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 not only involved in the rituals, but actively establishes and regulates them. The text stipulates the accomplishment of a libation accompanied by a prayer for the wellbeing of the royal family. Other ritual activities mentioned in a fragmentary part of the text possibly took place on an altar of the tribe.

Current location



Object Type: Stele
Damaged at the right top, broken on the right side and down. The lower part of the stone showed signs of reworking to fit it into another structure.
Material: Grey marble


No information available about the layout and letters.


Original Place: Iasos
Date: Between 196 and 194 BC
Justification: See Commentary to PHRC043.
Provenance: Discovered and copied on an evening of autumn 1955 near the Eastern Gate of Iasos, probably in context of reuse. The discoverers only had time to make a squeeze of the stone in bad light conditions.


Text constituted from: Ma 2002, p. 335-336, no. 27.

Other editions: Levi - Pugliese-Carratelli 1961/2, p. 578, no. 5; Blümel, IK Iasos I 5. New readings in Robert 1963, p. 308 (on lines 7-12); Sokolowski 1972, p. 175-176; Piejko 1983, p. 205 (SEG XXXIII 865).

See also: Kotsidu 2000, no. 285 [E], reproducing the text of IK Iasos 5.


Further bibliography: on the Iasian tribes, Fabiani 2010 and Fabiani 2017; see also J. and L. Robert, Bull. Ép. 71, no. 621, p. 508 and PHRC043 on the political history and cults at Iasos at the time of Antiochos III. On prayers for the well-being of a king, see Caneva 2020b.

Online record:


αι τὴν σπονδοφ[ορίαν 16?................]
ἐπεύχεσθαι δὲ τοὺς φυλέτας [πάντα γίν] -
εσθαι τἀγαθὰ βασιλεῖ τε μεγάλωι [ντιόχωι]
καὶ βασιλίσσηι Λαοδίκηι καὶ τοῖς τ[έκνοις]
5 καὶ τῆι πόλει· ἀναγράψαι δὲ καὶ τ [ψήφισμα τό] -
δε ἐν τῶι ἐπιφανεστάτωι τόπω[ι 9?......... ἵ] -
να ἥ τε τοῦ βασιλέως εὔνοια [11?...........]
καὶ ἡ τῆς φυλῆς ὑπὲρ τῆς π[όλεως εὐχαριστία]
ἀείμνηστος διαμένηι τ[15?...............]
10 βωμοῦ ἵνα τῶι τε μεγ[θει 9?......... κατα] -
σκευασθῆι πρὸς γ[19?...................]
ληΐδος· ὁμοίω[ς δὲ καὶ 14?.............. ψηφ] -
ίσματος γ[22?...................... τὸ δὲ]
νάλω[μα] δοῦναι [20?....................]
15 ονγ[29?.............................]


Lines 11/12: [βασι]|ληΐδος Levi - Pugliese-Carratelli; [Ἡρακ]|ληΐδος Robert 1963


(Based on Ma 2002, with adaptations)
[...] the offering of libations [... (it seemed good)] also to have the members of the tribe pray [for all] the advantages to happen to the Great King Antiochos and to Queen Laodike, to their ch[ildren] and to the city; to inscribe this [decree] on the most eminent place [...] so that the goodwill of the king [...] and the [gratitude] of the tribe on behalf of the city should remain remembered for ever, [...] of the altar; and so that to the great[ness ... be er]ected next to [... of the tribe Herak?]leis; and likewise, [... of the de]cree [...] give out the money for the expenditure [...].


(S. Caneva)
[...] l'offerta di libagioni [... (è stato deciso)] inoltre che i membri della tribù preghino perché [ogni] bene si realizzi per il Gran Re Antiochos, la Regina Laodike, i loro figli e la città. Si iscriva il presente [decreto] nel luogo più prestigioso [...] affiché la buona disposizione del re [...] e la [gratitudine] della tribù in nome della città restino fissate nella memoria per sempre, [...] dell'altare. Affinché inoltre la grand[ezza ... sia e]retto presso [... della tribù Erac?]leide. E similmente, [... del de]creto [...] mettere a disposizione il denaro per la spesa [...].


(L. Lorenzon)
[…] offrande de libations [… (il a été décidé)] aussi que les membres de la tribu prient pour que [tous] les avantages échoient au Grand Roi Antiochos, à la Reine Laodice, à leurs [enfants] et à la cité. Que l’on inscrive ce [décret] dans le lieu le plus prestigieux […] afin que la bienveillance du roi […] et la [gratitude] de la tribu au nom de la cité laissent un souvenir éternel […] de l'autel […]. Afin que pour la grand[eur … qu'on in]stalle près de […]. De la même manière [… du dé]cret […] que […] fournissent l'argent pour la dépense […].


This fragmentary decree completes the dossier of ritual honours of the city of Iasos for Antiochos III and his wife Laodike (cf. PHRC043) shedding light on the initiative of one of the city tribes (on the 5 phylai of Iasos at the time of Antiochos’ conquest, see Fabiani 2010 and 2017). The tribe, whose name originally appeared at lines 11-12 (see the integration [Herak]leis, suggested by Robert 1963), decreed the celebration of libations accompanied by a prayer for the wellbeing of the king, the queen and their children (for a similar but more detailed prayer, see e.g. IvP I 246, decree of Pergamon for Attalos III, with the commentary of Caneva 2020b; on the topic of family unity in the court ideology of Antiochos III, see commentary to PHRC003). The fragmentary second part of the decree probably added some other ritual actions taking place on an altar. This could be either an existing altar used by the phyle for its offerings to the traditional gods, or a new cultic structure established on the occasion and specifically belonging to the cult of the royal couple. In the second decree of Teos for Antiochos III and Laodike, the partitions of the population, called symmoriai, added to their altar a new one of King Antiochos and Queen Laodike (SEG XLI 1003 II, lines 9-23). It is tempting to surmise that in our decree too, the passage of lines 10/11, [κατα]|σκευασθῆι πρός γ[ ...], followed by the name of the phyle, refers to the construction of a new cultic facility to be added to an existing one.

This decree and that from Teos are not the only documents attesting to the participation of the official demographic partitions of a city in the celebration of ritual honours for euergetic rulers. In addition to the sacrifices accomplished by the Pergamene tribes during the welcome ceremony of Attalos III in the above-mentioned decree IvP I 246, one can recall the role of the phylarchs in the organization of the cultic honours for Seleukos I at Ilion ( IK Ilion 31, lines 16-18). What makes our document different is that it was directly conceived and approved by the institutions of the phyle, who accordingly expressed their gratitude to the royal family “in the name of the city” (line 8). A closer parallel is therefore provided by a decree of the Attic demos of Rhamnous establishing cultic honours for Antigonos Gonatas sometime after 255 BC ( SEG XLI 75).

The Iasian tribe decided to publish the decree “in the most conspicuous place” of this territory. Which type of place was chosen for this purpose remains impossible to determine. Similarly, the preserved text does not allow us to understand whether the established ceremonies were meant to be celebrated on a civic festival or on another date; the second option would serve the purpose of stressing the autonomous initiative of the tribe. Comparison with the document from Rhamnous, where the rituals were attached to the local festival Nemesia, would suggest that at Iasos too, the institution issuing the decree decided to embed the new rituals in the specific calendar of the tribe.

S. Caneva, L. Lorenzon, 30.10.2018

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Travocial - Social Travel & Storytelling Practicalities of Hellenistic Ruler Cults
Marie Curie PISCOPIA project no. PISC14IGRU, University of Padova (2015-2017)
FNRS project no. 98368 (2017-2020)
Stefano Caneva
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The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Commission, Seventh Framework Programme, under Grant Agreement n° 600376 (2015-2017), and from the Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique (FNRS), Belgium (2017-2020).
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