Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum: 42.1065


Greek text:   SEG_42.1065
Provenance:     Kolophon , Ionia
Date:   c. 200-150 B.C
Tags:   oracles
Format:   see key to translations

The temple of Apollo at Klaros near Kolophon had an important oracle, and as this inscription shows, a foreigner could be appointed to be director of the oracle. Menophilos is described as a 'chresmologos'; the meaning of this term is discussed by M. Flower, "The Seer in Ancient Greece", pp.60-65 ( Google Books ).

The inscription was published with a French translation by J. & L. Robert, "Décret de Colophon pour un chresmologue de Smyrne appelé à diriger l'oracle de Claros" ( Persée ).

When Herokles was prytanis, on the tenth day of the month Kronion, it was resolved by the council and the people, as recommended by the presidents: since Menophilos of Smyrna, the son of Philetairos, the chrēsmologos was summoned to be director of the oracle firstly by means of an oracular response of the god Apollo, guide {kathēgemōn} and saviour of the city, and secondly by the esteem and eagerness of the people, on account of their piety towards the gods and their good and just attitude towards men; on the one hand [he exercised] his presidency in a [dignified] manner 10 , as was appropriate for the eminent renown of the oracle among men, and on the other hand he conducted himself as befitted his own sanctity; and he shows himself worthy of the confidence of the god, of the honourable feelings of the people, and of the good opinion of those who come here with a view to obtaining the counsel of the god; and also since, on account of their piety towards the oracle and the honourable feelings of noble men, it is fitting for the Colophonians to make their own good attitude evident to all, thereforewith good fortune 20 it is resolved that Menophilos of Smyrna, the son of Philetairos, shall be praised by the council and the people for the excellence of his life and for his supervision of the oracle, and that he shall be crowned with a golden crown, and that the award of the crown shall be proclaimed at the Dionysia and at the great Klaria, and the proclamation shall always be made by the agonothetes and the prytanis when they proclaim the other awards ofcrowns; and the proclamation shall be as follows: 30 the people crowns Menophilos, son of Philetairos, the prophet of the god, on account of his piety towards the gods; and that he shall also have privileged seating at all the games that the city celebrates; and that he shall also be granted citizenship on an equal and similar basis with all the Kolophonians; and that this decree be inscribed by the treasurer Posideos on a marble stele and it shall be set up in the temple of Apollo on the right of those who enter the triple gate, next to the doorpost. 40 This was put to the vote in the assembly of the people according to the law. There were two thousand voters; they gave their approval unanimously.

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