In Pergamon the Phrygian god Sabazios was associated with the Greek god Zeus, although elsewhere he was more often identified as Dionysos. Athenaios had already been appointed priest of Zeus Sabazios by king Attalos II, but in this letter Attalos III sought to give the cult of the god a more formal status in Pergamon - as shown by his instruction that the regulations for the cult should be included in the city laws.
King Attalos to the council and the people of Pergamon, greetings. Since queen Stratonike my mother, the most pious of all women and exceeding in love for my father and for me, was reverently inclined towards all the gods and especially towards Zeus Sabazios, whom she brought as an ancestral divinity into our native city, and whom, as he was our comrade and helper in many deeds and many dangers, we decided because of his manifestations of divine power to enshrine him in the temple of Athena Nikephoros. This we thought would be a place suitable and worthy of him, and we gave orders accordingly about the sacrifices and processions and mysteries which are to be held for him before the city at the proper times and places. We have also created for him a hereditary priest, my Athenaios, who exceeds in piety and excellence and in constant faith towards us. In order, therefore, that the honours of the gods and the grants made to Athenaios may remain immovable and unchanged forever, we decided that the ordinances written by us be entered in your sacred laws.
Year 4, Dios 4; Lytos delivered the letter from Pergamon.
→ letter 68
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