Royal Correspondence: 15


Greek text:   Erythrai_37   ( OGIS_223 )
Date:      c. 270-255 B.C.

This letter was written either late in the reign of Antiochos I, or early in the reign of Antiochos II. For some comments on the relationship between the king and the city, see R. Strootman, "Hellenistic_Court_Society", pp.68-69 ( PDF ).

There is another translation of the inscription in M.M. Austin, "The Hellenistic World from Alexander to the Roman Conquest", no.170 ( Google Books ).

King Antiochos to the council and the people of Erythrai, greeting .   Tharsynon and Pythes and Bottas, your envoys, delivered to us the decree by which you voted our honours and the wreath with which you crowned us, and gave us likewise the gold intended as a present. Having discoursed on the goodwill which you have always felt toward our house and on the gratitude which your people entertain toward all its benefactors generally, and likewise on the esteem which your city enjoyed under the former kings, they asked with all earnestness and zeal that we should be friendly to you and should aid in advancing the city's interests in all that refers to glory and honour. We have then accepted in a friendly spirit the honours and the wreath and the present also, and we praise you for being grateful in all things for you seem generally to pursue this as your policy. We have therefore from the beginning entertained goodwill toward you, seeing that you act sincerely and honestly in all matters, and we are now even more attracted to you, recognising your nobility from many other things and to no small extent from the decree which has been delivered to us and from the words of the envoys. Since Tharsynon and Pythes and Bottas have shown that under Alexandros and Antigonos your city was autonomous and tax-free, while our ancestors were always zealous on its behalf ; since we see that their policy was just and since we ourselves wish not to lag behind in conferring favours, we shall help you to maintain your autonomy and we grant you exemption not only from other taxes but even from contributions to the Gallic fund. You shall have also [ . . . and] any other benefit which we may think of or [you ask for]. We summon you also, remembering that [we have always] tried earnestly . . . goodwill as is just and . . . consistent with your previous actions . . . that you will remember suitably those [by whom] you have been benefitted. [More about these matters and] the other questions which we discussed [will be reported to you by your] envoys, whom [we praise for their conduct] in general and especially for the concern they have shown [for the interests of your people].   Farewell.

letter 16

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