Virtual Seminar on Some Unpublished Inscriptions from Corinth V

This is the fifth installment of our “Virtual Seminar on Some Unpublished Inscriptions from Corinth.” Links to the first four posts may be found here. This post features a fragment of nicely finished white-veined, bluish-grey marble preserving the right side where the stone was cut (although this is not at the surface); one or two letter spaces are lost at the ends of some lines. It is broken elsewhere. A photo is here. It was found 8 July, 1976 in Quary Trench 9. H.S. Robinson apparently thought that this new fragment belonged to the same stele as that on which is inscribed ICor 8,3 46 fragments a and b, only it was a different text. It is clear, however, that this new text was not inscribed on the same stele as fragments a or b of ICor 8,3 46. Photo, squeeze, and autopsy of stone.

Unpublished. Cf. H.S. Robinson, AD 32B (1977) 57.
Height, 0.147 m. (preserved surface 0.065 m.) ; width, 0.022 m. (preserved surface 0.191 m.) ; thickness, 0.102 m.
Height of letters, 0.005 to 0.009 m. ; interspace, 0.007 to 0.010 m.
Corinth inventory I-76-15 ; NB 632, p. 76 ; NB(FI) 655, p. 22, Object 621.


fin. III – med. II a.         NON-STOIX

[— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —]
[— — — — — — δὲ διέκριναν ἀκο]λούθως τῶι τε ὅρκωι κα[ὶ]           1
[— — — — — —, τήν τε ἐπιδημί]αν ἐποιήσαντο καλῶς καὶ ἐνδό-
[ξως — — — — — — — — —] τ[ῶ]ν Κοριν⟨θ⟩ίων καὶ τῆς πόλε- v
[ως — — — — — — — — — — —]Σ̣ΙΕΤ̣[. 2-3 . φ]α̣νεροὶ ὦσιν
[— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —κ]ατατιθ̣ε[.1-2.]         5
[— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —]

Apparatus: The size of the letters of this text vary greatly and the interlinear spacing, though fairly regular, is not strictly followed. The inscriber probably observed syllabification, which would explain why he left a vacat after the epsilon in line three, but included an omicron in line two and a nu in line four (which would have originally allowed a right margin of 0.010 m.).

Line 1: No trace of the final iota is visible, but the surface here, while smooth, shows signs of wear. The formula [δὲ διέκριναν ἀκο]λούθως is paralleled on ICor 8,3 46 frg. a, l.2 (for more on this fragment see below). The oath may be significant; possibly it indicates that this arbitration was between members of the Akhaian league. Compare lines 14-15 of IvO 47, which dates to 164 BC.

Line 2: It looks as if the pi in line two was initially inscribed as a tau, but then turned into a pi. Part of the final omicron has been rubbed away. At the beginning we probably have [τοῖς νόμοις…] or [τοῖς ψηφίμασι…]. After that we could also have [παρεπιδημί]αν or [τήν τε ἀναστροφὴν καὶ ἐπιδημί]αν… The plural form ἐποιήσαντο means we have more than one honorandus.

Line 3: The inscriber left out the cross bar of the theta. After ἐνδό|[ξως] we could have numerous flowery phrases, at the end of which we find a form of ἀξίως followed by the extent genitives. In addition to the use of the koine, the order of the two cities strongly suggests that the decree was passed and inscribed by a foreign government and that the arbitrators came from Korinth.

Line 4: The break and then a scar of 0.050 m. obscure or obliterate parts of this line, which at the beginning contained a phrase such as τῆς πόλε|[ως ἡμῶν …] or τῆς πόλε|[ως τῶν ethnicum …]. When the text resumes, the first letter trace preserves only the tip of an upper horizontal of a gamma, epsilon, xi, sigma, or tau followed by the upper half of a hasta that must have been an iota. The following espilon is clear, followed by half of a hasta, the spacing of which strongly favors a tau. The traces do not allow the restoration of any obvious offices such as δικασταὶ, nor do they suggest the proper name of a city or of individuals. An ending in –σι (πᾶσι?) followed by ἔτ̣[ι τε] is possible (Cf. IG IV 853, l.14, which was found at Methana and grants proxeny status to a Korinthian man), although if we have a dative plural we would expect the nu-moveable before the initial vowel of the following word. The line resumes beyond the scar with the apex of a triangular letter, which from the context must be an alpha. The adjective φ]α̣νεροὶ probably is modifying an ethnicum in the nominative plural, or it modifies the two branches of that city’s government such as ἡ βουλὴ καὶ ὁ δῆμος.

Line 5: Only the top of the theta is visible. At the beginning of the line we have something such as [χάριτας ἀξίας ἀποδιδόντες τοῖς φιλοτιμουμένοις…] or [τιμῶντες τοὺς ἀγαθοὺς ἄνδρας…]. At the end of the line, whatever form of the verb or participle we have, it is likely that it should be divided across syllables, e.g., [—κ]ατατιθ̣έ|[ναι…] or [—κ]ατατίθ̣ε[σ]|[θαι…].

While the formulae of this species of text show considerable variation, the overall sense is clear: Korinthian men went to a foreign city, performed a service for them, probably adjudicating some dispute, for which that city now sends back an inscription to honor them and to record its gratitude. Below I give a restoration of 56-59 letters, exempli gratia:

[— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — τάς τε δίκας τὰς — —]
[— — — τὰς μὲν διέλυσαν, τὰς δὲ διέκριναν ἀκο]λούθως τῶι τε ὅρκωι κα[ὶ]        1
[τοῖς νόμοις τοῖς τῶν Ἀχαίων, τήν τε ἐπιδημί]αν ἐποιήσαντο καλῶς καὶ ἐνδό-
[ξως καὶ καταξίως ἑαυτῶν τε καὶ τῆς πόλεως] τ[ῶ]ν Κοριν⟨θ⟩ίων καὶ τῆς πόλε- v
[ως ἡμῶν· ὅπως ἂν οὖν καὶ οἱ ethnicum — — —]Σ̣ΙΕΤ̣[. 2-3 . φ]α̣νεροὶ ὦσιν
[τιμῶντες τοὺς ἀγαθοὺς ἄνδρας — — — — — — — — — —κ]ατατιθ̣ε[.1-2.]      5
[— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —]


Naturally, we would like to know the identity of the foreign government and the names of the Korinthians whom they honored, but alas the epigraphical gods of Korinth have once again fated those details to remain a mystery.

Several similar dikastic decrees have already been published at Korinth, one of which is ICor 8,1 4. While obviously not the same text, many of the characteristics of the letters and subject matter are similar to Stroud 1972, 201, no. 3 (I-70-40 – JSTOR link here). There is also another example of a decree honoring Korinthian dikasts that was inscribed by the Eleans and erected at Korinth; see N. Robertson, Hesperia 45 (1976) 253-6 (JSTOR link here). In addition, there is the famous example of the territorial dispute between Korinth and Epidauros that was adjudicated by the Megarians at the request of the Akhaian League, a copy of which has been found at Epidauros (IG IV(2),2 71). Whether our new fragment involved a similar dispute between members of the Akhaian League that was adjudicated by the Korinthians is not clear, but it remains a distinct possibility.

Finally, there are the examples of ICor 8,3 46 fragments a and b. In my next post we will add a new fragment that joins below ICor 8,3 46 fragment b. This new fragment naturally prompted us to take a look at Kent’s fragments a and b, and after examining them, I (P. Iversen) am of the same opinion as N. Robertson (1976, p. 257, n. 5; link given above) that fragment a of ICor 8,3 46 belongs to a separate inscription. After posting the new fragment, I will also go back and offer some new readings of ICor 8,3 46 fragment a.

About PaulIversen

Assistant Professor of Classics at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio.
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