Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum: 58.370


Greek text: SEG_58.370
Provenance:   Messene , Pelopponnese
Date:   180-170 B.C.
Tags:     arbitration ,   leagues
Format:   see key to translations

In 183 B.C. Messene seceded from the Achaean League, but was forced to rejoin in the following year; this inscription shows that subsequently some neighbouring cities sought to take over parts of Messene's territory.   Adapted from the translation by Ilias Arnaoutoglou, "Dispute Settlement between Poleis-Members of the Achaean League. A New Source" ( Dike, 2010 - ). There is another English translation by N.Luraghi & A.Magnetto, "Messene and Megalopolis" ( Chiron, 2012 - ). For the context of the inscription in respect to Megalopolis, see the thesis by E. Close, "Megalopolis and the Achaian koinon", pp. 127-37 ( PDF ).

Decree {of Messene}.

Since, when the Achaeans occupied Endania and Pylana and our city was restored into the [Achaean] League, the Megalopolitans at first wanted to deprive [us], through the Achaeans, of the cities and of the entire land of [Endania] and Pylana, [(?) which they asked] from the Achaeans, and the Achaeans instructed the Megalopolitans that the land should not be removed from the Messenians; and again, . . . in the meeting at Elis the Megalopolitans wanted arbitration to be made concerning the lands disputed earlier, and also concerning the land of Endania and Pylana, to which proposal we have consented and opted to be judged by the leaders {hagemones}, a suggestion which has been agreed by the Megalopolitans - the leaders being:

- and when we had inscribed all the eevidence about these affairs on steles, the Megalopolitans presented their suggested boundaries for the land of Endania and Pylana and Akreiatis and Bipeiatis to Apollonidas the general; and we presented our suggested boundaries, which included the proofs that the region from the river Neda to Kleola belonged to us. And while the arbitrators sat in the Karneiasion, we presented the suggested boundaries and demonstrated the area of the territory belonging to both sides; and the discussion in the Karneiasion lasted for [(?) three] days, with the use of a water-clock. The Megalopolitans decided to abstain from contesting the lands of [Akreiatis] and Bipeiatis, but the inhabitants of Kallia did [not] cease from opposing us. The inhabitants of Kallia, having chosen a different tribunal, again to be judged . . . towards us, and we . . . to the inhabitants of Kallia [and Megalopolis] about the lands of Akreiatis [and Bipeiatis], we had agreed to choose [the city] of Aigion [as the arbitrators] and speeches [were] made by the Megalopolitans . . . [(?) claiming] that Akreiatis and Bipeiatis belonged to Arkadia. On the other hand, we claimed that they belong to Messenia. Out of 147 arbitrators, the inhabitants of Kallia and Megalopolis got 7 votes, while 140 voted for us; and they have decided that the region of Akreiatis and Bipeiatis belong to Messenia, according to the boundaries which we presented to the federal damiorgoi.

Later, when we had brought a civil suit against the Megalopolitans about the produce of this land claiming compensation of twice a talent, since they did not surrender the produce that they had received in trust; despite the tribunal's decision about the land, the Megalopolitans submitted another challenge and asked us to choose a tribunal for the land of Akreia, as if the case had not been decided. The federal damiorgoi accepted the challenge of the Megalopolitans and imposed a fine on us, because we did not participate in the selection of the tribunal to judge the case; but after presenting the case to a tribunal of Milesian judges, we won by a unanimous decision of the arbitrators, as the dispute with the Megalopolitans for this land had already been decided, as well as for Bipeiatis. Therefore, in order that there may be a memorial in future times of the judgment on the land of Akreiatis and Bipeiatis that we have won against the Megalopolitans, and of the cancellation of the fine imposed by the damiorgoi that we have won, it is resolved by the people to inscribe in the temple of the goddess Messana on a pediment next to the council house, where the knights stand as well, the challenge presented by the Megalopolitans with the fine imposed by the damiorgoi when Ainetidas was archon, and the decision of the Milesian arbitrators - Bion, Babon, Aischros, Heragoras, Philiskos and Artemon - as well as this decree.

Attalus' home page   |   10.02.16   |   Any comments?