, We are happy to announce the release of the beta version of the PHRC website (PHRC 0.1).The project The Practicalities of Hellenistic Ruler Cults is a project focusing on the ritual and social aspects of cultic honours for human beings (rulers and benefactors) in the Hellenistic Greek...


PHRC010 : Letter of the strategos Thraseas to the city of Arsinoe, with an appended decree of the city of Nagidos - Kilikia (245-221 BC) Letter

This stele contains a letter of the strategos of Kilikia Thraseas to the city of Arsinoe together with a decree of the nearby city of Nagidos concerning a negotiated agreement between the two cities. The dossier is of particular interest as it sheds light on the issues that the foundation of new Pto...


PHRC013 : Dedication to Arsinoe Philadelphos, Thera - Ciclades (270-240 BC) Dedication

The block, which bears a well carved dedication to Arsinoe Philadelphos, was found in a context of reuse during the excavations at the temple of Apollo Pythios. It probably originally belonged to the nearby sanctuary of the Egyptian deities, which was frequented by members of the Ptolemaic garrison ...


PHRC003 : Dossier concerning the cultic honours for Queen Laodike at Sardis - Lydia (Summer 213 BC) Decree

The dossier concerning the establishment and regulation of the cultic honours for Queen Laodike at Sardis was elegantly carved on marble blocks in the monumental vestibule of the temple of the Great Mother, the Metroon. The remaining documentation consists of two royal letters, respectively from Lao...


PHRC008 : Decree of the city of Skepsis for Antigonos Monophthalmos - Troas (311/0 BC) Decree

This fragmentary stele, once erected within the sanctuary of Athena on the acropolis of the city of Skepsis (Kurşunlu Tepe), preserves a decree by which the civic institutions voted the dedication of a sacred enclosure containing an altar and a cult statue to Antigonos Monophthalmos, together with o...


PHRC020 : Dedication of the priestess Metris to Attalos I, Mamurt Kale (Pergamon) - Mysia (240-197 BC) Dedication

This altar was dedicated by a priestess in the sanctuary of the Mother of the gods in Mamurt Kale, on the top of the mount Yund Dağ situated about 30 kilometers SE of Pergamon. The altar, the biggest among the specimens of Attalid ruler cults at Pergamon, was probably erected during the reign of Att...


PHRC037 : Dedication to Arsinoe Philadelphos, Soloi - Cyprus (270-240 BC) Dedication

This small sandstone plaque shows a particularly low quality of execution, which combined with the use of lunar sigma in the inscription (a common example of the influence of cursive writing) points to a private dedication to Arsinoe Philadelphos. It would be tempting to associate this dedication wi...


New release of texts (nos. 17-42)

Dear PHRC readers,We are happy to launch today the second set of texts (nos. 17-42) of the PHRC collection. The new documents concern Ptolemaic and Attalid ruler cults in Asia Minor, the Aegan Islands, and Cyprus. With this new release we are adding a new type of text (no. 36, a fragment of a Delian...


PHRC047 : Dedication to Arsinoe Philadelphos, Salamis - Cyprus (270-240 BC) Dedication

This amphora is the sole vase inscribed with a dedication for Arsinoe Philadelphos apart from the Alexandrian oinochoai of Ptolemaic ruler cult. The difficulty in interpreting this object stems from the fact that because of its decoration, the amphora closely resembles funerary amphoras from Eastern...


Reflections on a new article on the link between divine names and cult places

Dear PHRC readers,We would like to draw your attention to a review paper recently published by the research team of the ERC project Mapping Ancient Polytheisms (based in Toulouse) on the Mediterranean Historical Review:Mapping ancient gods: naming and embodiment beyond “anthropomorphism”. A survey o...


PHRC's first birthday! Launch of PHRC 0.2 and new release of texts

Dear PHRC readers,We are happy to celebrate the first year of the PHRC website by reaching 50 published texts and by announcing some improvements we have brought to the platform, which enters now its PHRC 0.2 phase, as well as some novelties for the new year! 1) Digital development: Introducing PHRC...


PHRC043 : Decree of the city of Iasos establishing cultic honours for King Antiochos III and Queen Laodike - Karia (196-194 BC) Decree

The decree of the city of Iasos honouring Antiochos III and his Laodike was inscribed underneath the text of a letter of the queen granting a donation to the city. This endowment was meant to provide poor girls with a dowry when they got married. The stele was probably erected in the area of the ago...


PHRC044 : Decree of a tribe of Iasos honouring King Antiochos III and Laodike, Iasos - Karia (196-194 BC) Decree

This fragmentary decree was issued by a tribe of Iasos to honour Antiochos III and Laodike. Various Hellenistic documents attest to the participation of demographic sub-partitions of a polis in the celebration of civic honours for rulers, but this specimen provides a rare case whereby the tribe is n...


PHRC001 : Dedication to King Ptolemy IV and Queen Arsinoe III, Sarapis and Isis, Ephesos - Ionia (217-209 BC) Dedication

The inscription belongs to a marble cylindrical altar dedicated to King Ptolemy IV, Queen Arsinoe III, Sarapis and Isis by the Ptolemaic garrison, which occupied the acropolis at Ephesos. The altar was probably part of a sanctuary of the Egyptian gods established by the garrison. The strong link bet...


PHRC004 : Dedication of the Basilistai to Sarapis, Isis and Anubis, Thera - Cyclades (280-220 BC) Dedication

This offertory-box (thesauros) was dedicated in the mid-third century to the divine triad Sarapis, Isis and Anubis by a certain Diokles and the association of the Basilistai. The sanctuary has delivered other contemporaneous traces of Ptolemaic ruler cult, confirming the close link which existed bet...


PHRC007 : Dedication by the official Ptolemaios to Hermes, Herakles, Antiochos III, Soloi - Kilikia (197 BC) Dedication

The inscription, perhaps originally belonging to a statue base of Antiochos III, is a dedication made by the Seleucid governor and high priest of Koile Syria and Kilikia, Ptolemaios son of Thraseas, right after the conquest of Soloi by Antiochos III. The divine recipients, Hermes and Herakles, revea...


PHRC015 : Dedication of a nymphaeum to Ptolemy IV and Arsinoe III, Itanos - Crete (220-209 BC) Dedication

The inscription records the dedication of a nymphaeum, together with its reservoir, to King Ptolemy IV and Queen Arsinoe III, by the commander of the Ptolemaic garrison at Itanos, a Roman called Lucius. The dedication was made before 209 BC, when the son of the royal couple, the future Ptolemy V, be...


PHRC011 : Decree of the city of Itanos honouring King Ptolemy III and Queen Berenike II - Crete (246-243 BC) Decree

The text, elegantly written on a stele of local limestone erected in the sanctuary of Athena Polias, is a decree of the city of Itanos establishing cultic honours for king Ptolemy III and queen Berenike II. The absence of the epiclesis Euergetes suggests a date before 243/2 BC. The king is praised f...


PHRC018 : Dedication to Attalos I, Pergamon - Mysia (240-197 BC) Dedication

This finely inscribed and decorated altar is the only marble specimen from the Pergamon corpus of small altars of Attalos I Soter. Like the other small altars of the Attalid ruler cult from Pergamon, the rough back surface and its proportions suggest that it was meant to be placed against a wall or ...


PHRC019 : Dedication to Attalos I, Herakleia near Latmos - Karia (240-197 BC) Dedication

Herakleia near Latmos is the only city in Asia Minor besides Pergamon having delivered small objects with a dedication to Attalos I. This fragmentary altar, probably made with local marble, bears a text showing clear signs of cursive writing, which may point to a private context of dedication. Alrea...


PHRC022 : Dedication to Attalos I, Pergamon - Mysia (200-150 BC) Dedication

This fragmentary rectangular altar of Attalos I was dedicated inside the precinct of Demeter on the southern slope of the Pergamon hill. It was probably used for libations and the burning of perfumes. The paleographic detail of A with bowed crossbar suggests a date of dedication between the end of A...


PHRC025 : Dedication of the archiboukolos Herodes to Augustus, Pergamon - Mysia (27 BC - 14 AD) Dedication

This altar, decorated with an oak wreath, a Capricorn and a cornucopia, was dedicated to Augustus by the leader of the Boukoloi (‘Cowherds), a private cultic association venerating Dionysos Kathegemon in Pergamon. The dedication was probably accomplished soon after the Roman Senate granted Octavian ...


PHRC026 : Dedication of the Bakchoi to Eumenes II, Pergamon - Mysia (158-133 BC) Dedication

This finely inscribed altar was posthumously dedicated to Eumenes II by the cultic association of the Bakchoi. Its original location was probably the precinct of Athena on the acropolis, a prominent space for the royal representation and identity of the Attalids. The inscription testifies to the app...


PHRC045 : Dedication to King Ptolemy II (?), Herakleia near Latmos - Karia (270-240 BC) Dedication

This conical sundail was crafted by an Alexandrian technician and dedicated to King Ptolemy II (or perhaps to Ptolemy III in the early years of his reign), by a donor who probably was an important citizen of Herakleia. It tesifies to the export of technological know-how from Alexandria to the provin...


PHRC050 : Dedication to Arsinoe Philadelphos, Eretria - Euboea (270-240 BC) Dedication

This small plaque is the only specimen of dedication for Arsinoe Philadelphos from Euboea and from the western coast of the Aegean Sea. It probably belonged to a small altar used for the household cult of the deified queen, as suggested by its find spot which is situated within a Hellenistic house i...