Translations of Hellenistic Inscriptions: 156


Greek text:   IscrCos_ED.178 ,   IG_12.4.1.302 & IG_12.4.1.301 (with German translation) 
Provenance:     Kos
Date:   c. 196/5 B.C.
Tags:     foreign_residents ,   sacred_laws ,   women
Format:   see key to translations

On the island of Kos, there was a unique double temple, dedicated to the goddess Aphrodite with the epithets Pandamos {"of all the people"} and Pontia {"of the sea"}.  For the cult of Aphrodite, see R.Parker, "The Cult of Aphrodite Pandamos and Pontia on Cos" ( Google Books ); for a reconstruction of the temple, see G.Rocco, "Note sul santuario di Afrodite Pandamos e Pontia a Kos" ( ).

Some aspects of part A of the inscription have been discussed by M.Dillon, "Post-nuptial sacrifices on Kos (Segre, ED 178) and ancient Greek marriage rites" ( ZPE,1999 - PDF ). The date of this part seems to be fixed by the reference to an earthquake in the last few lines; the region is known to have been hit by a severe earthquake in 198 B.C. (see inscription 72 ).  

Parts C-E were inscribed separately, on the back of the stone.  But they can probably be dated to approximately the same period as the rest; the priestess Lykaonis, daughter of Phanomachos, may have been the sister of Kleumachos, whose name appears near the beginning of part A.

Another inscription ( SEG_50.766 ), which is dated to the end of the 2nd century B.C., provides further information about this cult of Aphrodite; there is a translation with commentary at CGRN_220 . 

[A]   With good fortune. When Theudoros was monarchos, on the sixteenth day of the month of Dalios; the men who were appointed to inscribe instructions concerning the priesthood of Aphrodite Pandamos - Kleinias son of Philitas, Kleumachos son of Phanomachos and Damophon son of Menon - have decided as follows.   The pōlētai shall sell the priesthood in the month of Alseios, during the elections. The woman who buys it shall be healthy and uninjured and without blemish; and she shall be priestess for life. The other matters shall be as prescribed in the previous regulations; and she shall pay the purchase money in four instalments: 10 the first in the month of Alseios when Theudoros is monarchos, the second in the month of Gerastios in the year after Theudoros is monarchos, the third in the month of Alseios in the year of the same monarchos, and the fourth in the month of Gerastios in the year of whoever is second monarchos after Theudoros.  

In order that the honours of the goddess may be increased, and all the brides from amongst the female citizens and illegitimate women and foreign residents may be seen to honour the goddess according to their means, every woman who enters into marriage, once the vows are completed, shall sacrifice an offering to the goddess; 20 and may it turn out better for those who perform the sacrifices as decreed.

Similarly, in accordance with what has been decreed before, the merchants and ship-masters who set sail from the city shall perform sacrifices to the goddess; if any of them do not sacrifice as is prescribed, they shall be subject to a fine, and they shall pay a fine of ten drachmas to the priestess; she may exact this fine as if imposed by a lawsuit.  The collection of the salaïdes and the other matters concerning them shall all be as enacted previously, when Leukippos was monarchos; from the collections, each of the leading men shall sacrifice 30 a perfect offering to Aphrodite Pandamos on the ninth day of the month of Panamos. And since, because of the earthquake that occurred, some of the . . . have fallen down . . . and of the banqueting halls . . . 

[B]   . . . of Aphrodite Pontia . . . between the . . . Herakleion and the places of mooring that have been fitted with gates, leaving access from the shipbuilding yards.  As for the expense that will be incurred for the construction to create a passage through them, and when the (?) estimate has been approved, let them pay it to the supervisors appointed for the work from the first payment made by the priestess until the architect renders an account.  

In order that in future too 10 the temple of Aphrodite Pandamos and the temple of Aphrodite Pontia may receive due care, with money set aside for their maintenance, the money-chests shall be opened by the presidents {prostatai} and the priestess each year in the month of Dalios; of the amount that is taken out, half shall belong to the priestess and the other half shall belong to the goddess; the presidents shall take the money to the treasurers and shall keep it (?) in the chest of those who hand over money to the private account of the goddess, for the repairs of the property in the temples; and it shall not be possible for anyone [to use it for any other purpose].  20 If anyone [acts] contrary [to these provisions] . . .

[C]   When Lykaonis daughter of Phanomachos was priestess, these women undertook to contribute towards the completion of the precinct and the additional things that are being provided for Aphrodite, in accordance with the decree.


  { followed by the names of at least 16 other women }  


Illegitimate women {nothai}:   

[E]   . . . 

Foreign residents {metoikoi}: 


inscription 157

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