Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum: 57.1838


Greek text:   SEG_57.1838
Provenance:   Marisa , Judaea
Date:     178 B.C.
Tags:     friends_of_kings ,   royal_letters
Format:   see key to translations

This inscription, which was discovered at Maresha in Israel, was first published in 2007 and 2009; it provides some new information about Heliodoros, who according to 2 Maccabees attempted to rob the temple in Jerusalem. The translation is derived from H.Cotton & M.Wörrle (ZPE,2007), D.Gera (ZPE, 2009 - revised in 2014), and C.P.Jones (ZPE,2009).

Another inscription has recently been found, containing a similar letter, sent by Heliodoros to Byblos and dated 26 Gorpiaios ( SEG 65.1640 ).

[A] Dorymenes to Diophanes greetings. The copy of the letter handed over to us by Heliodoros who is in charge of the affairs is enclosed. You will do well therefore if you take care that everything is carried out according to the instructions.   Year 134, 22nd day of Gorpiaios

[B] Heliodoros to Dorymenes his brother greetings. The copy of the order by the king concerning Olympiodoros handed over to us is placed below. You will do well therefore if you follow the instructions. Year 134, (?) 23rd day of Gorpiaios

[C] King Seleukos to Heliodoros his brother greetings. Taking the utmost consideration for the safety of our subjects, and thinking it to be of the greatest good for the affairs in our realm when those living in our kingdom manage their lives without fear, and at the same time realising that nothing can enjoy its fitting prosperity without the good will of the gods, from the outset we have made it our concern to ensure that the sanctuaries founded in the other satrapies receive the traditional honours with the care befitting them. But since the affairs in Koile Syria and Phoenicia stand in need of appointing someone to take care of these things, [D] we thought that Olympiodoros will preside prudently over the orderly conduct of (?) associations, [he, who] has demonstrated his loyalty to us because of his attitude, from times gone by, as he had been raised with us and had gained for himself the best disposition in all things, he was, on the one hand, appointed chamberlain with reason, because he has proven himself worthy due to his longstanding loyalty, while on the other hand, he was justifiably introduced into the ranks of the first friends because of his love for us, having made the most assiduous demonstrations of loyalty while in such a [rank], and following the way that we are inclined to [increase] the honour of the gods in accordance with the [attitude] of our ancestors and the care of the temples in which we believed from [time gone by] . . .

[E] . . . you will do well [to take care that he is entered in] the contracts, as is fitting, and that a copy [of the letter] is engraved on a stele [to be set up in the most] conspicuous of [temples] in these [places] . . .

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