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block

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1877,0511.1

  • Description

    Marble building block from a Roman gateway at Thessalonika, with an inscription that lists civic officials: six Politarchs ('Rulers of the Citizens'), the Tamias (Treasurer) of the City, and the Gymnasiarch (Director of Higher Education), a graffito may also be present.

  • Date

    • 2ndC
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 207.01 centimetres (w)
    • Width: 82.55 centimetres
    • Thickness: 33.02 centimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Language

        Greek
      • Inscription Transliteration

        vac.
        π̣ολειταρχούντων · Σωσιπάτρου · τοῦ Κλ̣[εo-]
        π̣άτρας · καὶ · Λουκίου · Ποντίου Σεκούνδο[υ̣]
        υ̣ἱοῦ · Αὔλου · Ἀουίου · Σαβείνου · Δημητρίου · τ[οῦ]
        Φαύστου · Δημητρίο̣υ · τοῦ Νεικοπόλεως [ · ] Ζω(ΐλου)
        τοῦ Παρμενίωνος · τοῦ · κα̣ὶ Μενίσκου · Γαΐου · Ἀγιλληίο[υ]
        Π̣οτείτου · ταμίου [ · ] τῆς · πόλεος · Ταύρου · τοῦ · Ἀμμίας
        τ̣οῦ καὶ Ῥήγλου · γυμνασιαρχοῦντος · Ταύρου τοῦ Ταύρο̣[υ]
        (vac. ~ 12 ) τοῦ καὶ Ῥήγλου (vac. ~14)
        vac.
      • Inscription Translation

        The politarchs are Sosipatros, son of Kleopatra and Lukios Pontius Secundus; Aulos Auios Sabeinos; Demetrios, son of Phaustos; Demetrios son of Neikopolis; Zoilos, son of Parmenion and of Meniskos; Gaios Agilleos Poteitos; the treasurer is Tauros, son of Ammia and of Reglos (i.e. Regulus); the gymnasiarch is Tauros, son of Tauros and Reglos.
      • Inscription Comment

        Because several lines of text end cleanly before the end, and the right edge of the stone seems to have been drafted, the entire inscription probably survives complete on this stone. However, a nineteenth-century account (Vaux) reports that a few letters at the ends of lines 3 and 4 were carved on the block immediately next (compare app. crit.).

        The lettering is very clear. In most instances Ω has been formed by adding two “feet” to a completed O. Below and to the left of the final line is a graffito of uncertain date; perhaps an unskilled attempt to copy ΡΗΓΛΟΥ.

        1 ΚΛΕΟ Boeckh ex Pococke
        3 τ[οῦ]: ΤΟ Boeckh ex Pococke : ΤΟΥ in lithographo p. 528 apud Vaux, quo litterae OΥ inscriptae parte muri contigua sunt
        4 Δημητρίου Edson. comma post Νεικοπόλεως Edson. Ζω̣(ΐλου) Edson : ΖΟΛΟΥ in lithographo p. 528 apud Vaux, quo ΛΟΥ inscriptae parte muri contigua sunt
        5 τοῦ · κα̣ὶ : τοῦ καὶ Edson
        6 ταμίου [ · ] : ταμίου · Edson. πόλεος marmore; Newton: πόλεως Boeckh ex Pococke; Edson
  • Curator's comments

    This large stone was built into a wall at the Vardar Gate of Thessalonica and was removed in 1877. The stone has been assumed to name city officials of the era. The inscription is important to New Testament scholars because it is one of the few stones that attests the existence of the office of politarch, mentioned in the Bible (Acts 17:6 and 8) and in only a few other literary sources. It is also curious because it mentions the mothers as well as the fathers of two of the politarchs. How the number of politarchs in this inscription should be counted varies among the modern editions; the translation here presents the usual interpretation of the inscription (see vom Brocke).

    Bibliography:
    Editions:
    - J. Pococke, Inscriptiones Antiquae Graecae et Latinae, p. 48 (1752).
    - A. Boeckh, CIG II 1967 and addenda pag. 990 (1843).
    - C. T. Newton, The Collection of Inscriptions in the British Museum, II: 32, no. CLXXI (1883).
    - C. Edson, IG X 126 (1972).

    Secondary literature:
    - W. S. W. Vaux, “On a Greek Inscription from Saloniki [Thessalonica]”, Transactions of the Royal Society of Literature of the United Kingdom, 2d ser. 8 (1866), 524-48.
    - Ernest De Witt Burton, “The Politarchs,” Amer.J.Theol. 2: 598-632 (1898).
    - Louis Robert, “Les Inscriptions de Thessalonique,” RevPhil 48: 180 (1974), 208-09.
    - Christoph vom Brocke, Thessaloniki – Stadt des Kassander und Gemeinde des Paulus (2001), 68, 94, and 263-64.

    More 

  • Bibliography

    • IG X 126 bibliographic details
    • Inscription 171 bibliographic details
    • CIG 1967 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1877

  • Department

    Greek & Roman Antiquities

  • Registration number

    1877,0511.1

Marble inscription: list of civic officials from a Roman gateway at Thessalonika: six Politarchs ('Rulers of the Citizens'), the Tamias (Treasurer) of the City, and the Gymnasiarch (Director of Higher Education).

Marble inscription: list of civic officials from a Roman gateway at Thessalonika: six Politarchs ('Rulers of the Citizens'), the Tamias (Treasurer) of the City, and the Gymnasiarch (Director of Higher Education).

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