• m14-434-10
    Inscribed Block (©Archaeological Exploration of Sardis/President and Fellows of Harvard College)

Inscribed Block (re-used in Hypocaust Building): Copy of Consecration Inscription for Statue of Zeus Baradateo and Limits on other Mysteries

The year indicated in l. 1 corresponds to 368/67 or 365 BC (Artaxerxes II); P. Briant (see below) does not exclude the mention of Artaxerxes I in ll. 1–2, whose thirty-ninth year would correspond to 427/26 BC. Rigsby (p. 10) dates the prohibitions ll. 5–13 “from perhaps as early 100 BC…through the first century AD…They may well be contemporary with each other and with the inscription itself in the second century AD.” The actual inscription is a copy which can approximately be dated to the mid-second century AD., Roman
Sardis or Museum Inv. No.
Marble, Stone
Object Type
Statue Base, Inscription
Inscription Type
Religious Inscription
Inscription language
Inscription Text
	Ἐτέων τριήκοντα ἐννέα Ἀρτα-
	ξέρξεω βασιλεύοντος τὸν ἀν-
	δριάντα Δροαφέρνης
   4	Βαρ‹ά›κεω Λυδίης ὕπαρχος Βαρα-
	δατεω Διί. (leaf) Προστάσσει τοῖς
	εἰσπορευομένοις εἰς τὸ ἄδυ-
	τον νεωκόροις v θεραπευ-vv
   8	ταῖς αὐτοῦ καὶ στεφανοῦσι τὸν θε-
	ὸν μὴ μετέχειν μυστηρίων Σαβα-
	ζίου τῶν τὰ ἔνπυρα βασταζόν-   leaf
	των καὶ Ἀνγδίστεως καὶ Μᾶς. Προσ-
   12	τάσσουσι δὲ Δορατῃ τῷ νεωκόρῳ τού-
	των τῶν μυστηρίων ἀπέχεσθαι. leaf
Inscription Translation
“In the thirty-ninth year of king Artaxerxes’s [II ?; see above “Date”] reign Droaphernes, son of Barakes, hyparchos of Lydia, (consecrated) the statue to Zeus Baradateo. - He orders the (god’s) servants, who, as temple-wardens, are admitted to the innermost sanctuary and who adorn the god with a wreath, not to take part in Sabazios’s mysteries of those who bear the braziers(?), and of Angdistis and of Ma. They order the temple-warden Dorates to refrain from partaking in these mysteries.”
Inscription Comment
B-Grid Coordinates
ca W230 / S850 top at *119.33
Hypocaust Building on the eastern side of the Pactolus River, reused in building.

Block of marble. It has anathyrosis and a hole on the rear front.

H. 0.455, W. 0.585, H. of letters 0.022.

After the publication of the text and a detailed commentary by L. Robert, which remains a basic resource, a scholarly discussion has developed, a few points of which can only be summarized here: Herrmann’s publication gives an overview of scholarship up to 1996 (cf. SEG 46, 1531). P. Briant, “Droaphernes et la statue de Sardes,” in Studies in Persian History: Essays in Memory of David M. Lewis, ed. M. Brosius and A. Kuhrt (1998 = Achaemenid History 11), pp. 205–26 (see Ph. Gauthier, BE 1999, 469: “Solidement argumentée, l’étude de B. marquera une date”). E. R. M. Dusinberre, Aspects of Empire in Achaemenid Sardis (2003), pp. 119–22 discusses the inscription and gives a translation (SEG 53, 1350); P. Goukowsky, “Sur une inscription de Sardes et quelques cultes de Lydie,” in Etudes de philologie et d’histoire ancienne ΙΙ (2009), pp. 319–43; “le second prostagma, de date incertaine, s’appuie sur le premier, qui constitue sa base juridique, et il doit exister un lien étroit entre l’interdit énoncé par le premier et la dédicace de la statue” (p. 320); in the ἀνδριάς (ll. 2–3) he recognizes a statue of Artaxerxes II. According to Bouzid-Adler (see below), Droaphernes dedicates “une statue humaine, le représentant probablement lui-même, à moins que ce ne soit son père ou son ancêtre supposé” (p. 20). In his article, Rigsby argues “that the two injunctions are indeed later than the Achaemenid dedication, of Roman Imperial date [a point made already by Briant], but that the three sentences are in fact related and all concern a statue of Zeus” (p. 3).

1 ἐτέων τριήκοντα ἐννέα: SEG 59, 1273 refers to P. Thoneman (Chiron 39 [2009], pp. 390–93), who interprets the method of counting “as an expansion of an ‘Aramaic’-style cardinal number….” Goukowsky (p. 323) proposes: “D’Artaxerxès dont le règne remonte à trente-neuf ans, l’Hyparque de Lydie Droaphernès fils de Barakès ‹a dédié› à Zeus la statue que voici….”

4 Βαρ‹ά›κεω: ΒΑΡΛΚΕΩ, the stone.

4–5 Βαραδατεω Διί: Does this Zeus correspond to Persian Ahura Mazda (Robert), or to a Micrasiatic-Lydian deity, or to the Greek Zeus? See P. Frei in Reichsidee und Reichsorganisation im Perserreich, ed. P. Frei and K. Koch (21996), pp. 23–26, 90–96; cf. Herrmann, p. 332, with n. 55; Briant and Gauthier (see above); and C. Lehmler and M. Wörrle, Chiron 36 (2006), p. 79 n. 74; Goukowsky, p. 328 identifies him with Zeus Lydios.

F. Gschnitzer (“Eine persische Kultstiftung in Sardeis und die ‘Sippengötter’ Vorderasiens,” in Im Bannkreis des Alten Orients…, ed. W. Meid and H. Trenkwalder [1986 = Innsbrucker Beiträge zur Kulturwissenschaft 24], pp. 45–54) recognizes in Βαραδατεω the genitive of the name of the founder of this particular Zeus cult, which was introduced in Sardis by Droaphernes; likewise Briant (Gauthier: “cependant, on attendrait plutôt, dans ce cas, l’ordre inverse, Διὶ Βαραδάτεω”). F. Bouzid-Adler, “Noms iraniens dans l’onomastique de la ville de Sardes,” Bulletin de l’Académie Belge pour l’Etude des Langues Anciennes et Orientales 3 (2014), in his commentary (pp. 17–20) on the inscription: “Le terme Βαραδάτεω n’est pas l’épithète de Zeus mais un génitif se rapportant à un anthroponyme iranien, Βαραδάτης lequel est vraisemblablment l’ancêtre de Droaphernès” (p. 19). Gschnitzer’s interpretation is refused by Goukowsky.

Rigsby (pp. 5–6) considers hesitatingly that the wording of the original Achaemenid inscription in ll. 3–5 ran Δροαφέρνης Βαραδάτεω Λυδίης ὕπαρχος Διί, and that a first copy of it (on papyrus vel sim.) had Δροαφέρνης ΒΑΡΛΚΕΩ, which was corrected by a gloss ΒΑΡΑΔΑΤΕΩ at the end of l. 4. The mason, who used this first copy for the present inscription, would erroneously have integrated the gloss in the text.

De Hoz, Kulte, p. 77 reckons with the possibility of another mason’s error when he wrote Βαραδατεω instead of the well-attested Βαγαδατεω; this view is supported by S. Mitchell, “Iranian Names and the Presence of Persians in the Religious Sanctuaries of Asia Minor” (ProcBritAc 148 [2007], pp. 151–71), pp. 157–59. “The Persian at Sardis should thus be seen as an exact counterpart to Megabyxos at Ephesos, and Bagadates at Amyzon, occupying the function of warden of an important local sanctuary of Zeus” (p. 158).

5–13 Subject of προστάσσει, according to Robert, is Droaphernes; Goukowsky (p. 331) takes as subject Artaxerxes II. - “The god or his priest or the law…made a general finding about these novel mysteries: the god’s attendants are not to participate…. The laws or the therapeutai apply the policy to the case at hand: they order Dorates to abstain” (Rigsby, p. 20).

“What the three forbidden cults share is obscurity in extant testimonia: that is sufficient evidence of their novelty in Sardes. To the therapeutai, I suggest, mysteries of Agdistis and of Ma and of a factional sect of Sabazius-worshipers were unknown and intrusive: other mysteries will have been seen as established and time-honored, and therefore legitimate” (Rigsby, p. 17). - Θεραπευταί (see no. 354 comm.): a “group that toward Roman times formed itself to tend an ancient statue of Zeus” (Rigsby, p. 19).

6–8 εἰσπορευομένοις εἰς τὸ ἄδυτον, etc.: cf. Sardis VII 1, no. 22 and nos. 354 and 411, 13–14 comm.

8–9 τὸν θεόν: Zeus (Rigsby, p. 18).

9–10 For the cult of Sabazios in Sardis, see no. 436, 2–3 comm.

9–13 Rigsby (p. 14): “…an Imperial date for the mysteries named in the Sardes prohibitions is…likely.”

10–11 “those who bear the braziers(?)”: see F. Sokolowski, ZPE 34 (1979), pp. 65–69. Goukowsky (p. 335) proposes to understand “parmi ceux qui portent les empyra d’Angdistis et de Mâ”; for the sense given above in the translation he would expect μηδὲ Ἀνγδίστεως μηδὲ Μᾶς.

11 Ἀνγδίστεως: see no. 438, 1–2 comm.

See Also
R2, No. 273
L. Robert, “Règlement de l’autorité perse relatif à un culte de Zeus,” CRAI 1975, pp. 306–30, figs. 1–2 (= id., Op. Min. V, pp. 485–509); G. M. A. Hanfmann and N. Ramage, R2, pp. 176–77, no. 273 (SEG 29, 1205 [bibliographical updating in the following volumes, inter alia: SEG 46, 1531; SEG 48, 2188; SEG 53, 1350; 2218; SEG 56, 2130; SEG 57, 2133; SEG 59, 1394; and SEG 62, 1838]; Lane, CCIS II, p. 14, no. 31; M. J. Vermaseren, Corpus Cultus Cybelae Attidisque I [1987 = EPRO 50], p. 133, no. 456; De Hoz, Kulte, p. 130, no. 2.1; F. Canali de Rossi, Iscrizioni dello estremo Oriente Greco [2004 = IGSK 65], no. 235); P. Herrmann, Chiron 26 (1996), pp. 329–35, with photograph p. 347. (K. Rigsby, AncSoc 44 [2014], pp. 1–23; Harland, Assoc. II, pp. 203–14, no. 120, both with references to further literature).