Translations of Hellenistic Inscriptions: 2


Greek text:   Didyma 511   ( I.Did. 394 ) 
Provenance:     Didyma 
Date:   54/3 B.C. 
Tags:     elephants 
Format:   see key to translations

While Hellenistic kingdoms still existed, their kings followed the tradition of sending lavish gifts to prominent Greek temples; see RC_5 for some much earlier offerings given to Didyma by Seleukos I of Syria.   This offering from Ptolemy XII of Egypt was particularly exotic.  It has been calculated that the average weight of the tusks was 42.94 minas, which according to the Attic standard would be about 18 kg. 

When Molpagoras son of Dokimos was stephanephoros, and Sopolis son of Moschos was prophet, the prophet and the hydrophoros Menestho daughter of Sopolis and the assistant oracle-giver {hypochrēstēs} Philopoimen son of Andronikos and the secretaries and the temple wardens {neokoroi} and those who dwell in the temple and their neighbours crowned Mousaios son of Diognetos and honoured him with a painted portrait, overlaid with gold, because he acted as treasurer in a pious manner and governed fairly and justly.  In his term of office, gifts were sent to the god by king Ptolemaios the God New Dionysos, 34 elephant tusks weighing 24 talents and 20 minas, with . . . as envoys . . .      

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