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Ritual and Communication in the Graeco-Roman World

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Eftychia Stavrianopoulou

“Look who is talking now!”: Speaker and Communication in Greek Metrical Sacred Regulations1

Ivana Petrović et Andrej Petrović

Texte intégral

Ritual Prescriptions in Ancient Greece

  • 1 We would like to express our gratitude to Mr. Rodney Trotter for scrutinizing our English, to the (...)
  • 2 See e.g. B.C. Dietrich, Tradition in Greek Religion, Berlin, New York, 1986, p. 87-89; cf. R. Garl (...)
  • 3 For sacred regulations in general cf. M. Guarducci, Epigrafia Graeca IV, Roma et al., 1978, p. 3-4 (...)
  • 4 For the typological range of inscriptional texts dealing with Greek religion cf. A. Henrichs, “Wri (...)

1Greek religion is often described as a religion with no sacred books, actually as a religion so free of any sort of canonized rules, that it is barely one religion at all, but a collection of cults of countless poleis, loosely bound together by an essentially elusive idea of pan-Hellenism and beliefs that are pan-Hellenic.2 Of the relatively meagre material about actual ritual practice in the ancient Greek world that we possess, the best insight is given by epigraphically transmitted regulations concerning the performance of rituals.3 These texts confronted the ancient worshipper from his very first step in the sacred space, from the horos over the temenos to the temple and instructed him about the ritual, and especially about his own rules of conduct in this respect, of which we know from a whole range of inscriptions: cult-calendars, formal decrees introduced with the formulaic ἔδοξεν τῇ βουλῇ ϰαὶ τῷ δήμῳ, official contracts, public records, horos-inscriptions, dedicatory inscriptions, even oracular responses.4

  • 5 The problems of definition of the term “ritual” as well as those of the term “communication” are n (...)
  • 6 For priests as interpreters of ritual cf. locus classicus Plato, Politicus, 290c-d; see also R.S.J (...)
  • 7 On theopropoi see M. Worrle, “Inschriften von Herakleia am Latmos II. Das Priestertum der Athena L (...)
  • 8 On exegetai and the lost Exegetika cf. R. Parker, Athenian Religion: A History, Oxford 1996, p. 51 (...)
  • 9 For exegetai, manteis, oracles and demos see Garland, l.c. (n. 6), p. 74 sq.; id., “Priests and Po (...)
  • 10 On ritual and authority in general cf. B. McVeigh, “The Authorization of Ritual and the Ritualizat (...)

2In the light of the question of how the rituals were communicated in the Greek world, the formal richness of the sacred regulations is of special importance.5 These texts not only provided one with different information, they were also claiming different authorities. Even though the interpretation of the sacred regulations was certainly not always the responsibility of the single recipient – one could rely on the help of the priests6, theopropoi,7 exegetai8, manteis9these were not always ready to hand, and it could be asked whether a possible result of the mere presence of the bulk of ritual regulations in a sanctuary might have been a feeling of insecurity due to too much information and the consequent need to cautiously examine the authority which determined a regulation.10 Not every instance regulating a ritual is equipped with the same amount of authority. Two passages of Plato may illustrate the opposite ends in this respect. One passage from the Statesman attests the authority of the priests and manteis:

  • 11 Plato, Plt., 290a. Translation (slightly modified) after H.N. Fowler, Plato. With an English Trans (...)

There are men who have to do with divination and possess a portion of a certain menial science; for they are supposed to be interpreters of the gods for men […] The priests, according to law and custom, know how to give the gods, by means of sacrifices, the gifts that please them from us and by prayers to ask for us the gain of good things from them.11

3On the other hand, a passage from Euthyphro discloses that not all those who took it upon themselves to serve their communities with the means of their religious expertise necessarily received a suitable gift of gratitude, as Euthyphro reveals in his discussion with Socrates:

  • 12 Plato, Euthyphro, 3c. Cf. also Price, o.c. (n. 2), p. 72-73, with n. 18 for Lampon, the famous rel (...)

ἐμοῦ… ὅταν τι λέγω ἐν τῇ ἐϰϰλησίᾳ περὶ τῶν θείων, προλέγων αὐτοῖς τὰ μέλλοντα, ϰαταγελλοντα, ϰαταγελῶσιν ὡς μαινομένου.
Whenever I say anything in the assembly concerning divine things, and foresee what is to come, they laugh at me as if I were insane.12

  • 13 Cf. Henrichs, l.c. (n. 4), p. 52 sq.

4Therefore, just as not all experts possessed the same amount of authority, it is probable that not all inscriptions bearing the sacred regulations had the same impact upon the recipients.13

5In this paper, we will focus upon exactly this question: what authorities set out the rules communicated in the sacred regulations and did their presence in itself shape the form of the texts containing a ritual, and if so, how? We will also try to ponder the question of how and whether the communication itself was ritualised in the Greek sacred regulations.

  • 14 Much wider in scope and primarily concerned with different material is the collection of W. Furley(...)

6We will, while considering other texts as well, concentrate primarily on the phenomenon of the metrical sacred regulations, the group of texts which seem to us particularly interesting as far as questions of ritual and communication are concerned, and which, as far as we can see, have as a separate group received no scholarly attention so far.14

  • 15 On ritual and authority see: McVeigh, l.c. (n. 10), p. 39 sq.; Henrichs, l.c. (n. 4), passim.

7In order to investigate the authority of those prescribing the ritual regulations,15 as well as the interdependence of the authority of the implied speaker and of the spatial placement of the regulation, in order to see who is talking to whom, when, where and in what form, we will first define and list the group of texts we call metrical sacred regulations, and will then proceed to examine the types of communication and types of ritual in them; we will end with a chapter on the mechanism of the construction of the authority.

Greek metrical sacred regulations

  • 16 Cf. under nos 2, 3, 9, 19, 23.
  • 17 LSS 108; see under n° 8.
  • 18 Cf. under n° 2.

8Metrical sacred regulations appear in numerous textual contexts: we find them quoted in larger inscriptional dossiers,16 surprisingly appearing as an integral part of a sacred regulation written in prose,17 in inscriptional hymns,18 etc.

  • 19 A. Petrović is preparing an edition with a commentary of the Greek metrical sacred regulations.

9Before we consider the questions of the definition and types of metrical sacred regulations, their textual contexts and physical surroundings, we will introduce the texts themselves. As already mentioned, there has been no systematic collection or investigation of the metrical sacred regulations thus far. Even though we do aim at offering a complete list of the known epigraphically transmitted texts, limiting ourselves to the eastern part of the Greek world, we are confident that more than just a few have been missed. The following list has been generated on the basis of a search through the standard collections of sacred regulations (von Prott – Ziehen; LSCG; ISAM; LSS), a systematic query of the EBGR, CEG I-II, SGO I-IV, and a partial use of the SEG.19 Some of the texts we found are absent from the list because they have survived just well enough to inform us that they might have been sacred regulations and that they were probably in meter, but apart from that, not much more can be deduced. The information about the texts includes most important editions with a bibliography, genre of the text considered, data on the meter and length, date and provenance of the inscription, as well as general information on the contents.

10List of the metrical sacred regulations (in chronological order): 1.

111.

  • 20 Ed. pr. G.E. Bean, “Notes and Inscriptions from Caunus”, JHS 74 (1954), p. 85-110. Cf. SEG 14, 655 (...)

12Inscription SGO I 01/09/01.20

13Genre An oracle of Grynean Apollo for Kaunos.

14Meter / length 1) 11 lines question in prose,

152) 2 hexameters (answer).

16Date / place 4th-3rd BC, Kaunos (Caria)

17Content Cult foundation on god’s initiative; The city asked which gods should be honoured in order to increase fertility of the land. The god answered that, should the city honour Phoebus, it would bind the fame of the city with unbreakable binds for ever and ever.

182.

  • 21 Ed. pr. F.W.R. Wilamowitz-Möllendorf, Nordionische Steine, Berlin, 1909, p. 37-48, n° 1; SGDI IV, (...)

19Edition SGO I 03/07/01, v. 74 sq.21

20Genre Hymn for Seleukos.

21Meter / length Paeanic hymn, 3 verses (at least).

22Date / place 281 BC, Erythrai.

23Content The metrical sacred regulation is part of a larger dossier written on stone; The contents of the dossier form: 1) a sacred regulation of the Asclepios’ cult (written in prose); 2) a paean for Apollo; 3) a paean for Asclepios; 4) a paean for Seleukos. The paean for Seleukos instructs the reader to sing “Seleukos, the son of the dark-haired Apollo, him who himself was born from the one with the golden lyre” while offering a libation.

243.

  • 22 I.Didyma, 132; J. Fontenrose, Didyma. Apollo’s Oracle, Cult, and Companions, Berkeley, 1988, n° 14

25Edition SGO I 01/19/02.22

26Genre An oracle of Apollo dealing with sacrifice to Poseidon Asphaleios; part of a dossier on an altar.

27Meter / length The introductory line (θεὸς ἔχρησεν) is followed by 6 hexameters (oracle with the sacred regulation), 5 lines prose inscription (confirmation that the demands of the oracle have been fulfilled), 2 elegiac couplets.

28Date / place 2nd BC, Didyma (Merkelbach: “In der Zwingermauer vor der Ostfront des Tempels”).

29Content The question, usually formulated in prose and preceding the oracular response, is unfortunately missing. Some kind of a maladroit sign appeared (a bird?) and the god advised sacrificing to Poseidon Asphaleios (“if you want to save the city, sacrifice to Poseidon A.”). The prose inscription and the elegiac epigram confirm that the advice of the god was followed and that the altar has been set up.

304.

  • 23 L. Robert, “Un oracle à Syédra, les monnaies et le culte d’Arès”, in id., Documents de l’Asie mine (...)

31Edition SGO IV 18/19/01.23

  • 24 On the oracles of Clarian Apollo cf. Merkelbach Stauber, l.c. (n. 23), p. 3 sq.

32Genre An oracle of Apollo of Claros24 concerning protection from pirates.

33Meter / length (at least) 13 hexameters.

34Date / place 1st BC, Syedra in Pamphylia.

35Content The god gives advice on how to repel the attacks of the pirates. His recommendations are twofold:

361) In order to keep away the pirates, set up a statue of Ares in the city-centre (ἐν μεσάτῳ πόλιος), flanked by the statues of Dike and Hermes. The statue should be beaten with thyrsos and bound by Hermes.

37The god interprets the ritual: “That is the way to make Ares peaceful towards you”. A text describing a similar ritual is found in another metrical inscription (SGO III 14/07/01, at least 4 hexameters, Merkelbach-Stauber (o.c. [n. 231), n° 16), a 1st BC oracle of Clarian Apollo for the citizens of Ikonion, the capital of Lykaonia. There, setting up a statue of Ares flanked by Hermes and Thesmos is advised.

382). On the other hand, it does not suffice to perform the ritual: The citizens are also advised to organize resistance and punish the pirates severely.

395.

  • 25 CIG 3797; I.Kalchedon 14; FGE LXX, 375-77, v. 1372-1379. Cf. SEG 43, 1313.

40Edition SGO II 09/07/0125

41Genre Dedicatory epigram with a sacred regulation concerning sacrifice and a prayer before the statue of Zeus Ourios.

42Meter / length 4 elegiac couplets.

43Date / place 1st BC/AD, Kalchedon, Bithynia (possibly a base of a statue).

44Content Whoever sails from the harbour ought to say a prayer to Zeus Ourios and sacrifice a cake (?) to the xoanon. The xoanon was set up by a certain Philon as a sign of gratitude for a safe sailing.

456.

  • 26 LSAM 6; I.Kios 19; Merkelbach Stauber, l.c. (n. 23), n° 14.

46Edition SGO II 09/01/01.26

47Genre An oracle of Clarian Apollo considering a procession in Kios (Bithynia).

48Meter / length At least 4 hexameters.

49Data / place 1st AD, Kios.

50Content A female divinity is to be honoured by a procession of women. The objects and clothing items not allowed at the procession are described (a golden basket should be left at home; the women must take part in the procession without shoes). It is explained why the items are forbidden – the goddess will only respond to the prayers from the heart and will ignore the others.

517.

  • 27 Ed. pr. Wörrle, l.c. (n. 7), p. 19-58; SEG 40, 956; cf. also SEG 17, 1074.

52Edition SGO I 01/23/02.27

53Genre An oracle of Apollo considering the priesthood of Athena.

54Meter / length 1) 7 lines in prose (question),

552) 8 hexameters of oracular answer.

56Date / place 1st AD, Herakleia under Latmos.

57Content The citizens of Herakleia ask whether the priesthood of Athena should be sold for life or annually. The god decides that the priestess should be chosen annually and must belong to the elite (1. 13 / 1. 5 of the oracle: γένει ἠδὲ ἠδὲ βίου τάξει).

588.

  • 28 J. & L. Robert, “Bulletin épigraphique”, REG 59-60 (1946/7), p. 338, n° 157.

59Edition LSS 108.28

60Genre Regulations concerning ritual purity.

61Meter / length 1 elegiac couplet.

62Date / place 1st AD, Rhodes.

63Content It is not possible to determine with certainty which cult the inscription pertained to. The remaining fragments begin with what seems to have been a rather extensive and detailed list of possible sources of impurity. The list is followed by a general and vaguely expressed notice (an elegiac couplet) about the purity of the mind being preferred to the cleanness of the body, which is necessary in order to enter the temple.

64The elegiac couplet is followed by a list of sacrificial animals.

659.

  • 29 Ed. pr. R. Merkelbach, E. Schwertheim, “Die Inschriften der Sammlung Necmi Tolunay in Bandirma, Te (...)

66Edition SGO II 08/01/01.29

67Genre An oracle of Zeus Ammon from Siwa Oasis for Kyzikos, concerning a sacrifice ritual; part of a dossier.

68Meter / length 1) 5 lines of prose text concerning the circumstances of the oracle,

692) 10 lines of hexameter.

70Date / place AD 130, Kyzikos.

71Content The oracle informs the citizens that they should not anger the gods and then try to soothe their anger with gold, but should humbly take care of the sacrifices and send a theoria to Claros, in order to perform the hymns and sacrifices.

7210.

  • 30 I Magnesia 215; SEG 39, 1846, H.W. Parke, D.E.W. Wormell, The Delphic Oracle HI, Oxford, 1956, vol (...)

73Edition SGO I 02/01/02.30

74Genre An oracle of Delphic Apollo concerning the building of a temple for Dionysos (establishment of a cult).

75Meter / length 1) 11 lines of question (prose)

762) 12 hexameters (answer).

77Date / place 2rd cent. AD (date of the republishing) Magnesia on Maiander.

78Content In an undetermined past, Magnesians ask how they should interpret an omen (a tree was destroyed by the wind and consequently a statue of Dionysos (ἀϕείδρυμα) was found in it. The god answered that a temple for Dionysos should be built in the city, and that the Maenads should be obtained from Thebes. At the same time, the conditions for the choice of the priest were determined; the god demands him to be εὐάρτιος, and ἑγνός.

7911.

  • 31 R. Merkelbach, “Ein Orakel des Apollon fur Artemis von Koloe”, ZPE 88 (1991), p. 70-72; F. Graf, “ (...)

80Edition SGO I 03/02/01.31

81Genre An oracle of Apollo (of Claros?) concerning protection against a pestilence; institution of the cult of Artemis of Ephesos.

82Meter / length At least 18 hexameters.

83Date / place 2rd cent. AD, Ephesus.

84Content A city on Hermos (in Lydia or Phrygia) asked an oracle of Apollo how to repel a pestilence. The god gave advice on this matter, saying that a golden image (μορϕή) of Artemis of Ephesus should be consecrated in a temple of Artemis. The rituals including waxdolls, hymns, dance, feast and a festival are described in detail. The text ends with a pledge of a severe punishment in the case that the god’s demands are not fulfilled.

8512.

  • 32 IGR IV, 1498; SEG 42, 1816; Faraone, o.c. (n. 23), p. 103; Merkelbach Stauber l.c. (n. 23), n° 8 (...)

86Edition SGO I 04/01/01.32

87Genre An oracle of Apollo of Claros concerning protection against pestilence.

88Meter / length 1) 12 lines question in prose,

892) 28 verses of answer (at least). The verses consist of hexameters, iambic trimeters and tetrameter, anapaests and trochees.

90Date / place 2nd AD, Caesarea Troketta.

91Content In the question the reason for the publication of the inscription (setting up a statue of Apollo) is explained and the finances invested in the endeavour are given in detail. Apollo starts his answer by a question concerning the motives of the Caesareans for their visit and then answers the question himself. Further on, he explains what should be done in order to repel the pestilence and suggests a purification ritual (sprinkling the water), sacrifices, as well as setting up a statue of Apollo.

9213.

  • 33 CIG II, 3538; I.Pergamon 324; IGR IV 360; SEG 31 1098; L. Robert, “Documents d’Asie Mineure”, BCH1 (...)

93Edition SGO I 06/02/01.33

94Genre An oracle of Clarian Apollo concerning a pestilence in Pergamon.

95Meter / length 1) 10 lines of question in prose (at least),

962) 29 hexameters of answer (at least).

97Date / place 2nd cent. AD Pergamon, agora.

98Content The citizens of Pergamon ask the oracle for help in repelling the pestilence. The question is not fully preserved, but it can be deduced from the answer. The preserved text of the question deals with the circumstances of the publication of the inscription: it is decided that the oracle must be published on stone, obviously in more than one copy. The stones should be set up in the agora as well as in the temples (11. 9-10).

99The god suggests that the ephebes of Pergamon should be devided into four groups, each with a leader; all of them should sing hymns: the first one should sing hymns for Zeus, the second one for Dionysos, the third one for Athena, and the fourth one for Asclepius. The type of sacrifice for each god is specified, as well as the duration of the sacrifice (it should last for 7 days). The ephebes should be accompanied by their fathers and the sacrificial meal is followed by a libation.

100Two further inscriptions from Pergamon (SGO I 06/02/02 and 06/02/16, respectively hymns for Zeus and “the hymn for Asclepius of Aelius Aristides”) might well represent two of the four hymns sung.

10114.

  • 34 Ed. pr. P. Herrmann, “Athena Polias in Milet”, Chiron 1 (1971), p. 291-2; R. Merkelbach, “Ein Didy (...)

102Edition SGO I 01/20/03.34

103Genre An oracle of Apollo concerning the priestess of Athena Polias.

104Meter / length 1) Question consisting of 8 lines in prose,

1052) 15 hexameters (answer).

106Date / place After AD 212, Miletus (?), round column.

107Content Confirmation of the priestess of Athena Polias; the god confirms that a woman of noble origin, who need not be a virgin, may become a priestess.

10815.

  • 35 M. Errington, “Inschriften von Euromos”, EA 21 (1993), p. 15 sq., n° 8; SEG 43, 710; E. Voutiras, (...)

109Edition SGO I 01/17/01.35

  • 36 For a discussion of the genre of this text, see under 4.2.

110Genre Norms considering ritual purity.36

111Meter / length 3 elegiac couplets.

  • 37 After Voutiras, l.c. (n. 35 [1998]).

112Date / place The reign of Hadrian37; Euromos (Caria).

113Content The text was inscribed on the door-pillar of the entrance to the temple of Zeus Lepsynos. It informs the visitor that the purity of his soul as well as a just mind are prerogatives for entering the sanctuary (εὐίερον).

114Ergon and temenos (conduct of the ritual and the access to the temple) of the immortals are forbidden for those who are impure, and in the case of transgression, they will be punished by ἱερὸς δόμος. The respectful ones will be accordingly awarded.

11516.

  • 38 H. Usener, “Psithyros”, RhM 59 (1904), p. 623; L.M. Vazquez, Inscripciones Rodias, Vols. I-III, Di (...)

116Edition I.Lindos II, n° 484.38

  • 39 Cf. our n° 24.

117Genre A building inscription with divination elements. Sacred regulation regarding purity of mind and a sacrifice regulation regarding the temple of Athena in Lindos.39

118Meter / length 3 elegiac couplets.

119Date / place Imperial period. Lindos, on the northern corner of the Athena temple.

120Content The inscription provides for information on the patrons and reasons for building the temple (divination). Further, it is stated who may enter the temple and sacrifice; purity (of the mind) is the necessary prerogative. The ones fulfilling the demands will be rewarded by πράξεις ϰαλαί.

12117.

  • 40 I.Didyma 499; Fontenrose, o.c. (n. 22), p. 203, n° 28.

122Edition SGO I 01/19/07.40

123Genre An oracle of Apollo concerning a cult practice.

124Meter / length 1) 2 lines of question in prose,

1252) 1 hexameter (answer).

126Date / place Imperial period, Didyma.

127Content A question is posed whether the cult practice should be changed. The god answers that it would be better to conduct the cult practice as it was traditionally done (πατριϰ]ῇ γνώμᾳ).

12818.

  • 41 Merkelbach Stauber, l.c. (n. 23), p. 33-34, n° 19.

129Edition SGO III 16/31/01.41

130Genre An oracle of Clarian Apollo concerning an altar for himself.

131Meter / length 6 hexameters plus a text in prose explaining the origin and dedicants of the altar.

132Date / place AD 20-250, Appia or Kotiaion (Phrygia).

133Content The god demands an altar to be built for him, as well as the holy rites to be performed on a monthly basis, and explains his own merits as well as his capacities.

13419.

  • 42 I.Didyma 496; Guarducci, o.c. (n. 3), p. 97; A. Herda, “Der Kult des Gründerheroen Neileos und die (...)

135Edition SGO I 01/19/05.42

136Genre An oracle of Apollo considering the cult of Demeter and her priestess; part of a dossier.

137Meter / length 1) 7 lines of question in prose,

1382) 3 hexameters of the oracular answer (at least),

1393) A question (missing),

1404) 16 hexameters of the oracular answer (at least).

141Date / place 2nd-3rd cent. AD, found near Miletus.

142Content The first question and answer concerns the query of a priestess of Demeter, apparently an interpreter of dreams, who asks why the gods do not appear in peoples’ dreams as often as before, especially since she became a priestess.

143The second question (missing) concerns the cult of Demeter in Miletus; it is not certain whether it was the same person who posed the question, or whether it was a query of the city of Miletus. The answer of the god is that “all humanity, especially the citizens of Miletus, should honour Demeter”. An instruction for a ritual consisting of a secret rite is given by the god, but nothing more can be told.

14420.

  • 43 I.Didyma 499; Fontenrose, o.c. (n. 22), p. 202, n° 27.

145Edition SGO I 01/19/06.43

146Genre An oracle concerning the transposition of an altar of Tyche.

147Meter / length 1) 14 lines of question in prose,

1482) 1 hexameter (answer).

149Date / place ca. AD 200, Didyma.

150Content The question is posed as to whether the treasurer should transpose the altar of Tyche from Apollo’s garden (παράδεισος) to the altar of All Gods. The god answered: “One should display honour (τειμᾶν) and respect (σέβεσθαι) for all the blissful gods”.

15121.

  • 44 I.Didyma 217; W. Peek, “Milesische Versinschriften”, ZPE 7 (1971), p. 196 sq.; SEG 15, 670; fonten (...)

152Edition SGO I 01/19/01.44

  • 45 See under 3.2.

153Genre An oracle of Apollo concerning the preferred type of sacrifice; “quasi-sacred regulation”.45

154Meter / length 13 hexameters.

155Date / place 2nd/3rd cent. AD Didyma, house of the prophet.

156Content The question might have concerned pestilence and how to get rid of it.

157Apollo prefers hymns (old, rather than new) to flesh sacrifices (sheep) or to statues of any material (gold, silver, etc.). The reward for the pious ones is stated: he who regards the gods will always receive a blameless gift of gratitude.

15822.

  • 46 Parke-Wormell, o.c. (n. 30), n° 471; J. Fontenrose, The Delphic Oracle, Berkeley, 1978, p. 190-191 (...)

159Edition SGO I 02/02/01.46

160Genre An oracle of Delphic Apollo pertaining to protection against an earthquake.

161Meter / length 1) 4 lines prose (question),

1622) 9 hexameters (answer).

163Date / place 3rd cent. AD, Tralleis (Caria).

  • 47 Cf. Chaniotis, l.c. (n. 35).

164Content The priest of Zeus made enquiry as to how the city might be protected from an earthquake. The god answered that the city should sacrifice to Poseidon. It is determined what should be sacrificed and by whom – the priest should sacrifice roots, fruits and corn with a pure hand (1. 8: ϕοιβῇ χερί47). Further, the form of the ritual address is precisely determined, the list of divine epithets is provided; the citizens are asked to sing the god a hymn in a particular fashion (the contents of the hymn are given), as well as to perform the ritual dance for Poseidon and Zeus.

16523.

  • 48 TAM 2, 174; SEG 28, 1222; H.W. Parke, Oracles of Apollo in Asia Minor, London, et al., 1985, p. 19 (...)

166Edition SGO IV 17/08/01.48

167Genre An oracle of Apollo of Patara concerning the priestess of Artemis in Sidyma.

168Meter / length The oracle (at least 14 hexameters) is a part of a larger dossier consisting of a letter from the city of Tlos to Sidyma (1); an aretalogy of Apollo and Artemis (2); a notice about the origin of the oracle (3); the oracle itself (4).

169Date / place 3rd cent. AD (the stone); the oracle middle or beginning of the 2nd cent. BC (it is 129 years older than the stone, as specified in the text 3); Sidyma.

170Content The priestess of Artemis should be a virgin, in order for the temple to be ἁγνός; the sacrifice to Artemis should be performed annually. It is stressed that the oracle follows the will of Apollo (v. 1, 3, 14); apart from Apollo, it is the will of Artemis as well.

17124.

  • 49 LSS 91.

172Edition I.Lindos II, n° 487.49

  • 50 For the discussion of the genre of this text see under 4.2.

173Genre Two regulations concerning ritual purity.50

174Meter / length 2 elegiac couplets.

175Date / place Imperial period (3rd cent. AD); on a pillar stone of the gate to the temenos of Athena Lindia, Lindos.

176Content The text consists of two parts; the first part (20 lines in prose) states the rules for ritual purity in detail and lists various sources of impurity.

177The second part, consisting of 2 elegiac couplets, expresses a direct warning for the impure, who should keep away from the temple, and at the same time welcomes all those who are pure. It should be noted that the cult personnel is obliged to follow a different (and less stringent) set of rules as far as their purity is concerned. The prose inscription offers a very detailed and elaborate list of possible sources of impurity (μίασμα), whereas the metrical one remains very unspecific on the subject.

17825.

  • 51 I.Didyma 504; Fontenrose, o.c. (n. 22), p. 204 sq., n° 30-31.

179Edition SGO I 01/19/08.51

180Genre 2 oracular answers of Apollo concerning the cult of Soteira-Kore.

181Meter / length 1st oracular answer 1): 1 hexameter;

1822nd oracular answer 2): 2 hexameters.

183Date / place AD 300, Didyma, south-eastern corner of the Apollo temple.

184Content A prophet asks whether an altar for Soteira-Kore should be built within the altar of All Gods. The god answered the following: Σοτίρης Κούρης τιμὴν περιβωμίδα ῥέζε. In the second question, the prophet asks how hymns to Kore should be sung, and the god determines the epithets and the contents of the song.

18526.

  • 52 SEG 27, 933; Parke, o.c. (n. 48), p. 166 sq.; SEG 35, 1821; Merkelbach Stauber, l.c. (n. 23), n° (...)

186Edition SGO IV 17/06/01.52

187Genre A Clarian oracle in Oinoanda.

188Meter / length 6 hexameters.

189Date / place 3rdAD, Oinoanda, city walls.

  • 53 CIG 4380n; cf. SGO I 17/06/0.

190Content There are two speakers in 6 hexameters: in 1-3 the sun’s rays explain the essence of the god and their relationship to him; in 4-6 the prophet explains the essence of the god as well and determines the form of a prayer (sacred regulation) addressing the religious community directly; beneath this altar there is another one with the following inscription: Χρωματὶς Θεῷ Ὑψίστῳ τὸν λύχνον εὐχ[ή]ν.53 The inscription stood on the city walls of Oinoanda, at the place where the rays of the rising sun first fall upon the city.

3. Types of communication and types of ritual in Greek metrical sacred regulations

3.1. General characteristics of oracular sacred regulations

31.1. Form of address and type of communication

  • 54 Cf. Guarducci, o.c. (n. 3), p. 33 sq.

191The sacred regulations, which go back to decrees of the assembly often begin with the formulaic phrase ἔδοξεν τῇ ϰαὶ τῷ δήμῳ. If we pay close attention to the form of address and to the way the information in them is being communicated, we can conclude that the communication is generally impersonal and unidirectional54: these texts do not address the reader in the second person, and they do not present themselves as part of a two-way communication. Instead, they often employ the third person and the unidirectional communication form. Their content is reduced to pure information, the form is simple, usually highly repetitive and aims at precision. Their language is clear, unambiguous and rather unimaginative. In short, these regulations are all about prodesse, non delectare.

  • 55 According to a note in SEG 31, 1687, the oracular sacred regulations, i.e. responses determining a (...)
  • 56 Cf. nos 5; 17; 20.

192The form and the type of communication are quite different in the metrical sacred regulations. Of the 26 inscriptions presented above55, only three employ the typical, indirect form of address56, but even if we examine these closely, we come to the conclusion that the indirect form is actually deceptive: two of them are in fact oracular responses and imply that the speaker is the god (even if his message is spoken in general terms and impersonally): text n° 17 is an oracle of Apollo concerning an alteration in cult practice. The god is opposed to a change and claims that the traditional way is the best (ἔστι τελεῖν πατριϰῇ γνώμῃ λῷον ϰαὶ ἄμεινον.) Text n° 20, also an oracle of Apollo, contains 14 lines of question in prose (basically considering the dilemma of the treasurer: whether he should transpose the altar of Tyche to the altar of All Gods or not) and an answer, formulaically introduced with θεὸς ἔχρησεν: All Gods should be honoured. Even though the narrative forms of both oracles are highly impersonal, the context implies a two-way communication and a certain form of directness: after all, the community is asking, the god is answering, and a certain level of interactive communication is indeed extant.

  • 57 Cf. n° 4.

193All other specimens of metrical sacred regulations demonstrate a high level of directness in communication. Twenty inscriptions contain direct addresses to the city or community, most of them from the god himself. Also significant is the fact that 18 of them are oracles, mostly of Apollo, who is not only obviously reacting to his worshippers, as he is answering their questions, but is furthermore addressing them very directly, urging them to do as he pleases. For instance, inscription n° 4 tells a story of the small city Syedra in Pamphylia that suffered constant pirate attacks. After asking the god for help, the Clarian Apollo advises the citizens to set up a statue of Ares in the centre of the city and flank it by the statues of Dike and Hermes. Ares should further be beaten with thyrsos and bound by Hermes. All of this is communicated in the second person plural, the text being filled with imperatives, which makes it very clear that it is the god himself who is speaking here. Especially interesting is the argumentative strategy of the address, which could be briefly summed up with the maxim “believe in God, but lock the car, too” (apart from the advised introduction of the new ritual, the citizens of Syedra are urged to organize resistance and punish the pirates severely). Furthermore, the god is not only presented as directly addressing the city, he is also providing an actual explanation of the recommended rite (which is an unusual phenomenon indeed): his interpretation of the beating of the statue can be summed up as “that is how Ares will be peaceful towards you”.57

194The oracular sacred regulations typically consist of prose text and an answer in verse (almost always composed in hexameters). The text in prose is either an explanation of circumstances or simply the transcript of the question posed to the god. N° 8 is a sacred regulation of the former type: the prose text explains the origin and dedication of an altar, whereas 6 hexameter verses are an oracle of Clarian Apollo urging the community to build an altar for him and to perform the holy rites every month.

195A typical representative of the latter type would be text n° 22: The priest of Zeus from the city of Tralleis enquires about the protection of the city; his question to the oracle of Apollo is preserved in 4 prose lines. The answer of the god consists of 9 hexameter verses. Apollo is addressing the city directly (ὦ πόλις) and urging it to perform a sacrificial ritual for Poseidon, determining the type of sacrifice, the performer of the sacrifice, the form and the content of the ritual address (hymns), as well as specifying the ritual dance in honour of the god.

  • 58 On metrical form and performance see Baumgarten, o.c. (n. 12), p. 67.
  • 59 Cf. n° 12.
  • 60 Cf. e.g. nos 3; 7; 19; 20; 22.

196The majority of metrical sacred regulations presented above are oracular responses (18:26), which, at least to some extent, explains their metrical form.58 The community obviously took pains to inscribe the answer of the oracle in the form in which it was presented to them. Interventions are notable in the prose text, as it is usually the concise explanation of the circumstances of the prophecy. The words of the god are more often than not introduced with words such as χρησμός59 or θεὸς ἔχρησεν60 and are thus clearly marked and separated from the rest of the inscription. The directness of the oracle is one of its prime characteristics; it practically urges the community to do as it is told, as it contains many instances of imperatives, vocatives and second persons singular or, more often, plural. The fact that it is written in meter is also a characteristic that sets it out and clearly marks it as something special, i.e. as the utterances of a deity.

3.1. 2. General statements61

  • 61 These texts mainly concern themselves with solving a particular problem a community is facing at a (...)
  • 62 N° 19.
  • 63 N° 18.
  • 64 N° 6.
  • 65 N° 17.
  • 66 N° 21, 1. 11: [τῆς δὲ θεοϕ]ροσύνης ἔσται χάρις αἰὲν ἀμεμϕής.

197It is an obvious characteristic of the oracular genre that not only a particular situation is being treated, but also a more general instruction concerning human behaviour or the relationship to the gods is being offered. General statements of this type can often be found in oracular responses to a question regarding a particular problem. Exemplary are the statements such as: “all of humanity, and especially the citizens of Miletus, should honour Demeter”62; “I [the god Apollo is speaking] am the one who gives fruits to the mortals whom I want to save and can make famous”63; “the goddess (probably Demeter) only hears prayers from the heart and ignores the others”64 “the traditional rite is absolutely the best”65. Another nice example of the maxim “can’t beat the tradition” comes from Didyma (n° 21), where an oracular answer to a (now lost) question offers a miniature but impressive poetic piece of advice: the speaker of the text is the god himself, the form of address is direct, and the whole 13 hexameters of the oracle are a treatise on tradition vs. innovation in Greek poetry at the time of the Second Sophistic. In short, Apollo stresses that he prefers poetry as a gift to animal sacrifices or golden statues, and goes on to specify that he much prefers old hymns to new ones. Having thus instructed the community on what to offer to the god, the oracle ends with the statement: “for he who regards the gods will always receive a blameless gift of gratitude”.66 The beginning of the text, that would conventionally be a prose explanation of the circumstances of the oracular answer, is not preserved, and the oracle itself is so general that the question cannot be deducted at all.

198This transposition of the treatment of a particular problem of one community to general statements considering the whole of the human race is what constitutes an oracular message, providing it with a timeless quality and a sort of general value, making it applicable to many problems, and, finally, conveying the sort of general, gnomic wisdom one would expect of a god.

3.1.3. Demand for purity

199Another general tendency of oracular sacred regulations is their reference to purity. The reason for this might be the character of Apollo, whose oracles are the context of most of these types of texts, and secondly, the fact that many of them busy themselves with the institution of a rite or its accommodation to new circumstances, both of which are necessarily involved with the need for ritual purity. For instance, the oracle of Delphic Apollo concerning the protection of the city of Tralleis (Caria) against earthquake proscribes the institution of the sacrificial rite to Poseidon by noting that the priest should sacrifice “with pure hand” e.g. conduct a pure sacrifice (n° 22); another prophecy of the same oracle for Magnesia on the Maiander concerning the interpretation of the falling of the tree (n° 10) advises the citizens to build a temple for Dionysos and choose a priest, who should be εὐάρτιος and ἁγνός, (v. 8); another Apollo oracle concerning the priesthood of Athena in the city Herakleia under Latmos (n° 7) prescribes that the priestess should be chosen annually, that she must belong to the elite not only by birth, but also by her couduct (1. 13:γένει ἠδὲ βίου τάξει).

200Generally speaking, the oracular sacred regulations do address a particular occasion, but show a tendency to generalize, thus broadening their significance from a single occasion to general human conditions; they often mention and stress the importance of purity; they have an immediacy of direct speech of a god, thus demanding attention and reverence, and formally they almost always differ from the rest of the inscription they are embedded in, insofar as they are metrical, whereas the rest of the text is prose. Seen as sacred regulations, their main purpose is to communicate a ritual, either giving instructions for instituting new cults and rituals as a means for protecting the community from perils and evils, or instructing in the manner of conduct in already existing ritual practices.

201When it comes to communicating the ritual, the oracular sacred regulations clearly possess a high amount of authority. If we return to the situation of Euthyphro, whose efforts to provide the community with counsels concerning divine things are met with general ridicule, we come to the conclusion that his problem is the obvious lack of authority. This is a problem the oracular response clearly does not have to deal with, since it claims the highest possible authority – namely, that of a god. Who could better instruct humans in regard to cult than the god himself?

202The divine authority of the oracular sacred regulations has the metrical form as its vehicle and a distinct set of contextual characteristics. These formal and contextual characteristics demarcate the oracular texts from other types of sacred regulations. Thus we could say that they do not only communicate a ritual, but with their form and set of contextual characteristics also ritualize the communication in the sacred space (being themselves the result of a ritualized communication). The aspect of ritualized communication is their very form: just as the majority of other prescriptive texts in prose open with ἔδοξεν τῇ βουλῇ ϰαὶ τῷ δήμῳ and inform their recipient not only about the details of ritual actions, but also of the type of authority who decided to inscribe the ritual regulations on stone, the oracular responses inform their recipients not only about the details of a particular ritual, but also about the type of authority who guarantees their informational content. The difference is that the oracular responses do not do this directly (the explanation of the θεὸς ἔχρησεν type is not part of the oracular response itself), but through the means of their metrical form and their particular topoi. Their form is their additional message. Therefore we can speak of them as ritualized communication inasmuch as they operate on at least two levels: they provide the information first on the level of meaning (i.e. what is to be done) and secondly on the level of form (i.e. words of a god). The contextual characteristics of these texts, such as the gnomic statements and demands for purity, are additional markers of a divine utterance: together with the form, these features mark the text as a divine utterance and make it recognizable as such. One could assume that the form is in this case also a label, just as a pair of a discreet crossed letters C (O) on a bag conveys a whole cluster of meanings to the fashion-conscious: not only that the leather garment in question comes from the internationally renowned house of Chanel, but also that its cost is astronomical and that its owner is probably very well-off and has classic good taste.

203We could try to stretch this simile further: where there are labels with a significant amount of authority, there are soon copycats. In a way, imitation is the highest form of praise, and some of the magic dust of the coveted double C could rub off on the not so well-off owner of a Taiwanese copy (that being the theory).

204Does this work for divine utterances as well? In other words, were there efforts to sprinkle the magic dust of θεὸς ἔχρησεν on other types of sacred regulations? In what follows, we will try to prove that the capital of the divine authority of the oracular responses was perceived as something worth striving for and that there is a whole class of texts that emulates the form and topoi of the oracular sacred regulations in order to create the impression of a divine authority.

3.2. Non-oracular metrical sacred regulations

  • 67 For the formal decisions of the boule to make enquiry of an oracle, see Wörrle, l.c. (n. 7), p. 32 (...)

205That the communication between humans and oracular deities is ritualized need not be especially stressed or explained here. One can hardly think of a single instance of communication of this type that would not be essentially and inseparably attached to either a private or a public ritual.67 The inscriptional evidence that bears witness for this type of communication is vast and scattered all over the Greek world; it occurs chronologically from the 6’h century BC until the 3rd century AD.

  • 68 For general remarks on religious authority see Price, o.c. (n. 2), p. 67 sq. where he discerns two (...)
  • 69 For obvious reason we consider here only the metrical sacred regulations; for an analysis of the i (...)

206The divine answers to human questions, the urging to institute or modify a ritual from the “highest place” has an immediacy and very probably the impact that ἔδοξεν τῇ βουλῇ ϰαὶ τῷ δήμῳ simply lacks. Even if the sacred regulation is not an oracular one, how better to persuade the worshippers of its high authority and authenticity, then to pretend that it is?68 If we now turn to non-oracular sacred regulations, we can, in our opinion, observe how strong was the impact of the oracular sacred regulations on other texts of ritual character. In other words, we will now argue that some prominent topoi of the oracular sacred regulations were integrated in metrical sacred regulations of other types, in order to increase their authority and their persuasiveness. This could be done on several levels.69 One could, for instance, insert a gnomic statement in the sacred law and thus embellish it with a sort of timeless quality reserved for oracular responses. A very effective way to claim the authority of the oracular sacred regulation without actually being one is to add a clause regarding such categories as purity, or, even better, purity of mind – only a god could be the judge of a pure mind.

  • 70 I.Lindos II, n° 484.

207A very nice example of the attempt of the inscriptional Gattungskreuzung is a foundation inscription containing sacred regulation from Lindos, dated roughly to the imperial period (our text n° 16)70:

  • 71 For the deity ψίθυρος “The Whisperer” and oneiromancy see Usener, l c. (n. 38), p. 623-624.

τῷ ψιθύρῳ νηὸν πολυϰείονα τεῦξε Σέλευϰος
ϰοσμήσας αὐτὸν ὥσπερ ἐχρημάτισεν.
χρῆσεν ϰαὶ θύειν οἷς ϰαὶ τὸ συνειδὸς ἄριστον
ϰαὶ τειμᾶν δραχμῇ ἥττονι δ’ οὐϰ ἐθέλειν
ϰαὶ τοῦτῳ χρῆσθαι προςέτους εἰς νηὸν Ἀθήνης,
δώσειν γὰρ πράξεις τοῖσι θύουσι ϰαλάς.
Seleukos built a temple of many columns for the Whisperer
And adorned it just the way he was instructed in a dream.71
And he has proclaimed that the sacrifices should be conducted by those of the best (sc. clear) conscience;
May the honour for the god be shown by the gift of a drachma (a gift of lesser value will not be appreciated),
The visitors of Athena’s temple should visit this one, too,
Because the goddess will give fair favours to those who sacrificed.

208The text consists of three elegiac couplets, the speaker is not identified, but the connection with the divine is alluded to in the second verse, which mentions divination. One wonders if it was a god who invested the authority in Seleukos, which would make his sacred regulation a sort of a divine oracle. The second interesting characteristic of this sacred regulation is a demand for a clear conscience on the part of those who enter the temple. This clearly points in the direction of oracular sacred regulations and divine utterances. The speaker of the text is not a god, but Seleukos; the executor of the god’s will presents himself as a mere instrument not only by pointing out the fact that he did as he was told in a dream, but also by not speaking directly – he is merely referred to in the third person singular. This lack of clarity paired with a mention of a prophetic dream and a demand for a clear conscience leads the reader to the conclusion that the real agent of the inscription is a god himself. In this way, on the one hand, the ritual in the temple of The Whisperer is being prescribed, but on the other hand, by using the topoi of the ritualized communication in oracular sacred regulations, one is led to the conclusion that this inscription is an oracular sacred regulation too, which embellishes it with a greater authority.

209Unfortunately, the author of the epigram took it too far, and the resulting effect seems rather odd than authoritative. He couldn’t satisfy himself with alluding to a greater power standing behind his venture, but had to include another divine power in the game too. A temple for The Whisperer is actually a joint venture with Athena’s temple, and she is the additional authority summoned to cement the significance of the temple. All of this, in addition to statements about lesser gifts that would not be appreciated, might make the wrong kind of impression. The grandeur turns to pettiness, sublime to preposterous.

  • 72 L. 23-26.

210A much more impressive example of a Gattungskreuzung, done very well indeed, is another inscription from Lindos (above n° 24), a 3rd century AD sacred regulation consisting of a prose text (21 lines), meticulously listing the rules for ritual purity and ending with two highly effective elegiac couplets72:

τάν ποτ’ Ὀλύμπον ἔβας ἀρετάϕορον εἴσιθι. τοιγὰρ
εἰ ϰαθαρὸς βαίνις, ᾦ ξένε, θαρραλέως.
εἰ δέ τι πᾶμα ϕέρις, τὸν ἀπάμονα ϰάλλιπε ναόν,
στεῖχε δ’ ὅπα χρῄζις Παλλάδος ἐϰ τεμένους.
Having trodden the virtuous path toward Olympus, enter. That is to say,
If you are coming pure, stranger, enter without fear.
But if you are carrying blame with you, leave the blameless temple,
Go wherever you want, but stay away from Athena’s precinct.

211The speaker in this inscription is not identified, but it is evident that the epigram styles itself as a divine utterance. It addresses its reader directly, and interestingly enough, as a stranger. The path is referred to as the one leading to Olympus. The effect is one of a powerful divine being, abiding high on the slopes of Olympus, directing its gaze at the newcomer. Is he worthy of the entrance? The inspecting view of the divinity rests upon the reader of the inscription as he hastily goes over his past in his mind, wondering what he should do.

212The impact would not be as great if the inscription were not cleverly alluding to oracular sacred regulations and at the same time avoiding false pretences. The reference to the purity of the soul, the direct addressing of the newcomer, the word “stranger”, which puts one in the setting of the oracles, where practically everyone is a stranger, waiting to hear the will of the gods -it all summons the topoi of the oracular sacred regulations and sets the stage for the divine address. Since the identity of the speaker is not implied by anything, one may as well conclude that it could not be anyone but Athena herself.

  • 73 See infra.

213The fact that this sacred regulation consists of a long prose text and a short epigram is yet another shrewd strategy (attested in further instances73) for setting the scene for the god. The tedious, but informative first part is left unadorned, the whole weight of the text amasses itself at the very end, and the form is very well adjusted to the meaning: whereas the prose part of the sacred regulation lists earthly pollution, such as sex, birth, menstruation, miscarriage, breastfeeding etc., the verse part employs just one word, πῆμα, thus at the same time generalizing the context from particular situations to the whole of human existence, and elevates it to the lofty slopes of Olympus (one should bare in mind that πῆμα is a Homeric word).

  • 74 The usual interpretations suggest Asclepios and Sarapis. Cf. LSS 108, p. 177.

214An almost identical persuasive strategy can be observed in another Rho-dian inscription coming from the 1st century AD. The inscription, whose exact provenance cannot be determined, displays a very similar structure to the example above. Unfortunately, a significant part of the stone is missing, so that the identity of the deity concerned cannot be decided on (cf. above n° 8)74:

  • 75 The elegiac couplet is italicized.

[ἀπὸ ἀϕρ]οδισίω[ν]
ἀ[πὸ] ϰυάμων,
ἀπὸ ϰαρδίας.
ἁγνὸν χρὴ ναοῖο θ[υ]-
ώδεος ἐντὸς ἰόντ[α]
ἔνμεναι οὐ λουτρὀι
ἀλλὰ νόῳ ϰαθαρόν.
ϰαθ’ ἀδίτους θύοντα,
ἐνωάλλειν εἰς τὸν θη-
σαυρὸν βοὸς <α΄, τῶ[ν]
ἄλλων τετραπόδων [.],
ἀλέϰτορος ε΄.75

215It can be easily recognized that the textual structure corresponds to that of the Lindian sacred regulation discussed above: after what seems to have been an extensive list of the sources of impurity, a gnomic summary in the form of an elegiac couplet defines the type of purity requested by the god.

  • 76 Cf. Porphyrius, De abstinentia II 19. Cf. Chaniotis, l.c. (n. 35), p. 152.

216Although all three examples discussed above come from Rhodes, one can by no means speak of an exclusive phenomenon of this island. According to Porphyrios, the temple of Asclepios in Epidauros also displayed a metrical sacred regulation, whose hexameter is identical with that of the Rhodian inscription and whose pseudo-pentameter provided the reader with a hermeneutic commentary: ἁγνὸν χρὴ ναοῖο θυώδεος ἐντὸς ἰόντα ἔνμεναι. ἁγνεία δ’ ἐστὶ ϕρονεῖν ὃσια.76

  • 77 Door-inscription and not a horos: cf. Voutiras, l.c. (n. 35 [19951), p. 18-19.
  • 78 For the date cf. Voutiras l c. (n. 35 [1998]).

217Further, the new metrical inscription from the city of Euromos in Caria (our n° 15) makes it evident that we do not have to do with a local epi-graphic habit. The door of the temple of Zeus Lepsynos77, built during the reign of Hadrian78, confronted the visitors with the following instructions:

εἰ ϰαθαράν, ὦ ξεῖνε, ϕέρεις ϕρένα ϰαὶ τὸ δίϰα[ι]ον
ἤσϰηϰες ψυχῇ, βα[ῖ]νε ϰατ’ εὐίερον
εἰ δ’ ἀδίϰων ψαύεις ϰαί σοι νόος οὐ ϰαθαρεύει,
πόρρω ἀπ’ ἀθανάτων [ἔ]ργεο ϰαὶ τεμένους.
οὐ στέργει ϕαύλους [ἱ]ερὸς δόμος, ἀλλὰ ϰολάζει,
τοῖς δ’ ὁσίοις [ὁ]σίους ἀντινέμει [χάριτας].
If you bring a pure mind, stranger, and if in your soul justice
Is practiced, come to this place of sanctity.
But if you touch the unjust and if your sense is not pure,
Stay away from the gods’ rite and land.
The holy house does not approve of villains, it castigates them,
But the pious ones will receive pious gifts in return.

  • 79 Cf. p. 171.

218Just like the texts 15, 16 and 24, this poem too consists of elegiac couplets. The identity of the speaker is not revealed, but it is obvious that he is of higher authority since it is the speaker who distinguishes between the pure and impure visitors, promising rewards for the pious and punishment for the transgressors. In addition, the purity dealt with is again the purity of mind, whereas the addressee is again “a stranger”, a topos we mentioned in connection with visitors in an oracle.79

  • 80 The word is not found as a substantive in LSJ; for the adjective see LSJ s.v. εὐίερος, -ον. For a (...)
  • 81 Cf. Chaniotis, l.c. (n. 35), p. 158: “Die besondere Bedeutung des neuen Textes von Euromos liegt [ (...)
  • 82 The word is translated by Errington, l.c. (n. 35); Voutiras, l.c. (n. 35 [1995]), although providi (...)

219Interestingly enough, the purity of the mind is not the only explicitly mentioned and mandatory condition the visitor had to fulfil in order to enter the sanctuary, the “εὐίερον”80, unharmed. Entry is allowed only for those who also “practice justice in their souls” (v. 1-2).81 This makes it clear that the speaker, the one who is to assess the visitors, is of a superior power. Who but a deity is capable of recognizing whether the visitor has a pure mind, or is practiced in justice? Further, the speaker claims for himself the authority of the [ἱ]ερὸς δόμος – he knows what will happen, if the visitor does not come to terms with the prerogatives for entrance. Not only it is forbidden for them to enter the temenos of the immortals, as in the Lindian sacred regulation (cf. above text 24.4: στεῖχε δ’ ὅπα χρῄζις Παλλάδος ἐϰ τεμένους), but they are also banned from conducting the [ἔ]ργον of the immortals.82 We find here not only a refusal of access to the temenos for those of impure soul, but also a prohibition against taking part in the ritual.

  • 83 On the form and setting see under 4.1.

220In sum, there are several formal and contextual elements the metrical sacred regulations have in common. As far as their physical setting is concerned, all of the texts belong to the sacred space; all of them stood either on the horoi of a temenos, or in the temenos, or on the temples themselves. Also in regard to the textual form these poems share common features: all of them are composed in elegiac couplets.83 Concerning the similarities in content, it is obvious that all of them deal with purity – not with physical purity of any kind, but primarily with the purity of mind, a prominent motif of oracular sacred regulations (cf. 8.2: νόῳ ϰαθαρόν; 15.1: ϰαθαράν, ᾦ ξεῖνε, ϕέρεις ϕρένα; 24.3: εἰ δέ τι πᾶμα ϕέρις).

221Secondly, we had observed above that the non-oracular metrical sacred regulations make use of further features of the oracular sacred regulations, such as the motif of the “gnomic statements”. Interesting, too, is that they allude to another characteristic of seeking and being provided with the oracular text that is not immanent in the very oracular response, but can rather be implied from the circumstances of consulting the oracle. Since the great Greek oracles were places where many people from different parts of the Greek world met, and everyone was a stranger away from home, the non-oracular metrical sacred regulations take up this situation and address their recipient as “stranger”. This alludes to the situation at the oracle site and places the text in the oracular discourse.

222But do these similarities enable us to conclude that in antiquity these texts were actually read and understood as utterances of the gods, as texts embellished with the same type of authority as, say, the Delphic oracles?

223We believe we can argue this.

4. Construction of authority

4.1. Form and placement

224Whereas it is obvious that the oracular responses claim a god’s authority, it may be questioned in what way could an ancient reader recognize the authority of a god in a non-oracular sacred regulation. In our opinion, there are some elements determining the authority of a non-oracular sacred regulation.

225Their form should be emphasised first: as we could see in the non-oracular responses above, the authority was mediated through the textual form. The elegiac disticha started being incorporated in the prose texts of the sacred regulations as a marker of change in the authority of the message. This change of authority was, however, not as explicit as in the instances we could observe in the oracular responses, where one can find a textual cleft indicated either through one of the usual formulae (such as θεὸς ἔχρησεν) or through the lay-out of the text itself.

226In the non-oracular sacred regulations, when a metric sacred regulation is combined with a prose text, one cannot find the formulaic θεὸς ἔχρησεν or similar expressions, which would make it clear for any recipient that it is now the god who is addressing him.

227What is obvious, however, is that non-oracular metrical sacred regulations adopted the metrical form, the topoi and the language of the oracular responses. In presenting the features of an oracle response, the text claims the same type of authority, namely, that of a god. At the same time they cunningly circumvent any identification of the person, i.e. authority, speaking, thus leaving it to the recipient himself to detect the speaker of the metrical text. One can also come to the conclusion that the speaker is of a numinous or superhuman nature on the basis of the content of address. Who else but a god can speak in an encouraging or discouraging voice, promising reward for the pious and the punishment for the impious? Who else but a god could have actually known about the purity of the visitor’s mind?

  • 84 Cf. above on texts 8 and 24.
  • 85 Cf. above 3.2.
  • 86 Cf. n° 15, l. 5: οὐ στέργει ϕαύλους [ἱ]ερὸς δόμος, ἀλλὰ ϰολάζει.

228Additional element in the construction of the authority of these texts is their very placement. All of the texts concerned were integrated into the sacred space, either appearing on the gates of the temenos,84 or adorning the walls or doors of the sanctuary itself.85 Thus the speaker is the “house of a god”86, which comes very close to a god himself.

  • 87 Cf. e. g. LSAM 3, 15; 15, 34-39; 16, 29-33; esp. 33, 15 sq.; 62, 6 sq.

229The connection between the spatial authority and the authority of the text is apparent. It is well known that the Greeks paid a great deal of attention to the context where an inscription containing a sacred regulation would be placed. This is easily recognized, due to the texts themselves, which often state the exact location where the stele was set up, as well as the type of material the text was inscribed upon. Even though a reader of today might find it somewhat peculiar that the facts perceptible for any recipient, such as the location of and the material for the inscription-carrier, were transported from the draft to the stone, in more than one instance one finds even greater details which clearly illustrate that the exact setting and the form of a sacred regulation was a matter of no minor concern. The type of letters87 may be determined, as are the number of the copies (as well as the place where the copies were to be kept), and the costs for the inscription as well as the fee for the mason who was to be engaged for the task may be fixed. Such accuracy, combined with the fact that the information about the circumstances of the publication were carved upon the stone, is probably not to be seen as a result of an automatic and unreflected dealing with ritual regulations. On the contrary – this information seems to disclose a persuasive strategy employed by a polis in order to show that the decisions made by, say, boule and demos are conducted just in the way they were planned. It is now possible for any reader of the decree to see for himself that the polis was making a serious effort to honour its gods. Therefore, one can assume that, for a metrical sacred regulation, the same type of attention was provided and that the place at which they were set up mattered.

4.2. Programming the speaker

230How was the communication ritualized in non-oracular sacred regulations? Obviously, the generic characteristics of these texts led a reader to grasp the similarities of these texts with the closest genre, namely that of oracular responses.

  • 88 A.P. XIV, 65-102; 112-115.
  • 89 Cf. Parke Wormell, o.c. (n. 30), p. xvii.
  • 90 Cf. XIV, 65-66 (for Homer); 67 (for Laios); 68 (for Karistos); 69 (for Lykurgos); 79 (for Kroisos) (...)

231In our opinion, the single formal and contextual features of the group of texts we called non-oracular sacred regulations made this association obvious. The literary sources confirm the impression that these texts were already in antiquity perceived as utterances of gods. Book XIV of the Anthologia Palatina, the notorious mixture of enigmatic and arithmetic epigrams, contains a section of some 40 oracular responses, most of them attributed to the Delphic god.88 The series was included probably very early into the predecessors of the A.P., and it seems that the collection was widely read.89 Among the extant oracles (many of which come from literary sources, especially from Herodotus), one can distinguish the oracles for famous persons and cities90 from the oracles containing more general utterances. Interestingly enough, whereas all of the oracles for the single poleis or persons are written in hexameters, the more general ones are written in elegiac disticha. Further, they have purity, and once again, not any kind of purity, but the purity of mind for their subject. Under the heading χρησμὸς τῆς Πυθίας, the following two texts are introduced:

232A.P. XIV, 71:

ἁγνὸν πρὸς τέμενος ϰαθαροῦ, ξένε, δαίμονος ἔρχου
ψυχήν, νυμϕαίου νάματος ἁψάμενος’
ὡς ἀγαθοῖς ἀρϰεῖ βαιὴ λιβάς’ ἄνδρα δὲ ϕαῦλον
οὐδ’ ἂν ὁ πᾶς νίψαι νάμασιν Ὡϰεανός.
Stainless in respect to your soul, stranger, come to the temenos of the
Pure deity, after you have washed yourself with water sacred to the Nymphs.
For the virtuous, just a drop will suffice, but he who is wicked
Will not be washed clean by the water of the whole Ocean.

233A.P. XIV, 74:

ἱρὰ θεῶν ἀγαθοῖς ἀναπέταται, οὐδὲ ϰαθαρμῶν
χρειώ τῆς ἀρετῆς ἥψατο οὐδὲν ἄγος.
ὅστις δ’ οὐλοὸς ἦτορ, ἀπόστιχε’ οὔποτε γὲρ σὴν
ψυχὴν ἐϰνίψει σῶμα διαινόμενον.
The sanctuary of the gods is open for the virtuous, I do not even require
Cleansing – because to virtue clings no pollution.
But whoever is wicked in heart – away with you! Because
Bathing of your body will never purge the filth of your soul.

  • 91 For the scholarship on these matters cf. the works of Fernández Delgado, above n. 69.
  • 92 M. Totti, Ausgewählte Texte der Isis- und Sarapis-Religion, Hildesheim et al., 1985, p. 147, n° 61

234The texts presented by the compiler of the Anthology’s source certainly do share some of the generic markers of oracular poetry and were therefore classified as belonging to this genre.91 The two epigrams from the Anthology are, however, not the only indications that this type of text was viewed in antiquity as belonging to the genre of oracular answers. Just as it is the case above, the well-known “Sarapis Oracle for Timainetos”92 is in fact not an oracle for anyone, but belongs, strictly speaking, to the same genre of texts as the Lindian epigram (n° 24), the epigram from Rhodes (n° 8), and the text from Euromos (n° 15). Its formal characteristics are the same (two to three elegiac couplets), it also considers purity of the mind, and it is thus plausible to assume that it was set in the same material context as the examples quoted above, namely either marking an entrance to the temenos, or to the temple itself:

ἁγνὰς χεῖρας ἔχων ϰαὶ νοῦν ϰαὶ γλῶτταν ἀληθῆ
εἴσ<ι>θι, μὴ λοετροῖς, ἀλλὰ νόῳ ϰαθαρός’
ἀρϰεῖ γὰρ θ’ ὁσίοις ῥανὶς ὕδατος ἄνδρα δὲ ϕαῦλον
οὐδ’ ἂν ὑ πᾶς λοῦσαι χεύμασιν ὠϰεανός.
You, who posses untainted hands and mind, and whose tongue is true,
Enter pure – not by bath, but in your mind;
Because for the chaste one, a drop of water will suffice. But he who is wicked,
Could not be washed by the whole ocean with its water.

  • 93 Voutiras, l.c. (n. 35 [1995]), p. 15; Lupu, o.c. (n. 3), p. 18.
  • 94 Cf. De sacribus, 12-13.
  • 95 Chaniotis, l.c. (n. 35).

235The question of how these texts should be classified is not an easy one. In his discussion of the Euromos epigram, Emmanuel Voutiras has suggested, plausibly, in our opinion, that this text should be viewed as belonging to the genre which Lucian named programma.93 After having discussed the lustral rites and the procedure of slaying of the sacrificial animals, Lucian goes on to criticize the appearance of the priests who are stained with the blood, “like the Cyclops of old”, even though τὸ μὲν πρόγραμμά ϕησι μὴ παριέναι εἰς τὸ εἴσω τῶν περιρραντερίων ὅστις μὴ ϰαθαρός ἐστιν τὰς χεῖρας.94 Lucian has apparently limited the term programma to the physical sphere on account of the context of his narrative; it is a well-known fact, however, that the requests for purity, especially in the East of the Imperial period, commence requiring purity of the mind very early.95 In accordance with the Euromos inscription we can view the remaining metrical inscriptions as programmata, as divine prescriptions on how to enter a sacred space.

5. Conclusion

236The group of sacred regulations we referred to as oracular metrical sacred regulations were diffused throughout the Greek world, and yet they demonstrate some characteristic general topoi: the communities usually inscribed them on stone in the metrical form, and provided them with a prose text containing either the summarized circumstances of the oracle or the text of the question posed to the god. Often the oracular answer is very clearly marked as the voice of a god: its tone is compelling, it addresses the community, i.e. the reader, directly, and is more commanding than advising. Apart from offering solutions to day-to-day problems, the oracular metrical sacred regulations often offer general advice in gnomic form and they tend to refer to ritual purity, particularly to the purity of mind. Their form and content thus exhibit a high degree of uniformity. These texts are connected to the ritual in three ways:

  1. They are the result of the ritual of consulting the oracle.
  2. They prescribe the ritual practice by specifying how and by whom the ritual should be performed.
  3. They are also in themselves a ritualized form of communication, because the way they address the recipients became a ritual in itself: They provide the recipient with information by employing a specific form.

237We have argued that the oracular sacred regulations possessed an authority some of the texts from other sanctuaries wanted to be able to claim for themselves, too. One way to achieve this type of authority was to compose texts that claim the divine authority, without having to go as far as to falsely declare it: On the one hand, these poems took the typical characteristics of the oracular sacred regulations. On the other hand, the lack of divine authority was compensated for by the placement of the poems: they were situated in a place that would imply that they carried the word of a god, the temple doors for instance.

  • 96 Cf. Staal, l.c. (1975), p. 2 sq.

238Thus the divine authority was constructed, but in this process a new form of ritualized communication came into being. Communication in the pseudo-oracular sacred regulations is even more ritualized than in the oracular sacred regulations. For the latter texts do aim to convey a certain message, even though they display a high degree of formality, whereas the former texts barely aim to communicate anything at all,96 apart from the fact that their mysterious speaker could be divine. The oracular metrical sacred regulations not only refer to the fact that their origin is the god himself, they also communicate rituals; they demand ritual practice. The non-oracular metrical sacred regulations are different insofar as the ritual they communicate is on the verge of being obsolete: the pureness of the soul is either there or not. Their purpose is not really to communicate a ritual, but, paradoxically, to ritualize the communication to the point where there is really little left to actually communicate. Not only their form becomes a message, but, at the greatest extreme, their form becomes the message. And the message is: “Look who’s talking now – for all you know, it could be a god.”

Notes

1 We would like to express our gratitude to Mr. Rodney Trotter for scrutinizing our English, to the editor of this volume, as well as to A. Chaniotis and J.E. Lendon for many useful suggestions and corrections they provided us with. The titles of epigraphic corpora and text-collections have been abbreviated according to the usual practice.
The scholarship concerning the definition of ritual and its relationship to religion is vast. We can point only to a very few of the more influential treatises on the subject: J. Goody, “Religion and Ritual: The Definitional Problem”, British Journal of Sociology 12 (1961), p. 142-164; J.Z. Smith, To Take Place: Toward Theory in Ritual, Chicago, 1987; C. Bell, Ritual Theory, Ritual Practice, Oxford, 19952 [1992]; for an overview of ritual theories see C. Bell, Ritual: Perspectives and Dimensions, Oxford, 1997, p. 3-22. On the significance of ritual for communication and vice versa cf M. Bloch, Ritual, History and Power: Selected Papers in Anthropology, London, 1989, p. 122; F. Staal, “The Meaninglessness of Ritual”, Numen 26 (1975), p. 2-22; E.W. Rothenbuhler, Ritual Communication. From Everyday Conversation to Mediated Ceremony, Thousand Oaks, 1998, passim and esp. p. 26.

2 See e.g. B.C. Dietrich, Tradition in Greek Religion, Berlin, New York, 1986, p. 87-89; cf. R. Garland, Introducing New Gods. The Politics of Athenian Religion, London, 1992, p. 1-3 describing the Athenian pantheon as a “permanent flux”; J.N. Bremmer, Greek Religion, Oxford, 1994 p. 1: “Was there ever such a thing as Greek religion?"; F. de Polignac, “Divinités régionales et divinités communautaires dans les cités archaïques”, in V. Pirenne-Delforge (ed.), Les panthéons des cités: des origines à la «Périégèse» de Pausanias: actes du colloque organisé à I’Université de Liège du 15 au 17 mai 1997, Liege, 1998 p. 22 sq. On the interplay between the local elements and panhellenic myths see S. Price Religions of the Ancient Greeks, Cambridge, 1999, p. 3-10. Cf also C. Sourmnou-Inwood, “What is Polis Religion?", in R. Buxton (ed.), Oxford Readings in Greek Religion, Oxford, 2000, p. 13-37, esp. p. 17-19, on the religion of a polis versus the pan-Hellenic religion.

3 For sacred regulations in general cf. M. Guarducci, Epigrafia Graeca IV, Roma et al., 1978, p. 3-45, R. Parker “What are sacred laws?”, in E. M. Harris, L. Rubinstein (eds), The Law and the Courts in Ancient Greece, London, 2004, p. 57-70; E. Lupu, Greek Sacred Law. A Collection of New Documents (NGSL), Leiden, 2005, p. 3-110. On the richness of rituals contrasted with the scantiness of the actual ritual-performative texts cf. A. Henrichs, “Dromena und Legomena. Zum rituellen Selbstverständnis der Griechen”, in F. Graf (ed.), Ansichten griechischer Rituale, Stuttgart /Leipzig, 1998, p. 33-71.

4 For the typological range of inscriptional texts dealing with Greek religion cf. A. Henrichs, “Writing Religion. Inscribed Texts, Ritual Authority, and the Religious Discourse of the Polis”, in H. yunis (ed.), Written Texts and the Rise of Literate Culture in Ancient Greece, Cambridge, 2003, p. 38-58, esp. p. 42-45; A. Barchiesi, J. Rüpke, S. Stephens (eds), Rituals in Ink. A Conference on Religion and Literary Production in Ancient Rome, Stuttgart, 2004.

5 The problems of definition of the term “ritual” as well as those of the term “communication” are notorious. In the context of Greek religion and as far as the term “ritual” is concerned cf. J.N. Bremmer Greek Religion, Oxford, 1994, p. 38-9; J.N. Bremmer, "‘Religion,’ ‘Ritual’, and the Opposition ‘Sacred vs. Profane’", in Graf, o.c. (n. 3), p. 9-32, esp. p. 14 sq. We use the term in its restrained meaning and limit it to the sacred domain. Under the term “communication” we understand the process of conveying information. Rothbuhler’s book (o.c. [n. 11) concentrates less on the religious aspects of ritual, but stresses the inseparability of ritual from communication, cf. p. 26.

6 For priests as interpreters of ritual cf. locus classicus Plato, Politicus, 290c-d; see also R.S.J. Garland, “Religious Authority in Archaic and Classical Athens”, ABSA 79 (1984), p. 75-123, esp. p. 76.

7 On theopropoi see M. Worrle, “Inschriften von Herakleia am Latmos II. Das Priestertum der Athena Latmia”, Chiron 20 (1990), p. 19-58, esp. p. 32 sq.

8 On exegetai and the lost Exegetika cf. R. Parker, Athenian Religion: A History, Oxford 1996, p. 51 sq.

9 For exegetai, manteis, oracles and demos see Garland, l.c. (n. 6), p. 74 sq.; id., “Priests and Power in Classical Athens”, in M. Beard, J. North (eds), Pagan Priests. Religion and Power in the Ancient World, London, 1990, p. 73-91; Price, o.c. (n. 2), p. 70-73.

10 On ritual and authority in general cf. B. McVeigh, “The Authorization of Ritual and the Ritualization of Authority: The Practice of Values in a Japanese New Religion”, JRitSt 6.2 (1992), p. 39-58; on Greek texts and ritual authority cf. A. Henrichs, “Hieroi Logoi and Hierai Bibloi: The (Un)Written Margins of the Sacred in Ancient Greece”, HSCPh 101 (2002), p. 207-266.; id., I.e. (n. 4), p. 52 sq. For a different view on the impact of written texts on “ordinary Greeks” cf. W.V. Harris, Ancient Literacy, Cambridge Mass., 1989, p. 83.

11 Plato, Plt., 290a. Translation (slightly modified) after H.N. Fowler, Plato. With an English Translation, London, New York 1925, p. 121.

12 Plato, Euthyphro, 3c. Cf. also Price, o.c. (n. 2), p. 72-73, with n. 18 for Lampon, the famous religious expert of the 5th century BC as the object of puns in comedy (Cratinus in Athenaeus). Cf. Aristophanes, Aves, 980 sq. and R. Baumgarten, Heiliges Wort und Heilige Schrift hei den Griechen, Tübingen, 1998, p. 42-48; Henrichs, l.c. (n. 4), p. 53-54.

13 Cf. Henrichs, l.c. (n. 4), p. 52 sq.

14 Much wider in scope and primarily concerned with different material is the collection of W. Furley, J. Bremmer, Greek Hymns, Vol. I-II, Tübingen, 2001.

15 On ritual and authority see: McVeigh, l.c. (n. 10), p. 39 sq.; Henrichs, l.c. (n. 4), passim.

16 Cf. under nos 2, 3, 9, 19, 23.

17 LSS 108; see under n° 8.

18 Cf. under n° 2.

19 A. Petrović is preparing an edition with a commentary of the Greek metrical sacred regulations.

20 Ed. pr. G.E. Bean, “Notes and Inscriptions from Caunus”, JHS 74 (1954), p. 85-110. Cf. SEG 14, 655; H. Lloyd-Jones, “A New Oracle in an Inscription”, JHS 75 (1955), p. 155; SEG 15, 155; W. Peek, “Ein Orakel des Gryneischen Apollon”, Philologos 100 (1956), p. 139-140; SEG 17, 493; H. Hommel, “Das Versorakel des Gryneischen Apollon”, Philologos 102 (1958), p. 84-92; R. Merkelbach, “Ein Orakel des Gryneischen Apollon”, ZPE 5 (1970), p. 48; SEG 40, 1109; G. Ragone, “Il tempio di Apollo Gryneios in Eolide. Testimonianze antiquarie, fonti an-tiche, elementi per la ricerca topografica”, in B. Virgilio (ed.), Studi Ellenistici III, Pisa, 1990, p. 103-112.

21 Ed. pr. F.W.R. Wilamowitz-Möllendorf, Nordionische Steine, Berlin, 1909, p. 37-48, n° 1; SGDI IV, p. 883, n° 62; ISAM 24; I.Erythrai 2, n° 205.

22 I.Didyma, 132; J. Fontenrose, Didyma. Apollo’s Oracle, Cult, and Companions, Berkeley, 1988, n° 14.

23 L. Robert, “Un oracle à Syédra, les monnaies et le culte d’Arès”, in id., Documents de l’Asie mineure méridionale. Inscriptions, monnaies et géographie, Genève, 1966, p. 91 sq.; E. Maròti, “A Recently Found Versified Oracle against the Pirates”, AAntHung 16 (1968), p. 233 sq.; F. Sokolowski, “Sur l’oracle de Claros destiné à la ville de Syédra” BCH 92 (1968), p. 519 sq.; E. Maròti, “Miscellanea Graeco-Latina”, Gymnasium 98 (1991), p. 177 sq.; C.A. Faraone, Talismans and Trojan Horses, New York, 1992, p. 74-76; R. Merkelbach, J. Stauber, “Die Orakel des Apollon von Klaros”, EA 27 (1996), p. 1-54, n° 15; P. De Souza, “Romans and Pirates in a Late Hellenistic Oracle from Pamphylia”, CgN.S. 47 (1997), p. 477 sq.

24 On the oracles of Clarian Apollo cf. Merkelbach Stauber, l.c. (n. 23), p. 3 sq.

25 CIG 3797; I.Kalchedon 14; FGE LXX, 375-77, v. 1372-1379. Cf. SEG 43, 1313.

26 LSAM 6; I.Kios 19; Merkelbach Stauber, l.c. (n. 23), n° 14.

27 Ed. pr. Wörrle, l.c. (n. 7), p. 19-58; SEG 40, 956; cf. also SEG 17, 1074.

28 J. & L. Robert, “Bulletin épigraphique”, REG 59-60 (1946/7), p. 338, n° 157.

29 Ed. pr. R. Merkelbach, E. Schwertheim, “Die Inschriften der Sammlung Necmi Tolunay in Bandirma, Teil II. Das Orakel des Amnion fur Kyzikos”, EA 2 (1983), p. 147 sq.; SEG 33, 1056; SEG 34, 1326; SEG 48, 1480.

30 I Magnesia 215; SEG 39, 1846, H.W. Parke, D.E.W. Wormell, The Delphic Oracle HI, Oxford, 1956, vol. II, n° 338; R.S. Kraemer, Maendas, Martyrs, Matrons, Monastics. A Sourcebook on Women’s Religions in Graeco-Roman World, Philadelphia, 1988, n° 9. Cf. A. Henrichs, “Greek Maenadism from Olympias to Messalina”, HSCPh 82 (1978), p. 121 sq., esp. p. 123 sq.; SEG 40, 999; SEG 42, 1853.

31 R. Merkelbach, “Ein Orakel des Apollon fur Artemis von Koloe”, ZPE 88 (1991), p. 70-72; F. Graf, “An Oracle against Pestilence from a Western Anatolian Town”, ZPE 92 (1992), p. 267 sq.; SEG 41, 981; SEG 43, 799; SEG 46, 1464; Merkelbach Stauber, l.c. (n. 23), n° 11; SEG 48, 1357; J.R. Somolinos, “Artemis Efesia en Lidia y Apollo Clario en Éfeso”, in Actas del IX congreso Español de estudios clasicos, Madrid, 1997, p. 207 sq.

32 IGR IV, 1498; SEG 42, 1816; Faraone, o.c. (n. 23), p. 103; Merkelbach Stauber l.c. (n. 23), n° 8, 9.

33 CIG II, 3538; I.Pergamon 324; IGR IV 360; SEG 31 1098; L. Robert, “Documents d’Asie Mineure”, BCH105 (1980), p. 331-360., esp. p. 359-360; Mf.rkelbach Stauber, l.c (n. 23), n° 2.

34 Ed. pr. P. Herrmann, “Athena Polias in Milet”, Chiron 1 (1971), p. 291-2; R. Merkelbach, “Ein Didymaeisches Orakel”, ZPE 8 (1971), p. 93-4; T. Drew-Bear, W.D. Lebek, “An Oracle of Apollo at Miletus”, GRBS 14 (1973), p. 65 sq.; Fontenrose, o.c. (n. 22), p. 199-200, n° 25.

35 M. Errington, “Inschriften von Euromos”, EA 21 (1993), p. 15 sq., n° 8; SEG 43, 710; E. Voutiras, “Zu einer metrischen Inschrift aus Euromos”, EA 24 (1995), p. 15 sq.; A. Chaniotis, “Reinheit des Körpers – Reinheit der Seele in den griechischen Kultgesetzen”, in J. Assmann, Th. SUNDERMEIER (eds), Schuld, Gewissen und Person, Gütersloh, 1997, p. 156-158; SEG 47, 2340; E. Voutiras “Nachtrag zu einer metrischen Inschrift aus Euromos”, EA 30 (1998), p. 148; SEG 48, 1329.

36 For a discussion of the genre of this text, see under 4.2.

37 After Voutiras, l.c. (n. 35 [1998]).

38 H. Usener, “Psithyros”, RhM 59 (1904), p. 623; L.M. Vazquez, Inscripciones Rodias, Vols. I-III, Diss. Madrid, 1988, vol. II, p. 308, n° 636.

39 Cf. our n° 24.

40 I.Didyma 499; Fontenrose, o.c. (n. 22), p. 203, n° 28.

41 Merkelbach Stauber, l.c. (n. 23), p. 33-34, n° 19.

42 I.Didyma 496; Guarducci, o.c. (n. 3), p. 97; A. Herda, “Der Kult des Gründerheroen Neileos und die Artemis Kithone in Milet”, JÖAI67 (1998), p. 1 sq.; SEG 48, 1412.

43 I.Didyma 499; Fontenrose, o.c. (n. 22), p. 202, n° 27.

44 I.Didyma 217; W. Peek, “Milesische Versinschriften”, ZPE 7 (1971), p. 196 sq.; SEG 15, 670; fontenrose, o.c. (n. 22), p. 238, n° B 1.

45 See under 3.2.

46 Parke-Wormell, o.c. (n. 30), n° 471; J. Fontenrose, The Delphic Oracle, Berkeley, 1978, p. 190-191; I.Tralleisl, 1; J. Mylonopoulos, “Poseidon, der Erschütterer. Religiose Interpretationen von Erd- und Seebeben”, in J. Olshausen, H. Sonnabend (eds), Naturkatastrophen in der antiken Welt, Stuttgart, 1998, p. 82 sq., esp. p. 86-87; SEG 48, 2114.

47 Cf. Chaniotis, l.c. (n. 35).

48 TAM 2, 174; SEG 28, 1222; H.W. Parke, Oracles of Apollo in Asia Minor, London, et al., 1985, p. 190-2; SEG 35, 1821; A. Chaniotis, Historie und Historiker in den griechischen Inschriften, Stuttgart, 1988, p. 75 sq., T 19; SEG 38, 1970; SEG 39, 1413; CP. Jones, Kinship Diplomacy in the Ancient World, Cambridge Mass., 1999, p. 114-145; SEG 49, 2430; R. Merkelbach, “Der Glanz der Städte Lykiens. Die Festrede des Literaten Hieron (TAM II 174)”, EA 32 (2000), p. 115 sq., esp. p. 120 sq.; SEG 50, 1356.

49 LSS 91.

50 For the discussion of the genre of this text see under 4.2.

51 I.Didyma 504; Fontenrose, o.c. (n. 22), p. 204 sq., n° 30-31.

52 SEG 27, 933; Parke, o.c. (n. 48), p. 166 sq.; SEG 35, 1821; Merkelbach Stauber, l.c. (n. 23), n° 25; SEG 46, 1464; E. Livrea, “Sull’ iscrizione teosofica die Enoanda”, ZPE 122 (1998), p. 90 sq.; S. Mitchell, “Wer waren die Gottesfurchtigen?”, Chiron 28 (1998), p. 55 sq., esp. p. 62-63; SEG 48, 2470.

53 CIG 4380n; cf. SGO I 17/06/0.

54 Cf. Guarducci, o.c. (n. 3), p. 33 sq.

55 According to a note in SEG 31, 1687, the oracular sacred regulations, i.e. responses determining a sacred ritual, have been collected by T.L. Robinson in his dissertation: Theological Oracles and Sanctuaries of Clarus and Didyma, Diss. Harvard, 1981 (non vidimus).

56 Cf. nos 5; 17; 20.

57 Cf. n° 4.

58 On metrical form and performance see Baumgarten, o.c. (n. 12), p. 67.

59 Cf. n° 12.

60 Cf. e.g. nos 3; 7; 19; 20; 22.

61 These texts mainly concern themselves with solving a particular problem a community is facing at a particular time: the attacks of the pirates (n° 4), protection against earthquakes (n° 22), or against a pestilence (nos 11-13). Another group of oracular sacred regulations consists of answers to questions regarding the formal characteristics of a particular ritual (nos 17, 20, 25) or the election of a priest (nos 7, 14). Sometimes they busy themselves with interpreting dreams (such as that of a priestess, n” 19) or signs, such as fallen trees (n° 10).

62 N° 19.

63 N° 18.

64 N° 6.

65 N° 17.

66 N° 21, 1. 11: [τῆς δὲ θεοϕ]ροσύνης ἔσται χάρις αἰὲν ἀμεμϕής.

67 For the formal decisions of the boule to make enquiry of an oracle, see Wörrle, l.c. (n. 7), p. 32 sq.

68 For general remarks on religious authority see Price, o.c. (n. 2), p. 67 sq. where he discerns two fundamental instances: religious officials (priests, exegetai, manteis) and oracles. Garland, l.c. (n. 9), p. 77 sq. examines the ritual authorities in classical Athens and distinguishes five different groups of authority-bearers: priests; exegetai; chresmologoi and manteis; demos; oracles.

69 For obvious reason we consider here only the metrical sacred regulations; for an analysis of the influences of the language of oracular responses on other genres of poetry cf. J.A. FernÁndez Delgado, “Poesía oral mantica en los oraculos de Delfos”, in M.J.L. Vitoria (ed.), Symbolae Ludovico Mitxelena septuagenario oblatae, I, Univ. del Pais Vasco, 1985, p. 153 sq.; id., Los oràculos y Hesíodo. Poesia oral mantica y gnómica griegas, Caceres, 1986; id., “Orakel-Parodie, mündliche Dichtung und Literatur im homerischen Hermes-Hymnus”, in W. Kullmann, M. Reichel (eds), Der Übergang von der Mündlichkeit zur Literatur bei den Griechen, Tubingen, 1990, p. 153 sq.; id., “Das Orakel in der frühgriechischen Poesie”, WJA 17 (1991), p. 17 sq.

70 I.Lindos II, n° 484.

71 For the deity ψίθυρος “The Whisperer” and oneiromancy see Usener, l c. (n. 38), p. 623-624.

72 L. 23-26.

73 See infra.

74 The usual interpretations suggest Asclepios and Sarapis. Cf. LSS 108, p. 177.

75 The elegiac couplet is italicized.

76 Cf. Porphyrius, De abstinentia II 19. Cf. Chaniotis, l.c. (n. 35), p. 152.

77 Door-inscription and not a horos: cf. Voutiras, l.c. (n. 35 [19951), p. 18-19.

78 For the date cf. Voutiras l c. (n. 35 [1998]).

79 Cf. p. 171.

80 The word is not found as a substantive in LSJ; for the adjective see LSJ s.v. εὐίερος, -ον. For a discussion of the word see Voutiras, l.c. (n. 35 [1995]), p. 17.

81 Cf. Chaniotis, l.c. (n. 35), p. 158: “Die besondere Bedeutung des neuen Textes von Euromos liegt […] darin, dass er nicht bloß gerechte Taten verlangt, sondern von einer gerechten Seele spricht […]. Der Verfasser dieses Textes ist ausschliesslich an den inneren Menschen interessiert”.

82 The word is translated by Errington, l.c. (n. 35); Voutiras, l.c. (n. 35 [1995]), although providing an extensive commentary on the poem, does not comment the word.

83 On the form and setting see under 4.1.

84 Cf. above on texts 8 and 24.

85 Cf. above 3.2.

86 Cf. n° 15, l. 5: οὐ στέργει ϕαύλους [ἱ]ερὸς δόμος, ἀλλὰ ϰολάζει.

87 Cf. e. g. LSAM 3, 15; 15, 34-39; 16, 29-33; esp. 33, 15 sq.; 62, 6 sq.

88 A.P. XIV, 65-102; 112-115.

89 Cf. Parke Wormell, o.c. (n. 30), p. xvii.

90 Cf. XIV, 65-66 (for Homer); 67 (for Laios); 68 (for Karistos); 69 (for Lykurgos); 79 (for Kroisos); 92-93 (for Athens); 99 (for the Greeks before the battle of Plataia), etc.

91 For the scholarship on these matters cf. the works of Fernández Delgado, above n. 69.

92 M. Totti, Ausgewählte Texte der Isis- und Sarapis-Religion, Hildesheim et al., 1985, p. 147, n° 61.

93 Voutiras, l.c. (n. 35 [1995]), p. 15; Lupu, o.c. (n. 3), p. 18.

94 Cf. De sacribus, 12-13.

95 Chaniotis, l.c. (n. 35).

96 Cf. Staal, l.c. (1975), p. 2 sq.

Auteurs

Institut für Altertumswissenschaften Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen Otto-Behaghel-Str. 10, Haus G D – 35394 Giessen e-mail: mailto:ivana.petrovic@klassphil.uni-giessen.de

Seminar für Alte Geschichte und Epigraphik Universität Heidelberg Marstallhof 4 D – 69117 Heidelberg mailto:andrej.petrovic@urz.uni-heidelberg.de

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