Translations of Hellenistic Inscriptions: 48


Greek text:   IG_12.3.328
Provenance:   Thera
Date:   3rd century B.C.
Tags:     hostages+captives ,   pirates ,   slaves
Format:   see key to translations

Although the beginning of this letter has been lost, it is fairly clear that it concerns some inhabitants of Thera who were captured by pirates from Crete and taken back to Allaria. The writer (probably a Ptolemaic official) arranged an exchange of captives, to ensure their release.   The translation is partly adapted from P. de Souza, in "Piracy in the Graeco-Roman World" ( Google Books ).

. . . to explain what had happened, who said that [they {the Therans} were originally] captives and that [they spent] three years with the Allariotes] who gave them a share [in their home and freed them as not] only associates but also [partners in their] struggles; however they were not allowed to receive any of the booty. [He said that he was not] able to bring away the persons and [in no way could he] persuade the Allariotes to give up the persons, [unless they received the] captives who were kept with us, whom . . . Therefore, when this was [reported] to us, striving . . . that it should [not] happen that [persons] were taken away and reduced to slavery, [so that] they could [no longer] be ransomed, [and seeeing that it was] necessary to agree with what they requested, we sent [to them] . . . ; while we were engaged in this, by [chance] we spoke [with a messenger] who had arrived [from them], and we jointly sent [envoys to] Allaria, agreeing to [their request, which] we have implemented; we have brought back [the persons who were kept with them, in return for the] agreed payment for them; and we have handed over the persons who were kept with us. Of these, . . . [were Greek] , and the remaining 45 were foreigners.   Farewell.

inscription 49

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