Sylloge Inscriptionum Graecarum: 679


Greek text:   Magnesia_104 ,   Magnesia_121 ,   Magnesia_123 ,   Magnesia_46 ,   Magnesia_153   ( I.Magn. 93 )
Date:     190-140 B.C.
Tags:     arbitration ,   freedom ,   Roman_letters
Format:   see key to translations

Following their normal policy, the Roman senate referred this territorial dispute between Magnesia and Priene to arbitration by an independent Greek state, in this case Mylasa. The arbitrators decided in favour of the Magnesians, who jubilantly recorded the decision in this long inscription. For the background to the dispute, see S.L.Ager, "Interstate Arbitrations in the Greek World, 337-90 B.C.", no. 120 ( Google Books ).

The translation of part B, the letter of M.Aemilius, is adapted from A.Johnson, P.Coleman-Norton & F.Bourne, "Ancient Roman Statutes", no.38 ( Google Books ).   There is an Italian translation of the entire inscription by F.Camia, "Roma e le poleis", no. 7 ( PDF ).

[A]   . . . occupying the land, so that the arbitrators may judge according to the [laws] of the Mylasans [and] they may establish [boundaries]; and [Marcus Aemilius] the praetor of the Romans wrote to us, that we should receive a judgement, and to the city of Mylasa, [that they should send] a panel of arbitrators; and when we sent some noble men to the Mylasans, to ask for the panel of arbitrators, the Mylasans, acting in accordance with their [own] noble conduct, and wishing to comply with the resolution of [the senate] and the letter sent [by Marcus] to them, elected some noble arbitrators, who upon arriving [in the country] spent many days in listening to the arguments, 10 firstly in the places under dispute [and afterwards in] the temple of Apollo at Myous; and now that the gods, together with the righteousness of the [praetor], have put an end to the dispute, and [our] people has again defeated [the people] of Priene, it is fitting that what was discovered about these matters should be made [apparent] to future generations, and that the populace should be seen to show gratitude to [men] who acted nobly; therefore is it resolved by the council and the people to praise the public advocates {ekdikoi} and the . . . because they zealously defended the rights of their fatherland; and [to elect] a man, who along with the architect Kratinos shall let out a contract to make a [stele] of white marble, which he shall place next to the existing stele [about this matter], and on it he shall inscribe this decree and the resolution of the senate and the letter written by Marcus to the Mylasans, 20 and the decree by which the panel of Mylasan arbitrators [was chosen] and the response of the Mylasans and the decision of [the arbitrators] and the names - together with their fathers' names - of the (?) judges who pleaded the case [concerning the territory] and the public advocates, and also the names of the men who protected the arbitrators, since they all gave their assistance [to the city] with all earnestness and zeal; and the elected man shall make a bowl of bronze, which he shall place on the southern door-post {of the temple} with this inscription: "The people, after defeating the Prienians for the second time in the dispute concerning the territory, in the court of [the Mylasan] arbitrators, with the [public advocates] listed below and . . . speaking on their behalf, dedicated this to their fatherland and to Artemis Leukophryene"; and the elected [man] shall use [gold] nails to attach it to the door-post, taking them from wherever the architect indicates. Pausanias the temple warden of Artemis Leukophryene shall provide money for [the expense of] this [from his own resources], and he shall receive back money from the future revenues of all the sacred land of [Artemis, until] all that he provided has been restored to him . . .

[B]   [The resolution received] from the Roman senate [by the envoys who were sent concerning the dispute with the Prienians]:

[The praetor] Marcus Aemilius, son of Marcus, [to the council and people of Mylasa], greetings. Envoys from Magnesia and [Priene asked that] I should give [them an audience with the] senate. I did this . . . [at a meeting] in the comitium . . . Fonteius, son of Quintus, of the Papirian tribe, Titus Mallius, son of . . . assisted in drafting the decree.

40 Whereas Pythodoros and Herakleitos, envoys of Magnesia and . . . envoys of Priene, [honourable men] from states which are honourable friends and allies, in person proposed that a court of arbitration should be appointed concerning the territory which the Magnesians, in accordance with a resolution of the senate, had surrendered and of which they ceded possession to the people of Priene, the senators proposed as follows in regard to the said matter.

The praetor Marcus Aemilius, son of Marcus, shall appoint as arbiter a free state acceptable to both parties. If it is [not] acceptable to them, the praetor Marcus Aemilius, son of Marcus, [shall appoint] as arbiter for this dispute such a free state 50 as it appears to him to be in the public interest and in accordance with his own [good faith].   The proposal was passed.

Whoever makes a judgement for Magnesia and Priene concerning this territory, which has been detached from Priene and from which the Magnesians claim that they have departed, shall determine the boundaries and shall award it to whichever of these states is found to have held it when they were admitted to friendship with the Roman people.   The proposal was passed.

In like manner, whereas the same envoys of Priene made charges in person to the Magnesian envoys concerning the wrongs which the Magnesians had inflicted on them, the senators proposed as follows in regard to the said matter. The praetor Marcus Aemilius, son of Marcus, shall order the same state which is charged with the arbitration of the territorial dispute [to investigate] these wrongs. If the wrongs have been done by the Magnesians, the arbiter shall assess 60 whatever penalty appears proper and just. And the praetor Marcus Aemilius, son of Marcus, shall write to the state chosen as arbiter, on what day each party shall be present for each hearing, [and within what] time judgement shall be rendered . . .

[C]   . . . to be set out through the decisions . . . of the indicated places . . . the dwellings were burnt during the incursion . . . and Dionysios attained not only through what has been written before . . . but from what followed [it was] much more [difficult] to understand, concerning the things that were burnt in the territory of Priene, 10 why they were not guarded by any of the Prienians or protected by a wall, even if, as the Prienian public advocates said, a certain Lysandros of Priene had previously been entrusted with these things by Zenodotos [and his] colleagues, and Lysandros had been prosecuted for failing to set up boundary markers. There was much talk about the sentence and it was favourable to the Magnesians, for what was owed [according to] the sentence should have been cleared as appropriate, either by [exacting] the sum owed in the sentence, or by granting release or by agreeing some other kind of arrears - which the public advocates of the Prienians in no way demonstrated, but the money was found to [still] remain owing even at the present time; and at the time when the sentence was said to have been imposed, Dionysios, who they said entrusted his property to Lyandros, was proved by the documents to have not been in this region, 20 but at one time he went as an envoy to Rome on behalf of his fatherland, and at other times he was in exile; and even if we did not want to recall this, the argument in relation to the things that were burnt and the animals that were stolen from this region, without dispute by the Prienians, is sufficient to conclude that the Magnesians both occupied and inhabited this land. Indeed, what was said previously by the Prienians, if Skyllion was entrusted with property in this region by Aitolos and Theodotos of Magnesia, and the letter that was read out in no way enabled us to conclude [what] the Prienians did . . .

. . . to their fatherland and to Artemis Leukophryene

[D]   The following were chosen as public advocates:        


inscription 680

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