Translations of Hellenistic Inscriptions: 15


Greek text:   IG_11.4.1054 , SEG_3.666
Provenance:   Delos
Date:   c. 230-220 B.C.
Tags:     pirates ,   slaves ,   women
Format:   see key to translations

Delos had one of the most important slave-markets in the Hellenistic world, and clearly there was no objection to pirates bringing their captives there to be sold; see P. de Souza, "Piracy in the Graeco-Roman World", pp.61-62 ( Google Books ). There is some doubt as to whether, by restoring the captives, Semos was seeking honours (as provided by this decree) or profit - in other words whether he was paid a large ransom for returning the women.

[A]   Gods. [Decision] of the presidents. [It was resolved by the council and people] : since Semos [of Delos], son of Kosmiades, [bought out of] the booty, which came [from the pirate] raid, our female citizens E.... daughter of . . . , [the wife] of Melanthios, and Menias daughter of Aithon of . . ., [the wife] of Eudoros son of Melanthios; [and when he learned that the] women are citizens of Theangela, [from a distinguished family], he looked after them with great [restraint] and honour, and took care of them in a manner appropriate for free women, [and raised their children] along with his own children . . . and he undertook . . . and going as envoy to (?) us . . .

[B]   . . . he bought . . . therefore, so that the people [may be seen] to render suitable thanks to its benefactors who do good to us, it is resolved to praise Semos on account of his virtue and his goodwill towards the people of Theangela; and that he shall be a proxenos of the city; and to grant citizenship to him, sharing in all the privileges that the other citizens of Theangela share in; and to allot him to a tribe; and that these rights shall belong to him and to his descendants; and that his name shall be inscribed on the stele where the other citizens and benefactors of the city are inscribed; and that men shall be chosen to deliver the decree to the Delians and to ask them to provide a place in the temple where we may set up a stone stele, on which we will inscribe this decree, so that there may be a memorial of the kindness of Semos, and of the gratitude of the people towards its benefactors.

There were six hundred and twenty votes in favour. He was allotted and assigned to . . . The following were chosen as envoys: Pausanias son of Theodotos, Thrason . . .

inscription 16

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