Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum: 44.949


Greek text: SEG_44.949
Provenance:   Teos , Ionia
Date:   c. 302-286 B.C.
Tags:     foreign_residents ,   hostages+captives ,   pirates ,   subscriptions
Format:   see key to translations

This inscription was first published by S.Şahin in 1994 ( Epigraphica Anatolica - ), with a German translation and commentary. It has recently been re-edited by L. Meier, "Der sogenannte Piratenüberfall auf Teos und die Diadochen: Eine Neuedition der Inschrift SEG 44, 949" ( Chiron, 2017 - Google Books ); and by P. Hamon, "Tout l'or et l'argent de Téos" ( Chiron, 2018 - Google Books ).This translation has been made from the text in Hamon's edition.

The inscription was previously dated to the late 3rd century B.C., but it now appears that king Demetrios was mentioned at the start of decree B, which would place it near the start of the 3rd century, although the precise historical context remains unclear.

Unfortunately there are frequent gaps in the text of the inscription, but it is clear that Teos collected money and valuables from its wealthy residents, in order to pay a large ransom to some pirates in return for the release of the citizens whom they had captured; the names of the residents who contributed the most money were recorded in the inscription. It now appears that the money was given to the city as voluntary loans, to be repaid at 10% interest; and although the list of lenders is very incomplete, it is estimated that the total raised may have been about ten talents. "The pirates have arranged for the Teians to supervise their own ransacking, saving themselves much time, effort and danger by having the plunder collected and delivered to them" ( Philip de Souza ).

[A]   * * * [to pay] the debts that are owed, the amount reserved . . . [and] it shall not be possible for the current treasurers . . . with the excess money . . . to praise those generals and [timouchoi whom] they consider to have taken care of [the safety of] the people in an honourable manner; and to crown each of them, and to announce the award of the crown in the theatre at the Dionysia. Each [year] the herald, 10 [in addition] to the other curses, [shall utter a curse] against [any] magistrate who, although he is able to do so, fails to carry out the decrees of the [city, or] any other magistrate or private individual who does not make the repayments [that are specified in the] decrees that were passed by the city when Me[ntor] was prytanis, [so that] all may see [that] the people of Teos understands [how to] . . . concerning the debts or to those who contribute . . . to repay what has been lent and [? neglect] nothing that contributes to the safety of the people of Teos . . . and the treasurers shall pay for the expense . . .

[B]   . . . decision of [(?) the timouchoi] and [the generals and those] appointed: since . . . 20 towards king [Deme]trios and the . . . in accordance with the decree of the people, . . . talents of Alexandrian silver . . . [on behalf] of the safety of themselves and their children [and their] wives and [all those dwelling in the territory], it is resolved by the people, in order that we may pay the agreed [sum, to (?) bring together] all [the citizens] and ask them to lend [this sum] at one-tenth interest [taking as a pledge the possessions] in the city, both on land and on sea, and the territory and [the property on the territory, in order to ransom] the free-born prisoners, until they are brought back and [(?) the agreed debts that] arise from the valuation according to the decree, if [the (?) city does not pay] the money to the lenders [from the public funds];   and that [we shall not make] a valuation of the [money] that has been loaned, nor demand contributions from this money; [therefore, so that] 30 all [the citizens ] may provide these services, those who lend [more than (?) two minas shall have] the same freedom from taxes as the priests, and [they] shall be crowned [with a wreath of ivy at the] Dionysia, at the same time as the other benefactors of the city; those who [lend more than (?) a mina] shall be have a wreath of ivy in the same way; that we shall inscribe [the names of these men and all the others] who lend up to one mina, and who provide this service. All the citizens who possess drinking cups or ornaments [of silver or gold, or] coined or uncoined silver, [shall bring them] within three days and [each of those who bring them] shall have the same privileges as those who contribute coined money. [Also all men] and women who dwell as foreigners in the city [shall bring them] in the same way; [and if any of the citizens or] any others have silver or gold belonging to the city [and do not bring it forward], 40 it shall be possible for anyone who wishes [to denounce] them as a wrong-doer. Anyone [who has received pledges from someone], shall bring forward the pledges, and shall register both the debtors and how much is owed on their pledges, and [nothing] else; and also whoever holds deposits from someone, [shall bring them forward] . . . and [similarly] all those who dwell in the [city] as foreigners also shall bring them forward.

[The citizens and] all those who dwell as a foreigners in the city [shall swear an oath] on a bull and a ram [and a boar], that they have never possessed a silver or [gold] drinking-cup [or] . . . or women's clothing decorated with purple [or . . . (?) threads] wider than a twentieth of a finger along a cubit, [or] . . . around the head, except gilded ones.

[All of them] shall swear [the customary oath]; 50 the generals and the timouchoi shall administer the oath. [If any resident does not make the oath] according to the decree, he shall pay a fine of five . . . drachmas; [it shall not be possible] to bring a lawsuit against anyone to prevent this, and anyone who wishes [shall be able to denounce] him. [If anyone is absent], they shall be required to present themselves within twenty days of when they return, to make the oath and [register according to the] conditions in the decree. [The generals and] the timouchoi shall record the names of those who swear the oath on notice-boards and place them in the agora, [for all] to see. [If anyone] is detected in possession of one of the forbidden items [that he has not brought out, it] shall be [taken away from] him, and one half of what is discovered shall belong to the informer [and the other half shall belong to the city; the examiners {euthunoi}] shall take care of the confiscation and sale of what is discovered; those who possess forbidden clothing [shall hand it over (?) to the informer within] three [days]; the informers shall be free from taxes when they export and sell 60 any of it . The herald shall pray at the Dionysia and the Thesmophoria, that those who abide [by the oath may fare well], and those who break the oath may be destroyed, both themselves and their families.

[This decree] shall be [for the safety] of the citizens themselves and their children and their wives and the city and [its territory] and everyone who dwells in its territory; the citizens and [foreign residents] shall estimate their contributions [from] the day when the pirates leave the city. The treasurer Kritias shall inscribe [this decree and the] names of the lenders - with their fathers' names and the amount of the [money] which [each of them] lent . . . - on stone steles and set them up [next to the altar] of Herakles.

[C]   [The amount, at] one-tenth interest, given for what was extracted by the pirates, [which is owed by the people] to the lenders . . . 70 in the month of Trygētēr, when Sokrates was prytanis :
On the thirtieth [day] :

On the first day of the month of Apatourion:

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