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 Attalos’ reign and the beginning of Eumenes II’s.

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Photo 1: Drawing of the inscription, IvP I 45
Photo 2: Sanctuary of Demeter; via Wikimedia Commons...

PHRC021 : Dedication of Apollodoros to Attalos I, Pergamon - Mysia (197-133 BC) Dedication


This particularly thin rectangular altar was probably erected in the Upper Agora of Pergamon, possibly in relation to one of the sacred (Zeus’ sanctuary) or administrative buildings in the western (nomophylakion) and eastern part of the agora. The writing is irregular and characterized by a shape of A with broken crossbar which suggests a date in the 2nd cent. and therefore a posthumous cult. The donor had only his personal name inscribed, without the name of the father and the function, a solution which finds parallels in contexts where the author of a dedication was easily recognisable by the members of a community. Considering the sacred and administrative functions of the buildings in the agora, Artemidoros might therefore have been a priest or a magistrate of Pergamon.

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 Attalos and made the king a synnaos theos of the goddess. It was big enough to possibly host small animal sacrifices besides libations and censing rituals.

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Photo 1: Photo of the altar; photo R. Rohrer ©D-DAI-ATH-Pergamon-1448, courtesy of the Deutsche Archäologische Institut (DAI)
Photo 2: Detail of the inscription; photo R. Rohrer ©D-DAI-ATH-Pergamon-1449, courtesy of the Deutsche Archäologische Institut (DAI)

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. Already reused as a tombstone in Antiquity, the altar was discovered among the blocks of a stone wall near the Bafa Lake. It makes the pair with another block which can be interpreted as a statue basis of Attalos I. Both inscriptions probably date to the 230s, when Attalos I managed to temporarily impose Pergamon as a regional power in Asia Minor.

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Photo 1 : A section of the Hellenistic walls of Herakleia; photo J. Hansen via...

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 in a niche. This altar was found during the excavation of the theatre, a paramount location for the life of Pergamon since not only spectacles but also assemblies were held there. A dedication during the reign of Attalos I is plausible, in particular after the military successes by which he obtained the royal title and the epithet Soter.

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Photo 1: Photo of the altar, from Bielfeldt 2010, p. 155, fig. 15
Photo 2:...

PHRC017 : Dedication to Arsinoe Philadelphos, Paros - Cyclades (270-240 BC) Dedication


This block bears one of the three preserved genitive dedications to Arsinoe Philadelphos from Paros. It was probably inserted in a bigger structure, an altar or a wall.

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PHRC016 : Dedication to Arsinoe Philadelphos, Paros - Cyclades (270-240 BC) Dedication


This small but relatively thick slab of local stone has delivered one of the three genitive dedications to Arsinoe Philaldephos discovered on Paros. The poor quality of this specimen is revealed by the use of both sides for the same text: the carver probably started writing the dedication on one side but was unsatisfied with his work (perhaps because of a careless spacing between letters), left this side unfinished and wrote the text on the other surface. The stone was probably part of a small altar.

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Photo 1: Drawing of the stone...

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, begins to be mentioned after his parents. The text bears the first explicit attestation of the Ptolemaic garrison at Itanos.

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Photo 1: the stone; Herakleion Museum, Inv. No. 64, copyrighted image. Courtesy of the Greek Ministry of Culture and Sports, Department of Antiquities
Photo 2: view of the southern bay of Itanos (Ptolemaic harbour) from the estern acropolis (S. Caneva, CC-BY-SA 4.0)...

PHRC014 : Dedication to Arsinoe Philadelphos, Nea Paphos - Cyprus (270-240 BC) Dedication


This dedication to Arsinoe Philadelphos is inscribed on a small cylindrical altar, a common support for the cults of the Ptolemies in Cyprus. Among the inscribed dedications to Arsinoe found in the Paphos area, this is the sole specimen having been discovered in the new city, during the excavations of the Roman Orpheus House. The altar bears the same dedication on both sides. The text on the first side has remained unfinished: it was abandoned probably due to a mistake of the carver in the spacing between letters; the same dedication was then fully inscribed on the opposite side of the shaft.

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Photo 1: view of the site of the Orpheus House, Maloutena (S. Caneva, CC-BY-SA 0.4)
Photeo 2: plan of the archaeological...

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 and hosted the ritual activities of the Basilistai. The stone might have been part of a larger structure (possibly an altar), or perhaps was inserted into one of the numerous rock-cut niches of the sanctuary, to indicate the function of an area specifically dedicated to the cult of the deified queen.

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Photo 1: detail of the inscription, from IG XII 3 462
Photo2: view of the sanctuary (S. Caneva, CC-BY-SA 4.0)...

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 rather than Alexandrian production. Wine-pouring vessels with royal dedications were used in Ptolemaic ruler cults and were often included among the grave goods of their users. This was probably the case for this specimen too.

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Photo 1: photo of the vase, from Burr Thompson 1973, fig. 141
Photo 2: detail of the inscription, from Burr Thompson 1973, p. 171...

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 for his euergetic and protective attitude toward the city, in continuity with his ancestors' policy. The cultic honours decreed by Itanos comprise the dedication of a sacred precinct of the royal couple in a park near a city gate and the celebration of a festival for the king's birthday.

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Photo 1: Photo of the stone; Herakleion Museum, Inv. No. 65, copyrighted image. Courtesy of the Greek Ministry of Culture and Sports,...

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 Ptolemaic colonies – a particularly common practice during the period of the Chremonidean War – could raise in the life of local communities. The stele was erected inside the temenos of Arsinoe, which must also be the place where the inhabitants of this Ptolemaic settlement celebrated their most important public festival, a sacrifice to the Theoi Adelphoi. The text also refers to ritual honours for the living royal couple and can be understood at best against the background of the international...

PHRC009 : Dedication of a statue to Arsinoe Philadelphos Naias, Chytroi - Cyprus (270-240 BC) Dedication


The text accompanies the dedication of a statue to the deified queen Arsinoe Philadelphos, here associated with a local nymph, by an Alexandrian citizen. The statue was probably erected near the temple of Aphrodite Paphia, NW of the acropolis of Chytroi, and in the surroundings of a spring. The connection with water is a common feature of the cult of Arsinoe in Cyprus. The choice of marble, unavailable on the island, and the high quality of the inscription suggest that the donor was a member of the Ptolemaic elite.

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Photo 1: photo of the stone, from Palma di Cesnola 1903, Vol. III, Pl. cxlvi, 5
Photo 2: photo of the stone, from the Metropolitan Museum online...

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 other honours for him, his sons and his messenger Akios. Such initiative was a direct response to the announcement of the peace signed by Antigonos, Cassander, Ptolemy and Lysimachos, bringing the 4th Diadoch War to an end (311/0 BC). Despite being the earliest known inscription mentioning cultic honours decreed by a Greek city for a successor of Alexander, the decree was meant to augment some already existing ritual honours, probably introduced soon after the declaration of the freedom of the...

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, reveal that the dedication was made in the gymnasium; the king appeared as the third addressee, a point confirming the importance of gymnasia as places where the legitimacy of royal power was shaped and transmitted to the young generations of citizens.

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Photo 1: Photo 1: photo of the stone, from Amandry et al. 1972, p. 110, fig. 11...

PHRC006 : Dedication to Ptolemy II and Arsinoe Philadelphos in Thera - Cyclades (270-246 BC) Dedication


This cylindrical altar, which was found reused in a later house, sheds light on the practice of Ptolemaic ruler cult in Thera at the time of Ptolemy II. The donor probably belonged to the elite of Ptolemaic Thera and the decision to have his name and patronymic carved on the altar suggests that his dedication was not meant for domestic use, as usually argued, but belonged in a public or semi-private context, perhaps the seat of the Basilistai or of another religious association involved in the practice of cultic honours for the Ptolemies.

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Photo 1: squeeze of the stone, from IG XII 3 1387
Photo 2: plan of the "House of Pothitos", with indication of findspot of the altar; from Hiller von Gaertringen 1904, p. 140...

PHRC005 : Dedication to Sarapis, Isis, and the Theoi Adelphoi, Kaunos - Karia (246-220 BC) Dedication


The inscription contains a joint dedication to Sarapis, Isis and the Theoi Adelphoi by an agent whose identity is lost. The object, probably belonging to an altar erected in the local sanctuary of the Egyptian gods, was dedicated after the donor had received a divine order, through an oracle or a dream. The material (marble) may point to the initiative of a wealthy agent, perhaps a member of the Ptolemaic elite. The dedication most probably dates to the reign of Ptolemy III.

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Photo 1: view of the area hosting the sanctuary of the Egyptian gods, from Held - Winkeling-Aumann 2017...

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 between the spread of Egyptian and royal cults in the Aegean areas subjected to the Ptolemaic empire in the third century. The association was probably composed of members of the Ptolemaic garrison.

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Photo 1: drawing of the offertory-box, from Hiller von Gaertringen 1899, p. 260
Photo 2: detail of the inscription, drawing, from IG XII 3 443
Photo 3: the sanctuary of the Egyptian deities, with the niche for the...

PHRC002 : Dedication to Arsinoe Philadelphos, Kaunos - Karia (270-240 BC) Dedication


The block was part of a structure dedicated to Arsinoe Philadelphos, probably an altar. The original location is unknown. Two possible options are Aphrodite's sanctuary near the harbour, or the temple of the Egyptian gods, which hosted another dedication to the queen as a member of the ruling couple of the Theoi Adelphoi.

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