items_xml

List of items (in order of publication in PHRC)



Description:
1: Dedication to King Ptolemy IV and Queen Arsinoe III, Sarapis and Isis, Ephesos
Region:
Time:
217-209 BC
Description:
[Bibl.Isiaca 2014, p. 7-10] 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 between the royal and the divine couple is consistent with the documentation about Ptolemy IV after his victory against Antiochos III at Raphia (217 BC). The fragments of the altar were subsequently reused in a house of the Roman period (Hanghaus 2), located N of the acropolis.
Description:
2: Dedication to Arsinoe Philaldelphos, Kaunos
Region:
Time:
270-240 BC
Description:
[I.Kaunos 54]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.
Description:
3: Dossier concerning the cultic honours for Queen Laodike at Sardis
Region:
Time:
Summer 213 BC
Description:
[SEG XXXIX 1284+1285] 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 Laodike and her husband, King Antiochos III, preceded by the head of the civic decree stipulating the inscription of these texts. The honours decreed for the queen, including the dedication of a sacred precinct, called Laodikeion, with an altar, and the celebration of an annual festival Laodikeia (probably on the occasion of the queen’s birthday), were part of the diplomatic attempt of the Sardians to negotiate with Antiochos the recovery of their city after the dramatic end of the rebellion of Achaios. During the celebration of the Laodikeia, the rituals would be accomplished to Zeus Genethlios for the safety of the king, queen and princes, a solution showing the intention of the Sardians to address the whole royal family with their initiative. The success of this diplomatic process is confirmed by Antiochos’ following letter, where the king grants more concessions to the city, including a tax exemption for the days of the Laodikeia, meant to ensure the success of the new festival.
Description:
4: Dedication of the Basilistai to Sarapis, Isis and Anubis, Thera
Region:
Time:
280-220 BC
Description:
[IG XII 3, 443] 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.
Description:
5: Dedication to Sarapis, Isis, and the Theoi Adelphoi, Kaunos
Region:
Time:
246-220 BC
Description:
[I.Kaunos 67] This small block of marble preserves 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.
Description:
6: Dedication to King Ptolemy II and Arsinoe Philadelphos, Thera
Region:
Time:
270-246 BC
Description:
[ZPE 200 (2016), p. 210] 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.
Description:
7: Dedication by the official Ptolemaios to Hermes, Herakles, Antiochos III, Soloi
Region:
Time:
197 BC
Description:
[OGIS 230] 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.
Description:
8: Decree of the city of Skepsis for Antigonos Monophthalmos
Region:
Time:
311/0 BC (?)
Description:
[OGIS 6] 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 Greeks by Antigonos in 315 BC. Such honours consisted of an annual festival comprising a sacrifice, a contest and a procession during which the citizens would wear crowns. The new honours completed the existing ones, by providing them with a specific setting integrated within the sacred topography of the city.
Description:
9: Dedication to Arsinoe Philadelphos Naias, Chytroi
Region:
Time:
270-240 BC
Description:
[Palma di Cesnola 1903, Vol. III, Pl. cxlvi, 5] 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.
Description:
10: Letter of the strategos Thraseas to the city of Arsinoe, with an appended decree of the city of Nagidos
Region:
Time:
245-221 BC
Description:
[Bencivenni 2003, p. 299-331, no. 10] 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 policy of Ptolemy III in the period soon after the 3rd Syrian War.
Description:
11: Decree of the city of Itanos honouring King Ptolemy III and Queen Berenike II
Region:
Time:
246-243 BC
Description:
[I.Cret. III iv 4] 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.
Description:
12: Oenochoe of King Ptolemy IV, Kourion
Region:
Time:
221-204 BC
Description:
[I.Kourion 75] 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.
Description:
13: Dedication to Arsinoe Philadelphos, Thera
Region:
Time:
270-240 BC
Description:
[IG XII 3 462] 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.
Description:
14: Dedication to Arsinoe Philadelphos, Nea Paphos
Region:
Time:
270-240 BC
Description:
[revised edition of RDAC 1998, p. 138 no. 4] 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.
Description:
15: Dedication of a nymphaeum to Ptolemy IV and Arsinoe III, Itanos
Region:
Time:
220-209 BC
Description:
[I.Cret. III iv 18] 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.
Description:
16: Dedication to Arsinoe Philadelphos, Paros
Region:
Time:
270-240 BC
Description:
[IG XII 5, 266] 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.
Description:
17: Dedication to Arsinoe Philadelphos, Paros
Region:
Time:
270-240 BC
Description:
[IG XII 5, 264] This block bears one of the three preserved genitive dedications to Arsinoe Philadelphos from Paros. It probably was inserted in a bigger structure, an altar or a wall.
Description:
18: Dedication to Attalos I, Pergamon
Region:
Time:
240-197 BC
Description:
[IvP I 44] 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.
Description:
19: Dedication to Attalos I, Herakleia near Latmos
Region:
Time:
230-197 BC
Description:
[OGIS 289] 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.
Description:
20: Dedication to Attalos I, Mamurt Kale (Pergamon)
Region:
Time:
240-197 BC
Description:
[MDAI(A) 33 (1908), p. 403-404, n° 32] 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.
Description:
21: Dedication to Attalos I, Pergamon
Region:
Time:
200-133 BC
Description:
[IvP I 43] 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.
Description:
22: Dedication to Attalos I, Pergamon
Region:
Time:
230-150 BC
Description:
[IvP I 45] 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.
Description:
23: Dedication to Attalos I, Pergamon
Region:
Time:
230-100 BC
Description:
[AvP XV 4, S21] This rectangular altar of Attalos I is one of the two found among the Byzantine structures that were built within the ruins of the ‘House with the Podiensaal’, a luxury peristyle house erected in the mid-2nd century and later used, with several changes, until the end of Antiquity. While theses specimens are per se not different from the other altars of the the cult of Attalos I Soter in Pergamon, their find spot is particularly intriguing as it could testify to the survival of the cult of this king after the end of the dynasty, when the house was in use.
Description:
24: Dedication to Attalos I, Pergamon
Region:
Time:
200-100 BC
Description:
[SEG XL 1134a] Found in a Byzantine wall near the so-called ‘cult room’ of a Hellenistic elite house on the southern slope of Pergamon, this rectangular altar might testify to the survival of the cult of Attalos I after the end of the dynasty. The writing of A with both a bowed and a broken crossbar further strengthens the hypothesis that this altar was dedicated after the death of Attalos I.
Description:
25: Dedication of the archiboukolos Herodes to Augustus, Pergamon
Region:
Time:
27 BC - 14 AD
Description:
[SEG XL 1136, slightly modified] 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 the title Augustus (Greek Sebastos) and the ‘corona civica’ and testifies to the contemporaneous enthusiasm for the pacification of Asia Minor under the early Principate. The altar, which was provided with a hollow top able to receive libations and perfume offerings, was part of the cultic tools of the association, which met in a luxury mansion erected on the south-western slope of the Pergamon hill, the so-called House with the ‘Podiensaal’. This dedication probably constitutes the manifesto of the strategy of the Boukoloi to venerate Dionysos Kathegemon, a deity traditionally related to the Attalid dynasty, together with the figure who personified the renewed monarchic power in Pergamon: the Roman Princeps. This strategy of self-promotion would pay back, since during the 1st and 2nd centuries AD, the Boukoloi would reach the top of the social hierarchy of Imperial Pergamon.
Description:
26: Dedication of the Bakchoi to Eumenes II, Pergamon
Region:
Time:
158-133 BC
Description:
[MDAI(A) 27 (1902), p. 94-95, no. 86] 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 appropriation by a private religious group of the official ideological link associating the Attalid dynasty with Dionysos. Moreover, the quality of the inscription as well as the use of the rare literary epiclesis Euastes for Dionysos confirm that the Bakchoi were members of the Pergamon elite, perhaps enjoying a direct link with the royal court and with its cultural and religious life.
Description:
27: Dedication to Eumenes II, Pergamon
Region:
Time:
184-159 BC
Description:
[MDAI(A) 27 (1902), p. 95-96, no. 87] This altar is decorated with a rosette surrounded by two bucranes and presents an inscription of good quality but with the uncommon detail of a cursive shape of omega, which may be interpreted as the influence of cursive writing on a private dedication. The stone was found in the neighbourhood of Gournellia, situated south-east of the hill of Pergamon, in an area which was not yet urbanized in the second century, so that the original location of the altar remains unknown. The chronological limits of the dedication are provided by the use of the epithet Soter (mid-180s) and by the death of Eumenes II (159/8), after which the king was referred to with the denomination Theos.
Description:
28: Dedication to Eumenes II, Pergamon
Region:
Time:
158-133 BC
Description:
[revised edition of IvP I 59] This marble block is what remains of a statue base which was dedicated to Eumenes II together with an altar of the king in the precinct of Athena. The stone was later reused in the Byzantine walls situated south of the sanctuary's terrace. The identification of the name of the recipient king (in lacuna) is made possible by the presence of the formula Theos Soter: this became a common denomination of Eumenes II after his death (158) whereas Attalos I was always referred to only with the epithet Soter.
Description:
289: Dedication of Dionysodoros to Attalos I, Pergamon
Region:
Time:
230-197 BC
Description:
[ZPE 82 (1990), p. 297-298] This marble block was the base of the statue of a dancing Satyr dedicated to Dionysos and King Attalos I by Dionysodoros, a top-ranking member of the Pergamon army and court. The finely inscribed dedicatory epigram testifies to the intellectual activity of the Pergamon court under Attalos I and to the role Dionysos played in it as a god of art, banquets, and of mystery cults. Found reused in the foundations of a late-Hellenistic or early-Imperial building not far from the Asklepieion, this stone and the statue it bore may have originally stood in a building along the Sacred Way connecting the city to the Asklepieion, or perhaps even inside the Asklepieion itself. The paleography and prosopography of the inscription point to the 220s as the most plausible date for the dedication.
Description:
30: Dedication to Arsinoe Philadelphos, Palaipaphos
Region:
Time:
270-240 BC
Description:
[I.Paphos 4] This plaque, now lost, contained the sole dedication to Arsinoe Philadelphos written on marble known from the Paphos area. Despite this material, which was rare and expensive in Cyprus, the inscription is of very poor quality and presents various examples of phonetic writing and spelling mistakes. The plaque was probably attached to a small altar or another cultic object dedicated by a private donor in the sanctuary of Aphrodite Paphia.
Description:
31: Dedication to Arsinoe Philadelphos, Palaipaphos
Region:
Time:
270-240 BC
Description:
[I.Paphos 5] This dedication to Arsinoe is written in three lines, regardless of the word ending, on a very irregular rectangular altar with a shallow depression on the upper surface. Such a small altar would serve to offer vegetables and perfumes to Arsinoe Philadelphos in the sanctuary of Aphrosite Paphia.
Description:
32: Dedication to Arsinoe Philadelphos, Palaipaphos
Region:
Time:
270-240 BC
Description:
[I.Paphos 6] This small quadrangular altar with cornices belongs to a type well documented in the dossier of dedications to Arsinoe Philadelphos in third-century Cyprus. It presents a relatively well executed inscription which distinguishes it from other specimens belonging to the sanctuary of Aphrodite Paphia at Palaipaphos.
Description:
33: Dedication to Arsinoe Philadelphos, Palaipaphos
Region:
Time:
270-240 BC
Description:
[I.Paphos 7, slightly modified] This limestone block with a roughly square front surface is what remains of a small rectangular altar of Arsinoe Philadelphos, of a type well known in Palaipaphos. The stone was then hammered to reduce it into a block to be used as building material. Thus, the anomalous profile of the upper part of the stone is not original, but the result of a later (modern?) intervention to fix the block into a wall.
Description:
34: Dedication to Arsinoe Philadelphos, Palaipaphos
Region:
Time:
270-240 BC
Description:
[I.Paphos 8] This large limestone block differs from the others inscribed objects of Arsinoe Philaldelphos in the Paphos area. Because of its size and shape it cannot be interpreted as an altar. On the contrary, comparison with other similar specimens from Cyprus (Yalousa) and Halikarnassos suggests that this block was either part of a wall or, more probably, a horos: a stone indicating the limits of an area consecrated to the cult of Arsinoe inside the sanctuary of Aphrodite at Palaipaphos.
Description:
35: Dedication to Arsinoe Philadelphos, Archimandrita (Palaipaphos)
Region:
Time:
270-240 BC
Description:
[I.Paphos 10] As other specimens from the Paphos area, this object is a small rectangular altar with a shallow depression on the top, probably used for vegetal offerings to Arsinoe Philadelphos. The find spot Archimandrita, about 7 km from the sanctuary of Aphrodite, is probably not the original place where the altar was used, but rather a secondary location where the stone was reused as building material or for decorative purposes.
Description:
36: Record of the dedication of a phiale for the festival Philadelpheia, Delos
Region:
Time:
240/39 BC
Description:
[I.Délos 298 A, lines 79-80] Delian inventories since 267 mention a phiale dedicated by Hermias, the nesiarch of the League of the Islanders, to Arsinoe Philadelphos, Apollo, Artemis, and Leto on the occasion of the festival Philadelpheia. This inventory is the only one adding King Ptolemy II as a further recipient of the offering. Since the phiale and the festival were financed by the yearly interests of Hermias' endowment, the nesiarch had founded the festival for the deceased and deified Arsinoe one year before, in 268, at the beginning of the Chremonidean War. His personal donation completed the set of cultic honours already granted by the League to Ptolemy I and Ptolemy II and reinforced the message of allegiance to Ptolemy II during the conflict against Antigonos Gonatas. It is possible, although uncertain, that the festival was related to the sanctuary Philadelpheion, which is documented in Delian inventories until the early 2nd century. The decline of Ptolemaic power in the Aegean in that period may have caused the end of the festival as well as a change of function of the sanctuary, possibly pointing to the identity between the old Philadelpheion and the sanctuary of Agathe Tyche, which is archaeologically identified near the Mount Kynthos.
Description:
37: Dedication to Arsinoe Philadelphos, Soloi
Region:
Time:
270-240 BC
Description:
[RDAC 1973, p. 212, no. 1] 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 with the sanctuary of Cholades, the acropolis of Soloi, where the documented cults of Aphrodite and Isis would provide a suitable cultic milieu for the celebration of rituals for the deified queen.
Description:
38: Dedication to Arsinoe Philadelphos, Delos
Region:
Time:
270-240 BC
Description:
[IG XI 4, 1303 (fac-simile)] Despite the use of marble (probably from a local quarry), the low quality of this dedication points to a domestic initiative or at any rate to a humble private dedication to Arsinoe Philaldephos. The original place of the dedication is unknown. If we assume that the altar or the other cultic structure to which the plaque was attached stood in a public space, various options are open, but the sanctuary Philadelpheion can be seen as the most plausible hypothesis.
Description:
39: Dedication to Arsinoe Philadelphos, Minoa (Amorgos)
Region:
Time:
270-240 BC
Description:
[IG XII 7, 263] This block, originally inserted in an altar or in another structure related to the cult of Arsinoe Philadelphos, bears one of the three known dedications to this deified queen from Minoa. The use of a prestigious material such as marble is counterbalanced by the odd division of the epiclesis in two lines, which is typical of low-quality dedications for Arsinoe.
Description:
40: Dedication to Arsinoe Philadelphos, Soloi-Mersinaki
Region:
Time:
270-240 BC
Description:
[Gjerstad et al. 1937, I, p. 621, no. 2] This marble slab contains a dedication to Arsinoe Philadelphos. Together with another dedication to Ptolemy V, this object testifies to the practice of Ptolemaic ruler cults in the sanctuary of Mersinaki, situated along the coast between the city of Soloi and the promontory of Vouni, and possibly dedicated to Apollo and Athena.
Description:
41: Dedication to Ptolemy V, Soloi-Mersinaki
Region:
Time:
199-180 BC
Description:
[Gjerstad et al. 1937, I, 622-623, no. 6] This small and irregular block of marble dedicated to Ptolemy V testifies to the cult of this king in the sanctuary of Soloi-Mersinaki. The very poor quality of the inscription is at first sight in contrast with the use of a prestigious material such as marble. However, this detail finds various parallels in the Aegean and Cypriot dossier of Ptolemaic ruler cults.
Description:
42: Dedication to Arsinoe Philadelphos, Soloi
Region:
Time:
270-240 BC
Description:
[RDAC 1966, p. 57-58, no. 3] This large, horizontal, and rectangular block bears a dedication to Arsinoe Philaldephos. The form and size of the stone as well as the position of the inscription upon it suggest that the block was inserted in a cultic structure or in a wall delimiting an area sacred to Arsinoe, which might have been located in the sanctuary of Cholades, the acropolis of Soloi. This location, however, remains hypothetical due to the lack of precise informaiton about the provenance of the stone.
Description:
43: Decree of the city of Iasos establishing cultic honours for King Antiochos III and Queen Laodike
Region:
Time:
196-194 BC
Description:
[Nafissi 2001, with a few changes and new readings] 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 by which poor girls of the city would be provided with a dowry to get married. The stele was probably erected in the area of the agora. The reasons for which the king and queen are praised as well as their ritual honours clearly mark a gender-related difference between the two benefactors. The king, who is celebrated for having liberated and protected the city, is honoured with an altar on which each year the new magistrates will sacrifice to the king together with the civic gods on the moment of receiving the city keys from their previous colleagues. Conversely, the honours of the queen pertain to the sphere of marriage. A priestess of Queen Aphrodite Laodike is created and her duties and privileges are described. A yearly festival is mentioned, taking place in the month Aphrodision, on the birthday of the queen. A severely damaged part of the text refers to the rituals that the men and women who are about to get married in Iasos are expected to accomplish to honour the benevolent queen.
Description:
44: Decree of a tribe of Iasos honouring King Antiochos III and Laodike, Iasos
Region:
Time:
196-194 BC
Description:
[Ma 2002, p. 335-336, no. 27] 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.
Description:
45: Dedication to King Ptolemy II (?), Herakleia near Latmos
Region:
Time:
270-240 BC
Description:
[Haussoullier 1899, p. 275, no. 1] 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 provinces of the Ptolemaic empire and was probably used to schedule public activities (religious or administrative) in an institutional or religious building, or perhaps in a gymnasium.
Description:
46: Dedication (fake?) to Queen Kleopatra VII, Salamis
Region:
Time:
47-42 BC
Description:
[Palma di Cesnola 1884, p. 189] This terracotta representation of Eros riding a rooster was dedicated to a queen Kleopatra whose identity is revealed by a Cypriot bronze coin of Kleopatra VII found together with the statuette. The rare iconography of the coin, which represents the queen suckling a baby Ptolemy XV Kaisarion in an attitude associating them with Isis and Horus (and possibly with Aphrodite and Eros), allows us to narrow down the chronological limits of the dedication to the early years after the birth of the son of Kleopatra and Caesar. However, various problematic details concerning the text and palaeography of the inscription, together with the notorious habit of the Cesnola brothers to enrich their collection of Cypriot antiquities with little scruple for the provenance of the purchased objets, do not allow to reject the hypothesis that the inscription is a modern fake intended to increase the commercial appeal of this otherwise trivial votive statuette.
Description:
47: Dedication to Arsinoe Philadelphos, Salamis
Region:
Time:
270-240 BC
Description:
[Palma di Cesnola 1884, p. 230] 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 Cyprus of the period Cypro-Archaic I (700-600 BC). If we exclude the possibility of a modern fake, the only possible interpretations are that an amphora of the archaic period was found and reused in the early Hellenistic period, or that an archaic type of decoration inspired the producer of the vase at the time of the diffusion of Arsinoe's cult. Be that as it may, this large amphora might have been used to stock edible goods for ritual offerings to the deified queen. Its size and rich decoration could suggest that the vase was part of the cultic tools of a priest or of an association rather than belonging to a domestic sphere.
Description:
48: Dedication to Arsinoe Philadelphos, Karpasia (?)
Region:
Time:
270-240 BC
Description:
[Perdrizet 1896, p. 359, no. 9] This stone constitutes the largest known support inscribed with a dedication for Arsinoe Philadelphos from the whole Mediterranean. The size and shape of the block suggest that it was not an altar, but rather an architectural element which may have functioned as a horos delimiting a sacred area dedicated to the cult of Arsinoe Philadelphos. The original setting of the stone is lost. It may have belonged to a public building, probably a sanctuary, situated near modern Gialousa in the Karpaz peninsula in NE Cyprus.
Description:
49: Dedication to Arsinoe Philadelphos, Philotera
Region:
Time:
261-240 BC
Description:
[ZPE 209 (2019), p. 181] This recently published limestone slab from Philoteria (See of Galilee) has provided the first evidence of the cult of Arsinoe Philadelphos in the Levant. This plaque shows that the close link between Arsinoe’s cult and navigation (for military or commercial purposes) did not only apply to the open sea, but could also find its place on the shore of an internal salt lake. The Zenon archive sheds light on the intense economic activities of Ptolemaic agents in the inland of Koile Syria in this period and it is probable that the dedication was made by one of these figures, making this object a significant case of the link between politics, trade, and acculturation within the Ptolemaic kingdom.
Description:
50: Dedication to Arsinoe Philadelphos, Eretria
Region:
Time:
270-240 BC
Description:
[SEG XL 763] 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 in the western neighbourhood of Eretria.
Description:
51: Dedication to King Ptolemy II and Arsinoe Philadelphos, Alexandria
Region:
Time:
270-246 BC
Description:
[I.Alex.Ptol. 7, with one difference for line 3] A dedication to King Ptolemy II and Arsinoe Philadelphos is written on both sides of an incense burner carved in the form of a miniature horned altar. The dedicatory formula provides a date between 270 and 246, when Ptolemy II ruled alone after Arsinoe II’s death and deification. The dedication made by a group of priests, without further indication of the deities they serverd, can be interpreted in two ways: either they dedicated the object in the santuary where they usually worked, or they did so during a visit. The style of writing and the presence of writing guidelines may suggest that these priests were Egyptians. It is tempting to assume that they dedicated the incense burner to the ruling couple when visiting the sanctuary of Arsinoe in Alexandria.
Description:
52: Dedication to King Ptolemy II and Arsinoe Philadelphos, Rhakotis, Alexandria
Region:
Time:
270-246 BC
Description:
[I.Musée d'Alexandrie 16] This altar of King Ptolemy II and Arsinoe Philadelphos, discovered on the hill of Rhakotis in Alexandria, is the biggest preserved altar of ruler cults from throughout the Ptolemaic empire. The dedicatory formula points to a date 270-246, while the reference to the dynastic predecessors as the Theoi Soteres (rather than simply Soteres) may further narrow the chronological limits down to the last years of Ptolemy II’s reign (c. 260-246). The altar was part of a small temple, which was later destroyed to leave space to Ptolemy III’s Serapeum. It is plausible that the Rhakotis hill already hosted a cult of Sarapis under Ptolemy II and that the ruling couple was honoured in a section of this shrine, which later underwent a major process of monumentalization on the initative of Euergetes.
Description:
53: Dedication to the Theoi Adelphoi, Zeus Olympios and Zeus Synomosios, Alexandria
Region:
Time:
243-211 BC
Description:
[Savvopoulos 2020, p. 85] This joint dedication to the Theoi Adelphoi, Zeus Olympios and Zeus Synomosios was made by two Alexandrian priests of Zeus in favour of the living royal couple, Ptolemy III and Berenike II (post quem 243/2 BC, suggested by the presence of the epiclesis Theoi Euergetai). The donors dedicated a plot of land and probably divided it into two sacred precincts hosting altars. Perhaps the Theoi Adelphoi shared each precinct with a different configuration of Zeus, or a temenos of the royal ancestors was established next to one of Zeus. The joint dedication and the spatial proximity it establishes between divine and human power were an effective solution to advertise the donors’ loyalty to the dynasty. The two epicleses of Zeus depict him as the king of gods and as the patron of oaths; since Ptolemaic subjects sworn oaths in the name of their rulers, the formulae adopted in the dedication establish an explicit parallelism between Zeus and the ruling house with regard to legitimate kingship and to the protection of legal authority and social order.
Description:
54: Foundation plaque of a shrine of Sarapis, Isis, Ptolemy IV and Arsinoe III, Alexandria
Region:
Time:
216/5-210/09 BC
Description:
[CPI I 23] This gold plaque inscribed with a bilingual dedication belongs to the foundation deposit of a sanctuary of the divine couple Sarapis and Isis and of the royal pair Ptolemy IV and Arsinoe III, in Alexandria. The temple was erected in a central location, along the major Canopic street, west of the city's agora, probably in the period between 216/5 (when the denomination Theoi Philopatores appear in the Greek documents) and 210/9, when dedications concerning the royal family start mentioning the prince Ptolemy (V). The anomalous dedicatory formula, which only mentions the recipients of cult without the name of the donor, has raised the question of whether the king or another agent was responsible for this initiative. A few phonetic details in the Greek text reveal the influence of the Egyptian language, thus supporting the hypothesis of a donor with an indigenous background but fully integrated within the social elite and culture of the Ptolemaic capital.
Description:
55: Dedication to Sarapis, Isis, the Nile, Ptolemy III and Berenike II, Kanopos
Region:
Time:
243-221 BC
Description:
[CPI I 94] This limestone plaque bears an elegantly written dedication by a citizen of Bargylia to the divine triad Sarapis, Isis, and Neilos together with the royal couple Ptolemy III and Berenike II, the Theoi Euergetai. The content of the dedication and the actual place where it was accomplished are unknown. Kanopos has delivered various inscriptions testifying to the interaction between Isiac deities and the royal house. As for PHRC 061, the addition of the river god Nile to the list of recipients suggests a possible link with the content of the Kanopos decree (238 BC), where the ruling couple is celebrated for having protected the population in a period of food shortage caused by an insufficient Nile flood, and for a calendar reform meant to reinstate the natural order of seasons. The presence of Neilos therefore evokes the role played by the Euergetai in protecting Egypt and the cosmic order, thus fulfilling the traditional duties of legitimate rulers.
Description:
56: Dedication to Aphrodite Akraia Arsinoe, Alexandria (Cape Zephyrion?)
Region:
Time:
125-75 BC
Description:
[SEG VIII 361] This plaque was originally part of an altar or of another cult structure dedicated to Aphrodite Akraia Arsinoe in the surroundings of Alexandria. The dedicatory formula does not allow to conclude whether the compound denomination points to one or two recipients; in the latter case, we should assume that the two denominations are connected without a conjunction. A common epithet of Aphrodite, Akraia evokes a cult place situated on a high location, probably to be identified with the promontory (‘akra’) of Cape Zephyrion, where Arsinoe received a shrine associating her with Aphrodite. Moreover, in the Macedonian dialect, this adjective was used of young girls having reached their wedding age. All these aspects fit the cult prerogatives of Arsinoe, who was worshipped as a patroness of young virgins. It is therefore possible that the donors were a couple honouring Aphrodite Akraia (and?) Arsinoe soon before or after their marriage.
Description:
57: Dedication to Isis Arsinoe Philadelphos, Kanopos
Region:
Time:
270-240 BC
Description:
[CPI I 91] This dedication from Kanopos (ca 270-240 BC) was probably part of an altar of an another cult structure. Its text is particular in at least two respects. Firstly, it provides a rare case where an individual agent accomplished a dedication to a Ptolemaic ruler (in the dative) for (hyper) himself and his family. Secondly, the most convincing integration of the lacuna at the beginning of the text delivers the compound denomination Isis Arsinoe Philadelphos. While the link between Isis and Arsinoe is a well-known aspect of the cult for this queen, in Greek compound denominations Arsinoe’s name usually precedes that of the goddess. This detail may point to an Egyptian cultic context and the sanctuary of Isis and Anubis in Kanopos is a plausible candidate for the original place of the dedication.
Description:
58: Dedication to Hestia Pantheos, Ptolemy III and Berenike II, Alexandria
Region:
Time:
216/5-210/9 BC
Description:
[Dechevez 2021] The unknown author of this dedication consecrated two precincts with altars to a set of deities and deceased Ptolemies, on behalf of the living rulers Ptolemy IV and Arsinoe III. A first cult place was dedicated to a deity (probably Zeus) bearing the epithet Pantheos, together with Ptolemy III and Berenike II, who exceptionally hold two epicleses: the traditional Theoi Euergetai and the unique Theoi Eusebeis. The second precinct is dedicated to Hestia Pantheos. Various phonetic and linguistic details point to a donor with an Egyptian background. The fact that a unique Egyptian term translated both Greek expressions Euergetai (the Beneficent ones) and Eusebeis (the Pious ones) is used to highlight the topic of royal piety and euergetism towards temples and gods. The choice of Hestia (and Zeus) together with the epiclesis Pantheos also suggest that the donor wanted to evoke the divine couple Isis/Sarapis and stress the omnipotence of both the deities and Ptolemaic rulers.
Description:
59: Dedication to Arsinoe Thea Philadelphos, Lower Egypt (Alexandria ?)
Region:
Time:
270-240 BC
Description:
[SEG LXI 1538] This dedication to Arsinoe Thea Philadelphos is written on an incense burner carved in the form of a miniature horned altar. A similar object was found in Alexandria (PHRC 051), but another provenance from the Delta or Fayum is also possible for this specimen. The addition of the term Thea to the common denomination Arsinoe Philadelphos is a rare feature only attested by a few dedications in Egypt. The small size may point to a context of househols religion, but we cannot exclude that the altar was used during a journey or was dedicated in a sanctuary.
Description:
60: Decree of the villages of Neon Teichos and Kiddiou Kome for Achaios and his collaborators (Lykos Valley)
Region:
Time:
267 BC
Description:
[IK Laodikeia am Lykos 1] This marble stele contains a decree of two villages in the Lykos valley honouring Achaios the Elder and two of his collaborators for protecting the local population and ransoming prisoners during a conflict with Galatian tribes. While not a secessionist, Achaios received honours positioning him very close to the prestige of kings: he was called Soter, just as Antiochos I, and received a yearly sacrifice of an ox in a sanctuary of Zeus, whereas his collaborators were referred to as Euergetai and honoured with the yearly sacrifice of one ram each in a sanctuary of Apollo. The use of different types of sacrificial animals to express a hierarchical relationship between the recipients of cult is unique in the documentation concerning ritual honours for political leaders. Another interesting detail is the choice of Zeus and Apollo, two prominent figures in the Seleucid royal pantheon: this feature once again strengthens the ideal connection between Achaios’ status and the royal house.
Description:
61: Dedication to Sarapis, Isis, Neilos, Ptolemy III and Berenike II, Kanopos
Region:
Time:
243-221 BC
Description:
[CPI I 93] This limestone plaque bears an elegantly written dedication by a private donor to the divine triad Sarapis, Isis, and Neilos together with the royal couple Ptolemy III and Berenike II, the Theoi Euergetai. The content of the dedication and the actual place where it was accomplished are unknown. Kanopos has delivered various inscriptions testifying to the interaction between Isiac deities and the royal house. As for PHRC 055, the addition of the river god Nile to the list of recipients suggests a possible link with the content of the Kanopos decree (238 BC), where the ruling couple is celebrated for having protected the population in a period of food shortage caused by an insufficient Nile flood, and for a calendar reform meant to reinstate the natural order of seasons. The presence of Neilos therefore evokes the role played by the Euergetai in protecting Egypt and the cosmic order, thus fulfilling the traditional duties of legitimate rulers.



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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
ste.caneva@gmail.com
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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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