Version classiqueVersion mobile

La norme en matière religieuse en Grèce ancienne

 | 
Pierre Brulé

Norms of Public Behaviour towards Greek Priests: Some Insights from the Leges Sacrae1

Eftychia Stavrianopoulou

Résumé

Les normes de comportement public à l’égard des prêtres grecs. Un aperçu tiré des lois sacrées. La relation entre prêtre et prêtresse, la polis et le rituel dans les cultes grecs anciens soulève une série de questions intéressantes touchant à leur définition et à leur rôle. En se fondant sur des documents épigraphiques, l’article aborde l’ambiguïté du profil religieux des spécialistes du rituel grec autant que l’interaction du prêtre avec les participants au culte et la communauté dans sa totalité, afin de discerner quelques normes de comportement public pour la prêtrise, qui étaient appliquées pour résoudre des conflits entre les parties impliquées. Les exemples analysés révèlent diverses stratégies de gestion des risques qui, en retour, servent à renforcer l’autorité sacerdotale. Parmi ces stratégies, on trouve l’annonce publique des règles qui concernent à la fois le culte et les spécialistes du rituel, la mise en évidence de la transgression possible des règles associées à l’autorité sacerdotale autant que le transfert d’autorité des institutions politiques ou religieuses au prêtre ou à la prêtresse.

Texte intégral

I.

  • 1 The following abbreviations are used: I.Kalchedon: R. Merkelbach, Die Inschnften von Kalchedon, Bon (...)

1The connection between priest and priestess, polis and ritual in ancient Greek cults raises a variety of interesting questions concerning their definition and role. In this paper, I shall focus on the following question: What was the role of the polis in defining, mediating and confirming the ritual competence of priests and priestesses? On the basis of epigraphical documents, I shall address the ambiguity in the religious profile of a Greek ritual specialist as well as the interaction of the priest with the cult participants and with the community as a whole. My main aim is to draw attention to these problems and to outline some norms of public behaviour towards priesthood, which were applied to resolve conflicts between the parties involved.

2One of the aspects, which make an act a ritual act, is the so-called “ritual competence” of the individual who carries out the act. I define this competence as the circumstance, in which this acting person is recognized by others as having the ability to carry out the particular ritual. This ritual competence thus divides the actor from other people, who do not have the ability or right to carry out the act in question as a ritual. The same act does not qualify as a successful ritual, when it is carried out by persons without the relevant ritual competence: The desired effect connected to the ritual will be considered as not having been attained.

  • 1 Cf. D. Frankfurter, Religion in Roman Egypt. Assimilation and Resistance, Princeton, 1998, p. 203.

3By including questions regarding ritual competence and its definition in each context, as well as their mediation and confirmation, we may thus comprehensively portray how the fonction of a priest in the context of a ritual performance should be viewed and evaluated. People possessing ritual competence are able by means of their authority to turn any set of actions into a ritual1, but also to effect alterations in the course of a ritual. These persons are thus not only the guarantors of the actual performance, but also the ones who hand down the “traditional interpretation” of the rituals, or who modify or even invent them.

II.

  • 2 Cf. the famous passages of Demosthenes, Prooemium, 55, p. 1461; Isocrates, Ep. II Nikokles, 6 (“any (...)
  • 3 Cf. J. Martha, Les sacerdoces athéniens, Paris, 1882, p. 10: “Le culte dans l’antiquité est un serv (...)
  • 4 On the different opinions in scholarship about the ritual competence of Greek priests see R. Garlan (...)

4Already in ancient times there was a certain scepticism and mistrust surrounding the role and fonction of a priest or priestess2. Similarly, there is a tendency in the modem literature to be critical of the priests, because these do not appear to have corresponded to the image of an intermediary between immortals and mortals, for no special training and no special knowledge were necessary in order to hold the office of a priest3: Many priests only remained in office for a short time, having received their position through the drawing of lots or even by purchase, and even among those in whose families the priesthood was hereditary there were many who held other offices in the state besides that of a priest. Furthermore, the ability and the right to perform a ritual were not the sole privilege of the priests, since they were also accorded to both magistrates and private persons4.

  • 5 For discussions of that term see R. Parker, “What are Sacred Laws?’, in E.M. Harris, L. Rubinstein (...)
  • 6 See Chr. Sourvinou-Inwood, “What Is Polis Religion?”, in O. Murray, S. Price (eds.), The Greek City (...)

5This rather unfavourable picture of the role of Greek priests contrasts with the testimonies revealed from those epigraphic sources known collectively as ‘sacred laws’5: Regulations regarding for instance, place, time, precise details (like creating publicity, preparation of utensils), the realisation of the event (order and correctness of particular sequences, use of the right material, the right clothes etc.) as well as regulations governing ritual specialists and participants (lists of purity commandments) display a vivid interest in the performance and the performers of a ritual. Furthermore, the leges sacrae also witness the apparent concern of the polis in determining the profile of (public) cults, but also of priests, since the laws are in their majority the result of decisions ratified by the political leadership of a community following a corresponding motion by one or more individuals and subsequent discussion. Religious matters were thus considered political and were supervised as such, but the concrete effects of such a blurring of the line between religion and politics in the religious life of priests and priestesses have still to be considered6. In the following I shall try to show that the polis’ patronizing of priests not only contributed to the definition of the ritual competence of the Greek priest, but also to mediating this competence to the other participants in the ritual.

III.

  • 7 LSAM 36 [= I.Priene 165 (part); 195 with p. 311; SEG 15, 688; L. Vidman, Isis und Sarapis bei den G (...)

6In an inscription from Priene (ca. 200 BC) we find regulations regarding the conduct of rituals in the cult of the Egyptian deities Isis, Sarapis and Anubis. The sacrifices and festivals, the actions of the cult personnel, instructions and sanctions for the disregard of these, form the contents of this text. The text reads like a ceremonial book, in which it has been fixed which rituals are to be performed, how, when, and by whom7. In the surviving part of the inscription the yearly sacrifice for Isis and Sarapis on the 20th of the month Apatourion is mentioned, a date corresponding to the Osiris festival in Egypt at the beginning of November. The second great festival, the torchlight procession, took place in honour of the goddess Isis: the priest was to provide the oil needed for this occasion. In addition, the text also mentions further sacrifices, such as the sacrifice of two doves for Isis and Sarapis, which the priest was to deposit upon the sacrificial table. Here, the preparation of a meal for the deities evidently corresponds to the Egyptian ritual of daily ‘hospitality’.

  • 8 For the introduction of the cult of Isis and other cults of Egyptian deities in Greek cities see P. (...)

7Altogether, the descriptions of the rituals, which can be indirectly drawn from the text, give the impression that much effort was expended to continue to preserve the “authentic”, i.e. Egyptian, character of the newly introduced cult8. These efforts are also underlined by the requirement of having an Egyptian present, in other words a “true specialist of this cult”. The priest of the Egyptian deity in Priene is obliged to ensure the presence of an Egyptian priest of Isis for the purpose of performing the sacrifice. His role in the ritual and his qualifications for it are paraphrased in the text with the word ‘versed’ (line 21: τ̣ν Αγύπτιον τν συντελέσοντα τ[ν θυσίαν μπείρως·]). He has obviously to certify and supervise the correct performance of the rituals. In the following sentence, however, the possibility that no ‘versed’ Egyptian priest might be at hand for the sacrificial festival of Isis is also taken into consideration. In this case only the local priest among the ‘unversed’ is to be permitted to perform the sacrifice (lines 22-23: μ ξέστω δ μηθεν λλωι πείρως τ[ν θυσίαν ποεν τι] θε̣ι ̣ π το ερέως). Disregard of this regulation carries a fine and a public charge before the magistrates (lines 23-25: ε̣ δέ τις λλος π[είρως ποι, ζημιούσθ]ω δραχμς χιλίας ϰ̣α στω φάσις α̣̣)[το πρὸς τος ἄρ]χ̣ον[τα]ς).

  • 9 The word empeiria in relation to a priest is documented on a decree from Tlos concerning the lifelo (...)

8The key word, connected most closely with the successful performance of the sacrificial ritual and with its expected efficacy is, without any doubt, the term ‘versed’ (ancient Greek empeiria)9. But what is the meaning of this word in general, and especially in this specific context? What effect did the irregular presence of a versed or experienced religious specialist, and, contrariwise, the regular presence of a non-versed religious specialist, have on the practice of the cult and its rituals? By what means was the “inexperience” of the local cult specialist compensated for?

  • 10 Practical knowledge, which is learned mainly in mimetic processes, is distinct from reflexive knowl (...)

9Two types of priest are juxtaposed in the text: the ‘versed’ Egyptian and the ‘inexperienced’ local Greek priest. The profile of the local priest can be regarded as typical for a Greek priest: he is appointed to certain deities and to a certain temple, and he is to carry out the ritual actions in the proper manner. He is deficient, however, in not having any special training. Indeed, in the classical Greek cults such training was neither a prerequisite nor even characteristic for holding office as a priest. But it was a regular feature of Egyptian priests. Experience here means reflexive knowledge, comprehension of the matter, command of the technique and adroitness in execution, close acquaintance with the content of a ritual and how to perform it10. All these aspects belonged to the training of a cult specialist in Egypt. In this, the Egyptian priest of Isis differs from the Greek priest of Isis: the Greek priest of Isis can be classified in this regard as inexperienced, and he cannot fonction a priori as a guarantor that the cult will be preserved and, as a consequence, be perceived from the outside in a positive way.

10The cult participants in Priene, who will hardly have known either the Egyptian language or the course of the ritual, would have perceived the competence of the Egyptian ritual specialist as authentic. This feeling of authenticity surely contributed to the intensity of the religious experience.

11Although (or because) the constant presence of an Egyptian priest could not be ensured, his actions — including speech — constituted all the more not only the climax of the ritual, but also the yardstick by which the religious community would measure the local priest. The local priest of Isis was in a rather difficult and precarious position, because his authority, unlike that of the Egyptian priest, was rather limited by the irregular presence of an experienced colleague — or this is at least the conclusion one might draw at first sight. The text tells us a different story.

  • 11 Cf. M. Gaenszle, “The Power of Texts: Uses of Contextualization and Entextualization in Mewahang Ri (...)
  • 12 Two inscriptions from Delos (IG XI 4, 1290) and Anaphe (IG XII 3, 247) reveal the efforts on the pa (...)

12If the textual part concerning the presence of an Egyptian priest requires some attention and patience on the part of the reader to be noticed, being somewhat buried in the middle of the inscription, the active person in all sections is the local priest: he is the one responsible, the one sacrificing, and thus the local experienced cult specialist. He is the one who, like his Egyptian colleague, interprets the stars to decide when the sacrifice for a deity (Apis) is to be carried out. Thus, ritual competence is attributed to him by means of performance11, although he did not have the same level of special knowledge and training of an Egyptian priest. Experience in his case would primarily mean technique and dexterity, enabling him to guarantee the correct performance of the rituals and accordingly their efficacy, as well as to guarantee the cult as such12.

  • 13 Cf. also Iscr. di Cos ED 216, lines 19-26 (= LSCG 166); LSCG 36, lines 3-7 (Piraeus); 119, lines 9- (...)

13The local Greek priest of Isis may be inexperienced compared with the Egyptian priest, but he is considered the experienced one compared with the local cult personnel and the participants in the cult. This last distinction is important in the establishment of the ritual competence of the priest. The public acknowledgement of the ritual actions as well as of the rules concerning their possible transgression generates a common level between ritual specialists and cult participants. On that level the cult participants claim ritual competence equal to the one of an Egyptian priest and that of the seemingly inexperienced Greek priest. But since it is expressly prohibited for anyone else but the designated priest to carry out the ritual, there is an explicit delegation of roles and competence — layman-expert, unauthorized-authorized. So a ritual can be endangered only if someone other than the priest carries it out. This means, however, that the reasons for the success or failure of the ritual are not to be sought in the manner of execution of the ritual, but solely in the person responsible for it13. Consequently, evaluation of how and when the ritual hasfailed becomes simpler, for it can only fail through the actions of an unauthorized person. Transgression of this rule will be punished by means of a fine and by public charges. In this manner the limitation of potential causes of failure to one single factor enables the clear rectifying of a failed ritual, visible to all participants through the double punishment mentioned. On the other hand it strengthens the competence of the local priest vis-à-vis the authentic expertise of the Egyptian specialist and putative contestations by the participants.

IV.

  • 14 On the inscription see E.L. Edelstein, L. Edelstein, Asclepius: Collection and Interpretation of th (...)

14The next example comes from Pergamon (LSAM 13 = I.Pergamon II, 251) and refers to the priesthood of Asklepios14. According to the decree the city decided to appoint Asklepiades, son of Archias, as the priest of that cult and to grant his family a hereditary succession to this position (l. 7-11: τν μν ερωσύνην το σϰληπιο ϰα τν λλων θεν τν ν τι σϰληπ̣ι̣είωι δρυμένων εναι σϰληπιάδου το [Ἀρχί]ου ϰα τν πογόνων τν σϰληπιάδου ες π̣ιαν̣[τ]α [τ]ν χρόνον). The inscription offers us interesting information regarding the rights and duties of the priest of Asklepios: Asklepiades and his descendants should also be priests for other gods having their abode in the Asklepieion. The honourable portion of the sacrificial gifts was meted out, and it was allowed for him to wear a wreath on all special occasions. He was invited to a place of honour at all agones. He also received the right of harvesting the sacred land, and the city’s taxes were waived for him (1. 12-23). On the other hand he had the obligation of seeing to the maintaining and decorating of the sanctuary, and of supervising the temple slaves (1. 23-26).

  • 15 Translation EdelsteinEdelstein, o.c. (n. 14), p. 280-282 (nr. 491); I.Pergamon II, 251, lines 27 (...)
  • 16 Mytilene as a site for the public displaying of decrees: I.Pergamon I, 13 (ca 263 BC) = OGIS 266, l (...)
  • 17 Cf. I.Pergamon I, 248, lines 57-60: ϰρίνομεν δι τατα, πως ν ες τν παντα χρόνον ἀϰίνητα ϰα (...)

15The city or the timouchoi were to swear the following oath as a confirmation of the decision: “In order that this may be safeguarded for all time to come for Asklepiades and the descendants of Asklepiades, the city shall take a solemn oath in the Agora at the altar of Zeus Soterios, and the officials shall swear it: The city shall abide by what it has decreed for Asklepiades and the descendants of Asklepiades” (l. 31-33)15. Furthermore the generals (strategoi) who hold office had to supervise the fulfilment of the oath as it was written. The decree should be inscribed and set up in three different places, twice in Pergamon itself, in the sanctuary of Asklepios and in that of Athena on the Acropolis, and once in Mytilene in the local sanctuary of Asklepios16. Finally, the decree had to be added to the laws of the city and be treated as a regular law (nomos kyrios) for evermore17.

  • 18 IG IV 12, 60; cf. Ohlemutz, o.c. (n. 14), p. 123-125; 166 sq.; C. Habicht, Die Inschnften des Askle (...)
  • 19 Cf. infra, n. 20.
  • 20 Cf. Ohlemutz, o.c. (n. 14), p. 124-128; Habicht, o.c. (n. 18), p. 2 sq.
  • 21 I.Pergamon I, 246 = OGIS 332; SEG 41, 1087. The attribution of the decree, which was debated for a (...)
  • 22 I.Pergamon I, 246, lines 6-9: στεφανσαι τμ βασιλέα χρυσι στεφάνωι ἀριστείωι, ϰαθιερῶσαι δ ατο(...)

16The city’s procedure in introducing (or confirming) the hereditary priesthood appears unusual primarily because of the oath, but also because of the decision’s inclusion among the laws of the city. These measures become all the more peculiar if one considers the history of the cult of Asklepios in Pergamon. According to Pausanias (II, 26, 8), the Asklepieion of Pergamon was founded by one Archias, son of Aristaichmos, who after a hunting accident in the Pindasos Mountains had been healed in Epidauros. However, a proxeny decree from Epidauros in 191 BC for Archias, son of Asklepiades, priest of Asklepios in Pergamon and envoy of Eumenes II to the Epidaurian Asklepieia, shows that this cult legend is to be taken seriously18. Although it had originally probably been founded as private cult, it was likely turned into a state cult under the rule of Philetairos and Eumenes I19, as indicated by the erection of the sanctuary, by the double feast “Soteria and Herakleia” in honour of the saviours Asklepios and Herakles, by the issue of coins and by the naming of a phyle of Pergamon after the god20. One recognizes the special meaning of the god for the royal house and for the king himself through the example of the last king, Attalos III Philometor, as is demonstrated by a further decree from the last years of the monarchy21. Onthe occasion of the return of Attalos from a victorious military campaign, various honours were delegated whose centre was the Asklepieion. Attalos is thus supposed to have become synnaos of Asklepios Soter, and a cult image of him is to have been set up in the temple of Asklepios Soter, which is mentioned here for the first time (7-9). The priest of Asklepios should also yearly conduct a procession from the Prytaneion to the sanctuary of Asklepios and of the king, with a sacrifice and then a meal for the magistrates (14-17)22.

  • 23 I. Pergamon III, 45: [{ δενα το δενος} Περγα]μηνς [_— — — — — —]ΜΑΚΕΙΑΝ [τίμησ]ε̣ Φλ. [{vac.} (...)
  • 24 For the transmission of an inherited priesthood within a family see Lupu, o.c. (n. 5), p. 44sq. It (...)
  • 25 I.Pergamon II, 251 (with Frankel’s remarks); Allen, o.c. (n. 14), p. 162; 175; Ohlemutz, o.c. (n. 1 (...)
  • 26 An example of such conflicts provides us the decree I.Mylasa 861 (= LSAM 58) from Olymos (end of 2n (...)
  • 27 See supra n. 24.

17We do not expressly know whether the priesthood of Asklepios remained hereditary in the family of the founder, especially after the transformation of the private cult into a public one, but this should be assumed. Indeed, the descendants of the Asklepiades mentioned here held the priesthood through at least 22 persons in an uninterrupted line23. It is against this background that the modalities of the introduction or renewed confirmation of a hereditary priesthood would appear disconcerting. The fact that Asklepiades was a “true” ritual specialist excludes the possibility that the measures taken by the political authorities had anything to do with the a priori suitability of his person for the office of priest. But the prestige with which this position came could very well have been a cause of power struggles and could have led to possible defama-tions, thus endangering the reputation of the Asklepios cult in Pergamon24, especially in case the political context, i.e. the protection offered by royal authority, were to change. If the dating of the decree proposed by M. Frânkel and R.E. Allen is correct25, then we would find in the death of Attalos III (133 BC) and the new political conditions for Pergamon a satisfying explanation for this. New political conditions and new rivalries could have formed the basis for a formal confirmation of the probably already conventional practice of choosing the priest of the Asklepios cult from the family of the founder Archias26. The oath, which the magistrates as representatives of the polis had to swear on the altar of Zeus Soter in the agora, did by means of the transparency of its ritual performance replace the authority of the Attalid kings. This authority is known to us through the instalment into office by Attalos II of Athenaios, son of Sostratos, as hereditary priest of Dionysos Kathegemon and Sabazios27.

18Thus, the reputation of the cult and the authority of Asklepiades and his successors had to be bolstered against any opposing opinions and newcomersright from the beginning. The swearing of an oath as well as the adoption of the decree into the body of laws of the city — two extraordinary measures — are a testament to the pressure which weighed upon the city and the holder of the priestly office.

V.

  • 28 Kalchedon: I.Kalchedon 10-12 = LSAM 3-5; Pednelissos: LSAM 79.

19The interference of political events in cult matters aimed at ensuring the pre-eminence of the priests among the other cult participants and the preeminence of the cult as a whole. The inscriptions from Priene and from Pergamon are not the only examples for such preventive measures. A number of further inscriptions display the same problem. Three inscriptions from Kalchedon and one from Pednelissos in Pisidia demonstrate a similar interest in the holders of priesthood28. The documents from Kalchedon concern the sales of priesthoods of three different cults (Herakles, Meter and Asklepios), whereas the inscription from Pednelissos refers to an elected priestess.

  • 29 For a list of documents of sale of priesthoods see Lupu, o.c. (n. 5), p. 48 n. 236. Lupu rightly cl (...)
  • 30 I.Kalchedon 10, lines 9-12: φελέσθαι δ μηθεν ξεμεν τν ερωτείαν·[ς δέ] ϰα επ προαισιμνάσ (...)
  • 31 J.B. Connelly, Portrait of a Priestess: Women and Ritual in Ancient Greece, Princeton, 2007, P. 50- (...)

20The three inscriptions from Kalchedon dating between the 3rd century BC and the 1st AD are contracts29, and as such they list the rules for the office (qualifications, privileges and duties) as well as the conditions of the transaction (price and payment plan). Common to all of them is a clause according to which no person shall be permitted to attempt, with actions or words, to oust the priest from his position and to proclaim his appointaient invalid30. No one, be he private citizen or magistrate, may make a request of annulment to the people or city council. If such a decision were to be made anyway, it is to be declared invalid. The one who were to request an annulment or even to bring about a decision is punished with a fee. This money is to be paid to the treasury of the cult in question. Thus, it seems as though in Kalchedon a law existed concerning the sales of priesthoods that guaranteed the designated priests theinviolability of their position as well as the validity of the contract. The motives underlying the mode of acquiring priesthood by sale are not clear to us, but it is plausible that financial factors determined the use of this method31. This is probably why the polis was concerned to protect the buyers by means of warranties and thus to guarantee the continued functioning of each particular sanctuary.

  • 32 On the connection between priest and ritual, see also LSAM 4, lines 15-18: [λη]ψεται δ έ[ρεια (...)

21There are other aspects, which are protected by the same clause. The unassailable position of the buyer is related to his role as a priest. This connection between priest and cult is even expressly expounded. The city of Kalchedon considered it among the duties of the Asklepios priest that he, for example, be present in the sanctuary on a daily basis, and that he ensure the cleanliness of the stoa in front of the sanctuary: [νοίγε]ν δ τν ερῆ τν ναν ϰατμέ[ραν πιμε]λέσθαι δ ατν ϰα στοι[ς τς π]τ τι σϰλαπιείωι πως ϰαθαρ [ ι] (LSaIM 5, 24-26). The emphasis on the priest’s continued presence indicates that his person was necessary for the performance of ritual acts, and that the daily opening of the sanctuary and its general state of being were of particular importance for the city32.

  • 33 As Dignas, o.c. (n. 3), p. 267, correctly remarks concerning the sale of priesthoods, “first, the a (...)

22The reputation of each individual cult and, additionally, of the religious life of the community was dependent upon the “correct” filling of the priest’s office, i.e. upon the uncontested authority — for the time period determined by the contract — of the cult specialist. Since the ritual authority of those who had purchased their priestly offices was more ambivalent than that of those who had gained it by inheritance, the polis had to strengthen the authority of the priest — and surely not only in the case of the Asklepios cult — and to ensure that the term of office went by without complications33. Complaints about the competence of the cult specialist, who had been appointed for a specific time period, as well as gossip, resentment and other quarrels, were to be disposed of straight away, and this purpose was served by the legal clause that took effect together with the granting of the office.

  • 34 “Galato” is probably not the name but rather the title of the priestess. The extant text begins wit (...)
  • 35 LSAM 79, lines 6-8: Γαλατ δ στω ϰαθαρὰ ϰα α[ε] ̣[σία τι βιο]τ̣ι, ϰα έρεια στω, ως ν (...)

23A passage from a lex sacra of the Pisidian Pednelissos (LSaAM 79: 1st cent. BC) grants us a view of the atmosphere existing behind the scenes of ritual actions and influencing the evaluation of the conductor of the ritual. The law of the cult contains rules on the duties and privileges of a priestess called Galato.34 The priestess was elected by the drawing of lots among 10 candidates. The main qualifications were lifelong chastity and piety to the gods. Thus, it was her decent behaviour and not only the position as such that set the priestess apart from the other cult participants. But the city also declares: “Nobody shall say a word against or on behalf of the priestess”35. Apparently even a respectable priestess could have been victim of bad rumours and gossip. Generous praise for her person could also have led to critical voices.

  • 36 N. Emler, “Gossip, Reputation, and Social Adaptation”, in R.F. Goodman, A. Ben-Ze’ev (eds.), Good G (...)
  • 37 For sanctions against priestesses for transgressing rules of purity or other cult rules see LSCG 48 (...)

24Gossip is essential for establishing reputations; it “is the very process whereby reputations are decided”36. It is also a way to expose people’s infringements of norms, and therefore an essential tool for a community to ensure that its norms are respected. Although gossip can be essential for social control, people often gossip in ways that do not benefit society but that instead advance their own political and social interests. In that case gossip can fonction as a weapon to damage others without providing any significant contribution to the community. Thus, malicious, beneficial or even harmless gossip threatens not only to undermine Galato’s status as a morally (and bodily) flawless priestess37 but also to subvert cultic as well as community norms by exposing supposed back-stage behaviour and revealing alleged faults and scandals. The provision taken by the city in the case of Galato shows clearly that a cult can retain its reputation best if its priests are shielded against criticism.

25In the examples mentioned, we cannot positively know the hidden back-ground that led to measures like the automatic dismissal of any motion against priests (Kalchedon), the forced swearing of an oath (Pergamon) and even the prohibition against any form of public statements against priests (Pednelissos). Possible scenarios may encompass the incompetence of a priest in his office, private disputes between candidates for priesthood, disagreements with the choice of a specific candidate or simple gossip among community and cult participants. The common denominator of all examples, however, consists in the anxiety about a likely decline of a cult as a consequence of the questioning of the authority of its ritual specialist.

VI.

  • 38 Wörrle, l.c. (n. 31), p. 23-24, no. SUA, lines 1-16 = SGO I 01/23/02 (100 — 75 BC). See also Dignas(...)
  • 39 Translation Dignas, o.c. (n. 3), p. 266. Wörrle, l.c. (n. 31), p. 23-24, no. SUA, lines 10-16: ς (...)

26When the demos of Herakleia at Latmos turned to, probably, the oracle at Didyma with the question of whether it would be better to sell the priestly office for life or to choose the priest yearly, the god replied in favour of the latter option38: “With regard to how you shall appoint with excellent decisions and the best counsel the person who carries out the rites of the well-armed Pallas and sacred Tritonis in a way pleasing to the goddess and the whole people, hear the always truthful speech of Phoebus Apollo: you should elect from all citizens each year whoever is the most excelling with regard to his descent and life-style [...] for it is right that only such men approach the sanctuary of the goddess”39.

  • 40 On the qualifications of a priest/priestess see also Wörrle, l.c. (n. 31), p. 48 sq.

27To be and remain of an untarnished reputation and to carry out the rites in a way pleasing to the gods and to the people are the most important duties, which a priest or a priestess has to fulfil. The political leaders of a community were most certainly aware of the danger posed by an inaccurate performance or indecent way of life to the efficacy of the rituals and the reputation of the cult in general40. In this context the ritual specialist was not only the central figure, but also the one most open to attack. Careful management of this difficult situation was of the essence.

28These examples reveal various aspects of strategies of risk management, which in turn serve to reinforce priestly authority. Among these strategies are writing, i.e. the public announcement of rules concerning both cult and the ritual specialist; the focusing on a possible transgression against the regulations associated with priestly authority and on its punishment; the transferring of authority from political or religious institutions to the priest or priestess.

29It is possible to consider the inscriptions examined here as a visual result of a policy of public communication on the part of the city (or of the king or the gods). By writing down and revealing ritual actions and regulations the specific frame and the role of each of the parties herein were delimited and affirmed: Not only ritual specialists, but also the participants in a cult were made into supervising agents, although with different degrees of ritual competence. While both groups were required to contribute actively and passively to the success of the rituals, only the ritual specialist could shape this success and transform it into something “pleasing to the gods”, which presents the consensual goal. Thus, as in the example of the local priest of Isis, a ritual should only be considered a failure when the person equipped with this specific ritual competence is ignored and a third party carries out the ritual.

30The limitation of all possible dangerous factors for the ritual’s success is another strategy for strengthening the ritual specialist’s authority, even if this also leads to a strengthening of the position of the participants as a controlling instance. In addition, the focus on a transgression of the rules visible to all enables a rapid re-instatement of cult order by means of a punishment also visible to all. The fact that this punishment often corresponds to profane law may surprise the modern observer, but this was the more pragmatic route for an Ancient Greek religious community to prevent further — unforeseen — transgressions.

  • 41 B. Lincoln, Authority: Construction and Corrosion, Chicago/London, 1994, p. 4.
  • 42 Cf. Lincoln, o.c. (n. 41), p. 6. WÔRRLE, l.c. (n. 31), p. 46-48 (and in this connection DlG-NAS, o. (...)
  • 43 Cf. C. Pébarthe, Cité, démocratie et écriture. Histoire de l’alphabétisation d’Athènes à l’époque c (...)

31In the centre of all these measures and regulations meant to reinforce the authority of the ritual specialist we find the authority of those who “have the capacity to produce consequential speech, quelling doubts and winning the trust of the audiences whom they engage”41. By means of persuasion, power (including force or coercion) and by tracing their own authority back to the sphere of the gods, political institutions in a polis or of a king attempt not only to enforce their own decisions and to create a consensus within the community, but also, above all, to transfer their own authority to the holder of the priestly office. But it is possible to see in the use of persuasion and power — in and of themselves consecutive parts of any authority — the presence of difficulties, criticism or even rejection of authority. It may also be interpreted as a signal for a temporary negative action by those, over whom authority is being exercised42. It is precisely these efforts to keep the balance between consensus and hierarchy, which may be visualized by the communal decree of “eternity”43 or in the swearing of an oath on the agora.

32Thus, the sources or foundations on which the authority of priesthood mainly depended rested on public consent and acknowledgement: In the framework of the manifold and competitive religious microcosm of a polis there was no mystery about the rules, or about how a ritual could be efficacious or how it could fail. It is clear that the ritual specialist was not the one to blame.

Notes

1 Cf. D. Frankfurter, Religion in Roman Egypt. Assimilation and Resistance, Princeton, 1998, p. 203.

2 Cf. the famous passages of Demosthenes, Prooemium, 55, p. 1461; Isocrates, Ep. II Nikokles, 6 (“anyone is good enough to be a priest”), Xenophon, Cyr. I, 6, 2 (“[...] For I had you taught this art on purpose that you might not have to learn the counsels of the gods through others as interpreters, but that you yourself, both seeing what is to be seen and hearing what is to be heard, might understand; for I would not have you at the mercy of the soothsayers, in case they should wish to deceive you by saying other things than those revealed by the gods [....]).”

3 Cf. J. Martha, Les sacerdoces athéniens, Paris, 1882, p. 10: “Le culte dans l’antiquité est un service administratif et le sacerdoce un office public. Le prêtre est un des agents de l’autorité souveraine”; P. Stengel, Die griechischen Kultusaltertiimer, Munchen, 1920 (Handbuch der klassischen Altertumswissenschaft, 3), p. 33: “Ein eigentlicher Priesterstand hat in Griechenland nie existiert. Es gab keinen Religionsunterricht, keine Predigt, und je mehr angstlicher Aberglaube schwand, desto seltener bedurfte man eines Vermittlers zwischen sich und der Gottheit”; L. Ziehen, s.v. “Hiereis”, RE VII (1913), col. 1411: “Nach der bis in die neueste Zeit herrschenden Ansicht hat es bei den Griechen ein Priestertum im eigentlichen Sinne dieses Wortes nicht gegeben”; W. Burkert, Greek Religion: Archaic and Classical, Oxford, 1985 [1977], p. 95: “Greek religion might almost be called a religion without priests: there is no priestly caste as a closed group with fixed tradition, education, initiation, and hierarchy, and even in the permanently established cults there is no disciplina, but only usage, nomos. The god in principle admits anyone, as long as he is willing to fit in to the local community; [...] among the Greeks, sacrifice can be performed by anyone who is possessed of the desire and the means, including housewives and slaves.” See further J. Rupke, “Controllers and Professionals: Analyzing Religious Specialists”, Numen 5 (1996), p. 245 sq. (who points out that our image of religious specialists in Greco-Roman antiquity was rather formed by Christianity); M. Jameson, “Religion in the Athenian Democ-racy”, in I. Morris, K. Raaflaub (eds.), Democracy 2500?Questions and Challenges, Dubuque, 1997, p. 175 sq.; C. Sourvinou-Inwood, “Further Aspects of Polis Religion”, in R. Buxton (ed.), OxfordReadings in Greek Religion, Oxford, 2000, p. 39 sq.; R.L. Gordon, s.v. “Priester”, Neue Pauly X (2001), col. 319-322; B. Dignas, Economy of the Sacred in Hellenistic and Roman Asia Minor, Oxford, 2002, p. 246-248; 267 sq.; V. Pirenne-Delforge, “La cité, les dèmotelè hiera et les prêtres”, in V. Dasen, M. Plérart (eds.), Idia kai demosia. Les cadres “privés” et “publics” de la religion grecque antique, Liège, 2005 (Kernos, suppl. 15), p. 55-68; St. Georgoudi, “Athanatous therapeuein. Réflexions sur des femmes au service des dieux”, ibid., p. 69-82; V. Pirenne-Delforge, St. Georgoudi, “Personnel de culte”, ThesCRA V (2006), p. 1-65; For a discussion of the term “religious specialist”, see V.W. Turner, “Religious Specialists”, in A.C. Lehmann, J.E. Myers (eds.), Magic, Witchcraft, and Religion. An Anthropological Study of the Supernatural, Palo Alto, 1985 [1972], p. 81-88; Cf. also the collective reflections in the volume of M. Beard, J. North (eds.), Pagan Priests. Religion and Power in the Ancient World, London, 1990, on the religious specialists in the Ancient World.

4 On the different opinions in scholarship about the ritual competence of Greek priests see R. Garland, “Religious Authority in Archaic and Classical Athens”, ABSA 79 (1984), p. 114 sq; id., “Priests and Power in Classical Athens”, in Beard, North o.c. (n. 3), p. 73-91; B. Gladigow, “Erwerb religiôser Kompetenz. Kult und Offentlichkeit in den klassischen Religionen”, in G. Blnder, K. Ehlich (eds.), Religiose Kommunikation — Formen und Praxis vor der Neu^eit, Trier, 1997 (Stàtten und Formen der Kommunikation im Altertum, 6), p. 103-118; A. Chaniotis, “Priests as Ritual Experts in the Greek World”, in B. Dignas, K. Trampendach (eds.), Practitioners of the Sacred: Greek Priests from Homer to Julian, Cambridge Ma, 2008, p. 17-34. On magistrates performing sacrifices see F. Gschnitzer, “Bemerkungen zum Zusammenwirken von Magistraten und Priestern in der griechischen Welt”, Ktema 14 (1989), p. 31-38; Dignas, o.c. (n. 3), p. 247 sq.; R. Parker, Polytheism and Society at Athens, Oxford, 2005, p. 89-99; 220.

5 For discussions of that term see 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, and E. Lupu, Greek Sacred Law. A Collection of New Documents, Leiden, 2005 (RGRW, 152), p. 4-9.

6 See Chr. Sourvinou-Inwood, “What Is Polis Religion?”, in O. Murray, S. Price (eds.), The Greek City From Homer to Alexander, Oxford, 1990, p. 295-322; id., l.c. (n. 3).

7 LSAM 36 [= I.Priene 165 (part); 195 with p. 311; SEG 15, 688; L. Vidman, Isis und Sarapis bei den Griechen und Romern: Epigraphische Studien zur Verbreitung und zu den Tràgern des àgyptischen Kultes, Berlin, 1970 (RGVV, 29), nr. 291], lines 9-16: θσει δ ερες τι Σαρά[πιδι ϰ]α τ̣ι σιδι τν νομιζομένων νοσ[σν τ σϰέλη π τ]ραπέ̣ζ[η]ς συντελ[έσ]ε̣ι δ ϰα τς λλ[ας θυσίας τι Σαράπιδι ϰα τι σιδι ϰα τος θεος το[ς συννάοις?] ϰα τν λαμπαδείαν τι θει ϰαθότ[ι προσήϰει· δσει] δ ερες ϰα τι λαμπαδείαι τν [—] ως [λ]α̣μ[π]άδας ταλαντιαίας δο·θ[σει δ ερες] ϰα τι []πιδι ν τος χρόνοις τος νο[μιζομένοις —]; lines 20-25: παρε[χ]έ[τω δ ερες ϰα] τν Αγπτιον τν συντελέσοντα τ[ν θυσίαν μπείρως·] μ ξέστω δ μηθεν λλωι πείρως τ[ν θυσίαν ποεν τι] θει π το ερέως. ε δέ τις λλος π[είρως ποι, ζημιοσθ]ω δραχμς χιλίας ϰα στω φάσι̣̣ς α̣̣[το πρς τος ρ]χον[τα]ς. Translation: “[...] The priest shall sacrifice two of the doves prescribed to Sarapis [...] and Isis, and shall place them upon the altar. He shall also carry out the other sacrifices for Sarapis and Isis and the other gods honoured with them, and the torchlight procession dedicated to Isis, as is proper. The priest shall also provide the oil prescribed for the torchlight procession, in sufficient quantity for the two lamps to the extent of one talent each. The priest shall sacrifice to Apis at the times prescribed”; lines 20-25: “The priest shall also order the Egyptian who is to carry out the sacrifice in the manner of those versed in this. No person not versed in these things shall be permitted to carry out the sacrifice for the goddess, excepting only the priest. If anyone not versed in these things should carry out the sacrifice, he shall be fined 1000 drachmas and he shall be charged before the magistrates.” On the inscription see RICIS 2, p. 440 sq. (nr. 304/0802); R. Salditt-Trappmann, Tempel der aegyptischen Gotter in Griechen-land und an der Westkuste Kleinasiens, Leiden, 1970 (EPRO, 15), p. 45 sq.; F. Dunand, Le culte d’Isis dans le bassin oriental de la Méditerranée I—III, Leiden, 1973 (EPRO, 27), p. 54-60; H. Köster, “The Cult of the Egyptian Deities in Asia Minor”, in H. Köster (ed.), Pergamon, Citadel of the Gods: Archaeological Record, Lterary Description, and Religious Development, Harrisburg, Pa., 1998 (HThS, 46), p. 122 sq.; E. Stavrianopoulou, “Ensuring Ritual Competence. A Negotiable Matter: Religious Specialist”, in U. Hüsken (ed.), When Rituals go Wrong: Mistakes, Failure, and the Dynamics of Ritual, Leiden, 2007 (Numen, 115), p. 183-196.

8 For the introduction of the cult of Isis and other cults of Egyptian deities in Greek cities see P. Roussel, Les cultes Egyptiens à Délos du iiie au ier siècle av. J.-C., Paris, 1916; D. Magie, “Egyptian Deities in Asia Minor in Inscriptions and on Coins”, AJA 57 (1953), p. 163-187; Vidman, o.c. (n. 7); Dunand, o.c. (n. 7); M.-F. Baslez, Recherches sur les conditions depenétration et de diffusion des religions orientales à Délos, Paris, 1977; RICIS 2.

9 The word empeiria in relation to a priest is documented on a decree from Tlos concerning the lifelong appointaient of Eirenaios by election among the other priests of the city: π[ειδ ν]αγϰαόν στιν ἐϰ τν ν[των ]ν τ πόλει ερέων προσλαβέ[σθα]ι νδρα τν νπειρότατον ϰ[α δυ]νησόμενον συνπαρενα[ι πά]σαις τας συντελουμένα[ις θυ]σίαις ϰα εωχίαις π το[ ερ]οθτου ϰα τν λλων ἀρχ[όντω]ν πρ το δήμου χάριν τ[ο τ]ς παραδεδομένας θυσία[ς π] τν προγόνων εσεβς [πιτ]ε̣λεσθαι (TAM II, 548 = LSAM 78 B, lines 14-25).

10 Practical knowledge, which is learned mainly in mimetic processes, is distinct from reflexive knowledge and even from ritual knowledge: C. Wulf, “Praxis”, in J. Kreinath, J. Snoek, M. Stausberg (eds.), Theorizing Rituals: Issues, Topics, Approaches, Concepts, Leiden, 2007 (Numen, 114), p. 395-412; T.W. Jennings Jr., “On Ritual Knowledge”, Journal of Religion 62 (1982), p. 111127. Ritual knowledge, performance and rehearsal are all arenas in which institutional power and religious/ritual authority are contested and celebrated: Cf. the remarks of U. Husken, “Vermittlung von ritueller Kompetenz und Wandel der Ritualpraxis in einer hinduistischen Tradition”, in D. Harth, J. Schenk (eds.), Ritualdynamik: Kulturubergreifende Studien zur Theorie und Geschichte rituellen Handelns, Krottenmuhl, 2004, p. 382-403, for the Hindu tradition.

11 Cf. M. Gaenszle, “The Power of Texts: Uses of Contextualization and Entextualization in Mewahang Ritual Speech”, in U. Demmer, M. Gaenszle (eds.), The Power of Discourse in Ritual Performance: Rhetoric, Poetics, Transformations, Berlin, 2007, p. 118.

12 Two inscriptions from Delos (IG XI 4, 1290) and Anaphe (IG XII 3, 247) reveal the efforts on the part of Greek priests of Egyptian deities to obtain special knowledge and also reveal the emphasis on such knowledge.

13 Cf. also Iscr. di Cos ED 216, lines 19-26 (= LSCG 166); LSCG 36, lines 3-7 (Piraeus); 119, lines 9-12 (Chios); LSS 129, lines 7-11 (Chios).

14 On the inscription see E.L. Edelstein, L. Edelstein, Asclepius: Collection and Interpretation of the Testimonies I-II, Baltimore, 1998 [1945], p. 280-282 (no. 491); E. Ohlemutz, Die Kulte und Heiligtiimer der Gotter in Pergamon, Darmstadt, 1968 [1940], p. 140; 166 sq.; R.G. Allen, The Attalid Kingdom: A Constitutional History, Oxford, 1983, p. 162 sq.; C. Frateantonio, Religiose Autonomie der Stadt im Imperium Romanum: Offentliche Religionen im Kontext romischer Rechts- und Verwaltungspraxis, Tubingen, 2003, p. 85 sq.; S. Dmitriev, City Government in Hellenistic and Roman Asia Minor, Oxford, 2005, p. 50; 59.

15 Translation EdelsteinEdelstein, o.c. (n. 14), p. 280-282 (nr. 491); I.Pergamon II, 251, lines 27-43: πως δ τατα ες τν παντα χρόνον διαμένηι βέβαια <>σϰληπιάδηι ϰα τος πογόνοις τος σϰληπιάδου, πιτελεν ὁρϰωμόσιον τν πόλιν ν τι γορᾶι π το Δις το σωτῆρος τι βωμι ϰα μόσαι τ<>ς τιμουχίας· μν μμενεν ν ος ἐψήφισται πόλις σϰληπιάδηι ϰα τος πογόνοις τος σϰληπιάδου. τος δ στρατηγος τος π[] Καβείρου πρυτάνεως πιμεληθναι, πως συντελεσθ ὅρϰος ϰαθάπερ γέγραπται. ναγράψαι δ ατος ϰα τ ψήφισμα τόδε ες στήλας λιθίνας τρες ϰα στσαι ατν μίαν μν ν τι ερῶι το σϰληπιο μ Περγάμ, λλην δ ν τι ερῶι τς θηνς ν ἀϰροπόλε̣[ι], [τ]̣ν δ τρίτην μ Μυτιλήνηι ν τι ερῶι το [σϰλ]ηπιο. γγράψαι δ ϰα ες τος νόμους [τος τ]ς πόλεως τ ψήφισμα τόδε ϰα [χρήσθω]σαν ατι νόμωι ϰυρίωι ες παντα τν χρόνον.

16 Mytilene as a site for the public displaying of decrees: I.Pergamon I, 13 (ca 263 BC) = OGIS 266, lines 16-19: τν ὅρϰον δ ϰα τν μολογίαν ναγραψάτω ες στήλας λιθί[ν]α̣ς τέσσαρας ϰαί ναθέ̣τω μίαμ μν μ Περγάμωι ν τι τς ̣θ̣ηνς ερῶι, μίαν δ γ Γρυνείωι, μίαν δ ν Δήλωι, μίαν δ μ Μιτυλήνηι ν τι το σϰληπιο. See also Ohlemutz, o.c. (n. 14), p. 167 n. 130.

17 Cf. I.Pergamon I, 248, lines 57-60: ϰρίνομεν δι τατα, πως ν ες τν παντα χρόνον ἀϰίνητα ϰα μετάθετα μένηι τά τε πρὸς τν θεν τίμια ϰα τ πρὸς τν θήναιομ φιλάνθρωπα, τ γραφέντα φμμ προστάγματα ν τος ίερος νόμοις φέρεσθαι παρμν. See also Allen, o.c. (n. 14), p. 175 sq.

18 IG IV 12, 60; cf. Ohlemutz, o.c. (n. 14), p. 123-125; 166 sq.; C. Habicht, Die Inschnften des Asklepieions, Berlin, 1969 (Altertù’ mer von Pergamon VIII, 3), p. 1 sq. On the debate of the founding date of the cult in Pergamon and of the founder himself, who has been identified with a prytanis from the first half of the 4th century (I.Pergamon 613) or with an Arcadian, royal friend at the court of Eumenes I. (Diog. Laert., IV, 6 §38), see Ohlemutz, p. 124-130; Habicht, p. 1. Recently, J.W. Riethmuller, Asklepios. Heiligtiimer und Kulte, Heidelberg, 2005, p. 338 sq., having evaluated the archaeological finds, which support the idea that the sanctuary was set up only in the second quarter of the 3rd century, that is, under the rule of Philetairos and Eumenes I, argues that the cult founder is to be identified with the better known royal friend Archias.

19 Cf. infra, n. 20.

20 Cf. Ohlemutz, o.c. (n. 14), p. 124-128; Habicht, o.c. (n. 18), p. 2 sq.

21 I.Pergamon I, 246 = OGIS 332; SEG 41, 1087. The attribution of the decree, which was debated for a long time [e.g. Ohlemutz, o.c. (n. 14), p. 89, who thought the decree had come from the neighbouring city of Elaia] was finally determined by L. Robert, [“Un décret de Pergame”, BCH 108 (1984), p. 472-489; id., “Le décret de Pergame pour Attale III”, BCH 109 (1985), p. 468-481] who was able to show that it was a decree from Pergamon. On the decree, see also Habicht, o.c. (n. 18), p. 3; H.S. Versnel, “Heersercultus in Griekenland”, Lampas 7 (1974), p. 148-150; Allen, o.c. (n. 14), p. 156 sq.; J. Hopp, Untersuchungen zur Geschichte der letzten Attaliden, München, 1977 (Vestigia, 25), p. 112 sq.; S.R.F. Price, Rituals and Power: The Roman Imperial Cult in Asia Minor, Cambridge, 1984, p. 224 sq.; H. Kotsidou, Time kai doxa: Ehrungen fiir hellenistische Herrscher im griechischen Mutterland und in Kleinasien unter besonderer Beriicksichtigung der archàologischen Denkmàler, Berlin, 2000, p. 319-322 (KNr. 222).

22 I.Pergamon I, 246, lines 6-9: στεφανσαι τμ βασιλέα χρυσι στεφάνωι ἀριστείωι, ϰαθιερῶσαι δ ατο ϰα γαλμα πεντάπηχυ τεθωραϰισμένον ϰα βεβηϰὸς πί σϰύλων ν τι ναι το Σωτῆρος σϰληπιο, να [ι] σύνναος τι θει; lines 13-20: τν δ γδόην, ν ι παρεγένετο ες Πέργαμον, εράν τε εναι ε̣[]ς παντα τν χρόνον ϰα ν ατι πιτελεσθαι ϰατνιαυτν π το ερέως το σϰληπιο πομπν ς ϰαλλίστην ἐϰ το πρυτανε[ί]ου ες τ τέμενος το σϰληπιο ϰα το βασιλέως συμπομπευόντων τν εθισμένων. ϰα παρασταθείσης θυσίας ϰα ϰαλλιερηθείσης συναγέσθωσαν ν τι ερῶι ο ρχοντες, δίδοσθαι δ ες τε τν θυσίαν ϰα τν σύνοδον ατν π το ταμίου τν μετοίστων προσόδων πο το πόρου το σϰληπιείου ἀργυρίου δραχμς πεντήϰοντα; lines 59-60: ναγρ[άψαι] τ̣ ψήφισμα ες στήλην μαρμαρίνην ϰα στσαι ν τι το[] σϰληπιο ερῶι πρὸ το να̣ο.

23 I. Pergamon III, 45: [{ δενα το δενος} Περγα]μηνς [_— — — — — —]ΜΑΚΕΙΑΝ [τίμησ]ε̣ Φλ. [{vac.} Ἀρι]στόμαχον [υἱὸν το] ερέως Φλ. σϰληπιάδου π Ἀρχίου ϰβ’. Further evidence: I.Pergamon II, 267[1]; 332; III, 45-52; 85 (priestess: Epiktesis Herakla); cf. also Aelius Aristides, 26, 336, 10 (ed. Keil, p. 441 § 64). On the priestly family of the Asclepiads see Ohlemutz, o.c. (n. 14), p. 166-168; Habicht, o.c. (n. 18), p. 3 sq.

24 For the transmission of an inherited priesthood within a family see Lupu, o.c. (n. 5), p. 44sq. It would also be possible that the authority of the Asklepios priest suffered due to the death of the king and the uncertain political atmosphere. The appointments to the most important priesthoods of Pergamon was made by the king himself, as in the case of Athenaios, the hereditary priest of Sabazios and the successor in the priesthood of his father Sosandros, priest of Dionysos Kathegemon [I.Pergamon I, 248 (= RC 65-67; OGIS 331)]. The authority of each priest was thus based upon that of the monarchy. The disappearance of the latter could under certain circumstances have meant the disappearance of the authority and legitimacy of the former. But it is interesting to note that Attalos II did not superficially base himself upon his royal authority in choosing Athenaios, but rather pointed out the qualification of Athenaios as the most suitable candidate: Athenaios performed as deputy-priest the processions and certain other sacred fonctions, when his father Sosandros, hampered by νευριϰῆς διαθέσεως (!), was unable to carry out all his duties during the last biennial festivals (lines 10-15). The successful performance of Athenaios, the fact that he was inducted into the sacred matters already during his father s lifetime (lines 15-21), as well as his „goodness and piety toward the gods and his good-will and faith” toward Attalos and the citizens of Pergamon (lines 35-36; 56-57) were sufficient proofs of his qualification. Furthermore even Dionysus himself supported the appointaient (lines 20-23: πολαμβά̣νοντες ϰα ατν τν Διόνυσον οτ̣ω[ς βε]βουλσθαι ξιόν τε ατν εναι ϰα τς το θεο προστασίας ϰα {[τ]ο} μν το οϰου). The mode of persuasion used by Attalos thus included a series of arguments, based upon practical experience, the religiosity of Athenaios and the approval of the god Dionysos and of course of the king himself. Cf. also IGLS 3, 2, 992 (= OGIS 244; RC 44), esp. lines 28-31 (ποδεδ̣είχαμεν ατν ἀρχι̣ερέα τούτων, πεπεισμέ̣νοι τν περὶ τ ερὰ̣ ξαγωγν μάλιστν δι τούτου συντελεσθήσεσθαι δεόντως).

25 I.Pergamon II, 251 (with Frankel’s remarks); Allen, o.c. (n. 14), p. 162; 175; Ohlemutz, o.c. (n. 14), p. 166; against Habicht, o.c. (n. 18), p. 3. Allen, p. 175 sq., rightly points out that the city s decree, unlike I.Pergamon I, 248, lines 59-60, does not include a royal prostagma, but only its enrolment in the city s laws.

26 An example of such conflicts provides us the decree I.Mylasa 861 (= LSAM 58) from Olymos (end of 2nd c. BC), in which the right of participation in the koina hiera as well as in the priestly offices of the individual phylai are expounded. In this context, the portrayal of the situation — rather similar to a civil war — and of the consequences for the cult life of the polis is interesting: ο μν ατν π τ [ς θυσίας μόνον έναι, ο δ ϰα π τς τιμς τς τε ερου]ργίας ϰα ερωσύνης ϰα προφητείας, ϰα ἐϰ τς τν μηθν προσηϰόντων ναιδος μφιζβητήσεως [πολλ σεβήματα συνέβη ϰατ τν διϰαίων τν πολιτ]ν ϰα ϰατ τς προστασίας τν θεν ϰατασϰευάζεσθαι να ον ες δύναμιν πσα μοχθηρὰ παρεύρεσις π[ερὶ τούτων ναιρῆται τ λοιπόν] (lines 11-13).

27 See supra n. 24.

28 Kalchedon: I.Kalchedon 10-12 = LSAM 3-5; Pednelissos: LSAM 79.

29 For a list of documents of sale of priesthoods see Lupu, o.c. (n. 5), p. 48 n. 236. Lupu rightly classifies the inscriptions of Kalchedon as “combinations of announcements and records of sales” (p. 50 n. 247).

30 I.Kalchedon 10, lines 9-12: φελέσθαι δ μηθεν ξεμεν τν ερωτείαν·[ς δέ] ϰα επ προαισιμνάσηι ν [β]ουλι ν δάμωι, [φειλέτω] δραχμς Μ ερὰς το Ἡραϰλεος, ϰα τ [προαισ]ιμναθέντα ηθέντα ἄϰυρα στω; 11, lines 1-7: τρόπωι μ[ηθεν ξεμεν τν ερωτείαν μηδ] τν πόθοδ[ον — — — ς δέ ϰα επ πρ]οαισιμνά [ν βουλι ν δάμωι — — —] ̣ξ μασιν ν [— — — τ μν ηθέντα προαισι]μναθέντα [ϰυρα στω — — —ς δέ ϰα τού]των τι̣ ποι[ήσ, χιλίας δραχμς ποτεισάτω ]ερὰς τς Ματ[ρὸς — — —]; 12, lines 9-17: νείσθω δ ς [ϰα ι λ]όϰλαρος ϰα ι δαμοσιοργίας μ[έτεστιξέστω δ ϰα [π]αιδ νεσθαι, [λλωι] δ μηθεν ξέστω τν ερωτεία[ν αυτ]ι. ς δέ ϰ[α] επηι προαισιμνάσηι [ ν βουλι] ν δάμωι λλει χπειον [ς δε φε]λέσθαι τν πριάμενον τν ερω[τείαν, χιλ]ίας δραχμς ποτεισάτω ερὰ[ς το σ]ϰλαπιου. Note too the comparable clause in the sales of priesthood in Priene (I.Priene 201-203; LSAM 38); here the sanction is not a fine, but a curse: [τν δ ωνηϰό]τα μήτε φελέσθ[αι μήτε νεχυρά]σαι τν ερωσύνην μήτε τ διδ]όμενα γέρα φαι[ρεσθαι μηχανι μηδεμιι ἐὰν δέ τις παρὰ τα]τα προθείη ϰαί [τι τν δεδογμένων λύοι, ξ]λη[ς εη ϰα τ ϰ]είνου πάντα (I. Priene 202, 17-20).

31 J.B. Connelly, Portrait of a Priestess: Women and Ritual in Ancient Greece, Princeton, 2007, P. 50-55; Lupu, o.c. (n. 5), P. 49; R. Parker, D. Obbink, “Sales of Priesthoods on Cos I”, Chiron 30 (2000), p. 420 sq.; “Sales of Priesthoods on Cos II”, Chiron 31 (2001), p. 229-252.; Dignas, o.c. (n. 3), p. 246-270; M. Wörrle, “Inschriften von Herakleia am Latmos II. Das Priestertum der Athena Latmia”, Chiron 20 (1990), p. 44-50; P. Debord, Aspects sociaux et économiques de la vie religieuse dans l’Anatoliegréco-romaine, Leiden, 1982 (EPRO, 88), p. 63-71; 336 sq. n. 109-110.

32 On the connection between priest and ritual, see also LSAM 4, lines 15-18: [λη]ψεται δ έ[ρεια π τν(?) τιθεμένων ϰ]α τν θυομέ[νων δημοσίαι(?) — — —δέρματ]α, ϰα π τν θ[υομένων δίαι(?) — — —], even if these stipulations admittedly concern primarily the income of the priests.

33 As Dignas, o.c. (n. 3), p. 267, correctly remarks concerning the sale of priesthoods, “first, the appointaient of a new priest every year guaranteed the participation of many members of the community in its main civic cult. Second, the character of a priesthood, its influence and power were fundamentally different when held by the same person for life as opposed to a single year’.

34 “Galato” is probably not the name but rather the title of the priestess. The extant text begins with rules regarding judicial negotiations, which have to be carried out in the sanctuary, since the plaintiff has uttered his accusation in the form of a curse. In case the plaintiff cannot bring any witnesses, he has to certify his oath by offering sacrifice to the city deities and to Pluto. The judges and public slaves (demosioi) are then to eat of the sacrifices. The priestess Galato is to offer the fourth portion to the gods. The inscription continues with detailed regulations concerning the funeral of Galato and the process of her succession. See now Connelly, o.c. (n. 31), p. 255.

35 LSAM 79, lines 6-8: Γαλατ δ στω ϰαθαρὰ ϰα α[ε] ̣[σία τι βιο]τ̣ι, ϰα έρεια στω, ως ν σου ζι, μηδ [ασχος χέτω λέξ]αι τις περὶ ατήν μηδπηρασίαν, ως ν σου ζ[ι]. See also infra n. 37.

36 N. Emler, “Gossip, Reputation, and Social Adaptation”, in R.F. Goodman, A. Ben-Ze’ev (eds.), Good Gossip, Kansas, 1994, p. 135; cf. P. Spacks, Gossip, New York, 1985, p. 4, who notes that gossip “plays with reputation, circulating truths and half-truths and falsehoods about the activities, sometimes about the motives and feelings, of others. Often it serves serious (possibly unconscious) purposes for the gossipers, whose manipulations of reputation can further political or social ambitions by damaging competitors or enemies, gratify envy and rage by diminishing another, generate an immediately satisfying sense of power, although the talkers acknowledge no such intent”. See also for classical Athens V. Hunter, “Gossip and the Politics of Reputation in Classical Athens”, Phoenix 44 (1990), p. 299-325; Policing Athens. Social Control in the AtticLawsuits, 420-320 B.C., Princeton, 1994, p. 96-119.

37 For sanctions against priestesses for transgressing rules of purity or other cult rules see LSCG 48A, lines 9-12; 66, lines 7-10; 156B, lines 29-36; on gossip about women see D.M. Cohen, Law, Sexuality, and Society: The Enforcement of Morals in Classical Athens, Cambridge, 1991, p. 61; 143, Hunter, o.c. (n. 36), p. 111-116.

38 Wörrle, l.c. (n. 31), p. 23-24, no. SUA, lines 1-16 = SGO I 01/23/02 (100 — 75 BC). See also Dignas, o.c. (n. 3), p. 266-269; I. Petrovic, A. Petrovic, “Look Who is Talking Now!: Speaker and Communication in Metrical Sacred Regulations”, in E. Stavrianopoulou (ed.), Ritual and Communication in the Graeco-Roman World, Liège, 2006 (Kernos, suppl. 16), p. 157; 167-169.

39 Translation Dignas, o.c. (n. 3), p. 266. Wörrle, l.c. (n. 31), p. 23-24, no. SUA, lines 10-16: ς ν Πάλλαδος εόπλου Τριτωνίδος γνς ερὰ δρῶντα θει τε φιλς σμπαντί τε δήμωι θσθε σν σθλασιν γνμαις βουλι τε ϰρατίστη[ι,] ϰέϰλυτε Φοιβείην παναληθέα θέσφατον αδήν ς γένει δέ βίου τάξει προφερέστατός στιν, αἱρεσθε ϰ πάντων στν λυϰάβαντος ϰάστου [φρ]οντίδα ϰα σπουδν ν χρὴ θέμενοι περὶ τνδε, [το]ίους γὰρ θέμις στ θες πρὸς νάϰτορα βαίνειν.

40 On the qualifications of a priest/priestess see also Wörrle, l.c. (n. 31), p. 48 sq.

41 B. Lincoln, Authority: Construction and Corrosion, Chicago/London, 1994, p. 4.

42 Cf. Lincoln, o.c. (n. 41), p. 6. WÔRRLE, l.c. (n. 31), p. 46-48 (and in this connection DlG-NAS, o.c. (n. 3), p. 267) see in such measures, as they have been handed down to us regarding Kalchedon, for instance (I.Kalchedon 11), a means “gegen die Gefahr einer Desintegration der Kultfunktionàre aus der Polis” (p. 47), which is in turn associated above all with the roles of priest and polis as buyer and seller respectively.

43 Cf. C. Pébarthe, Cité, démocratie et écriture. Histoire de l’alphabétisation d’Athènes à l’époque classique, Paris, 2006, p. 346: “Selon les cas, l’inscription publique fournit une information, par son contenu ou par sa seule érection. Mais elle s’inscrit dans un processus institutionnel plus vaste. Elle peut constituer le cas échéant une marque particulière d’honneur ou de déshonneur. Toutefois, à chaque fois, elle participe de la construction d’un espace public, d’un lieu de débat que sa présence contribue à délimiter, constituant ainsi un élément des valeurs partagées par les citoyens.”

Notes de fin

1 The following abbreviations are used: I.Kalchedon: R. Merkelbach, Die Inschnften von Kalchedon, Bonn, 1980 (IK, 20); I.Mylasa: W.Blümel, Die Inschnften von Mylasa, I. Inschnften der Stadt, Bonn, 1987 (IK, 34); II. Inschnften aus der Umgebung der Stadt, Bonn (ZK, 35); IGLS: L. Jalabert, R. Mouterde, J.-P. Rey-Coquais, M. Sartre, P.-L. Gatier, Inscriptions grecques et latines de la Syrie, I-VII, XIII 1 and XXI 2, Paris, 1911-1986; I.Pergamon: M. Fraenkel, Die Inschnften von Pergamon, I-II, Berlin, 1890-1895; I.Priene: F. Hlller von Gaertringen, Inschriften von Priene, Berlin, 1906; Iscr. di Cos: M. Segre, Iscnzioni di Cos, I-II, Rom, 1994 (Monografie della Scuola Archeologica di Atene VI); LSAM: F. Sokolowski, Lois sacrées de l’ Asie Mineure, Paris, 1955 (Ecole française d’ Athènes, 9); LSCG: F. Sokolowski, Lois sacrées des cités grecques, Paris, 1969 (Ecole française d’ Athènes, 18); LSS: F. Sokolowski, Lois sacrées des cités grecques. Supplément, Paris, 1962 (Ecole française d’ Athènes, 11); RC: C.B. Welles, Royal Correspondent in the Hellenistic Period, New Haven, 1934; Ricis: L. Bricault, Recueil des inscriptions concernant les cultes isiaques. 2 Corpus, Paris, 2005 (= Mémoires de l’ Institut de France, Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, 31); SGO: R. Merkelbach, J. Stauber, Steinepigramme aus demgriechischen Osten I-V, Stuttgart, 1998-2004.

© Presses universitaires de Liège, 2009

Conditions d’utilisation : http://www.openedition.org/6540

Rechercher dans OpenEdition Search

Vous allez être redirigé vers OpenEdition Search