Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum: 28.1224


Greek text:   SEG_28.1224
Provenance:   Telmessos , Lycia
Date:   282 B.C.
Tags:     curses ,   royal_letters
Format:   see key to translations

The translation of this inscription is adapted from A.Meadows, "Deditio in Fidem: the Ptolemaic Conquest of Asia Minor" (chapter 6 in "Imperialism, Cultural Politics & Polybius", 2012). In his thorough discussion of the historical context of the inscription, Meadows points out that the probable date of the decree, as indicated at the start of the inscription, is August/September 282 B.C., which places it at the start of the war between Seleukos and Lysimachos. Unfortunately, the middle section of Ptolemaios' letter has been omitted from the inscription, and so we are not told exactly who was threatening to assign Telmessos "as a gift".

With good fortune. In the reign of king Ptolemaios son of Ptolemaios, in year four in the month of Dios, a full assembly having taken place and the letter from the king having been read out, in which it is written:

King Ptolemaios to the city and magistrates of Telmessos, greetings. The envoys sent from you have given me the crown and the letter from you, and they have discussed the matters which they say that they were instructed to raise by you.   Thus, so that you are not to be assigned as a gift {dōrea}, we have agreed with them and a letter has been written to Aristoteles and Philokles. Farewell.

Since king Ptolemaios son of Ptolemaios has granted that we should not be assigned as a gift {dōrea}, it is resolved by the city and dependent neighbours {perioikoi} of Telmessos to praise king Ptolemaios son of Ptolemaios, and to make curses concerning these matters, so that no-one will ever request as a gift the city of Telmessos nor the villages nor any of the land of the Telmessians from any king or queen nor from any other dynast on any pretext; and if anyone does one of these things on whatever pretext, may the land not bear him fruit, may his women not bear naturally, and may he be destroyed together with all his family, and may he be a sinner before Leto and all the other gods and goddesses, and let all that he takes or reaps from the land become the sacred property of Leto. It is further resolved that having engraved this decree on a stone stele, they are to set it up in the temples of Apollo and Artemis and Leto in the most conspicuous places.

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