Libmonster ID: U.S.-1490
Author(s) of the publication: I. A. Makarov

Not so long ago, in an article devoted to new epigraphic materials from the Tauric Chersonesus, E. I. Solomonik published a photo of a fragment of marble

page 112


plates with the remains of a badly damaged inscription. The text of the fragment is reproduced by the author as follows(1):

The palaeography of the inscription is closest to such Chersonesian documents as the decree in honor of the ambassador Mithridates Eupator (IOSPE. I(2). 349; NEPH II. 110), decree in honor of Diophantus (IOSPE. I(2). 352), an inscription commemorating the capture of Kalos Limen (IOSPE. I(2). 353) and an inscription mentioning the fortress of Napit (NEPH II. 1). It will be enough to point out the following features of the letter that unite the listed monuments: alpha is not closed at the top with a broken transverse gasta, pi with a shortened second leg, kappa with short legs, omicron in the form of a small circle, omega is elongated with side dashes in the form of separate triangles. In general, the font style indicates the second half of the second century BC - the most intense period of the Scythian-Chersonesian wars, which ended, as is known, around 110 BC with the transition of the polis under the rule of the Pontic king Mithridates Eupator (Strabo. VII. 3. 17; 4. 3, 7; IOSPE. I(2). 352).


(1) Solomonik E. I. Greek inscriptions of Chersonese / / VDI. 1996. N 4. p. 44.

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(2) Nilsson М.P. Griechische Feste von religioser Bedeutung mit Ausschluss der Attischen. Lpz, 1906. S. 392-394. Ср. Burkert W. Griechische Religion. Stuttgart, 1977. S. 247 with reference to: Siska N. De Mercurio ceterisque deis ad artem gymnasticam pertinentibus. Diss. Halle, 1933 (non vidi).

(3) The contest was preceded by a sacrifice in the palaestra (Plat Lys. 206e).

(4) Hipparchs may have played a certain role in the conduct of the Hermae. Cf. the Athenian decree in honor of a certain person who performed the duties of Hipparchus, where the Hermae are also mentioned(IG. II (2). 895).

(5) The office of gymnesiarch is mentioned in two Chersonesus inscriptions of Roman times - IOSPE. I(2). 424; 437. It should also be noted that in the third century BC, the honorary duties of the gymnasium were performed by the famous statesman Agasikles (IOSPE. I(2).418).

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Translation: "... in accordance with the laws and ordinances of the people... arrange competitions during high school anniversaries... and do the following according to the divination of God (?): ...propitiate (Zeus Ctesias) and Cathyperdexia... make a sacrifice to the god Hermes... we have... ephebes (?) accompanying the sacred procession..."

Let's sum up the results. The document under review seems to be a fragment of a legislative act (decree or lex sacra) concerning the religious life of the polis, or, more specifically, the aspect of the polis religion that was associated with the upbringing of young people. The cult of Hermes, the patron god of the Palaestra and gymnasium, is particularly significant here. In all likelihood, the document contained instructions addressed to the gymnasiarch and the Ephebians. The attention of the Chersonesus state to the institution of Ephebia in the second half of the second century BC seems quite justified in the face of the growing Scythian threat. It cannot be ruled out that with

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The appearance of the cult of Zeus Kathyperdexy in Chersonesos (possibly with the participation of Delphi), which was both "gymnastic" and military in nature, is also connected with the same foreign policy circumstances. This decree was apparently adopted shortly before the beginning of the Diophantine campaign and the subsequent establishment of the Pontic protectorate over Chersonesos.

ON THE INTERPRETATION OF A NEW CHERSONESIAN DOCUMENT

I.A. Makarov

The article re-publishes a 2nd с. ВС inscription from Chersonesus Taurica published by E.I. Solomonik (VDI. 1996. 4) and presents its restoration exempli gratia. The conjecture KaOuTTepfSelov] in 1. 5 makes it possible to add the cult of Zeus Kathyperdexios to the list of Chersonesian cults. In the author's opinion, the document is a legislatory act (a decree or a lex sacra) connected with the institution of epheby. The competitions dedicated to Hermes mentioned in the inscription support this hypothesis. We can presume that the issue of the decree on Chersonesian epheby was connected with the intensified Scythian impetus on Chersonesus shortly before Diophantos' campaign.


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I. A. Makarov, INTERPRETATION OF A NEW DOCUMENT FROM THE TAURIC CHERSONESUS // New-York: Libmonster (LIBMONSTER.COM). Updated: 17.06.2024. URL: https://libmonster.com/m/articles/view/INTERPRETATION-OF-A-NEW-DOCUMENT-FROM-THE-TAURIC-CHERSONESUS (date of access: 24.07.2024).

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