Towards an Interpretation of the Civic Oath of the Chersonesites (IOSPE I2 401)

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1 This article treats controversial questions relating to the study of the civic oath from Tauric Chersonesos ( iospe I ² 401). Comparison of the document from Chersonesos with others of a similar kind makes it possible to specify with greater precision the nature of the document in question and its historical interpretation. A distinctive feature of the oath sworn by the citizens of Chersonesos is the inclusion in it of a section relating to the obligations of the magistrates in the polis and the members of its council. Arguments are outlined in support of a new interpretation of lines 24-25, according to which the term σαστήρ mentioned in them is a word designating the treasury of the polis. A more precise reading of the concluding lines of the Chersonesos oath is also presented here.

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In 3 bc , the people of Neapolis, a town recently incorporated into the Roman Empire, swore loyalty to their new leader, Augustus. Their oath was sworn at a number of towns in Paphlagonia, which had been annexed by Augustus to Galatia. Although the practice of swearing loyalty to rulers was nothing new in Greece and Asia Minor, the Paphlagonian oath was important because it is the first attested to a Roman emperor in the Greek East. This chapter examines an inscription dating back to 3 bc from Neapolis in Paphlagonia, an oath of loyalty to Augustus and his heirs, taken in Greek but with Roman trappings and with surprising echoes of oaths recorded over a thousand years in the Hittite empire. It first describes the Paphlagonian oath and its Greek predecessors, along with its manifestation of loyalty to the imperial family, and then considers non-Greek elements in the Paphlagonian oath.
This chapter examines the wide range of contexts in which oaths were used in the political life of Athens and other states, and also of leagues and alliances, in ancient Greece. It focuses on oaths sworn by jurors, litigants, and witnesses, and considers the use of oaths in leagues such as the Delian League and the Peloponnesian League. The chapter also discusses three different ways in which oaths were used at critical points in Athens to secure acceptance of Solon's laws as well as ensure commitment to democracy and reconciliation.
Searching examination of Coan inscriptions mentioning civic oaths (homopoliteia between Cos and Calymnus, Coan arbitration for Telos) or magistrate oaths (accountants in a lex sacra, priestresses of Demeter, prostatai) lead to a better understanding of the functions of the oath in the Coan institutions : the one who takes it, enters into an agreement with the city and this agreement ensures, under the protection of Gods, an harmony essential to the democracy. The oaths also show that men or women who take them, are active members of the polis which remains at the Hellenistic period, in spite of Ptolemies' protectorate, an healthy community. By comparing these inscriptions with similar documents — particularly those of Athens — we cannot surely conclude to the diffusion of Attic models of institutions at the Hellenistic period.
The new inscription of Public Imprecations from Teos, apart from many other interesting features, represents what is surely the most important new evidence to accrue for a generation on the relations between Greek colonies and their mother cities. The inscription was admirably published by P. Herrmann in the editio princeps, and helpful contributions followed from Merkelbach and Lewis before its republication in SEG xxxi (1981; appeared 1984) 985, and, most recently, by McCabe and Plunkett.
This article reviews the epigraphical evidence for furniture and furnishings from Late Classical and Hellenistic Greece, with particular attention to the furniture recorded in the treasure lists of Greek sanctuaries, and in the inscriptions recording loans, mortgages, and other commercial transactions involving property, between the late 4th and 1st centuries B.C. The principal goals of the study are to collect the types of furniture and furnishings mentioned in the inscriptions; to examine the vocabulary used to describe them and, where possible, to determine their value; and to discuss the purpose and significance of the furniture found in ancient Greek sanctuaries, whether used for display, storage, or as mobilier du culte.
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