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Translations of Hellenistic Inscriptions: 131


LAW CONCERNING THE CULT OF SARAPIS AND ISIS

Greek text:   Priene_118   ( I.Priene 195 )
Date:   c. 200 B.C.
Format:   see key to translations

This sacred law from Priene shows how Greek cities tried to regulate religious cults which came from abroad. In this case, there were Greek officials - a neopoiēs and a priest - but it was also necessary to employ an Egyptian to ensure that the rituals were performed correctly.   The translation is adapted from E.Stavrianopoulou, "Ensuring Ritual Competence. A Negotiable Matter: Religious Specialist" ( academia.edu ).

For another translation of this inscription, with commentary, see CGRN_157 .



. . . [to Sarapis and Isis] and the gods that [(?) share their temple] on the twentieth day [of the month of Apatourion] . . . four drachmas . . . and for sacrificing to Sarapis [and Isis] each year in the month of Apatourion two [drachmas]. The priest shall sacrifice two of the chicks prescribed to Sarapis . . . 10 and Isis, [and shall place them on] the altar. He shall also carry out the other [sacrifices] for Sarapis and Isis and the gods that [(?) share their temple], and the torchlight procession dedicated to Isis, as [is proper]. The priest shall also [provide the oil prescribed] for the torchlight procession, in sufficient quantity for the two lamps to the extent of one talent each. [The priest shall] sacrifice to Apis at the times prescribed . . . The neopoiēs shall put from the [portion] that has been reserved a tetarteus of barley and two tetarteis of wheat . . . of bronze seven obols. 20 [The neopoiēs] shall also order the Egyptian who is to carry out the [sacrifice in the manner of those versed in this]. No person not versed in these things shall be permitted [to carry out the sacrifice] for the goddess, excepting only the priest. If anyone not versed in these things should [carry out the sacrifice], he shall be fined a thousand drachmas and he shall be charged [before the] magistrates. 30 [The priest] shall receive a portion of honour from the [victims] that have been sacrificed and the libation of wine . . . and of the altars that have been adorned, and from the altars that the people [adorns it shall be given] to those who are possessed by the god. The priest [shall receive] the dues from the neopoiēs, and the (?) money that is stipulated in the decree [about the (?) collection] that [happens] on the twentieth day in the month of Apatourion . . . and (?) 5 choes of wine shall be reserved for him . . . and the priest shall [receive] also from the . . . he shall purify [the] temple with a chick . . . What [comes] from the treasury [shall be given by the] priest to the gods . . .

inscription 132


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