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Le donateur, l’offrande et la déesse

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Clarisse Prêtre

Demand and Supply? The Character of Aphrodite in the light of inscribed votive gifts1

Jenny Wallensten

Résumé

Beaucoup d’études soulignent le caractère complexe d’Aphrodite. En dépit de cela, la déesse est souvent décrite comme une divinité limitée à la religion des femmes et à la sphère privée. Une étude des dédicaces offertes à la déesse change rapidement cette image. Les hommes ont assurément honoré Aphrodite, notamment dans le cadre de leur fonction de magistrats, c’est-à-dire comme acteurs sur la scène publique. On peut cependant noter que ces dernières dédicaces ont souvent été érigées en dehors des sanctuaires de la déesse, par exemple sur l’agora — un espace davantage lié au donateur qu’à la divinité bénéficiaire. De même, les personnages officiels qui honoraient Aphrodite associaient souvent son nom à des épithètes dérivées de leurs titres professionnels : cette pratique attire à nouveau l’attention sur le dédicant. En se concentrant sur des dédicaces offertes à Aphrodite par des magistrats, cet article examine l’image d’Aphrodite reflétée par ces inscriptions, présentées dans une perspective chronologique. Avec le temps, on peut observer une évolution dans la constitution du caractère et des attributs d’Aphrodite, et les donateurs pouvaient affecter ce développement : la nature d’une divinité pouvait ainsi répondre aux exigences de ses dédicants.

Texte intégral

The material

  • 1 I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the organisers, and especially Dr. Clarisse Prêtre, (...)

1One of the most tangible traces of ancient worship can be found in the corpus of dedicatory inscriptions. Inscribed votive gifts present us with the possibility of identifying donors and sometimes their specific religious concerns, albeit that what is preserved is but a small percentage of what was once given to the gods. This paper is an examination of inscribed dedications to Aphrodite and thereby a study of her worshipers. By taking this material as point of departure, I investigate not how the identity of the divinity influences the profile of the donator, but rather, if the donator influences the profile of the deity, and in that case how and in what circumstances?

2In the traces of votive language that the millennia have left for us, the identity of Aphrodite, and many other deities, is at the same time multifaceted and — in a way because of this — quite anonymous. At a quick glance, it is clear that her dedicators are of both sexes, they dedicate as private persons and officials, as well as priests. Most instances of an epithet-clad Aphrodite refer to her sacred places or do not tell of her specific actions. Among the Aphrodite epithets, those that relate to the goddess’ best-known (or shall we say best publicised?) functions, i.e. matters of sexuality and marriage, are not particularly pronounced. The two aspects that have a relatively high visibility for us in the material, marine and magisterial protection, were shared by other gods. Thus, it appears that in dedicatory language, an overarching personality of the goddess is not as perceptible as it is through mythological accounts and iconography. Perhaps this holds true for minor ritual actions too, e.g., private dedicatory acts made outside a festival context.

  • 1 V. Pirenne-Delforge, L’Aphrodite grecque, Liège, 1994 (Kernos, suppl. 4); R. Rosenzweig, Worshippin (...)

3As several recent studies have shown, Aphrodite is as complex a goddess as her fellow Olympians.1 In spite of this, as a deity she is still often referred to, sometimes almost dismissed, as “simply” the goddess of love and sex, and for nebulous reasons thereby a god easily pinned down as connected to women’s religious concerns and to the private sphere of Greek religious practice. Aphrodite is a goddess surrounded by stubborn stereotypes, perhaps in antiquity as well as in modern times. Let us take a closer look at the correlation between this image and the picture painted by the votive inscriptions.

A goddess of Love?

  • 2 The investigation is based on the online version of PHI epigraphy database, with additions from cor (...)

4A search through the extant epigraphic material gives a collection of around 600 dedications.2 As expected, this corpus shows a geographically and chronologically widespread worship of Aphrodite. Dedications have come to light in Cyrene and Petra as well as in the cities of Magna Graecia, mainland Greece and the islands, and they bridge a wide time-span from the 6th century BC to the 4th century AD. An examination of this material instantly dents the idea of the goddess of love and her women followers. Aphrodite counted followers from all walks of life. Present among the dedicators are men, women, couples, couples and their children, merchants, religious servants and organisations, various civic bodies and their officials.

  • 3 See for example IG II2, 4575; IG II2, 4576; IG II2, 4577; IG II2, 4635; MDAI(A) 67 (1942), p. 51, n (...)
  • 4 H. Engelmann, Die Insehriften von Kyme, Bonn, 1976 (IK, 5), 104.
  • 5 FdDelphes III 4, 468.
  • 6 P. de la Coste-Messelière, « Inscriptions de Delphes », BCH 49 (1925), p. 61-103, 5.
  • 7 Pandemos: IG II2 4596; IG II2, 4862; A. Bernand, Le delta égyptien d’après les textes grees I 2, Ca (...)

5The inscriptions rarely give explicit reasons for the donation of the gift they present, but of those who do, not a single one specifically refers to love. Some of the studied dedications were however accompanied by representations of male and female genitalia, something that presumably indicates that the dedications were made in relation to sexual matters.3 Otherwise this Aphrodite aspect is surprisingly invisible in votive language. The same picture is presented through an examination of the epithets used when addressing the goddess. Epithets are found in about a third of the examined dedications, and among 65 noted epithets, only 2 are patently related to so-called “traditional” Aphrodite functions. The first case is a woman who addresses Aphrodite Dosandra, in 1st-2nd century AD Kyme in Aolis.4 The second is a Hellenistic dedication found in Delphi that was given to Aphrodite Epiteleia, Aphrodite who brings to fulfilment.5 Fulfilment has in this case been interpreted as meaning the married state (indeed, the byname caused the editor to exclaim that the dedicant Praxo seems to have married for love!).6 We now know, however, that regardless of their Platonian interpretations, cults of Aphrodite Pandemos as well as Aphrodite Ourania sometimes included nuptial aspects. Thus we cannot exclude that an Aphrodite of marriage hides among the ten dedications to Pandemos and the fifteen ones addressing an Ourania, and if so the presence of the stereotype Aphrodite perhaps becomes a bit better attested.7 Overall, however, love, sex and marriage, are not instantly visible in the dedicatory inscriptions. It is furthermore noteworthy that among the previously mentioned votives for Ourania and Pandemos, potentially connected to marriage, 15 male dedicators can be identified. Naturally, it should not be presumed that men did not take an interest in Aphrodite as a goddess of marriage, sex and love.

A goddess of women?

6In fact, more than 300 of the examined Aphrodite dedications were made by men, either as private persons or as officials or part of official groups. The inscriptions thus allow us a glimpse of both sexes in dialogue with the goddess.

  • 8 See for example J. Krauss, Die Inschriften von Sestos und der thrakischen Chersones, Bonn, 1980 (IK (...)
  • 9 See for example IG II2, 4863/4; Λ. Γουναροποyλοy & Μ.Β. Χατζόποyλοy, Επιγραφές Κάτω Μαϰεδονίας 1. Ε (...)
  • 10 ID, 2256.

7The dedicatory language does not present us with major gender differences when it comes to attempted contact with Aphrodite. The terms used when addressing the goddess seems to be the same regardless of the sex of the dedicator. Expressions of the vow or prayer, euche or euxamenos / mene are found in dedications by both male and female dedicators.8 Both sexes likewise approached the goddess as the result of a dream vision, or on the order of Aphrodite, and presented her with charisteria.9 Possibly, cases when beneficiaries are mentioned, i.e., when a dedication was made on behalf, hyper, someone, are more gender specific. As regards votives made for spouses, children and other family members, husbands and wives, as well as mothers and fathers, are very active as dedicators, but it appears, not surprisingly perhaps, that dedications made on behalf of political bodies or officials were rarely presented by women. Moreover, before the Imperial period, the few extant examples of female dedicators on behalf of for example the Athenian or Roman Demos were made by men and women jointly: as man and wife or brother and sister.10 Regional preferences probably had a stronger impact on votive language than the identity of the goddess. Furthermore, as far as we can tell, men and women also chose to dedicate more or less the same type of objects. Obviously this statement should be taken with caution. The preferred offering was a statue or statuette, the vast majority of which has not been found: what remains for us to study are the bases and references in the dedicatory text.

  • 11 Marine epithets: R. Merkelbach, Die Insehnften von Erythrai und Klazomenai 2, Bonn, 1973 (IK, 2), n (...)

8A more tangible difference between male and female dedicators can be noted in the use of epithets. Two important aspects of Aphrodite are visible in the examined material through the epithets in use: Aphrodite as a goddess connected to the sea and sea-faring, and Aphrodite as a deity of magistrates. Only male dedicators approaching the goddess in these capacities can be identified, with the possible exception of a woman dedicating to Aphrodite Pontia.11

9To sum up: votive inscriptions do not explicitly show Aphrodite as a goddess of love and sex, nor a deity specifically of, or for, women. Perhaps this could be ascribed to archaeological coincidence, perhaps sanctuaries pronouncing this aspect and a feminine clientele will be discovered and change this picture at some point in the future. But another important aspect that cannot be invalidated by potential findings is the fact that worship of Aphrodite definitely not was restricted to the private sphere of ancient lives.

A goddess of private life?

  • 12 J. Larson, Ancient Greek eults. A guide, New York/London, 2007.
  • 13 Pirenne-Delforge, o.e. (n. 1), p. 393, 402-403; M.P. Nilsson, Grieehisehe Feste von religioser Bede (...)
  • 14 See for example ID, 2132 (a man for himself, his wife and children); ID, 2255 (a man for himself, h (...)
  • 15 Agoranomoi: GIBMIV 1, 901; ID, 1832-1833; IGXIV 209; 211; 212; 313; IGXI 4, 1144; 1145; 1146; F. (...)
  • 16 The finished term of duty is indicated by the use of a perfect participle to express the office, se (...)

10It seems that Aphrodite generally was worshiped in several minor sanctuaries in a given city rather than in a large majestic one,12 and moreover that major public city festivals in her honour were relatively rare.13 Perhaps this could be an indication of a goddess mainly of private life, but again the dedicatory material helps us nuance this idea. Incontestably, a majority of the preserved dedications to the goddess were probably presented by private individuals, and there are many examples of prayers for such personal matters as one’ s family and friends.14 As previously mentioned, however, also present among the beneficiaries of offerings to Aphrodite were political bodies, and among these dedicators can be found, rather conspicuously, quite a large group of magistrates. This group of 60-odd dedicatory inscriptions were presented by holders of both political and military offices, such as agoranomoi, gynaikonomoi, astynomoi, strategoi andpolemarehoi.15 The votives could be presented to the goddess during, but often after, the time in office.16 The latter offerings were thus given by men formally relieved of public duties, but they are still endowed with an official quality that places them in the public sector of Greek society; this through the magistrates’ choice to include their title as identifying element in their votive message. This group of dedications firmly places Aphrodite cult in the public and political sphere.

11In a way, as regards the identity of the deity, what the dedicatory inscriptions (taken as a whole) show most clearly is the negative imprint of the traditional image of Aphrodite: not only a goddess of love, not only a goddess of women, not only a goddess of the private sphere. Her unique capacities, if such there were, are much harder to trace, since the aspects that we actually can discern clearly were shared by other gods, in consistence with the workings of Greek polytheism. Surely the profile of single sanctuaries influenced the profile of the dedicating visitor, but not always Aphrodite’s identity as a whole. What might be visible through these offerings, on the other hand, is the dedicators’ ability to affect and interact with the identity and the abilities of the god. Inscribed dedications show us that there are instances when the profile of the donator can influence the profile of the divinity rather than the other way around. According to shifting circumstances, dedicators could stress certain aspects of a deity’s competence and thereby downplay others. The numerous dedications to Aphrodite from magistrates will show us a first example.

Magistrates’ dedications to Aphrodite

  • 17 J. Wallensten, ΑΦΡΟΔΙΤΗΙ ΑΝΕΘΗΚΕΝ ΑΡΞΑΣ. A study of dedications to Aphrodite from Greek magistrates (...)
  • 18 Cyrene: SEG 9, 133. Sicily: IG XIV 208-213; 313; 448; Halikarnassos: GIBM IV 1, 901; Paros: IG X (...)

12As of now 63 inscriptions that illustrate an important aspect of Aphrodite, her role as protectress of magistrates, can be identified.17 The earliest example is datable in the late Classical period, and the series then continues into the Imperial era. If not accentuated in every polis pantheon, this was clearly a Pan-Hellenic aspect in the cult of Aphrodite. Examples from all over the Greek world can be given: Cyrene, Sicily, Halikarnassos, Paros, Priene, to name but a few.18

  • 19 J. Nolle, Side im Altertum: Geschichte und Zeugnisse. Bd 1, Geographie, Geschichte, Testimonia, gri (...)
  • 20 Van Bremen claims that the agoranomos of IG XI 4, 1144 dedicated an image of himself to Hermes and (...)

13The exact reasons for these dedications are usually not explicitly stated. We can only assume that those erected during the time in office usually held a wish for success during this period, and that, conversely, those given to the goddess once relieved of official duties expressed gratitude for the achievement. Neither is it always clear on what kind of object the inscription is to be found: many stones are too damaged to be identifiable. Among the preserved objects are a few altars, architectural elements and stelai, but just as is the case with dedications to Aphrodite in general, the majority of the inscriptions belongs to sculpture bases. Unfortunately, not a single one of the accompanying statues has been found and the inscriptions rarely mention the dedicated object. The two texts that do refer to the objects they accompanied reveal the goddess and her son Eros as motifs. An epistates of Side introduced his dedication with an allusion to a dedicated Eros figure and the nomophylakes of Cyrene stated that they dedicated a statue of Aphrodite Nomophylakis.19 It has furthermore been proposed that a Delian dedication made by an agoranomos and an astynomos carried the portrait of the dedicators.20

  • 21 GIBM 4 1, 901; IG XI 4, 1144-1145; SEG 17, 422; 425; ID, 1832. The Thasian inscriptions IG XII supp (...)
  • 22 SEG 9, 133; E. Ghislanzani, “I Nomofylakes di Cirene”, RAL 6 (1925), p. 408-432.
  • 23 SEG 15, 383; P. Cabanes, L’Epire de la mort de Pyrrhos à la conquête romaine (272-167 av. J.-C.), P (...)
  • 24 Pouilloux, o.c. (n. 15), p. 233-234, n° 24.

14Likewise, little is known about the original setting of the inscriptions. The indications of the find contexts that we do have are however very interesting. Among these, some dedications appear to have been erected not in sanctuaries of Aphrodite, or even in precincts of other gods, but in spaces connected to the work and official duties of the dedicators. Eight dedications, presented by the agoranomoi, have been found in the agora of Halikarnassos, Thasos and Delos respectively, thus, they were offered by magistrates whose activities were connected to this particular area.21 (The agoranomoi were sometimes accompanied in their votive actions by epistatai and mnemones.) The dedication made by the nomophylakes of Cyrene of a statue of Aphrodite Nomophylakis was discovered in their official building, the nomophylakeion.22 The strategoi of Kassope also appear to have erected their votive offering in an official building, the prytaneion or katagogeion.23 Yet a magistrates’ dedication from Thasos came to light in excavations east of the agora, but is thought to originally have come from the prytaneion.24 Dedications were of course normally set up in sanctuaries. The worshiper would go to the sacred space of the god or goddess and whatever object he or she left there as a votive, should forever remain in the sanctuary, now the property of the deity. But sometimes worshipers, in this case magistrates, apparently could make the goddess come to them instead of going to her sacred areas. They create a precinct for the goddess in their official or office space. This self-referential setting is conspicuous: through an action nominally made for the goddess, the dedicators draw attention to themselves.

  • 25 Stratagis: IG IX2 1, 256; SEG 37, 937; Nomophylakis: SEG 9, 133; Nauarchis: Struve, o.e. (n. 7), n° (...)

15Seven dedications furthermore specifically involve an Aphrodite carrying an epithet derived from the name of the dedicating magistrates, Aphrodite Stratagis, Nomophylakis, Nauarehis and Epistasie, or honour Aphrodite as a partner in office, Synarehis.25 These bynames severely restrict the concerns of the Aphrodite involved and create a protectress not only of magistrates in general, but on a certain level also of specific boards or even single officials. We know of no priesthoods or official sacrifices and celebrations of these Aphroditai, and if we can judge by the — admittedly meagre — material, dedicated altars were few in comparison with statuary offerings. Again, the impression given is almost that these cults were more about the acts of the dedicators than about ritual acts for the goddess.

  • 26 Salviat, Croissant, le. (n. 15). Gabriella Pironti has recently shown Aphrodite’ s inherent and clo (...)
  • 27 The reason for the particular devotion paid to Aphrodite by officials of Greek cities have been var (...)

16It has been argued by Francis Croissant and François Salviat that the Aphrodite who played a political and administrative role in the Greek panthea functioned on three different levels, expressed through various epithets. A first overarching level encompassed a care for the civic community and the demos, and in a second more specialised category Aphrodite appeared as a protectress of magistrates in general. Finally, a third level features a guardian of specific magistracies. Expressed through epithets such as Stratagis and Epistasie, Aphrodite appeared as patroness of the respective board of officials, in these cases then, the strategoi and the epistatai.26 This fine-tuned aspect, where the goddess is tied to very specific groups of dedicators (who but an Epistates would pray to Aphrodite Epistasie?) is then, so to speak, at the outer end of a spectrum that projects from the core of the divine identity.27 In this territory, the worshipers can make an imprint on the identity of the approached deity. Through the naming of the goddess after the dedicators themselves, through the placing of her gifts not in her temple, but in their own official buildings and professional space, and possibly by creating an image presumably recognisable through suitable attributes as in the case of Aphrodite Nomophylakis, they chisel out a part of the goddess for themselves, and they define it through their own (professional) identity.

Historical accents

  • 28 For example, GIBM 4 1, 901; Hiller von Gaertringen, o.c. (n. 15); IG XII 5, 552; Pouilloux, o.c. (n (...)
  • 29 Wallensten, o.c. (n. 17), p. 83-85,157-204.
  • 30 Wallensten, o.c. (n. 17), p. 144-150; A. Erskine, Troy between Greece and Rome. Local tradition and (...)

17A second way that dedicators could affect the composition of a deity was through accentuating certain traits in the divine character. I believe that the outer historical and social contexts could create an emphasis among the abilities of a deity, whose “personality” thus accordingly fluctuates with time, if the external circumstances changed. In the case of magistrates’ dedications to Aphrodite, the earliest discovered offerings come from the fourth century BC.28 The bulk of the dedications seems however to be datable to the third and second centuries.29 This is a period when Rome establishes herself on the Mediterranean scene. Stories of a Trojan origin for the Roman race helped the Greek world to incorporate the new player in their conception of the world, and Greek cities that also could claim Trojan descent or other Ilian connections made use of them to win the goodwill of the Romans.30 An official dedication to Aphrodite would in these circumstances also have been a votive offering to the ancestress of the Roman people. This would surely have affected the way the Greeks thought about Aphrodite. Would she not have been a secure choice of patron deity? To place oneself under the wings of the divine mother of one’s rulers would provide powerful protection, and simultaneously pay these same rulers homage.

  • 31 Geneteira: IG XII 2, 537; J. Rives, “Venus Genetrix outside Rome”, Phoenix 48 (1994), p. 294-306, e (...)
  • 32 J. Wallensten, “New Gods for a New World”, forthcoming; IG XII 2, 482; T.B. Mitford, “Notes on some (...)

18It furthermore appears that the Greek world also responded to specifically Julio-Claudian propaganda, again through the use of epithets that actualise an Aphrodite tied to this family. In the late 1st century BC, and the 1st century AD, Aphrodite is suddenly called Geneteira, Prometor of the Augusti, Aneheisias and perhaps Julia.31 Members of the Imperial house are called New Aphrodite (and New Ares), surely in response to the ideas of the family ancestors: these denominations belong almost exclusively to the Julio-Claudians. New Aphrodite is found only in connection with Julio-Claudians as is New Ares with a single possible exception (Geta pictured as New Ares on a coin).32 The public spatial context of the magistrates’ dedications should be remembered in this context. Roman dignitaries on official visits to a Greek city might have chosen not to go to the Aphrodite sanctuary, but they would certainly have come to the agora.

19An undated inscription from Iasos, carved on an altar, states that it is the property of Aphrodite who has listened and who listens, φροδίτης πακουούσης ϰαι έπηϰόου.

  • 33 W. Blümel, Die Insehriften von Iasos II, Bonn, 1985 (IK, 28), 221.
  • 34 Homeric hymn to Aphrodite, 5-6.

20The editor interprets the meaning of these words as a thank-offering to Aphrodite for luck in love.33 Shall we follow his cue and fill in the gaps in non-specified dedications with an erotic Aphrodite, and assume that offerings presented to this goddess always were made in matters of love? I have argued that this cannot be done with any certainty. Votive inscriptions show us that to a certain extent the dedicators were part of the (creation of the) persona/ character of the goddess. Through the use of epithets, through the definition of space for the goddess in areas dependent on the identity not of the deity but of the dedicant, the votives show us the worshipers’ power to tie the goddess to themselves and induce meanings in the character of the deity. The nature of a deity could respond to the demands of her worshipers. We cannot always discern what these demands were about, but we can certainly be sure that, as sung already by the poets of the Homeric hymns, the deeds of fair-wreathed Kythereia were a care not specifically to women, nor restricted to concerns of private individuals, but to all.34

Notes

1 V. Pirenne-Delforge, L’Aphrodite grecque, Liège, 1994 (Kernos, suppl. 4); R. Rosenzweig, Worshipping Aphrodite. Art and cult in Classical Athens, Michigan, 2004; G. Pironti, Entre ciel et guerre, Liège, 2007 (Kernos, suppl. 18).

2 The investigation is based on the online version of PHI epigraphy database, with additions from corpora not included in that collection. Inscriptions restored as dedications, but in reality missing the ending and thus the possibility to decide on a dative or genitive case, have been excluded.

3 See for example IG II2, 4575; IG II2, 4576; IG II2, 4577; IG II2, 4635; MDAI(A) 67 (1942), p. 51, 77.

4 H. Engelmann, Die Insehriften von Kyme, Bonn, 1976 (IK, 5), 104.

5 FdDelphes III 4, 468.

6 P. de la Coste-Messelière, « Inscriptions de Delphes », BCH 49 (1925), p. 61-103, 5.

7 Pandemos: IG II2 4596; IG II2, 4862; A. Bernand, Le delta égyptien d’après les textes grees I 2, Cairo, 1970, p. 688, n° 467/p. 689, n° 470/p. 704, n° 630; SEG 1, 265 (however for the dedicating woman and her children); IG XII 5, 221; MAMA 8, 413d; IG IX 2, 572; Χ. Tzoybapa ΣOYΛΗ, Η λατρεία των γυναιϰείων θεοτήτων εις την αρχαίαν Ηπειρον: συμβολή εις την μελέτη της θρησϰείας των αρχαίων Ηπειρωτών, Ioannina, 1979, n° 60b. Ourania: IG II2, 4636; ID, 1719; ID, 2305; SEG 8, 360; SEG 16, 860; Th. Wiegand, Sechster vorlaufiger Bericht uber die von den koniglichen Museen in Miletos und Didyma unternommen Ausgrabungen, Berlin, 1908, p. 27; MAMA 8, 413d; V. Struve, Corpus inscriptionum regni Bosporani, Moscow, 1965, nos. 31/35/75/971/972/1111; IG IV2, 283; IG XIV, 287. On Aphrodite Pandemos and Ourania as a deity connected to marriage, see for example SEG 41, 1991, 182; R. Parker, D. Obbink, “Aus der Arbeit der “Inscriptiones Graecae” VI. Sales of priesthoods on Cos I, Chiron 30 (2000), p. 415-449; M. Dillon, “Postnuptial sacrifices on Kos (Segre, ED 178) and ancient Greek marriage rites”, ZPE 124 (1999), p. 63-80; Pirenne-Delforge, o.c. (n. 1); V. Pirenne-Delforge, « Des épliclèses exclusives dans la Grèce polythéiste ? L’exemple d’Ourania », in N. Belayche et al. (eds.), Nommer les Dieux. Théonymes, épithètes, épiclèses dans l’Antiquité, Rennes, Presses universitaires, p. 271-290, esp. p. 286288; Rosenzweig, o.c. (n. 1), passim. For an extensive analysis of the identity of Ourania, see also Pironti, o.c. (n. 1), passim.

8 See for example J. Krauss, Die Inschriften von Sestos und der thrakischen Chersones, Bonn, 1980 (IK, 19), n° 27; M.H. Sayar, Die Inschriften von Ana%arbos und Umgebung 1, Bonn 2000 (IK, 56) nos. 30-31; M. Segre, Iscrisjoni di Cos, Rome, 1993, EV 259; ID, 2260; 2290; 2305; 2393-2396; 2398; SEG 42, 1318; J. Pouilloux, Salamine de Chypre 13, Testimonia Salamina 2: Corpus épigraphique, Paris, 1987, n° 42; F. Priesigke et al., Sammelbuch griechischer Urkunden aus Agypten 1, Strasbourg, 1915, n° 1719; Bernand, o.c. (n. 7), p. 684, nos. 427-428; SEG 1, 265.

9 See for example IG II2, 4863/4; Λ. Γουναροποyλοy & Μ.Β. Χατζόποyλοy, Επιγραφές Κάτω Μαϰεδονίας 1. Επιγραφές Βέροιας, Athens, 1998, n° 20; D. Knibbe, B. İplİİoĢlu, “Neue Inschriften aus Ephesos VIII”, JÖAI 53 (1981-82), p. 87-150, n° 164; SEG 35, 887; ID, 2231; 2258; 2272; B. Latyshev, Inscriptiones antiquae orae septentrionalis Ponti Euxini graecae et latinae 1. Inscriptiones Tyriae, Olbiae, Chersonesi Tauricae, St. Petersburg, 19162 [1885], n° 168; IG II2, 4575.

10 ID, 2256.

11 Marine epithets: R. Merkelbach, Die Insehnften von Erythrai und Klazomenai 2, Bonn, 1973 (IK, 2), n° 213a; IG II2, 2872; ID, 2132; WZHalle 16 384 26; Γ.Ε. Μαλοyχοy, “Επιγραφές Χίου”, Horos 14-16 (2004), p. 289-295, n° 4; J.H. Mordtmann, “Zur Epigraphik von Kyzikos III”, MDAI(A) 10 (1885), p. 200-211, n° 30; D.M. Pippidi, Inseriptiones Sythiae minoris 1, Bucarest, 1983, n° 173; T.N. Knipovic, E.I. Levi, Inseriptiones Olbiae (1917-1965), Leningrad (St. Petersburg), 1968, n° 68; Latyshev, o.e. (n. 9), n° 168; L. Jalabert & R. Mouterde, Inseriptionsgreeques et latines de la Syrie 3 1. Région de l’Amanus. Antioehe, Paris, 1950, n° 715; SEG 11, 18; SEG 50, 206; L. Robert, « De Cilicie à Messine et à Plymouth. Avec deux inscriptions errantes », JS (1973), p. 161-211, esp. p. 163; A. Dumont & Th. Homolle, « Inscriptions et monuments figurés de la Thrace » in Th. Homolle (ed.), Mélanges d’arehéologie et d’épigraphie, par Albert Dumont, Paris, 1892, p. 307-581, esp. p. 424, 91b.

12 J. Larson, Ancient Greek eults. A guide, New York/London, 2007.

13 Pirenne-Delforge, o.e. (n. 1), p. 393, 402-403; M.P. Nilsson, Grieehisehe Feste von religioser Bedeutung mit Aussehluss der attisehen, Leipzig, 1906, 364, 374. For Aphrodite as the tutelary deity of Corinth, see for example Pironti, o.e. (n. 1), p. 248-256.

14 See for example ID, 2132 (a man for himself, his wife and children); ID, 2255 (a man for himself, his wife and children, his nephew (?) and his mother as well as the Athenian and Roman demos); J. Pouilloux, o.e. (n. 8), n° 41 (a women for herself and her children); TAM 5 2, 1255 (a woman for her husband).

15 Agoranomoi: GIBMIV 1, 901; ID, 1832-1833; IGXIV 209; 211; 212; 313; IGXI 4, 1144; 1145; 1146; F. Hiller von Gaertringen, Insehnften von Priene, Berlin, 1906 (Konigliehe Museen %u Berlin, Prime, 2), p. 135, 183; SEG 17, 422; IG XII suppl., 390; SEG 17, 425. Gynaikonomoi: F. Salviat, F. Croissant, « Aphrodite gardienne des magistrats : gynéconomes de Thasos et polémarques de Thèbes », BCH 90 (1966), p. 460-471, n° 2; C. Dunant, J. Pouilloux, Reeherehes sur l’histoire et les eultes de Thasos II. De 196 avant J.-C. jusqu’à la fin de l’Antiquité, Paris, 1958 (Etudes thasiennes, 5), p. 223, nos 372 & 373; SEG 4, 569. Astynomoi: IG XI 4, 1144; 1145; J. Reynolds, Aphrodisias and Rome: doeuments from the exeavation of the theatre at Aphrodisias eondueted by Kenan T. Erim; together with some related texts, London, 1982 (JRS, monographs 1), p. 150, 6. Strategoi: SEG 15, 383; SEG 18, 580; SEG 31, 1359; SEG 37, 937; SEG 49, 194; IG II2, 2872; IG IX2 1, 256; IG XII 5, 220. For a recent discovery, see also M. Haake, L. Kolonas, S. Scharff, “Fragment einer metrischen Strategenweihung an Aphrodite Stratagis aus dem hellenistischen Thyrreion”, Chiron 37 (2007), p. 113-121. Polemarchoi: Γ.Ε. Μαλουχου, l.e. (n. 11), 4.

16 The finished term of duty is indicated by the use of a perfect participle to express the office, see for example F. Graf, Nordionisehe Kulte: religionsgesehiehtliehe und epigraphisehe Untersuehungen zu den Kulten von Chios, Erythrai, Klazomenai und Phokaia, Rom, 1985 (Bibliotheea Helvetiea Romana, 21), p. 264 n. 43; C. Hasenohr, « Les collèges de magistri et la communauté italienne de Délos », in C. Müller, C. Hasenohr (éds), Les Italiens dans le mondegree : IIe sièèele av. J.-C. — Ier sièele ap. J.-C. : eireulation, aetivités, intégration : aetes de la table ronde, Eeole normale supérieure, Paris 14-16 mai 1998, Paris, 2002 (BCH, suppl. 41), p. 72. Among the Delian dedications examined by Hasenohr, some could be made several years after the term in office.

17 J. Wallensten, ΑΦΡΟΔΙΤΗΙ ΑΝΕΘΗΚΕΝ ΑΡΞΑΣ. A study of dedications to Aphrodite from Greek magistrates, diss. Lund, 2003; Μαλουχου, l.c. (n. 11). For a discovery made after this study was finished, see Haake, Kolonas, Scharff, l.c. (n. 15).

18 Cyrene: SEG 9, 133. Sicily: IG XIV 208-213; 313; 448; Halikarnassos: GIBM IV 1, 901; Paros: IG XII 5, 220; 222; SEG 26, 980. Priene: Hiller von Gaertringen, o.c. (n. 15), 183.

19 J. Nolle, Side im Altertum: Geschichte und Zeugnisse. Bd 1, Geographie, Geschichte, Testimonia, griechische undlateinische Inschriften, Bonn, 1993 (IK, 43), 3; SEG 9, 133.

20 Van Bremen claims that the agoranomos of IG XI 4, 1144 dedicated an image of himself to Hermes and Aphrodite (R. van Bremen, The limits of participation. Women and civic life in the Greek East in the Hellenistic and Roman periods, Amsterdam, 1996, p. 178, n. 129). I do not know were this information comes from. The stone could not be located when I visited Delos in September 2003. It is furthermore noteworthy that the dedication was made by two officials, an agoranomos and an astynomos. A base inscribed with a dedication made to the Egyptian crocodile deity Soknopaios did carry the statue of the dedicator, a prostates: E. Bernand, Recueil des inscriptions grecques du Fayoum I, Leiden, 1975, p. 155-156, 77.

21 GIBM 4 1, 901; IG XI 4, 1144-1145; SEG 17, 422; 425; ID, 1832. The Thasian inscriptions IG XII suppl., 403 and Pouilloux, o.c. (n. 15), p. 397-398, 151, were found in secondary contexts (a sewer that went through the oblique portico south-east of the agora and on the site of the Prytaneion, respectively), but are very likely to have originated in the agora, like the almost identical dedications SEG 17, 422 and 425. Two more magistrates’ dedications, Salviat, Croissant, l.c. (n. 15), nos. 1 and 2, were also found in the agora, in secondary context. At least n° 2 is believed originally to have been erected in the agora; because of its weight, the editors argue that it cannot have been moved very far. These two inscriptions have been identified as vowed by the apologoi and gynaikonomoi, respectively. It is likely that these colleges also had their official space in the agora.

22 SEG 9, 133; E. Ghislanzani, “I Nomofylakes di Cirene”, RAL 6 (1925), p. 408-432.

23 SEG 15, 383; P. Cabanes, L’Epire de la mort de Pyrrhos à la conquête romaine (272-167 av. J.-C.), Paris, 1976 (Centre de recherches d’histoire ancienne, 19), p. 564, n° 41.

24 Pouilloux, o.c. (n. 15), p. 233-234, n° 24.

25 Stratagis: IG IX2 1, 256; SEG 37, 937; Nomophylakis: SEG 9, 133; Nauarchis: Struve, o.e. (n. 7), n° 30 & 1115; Epistasie: Pouilloux, o.e. (n. 15), p. 233-234, n° 24; Synarchis: M. Schede, “Mitteilungen aus Samos”, MDAI(A) 37 (1912), p. 199-218, n° 17; B. Laum, ΕΙΣΑΓΩΓΕΙΣ auf Samos”, MDAI(A) 38 (1913), p. 51-61; PHI Ionia, Samos, n° 241.

26 Salviat, Croissant, le. (n. 15). Gabriella Pironti has recently shown Aphrodite’ s inherent and close connection to war and violence. As regards the reasons for the attention paid to the goddess by military officials such as the strategoi, she stresses the goddess’ martial aspects rather than a purely “magisterial” area of competence: Pironti, o.e. (n. 1), p. 268-273. Her discourse is persuasive; we should however bear in mind that during the Hellenistic period, many originally military offices had taken on new tasks. For example, the strategoi of many cities performed administrative responsibilities along with their military command, sometimes even corresponding to the civil responsibilities of prytaneis of other poleis (B.H. McLean, An introduetion to Greek epigraphy of the Hellenistie and Roman periods from Alexander the Great down to the reign of Constantine (323 B.C.—A.D. 227), Ann Arbor, 2002).

27 The reason for the particular devotion paid to Aphrodite by officials of Greek cities have been variously interpreted. Often, her power to unite has been brought forth (see for example Pirenne-Delforge, o.e. [n. 1], 469-470) and lately G. Pironti has highlighted Aphrodite’ s close connection to military matters, and the links between the military and political spheres, in relation to magistrates’ worship of the goddess (Pironti, o.e. [n. 1], 268-273, 276-277). In a study of 2003, I have suggested several factors contributing to Aphrodite’s development into a strong magistrates’ protectress (Wallensten, o.c. [n. 17]). I wish to stress that the argument that I am trying to make through the example of magistrates’ dedications to Aphrodite, i.e., that the worshipers can influence the profile of the deity, and that historical circumstances can give preexisting aspects new meaning, is sought to be made regardless of what one believes to be the fundamental underlying reason for Aphrodite’s role as a magistrates’ goddess. A specific group of worshipers such as magistrates has to recognise and interpret an overarching capacity such as the power of bringing together as relevant to them, at which point they can articulate this in ritual. Aphrodite’s connections with Aineas and Rome were known to the Greeks before Rome became superpower, but took a new significance in this context (see below).

28 For example, GIBM 4 1, 901; Hiller von Gaertringen, o.c. (n. 15); IG XII 5, 552; Pouilloux, o.c. (n. 15), p. 235, 25; Salviat, Croissant, l.c. (n. 15), p. 461-462, 2.

29 Wallensten, o.c. (n. 17), p. 83-85,157-204.

30 Wallensten, o.c. (n. 17), p. 144-150; A. Erskine, Troy between Greece and Rome. Local tradition and Imperial power, Oxford, 2001; C.P. Jones, Kinship Diplomacy in the ancient world, Cambridge, Mass./London, 1999, p. 16. For a Roman perspective see esp. p. 81-121.

31 Geneteira: IG XII 2, 537; J. Rives, “Venus Genetrix outside Rome”, Phoenix 48 (1994), p. 294-306, esp. p. 305; J. Reynolds, “The origins and beginning of Imperial cult at Aphrodisias”, PCPhS 206 (1980), p. 70-84, esp. p. 82-83; Reynolds, o.e. (n. 15), doc. 54; Prometor of the Sebastoi: J. Reynolds, “Further information on Imperial cult at Aphrodisias”, StudClas 24 (1986), p. 109-117, esp. p. 111; SEG 36, 968; Ancheisias: ILS 8787 (non vidi); Julia: R. Merkelbach, Die Insehriften von Assos, Bonn, 1976 (ΙΚ, 4), n° 16. The latter dedication can be dated to the reign of Augustus, and has been understood as identifying Augustus’ daughter Julia, or Livia, here called Julia, with Aphrodite. When gods and men are thus combined, it is however much more common for the name of the mortal to proceed the name of the god, almost turning the name of the god into an epithet for the imperial honorand. In this case, Julia is quite possibly the epithet of the goddess.

32 J. Wallensten, “New Gods for a New World”, forthcoming; IG XII 2, 482; T.B. Mitford, “Notes on some published inscriptions from Roman Cyprus”, ABSA 42 (1947), p. 201- 230, n° 11; J.-B. Cayla, « Livie, Aphrodite et une famille de prêtres du culte impérial à Paphos », in S. Follet et al. (eds.), L’Hellénisme d’époque romaine. Nouveaux doeuments, nouvelles approehes (Ier s. a. C. — IIIe s. p. C.). Aetes du eolloque international à la mémoire de Louis Robert, Paris, 7-8 juillet 2000, Paris, 2004, p. 233-243; PHI Troas & Mysia 27; SEG 34, 180; IG IV 12, 600 (IG IV 1400). New Hera has also been suggested for this inscription, but in view of the comparanda, it is a less certain restauration; A. Maiuri, Nuova silloge epigrafiea di Rodi e Cos, Florence, 1925, 467; IG XII 2, 172b; O. Kern, Die Insehriften von Magnesia am Meander, Berlin, 1900, 156; Wiegand, o.e. (n. 7), p. 27. Geta as New Ares on a coin: B. Head, Historia Numorum, Oxford 1922, p. 892.

33 W. Blümel, Die Insehriften von Iasos II, Bonn, 1985 (IK, 28), 221.

34 Homeric hymn to Aphrodite, 5-6.

Notes de fin

1 I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the organisers, and especially Dr. Clarisse Prêtre, for inviting me to the symposium and giving me the opportunity to present my work. I would also like to thank Dr. M. Mili and Prof. V. Pirenne-Delforge for their helpful comments on the first version of this paper.

Auteur

Swedish Institute at Athens
Mitseon 9
GR — 117 42 Athens.
E-mail: jenny. wallensten@sia.gr

© Presses universitaires de Liège, 2009

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