When the generals of Mithridates VI reached Greece, late in 88 B.C., Thespiai was the only city in Boeotia which remained loyal to the Romans. As a result it was attacked, and successfully withstood a siege, partly due to the energetic action of Q. Bruttius Sura ( Appian, Mith. 29 ). Shortly afterwards the city expressed its gratitude to him in this decree.
Of the two festivals mentioned in the decree, the musical contests of the Mouseia were already well established at Thespiai ( see Syll_457 ). The athletic games of the Erotideia - dedicated to Eros - are recorded only from this time onwards, and therefore some scholars have suggested that the games were held to commemorate privileges granted by the Romans after the war against Mithridates; see C. Müller, " "The Roman fate of Thespiai", p. 233 ( academia.edu ).
. . . and to set up [a bronze statue of him in] the most prominent [place in the city], with [this] inscription on it: '[ The people of Thespiai ] honours Quintus Braetius [ Sura, son of (?) Quintus ], the legate of the Romans'. [The agonothetes shall announce], in the theatre at the [Erotidei]a and Mouseia festivals that are held in the future [and at the current] games, [the following proclamation: 'The people] of Thespiai crowns [Quintus Braetius], son of [Quin]tus, with a golden crown [on account of his honourable conduct]'. He shall also be [invited to] privileged seating at the [games that the city holds], both himself and his descendants.
→ inscription 180
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