back

Translations of Hellenistic Inscriptions: 194


MELITE AND AKRAGAS HONOUR DEMETRIOS OF SYRACUSE

Greek text:   IGUR_1.3   ( IG 14.953 ) ; IGUR_1.2   ( IG 14.952 )
Provenance:     Rome
Date:   c. 100-50 B.C.
Format:   see key to translations

These two inscriptions were discovered on bronze tablets in the centre of Rome; no doubt Demetrios had some influence in Rome which enabled him to support the interests of the two states. Surprisingly, given that Malta did not have a long history of Greek culture, A was written in perfect Koine Greek, while B was written in a Doric dialect with a springling of errors.

A shows that the island of Malta followed normal Greek conventions for issuing decrees. There have been various different attempts to date it, all within the Hellenistic period; see A. Bonanno, "A friend in high places: Demetrios, son of Diodotos, the Syracusan" ( PDF ). There is French translation of B by L. Dubois, "Inscriptions grecques dialectales de Sicile: Contribution à l'étude du vocabulaire grec colonial", p. 215 ( Persée ).


[A]   Concerning the status of proxenos and benefactor for Demetrios of Syracuse, son of Diodotos, and his descendants.   When Hiketas, son of Hiketas, was officiating priest and Hēreas and Kotes were archons, it was resolved by the council and people of Melite: since Demetrios of Syracuse, 10 son of Diodotos, has been at all times well-disposed to our public affairs, and has often provided some advantage to each of the citizens, therefore with good fortune, it is resolved that Demetrios of Syracuse, son of Diodotos, shall be a proxenos and benefactor of the people of Melite, together with his descendants, 20 on account of his virtue and the goodwill that he continues to show to our people; and that this decree of proxeny shall be inscribed on two bronze tablets and one of them shall be given to Demetrios of Syracuse, son of Diodotos.

[B]   When Nympodoros son of Philon was officiating priest and deputy presiding officer {paraprostatas} of the council, in the presidency of the tribe of Hylleis, with Diokles son of Diokles as spokesman {proagoros} and Adranion son of Alexandros as secretary; decree of the sixth two-month period, on the very last day of Karneios; 10 it was resolved by the assembly as also by the senate of 110 members: since the envoys who went to Rome – Pasion son of Pasion the son of Kotes and Theodoros son of Theodoros the son of Xeniadas – have reported that Demetrios of Syracuse, the son of Diodotos, has provided many great services to our people and has been responsible for great benefits; and it is the ancestral custom of the Acragantines, handed down from our forefathers, to reward good men who defend the interests of our people with suitable honours; therefore, with good fortune and for the safety of the people of Akragas, it is resolved that Demetrios of Syracuse, the son of Diodotos, shall be a proxenos and benefactor, 20 so that it may be clear to everyone that the people of Akragas understands how to bestow suitable tokens of gratitude on those who choose to act as its benefactors. This decree shall be engraved on two bronze tablets, one of which shall be set up in the council house, and the other shall be given to Demetrios of Syracuse, the son of Diodotos, as a memorial of his goodwill towards the people; the treasurers shall supply whatever money is needed for the aforesaid items, and they shall ensure that payment is made via the accountants {apologoi}.   Agreed unanimously by the meeting.

inscription 195


Attalus' home page   |   05.09.20   |   Any comments?