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Toward a Typology of Greek Regulations about Religious Matters

A Legal Approach
Edward M. Harris
p. 53-83

Résumés

Les recueils des « lois sacrées » effectué par Sokolowski et Lupu sont incontestablement un instrument de travail de premier rang pour l’étude de la religion grecque. Pourtant, les documents dans ces recueils ne sont pas classés sur des critères juridiques. La présente étude vise à proposer une classification de documents en question conformément aux autorités qui les ont émis : conseils fédéraux en charge de sanctuaires panhelléniques, cités, subdivisions du corps civique (dèmes, tribus), associations privées (phratries, génè, orgéônes) et donations à des autorités publiques ou à des associations privées. Il s’intéresse également aux différents moyens de faire respecter les normes concernant les pratiques religieuses, et analyse la signification de l’expression ta patria et sa relation avec les différents niveaux d’autorité religieuse.

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Texte intégral

I would like to thank Vinciane Pirenne-Delforge and Jan-Mathieu Carbon for inviting me to present an earlier version of this paper at a workshop about sacred regulations, which took place in Liège in October 2013 and for helpful comments on a draft. A version of this paper was also delivered as a Work-in-Progress talk in the Department of Classics and Ancient History at Durham University in March 2013, to the Association of Ancient Historians at Ohio State University in May 2013, and to the Ancient Law in Context Seminar at the University of Edinburgh in March 2015. I would like to thank Mirko Canevaro, Fritz Graf, Sarah Iles Johnston, David Lewis, Fred Naiden for helpful comments. I would also like to thank Vasia Psilakakou for proof-reading the text and Selene Psoma for writing the French version of the résumé.

  • 1 von Prott, Ziehen (1896–1906).
  • 2 Sokolowski (1955), Sokolowski (1962), Sokolowski (1969). In this essay I will use the standard abbr (...)
  • 3 Lupu (2005) and the second edition Lupu (2009). Inscriptions in Lupu (2009) are cited as NGSL with (...)
  • 4 For a critique of Lupu’s principles of selection see Carbon (2005).
  • 5 Lupu (2009), p. 299–300 says that this document could be a sale of a priesthood.

1There have been several collections of what have been called Greek Sacred Laws. The first was published by Johannes von Prott and Ludwig Ziehen in two volumes, the first in 1896, the second in 1906.1 Franciszek Sokolowski updated and supplemented their collection in three volumes: Lois sacrées de l’Asie Mineure (= LSAM), Lois sacrées des cités grecques (= LSCG), and Lois sacrées des cités grecques. Supplément (= LSS).2 In these volumes the documents are grouped by geographical region. Eran Lupu has recently published a useful volume entitled Greek Sacred Law: A Collection of New Documents, to which he gave the abbreviation NGSL.3 Like other scholars, I am very grateful for these valuable works, which greatly facilitate the study of Greek religion and the laws of the Greek city-states. But from a legal point of view, these collections are rather chaotic: they combine inscriptions containing different kinds of rules, only some of which can be called “laws” or even “sacred laws.” Strictly speaking, a law is a rule issued by a political authority and enforced by public officials (for discussion of the term “law” see below) and a “sacred law” should be a law that concerns primarily sacred matters. Let us take the twenty-seven inscriptions collected by Lupu.4 Three appear to be calendars (NGSL nos. 1, 3 [?], and 23), three are dedications by individuals (NGSL nos. 4, 21, and 24), one is a set of by-laws for a private group (eranos) (NGSL no. 5), one contains two deme decrees (NGSL no. 2), which includes honors for Moirocles and a lease of quarries and land of Heracles to provide revenue for sacrifices, one is enacted by phyletai (possibly a subdivision of the state) (NGSL no. 16), and one is a contract (NGSL no. 19).5 Four are too fragmentary to allow any firm conclusions (NGSL nos. 6, 8, 9, 10), and in four others there is no indication which authority enacted and enforced the rules (NGSL nos. 7, 13, 25, 27). Two are what I would call warning signs (NGSL nos. 12 and 22). This category is discussed below.

2The other problem with these collections is that they do not distinguish between laws whose primary aim is to regulate or establish religious activities and those that regulate activities that have little to do with religion but contain a section about religious practices. For instance, Lupu includes the famous law about the gymnasium from Beroea (NGSL no. 14); this is a law (face A, l. 1–3, 6, 16–22), but most of its provisions consist of rules about the gymnasium. There is a section about an athletic festival called the Hermaea, but most of these rules concern the contests and few are concerned with religious activities such as sacrifices (face B, l. 45–46, 65–67). These sacrifices form part of the duties of the officials in charge of the gymnasium and the festival and are subordinate to its main purpose, which is to regulate activities in the gymnasium, many of which have nothing to do with religion. It would be a bit of a stretch to call this a sacred law. The same is true about the law about reconciliation at Nakone (NGSL no. 26), which contains only seven lines about sacrifices and a festival out of a total of thirty-three lines (27–33). Only four of the inscriptions collected by Lupu (NGSL nos. 15, 17, 18, 20) contain what one might call sacred laws stricto sensu, that is, rules about religious activities enacted by a city-state and enforced by its officials. This is a valuable collection, but the title Greek Sacred Law is a misnomer. One could make the same objection about the important collections of Sokolowski.

3The aim of this essay is to make a start at bringing some order into this chaos. This essay adumbrates a typology that will enable scholars to arrange the documents in the collections of Sokolowski and Lupu (and any other documents containing regulations about religious matters) into categories that make sense from a legal perspective. It is not however just an exercise in pigeonholing these texts according to various legal criteria, a task that may satisfy our desire for tidiness and order but add little to our understanding of Greek religion. As I hope to show, the proposed typology also reveals something important about the nature of religious authority in ancient Greece and the importance of the rule of law in the religious sphere.

The features of a law

  • 6 In their discussions of sacred laws Lupu (2009), Parker (2004), Georgoudi (2010), Gagarin (2011) an (...)
  • 7 Lupu (2009), p. 5–6. Gagarin (2011), p. 101–102 follows Lupu without observing the problems with th (...)
  • 8 Lupu (2009), p. 9–112.

4It is necessary to begin with the most problematic term in the title of these collections — lex in Latin, loi in French and law in English or Gesetz in German.6 Lupu lays down only two requirements for inclusion in his collection: “the text must be prescriptive and their subject matter must pertain to religion.”7 He then tries to classify them by their contents: sacred space, sacred officials, performance of cult, and religious events (festivals and ceremonies).8 But not all texts that are prescriptive are laws; one must make distinctions among different types of regulations and the ways in which they are enforced. What this essay proposes is that one should classify the texts in the collections of Sokolowski and Lupu according to the nature of the authority that issued and enforced them. We should also make distinctions among different types of legal transactions (enactment of laws, appointment of officials, contracts, warning signs, accounts of officials, dedications, donations to public bodies and private groups, wills).

  • 9 This section draws on Harris (2009/10), p. 5–8 = Harris (2013), p. 138–140. Lupu (2009), p. 5 claim (...)
  • 10 These features are based on the criteria of a legal anthropologist Pospisil (1971) though I have ad (...)
  • 11 For the Greek polis as a state see Hansen (1998). For Athens in the Classical and Hellenistic perio (...)

5It is necessary to preface the discussion by listing the basic features of a law (nomos).9 In this way, there will be a clear set of criteria that enables scholars to distinguish between laws stricto sensu and other kinds of regulations about religious matters (such as those of private associations) that do not qualify as laws of federal bodies or of the polis. It is best to use a set of cross-cultural criteria that are descriptive and to avoid normative criteria deriving from a single legal tradition.10 First, a law must be enacted and enforced by a political authority, that is, the state.11 This political authority must be recognized by the community and its neighbors as legitimate. One cannot have a political authority without a community that obeys its commands. To qualify as a state, a community should have well defined borders, a set of members (“citizens”), who enjoy rights and duties that non-members do not possess, a distinction between officials and private citizens, and formal procedures for enacting rules about its members and those resident in its territory. Second, a law must have general application: it must apply to all members of society or to large groups. A command issued to an individual is not a law. Here it is important to make a distinction between laws and contracts. In contrast to a law, a contract is a promise or exchange of promises that creates rights and duties only for the parties to the agreement. A contract does not have general application. The rules concerning a priesthood, on the other hand, do qualify as laws provided the priesthood has jurisdiction over a cult of the city. For instance, an inscription from fifth century BCE Athens creates a priesthood for the shrine of Athena Nike. As we can tell from the prescript, this is a general set of rules passed by the Assembly and applies to any woman who becomes priestess (LSCG no. 12 = IG I3, 36).

  • 12 Priests subject to euthynai at Athens: Aeschines, III, 18 with Fröhlich (2004), p. 331, 334, 337, 3 (...)
  • 13 For cases about priesthoods and sacrifices see Lycurgus, On the Priestess, fr. 6 (ed. Conomis) and (...)
  • 14 Parker (2004), p. 59 correctly sees that calendars qualify as “legislative enactments” but does not (...)
  • 15 On the revision of Athenian laws between 410 and 399 see Canevaro, Harris (2012), p. 110–116.
  • 16 For the fragments of inscriptions attributed to these laws see Lambert (2002) and Gawlinski (2007) (...)

6Third, a law must prescribe rights and duties. It must indicate to those subject to its provisions what they cannot do, what they are permitted to do, and what they must do. In the sacred laws to be examined rights are often expressed with the verb exesti with the infinitive (“it is permitted to do something”) while duties are often expressed with third-person imperatives or with infinitives (often dependent on the verb edoxen “it has been decided”). This might exclude calendars from the category of law because they only inform the reader when an event is going to take place, but they do not order someone to do it or provide sanctions when it is not performed. On the other hand, they implicitly command priests to perform rituals, and priests of public cults were officials who were subject to euthynai, that is, an audit after their term of office.12 If priests failed to perform their religious duties, they would also be subject to punishment.13 For example, the orator Apollodorus reports that the hierophant Archias was punished because “he had sacrificed on the altar in the courtyard at Eleusis a victim brought by the courtesan Sinope when it was illegal to sacrifice on that day and when not he, but the priestess had the right to perform the sacrifice” ([Demosthenes] LIX, 116–117).14 The rules he violated may have been set forth in a calendar listing the kinds of offerings to be made, the days of sacrifice and who was entitled to conduct the sacrifice. Just because the vast majority of calendars preserved on stone do not indicate penalties for infractions of their provisions, this does not mean that no such penalties existed. In fact, we know that the Athenians considered these calendars as part of their lawcode because they were included among the measures included in the revision of the laws that took place between 410 and 399 BCE.15 The laws of Draco and Solon that were revised between 410 and 399 contained many rules about sacrifices and presumably listed them in the form of a calendar (Lysias, XXX, 17–20).16

  • 17 On penalties in sacred regulations see Naiden (2008). Limitations of space do not allow for a discu (...)
  • 18 On the casuistic form of a law see Harris (2013), p. 140.
  • 19 In some cases, the official is allowed to impose a fine up to a certain amount, but must bring an a (...)

7The fourth aspect of a law — a procedure for enforcement if the rule is violated — goes closely with the fifth — a sanction for those who violate the law.17 In many laws about religious practices, however, these two aspects are combined in one clause in the apodosis of a conditional sentence (what legal historians call the casuistic form of statute): if someone commits a certain action or does not perform what is required, an official is to impose a fine of a certain amount.18 In some cases, however, the law indicates how the accuser can initiate an action in court and places the penalty in a separate clause (LSCG no. 136, l. 29–30).19 Though one finds financial penalties at all levels of authority (the authorities controlling Panhellenic shrines, laws of the polis, subdivisions of the polis, private associations), the types of penalties varied from one level to another.

Warning signs and laws

  • 20 Parker (2004), p. 62–65.

8Before discussing the classification of sacred regulations and orders about sacred matters into categories, however, one must make a distinction between types of inscriptions. Parker has noted that some inscriptions forbid or prescribe a certain action but do not indicate a penalty for those who violate the rule. Parker has called these “black-tie rules” and believes that they are informal rules enforced by social custom, not by legal penalties.20 Here are some examples:

9LSCG no. 9 — first half of fifth century BCE (IG I2, 789) — inscribed at the entrance to the Vari cave.

τἄντερ’ ἔχ-
σο κλύζετ[ε]
καὶ τὸν ὄν-
θον νίζετε.

Wash the intestines outside
and clean the dung.

10LSCG no. 109 (Paros) — fifth century BCE (IG XII 5, 183). Found on a mountain-side.

[ὅ]ρος Ὑπάτο· ἀ[τε]-
[λ]έστοι οὐ θέμ-
[ι]ς οὐδὲ γυναι-
[κ]ί

The boundary stone of Zeus the Highest.
It is not
themis for someone uninitiated
or for a woman (to enter).

11LSCG no. 94 (Delos) — second century BCE (IG IX 4, 1300).

ἀπ’ οἴνου μὴ προσιέναι
μηδὲ ἐν ἀνθινοῖς.

Do not enter after drinking or

in bright-coloured (lit. “flowery”) garments.

  • 21 Parker (2004), p. 58 wonders “whether a particular veto has any more force than the ‘no parking’ si (...)
  • 22 Lucian, De sacrificiis, 13 appears to mention such a sign excluding those who do not have clean han (...)
  • 23 Sokolowski (1969), p. 241–242 notes the existence of “la série de petits règlements publics et priv (...)
  • 24 For the placement of decrees at Athens see Liddel (2003).

12There is no reason to think that because these orders do not indicate penalties, no penalties would be imposed were someone to violate these orders and prohibitions. We should compare these documents to speeding signs or other regulatory signs in the modern world. For instance, if you ignore a sign stating 100 kilometers per hour and drive at 140 kilometers per hour or a sign at a crossroads ordering: “STOP”, there is a high probability that a policeman (or policewoman) will stop you and give you a ticket with a fine to pay. The absence of any mention of a sanction on such a sign does not mean that there is no sanction; it is implicit in the nature of the message and does not have to be spelled out.21 One can often tell the difference between “signs” in the ancient Greek world and publications of laws or the by-laws of an association in three ways. First, signs give only succinct orders and are brief and to the point.22 They often lack enactment formulas and orders for publication. In general, they do not indicate penalties (but see LSCG no. 76) or which authority has the power to enforce them. Second, while laws and by-laws are almost always published on free-standing stelai, signs are placed on altars (LSCG nos. 24, 25, 26, 27, 95 [?], 114, 131; LSS nos. 30, 55, 58, 62, 74), at the entrance to a cave (LSCG nos. 9, 133), on a rock (LSCG no. 132; LSS no. 5), the wall of a fountain house or other building (LSCG nos. 76, 113; LSS no. 50), the architrave of a temple (LSS no. 123), the lintel of a building (LSS no. 49) or on horoi (boundary-markers) (LSCG no. 121; LSS no. 34; LSAM nos. 75 and 83).23 A law is normally placed in a public space normally reserved for public notices where everyone will read them.24 The full text of a law may be placed at the shrine to which their provisions apply (see LSCG nos. 4; 50; 83, l. 66–69; 92, l. 41–42; 118, l. 36–41), but this is not necessary. In the case of a law from Ialysos on Rhodes, the text is to be published in three places (LSCG no. 136, l. 13–18). On the other hand, a sign is located in a place where its orders are relevant and where its location makes it possible for the reader to understand its meaning. An inscription from Cumae is very “context-sensitive” — it forbids burial to the uninitiated “in this place” (LSS no. 120, l. 1–2 [ἐντοῦθα]. Cf. LSAM no. 83). In the case of altars, signs often indicate what can or cannot be sacrificed; the sign does not have to indicate where these rules apply because it is obvious that the orders apply only to the altar on which it is inscribed.

  • 25 Ma (2012), p. 133–143 makes a similar point.

13The problem for the modern reader of course is that we often cannot tell which authority issued the order or how it would be enforced because we lack the contextual information ancient readers would have had. In the case of the instructions not to wash out intestines and to clean out dung at the Vari cave in Attica, one can determine who probably issued the instructions because other inscriptions state that Archedemus of Thera dedicated the cave to the nymphs (IG I3, 977, 978, 980). This is not a law about religious matters, but a regulation issued by the person who dedicated the shrine. But in other cases, there is no other information that would allow us to answer this question. A contemporary however would not have had this problem; he or she would have been able to infer who had issued the order and who would enforce it from their knowledge of the place; they would have known whether the altar belonged to the polis, a deme, a private association or a private individual.25

  • 26 Pace Parker (2004).

14Just because a prohibition is expressed with phrases such as ou themis, ou themiton, or ouch hosion does not mean that the rule was not enforced by officials or other persons in control of a sanctuary.26 For instance, according to Herodotus (V, 72, 3) there was a rule prohibiting Dorians from entering the Acropolis of Athens (οὐ γὰρ θεμιτὸν Δωριεῦσι παριέναι ἐνθαῦτα). When King Cleomenes, a Spartan and thus a Dorian, went to the Acropolis and tried to enter the adyton of the goddess during his invasion of Attica in 508 BCE, the priestess of Athena told him to leave. Cleomenes obviously took the rule seriously because he tried to convince the priestess that it did not apply to him, claiming that he was not a Dorian but an Achaean. Herodotus (VI, 81) also relates that when Cleomenes tried to sacrifice on the altar at the Heraeum of Argos, the priest told him that it was not hosion for a foreigner to sacrifice there (οὐκ ὅσιον εἶναι ξείνῳ αὐτόθι θύειν) and tried to prevent him. In each case, there was a prohibition expressed with language similar to that used in several of the “signs” found on altars and in shrines, and in each case a priest or priestess made an attempt to enforce the prohibition by stopping Cleomenes who was violating the prohibition. By the same token, we should expect that whoever set up these “signs,” whether they were public officials or private individuals or groups, also attempted to enforce their provisions and did not leave it up to social pressure to make sure the orders were respected.

Levels of Authority

  • 27 Parker (2004), p. 65 divides “sacred laws” into two categories, laws issuing from the assembly with (...)

15In the cases in which we do know who issued the regulations and enforced the penalties, we should group these regulations by the authority that issued them and the legal basis of these regulations.27 This is important because as we will see there are several levels of authority, each one with its own distinct legal basis and own distinctive methods of enforcement: first, the level of federal leagues such as the Amphictyony of Delphi or the authorities controlling other Panhellenic sanctuaries; second, at the level of the polis; third, at the level of the subdivisions of the polis such as tribes and demes; fourth, at the level of private associations such as thiasoi, orgeones or other similar groups; and fifth, at the level of the individual and his kin — these are the individual dedications providing funds for the performance of rituals or the maintenance of a sanctuary.

Panhellenic Sanctuaries

  • 28 See LSCG no. 78, l. 47–48.
  • 29 For the shifting membership of the Amphictyony see Lefèvre (1998), p. 21–139. Disputes might arise (...)
  • 30 Sánchez (1997) rightly questions Aeschines’ view that this version of the oath was formulated when (...)
  • 31 For the enactment formulas see Lefèvre (1998), p. 209. For most regulations it is the Amphictyons w (...)
  • 32 Sánchez (2001), p. 510–516.

16At the highest level there are sacred laws enacted by the authorities controlling Panhellenic sanctuaries, which apply both to individuals visiting the sanctuaries and to entire communities.28 The sanctuary of Apollo at Delphi was controlled by the Amphictyons represented by hieromnemones and pylagoroi (e.g., Aeschines, III, 115) who were sent by the cities and groups belonging to the Amphictyony and met at Delphi and Anthela.29 According to Aeschines (II, 115), all the members swore an oath that included promises not to raze any city of the Amphictyons, nor exclude them from flowing water, either in peace or in war, and to punish all those who desecrated the shrine of Apollo.30 The Amphictyons passed legislation about many different matters, mostly concerning the administration of the sanctuary.31 All measures voted by the Amphictyons were immediately binding on all the member states and do not appear to have been submitted to these states for ratification although for important matters the Amphictyons first consulted with member states before voting.32

  • 33 LSCG no. 78 = CID IV, 1 = IG II2,1126 = Syll.3, 145.

17A copy of an Amphictyonic law dated to before 380/79 BCE and found at Athens gives a good idea of the council’s jurisdiction.33 The hieromnemones swear to judge cases honestly, not to make a profit from cases, to recover any fines to the best of their ability and not to use common funds as a personal gift (l. 3–9). The secretary is also to swear an oath (10–13). The law sets down rules about sacrificial victims (l. 13–14), about consecrated land (l. 15–21), buildings in the sanctuary (l. 21–26), prices for certain items (?) (l. 26–34), repairs (l. 34–40), roads and bridges (l. 40–43), and the length of the sacred truce (l. 43–49). There are several clauses giving the hieromnemones the power to impose fines (l. 18–19, 24–25, 43) and making them subject to fines if they do not perform their duties (l. 18–19, 37–39).

  • 34 For exclusion from the sanctuary by the Amphictyons see also Aeschines, III, 117, 122. For sanction (...)
  • 35 Cf. Lefèvre (1998), p. 268 who calls the Amphictyony “une association (ou organisation) dotée d’ins (...)

18What makes these rules different from those of a polis is that the Amphictyons can also punish entire cities. For instance, if a hieromnemon does not contribute to repairs, his city can be banned from the sanctuary (l. 39–40). The same penalty is imposed on those poleis that do not accept the sacred truce (l. 47–48).34 One penalty clause appears to call for the Amphictyons to make war on a polis that violates rules about consecrated land (l. 19–21). They also legislated about land for pasture set aside for sacred herds (LSCG no. 79 = CID IV, 108), possibly about port-taxes for those visiting the sanctuary (CID IV, 2), the appointment of treasurers (CID IV, 9), the safety of those visiting the shrine (CID IV, 51), payments for construction (CID IV, 57), and the supervision of sacred buildings such as the stoa of Attalus (LSS no. 43 = CID IV, 85).35

  • 36 For these grants of asylia see Sánchez (2001), p. 335–359.

19The Amphictyons might guarantee the security of festivals at sanctuaries belonging to their members.36 For instance, an inscription found at Acraiphia in Boeotia grants asylia during the sacred truce for the Ptoia at the shrine of Apollo Ptoios (LSCG no. 73). Those who violate the truce are subject to a fine of 2,000 staters and the amount of the damage done, which is to be the sacred property of the shrine (face A, l. 4–5, 21–24). To inform all cities, the Amphictyons send copies of their dogma to the cities and ethne (l. 24–26). In this case, the jurisdiction of the Amphicytons extends beyond the boundaries of the polis.

  • 37 For views about the historicity of the First Sacred War see Lefèvre (1998), p. 14–15 (agnostic) and (...)

20The Amphictyons clearly took the rules about the cultivation of consecrated land very seriously. There was an Amphictyonic law that the plain of Cirrha beneath the sanctuary should remain uncultivated (Aeschines, III, 107–108). This law was passed in response to an oracle of Apollo before the First Sacred War. Scholars are divided on the issue of whether this war actually took place, but there is no need to doubt that the law existed in 340,37 and the Amphictyonic law from Athens certainly would appear to confirm this (see above). At a meeting of the Amphictyons in 340/39 BCE Aeschines, serving as pylagoros for Athens, charged that the Amphissans were cultivating sacred land (Aeschines, III, 118–121). There was heated discussion, and later the herald summoned all the hieromnemones and pylagoroi to meet in the morning and threatened those who did not appear with exclusion from the sanctuary (Aeschines, III, 122). The next day, they went to the plain, sacked the harbor, and burned down houses. On their way back, they were attacked by the Locrians of Amphissa, who sent them scurrying for safety (Aeschines, III, 123). The following day a meeting was held presided over by Cottyphus of Thessaly. The Amphictyons voted that the hieromnemones gather for an emergency meeting at Thermopylae and bring resolutions about punishing the Amphissans (Aeschines, III, 124). The Amphictyons elected Cottyphus of Pharsalus to lead an expedition against Amphissa, which expelled those responsible for the sacrilege, restored others, and imposed a fine (Aeschines, III, 128–129). When the Amphissans did not pay the fine, the Amphictyons elected Philip of Macedon to lead another expedition (Aeschines, III, 129).

  • 38 For discussion and references to other sources see Sánchez (2001), p. 203–213.

21The Amphictyons also passed sentence in 346 BCE on the entire community of the Phocians for the sacrileges committed during the Third Sacred War. After their leader Phalaecus fled with his soldiers into exile, and the Phocians surrendered to a coalition of Greeks headed by Philip II, the Amphictyons voted to destroy the walls of cities in Phocis, to exclude the Phocians from the sanctuary and the council, to forbid the Phocians from possessing horses and arms, to declare those Phocians who had fled polluted and subject to arrest, to destroy the cities of Phocis, to impose an indemnity of sixty talents, to throw the arms of the Phocians and their mercenaries into a ravine, to sell their horses, and to take measures to protect the oracle and peace and harmony among the Greeks (Diodorus Siculus, XVI, 60, 1–3).38 The Amphictyons clearly did not consider their laws against cultivating sacred territory and the theft of sacred funds a set of “black-tie rules.”

  • 39 On sacred truces in general see Rougemont (1973). On the Olympic truce see Lämmer (1982/3).
  • 40 The Spartans responded that they had not received the truce at this point but failed to convince th (...)
  • 41 The laws mentioned in this inscription are norms of international life in ancient Greece and are si (...)

22Space does not allow for a discussion of the administration of the Panhellenic shrine at Olympia. It should be noted however that the authorities there also had rules about excluding entire communities that violated their sacred truce.39 According to Thucydides (V, 49, 1), the Spartans were excluded from the shrine at Olympia by the people of Elis with the result that they did not sacrifice or compete at the festival of 420 BCE because the people of Elis claimed that they had attacked Phyrkos and invaded Lepreum after they had received the truce for the festival at Olympia.40 To get around this ban, the Spartan Lichas entered a chariot in the name of the Boeotian state, but when his chariot won, and he tried to tie a headband around the head of the charioteer to show that the chariot belonged to him, the rabdouchoi (“rod-bearers”) beat him because he was violating the ban on his community (Thucydides, V, 50, 4. Cf. Xenophon, Hellenika III, 2, 21; Pausanias, V, 2, 2). The Athenians also had rules about the sacred truce for the Panhellenic mysteries of Demeter and Kore (LSS no. 3) and expected them to be respected. When the people of Trichonium arrested the spondophoroi who announced the truce in 367/6, the Athenians sent an embassy to protest their violation of the “common laws of the Greeks” (παρὰ τοὺς νόμους τοὺς κοινοὺς τῶν Ἑλλήνων) (SEG 32, 57).41

  • 42 For a list of oracles about the foundations of cities see Fontenrose (1978), p. 439.
  • 43 On divine sanction for the law of the polis see Harris (2006), p. 52–53.
  • 44 A reference to the oracle at Delphi is restored in a fourth-century law about the first-fruits — se (...)
  • 45 Compare the way the Thracian orgeons of Bendis use the authority of the oracle at Dodona to obtain (...)

23City-states might also appeal to the authority of the oracle at Delphi to confer authority on their legislation. For instance, a city-state might ask for Apollo’s blessing when establishing a colony (e.g., Herodotus, IV, 150, 3).42 Or they might request approval for a change in the constitution as the Athenians did when they created the ten eponymous heroes in 508 BCE ([Aristotle], Athenaion Politeia, 21, 6). Xenophon (Respublica Lacedaemoniorum, 8, 5) reports that Lycurgus asked for approval from the oracle of Apollo for the laws of Sparta.43 In several sacred laws of the polis a proposer might invoke the authority of an oracle of Apollo in support of a motion submitted to the Assembly. For instance, in the law about first-fruits for the sanctuary at Eleusis, the committee cites the oracle at Delphi in support of their proposals about the shrine (LSCG no. 5, l. 5, 26, 34).44 Another oracle of Apollo is cited in a fourth-century law about the truce for the Mysteries (LSS no. 12, l. 10). When the Assembly debated whether to leave the Sacred Orgas uncultivated or not, the Athenians voted to consult the oracle at Delphi (LSCG no. 32, l. 42–49).45 A genos such as the Praxiergidae at Athens could also use the oracle at Delphi in support of their right to play a special role in the rites for the public cult of Athena Polias (LSCG no. 15, l. 3–4, 10–12). At Anaphe in the second century BCE a citizen named Timotheus asked the Council and Assembly to give him a place to build a temple of Aphrodite in the shrine of Apollo and in support of his request presented an oracle of Apollo in response to his question about the shrine (LSCG no. 129). When the city of Tanagra decided to move the sanctuary of Demeter to the city, they did so after consulting the oracle of Apollo (LSCG no. 72, l. 6–8).

24On the other hand, there is no evidence that the Amphictyons ever intervened in the internal affairs of a city-state. One must therefore draw a distinction between the legislation of the Amphictyons (which concerned primarily matters concerning Apollo’s sanctuary) and answers given by the oracle to individuals and communities about their own affairs, between the Amphictyons as an international organization and the oracle as a source of religious authority, which could be invoked by individuals and groups in the Assembly of a polis. To use Roman terms, the Amphictyony had potestas when it came to policing the sanctuary of Apollo at Delphi and activities related to the sanctuary and its festivals; the oracle of Apollo, on the other hand, had only auctoritas when it came to influencing decisions made in the Council and Assembly of the polis.

Regulations of the Polis about Religious Matters

  • 46 For status of Ialysos as polis see Nielsen, Gabrielsen (2004), no. 995.
  • 47 For prohibition of shoes see also LSCG no. 65, l. 15, 22–23; no. 68, l. 6–7; no. 124, l. 17 (also a (...)
  • 48 Parker (2004), p. 65–66 is perplexed by the two penalties, and claims that one is the legal penalty (...)

25The next category contains sacred regulations issued by the polis. It is best to start with an inscription from Ialysos on Rhodes dated to around 300 BCE (LSCG no. 136 = Syll.3, 338).46 First, it has been enacted by a political community, the people of Ialysos and public officials called the mastroi (l. 1) and contains the name of the proposer (l. 2). The document states the aim of the measure: to ensure the sanctity of the shrine and the precinct kata ta patria, a phrase to be discussed in the conclusion (l. 3–5). The measure orders public officials called the Sacred Treasurers to make three stelai and to write “this psephisma” on them (l. 5–9), what is not “righteous” (hosion) to bring into the sanctuary of Alectrone (l. 9–12) and what are the penalties for violators (l. 12–13) and to put each stele in a different place (l. 13–18). The actual regulations, which are called a nomos (l. 19), prohibit horses, donkeys, mules, an animal called a ginos and any other pack-animals from entering the sanctuary (l. 21–25) and the wearing of shoes or anything made of pig-skin (l. 25–27).47 If anyone violates any of these rules, he is to purify the shrine and to offer a sacrifice (l. 27–29) or be subject to a legal charge of impiety (l. 29–30: ἔνοχος ἔστω τᾶι ἀσεβείαι). If someone brings in animals, there is a fine of one obol for each animal (l. 30–33).48 Anyone who wishes should report violators to the mastroi (l. 33–35).

  • 49 This point is well made by Chaniotis (2009) but missed by Parker (2004).

26This text clearly qualifies as a law of the polis about religious matters. The regulations are issued by a political authority (the people of Ialysos), and the mastroi, public officials, are responsible for enforcing the regulations (l. 33–35). The rules apply generally (l. 23–25: “let no one…”; l. 27–28: “if anyone does anything in violation of the law”). There is a procedure for enforcement (a legal charge of impiety and a summary fine by the mastroi). Many other texts in the three volumes of Sokolowski clearly meet these criteria. But one must make a distinction between the statute enacted by the polis and the religious norms enforced by the polis. In this and other cases, the polis did not create the norms about temples being kept pure, which were traditional (l. 5: ta patria) and existed before the Assembly enacted this statute. On the contrary, it took a religious norm that already existed and created procedures for enforcing it.49 We will return to this point in the conclusion.

  • 50 For the date of the foundation of Brea and its location see Psoma (2009).

27The inscription from Ialysos is relatively straightforward, but matters get complicated when we look at other regulations issued by the Greek poleis. A good example is the well-known decree about the foundation of Brea in Northern Greece dated to around 435 BCE (IG I3, 46).50 The top part of the inscription is missing, but it is clearly a decree of Athens because it concerns Brea’s foundation by the Athenians and mentions public officials. The first seven lines are fragmentary but appear to concern legal procedures. The next section orders the oikistes to obtain good omens (καλλ]ιερσαι) (l. 8–10), a religious practice. The third section orders the election of ten men to divide the land, one from each tribe (l. 10–12), a secular activity. The fourth section gives Democleides full powers to make decisions about the settlement (l. 12–13). The fifth and sixth sections return to religious matters and concern sanctuaries (l. 13–15) and offerings to the Panathenaea and Dionysia (l. 15–17). The next five sections return to secular matters: provisions about attacks (l. 17–21), for publication (l. 21–24), an entrenchment clause (l. 24–30), and finally a rider stipulating that only those from the bottom two property classes be sent to the settlement (l. 34–46). In the entrenchment clause, one-tenth of the penalty is to be paid to Athena, but otherwise the last five clauses do not concern religious matters. One cannot separate religious from secular in this inscription; the two are tightly bound together. In this sense, this decree resembles the law about the gymnasium from Beroea (NGSL no. 14) and the law about reconciliation at Nakone (NGSL no. 26), which contain some clauses about religious matters but mostly pertain to non-religious business.

  • 51 Sokolowski does this for some inscriptions, e.g. LSCG no. 80.
  • 52 Carbon, Pirenne-Delforge (2012) sensibly exclude such documents from their collection.
  • 53 For the Eponymous Archon, the Polemarch and the Basileus having both religious and non-religious fu (...)
  • 54 On the role of pollution in homicide law see Harris (2015). For supplication and the law see Naiden(...)

28What are we to do with such a decree? We cannot call it a sacred law in the same way we can call the decree from Ialysos a law about religious matters because it contains secular elements. Its main aim, which is to found a new settlement, is not exclusively or even primarily religious. But are we to exclude it from any collection of sacred laws? Or are we to extract the religious clauses and to delete the non-religious clauses?51 Yet the religious clauses can only be understood in the context of the rest of the decree. Obviously one could not include all such regulations in a collection of sacred laws because it would swell the number of documents to unmanageable proportions.52 My suggestion is that we create another category in the typology of regulations about religious matters that would include laws and decrees of the polis whose main aim is non-religious but contain orders about religious matters. Even though one could not include all these in a collection of documents, the inclusion of such a category in a typology would reflect an important aspect of life in the polis, namely, that legal, political, and religious matters were often closely intertwined. This is also true for the duties of many officials at Athens, who were responsible for both religious and non-religious business.53 We find the same close connection of legal procedures and religious practices in pollution for homicide in Athenian law and in the rules about supplication both at Athens and in other Greek poleis.54

29It is also important to make a distinction between general rules about religious matters and orders of the Council or Assembly. Many measures enacted by the authority of the polis establish festivals or broad rules about sanctuaries that are intended to apply far into the future. For instance, a law dated to the fourth century BCE from Eretria enacts a set of permanent rules about the Artemisia (LSCG no. 92). A law from Ceos dated to the fifth century BCE sets forth rules to be observed for all funerals (LSCG no. 97). Other measures make specific orders that apply only to the immediate future and are limited in their application. For instance, in a decree dated to 221/20 BCE, the Athenian Assembly orders a commission to melt down silver dedications and to make an oenochoe (LSCG no. 41). Another decree from Athens, this one dated to 52/51 BCE, orders the priest of Asclepius to carry out repairs in a sanctuary (LSCG no. 44). A decree from Halasarna on Cos dated to 21 BCE calls for a new list of priests to be inscribed (LSCG no. 174). Only the former qualify as sacred laws of the polis in the full sense of the term.

  • 55 On the features of laws during the Archaic period see Harris (2006), p. 14–25. Parker (2004), p. 58 (...)
  • 56 We find a similar rule in a law about the Eleusinian Mysteries. See Clinton (2005), no. 138. For an (...)
  • 57 Despite its importance for the study of religious officials at Athens, this text is not included in (...)
  • 58 Amount of fines specified: LSCG no. 66, l. 9; no. 69, l. 10, 15–16; no. 116, l. 9–14; no. 166, l. 1 (...)
  • 59 For the accountability of religious officials see note 12 above.
  • 60 Fines for sacred officials who do not perform their duties: LSCG no. 5, l. 20–21; no. 65, l. 6 (ref (...)
  • 61 Rhodes (1972), p. 92–96, 127–134.
  • 62 For entrenchment clauses see LSCG no. 65, l. 60–63 (several places); no. 150, face B, l. 8–12; no.  (...)
  • 63 Methods of appointment and terms of office for religious officials: [Aristotle] Athenaion Politeia, (...)
  • 64 For boards of religious officials in the Greek polis see Aristotle, Politics VI, 1322b.
  • 65 For boards of religious officials at Eleusis see Cavanaugh (1996), p. xviii.
  • 66 For boards of religious officials at Andania see Gawlinski (2012), p. 22–27.
  • 67 E.g., napoiai at Halasarna (LSCG no. 173, l. 32–34), epimenioi at Amorgos and Samos (LSCG no. 103, (...)
  • 68 LSCG no. 65, l. 78–80; no. 79, l. 28–31; no. 105; no. 111, l. 4–6; no. 116 (penalty for not reporti (...)

30What is striking is that one finds the same political and legal concerns in the sacred laws enacted by the polis as one finds in other laws of the polis. As early as the Archaic period, laws in many Greek poleis aimed at restricting the powers of officials and preventing the accumulation of power in the hands of a few.55 This was done in several ways: 1) clearly delineating the jurisdiction of officials and distributing powers to different officials, 2) limiting terms of office to one year, 3) imposing penalties for officials who do not follow the law, 4) assigning functions to a board a officials, not one person, and 5) using entrenchment clauses to ensure permanence and stability. One finds precisely the same concerns in many of the sacred laws of the Greek poleis. First, the sacred laws aim to specify the jurisdiction and to limit the powers of religious officials. For instance, the earliest law from Athens about religious matters is a law about the powers of the Treasurers and the prytanis on the Acropolis to impose fines for specific actions and limits the amount of the fines (LSCG no. 3, l. 6–8, 11–13, 15–16, 22–23). A law about a festival in honor of Hephaestus and Athena at Athens limits the amount that the hieropoioi can impose as fines and requires that for larger amounts they bring a case in court (LSCG no. 13, l. 26–30).56 The decree proposed by Callias in the late fifth century BCE creating treasurers for the Other Gods goes into obsessive detail about their duties and responsibilities (IG I3, 52 with Harris [2013], p. 171–172).57 Regulations about religious matters from other poleis often specify the duties and limit the amount of fines to be imposed by religious officials. The law from Andania assigns the duties of supervising the Mysteries to several different officials, carefully defines their duties and specifies the amounts of fines (LSCG no. 65. For fines see l. 9, 77, 106, 111, 162–163).58 As a result, religious officials do not act on their own discretion or their own views about what is appropriate behavior. They are to act in accordance with the laws of the polis like other officials (LSCG no. 69, l. 6–8; no. 92, l. 30–31). From a legal point of view, they are just as accountable to the polis as other public officials.59 Their religious function does not give them a privileged position vis-à-vis the Assembly and the courts. Second, the sacred laws set forth penalties for religious officials who do not perform their duties. For instance, in a law from Eretria dated to the fourth or third century BCE the hieropoioi who do not perform their duties according to the written rules are to pay a fine of five hundred drachmas each (LSCG no. 93, l. 29–32). In a law dated to the fourth century BCE from Thasos the agoranomos and the priest of Asclepius are threatened with a fine if they do not keep the shrine of Heracles clean (LSCG no. 115, l. 6–10).60 Third, the polis does not leave the policing of public officials to social pressure or to the gods, but assigns other officials to keep watch on their activities and to make them accountable just like all officials of the polis. At Athens the Council supervised many officials responsible for religious matters.61 Fourth, the sacred laws show a concern for consistency and stability. Just as politicians often justified their policies by appeals to the patrios politeia, the people who drafted sacred laws invoked ta patria as the sources of authority for their proposals. To ensure stability, entrenchment clauses in some cases were added to decrees to prevent them from being overturned.62 Fifth, religious officials are often limited to one-year terms of office by appointment or election.63 Sixth, to prevent the accumulation of power in the hands of one person, religious duties are often assigned to boards of religious officials.64 Several such boards are attested at Athens in general and for Eleusis in particular.65 For the mysteries at Andania there were several boards: the Sacred Men, the Sacred Women, the Ten and the Five, the rhabdophoroi.66 Similar boards of religious officials are attested in other Greek poleis.67 Seventh, to encourage average citizens to help officials enforce the law, there are often procedures encouraging “anyone who wishes” to report violations, sometimes with the promise of financial rewards.68 Relations between the community and the gods were too important and required detailed regulations. Religion was also a potential source of power, and, as with all sources of power in the Greek polis, those who had responsibility for religious practices affecting the common good had to be closely monitored, and their powers carefully circumscribed.

  • 69 On the deme calendars see Whitehead (1986), p. 185–208. On the officials of the deme see Whitehead (...)
  • 70 On leasing by the demes see Whitehead (1986), p. 152–158.
  • 71 Parker (2005), p. 64. Parker (2005), p. 73 later qualifies this statement: “the demes were not in f (...)
  • 72 LSCG no. 37 concerns the sanctuary of Apollo Erithasios and grants the power to impose punishment o (...)
  • 73 On the religious activities of the demes of Cos see Paul (2013), p. 189–257. On tribal organization (...)

31The demes of Attica had their own religious calendars (LSCG no. 18 [Erchia]; no. 20 [Marathonian Tetrapolis]; SEG 21, 542 [Teithras]), appointed demarchs who had responsibility for religious matters among other duties, and appointed their own religious officials.69 The demes owned land that they might rent out to provide funds for religious activities (IG I3, 258, l. 25–37; Demosthenes, LVII, 63–64).70 As Parker has observed, “the religious life of a deme can be seen as that of a mini polis, comparable on a small scale to that of Athens itself.”71 And like the polis the assemblies of the demes had the power to enact regulations about local cults (LSCG no. 10; no. 38).72 There is also evidence for sacred regulations by demes and other sub-divisions of the polis such as phylai outside Athens, especially on Cos (e.g. LSCG no. 169).73 Though in a way contained within the polis, the demes created another level of authority and had their own powers of enforcement.

Private Associations

  • 74 For enactment formulas in private associations see, for instance, LSS no. 20, l. 2; IG XII 3, 330, (...)
  • 75 On the enforcement of the law at Athens see Harris (2013), p. 21–59.
  • 76 On the contract of koinonia see Harris (2006), p. 241–247. On the absence of juristic personality f (...)
  • 77 For the debate about the authenticity of Solon’s law see Arnaoutoglou (2003), p. 44–57 (inauthentic (...)
  • 78 Even though there were different types of private religious associations (gene, orgeones, thiasoi, (...)
  • 79 For exclusion from associations see, for example, LSCG no. 51, l. 48–49, 104–106.

32Like the polis the private associations enacted regulations about sacred matters, assigned penalties for violations and appointed officials to enforce these regulations and collect fines.74 These associations clearly did not consider their regulations “black-tie rules.” But the legal basis for these regulations differed from that of the sacred laws of the polis. The polis consisted of citizens who were members of the polis through birth or, in exceptional circumstances, by a decree of the Assembly and appointed officials who followed its regulations and had the legitimate force to enforce these regulations.75 The association, on the other hand, is created by the contract of koinonia among its members.76 Whether or not the law of Solon about associations is genuine, there was a law at Athens that made all agreements made willingly among members of a group binding on each member.77 The sacred laws of the Greek polis were grounded in the political authority of the polis; the regulations of associations were based on contract.78 The political authority of the polis granted it the power to imprison, exile, and even execute those residing in Attica; the contractual nature of the association gave its members only contractual remedies against those who did not abide by their agreements; they could impose fines and exclude from membership those who did not abide by their rules.79 Unlike the case at Rome in the late Republic, however, it does not appear that the members of a group of citizens had to obtain permission from the polis to establish a formal association. But they might depend on the courts of the polis to enforce their rules or to resolve their disputes with other associations. In some cases, however, like the followers of Bendis (LSCG no. 46, l. 4–9; LSS no. 6), the Praxiergidae (LSCG no. 15), or the Eteobutadae (Aeschines, II, 147), these groups may have a special relationship with the polis, but these appear to have been the exception.

Donations by Individuals to Public Bodies or to Private Associations

  • 80 For criticism of the term see Modrzejewski (1963), who does not however offer a substitute. The ter (...)
  • 81 This definition is quoted with approval by Jones (1983), who uncritically applies the term “foundat (...)

33In 1914 Laum published a work of two volumes about what he called “Stiftungen” (“foundations”). This term has been criticized with good reason, but it still persists in modern scholarship, and no attempt has been made to replace it.80 In English the term “foundation” according to the Oxford English Dictionary means in the juridical sense: “the establishing of an institution, together with an endowment or provision for its perpetual maintenance.”81 The first problem is that none of the transactions normally grouped under this rubric creates an institution in the legal sense of the term, that is, an entity that possesses legal personality. This kind of legal act was impossible in the ancient Greek world because the laws of the Greeks states did not grant legal personality to groups or abstract entities. For this reason, there is no ancient Greek equivalent for the modern legal term “foundation.” On the other hand, some of these documents do record the “founding” of a cult or other religious activity, but one should not confuse this religious sense of “foundation” (creating a religious practice) with the legal meaning of the term. Second, as we will see, the transactions often called “foundations” include very different types of legal transactions. Some concern donations to the polis; other concern donations to private groups or to families. Third, when analyzing these documents, we should pay careful attention to the terms used by those who composed the documents and the meanings of these terms. As will become obvious, there is no need to import a modern term, which is anachronistic, into our analysis of these documents. The terms the Greeks themselves used allow us to understand what they were doing (or intended to do).

  • 82 For similar phrases in wills see IG XII 3, 330, l. 6–7 (this part of the will of Epikteta is not in (...)
  • 83 Harter-Uibopuu (2011), p. 121–122 does not see that the donation comes from the terms of a will.
  • 84 IG XII 3, 330, l. 107–108. On the duties imposed on freedmen see Canevaro, Lewis (2014).

34We should start with donations given to the polis and begin with a simple example: the donation of Alcesippus of Calydon (LSCG no. 81; Syll.3, 631). The inscription states that Alcesippus of Calydon has dedicated to the god and to the city of Delphi one hundred and thirty gold staters, twenty-two mnai and thirty silver staters. There follows a clause “if anything should happen to him” which is a euphemistic way of saying “if he dies” (l. 3. Cf. l. 11).82 This implies that the dedication of the money formed part of his will. This inference is confirmed by a clause further down in the document, which mentions the money he bequeaths (καταλιμπάνει) to Damasippus, Theudippa, Agias, and Pisalaus, all of whom are instructed to carry out his funeral, the standard duty of heirs to an estate.83 Theudippa is his slave, but the others must be his heirs. As in several wills of the philosophers and other private donations, the testator frees his slave, but also dedicates her to the god. Like a will, the document lists witnesses at the end (l. 13–16).84

  • 85 Harter-Uibopuu (2011), p. 121–122 makes no comment on this key phrase.
  • 86 On similar laws about dedications see Sosin (2005).

35The text follows with a clause laying down the conditions of his “dedication” — the polis of Delphi is to perform a sacrifice and damothoinian to Pythian Apollo every year, which is to be called the Alcesippeia, in honor of the donor. Sacrifices are also to be made to Hera and a procession is to be led from the grove by the priests of Apollo, the archon, the prytaneis and the people of Delphi. The document instructs public officials to inscribe the terms of the donation on the wall of the temple (l. 8–9). None of these rules, which are binding on the temple and on the community, could have been laid down by Alcesippus himself. He has obviously offered to give the money, but has also requested that certain conditions be followed. But he could not impose his will on these authorities without their consent. And he could not create a new religious ceremony for the city without a public decree. This brings us to the phrase “let the dedication be valid” (l. 9: ἀνάθεσις κυρία ἔστω).85 What this should mean is that the city decided to accept the dedication on the terms that Alcesippus requested and held a vote after a formal proposal was made to the Assembly. A law about dedications from Rhodes dated to the third century BCE illustrates the process (LSS no. 107). This law forbids anyone to place dedications in the lower part of the sanctuary (l. 10–18). If anyone makes a request (αἰτήσηται) to place a dedication in this place (l. 18–19), the request will be “invalid” (l. 19–20: ἄκυρος ἔστω […] ἁ αἴτησις), and if someone does place a dedication in this place, the astynomoi will move it to another place (l. 20–22).86 This implies that a request to dedicate that was made in accordance with the laws would be ruled “valid.” We find a similar rule in a decree of the Council at Athens about the shrine of Isis, which requires that those wishing to dedicate seek permission (αἰτήσασθαι) from the Council (LSCG no. 50, face A, l. 12–14).

  • 87 Harter-Uibopuu (2011), p. 120–121 draws a similar contrast between what she calls foundations and e (...)
  • 88 Even though the transaction resembles a contract in the sense that it is bilateral, the acceptance (...)
  • 89 The dedication made by Agasigratis, the daughter of Teisias, (LSCG no. 58) may be similar to that o (...)

36From a legal point of view, we have two separate transactions. First, there is the request of the private individual to dedicate money to the polis and to the temple of Apollo and to have the polis and sanctuary use the money for certain purposes. This transaction falls under the general religious category of “dedication to a shrine” and under the legal category of “gift.” It is unilateral. But this kind of dedication or gift is different from the standard form of dedication insofar as the dedicant asks for certain conditions to be observed by the authority receiving the gift. This donation is similar in a way to the epidosis, which is also a gift by a private individual for a public purpose such as building a temple. In the case of the epidosis, however, the initiative comes from the community, which invites private individuals to make contributions to be paid into a fund for some public project, and there are donations from many persons, not just a single individual.87 Second, there is the decision of the polis to accept not only the money but also the terms requested by the dedicator.88 This takes the form of a public act (called a nomos or a psephisma) as we will see from other documents. For this reason I would place this document in the category of “law (polis) about religious matters” but create a sub-category within that general rubric. This inscription found on the wall of the temple is a hybrid because it combines elements from two types of legal transaction, the will and the rules enacted by the polis.89

  • 90 LSCG no. 58 probably pertains to a similar kind of arrangement even though the enactment formula is (...)

37We see the same combination of dedication and public decree in a document from Calauria dated to the third century BCE (LSCG no. 59 = Syll.3, 993). Agasicles and Nicagora dedicated to Poseidon money and a field (l. 2–4). The polis enacts rules (l. 1–2) to appoint epimeletai who will lend the money to those providing real security or personal security (l. 5–8) and rent out the land (l. 8–11). This money will provide funds for sacrifices to Poseidon and Zeus Soter at an altar before their statutes next to the bouleuterion (l. 11–14). The epimeletai will present their accounts to the euthynoi (l. 17–21).90

  • 91 Sokolowski in LSCG no. 80, reproduces only l. 44–63, which is misleading because it does not allow (...)
  • 92 On these clauses see Sickinger (2008).

38A more elaborate version of this kind of dedication accepted by the polis is found in the donation made by Attalus II in the year 160/59 BCE (Syll.3, 672).91 This document is a public measure enacted by the city of Delphi. It starts with a long clause stating the grounds for the public decision to accept the dedication on the terms requested by Attalus. The city sent two sets of envoys to the king requesting money for the education of children. The king responded by sending two amounts, 18,000 Alexander drachmas of silver for education and 3,000 for honors and sacrifices. The city has responded by accepting the terms set down by Attalus and dedicating the money to the god. To ensure that the money is used in the desired manner, the polis appends a long entrenchment clause with penalties for those who divert the money to other purposes.92 The city then establishes public officials to lend the money and to collect the interest. The language of the measure contains many of the standard features seen in the decrees of the Greek polis. There is no “foundation” created in the legal sense even though the money has helped to “found” a religious festival. The money is added to the funds controlled by the polis, which enacts special rules to see that the money is kept as a separate fund and used for loans with the interest from the loans used to pay for education and for sacrifices. In this respect, it is no different from other public funds earmarked for special purposes.

  • 93 For a donation that gave rise to an equally elaborate set of rules see the donation of Aristomenes (...)

39Even though the mechanisms for carrying out the wishes of the donor are more elaborate in this case, it is from a legal perspective no different from the dedication of Alcesippus.93 Like Alcesippus, Attalus has offered to give money for a certain purpose. Unlike the offer of Alcesippus, however, the donation of Attalus does not form part of his will and is given during his lifetime. Like Alcesippus, Attalus is also a bit vain and wants a new religious ceremony named after him. As with the offer of Alcesippus, the offer of Attalus must be ratified by the polis, which assigns certain officials to carry out the conditions accompanying the donation. The law enacted by the Assembly on Amorgos takes the same form: Hegesarete gives money for the Metroa. The city votes to accept the donation and sets up procedures to lend the money and use the interest to provide funds for the Metroa. But Hegesarete is not as vain as the two men giving money to Delphi: she does not expect the city to rename the festival after her. She is more modest and content with a crown and public announcements of her generosity (LSCG no. 103, face B, l. 25–33).

  • 94 Lupu (2009), p. 81–87 notes the difference between “public foundations” and “private foundations” b (...)
  • 95 Carbon and Pirenne-Delforge per litteras inform me that “the priestess’ name has been erased and le (...)

40These donations to public bodies should be distinguished from donations to private bodies.94 Once more we start with a simple document before looking at more complex ones. This is the will of a certain Pythion found at Isthmos on Cos and dated to the second century BCE (LSCG no. 171; SEG 14, 529). In l. 12–13 we find the technical legal term καταλείπει “he bequeaths,” which is found in wills and used to describe the act of testation (e.g., Demosthenes, XXVII, 9–12). The document contains the wishes of Pythion and a priestess: the relationship between the two is not clear, but the fact that they appear to bequeath the property jointly suggests that they are husband and wife.95 As is normal in a will, Pythion leaves the shrine he dedicates to his sons, but stipulates that they hold the property in common (l. 15–16). Like Alcesippus, he also frees his slave Macarinus in his will but dedicates him to the temple so that he will take care of the shrine, look after those who sacrifice and carry out all the terms of the will contained in a tablet deposited in the shrine (l. 4–12). Pythion’s right to make these conditions inheres in his rights of ownership, among which is the right of transmissibility, that is, the right to pass on his property to his descendants.

41This document bears some similarity to that of Alcesippus. First, both men donate money as part of their will. Second, each man lays down conditions for the use of his property in his will. Third, both men free a slave as part of their will. But there the similarities end. Alcesippus donates his money to the community, which must vote to accept its conditions and pass regulations to ensure the proper use of his money. Pythion bequeaths his money to his descendants, who are bound by the terms of his will. From a religious point of view, the two actions are both dedications. From a legal point of view, they are very different.

  • 96 For this inscription I follow the text of Carbon in Carbon, Pirenne-Delforge (2013).
  • 97 The testator pledges the property to his descendants as security for the promise of the eldest son (...)

42Limitations of space do not allow a detailed discussion of other wills that give money for religious activities, but a few observations can be made. The will of Epicteta (IG XII 3, 330; LSCG no. 135 [extract]) is similar to that of Pythion insofar as it passes on money and property to descendants, but the arrangements are more complex because she gives money to the association and property to her daughter (l. 25–41). Instead of making her land the common property of her heirs, she forbids alienation of the Mouseion and the temenos of heroes (l. 41–48). After the will there follows an elaborate set of rules about the association and its officers. In terms of classification, the first part of this document belongs to the legal category of will (l. 1–108), the second, by-laws of a private association (l. 109–288). The document about Poseidonius’ property is slightly different (LSAM no. 72 = Syll.3, 1044).96 It starts with an oracle of Apollo about propitiating Paternal Zeus, Apollo of Telmessos, the Fates, the Mother of the Gods, and the agathos daimon of Poseidonius and Gorgis (l. 1–11). This provides the religious authority for what follows. The next section gives the terms of Poseidonius’ will relevant to the family association that will carry out the regulations contained in the following part (l. 12–22). It is unlikely that this section contains all the terms of his will, which must have been more extensive because it does not mention any money or a residence. Poseidonius has pledged (ὑπέθηκεν) a field in Astypalaea and a courtyard there as well as a garden and land surrounding a tomb with half the rights of cultivation at Taramptos. He also stipulates that the eldest of his descendants serve as priest and give over four gold pieces a year (l. 18–22).97 This action is unilateral and is based on his rights of ownership. The following section starts with an enactment formula (l. 22: ἔδοξε) and is different from a legal perspective. This section contains the by-laws of the association to be formed and is based on the consent of all the members. It resembles the second part of the document about Epicteta’s will (l. 109–288). Even though the document about Diomedon’s dedication does not contain the language associated with a will, it is similar to these three insofar as Diomedon dedicates a temenos to a god, guest-houses, dwellings and a slave and his offspring (LSCG no. 177, l. 1–6). Diomedon also creates (one might says “founds”) an association to use these buildings and to carry out sacrifices and forbids the association to alienate the property or pledge it as security (l. 43–47). The property belongs to all those in the association, but his descendants are the only ones who can serve as epimenioi (l. 144–146). These documents are hybrids, but they should be placed under documents about private associations and dissociated from documents recording donations to the polis. It is time to stop using the term “foundation,” which is both misleading and anachronistic.

Ta Patria and Religious Authority in Ancient Greece

43The religious practices of the Greeks were not regulated by one code of laws like Canon Law in the Catholic Church or the laws of the Orthodox Church under the Byzantine Empire. Canon Law is the law of a single organization that has a corporate existence. As we have seen, Greek religious practices were not the business of a single organization that had such a legal personality. In the Classical and Hellenistic periods, the Greeks never convened a meeting like the First Council of Nicaea in 325 CE, which issued a uniform creed. On the contrary, these practices took place in several different contexts and on several different levels: at the level of federations controlling Panhellenic sanctuaries, the level of cults of the polis, the level of subdivisions of the polis, on the level of private associations, and on the level of families. From a modern perspective, this range of different authorities in religious matters appears bewildering. But a Greek in the ancient world could worship in the shrines and participate in the rituals of Panhellenic sanctuaries, his own community, several different private groups and set up his own shrine without fear of being accused of inconsistency. In one context, a Greek followed one body of law; in another context, he followed a similar, but never identical body of law.

  • 98 On the tendency not to define key terms in laws about religious activities see Henrichs (2003). One (...)

44One must, on the other hand, not exaggerate the diversity of Greek religion. In a famous passage, Herodotus (VIII, 144) says that the Greeks shared certain religious beliefs and practices. These ancestral norms enabled the Greeks to differentiate themselves from Egyptians, Persians and others whose practices regarding sacrifice and burial were very different from their own as Herodotus repeatedly points out. Because all Greeks knew what ta patria were, there was no need to define certain key terms such as thyein and thysia, sponde and spondein, pompe and pompeuein, horkos, ara, ekphora, kathairo and katharmos in Greek sacred regulations.98 These regulations often specify who can conduct or participate in a thusia or a pompe, who receives special portions of meat at a thysia, in what circumstances a katharmos must be performed, and how the expenses for a sacrifice or a festival will be paid. But this uniformity was a matter of culture and ethnicity, not the product of legal uniformity imposed by a single organization, or, one might add, a polis playing the role of a church.

  • 99 This fact undermines the view of Sourvinou-Inwood (1990) that “The polis anchored, legitimated and (...)
  • 100 For the legal issues in the Antigone see Harris (2006), p. 41–80.

45Greek sacred regulations invoke ta patria at all levels: the Amphictyons of Delphi (Syll.3, 613, face A, l. 10–11), the Assembly of the polis (IG II3, 78, l. 4–7, 10–12, 24–26; 896, l. 11; 956, l. 5–6), the demes of Attica (SEG 42, 112, l. 1–6; IG II2, 1177, l. 11–12), private associations (IG II2, 1277, l. 7–8; 1326, l. 14–15; SEG 21, 527, l. 79–80), and the founder of a family cult (LSCG no. 177, l. 39–44, 93–94) all claim to follow ta patria. Private groups and individuals do not have to go through the polis to provide religious authority for their sacred activities.99 All levels had access to ta patria, even if they sometimes rely on Panhellenic shrines or local exegetes for guidance. Ta patria were, or were believed to be, older than the polis. The polis did not create them, did not have exclusive access to them, and was subject to them. This is the message of Sophocles’ Antigone, and of every inscription that reports that men must honor the gods according to ta patria.100

  • 101 On the unwritten laws of the gods see Harris (2006), p. 51–58.
  • 102 On supplication and the law see Naiden (2004).

46To illustrate how the polis implemented ta patria, let us take the example of supplication. Supplication is well attested in the Homeric poems, which reflect the social practices of Greek society around 700 BCE. It consists of four basic steps: 1) the approach of the suppliant (either to an individual or a shrine), 2) a supplicatory gesture (holding a bough, touching the knees, sitting at an altar), 3) a request for something from the person supplicated (supplicandus), and 4) a decision by the supplicandus either to accept or reject the suppliant. If the supplicandus promised to grant the suppliant’s request, his promise was enforced by Zeus Hikesios, Zeus the god of suppliants. The evaluation of the suppliant’s request was made following standard moral and religious views that are in accordance with the unwritten laws of the gods.101 The polis took over this practice and subjected it to public regulation: suppliants making public requests came to a designated public altar; the request was submitted to the Council and Assembly (IG II2, 218; 337; Demosthenes, XXIV, 12); the Assembly enacted laws governing the evaluation of requests by suppliants (e.g. Demosthenes, XXIV, 51–52); and if the request was granted, the Assembly passed a decree ordering officials to carry out the terms of the request.102 The polis did not create the religious practice of supplication and the beliefs associated with it; the polis took a traditional practice (ta patria) and regulated it for public benefit. The polis did the same with sacrifice, pollution, and other religious practices. Each level of authority also did the same with these traditional practices. But that is the subject of another essay.

47Note: The published version of the essay is accompanied by four files containing a list of all the documents in LSCG, LSS, LSAM and NGSL classified according to the typology formulated in this essay. They are available at http://web.philo.ulg.ac.be/​kernos/​revue-annuelle/kernos-28.

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Notes

1 von Prott, Ziehen (1896–1906).

2 Sokolowski (1955), Sokolowski (1962), Sokolowski (1969). In this essay I will use the standard abbreviations for these works.

3 Lupu (2005) and the second edition Lupu (2009). Inscriptions in Lupu (2009) are cited as NGSL with the number of the inscription.

4 For a critique of Lupu’s principles of selection see Carbon (2005).

5 Lupu (2009), p. 299–300 says that this document could be a sale of a priesthood.

6 In their discussions of sacred laws Lupu (2009), Parker (2004), Georgoudi (2010), Gagarin (2011) and Carbon, Pirenne-Delforge (2012) do not offer any analysis of the term “law.” Like Georgoudi, I prefer to use the general term “regulations” and use the term “law” only in restricted cases.

7 Lupu (2009), p. 5–6. Gagarin (2011), p. 101–102 follows Lupu without observing the problems with this definition.

8 Lupu (2009), p. 9–112.

9 This section draws on Harris (2009/10), p. 5–8 = Harris (2013), p. 138–140. Lupu (2009), p. 5 claims that “a formal definition of law (…) has little bearing upon the nature of the evidence…” and then says that the measures he has collected are “for the most part of a tangibly legal character.” But how can Lupu determine which inscriptions have a “legal character” and which ones do not without indicating what the term “legal” means and implies?

10 These features are based on the criteria of a legal anthropologist Pospisil (1971) though I have added “procedure” to his list.

11 For the Greek polis as a state see Hansen (1998). For Athens in the Classical and Hellenistic periods as a state see Harris (2013), p. 21–59. The use of the Greek term hieros nomos does occur but is rare: see Carbon, Pirenne-Delforge (forthcoming). In the texts studied in this essay, the Greeks tend to use the terms nomos and psephisma interchangeably. Between 403 and 322 BCE, the Athenians made a distinction between the two terms (see Hansen [1978]) and different procedures for enacting the two kinds of measures (see Canevaro [2013]), but these procedures appear to have vanished by the third century BCE (see Canevaro [2011]) and do not appear to have been followed by other poleis. See Rhodes, Lewis (1997), p. 555. On the other hand, there is some evidence that the Greeks could make a conceptual distinction between permanent measures (nomoi) and short-term ad hoc measures. For the relationship between the “unwritten laws” and the laws of the polis see Harris (2006), p. 53–57.

12 Priests subject to euthynai at Athens: Aeschines, III, 18 with Fröhlich (2004), p. 331, 334, 337, 343, 352–353, 399, 403 n. 193. Although priests in other Greek communities were not subject to euthynai, they were still accountable and could be punished for failure to carry out their duties. See Fröhlich (2004), p. 107–108 (Magnesia on the Maeander), 177 (Orchomenus in Boeotia), 223 (Ilium), 195, 256, 284 (Thasos), 261–262 (Halicarnassus), 314 (Mylasa), 425 (Lindos), 514 (Aphrodisias).

13 For cases about priesthoods and sacrifices see Lycurgus, On the Priestess, fr. 6 (ed. Conomis) and Against Menesaichmus, fr. 14 (ed. Conomis). For translation and brief commentary see Harris in Worthington, Cooper, Harris (2001), p. 209–211, 216–217. LSCG no. 48, face B, l. 4 may allude to this kind of trial.

14 Parker (2004), p. 59 correctly sees that calendars qualify as “legislative enactments” but does not understand how they could be enforced by legal punishments.

15 On the revision of Athenian laws between 410 and 399 see Canevaro, Harris (2012), p. 110–116.

16 For the fragments of inscriptions attributed to these laws see Lambert (2002) and Gawlinski (2007) with a new fragment. I myself have my doubts about attributing these fragments to the so-called Lawcode of Nicomachus.

17 On penalties in sacred regulations see Naiden (2008). Limitations of space do not allow for a discussion of the interplay between punishment by human authorities (such as financial penalties or exile) and punishment by gods (invoked through curses, the failure of sacrifices or natural disasters resulting from pollution). On this topic see Delli Pizzi (2011). On trials for asebeia see Filonuk (2013).

18 On the casuistic form of a law see Harris (2013), p. 140.

19 In some cases, the official is allowed to impose a fine up to a certain amount, but must bring an action in court if he wishes to impose a greater fine. See, for instance, LSCG no. 13, l. 27–30.

20 Parker (2004), p. 62–65.

21 Parker (2004), p. 58 wonders “whether a particular veto has any more force than the ‘no parking’ sign fastened by an individual to his garage door.” Actually, if someone parks a car in someone else’s driveway without the latter’s permission, the owner can call the police, who would have the car towed and impose a fine on the owner of the car. Experto credite.

22 Lucian, De sacrificiis, 13 appears to mention such a sign excluding those who do not have clean hands from proceeding past the perirrhanteria and calls it a programma. This kind of notice is called a prographe at LSS no. 59, l. 9–10.

23 Sokolowski (1969), p. 241–242 notes the existence of “la série de petits règlements publics et privés affichés devant les autels ou endroits où se pratiquait le culte,” but does not analyze this category and how it differs from other publications of regulations about religious matters.

24 For the placement of decrees at Athens see Liddel (2003).

25 Ma (2012), p. 133–143 makes a similar point.

26 Pace Parker (2004).

27 Parker (2004), p. 65 divides “sacred laws” into two categories, laws issuing from the assembly with secular sanctions and conventions deriving from the exegetical tradition. As will become obvious, this is far too simplistic. Parker also underestimates the enforceability of many regulations.

28 See LSCG no. 78, l. 47–48.

29 For the shifting membership of the Amphictyony see Lefèvre (1998), p. 21–139. Disputes might arise among the members about how the Amphictyons were to be chosen. For one example, see the dispute about the delegates from Euboea: CID IV, 124. For the meeting places see Lefèvre (1998), p. 193–196.

30 Sánchez (1997) rightly questions Aeschines’ view that this version of the oath was formulated when the Amphictyony was created in the Archaic period, but his quotation should contain parts of the oath sworn in the middle of the fourth century BCE. Lefèvre accepts much of Sánchez’s analysis but believes that parts could go back to the Archaic period. The oath at LSCG no. 78, l. 3–9, appears to have pertained only to judicial matters. The oath mentioned by Aeschines (III, 107) concerning the consecrated land at Cirrha was probably a different oath but bears some similarity to LSCG no. 78, l. 16–21.

31 For the enactment formulas see Lefèvre (1998), p. 209. For most regulations it is the Amphictyons who enact legislation but see CID IV, 23 (hieromnemones).

32 Sánchez (2001), p. 510–516.

33 LSCG no. 78 = CID IV, 1 = IG II2, 1126 = Syll.3, 145.

34 For exclusion from the sanctuary by the Amphictyons see also Aeschines, III, 117, 122. For sanctions imposed by the Amphictyons see Sánchez (2001), p. 483–485.

35 Cf. Lefèvre (1998), p. 268 who calls the Amphictyony “une association (ou organisation) dotée d’institutions complexes, dont la nature internationale et l’autorité en matière d’administration religieuse ont légitimé les compétences juridiques.”

36 For these grants of asylia see Sánchez (2001), p. 335–359.

37 For views about the historicity of the First Sacred War see Lefèvre (1998), p. 14–15 (agnostic) and Sánchez (2001), p. 67–73 (skeptical).

38 For discussion and references to other sources see Sánchez (2001), p. 203–213.

39 On sacred truces in general see Rougemont (1973). On the Olympic truce see Lämmer (1982/3).

40 The Spartans responded that they had not received the truce at this point but failed to convince the people of Elis who controlled Olympia (Thucydides, V, 49, 2). Sourvinou-Inwood (1990), p. 297 sees this incident as evidence that even Panhellenic religion was subject to the polis, but see the criticism of Hornblower (2008), p. 125 (“it would be better to say that the Eleians had a double or conflicting role, as competitive polis and as administrators of a Panhellenic sanctuary”).

41 The laws mentioned in this inscription are norms of international life in ancient Greece and are similar to the international norms about the treatment of heralds. On these see Giovannini (2007).

42 For a list of oracles about the foundations of cities see Fontenrose (1978), p. 439.

43 On divine sanction for the law of the polis see Harris (2006), p. 52–53.

44 A reference to the oracle at Delphi is restored in a fourth-century law about the first-fruits — see LSS no. 13, l. 28–29. For other consultations of the oracle by the Athenians see Bowden (2005), p. 168–169. See also Bonnechere (2013) and Bonnechere (2014).

45 Compare the way the Thracian orgeons of Bendis use the authority of the oracle at Dodona to obtain privileges from the Assembly to establish a shrine and to lead a procession (LSCG no. 46, l. 4–9. Cf. LSS no. 6, l. 15–17). There may be an allusion to an oracle of Apollo in LSS no. 8, l. 3–5 and LSS no. 12, l. 10.

46 For status of Ialysos as polis see Nielsen, Gabrielsen (2004), no. 995.

47 For prohibition of shoes see also LSCG no. 65, l. 15, 22–23; no. 68, l. 6–7; no. 124, l. 17 (also animal-skin); LSAM no. 6, l. 3–4; no. 14, l. 11; LSS no. 59, l. 15.

48 Parker (2004), p. 65–66 is perplexed by the two penalties, and claims that one is the legal penalty but the phrase “subject to a charge of impiety” does not imply a legal penalty. This must be wrong because the term ἔνοχος followed by the name of an offense invariably means “subject to a legal charge” concerning the offense (see LSCG no. 158, l. 2; Demosthenes, XX, 96; XXII, 69; XXIV, 61; LIV, 1; [Demosthenes] LIX, 125) or “subject to fines” (see LSCG no. 48, face A, l. 15–16; IG X 2, 13, l. 17–18; Antiphon, IV, 1, 6; Lysias, XIV, 9). The term is also used in legal texts to mean subject to curses (e.g. LSCG no. 118, l. 35–36; no. 158, l. 2–3 [restored]; Demosthenes, XXIII, 97). There are two penalties for two different offenses. First, if one breaks any of the rules, one must purify the sanctuary and perform a sacrifice. If one does not do this, one can be charged with impiety. Second, for those who violate the rules by bringing in animals, there is an additional financial penalty of one obol per animal.

49 This point is well made by Chaniotis (2009) but missed by Parker (2004).

50 For the date of the foundation of Brea and its location see Psoma (2009).

51 Sokolowski does this for some inscriptions, e.g. LSCG no. 80.

52 Carbon, Pirenne-Delforge (2012) sensibly exclude such documents from their collection.

53 For the Eponymous Archon, the Polemarch and the Basileus having both religious and non-religious functions see [Aristotle] Athenaion Politeia 56–58 with Harris (2006), p. 55.

54 On the role of pollution in homicide law see Harris (2015). For supplication and the law see Naiden (2004) and Naiden (2006), p. 171–218.

55 On the features of laws during the Archaic period see Harris (2006), p. 14–25. Parker (2004), p. 58 correctly notes that laws about religious matters were enacted in the Assembly in exactly the same way as laws about non-religious matters, but does not examine the other similarities between religious and non-religious laws. Lupu (2009), p. 3–112 comments only on religious matters and does not discuss legal aspects.

56 We find a similar rule in a law about the Eleusinian Mysteries. See Clinton (2005), no. 138. For an analysis of IG I3, 78 see Harris (2013), p. 163–164.

57 Despite its importance for the study of religious officials at Athens, this text is not included in any of the four collections of “sacred laws.”

58 Amount of fines specified: LSCG no. 66, l. 9; no. 69, l. 10, 15–16; no. 116, l. 9–14; no. 166, l. 16–20; LSS no. 38, face B, l. 10–15.

59 For the accountability of religious officials see note 12 above.

60 Fines for sacred officials who do not perform their duties: LSCG no. 5, l. 20–21; no. 65, l. 6 (refusal to swear an oath), 8–9 (refusal to swear an oath), 43–45, 51–52, 58–59, 62; no. 67, l. 4–5; no. 70, l. 48–52; no. 83, l. 28–30; no. 91, l. 2–6; no. 93, l. 29–30; no. 101, l. 5–7; no. 115, l. 8–10; no. 122, l. 6–8; no. 144, face A, l. 6; no. 161, face A, l. 13–16; no. 173, l. 110–114; LSS no. 15, l. 40–42; no. 24, l. 4–8; no. 121, l. 25–30; LSAM no. 69, l. 14–15; no. 70, l. 8–10; NGSL no. 17, l. 7–11.

61 Rhodes (1972), p. 92–96, 127–134.

62 For entrenchment clauses see LSCG no. 65, l. 60–63 (several places); no. 150, face B, l. 8–12; no. 156, face B, l. 26–29 (restored); LSAM no. 53, l. 23–33. For the role of entrenchment clauses see Harris (2006), p. 23–25.

63 Methods of appointment and terms of office for religious officials: [Aristotle] Athenaion Politeia, 54, 6–7 (hieropoioi and Yearly Sacrificial Officers by lot); 57, 1 (epimeletai of the Mysteries elected); 60, 1 (athlothetai selected by lot); LSCG no. 12, l. 2–7 (Athens; by lot); no. 13, l. 19–20 (Athens; by lot); no. 58, l. 10–11 (Calaureia; election); no. 70, l. 12 (Oropos; election); no. 103, face A, l. 10–11; face B, l. 14–15, 53–55 (Minoa on Amorgos; election); no. 122, l. 2–8 (Samos; election); LSS no. 61, l. 41–44 (Aegiale; election). On the term epimenioi see Carbon, Pirenne-Delforge (2013), p. 87–94, esp. 93: “The epimenioi were certainly appointed on annual basis (kat’ eniauton), but their function is hardly invoked for the duration of a whole year.” On the appointment of religious officials at Athens see Aleshire (1994).

64 For boards of religious officials in the Greek polis see Aristotle, Politics VI, 1322b.

65 For boards of religious officials at Eleusis see Cavanaugh (1996), p. xviii.

66 For boards of religious officials at Andania see Gawlinski (2012), p. 22–27.

67 E.g., napoiai at Halasarna (LSCG no. 173, l. 32–34), epimenioi at Amorgos and Samos (LSCG no. 103, l. 14–15, 20, 25, 58; no. 122, l. 2, 8).

68 LSCG no. 65, l. 78–80; no. 79, l. 28–31; no. 105; no. 111, l. 4–6; no. 116 (penalty for not reporting); no. 136, l. 33–35; no. 148; no. 166, l. 27–34; LSS no. 24, l. 7–8, 11–12. For volunteer prosecutors in the Greek polis see the preliminary remarks of Rubinstein (2003), but the topic still requires a thorough study.

69 On the deme calendars see Whitehead (1986), p. 185–208. On the officials of the deme see Whitehead (1986), p. 121–148.

70 On leasing by the demes see Whitehead (1986), p. 152–158.

71 Parker (2005), p. 64. Parker (2005), p. 73 later qualifies this statement: “the demes were not in fact independent republics.”

72 LSCG no. 37 concerns the sanctuary of Apollo Erithasios and grants the power to impose punishment on slaves and fines on free people to the priest and to the demarch, but was enacted by the Council and Assembly (l. 12–13).

73 On the religious activities of the demes of Cos see Paul (2013), p. 189–257. On tribal organization see Jones (1987). Space does not allow a discussion of the religious practices of the phylai.

74 For enactment formulas in private associations see, for instance, LSS no. 20, l. 2; IG XII 3, 330, l. 126. For fines, often collected by officials, see LSCG no. 48, face A, l. 9–11; no. 51, l. 72–107; no. 53, l. 43–45; no. 181, l. 11–13, 18–20; LSS no. 5, l. 5–9, 12–16, 25–27, 33–34, 43–44; LSAM no. 60, face A, l. 1–12; face B, l. 1–12; no. 80, l. 11–22; IG XII 3, 330, l. 142–146, 161–164, 169–177, 215–221, 229–241, 261–267. Parker (2004), p. 61 briefly discusses sub-divisions of the polis and private associations without analyzing the different legal justifications for their regulations.

75 On the enforcement of the law at Athens see Harris (2013), p. 21–59.

76 On the contract of koinonia see Harris (2006), p. 241–247. On the absence of juristic personality for private religious associations in ancient Greece see Ustinova (2005) and Ismard (2007). The situation in Roman Law was similar: see Cotter (1996), p. 75: “A private guild was never awarded the status of a ‘juristic person’.”

77 For the debate about the authenticity of Solon’s law see Arnaoutoglou (2003), p. 44–57 (inauthentic) and Ismard (2010), p. 44–57 (authentic).

78 Even though there were different types of private religious associations (gene, orgeones, thiasoi, etc.), they were similar from a legal point of view insofar as their relations were regulated by contract.

79 For exclusion from associations see, for example, LSCG no. 51, l. 48–49, 104–106.

80 For criticism of the term see Modrzejewski (1963), who does not however offer a substitute. The term is still used by Lupu (2009) and by Harter-Uibopuu (2011), p. 125, 131, who uses the anachronistic term “deed of foundation”. Carbon, Pirenne-Delforge (2013) prefer to speak of family dossiers.

81 This definition is quoted with approval by Jones (1983), who uncritically applies the term “foundations” in the Greek and Roman world. Jones appears to have been unaware of Modrzejewski’s objections to this term.

82 For similar phrases in wills see IG XII 3, 330, l. 6–7 (this part of the will of Epikteta is not included in LSCG no. 135); Diogenes Laertius, V, 11 (ἐὰν δέ τι συμβαίνῃ), 51 (ἐὰν δέ τι συμβαίνῃ). For a similar euphemism for death see Demosthenes, XX, 159 (ἄν τις […] τι πάθῃ).

83 Harter-Uibopuu (2011), p. 121–122 does not see that the donation comes from the terms of a will.

84 IG XII 3, 330, l. 107–108. On the duties imposed on freedmen see Canevaro, Lewis (2014).

85 Harter-Uibopuu (2011), p. 121–122 makes no comment on this key phrase.

86 On similar laws about dedications see Sosin (2005).

87 Harter-Uibopuu (2011), p. 120–121 draws a similar contrast between what she calls foundations and epidoseis.

88 Even though the transaction resembles a contract in the sense that it is bilateral, the acceptance of the donation by the polis takes the form of a decree. The language of contract (synthekai, etc.) never occurs in these documents (pace Mannzmann [1962]). Once the polis accepts the donation, it acts unilaterally and imposes duties on its officials. In a contract, by contrast, either one party makes a promise to another or both parties make promises to each other, but in these donations, the city simply accepts the donation and the terms and enacts rules to ensure that the donation is used for a certain purpose. There is no exchange of promises.

89 The dedication made by Agasigratis, the daughter of Teisias, (LSCG no. 58) may be similar to that of Alcesippus if the epimeletai mentioned in l. 10–11 are public officials and Poseidon is the god of the Calaurian Amphictyony.

90 LSCG no. 58 probably pertains to a similar kind of arrangement even though the enactment formula is missing.

91 Sokolowski in LSCG no. 80, reproduces only l. 44–63, which is misleading because it does not allow one to understand the legal status of the sacred regulations.

92 On these clauses see Sickinger (2008).

93 For a donation that gave rise to an equally elaborate set of rules see the donation of Aristomenes to the city of Corcyra to hire artists of Dionysus (IJG XXV.B). The donor gives sixty mnai (l. 2–5, 39–42) and the Council enacts numerous measures to lend the money and spend it on the artists (l. 42–146). In this case, however, if the money is not spent in the correct way, it is to be returned to the donor or to his descendants (l. 29–37).

94 Lupu (2009), p. 81–87 notes the difference between “public foundations” and “private foundations” but does not analyze the legal aspects of the two transactions.

95 Carbon and Pirenne-Delforge per litteras inform me that “the priestess’ name has been erased and left as an empty rasura.”

96 For this inscription I follow the text of Carbon in Carbon, Pirenne-Delforge (2013).

97 The testator pledges the property to his descendants as security for the promise of the eldest son to hand over four golden pieces every year for the rituals. Presumably, if the eldest son did not make this payment, the association could then seize the properties pledged as security and use them to pay for the prescribed rituals.

98 On the tendency not to define key terms in laws about religious activities see Henrichs (2003). One must not make the mistake of thinking that because Greek laws sometimes do not define substantive terms, these terms were not important, could not give clear guidance or were infinitely elastic. See Harris (2013), p. 175–182.

99 This fact undermines the view of Sourvinou-Inwood (1990) that “The polis anchored, legitimated and mediated all religious activity.” For some criticisms of the polis religion approach see Kindt (2012).

100 For the legal issues in the Antigone see Harris (2006), p. 41–80.

101 On the unwritten laws of the gods see Harris (2006), p. 51–58.

102 On supplication and the law see Naiden (2004).

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Référence papier

Edward M. Harris, « Toward a Typology of Greek Regulations about Religious Matters », Kernos, 28 | 2015, 53-83.

Référence électronique

Edward M. Harris, « Toward a Typology of Greek Regulations about Religious Matters », Kernos [En ligne], 28 | 2015, mis en ligne le 01 octobre 2017, consulté le 23 octobre 2017. URL : http://kernos.revues.org/2328 ; DOI : 10.4000/kernos.2328

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Auteur

Edward M. Harris

Department of Classics and Ancient History
Durham University
edward.harris@durham.ac.uk

School of History Classics and Archaeology
The University of Edinburgh
v1eharr4@staffmail.ed.ac.uk

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