Royal Correspondence: 3


Greek text:   Teos_59   ( Syll_344 )
Date:     c. 303 B.C.
Tags:     synoecism

This letter shows that Antigonos planned to impose synoecism on the cities of Teos and Lebedos, but the plans were abandoned after this death; see H.S. Lund, "Lysimachus: A Study in Early Hellenistic Kingship", p. 117 ( Google Books ).

A few changes have been made to the translation, following the learned commentary on sections F and G by P. Egetenmeier, "Prozessrechtliche Überlegungen zum geplanten Synoikismos zwischen Teos und Lebedos" ( PDF ).   There is another English translation of the inscription in M.M. Austin, "The Hellenistic World from Alexander to the Roman Conquest", no. 48 ( Google Books ). 

[A]   . . . [whoever] is sent to the Panionion, we thought it best that he should [perform all the] common ceremonies for an equal period and should bivouac and attend the festival with [your envoys] and be called Tean.

[B]   We thought it best that a building lot [be given] to each of the [Lebedians] in your city equal to that which he leaves in Lebedos . Until the new houses are built, houses [are to be furnished to all] the Lebedians without charge : if the present city remains , one-[third of the] existing houses ; if it is necessary to tear down the present city, half of the existing houses [are to be left], and of these one-third are to be given [to the Lebedians] and you are to have two-thirds ; if a certain part of the city is torn down and the remaining houses [are enough] to receive both you and the Lebedians, 10 the third part [of these] are to be given to the Lebedians ; if the remaining houses are not enough to receive both you [and the Lebedians], enough of the houses which will be torn down are to be left, [and when] enough houses [have been completed] in the new city, then the houses which [were left] may be demolished, [as far as] they lie outside the walls of the city. [All the Lebedians] are to build houses on their lots within three years ; otherwise the [lots] are to become city property. [We thought] it right that the roofs of the houses be given to the Lebedians, a quarter of the total number each year for four years, [so that] the houses [may be finished as soon as possible].

[C]   [We thought] it right that a place be assigned the Lebedians where they may bury their [dead ].

[D]   We thought it right that [whatever] the city of Lebedos owes [at interest] be met from the common [revenues each year], 20 and that these debts [be assumed] by your city on the conditions under which the Lebedians [owe] them.

[E]   As to the proxenoi of the city of Lebedos or those benefactors who possess [citizenship] or some other grant or honor from the Lebedians, we thought it right [that they have the same among] you, and that their names be inscribed within a year in the place where your proxenoi [and benefactors are] inscribed .

[F]   As to the suits based on injury {enklēmata} or breach of contract {symbolaia} [now standing] in either city, we thought it right that the litigants be reconciled or the cases adjudged separately [according to the] laws [of that city] and according to our decree, within two years from the time when [this response] is published. As to those suits which you have against the Lebedians or the Lebedians have [against you, that both make] an agreement, and put the agreement in writing, and if any objection is raised [against the] agreement that a decision be given by the arbiter city within six months ; that the arbiter [city be] Mitylene, as both have agreed. 30 [We think it best] that the committee charged with drawing up this instrument should write the other terms as they may choose, but as we hear that the suits over contracts {synallagmata} and over injuries are [so numerous] that if they were judged according to the law ], even without interruption , no one would be able to wait for the end - for up to now [it does not appear that any progress] has been made with these nor have the contracts been executed because the suits have [long] remained [unadjudicated] - and if the interest accumulates [from year to year no one] would be able to pay it. We think it best for the committee to provide, if [the debtors pay] of their own accord, that they pay no more than double the value [of the capital], and if they go to court and are adjudged liable, that they pay three times its value.

[G]   Whenever the agreement [is ratified], we think it right that the suits be filed and judged within a year. That any one who does not file his suit [or have it judged] in the time set, 40 if the courts are sitting , should no longer have the right to file it or [to have it judged. If any] of your citizens or of the Lebedians is not in the city during the prescribed period, that it should be possible to serve a summons upon him [in his absence] before the magistrates' office and before his house, notifying the [magistrate (?) that the summons was made] in the presence of two responsible witnesses.

[H]   We thought it right that in the future [penalties] be paid [and received according to] whatever laws you may think are fair to both cities . [That each city appoint] as a committee to draw up the laws three men , [incorruptable], not younger than forty years , and let the men chosen swear to draw up such laws as [they think] are the best and which will benefit the city. After they have taken the oath, [let them draw up what] laws [they think] will be fair to both cities and let them submit them within [six months]. We thought it right that anyone else who wished might draw up and submit a law. That those of the laws [submitted] be put into practice which the committee may agree upon and the people ratify, 50 [and that those which are protested] be sent to us so that we may either decide about them [or designate a city] to do so ; that there be sent also the [laws] which are agreed upon and that it be indicated which were submitted by the committee and [which were submitted by others , so that] if anyone has obviously drawn up a law not for the best but [inappropriately], we may charge him with it and may punish him. That this be done within a year . [Until this code of] laws should have been drawn up, your envoys thought it best [to use the laws] of your city, [but those from] Lebedos asked permission to send for and [ to use ] those from some other city. [Since] we thought it fairer to send for [ laws ] from another city [we directed] both parties to name the city whose laws they wished to use, and as both agreed to use the laws of Kos 60 we decided that this should be done, [and we have requested the Koans] to give you the laws to copy. We think [it best] that three men [be appointed] as soon as this answer is read, and that they be sent [to Kos in] three [days] to copy the laws ; that those who are sent [shall bring back the] laws sealed with the Koan seal in [thirty] days ; that when the laws [are brought back] you and the Lebedians shall elect the new officials [within] ten [days].

[I]   As to those men who have been choregos or trierarch or have performed another [ liturgy in ] either city , we think it best that they no longer [be liable to the same liturgy]. The envoys of the Lebedians [asked] that they be relieved of [the liturgies] for such time as the synoecism is in process. We think it best , if all of you remain [in the old city], 70 that the Lebedians should be immune from the liturgies for three years . [If any of you] move into the peninsula that they also should be immune for the [same period , and that those whose] houses are not moved { torn down ? } should assume the liturgies.

[J]   The envoys of the [Lebedians] said [that it was necessary] to set aside from the revenues [one thousand] four hundred gold staters for the supply [of grain , so that] any one who wished, taking this money against security , [might import grain into the] city and sell it throughout the year whenever he wished, and that [at the end of the year] he should return the money to the city, both the capital and the interest at the rate [at which he took it. When they particularly requested us] to order that this be done now so that there might be [a sufficient quantity] of grain [in the city] - for you could not produce enough your envoys expressed [their approval but asked] that more money be appropriated as the synoecism [was being completed] and the population was becoming [larger] as you moved into one city. 80 Previously we were un[willing] that [any] city should undertake the importation of grain or maintain a subsidised grain-supply, [for we were not willing to have the] cities spend for this purpose large sums of money unnecessarily ; we did not [wish] even now to give this permission, for the crown [land] is near [and if a need] of grain arose, we think there could easily be brought from [there whatever] one wished. Our anxiety on this point was due [to a desire] to serve the [cities], since you and everyone else [knows that there is] no private profit [for us] in the business, but we maintain the regulation [in the hope that] the cities may become free of debt. Seeing [that as far as lies in our power] we have made you free and autonomous in other respects, [we thought] to exercise care over your debts also 90 that they might be paid off as soon as possible. [As , however], this plan for the supply of grain seems [advantageous], we think it best, in order that we may [omit] nothing [which is just] and advantageous to your people, that the [grain-supply] be established as the Lebedian envoys said, believing that there should be provided against security at the most one thousand [four hundred] gold staters.

[K]   That the import and export of all [grains] be declared [in the portico of the] market, so that if it should not pay any persons to bring the grain into the [market and thence to] export it, they may have the right to export directly, paying the duty on what is declared [in the market]. As to what villages or farms there may be outside [the city], we think it best that each man be ordered to register [the amount of grain] he wishes to export directly from the land, 100 so that he may do so having made declaration [ to the agoranomos and ] paid the duty.

[L]   Your envoys [and those from the] Lebedians asked that three men be appointed from each city to frame any regulations furthering the synoecism [which may have been omitted. It seems to us desirable] that the men be appointed within thirty days [of the time when this answer] is read, and that the committee draw up any measure which has been omitted [by us]. That of their provisions those [are to be valid] which are agreed upon by both cities, and that the disputed points are to be referred to us within the two following months, [so that] we may hear [both sides] and decide as we think [is best] for both.

letter 4

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