Translations of Hellenistic Inscriptions: 124


Greek text:   IG_9.1².583
Provenance:     Olympia , Pelopponese
Date:   c. 216 B.C.
Tags:     games+festivals ,   leagues ,   slaves ,   taxation
Format:   see key to translations

This inscription, which was discovered at Olympia, is usually dated to about 216 B.C., on the assumption that line 11 refers to the Social War of 220-217 B.C.; Acarnania is known to have suffered badly during that war ( Polyb_4.30'3 ).   The inscription shows the importance attached to festivals in Hellenistic times; and it also provides some information about the organisation of the local Acarnanian League - see K.Freitag in "Federalism in Greek Antiquity" pp.82-3 ( Google Books ).

With good fortune. When Diogenes son of Leon was general of the Acarnanians, and Echedamos son of Mnasilochos was hipparch, and Athenogenes son of Diogenes was admiral - all of them from Leukas - and Simon of Phokrea, the son of Euarchos, was secretary to the council and Phaiax of Leukas, the son of Echemenes, was secretary to the magistrates, and Nikias of Koronta, the son of Mnason, was president of the mnamones; since Diogenes the general and the other magistrates have come to us and they have reported that it happens that the city of Anaktorion is completely unable to hold the festival of Aktiadai, because it was previously in a wretched state 10 when Acarnania was encompassed by great wars; and it is fitting and entirely honourable for the nation, now that its affairs have reached the best condition, to promote even more its piety towards the divinity, and to consider in what way, with the temple of Aktian Apollo being a common sanctuary of the Akarnanians, all the due rites may be celebrated for the god; and it was decided by the Acarnanians to send envoys to the city of Anaktorion about Aktion - the magistrates of the league and the following men with them:

When, in accordance with the instructions given to them, they asked the Anaktorians to concede that the temple is the common sanctuary of all the Acarnanians, so that suitable care may be taken to conduct the games and the festival according to ancestral custom, the Anaktorians agreed on these conditions: that the Acarnanians shall repair the temple and spend as much money as is necessary for the games and the sacrifices and the festival, making them in no way inferior to what was previously managed by the city; 30 the payment of the flute-players shall be arranged, as is resolved by the Acarnanians; out of the 2% tax and all the other dues that are collected during the festival, and the other income arising from the sale of slaves, half shall belong to the Acarnanians, and the other half shall belong to the city of Anaktorion; there shall be four 2% tax collectors from each party, and an equal number of secretaries; there shall be one agoranomos from the Acarnanians, and one from the city; the sacred money of Aktian Apollo and the offerings that belonged to the Anaktorians before the agreement was made, shall continue to be their own property, but the offerings dedicated after this shall belong to the Acarnanians; the Heleneion and . . . furnished in the precinct shall belong to the city of Anaktorion, 40 and the encampments of the cities and nations shall remain as they were originally; a procession shall be held first . . . the Anaktorians . . . and to let their hair grow long; the Anaktorians shall control the harbours and all the other revenues except the taxes that arise from the actual festival at Aktion; the league of Acarnanians shall hold the games at Aktion in every year, unless it becomes impossible due to war or due to the presence of an allied army; if something of this sort happens, or if for some other reason the Acarnanians and the city of Anaktorion in consultation decide that it is not possible, the festival shall be performed in Anaktorion, just as the Anaktorians held it; 50 if the Acarnanians do not hold the festival as prescribed, the temple shall belong to the Anaktorians just as it was originally and the treasures that have been dedicated to the god shall remain there.

Therefore it is resolved by the council and the league of the Acarnanians to praise the city of Anaktorion and to enhance the temple of Aktian Apollo, as the magistrates requested and the city conceded, giving thank-offerings for the successes that have happened to the nation, so that the populace of the Acarnanians may be seen to behave piously towards the gods at all times, and to deal with its kinsmen and friends in a good manner, worthy of its ancestors. The money that the Acarnanians set aside for the repair of the temple shall not be spent by the treasurers or the magistrates for any other purpose 60 except for the repair of the temple and offerings to the god. This decree and the agreements recorded in it shall be recorded on steles, with the consent of those appointed by the Acarnanians:

and those appointed by the city of Anaktorion:

One of the steles shall be set up at Aktion, and the other shall be set up at Olympia; money for the expense of this shall be given from the funds of the league. In the games and the festival and in general concerning matters at the Aktiadai, the Acarnanians shall use the sacred laws that were accepted by the city of Anaktorion, 70 as amended by those appointed by each party. What is recorded on the stele shall be binding, and none of what is inscribed shall be revoked, either by a law or by a decree. If anyone proposes a decree or a law, or in any other way tries to annul what has been agreed, then in the case of a city, they shall pay a fine of five hundred minas and in the case of a private citizen, they shall be put to death after being judged in the law-court; and the law and the decree shall be invalid. It shall be possible to amend the sacred laws, when the time for legislation comes, as long as they do not ordain anything contrary to what is written on the stele . . .

inscription 125

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