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I would like to thank the Kernos reviewers, Dr. Pirenne-Delforge, and Dr. Sara Saba, all of whom provided comments and constructive criticism on previous drafts of this paper.
Strabo, XII, 2, 36: “οὐ παντὸς ἀνδρὸς ἐς Κόρινθόν ἐσθ' ὁ πλοῦς.” The Latin equivalent may be found in Horace, Epistles I, 17, 36: “Non cuivis homini contingit adire Corinthum.” Hesychius, s.v. ο 1799 attributes this proverb to Aristophanes, fr. 928 (eds. R. Kassel, C. Austin).
Athenaios, XII, 596b-c; Herodotus, II, 135.
Herodotus, II, 134-135; Strabo, XVII, 1, 33.
Peiraieus is strongly associated with prostitution when in Aeschines, Against Timarchos, 40, Timarchos goes to Peiraieus to prostitute himself. Further, Aristotle, Athenian Constitution, 50, 2, ascribes to the five astynomoi of Athens and the five of Peiraieus the function of determining the hiring price of flute-girls, harp-players, and other musicians employed in private symposia and probably expected to provide sexual services as hetairai.
Like Peiraieus, both Korinth and Naukratis were known as emporia. Herodotus is the earliest source to name Naukratis an emporion (II, 178) and Thucydides the first to describe Korinth as an emporion (I, 12). It is likely, however, that these settlements were emporia even earlier, in the archaic period. The term emporion was used in antiquity to designate either a permanent settlement whose purpose was to facilitate cross-cultural trade, or a part of a polis, such as a harbor, that was dedicated to commercial exchange (Bresson , p. 163-226). In this paper I am concerned not only with emporia, but also more generally with harbors, ports, promontories, and coastal locations.
Van Groningen (1960); Salmon (1997); Kurke (1996); Kurke (1999); Musti, Torelli (1994). For criticism of Torelli’s interpretation see Pirenne-Delforge (1994), p. 125, esp. notes 174 and 175. The case of the possible Korinthian sacred prostitution has been discussed more than for any other location, including also by biblical scholars because of Paul’s letter to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians, 6:12-20), which some have argued alludes to such a practice. See Rosner (1998), p. 336-351. Many have contested the occurrence of sacred prostitution in Korinth. See Pirenne-Delforge (1994), p. 110-127; Conzelmann (1967); Saffrey (1985); Calame (1989); Beard, Henderson (1997); Budin (2008), p. 112-152.
Aloni (1982), p. 257-263.
Torelli (1977), p. 428-429.
Yamauchi (1973), p. 219-220.
Musti (1976), p. 65-71; Amantini (1984), p. 39-62; Redfield (2003); Sourvinou-Inwood (1974), p. 186-198; Torelli (1976), p. 147-156. Pembroke 1970, Appendix 2, p. 1269-1270, van Compernolle (1976), p. 329-400, and Budin (2008), p. 212-228 dispute that sacred prostitution was practiced at Lokroi.
Eppers, Heinen (1984), p. 228; Zucca (1988), p. 773-776; Strong (1997), p. 181-187; Bonnet (1996), p. 116-117; Vanoyeke (1990), p. 29. Budin (2008), p. 184-191 questions the practice of sacred prostitution in Eryx.
Colonna (1984-5), p. 65; Colonna (1985); Spivey, Stoddart (1990), p. 125.
MacLachlan (1992), p. 145-162, argues that sacred prostitution took place in many of the sites listed above and discusses particularly the role of Cyprus in the transmission of this practice. So does Yamauchi (1973), p. 219-220.
In modern scholarship Ephesos has been discussed as a place where sacred prostitution took place but the sanctuary in question was Artemis’ temple, not Aphrodite’s. See Cobern (1917), p. 465; Kroeger, Kroeger (1991), p. 98; Gritz (1991), p. 40-41. Baugh (1999) argues against the existence of sacred prostitution here.
Torelli (1977), p. 428-433.
Schindler (1998), p. 29, Appendix 1, and fig. 2.
Pausanias, III, 23, 10.
Pausanias, III, 25, 9.
Pausanias, VII, 24, 2.
Pausanias, VII, 21, 10-11.
For a discussion of the possible number of sanctuaries dedicated to Aphrodite and their location see Garland (2001), p. 112-3, Parker (1996), p. 238, Funke (1983), and Pironti (2007), p. 245-247.
A few works had already questioned the practice of “sacred prostitution” in the classical world (Pirenne-Delforge, , p. 100-126; Oden , p. 131-153; Beard, Henderson , p. 480-503), before the recent publication of the most comprehensive study yet of the myth of sacred prostitution (Budin ). The earlier studies focus primarily on Herodotus’ famous passage on Babylonian sacred prostitution (I, 199) and discuss almost exclusively literary sources, leaving aside epigraphic and archaeological material. Budin attacks the issue both from the Near Eastern and the classical perspective, and surveys archaeological, epigraphic, and literary sources. Whereas Beard and Henderson argue that the myth of “sacred prostitution” is orientalist, Budin sees the creation of this myth as a result of both ancient and modern scholars’ historiographic misinterpretation and faulty methodology.
Notably Pirenne-Delforge (1994), p. 433-37 and Graf (1985), p. 261.
Romero Recio (2000), p. 39; 70-72; 88; 92; 99; 119-121.
As for example Poseidon, the Dioskouroi, Dionysus, Zeus, Athena, Asklepios, and Hera. See Sandberg (1954), Detienne (1974), p. 239-241, Vélissaropoulos (1980), p. 86-90, and Romero Recio (2000).
Hesiod, Theogony, 188-195.
Pironti (2007), p. 55-63; Pirenne-Delforge (2007), p. 318.
Anthologia Palatina IX, 143, 144, 333, and 791 (ed. Beckby); Poseidippos, 39, 116 and 119 (ed. Austin, Bastianini).
Anthologia Palatina XVI, 249 (ed. Beckby).
Agar (1923), p. 84. For a commentary on this epigram see Gow, Page (1965), p. 410-411 and Seelbach (1964), p. 28-31.
Poseidippos, 116 and 119 (ed. Austin, Bastianini). For a commentary on these epigrams see Gow, Page (1965), p. 491-2. Kallikrates is known from various inscriptions that honor him for his role as a commander in the Aegean and on Cyprus, and for his role as the first priest of Alexander and the adelphoi theoi. See Hauben (1970); Mooren (1975), p. 58-60 no. 010; Clarysse, van der Veken (1983), p. 4; Bing (2002/2003); Ameling (2003).
Poseidippos, 116 (ed. Austin, Bastianini): ἔνθα με Καλλικράτης ἱδρύσατο καὶ βασιλίσσης | ἱερὸν Ἀρσινόης Κύπριδος ὠνόμασεν. | ἀλλ᾿ ἐπὶ τὴν Ζεφυρῖτιν ἀκουσομένην Ἀφριδίτην | Ἑλλήνων ἁγναί, βαίνετε, θυγατέρες, (Kallikrates founded me here and named me a sanctuary to Arsinoe Kypris. Chaste daughters of Hellas, come to the one who will be called Aphrodite Zephyritis).
Poseidippos, 116 (ed. Austin, Bastianini): μέσσον ἐγὼ Φαρίης ἀκτῆς στόματός τε Κανώπου | ἐν περιφαινομένῳ κύματι χῶρον ἔχω.
Poseidippos, 119 (ed. Austin, Bastianini): … ἱερὸν Ἀρσινόης | ἣν ἀνακοιρανέουσαν ἐπὶ Ζεφυρίτιδος ἀκτῆς.
Poseidippos, 116 (ed. Austin, Bastianini): Ἑλλήνων ἁγναί, βαίνετε, θυγατέρες | οἵ θ᾿ ἁλὸς ἐργάται ἄνδρες, ὁ γὰρ ναύαρχος ἔτευξεν | τοῦθ᾿ ἱερὸν παντὸς κύματος εὐλίμενον.
Poseidippos, 119 (ed. Austin, Bastianini): τοῦτο καὶ ἐν πόντῳ καὶ ἐπὶ χθονὶ τῆς Φιλαδέλφου | Κύπριδος ἱλάσκεσθ᾿ ἱερὸν Ἀρσινόης /…/ ἣ δὲ καὶ εὐπλοίην δώσει καὶ χείματι μέσσῳ | τὸ πλατὺ λισσομένοις ἐκλιπανεῖ πέλαγος. Bing (2002/003), p. 255-266, discusses two other poems by Poseidippus, which may also refer to the same sanctuary of Arsinoe/Aphrodite on Cape Zephyrion. A third epigram by the same author, Posideippos, 39 (ed. Austin, Bastianini), bears striking similarities to Poseidippos, 119 (ed. Austin, Bastianini). It mentions the same sanctuary of Arsinoe, its establishment by Kallikrates, and specifies again that both those who are at sea or on land should pray to Arsinoe for smooth sailing (euploia). In this poem Arsinoe is not called Kypris, but since the same temple is in question, we can associate the epigram with Aphrodite: καὶ μέλλων ἅλα νηῒ περᾶν καὶ πεῖσμα καθάπτειν | χερσόθεν, Εὐπλοίᾳ χαῖρε δὸς Ἀρσινόῃ | πότνιαν ἐκ νηοῦ καλέων θεόν, ἣν ὁ Βοίσκου | ναυαρχῶν Σάμιος θήκατο Καλλικράτης | ναυτίλε, σοὶ τὰ μάλιστα· κατ᾿ εὔπλοιαν δὲ διώκει | τῆσδε θεοῦ χρήιζων πολλὰ καὶ ἄλλος ἀνήρ·| εἴνεκα καὶ χερσαῖα καὶ εἰς ἅλα δῖαν ἀφιεὶς | εὐχὰς εὑρήσεις τὴν ἐπακουσομένην, “When you are about to cross the sea in a ship and fasten a cable from dry land, give a greeting to Arsinoe Euploia, summoning the revered goddess from her temple, which Samian Kallikrates, the son of Boiskos, dedicated especially for you, sailor, when he was a commander. Another man in pursuit of smooth passage often addresses a demand to this goddess, because whether you are heading for dry land or setting out upon the divine sea you will find her receptive to your prayers.”
Pausanias, I, 1, 3, recounts the story of Konon who introduced the cult of Aphrodite Euploia to Athens in 394 BC. A later inscription of 97/6 BC (IG II2, 2872) also attests to the worship of Aphrodite Euploia in Peiraieus. See also the discussion on Aphrodite’s temples in Peiraieus in Garland (2001), p. 112-113, Parker (1996), p. 238 n. 73, and Pironti (2007), p. 245-247.
Pausanias, I, 1, 3, says that it was Konon who introduced the cult of Aphrodite Euploia to Athens borrowing it from Knidos. See also Miranda (1989), p. 133-137.
IosPE I2, 168. This inscription dates likely from the 1st century AD.
Hauvette-Besnault, Dubois (1881), p. 108 and MDAI(A) 15 (1890), p. 261-262, no. 15. These inscriptions date possibly from 76 BC.
CIG 4443. Possibly dated to 19/8 BC.
ID 2132. This inscription is dated to after 166 BC.
Anthologia Palatina X, 21 (ed. Βeckby) and Callimachos, fr. 5 (ed. Pfeiffer). The former epigram is quoted in full and discussed below. It calls Aphrodite by the appellation Galenaia. The latter is an epigram that records the dedication of a nautilus-shell in Arsinoe/Aphrodite’s temple at Cape Zephyrion, the same temple that Poseidippos’ epigrams refer to. The shell describes in first-person that as a ναυτίλος it sailed on the sea if there was wind, and if Galenaia prevailed then it rowed with his feet. For these actions the nautilus then asserts that he deserves his name. Nαυτίλος also means sailor, and thus the shellfish compares his sailing on the sea to that of a sailor. Galenaia was also a Nereid, but it is possible that in this poem the word describes Aphrodite since the shell is traveling to Aphrodite’s temple and since Aphrodite is called Galenaia in other epigrams. For a discussion of this poem see Gutzwiller (1992).
Pirenne-Delforge (1994), p. 433-437 discusses briefly these cults.
Wolters (1925), p. 46-49. This anchor is dated to the beginning of the 5th century BC.
SEG 23, 170. This inscription dates from the Roman imperial period and is thus much later than the inscription from Aigina.
Graf (1985), p. 261 has collected all of the occurrences of this epithet for Aphrodite.
In Kos the cult in question is one dedicated to Aphrodite Pandamos and Pontia. There are two inscriptions that provide evidence for the existence of this cult, and they involve the sale of the priesthood: Iscr. di Cos ED 178 (196/5 BC) and Obbink-Parker (late 2nd century BC), which is the same as SEG 50, 766. Both inscriptions make it clear that the temple of Aphrodite on Kos was close to the sea (Obbink-Parker, l. 44 and Iscr. di Cos ED 178, b. 1-5). For other publications of these two inscriptions see Robert, Robert (1940), p. 217, n. 89; Clara Rhodos 9 (1938), p. 147; Sherwin-White (1978), p. 304 and 320; Maiuri (1925), p. 173, no. 475.
WZHalle 16, 384, 26. From the 3rd century BC.
IE 213a (1st cent. BC).
I.Olbia 68 (3rd century BC).
MDAI(A) 9 (1884), p. 75 n. 8. This inscription has not been dated satisfactorily.
SEG 24, 1133 (2nd century BC).
Hasluck (1910), p. 236 (1st century BC).
Pausanias, II, 34, 11.
Barbantani (2005), p. 144-152. Col. II, 14 and III, 2.
Pausanias, I, 1, 3. Cf. above n. 37.
Whereas Iscr. di Cos ED 178 was published early on as a complete text, the second inscription had been published only in parts until Parker, Obbink (2000) published the whole text together with an excellent commentary. The text also appeared in SEG 50, 766. See also Parker (2002) for a discussion of these two inscriptions. Here I cite the Obbink-Parker version as it was published in Parker, Obbink (2000).
Obbink-Parker l. 44 and Iscr. di Cos ED 178, b. 1-5.
Iscr. di Cos ED 178, b. 1-5.
Obbink-Parker, l. 5-6: τοὶ στρατευόμενοι ἐν ταῖς μακραῖς ναυσὶν ἐ[πεί] | κα καταλύωντι τὸν πλοῦν θύοντω τᾶι Ἀφροδίται τᾶι Ποντίαι.
Obbink-Parker, l. 27-29: διδόντω δὲ ἐς ἀπαρχὰν καὶ τοὶ | ἁλιεῖς τοὶ ὁρμόμενοι ἐκ τᾶς πόλιος καὶ τοὶ ναύκλαροι τοὶ πλέοντες | περὶ τὰν χώραν καθ᾿ ἕκαστον πλοῖον τοῦ ἐνιαυτοῦ δραχμὰς πέντε.
Iscr. di Cos ED 178, a. 21-23: ὁμοίως δὲ καὶ ἀκολούθως τοῖς | προκεκυρωμένοις συντελῶντι τὰς θυσίας τοὶ τε ἔμποροι καὶ τοὶ ναύκλαροι τοὶ ὁρμώμενοι ἐκ τᾶς π|όλιος.
Parker (2002), Pironti (2007), p. 270-271, and Pirenne-Delforge (2007), p. 316-318 discuss these connections.
We can add Themistokles to this list. Like his two successors, Themistokles dedicated a temple to Aphrodite to celebrate the Athenian naval victory in Salamis, according to Ammonios of Lamptrai, 361 F 5 (ed. Jacoby). Whether true or not, this statement contributes to our understanding of Aphrodite’s patronage of sailing and thereby naval actions.
Iscr. di Cos ED 178, a. 21-3.
IG XIV, 401. The inscription is of unknown date. The heading under which the dedications were listed has been reconstructed to Ναύ[κλη]ροι.
ID 2305. This inscription probably dates from the middle of the 2nd cent. BC, and given that the trader was from Askalon, he was probably a Phoenician. There is also a bilingual inscription in Phoenician and Greek, dating to 325-300 BC (SEG 36, 798), which records the dedication of a monument to honor Aphrodite made by the king of the Sidonians on behalf of those sailing (ὑπὲρ τῶν πλεόντων). In the Phoenician text the goddess named is Astarte. See also Parker (2002), p. 147-150.
In translating this last line, I follow Veyne (1965), p. 945 n. 1, who cites parallels.
Pirenne-Delforge (1994), p. 434-437. Parker (2002), p. 151-152 takes up this issue, although he does not use these texts in his analysis, and Pirenne-delforge (2007), p. 318 reprises this topic.
Plutarch, Moralia, 303c-d.
Plutarch, Moralia, 303c-d.
Polycharmos, apud Athenaios, XV, 675f-676c.
Polycharmos, apud Athenaios, XV, 675f-676c.
Gardner (1888), p. 33-34 and 37.
Pausanias, VIII, 5, 2.
Welter (1938), p. 489f. and 497 fig. 11.
Torelli (1977), p. 435. The identification of this temple as belonging to Aphrodite was recently challenged by Haack (2007), p. 29-40. She argues that the cult-space identified as Aphrodite’s temple was actually dedicated to Hera. Her identification of the temple is part of a larger argument that it was not Phokaians who founded this commercial settlement but rather Samians. Her argument is based on the fact that many more dedicatory inscriptions to Hera (43) were discovered than to Aphrodite (6). As she points out, however, the inscriptions naming Hera were found scattered throughout the sanctuary, whereas the majority of Aphrodite’s inscriptions were discovered in one single cult-area. These inscriptions could be related to a structure next to the one they were discovered in, thus allowing for the possibility that the cult-place now identified as Aphrodite’s actually belonged to Hera. Most of the argumentation also hinges on the fact that the votive offerings excavated from this contested space were just as appropriate as offerings to Hera as they were to Aphrodite. It seems that there is no decisive evidence yet as to the identification of this sanctuary. For this reason, I present the evidence provided by the stone anchors at Gravisca with some reservations, although I hope to have shown that the link between Aphrodite and traders is strong, given the other epigrams, inscriptions, and literary texts that I have discussed.
Gianfrotta (1975), p. 311-3, especially 313-314; Gianfrotta (1977), p. 285-292. See also Romero Recio (2000), p. 2-18, who discusses other divinities that received boats and models or drawings of boats as dedications.
Apollonios Rhodios, Argonautica I, 955-960, describes the dedication of the Argo’s anchor at the temple of Athena at Kyzikos, while Arrian, Periplus Ponti Euxini, 9, 1-2, saw it at Rhea’s sanctuary in Phasis. In Metapontum marble and stone anchors, dating from the 7th and 6th centuries BC, have been connected to the worship of Apollo Archegetes (Adamesteanu , p. 163-177, especially 172). In Delos numerous anchors are recorded on the temple inventories (Deonna , p. 197-198). Models of anchors were also dedicated in Thasos, perhaps to Poseidon (Bon, Seyrig , p. 348). One votive anchor was dedicated to Zeus Meilichios (Iacopi , p. 167-168). Models and drawings of boats were also dedicated to Hera, especially in her sanctuary on Samos. See de Polignac (1997), p. 113-122, esp. 115 and fig. 1 p. 114, for the distribution of boat models, and Kyrieleis (1980), p. 89-94.
Iscr. di Cos ED 178, a. 15-21.
Poseidippos, 116 (ed. Austin, Bastianini).
Barbantani (2005), p. 141-43. Col. III 5 and 11, and IV 6 and 8.
Plutarch, Theseus, 18.
For an analysis of this anecdote see Pirenne-Delforge (1994), p. 35-40, 386 and Pironti (2007), p. 192- 206, esp. p. 197-201.
The passages range from Theognis (e.g. 113-14, 457-60, 575-76, 963-70, 1271-74, 1261-62) and Euripides, Hippolytus, 413-415, 315, 470 to the Hellenistic epigrams discussed here. See also the discussions of the sea of love image and references to more passages in Kahlmeyer (1934), p. 22-26 and Gutzwiller (1992), p. 198-202.
Callimachus, fr. 5 (ed. Pfeiffer), that records a dedication of a seashell (a nautilus) by Selenaia has also been interpreted as referring both to Aphrodite’s power over sailing and her power over sexuality. In this case, the dedication is a prayer by a bride (Selenaia) who wishes to receive a safe journey in marriage, symbolized by a seashell that describes itself in the poem as travelling on sea and whose name, nautilus, also means sailor. See Gutzwiller (1992), p. 198-209.
Anthologia Palatina IX, 144 (ed. Beckby).
Anthologia Palatina V, 11 (ed. Beckby): εἰ τοὺς ἐν πελάγει σώζεις, Κύπρι, κἀμὲ τὸν ἐν γᾷ ναυαγόν, φιλίη, σῶσον ἀπολλύμενον (“Kypris, since you save those at sea, save me, too, Beloved, ship-wrecked on land I am perishing”). In another epigram, Anthologia Palatina V, 232 (ed. Beckby), a lover describes himself as quivering with passion while his soul is drowned (πνιγομένης) in a sea of love (κύματι Κυπριδίῳ), and asks to be saved since he is shipwrecked (ναυηγός) and to be accepted into his lover’s harbors (λιμένες). The poem, by Macedonius, a consul in the reign of Justinian, does not call on Aphrodite, but she is indirectly mentioned with the appearance of the word Κυπριδίῳ. For a discussion of the metaphorical interpretation of λιμήν as female genitalia see below. Anthologia Palatina XII, 167 (ed. Beckby), is similar. It describes a man swept by the winds, by Desire’s gale, and sweet-teared Eros, as he sails on the sea of Kypris, praying that his lover will receive him into his harbor (the word used here is ὅρμος).
Anthologia Palatina XII, 157 (ed. Beckby).
See Sider (1997), p. 91-92. This poem is the same as Anthologia Palatina X, 21.
For example, Sophocles, Oedipus Rex, 1208, uses it in this way, as does Empedocles, fr. 98, 9 (eds. Diels, Krantz).
For a discussion of this possible identification see Page (1981), p. 50-51.
Antologia Palatina IX, 143 (ed. Beckby).
Pirenne-Delforge (1994); Pironti (2005).Haut de page