Virtual Seminar on Some Unpublished Inscriptions from Corinth IX

This will be the ninth and final installment of our summer-long “Virtual Seminar on Some Unpublished Inscriptions from Corinth.” The other eight posts may be found by following the links backwards from here. I want to thank all of you who have participated in this seminar and who made it a most fruitful experience. I also want to wish my friend, colleague, and fellow epigrapher Don Laing all the best as he continues to struggle with the effects of his chemotherapy.

This final post features a fragment of white, micaceous marble preserving the upper right corner of an inscription of at least eight lines with red paint preserved in many letters. It is broken to the left, below, and on the back. It was found 12 August, 1977 in Quarry Trench XVI. A pair of parallel register lines has been lightly incised 0.009 and 0.010 m. respectively from the top edge of the stone establishing an upper margin. Intermittent faint traces of register lines appear above lines two to eight at intervals of 0.010 m. Photo, squeeze, and autopsy of stone.

Unpublished.
Height, 0.088 m. ; width, 0.090 m. ; thickness, 0.038 m.
Height of letters, 0.004 to 0.008 m. ; interspace, 0.002 to 0. 003 m.
Corinth inventory I-77-10 ; NB 652, p. 61 ; NB(FI) 687, pp. 36-37, Object 829

PROXENY DECREE?

fin. IV – med. II a. NON-STOIX

          [θεό]ς̣· vac. 0.084 m.                 1
[— — — — — ]ρίτου vac. 0.038 m.
[— — — — — —] τετάρται
[— — — — — —]ύ̣δωρον v
[— — — — — —]σσαν v                  5
[— — — — — —]πολιτεί-
[α— — — — — —]το vac. 0.030 m.
[— — — — — — —]υ̣ς v
[— — — — — — — —]

Apparatus:
Line 1: The final letter trace can be a gamma, sigma or tau. Given that it appears we have the upper right corner of a decree, [θεό]ς̣ seems likely. If [θεό]ς̣ was written without spaces between each letter and centered, the maximum number of letters per line was circa 25. That some care was taken to align this inscription is evident from the use of register lines.

Line 2: These letters probably belong to the end of a name rather than to the number [τ]ρίτου. If the numeral, we find μηνὸς τρίτου on some cities’ inscriptions, but the numeral in the dative in line 4 seems to preclude this. If a numeral it probably applies to some office, official body, or year ([ἔτους τ]ρίτου).

Line 3: We apparently have only the second instance of the day of a month on which a decree was passed attested at Corinth. The second alpha at the end signals that we do not have the koine.

Line 4: Only the upper right tip of a diagonal is visible, and upsilon seems most likely.

Line 5: The inscribing of the preserved portion of this line was difficult because of micaceous flaws in the surface. The letters ΣΣΑΝ belong either to the proper name [Κα]σσαν|[δρ-], or the ethnic [Κα]σσαν|[δρε-]; less likely is the word [θάλα]σσαν. The ethnic [Με]σσαν|[ιο-] seems to be excluded, for the inscriber observes syllabification (cf. line 6) so the iota should have appeared at the end of the line where there is plenty of space. It is not clear whether a patronymic was found in the lacuna, or perhaps the name of a second honorandus.

Line 6: The inscriber was so determined to observe word-end/syllabification that he risked chipping the stone by inscribing the final iota only 0.002 m. from the edge. The resulting chip has left only half of the iota’s hasta. The appearance of the word πολιτεί|[α—] (or [ἰσο]πολιτεί|[α—]) is the strongest indication that we have a proxeny decree (καὶ εἶμεν αὐτῶι καὶ ἐκγόνοις πολιτείαν…), for which we have only one other sure instance at Korinth (ICor 8,1 3).

Line 7: A piece of the tau’s vertical hasta is just visible. It is not clear why the inscriber left so much space to the right. If we compare this inscription with ICor 8,1 3, possibly we have some sort of preamble in lines 1-5 that ends with the phrase [πᾶσαν ἐπιμέλειαν ἐποιήσα]το, and then on the next line we have ἔδοξε τᾶι ἐκκλησίαι… or the verb [ἐψηφίσα]το. On the other hand, given that the name [—]ύ̣δωρον is in the accusative, we expect the clause ἔδοξε τᾶι ἐκκλησίαι to appear just before it, as it does on ICor 8,1 3.

Line 8: The initial traces preserve the tips of two diagonals that favor upsilon over chi. The next letter has only the upper horizontal with its left corner of what must have been a sigma.

Commentary:

We have a decree, probably a proxeny decree, but it is difficult to find a typical reconstruction that fits all the extant lines. Complicating matters of restoration is that on the only other extant proxeny decree from Korinth, there is what appears to be a random vacat of 3 letter spaces in the middle of one of the clauses. An admittedly very laconic reconstruction (and unparalleled from line 6 onwards) of a proxeny decree could be:

               [θεό]ς̣· vac. 0.084 m.               1
[ἐπὶ γραμματέος . .6-7.. ]ρίτου vac. 0.038 m.
[μηνὸς . . . . c. 11 . . .] τετάρται
[ἔδοξε τᾶι ἐκκλησίαι· Ε]ὔ̣δωρον v
[— — patronymic — Κα]σσαν-             5
[δρέα πρόξενον εἶμεν·] πολιτεί-
[αν δὲ αὐτῶι εἶμεν· — —]το vac. 0.030 m.
[— — — — — — — — —]υ̣ς v
[— — — — — — — — — —]

If wider, then we might have:

                                [θ          ε          ό          ]ς̣· vac. 0.084 m.                  1
[ἐπὶ γραμματ— — — — — — — — — — — —]ρίτου vac. 0.038 m.
[— — — — — — — — — — — μηνὸς — — — —] τετάρται
[— — — — — — — — — — ἔδοξε τᾶι ἐκκλησίαι· Ε]ὔ̣δωρον v
[— patronymic — καὶ — nomenpatronymic — Κα]σσαν-                5
[δρεῖς προξένους εἶμεν καὶ εὐεργέτας καὶ εἶμεν αὐτοῖς] πολιτεί-
[αν — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —]το vac. 0.030 m.
[— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —]υ̣ς v
[— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —]

About PaulIversen

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

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