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Arms and the Boy: On the New Festival Calendar from Arkadia

Jan-Mathieu Carbon et James P.T. Clackson
p. 119-158


Une tablette contenant une longue inscription de la période archaïque, provenant d’Arcadie et apparue sur le marché des antiquités, a été publiée « préliminairement » en 2015. Le présent article a pour objet : (1) d’offrir une nouvelle édition du texte — après autopsie et en utilisant deux photographies — ainsi que (2) une traduction anglaise. Comme l’inscription contient une multitude de détails linguistiques et rituels, pour certains inusités, on propose également: (3) un commentaire suivi de ligne en ligne, ainsi que (4) une analyse de la graphie et du dialecte. Développant ce commentaire, une autre section de l’article (5) offre une analyse typologique du texte, l’identifiant comme un calendrier d’une fête de trois jours (τριανβρίς), répétée selon différent cycles (annuel, bisannuel/triétérique, et énnéatérique). Plusieurs communautés, sanctuaires, et divinités (en particulier, semble-t-il, Zeus), étaient impliqués dans cette fête. En guise de conclusion, un Envoi tente d’offrir une appréciation générale du contenu de la tablette: émanant peut-être du sanctuaire du Mont Lycée ou de Méthydrion, le règlement était étroitement lié aux mythes arcadiens concernant la naissance de Zeus. Plus spécialement, tous les huit ans, la défense armée de sa mère Rhéa était célébrée (il s’agit des Hoplodmia), annonçant la venue au monde du nouveau roi des dieux.

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Both authors are extremely grateful to Robert Parker for suggesting the idea of their collabora­tion and for his indispensable comments. Our gratitude is also due to M. Jost, who very kindly read this paper and shared her thoughts on it. Clackson warmly thanks audiences at seminars in Cambridge and Oxford for many helpful comments and discussion, especially Philomen Probert. Carbon warmly thanks Vinciane Pirenne-Delforge and Stella Skaltsa for their always valuable comments and expert editing.

  • 1 .Heinrichs (2015), p. 26–63, App. 1, with readings based on the two photographs, one in colour and (...)

1The recent “pre-publication” of a fascinating bronze tablet from Arkadia — exact provenance uncertain, dated to ca. 500 BC or perhaps in the first half of the 5th century BC — is bound to stimulate a wide discussion.1 Since the text is now published and essentially made available, it seems possible to offer some improvements and new considerations. The primary concern of this article is to propose a clearer and more intelligible text of the inscription than that proposed in the version currently published (see Sections 1–2 below). The article is the product of both independent and collaborative work on the text by Carbon and Clackson (hereafter occasionally abbreviated JMC and JPTC respectively; in the small number of cases where our interpretations may differ or where further alternatives are proposed, we have also signalled them thus). Clackson’s readings are notably based on autopsy, and have been confirmed by both authors on the two available photographs of the tablet, which we reproduce here (Figs. 1–2).

2In tandem with this effort, we have sought to elucidate the text as much as we can. We offer a detailed line-by-line commentary on the inscription (Section 3), an analysis of the script and dialect (Section 4), and finally a detailed analysis of the structure of the document and its typology (Section 5), as well as a conclusion that proposes some general avenues of interpretation. In our view, the tablet is a cultic regulation, containing a list of dated rituals taking place in different locations in Arkadia. As such, it constitutes a type of calendar for a probably three-day festival, albeit an unusual one.

Revision of the Text (JMC and JPTC)

3For details of the measurements of the tablet, now broken into 5 principal fragments, see Heinrichs (2015, p. 4–7). The tablet preserves an intact straight edge above, but is otherwise broken to the left and right, as well as below (though the part preserved below line 22 was apparently left completely uninscribed). The tablet’s original width cannot be determined with absolute certainty, but it is possible that the current preserved height (ca. 32.5 cm) was relatively close to the original measurement. At any rate, it is clear that the tablet was once wider than the extant fragments might now suggest: for an estimate of the minimum length of the lacuna to the left, see below on line 16. Furthermore, given the empty space left at the end of lines 13 and 22, it is highly probable that more is now missing to the left than to the right of the extent tablet (as a rule of thumb, given the most minimalistic restorations in lines 1–2 for instance, perhaps only ca. 3–4 letters appear to be missing to the right). Since the differences in readings with those given in Heinrichs are highly numerous, not to mention disagreements in restoration and interpretation, an option has been taken not to give a full apparatus criticus here. Readers will in any case be readily able to compare Heinrichs’ text with the one below. Explanatory notes on the more difficult readings of the tablet are also provided (ph. refers to the photos included here in Figs. 1–2; dr. to Heinrichs’ facsimile, p. 31).


[— — τἀβδόμαι ἱσταμίνο (?) — —] τ̣ᾶι <τρ>ιανβρὶ, ὄϝιν καλιστεύϝονσαν, τὰ κ[ρ]έα ἄϝεθλα θε̑ναι ⁝ τἀλφει χ[ρον — —]


[— — ἰν/τοῖς] Μ̣αραθίδα<ι>ς ὄϝις καλιστεύϝονσα, τᾶι τριανβρὶ, κ᾽ ἄϝεθ<λα> τὰ κρέα θ[ε̑ναι ⁝ — —]


[— —] βόε δύϝο, τᾶι παναγόρι τᾶι τριανβρ[ί] ⁝ τᾶι τριπαναγόρι, ἰν Κορυνιτίοι, τι̣ Ι̣[— —]


[— — ὄϝι]ν ὄρενα ἰν (omit.) ⁝ τἀλφει χ{⁝}ρον ἰ̣ν Ϝ̣ελ̣ϝε̣ιο̣ν (?) vvv ἰν Ἀλέαν τὸν Μαραθίδα[ν — —]


[— —]Ṿ, ὄϝις̣ κεραῒς καλιστεύϝονσα, χόρο δ̣ύϝο καλιστ(ε)ύϝοντε, ἃ θεμιστία ⁝ Τ[— —]


[— —]Α̣ΤΑΙ, κ̣όρϝον, ἐνϝότοι ϝἔτει, ἐξάγεν̣ ἀσπίδα, ἀκόντιον, φοινικὶς, ξίφος, Κ[— —]


[— —]ΙΑ Τ̣ετονασια ⁝ ἰν Κορυνίτιον τᾶι τριανβρὶ βν, τὀτινίοι ὄϝιν ὄρενα, τᾶ[ι — —]


[— — ἰν Ζα]πατέαι ὄ̣ϝιν ὄρενα, ἐνϝότοι ϝἔτει τοίπερ Ὁπλόδμια ⁝ Ζαπατέαι τι ΠΑ[— —]


[— —]ΟΝ ⁝ ἰν Κελεπρόδει τι Κεραυνι ἱερόνιον, Ὀλυνπιαῖος {Τ} ⁝ ἰν Σπέλαι τι [— —]


[— — ὄϝιν (?)] ὄρενα, ἐνϝότοι ϝἔτει ὅτε περ Ὁπλόδμια ⁝ τᾶι παναγόρι τὰς ἑκοτὸν [— —]


[— — ϝε]κ̣ατέρας ⁝ ΤΑΣΧΑΛΟΕΜΙΛΑΙΟΝΠΥΝΠΡΑΙ προστέθειον (?), τᾶν ϟεσϟάρον̣ [— —]


[— —]ΟΙ ὄϝιν ὄρενα ⁝ τι Θερέται κριόν ⁝ τἀλφει κριὸν, τρε̑ς αἶσαι τννυ ⁝ [— —]


[— — -]μεν χόρο δύϝο, τᾶι ἱερέαι ὀϟελὸ δύο.vacat


[— — ἰν Γεν]έσϝαν̣ ⁝ ἰν Γενέσϝαν ὄϝιν, τἀγδόαι ἱσταμίνο, τὀρμᾶι ἄγαλμα, Π[— —]


[— —]ϟ̣ΕΥΣΙ ⁝ τι Διϝονύσοι, ἰν <Ὑ>λασμο[ῖ]ς, αἴξ̣ ὄρεν προτρύγιος ⁝ τι ΚΕ̣[— —]


[— — ἐνϝότοι ϝἔτει τοίπερ (vel ὅτε περ) Ὁπλό]δ̣μια ⁝ ἰν Καίταυ βοῦς, τοία τριανβρὶς, τι δ᾽ ἀτέροι ϝἔτε<ι> ὄϝις ὄ̣[ρεν — —]


[— —]Ν ἑμίτειαν, κερίον ⁝ ἰν Σ̣άμ̣ασι ὄϝις ὄρεν, τἀτέροι ϝἔτ̣[ει — —]


[— — ἰν Γ]ε̣νέσϝαν ὄϝις ὄρεν ⁝ ἰν Τ̣ε̣τ̣ονατ̣αν ὄϝις σκεπτός ⁝ ἰν ΟΡ.[— —]


[— — τἀ]τέροι ϝἔτει, θυ̣ϝέα, ὀϟελόν ⁝ τὀρακλεῖ ὄϝιν ὄρεν̣[α — —]


[— —].Σ, βοῦς ἄφετ̣ος, ὄϝιε δύϝο ὄρενε, κερίο δύϝο, κάσο[ς (?) — —]


[— —]ΑΝΤΙ ὄϝις ὄρεν, Ὀλυνπιαίοις ⁝ Κλετοράδε ταῦρον, κάσ̣[ον (?) vacat?]


[— —] κ̣άδικον̣, ἀσκ̣ὸν, ὄϝιν, τἀνϝόται ἱσταμίνο, ἰν ΧΑΝΧ[— —]


[— —]vacat ca. vv. 12

1. Τ̣ΑΙ Μ̣ΙΑΝΒΡΙ ph. (with the trace of the right half of tau at the very edge of the break): ΑΡ̣ΜΓ̣ΑΝΒΡΙ dr. || 2. Μ̣ΑΡΑΘΙΔΑΤ̣Σ ph., ΜΑΡΑΘΙΔΑΙ̣Σ dr.; ΑϜΕΘΑΛ sic ph., dr. || 3. Fin. a sloping stroke that is almost sure to be iota, followed by the trace of the bottom of a vertical stroke. || 4. ἰν ⁝ τἀλφει χ⁝ρον sic ph., dr.; Ϝ̣ΕΛ̣ϜΕ̣ΙΟ̣Ν or Ϝ̣ΕΑ̣ϜΕ̣ΙΟ̣Ν ph.; the next ca. 3 letter spaces were left vacant and uninscribed. || 5. Init. the trace is either an upsilon or more probably the right part of a nu. || 7. Τ̣ΕΤΟΝΑΣΙΑ ph., Ϝ̣ΕΤΟΝΑΣΙΑ dr. || 9. ΟΛΥΝΠΙΑΟΣΤ sic ph., dr.: Ὀλυνπιαῖος vel Ὀλυνπιαίο<ι>ς, cf. at l. 21 and comm. ad loc. || 11. Fin. only the first diagonal hasta of the final trace is preserved, but nu seems assured. || 15. Init. trace of an upper right corner of san tau is probably precluded given that the horizontal stroke does not continue to the left; <Ὑ>λασμο[ῖ]ς: as the ph. and dr. reveal, upsilon appears to have be struck over phi, probably as a correction; a less plausible alternative would be to read the letters as cumulative, viz. <Φυ>λασμο[ῖ]ς; fin. upper left-hand corner of a rectangular letter, with a protruding vertical hasta, almost certainly epsilon. || 16. ΚΑΙΤΑΥ ph.: ΚΑΧΤΑΥ dr.; ΤΟΙΑΤΡΙΑΝΒΡΙΣ ph. and dr. || 17. Σ̣ΑΜ̣ΑΣΙ ph., dr.: the first sigma is oddly shaped, almost like a small lunate gamma, but with a further descending, slightly diagonal stroke. || 18 Τ̣Ε̣Τ̣ΟΝΑΤ̣ΑΝ ph., ΤΕ̣Ι̣ΟΝΑΤ̣ΑΝ dr.: all underdotted letters are only partly visible, but read with reasonable confidence; fin. ἰν ΟΡΚ̣[— —] vel ἰν ΟΡΕ̣[— —] dr., the ph. suggest ἰν ΟΡΕ̣[— —], with only the upper left-hand corner of the letter visible at the end of l. 15. || 20. Init. part of a letter may be visible before sigma, but this is difficult to interpret both on the dr. and the ph. || 22. Init. ΑΔΙΚΟΛ dr., /ΑΔΙΚΟ ph. || 23. Heinrichs prints [— —]ϝΟ vacat in his transcription; these letters are visible neither on the ph. nor on the dr.

Translation (JMC and JPTC)


[… on the seventh day (of the month) (?) …], during the three-day celebration, a ewe reckoned most beautiful, the meat is placed as prizes. To Alpheios, a piglet […]


[… (to/among the?)] Marathidai, a ewe reckoned most beautiful, during the three-day (festival), and as prizes the meat is placed. […]


[… to/in …] a pair of oxen, during the three-day festival. In the trieteric festival, at Korynitios (Gortys), to (male god) […]


[…] a male [sheep] at (omitted). To Alpheios, a piglet (sent) to Welweion (?). To (the sanctuary of?) Alea, the Marathides […]


[…] a ewe, horned, reckoned most beautiful, a pair of piglets reckoned most beautiful, what is customary. […]


[…] for […] a boy, in the ninth (i.e. eighth) year, carries out: a shield, a small javelin, red cloak(s), a sword, […]


[…] Tetonasia (?). To (the sanctuary of?) Korynitios (Gortys), during the three-day (festival), an ox; to Otinios (?), a male sheep, to (?) […]


[…] at Zapatea, a male sheep, in the ninth (i.e. eighth) year exactly in which the Hoplodmia (take place). At Zapatea to Pa[…]


[…]. At Keleprodos (?), to (Zeus) Keraunos, an offering (?), as at Olympia (or: during the Olympiaia?). At Spela (“in the Cave”) to […]


[… to …] a male (sheep?), in the ninth (i.e. eighth) year exactly when the Hoplodmia (take place). During the assembly/festival, the hundred female […]


[…] each of the two parties. (Unintelligible) breastplate (?), of the four female (?) […]


[… to … (male god)], a male sheep. To Theretas, a ram. To Alpheios, a ram, (make) three portions of these (i.e. the meat). […]


[…] (verb), a pair of piglets; to the priestess, two obols.


[… (sent) to] Geneswa (sanctuary of Genesios?). To Geneswa (sanctuary of Genesios?), a sheep, on the eighth day (of the month), to Hermes, a statue […]


[… to/during …]. To Dionysos, at Hylasmoi, a male goat (as) a Protrygaia-offering (for the “early-grape-harvest”). To Ke[…]


[… in the ninth (i.e. eighth) year, exactly when] the Hoplodmia (take place). At/to (the sanctuary/land) of Kaitas, a cow, such as (is suitable for the) three-day (festival), and on the other (next) year, a [male] sheep […]


[… of …] a half-hekton, a honey-comb. At Samata (“the Tombs”?), a male sheep; on the other (next) year […]


[… (sent) to] Geneswa (sanctuary of Genesios?), a male sheep. To (the sanctuary in?) Tetonata (?) a sheep, examined. At/to Or[…]


[…] on the other (next) year, aromatics for burning (i.e. incense), an obol (or: a spit?). To Herakles, a male sheep […]


[…] an ox exempt from work, a pair of male sheep, two honeycombs, a thick garment (or leather skin?) […]


[… to …] a male sheep, during the Olympiaia. To (the sanctuary at?) Kletor, a bull, a thick garment (or leather skin?) […]


[…] a jar (or: measure), a wineskin, a sheep, on the ninth day (of the month), at/to Chanch[…]

Line-by-line Commentary (JMC and JPTC)

4For places evoked in the tablet, see the Map (Fig. 3). Toponyms in bold are explicitly mentioned in the tablet; others — not in bold — are included because of allusions in the article or for the sake of reference.

5Line 1: Crucial for understanding the chronology of the rituals at play in the tablet is recognising that the phrase at the beginning of the line here, as well as the clearer, recurrent expression τᾶι τριανβρί in lines 2, 3, and 7, are parallel in construction to the noun μεσημβρία (μέσος + ἡμέρα) and the adjective μεσημβρινός (vel sim.), both meaning “midday” or “at noontime” (see further Section 4, below). The word in question, most probably an adjective, must therefore have been τριανβρίς (*τριαμβρίς, τρῖς + ἆμαρ) in the nominative: see line 16. A three-day period as both a noun and an adjective is indeed attested in different forms (cf. LSJ s.vv. τριημερία and τριήμερος, respectively). The beginning of this line is more problematic, however, since it seems to clearly read μι̣ανβρι, not τριανβρι. Rather than presuming that we are dealing with another compound word — i.e. *μιανβρίς (μία + ἆμαρ) — unusually referring to a one-day period, we prefer to stay within the optic of a three-day ritual or festival and to presume that the cutter has made a mistake for τριανβρί (indeed, he was not disinclined to committing errors: cf. lines 2, 4, etc.). For further discussion of these temporal markers, see Section 5 below.

6The participle καλιστεύϝονσαν, from καλλιστεύω, denotes an animal that has been selected for sacrifice on the basis of its beauty and thus has been “reckoned as the most beautiful” (cf. LSJ s.v., citing notably Hdt. 4.72 and 163); see also below, lines 2 and 5. As the feminine participle in most of these cases — except χόρο δ̣ύϝο καλιστ(ε)ύϝοντε in line 5, where the gender is unclear — suggests, the qualifier perhaps only applied to female animals on this tablet (cp. also IG II³ 447, Athens, ca. 335–330 BC, line 21: ἐκ τῶν] καλλιστευουσῶν βοῶν; in other contexts, it could of course apply to male animals too, cf. CID I 13 / LSS 41, Delphi, ca. 375–350 BC, lines 21–22: αἶγ|α κ̣[αλλι]στεύοντα). On beauty-contests as preliminary necessities for certain Greek sacrifices, cf. Georgoudi 2007.

7For ἄϝεθλα, cf. IG V.2 75 (Tegea) and an unpublished inscription from the Argolid concerning a hero at Kolona (C. Prêtre, forthc.). For the use of sacrificial meat as prizes — here “placed”, i.e. probably reserved and set aside on a cult-table, as the verb (παρα)τίθημι often indicates in ritual norms —, see Scullion 2000: 166 n. 15 (he notably cites LSS 61.79–81ff., but there τίθημι is used to mean “set up contests”; ἔπαθλα are the meaty prizes); add esp. now IG XII.4 298 (Kos), lines 58–62, relating to cult of Hermes Enagonios.

8On the cult of the river Alpheios, see Jost 1985: 524–526; the tablet appears to be our first good piece of epigraphic evidence for sacrifices to the river-god. Though a plural form (e.g. χ[ροι]) would also be possible, it is more probable that Alpheios was offered only one piglet, as in line 4; in line 12, he receives a single ram. Pairs of piglets are also attested as offerings in the text, in lines 5 (to a goddess) and 13 (probably again to a goddess).

9Line 2: Μ̣αραθίδα<ι>ς — and τὸν Μαραθίδα[ν], line 4 — is relatively clear and appears in both cases to suggest a gentilicial or ethnic term. Appropriately, it turns out that there is a toponym Μάραθα known in Arkadia (Paus. 8.28.1; cf. Jost 1985: 210; modern Βλαχόρραφτης; there is regrettably no mention of this settlement in IACGP). Equally suitably, the site, situated near the northern bank of the Alpheios river in southwestern Arkadia, is located close to the site of Gortys (see on Korynitios below, line 3); in fact, Pausanias tell us that he passed by there on his way to Gortys. As Robert Parker points out to us, it is probable that such a gentilicial term was not formed directly from the toponym, but rather from the name of an intermediary figure, such as a hero (Marathos?). All that being said, it remains unclear what was the precise role of the Marathidai in the sacrifice described in this line. The people in question can hardly have been the recipients of the offering, as might be expected from the dative case, though they may have benefitted from the meat of the sacrifice. If we were to restore ἰν, then the sacrifice might be envisaged as having taken place “among the Marathidai”, that is to say, among a kinship group at Maratha. An alternative may be to suppose that the animal was given “to the Marathidai” for the sacrifice and setting up of prizes. In line 4, the singular τὸν Μαραθίδα[ν] may be more clearly perceived as a ritual agent, perhaps in an accusative-and-infinitive construction as we find in line 6. The Marathides in line 4 will presumably have been a priest of some sort or an elder member of the tribe (cp. e.g. phrases in two inscriptions from Lindos, NGSL 16: θυέτ[ω] τῶν φυλετᾶ[ν] ὁ γεραίτατ[ος]; and LSS 89: θύει ἰαροθύτας Αἰγήλιος̣).

10On καλιστεύϝονσα and the meat placed as prizes, see line 1 above.

11Line 3: As such, pairs of oxen (or cows — the gender of βόε δύϝο is unclear) are relatively rarely attested in ritual norms. One good possibility is that two recipients were mentioned in the gap (cp. e.g. Lambert 2002: fr. 3, lines 48–51, to Zeus Phratrios and Athena Phratria); yet the pair of oxen might also have been offered to a single recipient (cf. IG XII.4 350, lines 53–59, again to Zeus and Athena, but separately, on Kos; cf. also IG XII.7 35, lines 9–10, Athena; and cp. IC I xxii 9, Apollo/Phoibos). Zeus or Athena may thus be suitable candidates for the offering (cf. e.g. IG V.2 551 for a dedication to [Zeus] and Athena at Mt. Lykaion), but no certainty is possible. Two oxen also recall the pairing which was necessary to drive a plough or a cart, and which is occasionally found in epigraphic accounts for building works (e.g. IG I³ 426, lines 58–60); in this context, contrast the βοῦς ἄφετ̣ος mentioned in line 20.

12For τᾶι παναγόρι τᾶι τριανβρ[ί], “the three-day festival”, and τᾶι τριπαναγόρι, see below Section 5. For the forms πανάγορις and πανάγορσις, cf. Hsch. s.v. ἄγορρις· ἀγορά, ἄθροισις (cp. also s.vv. ἀγορρίον, ἄγορος).

  • 2 .Paus. 8.28.1: λέγουσι δὲ οἱ ἐπιχώριοι καὶ τάδε, ὡς Ἀλέξανδρος ὁ Φιλίππου τὸν θώρακα καὶ δόρυ ἀναθε (...)

13Κορυνίτιος, here in the dative and also occurring in the accusative after ἰν in line 7, is clearly the ethnic of the city of Gortys/Kortys (IACGP 271), which is well attested in the form Κορτύνιος (later, Κορτυνεύς); the local watercourse, running below the city and flowing south directly as a tributary of the Alpheios, was also known by this name (see Section 4 for a discussion of the form). Here — not completely unexpectedly, cp. Μ̣αραθίδαις in line 2, above — it would appear that the ethnic is being used in lieu of the toponymic referent. We know little about the local cults of this city, except that it was known for its Asklepieion (see Jost 1985, p. 202–210); the latter was sufficiently famous to have stimulated a local legend about the consecration of a breastplate and a spear by Alexander.2 Might these military accoutrements, dedicated by the avowed son of Zeus, somehow ‘fit’ with the celebration of the Hoplodmia mentioned in the tablet (see below, also Section 5)? At the end of the line, τι̣ indicates a sacrifice to a male god or hero.

14Line 4: Since the first entry in the line appears to conclude with [ὄϝι]ν ὄρενα ἰν, followed directly by triple interpuncts, it would seem that the toponymic reference in this case has simply been omitted or forgotten by the cutter. For ὄρεν = ἄρσην in Arkadian, cf. already IG V.2 262 (Mantinea), lines 21 and 27, κατὀρρέντερον (κὰτ + τὸ + ὀρρέντερον, with crasis; for the sense, cp. e.g. the phrase κατ’ ἀνδρογένειαν, at Carbon and Pirenne-Delforge 2013, p. 74–78), and see below Section 4.

15For the cult of Alpheios, see above on line 1.

16The reading ϝελ̣ϝε̣ιον or ϝεα̣ϝε̣ιον is problematic and no straightforward interpretation is apparent, though it clearly must represent a toponym, an ethnic or a sanctuary. A potential parallel might be Arkadian Helisson (IACGP 273), but the forms are too dissimilar to justify such an inference.

17After the space left empty, the phrase beginning with ἰν Ἀλέαν must represent a new entry in the text, demarcated by this space rather than by punctuation. It is possible that the phrase refers to the goddess (Athena) Alea (cf. IG V.2 262, beginning [ϝο]φλέασι οἵδε ἰν Ἀλέαν, i.e. a list of transgressors and debtors to the goddess at Mantinea), or more probably to her sanctuary, rather than to the community of Alea itself (on the latter, see IACGP 265). Indeed, this would well explain why a Marathides seems to be involved in the ritual at hand, since Maratha was very distant from the city of Alea in northeastern Arkadia; see above line 2. The distinction between the sanctuary and the goddess may to some degree be moot, since the tablet could invoke the land or precinct of Alea and at the same time of course imply that the goddess was worshipped in this place and on this occasion (for further instances of ἰν + toponym appearing to refer to a sanctuary, see also below on line 7, etc., and Section 5). On the relatively widespread cult of (Athena) Alea, also worshipped at Tegea, see esp. Jost 1985, p. 368–385. However, it is also worth noting that most of the other instances of ἰν + proper noun in the tablet appear to refer to toponyms or ethnics (see also below, Section 5; perhaps most clear in this regard are lines 9 and 15, where we find both a toponym and a deity in the dative — see also the beginning of this line [4] and the end of line 3, above). The question is made more complicated by the fact that near Tegea, land or a certain territory was consecrated to the goddess, probably associated with her sanctuary; this was also known as Alea (cf. IG V.2 3, concerning rights of pasturing animals and other derivatives of this land). Since that inscription provides the best parallels for the festivals mentioned in the tablet (see below, Section 5), it thus tempting to assume that this land and sanctuary called Alea near Tegea may be what is meant here, but that another sanctuary or territory of Alea was intended can by no means be excluded.

18Line 5: Regrettably, the recipient of these offerings is now missing. It is possible that it was a goddess (cf. Alea in line 4, directly above): without exception, male gods seem to receive male animals in the tablet; by implication, goddesses would therefore also be expected to receive only animals of their gender (see also below, Section 5).

19The qualifier κεραΐς designates a ewe that has horns (κέρας); cp. and contrast Hsch. s.v. κερᾴδες, who notes that the term refers to ewes, but erroneously focusses on the appearance of the adult teeth (τὰ ἔνδον ὀδόντας ἔχοντα). The presence of horns might indicate a certain breed of sheep (some have none; in some cases only the males have them), or it might indicate a minimum requirement for the age of the offering (lambs generally begin to grow small horns within 6 months to a year of age, and so the word might then designate horns that were relatively fully grown — this would also help, to a degree, to explain Hesychius’ confusion about the presence of adult teeth).

20The final phrase is interpreted here as an oblique relative clause ἃ θεμιστία, i.e. <τὰ> ἃ θεμιστία, “the things which are customary”, usually designated in ritual norms with the expression τὰ νομιζόμενα vel sim. (cp. e.g. LSAM 67B, lines 4–5: ἱερεῖον τέλειον [—] | καὶ τἆλλα τὰ νο[μιζόμενα]). These may have been supplies for the sacrifice or other necessities specified by tradition. For the adjective θεμιστίος, cf. esp. LSJ s.vv. θεμιστεῖος and θεμιστευτός.

21Line 6: The beginning of the line preserves a dative form, probably from a theonym (viz. an epiklesis ending in -ατας or -ατα — there are many possibilities) or from a toponym. The whole line appears to be concerned with the offering of various items of military gear, which a young boy (κ̣όρϝον = κοῦρον) is to take out ἐξάγεν̣, presumably out of a specific place, such as a sanctuary or other storage area. Since ἀσπίδα is in the accusative, it seems natural that φοινικίς is also to be taken as accusative plural; however, if that is so, then it is strange that the number of red cloaks is not specified. It is perhaps conceivable that the list midway changed case; cp. the alternation between nominative and accusative for sacrificial animals listed in the different entries of the text (though cases appear to be consistent within individual entries). Given the presence of the other military accoutrements, the final item only partially preserved in the list, beginning with kappa, was almost certainly a form of helmet: perhaps κ[όρυν], or better yet κ[ράνον] or the epic word κ[υνέαν] (lit. a “dog-skin” cap). Taken together, the items comprise a whole set of equipment for a soldier or hoplite, i.e. a panoply (cf. LSJ s.v. πανοπλία). It is unclear exactly what ritual function(s) these items may have served: in some capacity, they were probably direct offerings for the god or goddess (cf. e.g. IG II2 456, 307/6 BC, fr. B, line 6: τὴν πανοπλίαν ἀριστεῖον τεῖ Ἀθ[ηνᾶι]; cp. IG I3 71, 425/4 BC, line 57, SEG 31, 67, lines 3–4, and I.Priene 5, for the Panathenaia), perhaps serving to dress the cult statue (for the grant of a panoply at Tegea, see also IG V.2 9), or they were perhaps worn or carried by the boy himself, in a procession or a ritual dance (note esp. how at I.Eleusis 638 [ca. 220 AD], lines 25–27, the panoply is to be carried in a procession by wreathed ephebes, suggesting that this was perhaps the intended purpose here too). The young boy may thus have taken out the weapons and armour (from somewhere in the sanctuary) and then carried them during a ritual or a ceremony, whose precise character remains to be clarified. For the evident connection of this ritual, occurring every eight years, with the enneateric festival called Hoplodmia (“Armouring”) which is mentioned in lines 8, 10, and 16, see below ad loc. and Section 5.

22Line 7: The beginning of the line, before the punctuation, clearly preserved the end of an entry. This remains to be clarified, but appears to consist of two words, one fragmentary but ending in -ια, the other to be interpreted as Τ̣ετονασια — both perhaps in the neuter plural, which is also found for ἃ θεμιστία (above, line 5), and for the festival called Ὁπλόδμια (lines 8 and 10). The precise sense of this second word is unclear but should probably be related to the unknown toponym or sanctuary Τ̣ε̣τ̣ονατ̣α found in line 18; conceivably, Τ̣ετονασια might represent an adjectival form of this proper noun, perhaps an ethnic.

23For Korynitios (Gortys), see above line 3. Since no deity is explicitly mentioned as the recipient of the ox or cow (βν), we should assume that the phrase ἰν Κορυνίτιον is not merely toponymic in this case (contrast line 3 above), but that it points to a sanctuary or sacred area for a god or goddess; see also line 4 above, on Alea, and further below, for other instances of this construction.

24Lastly, a male god known by the crasis τὀτινίοι apparently received the male sheep mentioned immediately afterward in the same entry. A further recipient of sacrifice or a dating formula may be mentioned at the end of the line, τᾶ[ι — —]. The theonym or epiklesis underlying τὀτινίοι remains unclear, but interestingly recalls Korynitios/Gortys, whose god Asklepios was known by the local epithet Kortynios/Gortynios (Paus. 2.11.8 and IG V.2 441; see also above on line 3). Should we then think of an epithet Ὁ(ρ)τίνιος? Heinrichs (2015, p. 47) favours τ<ι> Τίνιοι, Zeus the Avenger, which is unattested and which we would expect to be written with initial tsan in this text (on that letter, see Section 4).

  • 3 .Revision of the stone by JMC (EM 13198, forthc.) reveals that only one letter is missing at the be (...)

25Line 8: The restoration at the beginning of the line is made certain by the reading at the beginning of the second entry in the line, after the punctuation: Ζαπατέαι. The interpretation of the second instance of this word is difficult, given that it notably breaks some of the trends observable in the text: though clearly in the dative, it is not preceded by an expected article or a preposition (e.g. ἰν). The analysis is also complicated by potential parallels: these are two month names from Arkadia. One is clearly attested in the form Λάπατος at Orchomenos (DGE 667; Dubois 1986: II no. O 11), the other is found in a text of uncertain provenance but probably from Arkadia, a set of chronological accounts preserving a full range of 12 months, of which the 9th has been either read as Ι̣άπατος (Robinson 1958) or as Δ̣ι̣άπατος (Robert, with Pouilloux in BE 1959, p. 158–160 no. 43; Dubois 1986, II, p. 322–324 no. Att.Inc. 3).3 For further discussion of this month-name, see Trümpy 1997, p. 253–254, who prefers to rely on the secure (and pre-Greek?) form Λάπατος. Here is what we can say with any reasonable assurance: first, though one might think that the absence of an article or preposition suggests this, it is unlikely that Ζαπατέαι represents a temporal marker, since in the first instance it is followed by the temporal clause ἐνϝότοι ϝἔτει τοίπερ Ὁπλόδμια; the only possibility, perhaps, would be that Ζαπατέαι represents a more specific indication of a day, but this is equally unlikely following our interpretation of the structure of the tablet (see Section 5). Given the offering of an ὄ̣ϝ̣ιν ὄρενα at the beginning of the line, we should instead consider that Ζαπατέαι is a sanctuary or a place where this animal was sacrificed, presumably to a male god because we are dealing with a male animal. Another male figure of this sort was apparently listed at the conclusion of the entry Ζαπατέαι τι ΠΑ[— —], which also serves to confirm that Zapatea was a place or sanctuary, not a deity per se. We thus seem to be confronted with a toponym that was at least in one case not preceded by a preposition (for another, albeit different, exception, see Κλετοράδε in line 21, with the postpositive enclitic). However, a place with this precise name is unknown in Arkadia (cp. the different Dipaia, IACGP 268, and also Dipoina[i], IACGP p. 506; Zapatas is used as a Greek interpretation of the Great Zab river in Xen. Anab. 2.5 and 3.3). If the name was related to an uncertain month-name Dapatos (?) and perhaps to the rare verb διαπατέω (see Section 4; or even with ζᾶ + πατέω), then it might commonly denote a place where grapes were “treaded on” or were grains were “thoroughly threshed” (see LSJ s.v. πατέω 2); for the connection of our tablet with the early period of the harvest, see on line 15 and Section 5. More remote would be the possibility of a resonance with the concept of ἀπάτη (and with Zapatea very oddly derived from the verb διαπατάω, “to deceive utterly”) or with the personified and divine version of this deceit (Hes. Th. 224; cf. also, more generally, Zeus and Dionysos Ἀπατήνωρ, with LSJ s.v.); see also Section 5.

26The festival occurring every eight years (already mentioned in line 6) is here explicitly tied to the occurrence of a celebration called Hoplodmia, perhaps meaning “Arming” or “Armouring” (or “Taming with Arms” in the [later?] form Hoplodamia). The epithet Hoplosmios is already well attested for Zeus at Methydrion in Arkadia ([Arist.] PA 673a19 and IG V.2 344, line 18, with Jost 1985, p. 214, 240–249, and 277–278 [“Zeus et les armes”]), as well as for Hera in Elis (cf. schol. ad Lyc. 614 and 857–858, with Hornblower 2015 ad loc., p. 263 and 330). A figure known as Hopladamos (Paus. 8.36.2–3; cp. 8.32.5 on his bones at Megalopolis) was a giant who helped to defend Rhea before the birth of Zeus at Mount Thaumasion in the immediate region of Methydrion (cf. IACGP 283; cp. how the Cretan Kouretes beat drums and their shields to protect Rhea). Hoplodmia is also already attested as the name of a tribe at Mantinea: cf. IG V.2 271, line 10, with Jost 1985, p. 129–130, who hypothesises that the name will have referred to a local sanctuary, presumably of Zeus Hoplodmios or of this figure Hopladamos. For further discussion of the Hoplodmia, see below, Section 5; for other mentions of the festival, cf. lines 10 and 16.

27A quite similar phrase to the one found here, as well as in lines 10 and probably 16, prefaces side A of the relatively contemporaneous ritual tablet from Selinous (NGSL 27, lines A7–8): πρὸ… τᾶς ἐχεχερίας πένπ̣[τοι] | ϝέτει ιπερ όκα α Ὀλυνπιὰς ποτείε, “before… the truce, on the fifth year in which the Olympiad also take place”. There, the clause is a temporal marker used to identify the year of the sacrifices, notably in relation to the pre-Olympic truce (ἐκεχειρία), which began around the summer solstice or on the first full moon following it — it thus forms both a deadline (πρό) and an annual date for the rituals at Selinous. As at Selinous, the particle περ in the relative clauses here and in line 10 (one with a pronoun, τοί, the other temporal, ὅτε; cf. also line 16) is to be treated as emphatic and intensifying. Moreover, in the absence of a verb like ποτείε (πρόσειμι) at Selinous or another indication that a comparison is taking place (e.g. καί/κάς or such-like), we should properly translate these clauses as: “in the eighth year, exactly when the Hoplodmia (take place)” (cp. LSJ s.vv. ὅσπερ, ὅταμπερ). In our view, this chronological indication is therefore not simply an allusion to another festival happening in the same year — the enneateric cycle of the Hoplodmia — but instead serves to define the timing of the rites in question. This entails: 1) that the eighth-year iteration of the festival described in the tablet at line 6, without any further qualification but when the offering of a panoply took place, was the Hoplodmia itself; and 2) that the rites described here in line 8 (as well as in lines 10 and 16) were also part of this celebration.

  • 4 .For the cave of Pan called Lykeios, see Porph. Antr. 20: σπήλαια τοίνυν καὶ ἄντρα… ἐν Ἀρκαδίᾳ δὲ Σ (...)

28Though the final recipient of the second entry in this line is badly preserved, the fragment τι ΠΑ[— —] might nonetheless be very suggestive in an Arkadian context: Pan is an excellent candidate, a god thought to be native to the region and worshipped in many places, especially in a cave on Mount Lykaion (cf. Jost 1985, p. 457–464, and also at the village of Melpeia);4 another, perhaps, is Apollo known by the epiklesis Παρράσιος (also Pythios), the eponym of the region of Parrhasia (southwestern Arkadia), said by Pausanias (8.38.2 and 8; cf. Jost 1985, p. 185–187) to have been the object of an annual cult in a grove on the eastern side of this same mountain.

29Line 9: The toponym in the expression ἰν Κελεπρόδει, Keleprodos (?), is otherwise unknown and its form is unusual (see Section 4).

30For the cult of (Zeus) Keraunos, already attested at Mantinea (IG V.2 288, boundary stone of a sanctuary, with Jost 1985, p. 269–270; cp. Keraunobolos at Tegea, with Jost 1985, p. 270–271), one may also compare I.Rhegion 18, where the epiklesis (in the non-adjectival form Keraunos, as at IG IV² 2, 1012, from Aigina) occurs without the theonym. This seems to be the standard usage on this tablet (see above, line 3, for Alea, and below, line 12, on Theretas; see also Section 5). For another possible instance of the worship of Keraunos, see also the end of line 15.

  • 5 .The rare ἱερωνία in P.Teb. 1.119 (2nd c. BC), line 32, presumably meaning “sacrifice”, or better “ (...)

31The two following words are more unusual. The offering given to Keraunos is called ἱερόνιον, an unattested word.5 Since the reading is beyond question, we might surmise that this is either: 1) a variant of the common substantive ἱερεῖον, meaning any type of sacrificial animal or offering (usually a sheep); or 2), less plausibly, an unattested diminutive of ἱερόν (cf. LSJ s.v. ἱερός III, usually in the plural when having the sense of “offerings”). In any case, the word remains to be more satisfactorily explained.

32For the second (and final) word in the entry, we offer several possible readings: first, an adjective Ὀλυνπιαῖος, usually attested as a substantive in the form Ὀλυνπιεῖον (cf. LSJ s.v.); second, a version of this noun which must be corrected to Ὀλυνπιαίο<ι>ς in the dat. plur. (see esp. at line 21 where such a reading is clear). In both cases, the interpretation is to some degree problematic: the forms are unusual and unattested, Ὀλυνπιεῖος or Ὀλυνπικός would be expected as an ‘Olympic’ qualifier, Ὀλυνπίεια for the festival; reading Ὀλυνπιαῖος also involves leaving a tau as ‘leftover’ and the adjective moreover does not agree with the substantive ἱερόνιον. The correction Ὀλυνπιαίο<ι>ς is perhaps more straightforward, resulting in a concluding temporal clause “during the Olympiaia” (cp. also Ὀλυμπιάσι, the dat. plur. of the Olympias; one might even suppose that the tau was part of the mistake for the omitted iota). Another alternative would be to read Ὀλυνπίαι ὅστ’, with the toponym in the dative and an unusually postposed and elided adverb (ὥστε), meaning “just as at Olympia” (JPTC). In any case, whatever the correct reading, the basic meaning is that the offering of the ἱερόνιον at Keleprodos must be made in reference to what takes places at Olympia, either qualifying the character or the timing of the sacrifice, or both. For further discussion of the role of Olympia and its festival in the context of the tablet, see Section 5.

33After the punctuation, the next entry partially preserves rites for a male god or hero (τι [— —]) at a place which seems to be called “Cave” or “The Cave” (ἰν Σπέλαι): there is no word *σπήλη or *σπήλα currently attested in ancient Greek, but we may presume that the toponym in this case is related to the root of σπήλαιον and σπῆλυγξ (i.e. σπέος/σπεῖος; see notably the diminutive σπηλάδιον or σπηλᾴδιον with LSJ s.v. and EM s.v. ῥάι). A few famous caves in Arkadia are discussed by Jost, the most promising candidates being the cave of Pan attested at Mount Lykaion (Jost 1985, p. 180 and 459–460; see above on line 8), and the one situated at Mount Thaumasion in the vicinity of Methydrion, where the legend concerning the protection of the pregnant Rhea was told (Paus. 8.36.2–3: ἔστι δὲ πρὸς τῇ κορυφῇ τοῦ ὄρους σπήλαιον τῆς Ῥέας, καὶ ἐς αὐτὸ ὅτι μὴ γυναιξὶ μόναις ἱεραῖς τῆς θεοῦ ἀνθρώπων γε οὐδενὶ ἐσελθεῖν ἔστι τῶν ἄλλων; Jost 1985, p. 244–245). This second cave was also closely connected with the figure of the giant Hopladamos who was instrumental in the myth; and the cult of Zeus Hoplosmios is known at Methydrion (see above at line 8). We may therefore conclude that one of these two locations was almost certainly the place called “Cave” without any further qualification here: the rites in question were held in an important cult-site at Mount Thaumasion or Mount Lykaion.

34Line 10: Another offering during the Hoplodmia, probably of a male sheep to a male god, is preserved at the beginning of this line; see above, lines 6 and 9.

35The chronological reference point of τᾶι παναγόρι is relatively unclear. The main possibilities are: 1) that the occasion known variously as ἁ τριανβρίς / ἁ πανάγορις ἁ τριανβρίς / ἁ τριπανάγορις is meant, as in line 3; or 2) that the reference is to the immediately aforementioned Hoplodmia; see Section 5, below, for further discussion. On the whole, we might perhaps favour the latter interpretation and it is possible that the single use of πανάγορις without any further qualifier refers to a sizeable “assembly” during the major enneateric cycle of the festival. At any rate, it seems clear that a fairly substantial offering, perhaps a hecatomb, was envisaged on this occasion, as is suggested by the beginning of the phrase τὰς ἑκοτόν “the hundred female (offerings?)” (e.g. ἄρνας, αἶγας, if not βόας). But since no traces are visible at the end of the line, we cannot be certain what the tenor of this passage really was. Cf. also [ϝε]κ̣ατέρας (fem. gen. sing. or, more probably, fem. acc. plur.?) at the beginning of line 11, which may be related to this entry.

36Line 11: Though the letters in this line are mostly clear, its interpretation remains highly uncertain and awaits further elucidation. The first word or two, τασχαλο, eludes us. Since we have a measure in line 17 that appears as a ἑμίτειαν (see below, ad loc.), the following word might be read as εμιλαιον, perhaps deriving from λήϊον (Dor. λᾷον) meaning crops (and “a ploughshare” as a measure); thus, *ἑμι-λάϊον might be conjectured as a word for a measure or a vegetal offering (JMC; on first-offerings, see Jim 2014; on this view, πυμπραι might also suggest an infinitive from πίμπρημι, “burn” — though the expected present infinitive is πιμπράναι, aorist πρῆσαι, note that the verb is occasionally declined as if from *ἐμπιπράω, e.g. inf. [ἐμ]πιπρᾶν). However, the letters ον πυμπραι might also be interpreted differently (JPTC). Noting the raising of ομ to υμ as found at Orchomenos (Dubois 1986, I, p. 25), one might consider that ὀν πυνπρᾶι is perhaps Arkadian for ἀνὰ πομπᾶι. An objection to this is that ἀνά + dative usually refers to physical “placement upon” rather than conveying a sense of motion such as would be necessary during a procession. Nevertheless, one might suggest that the phrase was perhaps temporal and meant something like “during the course of the procession” (see LSJ s.v. ἀνά B and C.II.2 — usually with the accusative).

37The following word seems relatively clear, following the correct interpretation of Heinrichs: this is προστήθειον, a rare adjective for a thoracic covering or a breastplate (cf. LSJ s.v.; cp. also the substantive τὸ προστηθίδιον, of armour for horses). Apparently used as a substantive here, it suggests an interesting partial parallel with the elaborate panoply found in line 6. Did this mysterious phrase perhaps entail the wearing of a breastplate during a procession, still in connection with the Hoplodmia? Further work on this line will hopefully clarify this enigmatic picture.

38The final phrase in the preserved entry, though it remains equally murky, will probably have referred to four female animals or feminine objects: τᾶν ϟεσϟάρον̣ (i.e. τᾶν τεσσάρον̣). For a discussion of the form, see Section 4 below.

39Line 12: At the beginning of the line, the male sheep was presumably offered to a male god, as indicated by the dative ending in ]οι.

40Θερέτας is certainly to be identified with Ares Θηρίτας or Enyalios, whose worship is known from an “ancient” sanctuary lying on the road from Amyklai to Therapne, just south of Sparta: see Paus. 3.19.8 (cp. Hsch. s.v., ὁ Ἐνυάλιος παρὰ Λάκωσιν; the epithet was commonly thought to derive from Thero, the nurse of the god, but as the travelogue explains, a more probable etymology was an allusion to the “boldness”, θάρσος, of the war god). This is the first attestation of the god by this name in Arkadia, but see Jost 1985, esp. p. 514–516 for further discussion of the cult of Ares and Enyalios, attested notably at Mantinea, Orchomenos, and Tegea.

41For Alpheios, see above on line 1. The phrase at the end of the entry signifies either the preparation of three particular portions from the sacrificial animal or, more surprisingly, a division of the carcass of the animal into three principal portions of meat and bone (τννυ is the Arkadian gen. plur. pronoun τῶννυ [from ὁ + νυ] — cf. DGE 661, line 19, with Miller 2014, p. 267 no. 9 — whose implied referent must be τὰ κρέα; cp. lines 1–2). αἶσαι is fem. plural. nom. from an early and relatively rare word for “portion” or “share”, αἶσα (cf. LSJ s.v. and esp. IG V.2 39–41 from Tegea; cp. also an instance from Cyprus in Miller 2014, p. 282 no. 22.8). The butchery and division of the sacrificed ram into three major portions would be striking and, to our knowledge, unparalleled in ritual norms (it would perhaps recall the splitting of animals in twain as τόμια during oath-rituals — for a visually compelling example, cf. Blondé et al. 2005; more distantly, it would evoke also the ritual known as ἐνατεύειν, where a ninth portion of the animal was burned — on which, see again Scullion 2000, with NGSL 27A). More simply, the instruction may indicate that three special portions of the meat were to be set aside, either for the god Alpheios himself or for another, unknown recipient.

42The mention of (two) rams in this line suggests that any ὄϝις ὄρεν mentioned in other rubrics will have been a castrated male sheep, whereas a ram will implicitly have been ἔνορχος.

43Line 13: At the beginning of the line, a verb in the infinitive is to be restored. Two good possibilities are [νέ]μεν (JPTC) and [τά]μεν or [τέ]μεν (JMC). In favour of the first, we may think that νέμω is particularly apt for the “distribution” of a stipend to the priestess; a pair of piglets might work less well with this action, however, unless the implicit reference was to the distribution of the meat from these animals. In the second option, τέμνω would directly refer to the sacrifice of the pair of piglets or, similar to νέμω in some sense, would point to butchery: the cutting up of these animals into pieces (cf. LSJ s.v. τέμνω II; the verb would of course not apply to the second clause concerning the priestly stipend). The recipient of the pair of piglets is unknown, but she was probably a goddess, given that she is served by a priestess. The priestess is compensated by an obol for each piglet which she sacrifices, presumably because she had to provide wood for burning or other supplies for the sacrifice. Note that, given the early date of the tablet, it should be supposed that the obols here were actual spits (made of bronze, copper or iron), used as currency (cp. e.g. Plut. Lys. 17.2–4 on the use of ὀβελοί as currency at Sparta and elsewhere), or which could even be employed for roasting the meat of each of the two animals. For such priestly remuneration, cf. esp. the detailed account from Aixone in Attica, with Ackermann 2007. The form ὀϟελός (for ὀβελός) is elsewhere attested in Arkadian as ὀδελός (cf. IG V.2 3 / IPArk 2, lines 19 and 24); see also below at line 19.

44Line 14: Both the end of an earlier entry and the beginning of a new one preserve a toponym called Γενέσϝα. A place of this name is unknown in Arkadia, though there was a Genesion/Genese, probably in the region of Kynouria to the east (cf. IACGP p. 600; modern Xeropighado?). A toponym or a sanctuary is virtually certain given the later mention of Hermes in the dative, τὀρμᾶι, as part of the same entry. Hermes appears to receive a separate offering, while a sheep is sacrificed to an implicit recipient at Geneswa/Genesia. As in the case of Alea (see at line 4, above) or Korynitios (in line 7) then, it is attractive to think that Γενέσϝα had the connotation of being a sacred place, whether in the form of land or a sanctuary. Genesios is attested as the 5th month in a probably Arkadian account (see Robinson 1958, with Dubois 1986, II, p. 322–324 no. Att.Inc. 3; the month is also known elsewhere, see Trümpy 1997 s.v.). God, goddess or gods called Genethlioi (the epithet is quite common outside of the region) may have underpinned this sanctuary, though other explanations are possible. For another instance of the same place, cf. line 18 below; a male sheep is offered there, suggesting a male god as the recipient. For further resonances of the name Geneswa/Genesia, see esp. below, Section 5.

45On the date of the 8th “rising”, i.e. the 8th day of the month, see below Section 4.

46An annual dedication of an ἄγαλμα (perhaps a small statuette, or a herm in this case, since the recipient is Hermes) is unparalleled in ritual norms. The offering of statues is sometimes specified in oracular instructions, however. For two examples prescribed as part of responses by the oracle of Dodona, see now Carbon 2015a: nos. 1, line 6 (to Artemis Hagemona), and 4, line 4 (unknown recipient).

47Line 15: The end of an entry is partially preserved at the beginning of the line,
ϟ̣ευσι, which suggests a masc. dat. plur. form of a word terminating in -ϟευς. The possible interpretations are relatively limited, suggesting either the dat. plur. of an unknown ethnic (cp. e.g. Μαντινεῦσιν, which cannot work here; see the Marathidai above at line 2), or perhaps a group of cultic participants or personnel in this case (see Section 4).

48The next entry is a self-contained sacrifice to Dionysos, and it is either the god himself who is qualified by the epithet “at Hylasmoi” or the sacrifice which takes place in that location (the difference matters little in effect). If our reading of the correction made by the cutter is right, the place-name is unknown but its meaning is suggestive: it appears to point to the noun *ὑλασμός, itself derived from the verb ὑλάζομαι, “to fetch or carry wood” (cf. LSJ s.v.), and thus indicates a wild and wooded district or a place near a specific forest where Dionysos was appropriately worshipped (cp. also ὑλαῖος; on Dionysos in Arkadia, see Jost 1985, p. 425–427). A he-goat (here αἴξ̣ ὄρεν) is a particularly common offering to Dionysos, god of the τράγος (cf. e.g. Ackermann 2007, lines 9–11, to Dionysos Anthios at Aixone; or NGSL 1, lines 34–35, during the Anthesteria at Thorikos). Here, the goat is very interestingly also qualified as προτρύγιος. Strictly speaking, this is a qualifier for the animal itself and it must refer to the fact that the animal is meant as an offering during the celebration of the Protrygaia; for this type of designation, one should compare the animals given as festival offerings for Demeter in the sacrificial calendar of Thorikos, NGSL 1, lines 39–40: Δήμητρι, τὴν χλο[ΐαν, οἶν κρ]|ιτὴν κυσαν, i.e. “the Chloia-offering, namely an examined pregnant ewe”; and 44–45: Δή]|μητρι: οἶν κυσαν ἄνθειαν, “a pregnant ewe as an Antheia-offering”. Protrygaia refers to a festival of Dionysos (cf. Hsch. s.v.) and more specifically to an early harvest of the grapes (LSJ s.vv. προτρυγάω, προτρύγησις), before these became more fully mature or dry under the estival sun. Dionysios Protrygaios is known from a descriptive passage in Achilles Tatius concerning his festival and the superior origins of Tyrian wine (for another mention of the epithet, cf. also Ael. VH. 3.41). For the role of the god in causing the grapes to become dry, cf. E. Cyc. 575: ξηρανεῖ σ’ ὁ Βάκχιος (other gods may have had a role to play too, as suggested by Poll. 1.24, or by Hsch. s.v. προτρύγαια, who mentions Poseidon). Thus, it seems that “on the 8th day” of the month (line 14), Dionysos was worshipped at a specific location and in a context denoting an early grape-harvest; for further discussion of these dates, see below Section 5.

49At the end of the line, a new entry, beginning with the traces τι κε̣[— —], may suggest a further offering to (Zeus) Keraunos; see above at line 9.

50Line 16: The traces of the end of a first entry in the line strongly suggest the restoration of the festival called Ὁπλό]δ̣μια. However, the festival is unlikely to have been mentioned on its own in the neuter plural. Rather, we should think that the temporal clause repeated almost verbatim in lines 8 and 10 is probably also to be restored here (at a minimum, we would need ὅτε περ). If this inference is correct, then the full restoration of the same phrase would suggest that 21 letters (or 10 at a minimum) are missing to the left of the extant segment of the tablet; in fact, the actual number of letters missing in the lacunae was very probably superior to this minimum estimate.

51The phrase ἰν Καίταυ is different from that found in most of the other entries: Καίταυ is an Arkadian masculine genitive, almost certainly of a personal (or perhaps divine) name, *Καίτας (see Section 4 for discussion). Therefore, one must infer that ἰν assumes an implicit accusative or dative noun: “in the (plot/land/sanctuary) of Kaitas”; cp. e.g. the formulations found for sacrifices in the archaic calendar of Miletos, LSAM 41, lines 3: ἐς βασιλέως δίδοται; and 8: ἐς τ ἰερέως; or in the tablet from Selinous, NGSL 27, lines A9: καὶ τι Διὶ: τι Μιλιχίοι τι: ἐν Μύσϙο: τέλεον; and A17: τι ἐν Εὐθυδάμο: Μιλιχίοι.

52Rather than the usual temporal phrase in the dative, τᾶι τριανβρί (see above at lines 1–3 and 7), we seem to have a further clause introduced by τοία used here as a relative adjective (for οἵα; cf. LSJ s.v. τοῖος), and agreeing with the nominative τριανβρίς (also taken here as an adjective, see above, line 1); if correct, this reading would entail that τοία must agree with the preceding βοῦς and thus entail that the ox sacrificed “in the (plot/land/sanctuary) of Kaitas” was a cow, of a sort “such as (is suitable for the) three-day (festival)” (cp. also the qualifier προτρύγιος at line 15). An alternative reading (tentatively suggested by JMC), less plausible because necessitating several corrections to the text, would be to suppose that the cutter has made a pair of mistakes, correcting the article τι by appending an alpha and erring in inscribing the nominative: thus τ<ᾶ>ι τριανβρί {σ}.

53In any case, it seems clear that the offering of a cow ἰν Καίταυ must take place during the main festival year of the trieteric cycle; a male sheep was sacrificed “in the next year”, i.e., it would seem, the other year intervening in the biennial cycle of the festival known as ἁ τριανβρίς / ἁ πανάγορις ἁ τριανβρίς / ἁ τριπανάγορις, see below Section 5.

54Line 17: ἑμίτειαν (cf. LSJ s.v. ἡμίτεια) is attested in inventories from Delos, but also more clearly as a liquid measure at Epidauros (LSCG 60, lines 9 and 28, of wine), probably equal in size to a half-hekton (ca. 2 litres?). Since κερίον (κηρίον) is neut. acc., the ἑμίτεια must have qualified the preceding word, now missing, which would no doubt have appeared in the genitive. The use of honeycombs is fairly widespread in ritual norms (cf. CGRN forthc.) and no specific conjecture should be drawn from their mention here. See also below on line 20.

  • 6 .We are very grateful to Robert Parker for this suggestion.

55The next entry in the line preserves the offering of a male sheep at another unknown toponym, ἰν Σ̣άμ̣ασι (Samata), or a more generic location, ἰν σ̣άμ̣ασι, “at the tombs” or, less certainly, “at the signs”.6 As in other cases of place-names without an explicit divine recipient, we may perhaps think of a sacred space, where such a recipient will then have been implicit. In this case, given the offering of a male sheep, a god or hero seems plausible, and the name of the location might suggest that heroic offerings are likely.

56For “the next year”, see again below Section 5.

57Line 18: For the place called Geneswa/Genesia, see above on line 14.

58In the next entry, we again find an apparent toponym, Τ̣ε̣τ̣ονατ̣α, used probably as a locus of cult, with an implicit (male?) deity. Τ̣ε̣τ̣ονατ̣α may also have been the name of some land or a sanctuary. The place remains to be identified, but the formation of the word indicates a parallel with Τ̣ετονασια (an ethnic? — see above on line 7). The offering in this case is a sheep, additionally qualified as *σκεπτός (thereby showing that it is male). This must be an adjective derived from σκέπτομαι, “to examine” (cf. the compounds ἄ-σκεπτος οr περί-σκεπτος; see further Section 4). It ought thus to mean that the animal has been selected and examined for its good health and other qualities (a more usual term for this is κριτός, cf. e.g. again the sacrificial calendar from Thorikos, NGSL 1, with one example cited above at line 15). On the δοκιμασία of sacrificial animals, see Feyel 2006 and again Georgoudi 2007.

59The final traces of an entry in the line are difficult to interpret, apparently preserving the beginning of a toponym, perhaps ορκ̣[— —] or ορε̣[— —]. In the first case, an identification with Orchomenos might tentatively be suggested, though the name of this city always employs the letter chi: Ὀρχομενός or Ἐρχομενός, cf. IACGP 286. In the second case, we could perhaps more plausibly think of the Arkadian toponym Oresthasion (IACGP 287).

60Line 19: The first preserved entry contains apparently more limited offerings for “the other year” of the celebration in question: an obol, i.e. a spit for roasting — perhaps to be paid to the priestly personnel, though this is not specified; alternatively, as a ritual implement — as well as θυ̣ϝέα. For the obol, see above at line 13. The θυ̣ϝέα are almost certainly to be connected with the word θύον (cf. LSJ s.v.; usually in the plural, θύα) and designate aromatic wood that one would burn (as incense) to make smoke during sacrifice. This type of offering is particularly commonly attested in priestly contracts from Chios, in the phrase θύα ἀπ᾽ ὧν ἂν θύηι: cf. e.g. LSS 66, 126, LSCG 120.

  • 7 .It might be that a similar ritual action, “releasing the animals”, is envisaged at NGSL 3 (Phrearr (...)

61Line 20: The entry partially preserved in this line apparently contained a sizeable quantity of offerings, comparable perhaps only to those found in lines 3 and 5. The first animal in the series is a male ox free from farm-labour, βοῦς ἄφετ̣ος — the qualifier is unparalleled in ritual norms.7 Among evidence for cattle and other animals exempt from agricultural toil — sacred herds belonging to sanctuaries were generally expected to roam free and not to be subject to such work (cf. LSJ s.v. ἄφετος) — one may also recall the distinctive sacrifice of the law-makers to Poseidon in the ideal city of Atlantis, as elaborated in Plato’s Crit. 119d-e (ἀφέτων ὄντων ταύρων ἐν τῷ τοῦ Ποσειδῶνος ἱερῷ…). On sacred herds, see notably Chandezon 2003, esp. p. 286–293. The ox in question here must probably have come from a special source, such as the herd belonging to a sanctuary, or the term ἄφετος may have designated a young ox that had not yet been put to work. In sum, this was a significant and special offering: a sacrifice to Zeus may probably be envisaged here too. Beyond the singularity of this qualifier, however, we should not necessarily assume that all other oxen mentioned in the text were de facto agricultural animals (but see above on line 3); they were simply not required to be as special or as sacred as this ἄφετος. The ox “exempt from the plough” was accompanied by a pair of male sheep, a combination which is seemingly unparalleled; for sacrifices to Zeus involving an ox along with three male sheep, see CGRN 40, line B3 (Zeus Naios at Apollonia in Illyria), and IG XII.4 274, lines 14–15 (Zeus Machaneus on Kos during the local Karneia).

62For the pair of honeycombs (κερίο δύϝο), see above on line 17.

63The final offering mentioned reads κασο[— —], which is perhaps to be interpreted as the word κάσ(σ)ος, a thick garment or leather skin (cp. esp. LSJ s.v. κασῆς). This may have served as an offering for the god or his statue (cf. above on line 6), or it may have served another ritual purpose if it was more or less equivalent to a sacrificial skin (δέρμα); cf. also immediately below on line 21. One possible alternative (JPTC), would be to read κάς here and in line 21, an Arkadian form of the conjunction κά / καί (so far attested only at Mantinea, cf. IPArk 7–8), introducing a final element to the otherwise asyndetic list; but see at line 2 for elided κά / καί.

64Line 21: The recipient of the first partially preserved entry, almost certainly a male god, cannot be satisfactorily restored; it is also possible that the traces are to be interpreted as part of a toponym or as the name of a sanctuary.

65On Ὀλυνπιαίοις, see above, line 9, for a probable derivation from *Ὀλυνπιαῖος/ *Ὀλυνπίαια, and cf. esp. below, Section 5. One possible alternative to this reading would be to suggest a mistake for Ὀλυνπίαι ὄ(ϝ)ις, “a sheep at Olympia”, but this would necessitate a further correction in line 9, itself rather improbable after the mention of the probably local place-name ἰν Κελεπρόδει (Ὀλυνπίαι would also occur without the expected preposition ἰν).

66In the next entry, a bull is to be sent to Kleitor (cf. IACGP 276), as an offering to an unmentioned male god, probably Zeus. The postpositive enclitic δε is to be taken as directional rather than locative, thus implying that the offering was sent, presumably at some remove and over some distance, to the city of Kleitor in northern Arkadia (see also below, Sections 4 and 5). The unique mention of a bull (ταῦρος) here in the extant text suggests that male oxen cited elsewhere in the inscription (cf. line 20) would have been castrated, while this specimen would have been ἔνορχος; cp. above, line 12, for the similar distinction that can be perceived between κριός and ὄϝις ὄρεν.

67For the suggested restoration of the second offering as κάσ̣[ον], a “thick garment” or a “leather skin”, see immediately above at line 20.

  • 8 .Cf. also the offering of a skyphos to Zeus Naios in Carbon (2015a), no. 1, where the reading σκύφο (...)

68Line 22: This final preserved entry in the regulation contains a distinctive list of offerings. Though only one stroke of initial kappa is visible (the upper-right diagonal), the first item is almost certainly to be interpreted as a κάδδιχος (κάδος), a type of jar prevalent in Lakonia and the Peloponnese more generally. Cups and other vessels are seldom prescribed in ritual norms, though there are significant exceptions.8 One example is LSCG 64 from Hellenistic Messene, where six jars of this type (line 10: ἓκ καδδίχος) are listed among the ritual supplies (cf. LSJ s.v. κάδδιχος, citing notably Hsch. s.v.). Alternatively, κάδικος here may have been a measure qualifying a substance in the genitive, but now missing in the lacuna to the left (much like we suppose to be the case for ἑμίτειαν/ἡμίεκτον in line 17).

69An ἀσκός or wineskin, presumably filled with wine for the ritual, is also seldom found in lists of ritual supplies; the term does appropriately recur in cultic inventories however.

70While the κάδικος and ἀσκός seem uncontroversial, perhaps more unusual is their placement before an ὄϝις in this entry, whereas one might have expected the offerings to be mentioned in descending order of importance or value (cp. e.g. line 20). No satisfactory explanation for the order of this list is available at the present time.

  • 9 .One tentative possibility (JMC) for an identification might start from a comparison with Χήν (Dor. (...)

71The final traces suggest a further toponym or sanctuary, ἰν χανχ[— —], which remains to be identified.9

Script and Dialect (JPTC)

  • 10 .On this inscription see Dubois (1986) II, p. 94–111, the commentary in IPArk 8, and Duhoux (2007).
  • 11 .See Viredaz (1993), p. 334 and Duhoux (2007), p. 48–50 for other theories of the origin of tsan.
  • 12 .Lejeune (1972), p. 51; Dubois (1986) I, p. 68–69; Nieto Izquierdo (2011), p. 3; Parker (2013), p.  (...)
  • 13 .Chantraine (1999), p. 772; Beekes (2010), p. 1043.
  • 14 .JMC: for (Zeus) Epopeus, cf. esp. IK. Priene 415 (Thebes-on-the-Mykale), line 24; the worship of Z (...)

72The new text is of considerable importance for our knowledge of the archaic dialect and script of Arkadia. Most striking is the occurrence of a specifically Arkadian letter, which we transcribe as ϟ and shall refer to as tsan, in lines 11, 13, 15 (if our reading is correct) and 19. Tsan occurs in only one other Arkadian inscription (IG V.2 262, from Mantinea) where it denotes both the outcome of an original labiovelar stop (*kw *gw *khw) before the vowels ι and ε (for example ϟις for τις from original *kwis, compare Latin quis), and, in one place, the outcome of δ before ε (for example ἀπυϟεδομίν[ος] for ἀποδεδομένος).10 The origin of the letter is unknown, although in shape and probable value, s, it appeared to Jeffery (LSAG p. 212) to match Phoenician tsade.11 Another archaic Arkadian text, the ritual regulation for Demeter Thesmophoros (IPArk 20, north Arkadia), uses zeta to transcribe the Arkadian outcome of a palatalised labio-velar (hence ζις for τις and ζ[ε] for τε), and a mid-fifth-century bronze plaque from Tegea (IG V.2 159) has τζετρακάτιαι (for τετρακόσιαι, from *kwe-). A gloss in Strabo (8.8.4) gives ζέρεθρα as the Arkadian form of βέρεθρα “clefts” (also from an original *gw), and other glosses in Hesychius with Ζ in place of expected Β may also be traced back to Arkadian forms.12 In the new text tsan occurs in the word for “obol”, ὀϟελός in lines 13 and 19; twice in the genitive plural of the word for “four”, ϟεσϟάρον̣ in line 11; and, probably, in the word-ending ]ϟ̣ευσι at the beginning of line 15. These occurrences are in accord with other Arkadian evidence: the dialectal variation between ὀβολός in the Attic dialect and ὀδελός in Doric justifies the reconstruction of this word with an original labiovelar *gw;13 the word ending ]ϟ̣ευσι at the beginning of line 15 may represent the dative plural of a word such as πρέσβυς, or compounds such as διοπωπεύς (see EM s.v. διοπωπεύω· διοπωπέας· τοὺς βασιλεῖς) or ἐπωπεύς “inspector” (derived from the root *okw- without any re-analogy to forms such as ὄπωπα);14 and the initial tsan in the word for “four” shows the same development as seen in τζετρακάτιαι at IG V.2 159.

  • 15 .Allen (1958), p. 116–117; Viredaz (1993), p. 333.
  • 16 .Doric τέτορες, without any trace of original *w is variously explained, see Chantraine (1999), p.  (...)

73The writing of the medial cluster σϟ in the word for “four” is not hitherto paralleled from Arkadian inscriptions and provides new evidence for understanding the evolution of the sound represented by tsan. In the word for “four”, σϟ shows the Arkadian outcome of the cluster *tw (note the Latin cognate quattuor); in other Arkadian texts the outcome of this cluster is σσ (Dubois 1986, I, p. 78–79), which can be easily explained as a simplification of st s. The similar outcomes of palatalised *kw *dw *khw and the cluster *tw has been recognised by previous scholars.15 Note that *tw, in contrast with *kw, involves a sequence of two consonants; it is continued by geminate s in Ionic τέσσερες and geminate t in Attic τέτταρες.16

  • 17 .Lejeune (1972), p. 112–114; Nieto Izquierdo (2011), p. 7.

74The new text is unique among Arkadian texts in that it contains zeta as well as tsan. Zeta occurs in only one word form, Ζαπατέαι (line 8), the meaning of which is uncertain. If, as seems possible, this word is derived from διαπατέω (see also the Commentary above on the supposed Arkadian month-name Δ̣  άπατος), it shows the development of a cluster *dy with a result different to the outcome of palatalised *kw and the cluster *tw. Unfortunately, the only other Arkadian text to use tsan, IG V.2 262, does not feature any word containing the outcome of an original cluster *dy, but other Arkadian texts keep the two sounds distinct (as in fact do all other dialects of Greek including Mycenaean Greek).17

  • 18 .See Dubois (1986) I, p. 80–83, for the development of ρσ in Arkadian.

75The letter forms in the text have close parallels with Arkadian forms from the sixth and fifth centuries (as given in LSAG p. 206–207). Note in particular the use of crossed theta, rho without a tail, four-bar sigma, upsilon represented by V and xi by a cross. The text shows ν, not μ before π and β, as in other Arkadian inscriptions (for example IG V.2 69 and IG V.2 262) and in archaic texts from other nearby regions (Minon 2007, p. 354). Geminates are not written in καλιστεύϝονσα “reckoned most beautiful”, παναγόρι “festival”, or ὄρεν “male” (the latter two words showing the development of ρσ to ρρ).18 A geminate is however written in the demonstrative pronoun τννυ (line 12), since the final νυ was understood as a clitic. The aspirate is never written, and the article is never aspirated when in crasis (τὀρμᾶι line 14, τἀτέροι line 17, τὀρακλεῖ line 19). The omission of h- is paralleled in 5th century bronze texts (LSAG p. 207), and in some areas of Arkadia, particularly in the west and north (see Dubois 1986: I 47–51).

  • 19 .See Barber (2013), p. 118–122 for discussion and references to previous work on the Mycenaean deve (...)

76Digamma is generally written as a glide after υ (as καλιστεύϝονσα, δύϝο 5×, δύο 1×), and where expected by etymology (ὄϝις 16×, ϝἔτει 4×, ἐνϝότοι 4×, ἄϝεθλα 2×, κόρϝον 1×, Διϝονύσοι 1×). The word ὄρεν, “male”, occurs 7 times in the text, and, despite the etymological link to forms such as Latin uerres “ram” (Beekes 2010, p. 141), initial digamma is never written in this text, nor indeed in any Greek dialectal inscription. The o vowel in ὄρεν is paralleled only in Arkadian τὀρρέντερον (IG V.2 262 / IPArk 8, lines 21 and 27) and Thessalian ὄρσεν (García Ramón 2007, p. 105–106); other dialects have ἄρσην / ἄρρην / ἔρσην. Two other forms that do not show digamma where it might be expected are ἱερέαι, “priestess”, and ἑμίτειαν, “half”, the endings of both of which can be derived from an earlier sequence *-ewya. In this environment, however, w is dropped already in Mycenaean, as in the word for “priestess” i-je-re-ja, and it is possible that there is a particular sound change at work here.19 The variation between the spelling εα and εια is unexplained; in other Arkadian texts the two sequences are generally kept distinct (and note other spellings in this text such as τἀλφει, Ἀλέαν and θυ̣ϝέα).

  • 20 .For the derivation of Greek χοῖρος from *ghor-yo-, see Chantraine (1999), p. 1267; Beekes (2010), (...)

77Among other noteworthy aspects of Arkadian phonological developments shown by this text are the examples of the ο reflex of the syllabic nasal, *, in ἐνϝότοι, “ninth”, to add to the other examples gathered by Dubois (1986, I, p. 39–41); the characteristic Arkadian raising of ε to ι before ν, as in the preposition ιν and the middle participle ἱσταμίνο (lines 14 and 22), but apparently not in the obscure Γενέσϝαν (lines 14 and 18); the development of the sequence *ry in χρος (lines 4, 5, 13; cf. line 1; Dubois 1986, I, p. 91);20 χανχ-, most probably a place-name, written with two aspirates, as elsewhere in Arkadian (Dubois 1986: I 51–2); the assibilation of *ti to si seen in the pair Τ̣ε̣τ̣ονατ̣αν (line 18) and Τ̣ετονασια (line 7; Dubois 1986, I, p. 70–73), but apparently not taking place in the obscure τὀτινίοι (line 7) or Κορυνιτίοι / -ν (lines 3, 7), strengthening the case for taking the latter as a metathesised form of Κορτύνιος.

78In terms of dialectal morphology, the new text offers further evidence for some already known or unremarkable features of Arkadian: genitive singular of first declension noun ending in -αυ (in the personal name Καίταυ, line 16; see Dubois 1986, I, p. 103); dative singular of i-stems in τριανβρί (lines 2 and 7, cf. lines 1 and 3; Dubois 1986, I, p. 113); perhaps accusative plural of i-stems in φοινικίς (line 6; Dubois 1986, I, p. 86); dative plural of neuter t-stem in σ̣άμ̣ασι (line 17); dative singular of the name of Herakles in τὀρακλεῖ (line 19; Dubois 1986, I, p. 109). The dative singular of a hitherto unattested place-name, Κελεπρόδει (line 9), is best taken as the s-stem dative singular, and hence shows the first pre-koine example of the ending -ει for this case-form in Arkadian. There are only three verbs attested in the text, all infinitives: θε̑ναι (line 1, cf. line 2; Dubois 1986: I 175); ἐξάγεν̣ (line 6; Dubois 1986, I, p. 173–174); and [(?)νέ]μεν (line 13).

79In terms of vocabulary, the text greatly enhances our knowledge of Arkadian. There are a number of words attested in this text which are either unattested or only attested in later lexicographers, including the adjective τριανβρίς (cf. μεσημβρία, “mid-day”; for the formation, see Beekes 2010, p. 688 and compare i-stem adjectives such as ἄιδρις or τρόφις); κεραΐς, hitherto attested only in Hesychius; σκεπτός, “examined”, known previously only in compound forms; προτρύγιος, with second element exactly paralleled only in the Homeric hapax legomenon διατρύγιος; and the adjective Ὀλυνπιαῖος, which is elsewhere found in the form Ὀλυμπιεῖος. This list does not include the newly attested place-names, epithets, and names of festivals, the etymologies for most of which are uncertain.

80The nature of the text means that it furnishes little new information about syntactic features of Arkadian. The occurrence of the preposition ἰν with the genitive in the phrase ἰν Καίταυ (line 16) to mean “in/to (the house or sanctuary of)” is not attested for Arkadian before, but is unremarkable. Also attested for the first time in Arkadian in this text is the simple form of the temporal relative ὅτε (line 10), and the directional particle δε (line 21).

Typology of the Text and Chronology of the Rituals (JMC)

81The document is manifestly well organised, since entries are usually demarcated by triple interpuncts (⁝) or by empty space. Despite this, and no doubt due to the extent of the lacunae (see Commentary on line 16), it is relatively difficult at first glance to say exactly what this mode of organisation might be. Each entry in the text is clearly concerned with sacrifices or other offerings, yet the syntax of each phrase appears in a surprisingly variable order. Compare, for instance, the following two phrases, chosen because their interpretation is relatively straightforward:

82–line 7: ⁝ ἰν Κορυνίτιον (preposition followed by apparent place-name in the accusative) + τᾶι τριανβρί (expression of time in the dative) + βν (offering as object in the accusative), τὀτινίοι (indirect object in the dative) + ὄϝιν ὄρενα (offering as object in the accusative).

83–line 15: τι Διϝονύσοι (indirect object in dative) + ἰν <Ὑ>λασμο[ῖ?]ς (epithet/ preposition + place-name in the dative) + αἴξ̣ ὄρεν προτρύγιος (offering as subject in the nominative).

84In other words, we must be careful to analyse each element in each phrase with due diligence. If this had been a typical sacrificial or ritual calendar, we would have expected the entries to conform to a standard pattern: e.g. date or occasion (usually in dat.) + deity (ind. obj. in dat.) + offering (subject in nom. or object in acc.), along with other specifications. This is not always the case here, and it should be especially noted that chronological indications, where they do occur, appear in quite variable positions in the entries (cf. e.g. line 3: [— —] βόε δύϝο, τᾶι παναγόρι τᾶι τριανβρ[ί] ⁝ τᾶι τριπαναγόρι ἰν Κορυνιτίοι; or again line 7: ἰν Κορυνίτιον τᾶι τριανβρὶ βν…). Nevertheless, the following general observations may be made:

  • 21 .For a partial comparandum from Attica, see the calendar of the Marathonian Tetrapolis, Lambert (20 (...)

85–Deities: These always seem to appear in the dative as indirect objects and are preceded by an article. In no case do we have a deity followed by a clear epithet (though note the probable combination of a toponym to qualify a deity, line 15: τι Διϝονύσοι ἰν <Ὑ>λασμο[ῖ]ς), but rather the epiklesis in and of itself appears to imply the theonym (9: τι Κεραυνι (i.e. Zeus); 12: τι Θερέται (i.e. Ares or Enyalios); perhaps 7: τὀτινίοι and 15: τι κε̣[— —]).21 It might be hypothesised that gods and goddesses were usually mentioned in the first or second position in the entries, though this remains only a rule of thumb (contrast also the end of line 3).

86–Toponyms: Whether actual place names or ethnics, these are nearly always prefaced by the preposition ἰν, but may thereafter appear in the accusative or the dative (line 3: ἰν Κορυνιτίοι; 4: ἰ̣ν Ϝ̣ελ̣ϝε̣ιο̣ν (?)… ἰν Ἀλέαν; 7: ἰν Κορυνίτιον; 9: ἰν Κελεπρόδει… ἰν Σπέλαι; 14: [ἰν Γεν]έσϝαν̣ ⁝ ἰν Γενέσϝαν; 15: ἰν <Ὑ>λασμο[ῖ]ς; 17: ἰν Σ̣άμ̣ασι; 18: [ἰν Γ]ε̣νέσϝαν … ἰν Τ̣ε̣τ̣ονατ̣αν … ἰν ορ.[— —]; 22: ἰν χανχ[— —]). As in other dialects, the combination ἰν + accusative in Arkadian must be equivalent to εἰς + accusative (cf. Dubois 1986, I, p. 203); it should thus properly have a spatial or directional meaning, indicating that the offerings in question were sent “to Geneswa/Genesia”, etc. In this sense, a further case is the directional suffix used in line 21: Κλετοράδε. However, it is not particularly clear that a directional sense was always strictly intended or particularly meaningful, since, most strikingly, we find both ἰν Κορυνιτίοι (line 3) and ἰν Κορυνίτιον (line 7) in the same text. Another particular case is ἰν Καίταυ, which assumes an implicit accusative or dative noun (see at line 16 and above, Section 4). As noted in the Commentary, several of these instances probably designate the names of sanctuaries or sacred land, and thus replace the need for a deity to be mentioned as an indirect object. The absolutely certain cases of this implied usage are those where the toponym is simply and relatively directly followed by the offering: line 7: ἰν Κορυνίτιον… βν; 14: ἰν Γενέσϝαν ὄϝιν; 16: ἰν Καίταυ βοῦς; 17: ἰν Σ̣άμ̣ασι ὄϝις ὄρεν; 18: [ἰν Γ]ε̣νέσϝαν ὄϝις ὄρεν ⁝ ἰν Τ̣ε̣τ̣ονατ̣αν ὄϝις σκεπτός; and 21: Κλετοράδε ταῦρον, κάσ̣[ον (?)].

87–Offerings: All of these syntactically follow (whether directly or indirectly) a deity or a geographical indication. Most often, the sacrificial offerings are — moderately priced — sheep; this is a trend that is paralleled in almost any other Greek sacrificial calendar and that testifies to the predominant form of animal husbandry in the ancient Greek world. As noted above, the animals and objects can appear equally well in the nominative as in the accusative. For these offerings, an adjective (or a series of adjectives) or a numeral always follows the substantive (line 1: ὄϝιν καλιστεύϝονσαν; 2: ὄϝις καλιστεύϝονσα; 3: βόε δύϝο; 4: [ὄϝι]ν ὄρενα; 5: ὄϝις̣ κεραΐς καλιστεύϝονσα, χόρο δ̣ύϝο καλιστ(ε)ύϝοντε; 7: ὄϝιν ὄρενα; 10: [ὄϝιν (?)] ὄρενα; 12: ὄϝιν ὄρενα; 13: χόρο δύϝο… ὀϟελὸ δύο; 15: αἴξ̣ ὄρεν προτρύγιος; 16: ὄϝις ὄ̣[ρεν], cf. also βοῦς, τοία τριανβρίς; 17: ὄϝις ὄρεν; 18: ὄϝις ὄρεν… ὄϝις σκεπτός; 19: ὄϝιν ὄρεν̣[α]; 20: βοῦς ἄφετ̣ος, ὄϝιε δύϝο ὄρενε, κερίο δύϝο; 21: ὄϝις ὄρεν). Tentatively, some apparent exceptions are the phrases τὰς ἑκοτὸν [— —] and τᾶν ϟεσϟάρον̣ [— —] at the ends of lines 10 and 11 respectively, both of which may well have contained a numeral before a substantive. Measures seem to have occurred after the qualified substantive in the genitive (line 17: [— —]Ν ἑμίτειαν; cf. also perhaps line 11).

88–Verbal phrases: As already mentioned, all of the preserved verbs are infinitives. On at least two occasions, the verbal phrase concerns the post-sacrificial phase of butchery and distribution of meat; in these cases, the phrase occurs at the end of the relevant entry (lines 1 and 2: τὰ κρέα ἄϝεθλα θε̑ναι / ἄϝεθ<λα> τὰ κρέα θε̣̑[ναι; cp. also the non-verbal, but terminal phrase in line 12: τρε̑ς αἶσαι τννυ). In another case, the verb appears to be used as part of the main ritual action envisaged by the entry (13: [τέ]μεν/[τά]μεν (?) χόρο δύϝο); and only in one case is the subject clearly specified in accusative-infinitive construction (line 6: κ̣όρϝον… ἐξάγεν̣ ἀσπίδα κτλ.).

  • 22 .For a recent analysis, and with further refs., see Carbon (2015b).

89Beyond these regularities and inconsistencies of syntax, there is also a perceptible chronological structure in the document. Again, we might have expected the entries — each demarcated through punctuation — to reveal this more clearly; in the style of a sacrificial calendar, we would have expected to find dates carefully prefixing each entry. This is only partly the case here: some dates do perhaps occur at their expected places (see immediately below), while many chronological indications occur in the middle or perhaps especially at the end of entries (for the latter, cf. e.g. lines 3, 8, 10, 14, 22). Instead of the usual style of a sacrificial calendar then, it may be that the chronological structure that is being envisaged in the regulation is something closer to that which we find in the festival calendar on the ritual tablet from Selinous (NGSL 27, side A): there, a heading states that certain rites must be accomplished in the year of the Olympiad and before the festival of the Kotytia; other iterations of the rituals are possible on successive years within the penteteric cycle (ἔστο δὲ καὶ πεδὰ ϝέτος… θύεν).22

90More specifically, in the tablet from Arkadia, we seem to be dealing with a short sequence of rites, recurring in multiple configurations over the course of many different years and cycles. First and foremost, the key factor that must be recognised is that the preserved text is organised into three principal sections: the first demarcated section of the regulation, lines 1–13, concluding with empty space, is not dated to a precise day, but the next section, lines 14–21, as preserved, begins by citing the 8th day of the month, τἀγδόαι ἱσταμίνο; while the last line of the regulation (line 22), concludes by mentioning the 9th day of the month, τἀνϝόται ἱσταμίνο. It is therefore apparent that lines 1–13 will have been concerned with rites occurring on the immediately preceding day or days of the relevant month. One good possibility is that the first section, lines 1–13, was specifically concerned with the 7th day of the month (sc. τἀβδόμαι ἱσταμίνο, now missing and perhaps to be restored in line 1). This interpretation would entail that we are dealing with a three-day-long festival, a notion which could be viewed as amply confirmed by the repeated mention of a three-day celebration (τριανβρίς) in the text; this three-day would accordingly represent a specific iteration of the festival at hand, encompassing the 7th to the 9th (line 2: τᾶι τριανβρί; 3: τᾶι τριανβρ[ί]; 7: τᾶι τριανβρί; 16: τριανβρίς). An alternative, which is impossible to fully confirm or deny at the present time, is that the τριανβρίς designed a three-day period, namely the 5th to the 7th of the month in question, which preceded the two following days. In favour of that interpretation, one could note that the τριανβρίς is seldom mentioned on the days of the 8th and the 9th — only once in fact, and rather obliquely, in line 16. However, one could also object that the τριανβρίς is strangely repeated in the text by contrast with the other two days. Moreover, it is unlikely not to have been dated more precisely in these lines, and it is odd that rituals would occur “during the course of three days”, without any further specification of their exact timing.

  • 23 .The alternative proposed above that τριανβρίς or ἁ πανάγορις ἁ τριανβρίς refers to an annual festi (...)

91Whatever the precise case may have been, the principle underlying the structure of the regulation can thus be clarified. We have an itemised calendar of three consecutive festival days: the 7th (or a three-day period), followed by the 8th, and much more briefly the 9th, appearing in fine in line 22. It is also immediately apparent that the rites occurring over the course of these days happen with considerable variations during different annual cycles of the festival. If our interpretation of lines 1–13 as dated on the 7th of the month is correct, then one major iteration of the three-day festival was in fact called “the three-day” (ἁ τριανβρίς), “the three-day festival” (ἁ πανάγορις ἁ τριανβρίς, line 3; see Commentary on line 1 and page 143 for τριανβρίς as an adjective), or even the shorthand “the tri-festival” (ἁ τριπανάγορις, line 3): we infer that all of these expressions are synonymous or variations of one another. Crucial for demonstrating this assumption is line 16, which seems to give the following chronological indication: τοία τριανβρίς (or τ<ᾶ>ι τριανβρί), τι δ᾽ ἀτέροι ϝἔτε<ι>. Therefore, since others things happened on the other (i.e. next) year following the τριανβρίς or following an offering suitable for the τριανβρίς, we may conclude that the festival called by this name was a trieteric (i.e. biennial) one. It therefore also makes sense to view the two expressions found in line 3, namely τᾶι παναγόρι τᾶι τριανβρ[ί] and τᾶι τριπαναγόρι, as referring to the same iteration of the festival: a trieteric/biennial celebration lasting three days, which was especially marked by a fair or an assembly, a πανάγορις. In other words, every other year, the celebration lasting from the 7th to the 9th of the month, became a festival called Triambris or the Triambris Festival (or Tripanagoris).23

92The new evidence from the tablet directly relates to a well-known inscription, already mentioned several times in this article, concerning the rights of pasturing and the use of sacred land called Alea at Tegea, IG V.2 3 (ca. 390 BC). The beginning of the third section of this regulation (lines 8–10) reads:

τᾶς τριπαναγόρσιος τ-
ὰς ὑστέρας τρῖς ἁμέρας νέμ̣εν ὅτι
ὰν βόλετοι ὃς
μὲ ἰν τοῖ περιχόροι· …

  • 24 .Cf. LSJ s.v. ὕστερος A.II (c. gen.). This reading is to be preferred to an interpretation of τᾶς τ (...)

93The interpretation of the passage has been controversial: some, following Wilamowitz in IG have viewed the festival here called Tripanagorsis as probably trieteric (see recently IPArk 2, p. 16), while others (Meister as cited in IPArk) have thought that the festival lasted three days. At any rate, it seems clear that the phrase τὰς ὑστέρας τρῖς ἁμέρας must be taken in apposition with the genitive τᾶς τριπαναγόρσιος, and thus that it should mean “the three days after the Tripanagorsis”, i.e. the inscription grants rights of pasturing for three days following the festival.24 The evidence from the new tablet now confirms a brilliant hypothesis of Madeleine Jost (1985: 383–384), who chose to have it both ways — the Tripanagorsis was a trieteric festival, and by implication of its triple nature and of the three following days, it also lasted three days: “On penserait volontiers à une manifestation triétérique ou plutôt à une fête annuelle revêtant un éclat exceptionnel tous les trois ans […] par sa formation τρι–παναγόρσιος désigne plus probablement une fête ‘triple’ […] le sens le plus normal est celui de ‘fête qui dure trois jours’. ” As we have seen, the juxtaposition of the two phrases τᾶι παναγόρι τᾶι τριανβρ[ί] and τᾶι τριπαναγόρι in line 3, along with the phrase τοία τριανβρίς (or τ<ᾶ>ι τριανβρί), τι δ᾽ ἀτέροι ϝἔτε<ι> in line 16, can serve to corroborate Jost’s excellent intuition.

  • 25 .In this context, note that trieteric festivals are commonly attested elsewhere in Arkadia, e.g. in (...)

94That being said, this striking parallel to the new tablet also has its limits: the Tripanagorsis celebrated in the territory of the goddess Alea at Tegea was perhaps a festival specific to this place, whose relationship with the various toponyms and diverse rituals mentioned in the new tablet, if any, is highly unclear. Indeed, it would be difficult to demonstrate that our new tablet comes from Tegea. The most that we can say is that trieteric three-day festivals are attested in at least two locations in Arkadia, namely at Tegea and in the new tablet, wherever it might be thought to come from (see Envoi below). They thus sketch a common cultic framework or background for Arkadian festivals.25

  • 26 .The month appears perhaps to be preceded by another, called Leschanasios (see IG V.2 3, line 29: τ (...)

95Regrettably, we cannot use the evidence concerning months mentioned in the text from Tegea with complete confidence to reconstruct the timing envisaged in the new tablet. In IG V.2 3, the last preserved section (no. X, line 30) invokes a month called Panagorsios (τὸν Παναγόρσιον με͂να), which Jost very attractively and convincingly relates to the celebration of the major festival of Alea — therefore both in an annual and trieteric form.26 It might be possible to conjecture a similar eponymous month for the important πανάγορις of the new tablet as well, though this remains to be confirmed: the month may have been included as part of a heading now missing at the beginning of line 1 or otherwise have been left implicit. Just as with the festival of Alea at Tegea, it is clear that the festival in the new tablet was not only trieteric, but also annual. Only every other year was it known as the Triambris festival (or Tripanagoris); in other years (cf. τἀτέροι ϝἔτει vel sim., lines 16–17 and 19), other declensions of the rites would take place.

96Perhaps more evocative and helpful than the idea of a festival-month is the mention of the sacrifice to Dionysos in line 15, which is qualified as προτρύγιος. This occurs without further temporal indication, immediately following the mention of the 8th day of the month in line 14, and thus must almost certainly refer to the annual iteration of the festival. The oblique mention of the Protrygia not only indicates that the offering will have recurred every year in relation to the early grape-harvest, but also suggests an approximate seasonal dating for the three-day festival of the tablet as a whole: very probably in the mid- to late summer (July/August), before the actual grape-harvest of the autumn.

  • 27 .Cf. e.g. again the tablet from Selinous, NGSL 27A, stipulating a deadline before the penteteric tr (...)
  • 28 .The penteteric Olympic festival is generally thought to have either begun on the first full moon a (...)

97Significantly, two other, lengthier ritual cycles for the festival are also envisaged in the tablet. If correctly interpreted, one is a famous period — the penteteric Olympiad — though it appears in a highly unusual form here. In lines 9 and 21, on the 7th and the 8th days respectively — i.e. apparently the two first and main days of the three-day festival — we find the qualification Ὀλυνπιαῖος {τ} (sc. Ὀλυνπιαίο<ι>ς?) and Ὀλυνπιαίοις after the mention of an offering and at the end of an entry. Both readings are problematic, though they clearly must be related, if not essentially identical. We cannot completely exclude the idea that the tablet mentioned sacrifices taking place at Olympia itself (see the Commentary at lines 9 and 21), though this would have been oddly expressed: perhaps as Ὀλυνπίαι
ὄ(ϝ)ις — necessitating corrections in both lines. It would moreover be strange that the two sacrifices in question were thoroughly unremarkable, playing a minor role in each entry. As discussed in the Commentary above, it might also be possible to think of the words as adjectives, *Ὀλυνπιαῖος, qualifying the offerings (cp. προτρύγιος in line 15; and most probably τοία τριανβρίς in line 16); the sacrifices in question would therefore have been designated as “Olympic” in some way or as suitable for sacrifice “as (one does) at Olympia”, perhaps also denoting a general or vague aspect of time. This works in line 21, with only a small correction, but in line 9, it would be strange that ἱερόνιον, though seeming to be an accusative or neuter noun, is not followed by a corresponding form of the adjective,
viz. *Ὀλυνπιαῖον. Yet another alternative is to think of the word as a temporal clause, such as one often finds concluding the entries in the tablet (see above). Though such a hypothesis remains to be more fully confirmed, we might suggest that the clear reading of Ὀλυνπιαίοις in line 21 is the dative plural of an Ark./Doric neuter plural substantive *Ὀλυμπίαια, a hitherto unattested variation of the festival name Ὀλυμπίεια (LSJ s.v.; cp. also Ὀλυμπιάσι as the dative plural of Ὀλυμπιάς, the Olympiad, so LSJ s.v.); the form in line 9, inscribed with a mistaken tau in fine would thus need be to be corrected as Ὀλυνπιαίο<ι>ς. One might have expected a mention of the festival to be preceded by the article, τοῖς — yet note that Ὁπλόδμια also appears without one. A degree of synchronisation of rituals with the occurrence of the Olympic sacrifices and games every four years is attested for at least a few Greek festivals.27 Additionally, if an interpretation of the relative contemporaneity of the rituals in lines 9 and 21 with the festival at Olympia were to prove correct — the reference is not to the year of the Olympiad, but to the Ὀλυνπιαῖα themselves — then this would serve to substantiate the impression formed by the word προτρύγιος, discussed above, and to make it more precise: the rites for the Arkadian festival described in all of their different declensions on the tablet will then have occurred approximately in July or August, as did the Olympic games.28 An extremely precise synchronisation between the calendars of Olympia and the one underpinning this tablet from Arkadia is probably to be excluded, however. And as Robert Parker points out to us, it would have been rather thoughtless of the organisers of the Arkadian festival to have made it coincide exactly with the major penteteric celebration of the region, a far greater magnet for celebratory crowds. In any case, the celebration of this Arkadian festival seems to have evoked the Olympic games and their lengthy truce, and thus, every four years, it may have loosely matched the timing of the famous festival itself.

  • 29 .For enneateric festivals, see esp. the idea of the Pythiad as this sort of cycle: IG II² 2336 (wit (...)

98The other, longer cycle is more clearly established: it was an enneateric one (ἐνϝότοι ϝἔτει), occurring every eight years.29 In such years, the festival was known as the Hoplodmia, and this must represent in many ways the rarer culmination of the more regular annual festival and its biennial iteration, the Triambris festival (or Tripanagoris). The major rituals occurring during this cycle of the festival are described in line 6: this was the offering of a panoply, including a shield, a small javelin, red cloak(s), a sword, and probably a helmet, by a boy who “brought out” these objects (presumably out of a temple or another cultic repository where they were stored) for use during a ritual. Other, more explicit mentions of this cycle, citing the name of the festival, occur in lines 8 and 10, as well as on the next day (the 8th), in line 16. Both of the latter cases are regrettably quite fragmentary and little information can be derived from them. From line 8, we learn that these enneateric rituals were also connected to a place or sanctuary called Zapatea, itself perhaps related to Mount Lykaion. Possibly the enigmatic ritual described in line 11, apparently involving a breastplate and/or a procession, is also, by analogy with line 6 and by its placement in the tablet, to be tied to this enneateric context. Another rite probably closely connected with this celebration occurs immediately between lines 8 and 10: in line 9, a ritual at Spela (the “Cave”) is mentioned, which must be connected to Mount Lykaion or Mount Thaumasion. As we have already seen, the Hoplodmia evokes a celebration of the myth surrounding the birth of Zeus, specifically the defense of Rhea by a primordial, armed figure called Hopladamos at Mount Thaumasion near Methydrion, and no doubt the birth and rise of Zeus as Hoplosmios, “armed” and “armoured” himself.

  • 30 .Another persistent problem concerns the identification of rituals taking place annually rather tha (...)

99In the end, it does seem possible to discern at least a few patterns and a degree of chronological organisation for the dated entries in the regulation, though this is still not completely self-evident. For instance, it is perfectly possible that the tablet was organised both chronologically and according to another method, for instance by geographical area.30 In any case, we may offer the following, provisional summary (for an overview, see Table 1, below). According to our argument, the first section of the tablet (lines 1–13) most probably concerns the 7th day of the month and the first day of a three-day celebration: the preserved section begins with the specification of rites happening during the important trieteric cycle of the Triambris festival / Tripanagoris (lines 1–3, and perhaps beyond, including also a passage in line 7); a further subsection on this day — the 7th — was concerned with the enneateric cycle of the Hoplodmia (lines 8–10 or 11) and perhaps also mentioned the penteteric Olympic festival as part of this larger cycle. However, it remains unclear if the dating τᾶι παναγόρι at the end of line 10 is to be taken as indicating a return to a discussion of the trieteric rites of the πανάγορις ἁ τριανβρίς—the alternative is to see here a reference to a major “assembly” during the Hoplodmia, perhaps involving the sacrifice of a hecatomb; it is also obscure what the periodicity of the rituals mentioned in lines 12–13 may have been (perhaps annual?). The second section concerning the 8th of the month (lines 14–21) is differently, though not necessarily more clearly organised: it seems to have dealt first with the annual iteration of the festival (lines 14–15); then after a mention of the enneateric cycle (line 16), it perhaps proceeded to contrast the biennial Triambris festival (or Tripanagoris), with those rituals occurring in the other year of this trieteric cycle (lines 16–19, and perhaps beyond); a mention of the penteteric Olympic games seems to have occurred in line 21. Finally, the 9th day of the month was apparently treated altogether more briefly in line 22: it is unclear if the rites for this day were specific to any of the longer cycles; more probably, they only occurred every year without further variations or complements.

100Our view of the organisation of the tablet would doubtless have been much clearer were it preserved to its full extent. It is also important to remember that, when these cycles coincided, the rites were cumulative, thus no doubt explaining some of the apparent overlap between the ritual periods envisaged in the festival calendar. Thus, the rites happening each year on the 7th or 8th day of the month, for instance, would be repeated during the Triambris festival (or Tripanagoris) or in the other year (τἀτέροι ϝἔτει) in that cycle. Similarly, the annual rites would also naturally take place during the Hoplodmia or the Olympiad. It is in fact probable that the Hoplodmia, as an enneateric cycle, overlapped with every second celebration of the Olympic games (note again how the offering connected in some way to Olympia or to the Olympiaia seems to occur in between two mentions of the Hoplodmia in lines 8–10); quite probably, it will also have encompassed every fourth instance of the biennial Triambris festival (or Tripanagoris). A more ample and more precise calendar of these celebrations remains to be developed, hopefully on the basis of new finds.

Envoi (JMC)

  • 31 .For later (early Hellenistic) evidence of the Lykaia on Mount Lykaion, see notably IG V.2 549 and (...)

101At first glance, the wide range of festivals, and especially of places at which rituals took place, would seem to suggest that the tablet had a large scope and a wide sphere of application. Following this line of thought, we could reasonably suppose that we are dealing with a ritual calendar for a festival which interested and united together a number of Arkadian polities or other communities (for all of the places mentioned here, see again the Map in Fig. 3). Offerings appear to have been sent to a variety of communities or sanctuaries, perhaps over some distance (cf. the many instances of directional expressions, such as ἰν + accusative). For instance, it is possible that a sanctuary of Alea at Tegea or Mantinea was mentioned (line 4), though its location is far from established; similarly, we find an evanescent appearance of another important Arkadian city, perhaps Orchomenos or Oresthasion (line 18); more certainly, there is Kleitor (line 21), relatively far in northern Arkadia, but also clearly appearing distant from the focus of the tablet on the central and southwestern region. The Alpheios, flowing from the heart of Arkadia, through Parrhasia and down to Elis, is repeatedly invoked as a recipient of offerings and appears to form a common fluid thread running between the many celebrations on the first day of the three-day festival (lines 1, 4, and 12). Interesting in this regard is also the mention of game-prizes (ἄϝεθλα, lines 1–2), demonstrating that contests were held on the first day as part of the trieteric iteration of the three-day festival. These will have attracted worshippers and visitors from neighbouring communities.31 Rather oblique references to Olympia or to the quadrennial Olympic festival (lines 9 and 21) can also be viewed in a similar light.

  • 32 .For recent discussions, see e.g. Roy (2013); Nielsen (2002), p. 121–157, and (2015). For evidence (...)
  • 33 .Again, part of the problem with locating Κορυνίτιος/Gortys in relation to the origin of the tablet (...)
  • 34 .Though much diminished, especially from the 4th century BC onward, Methydrion nevertheless seems t (...)

102The subject of the existence of an Arkadian league and of its possible “federal” sanctuaries in the late 6th or 5th century BC remains hotly debated, and it is preferable to leave it to specialists to fit this new piece into their puzzle.32 That being said, though the precise authority behind the promulgation of the regulations must remain unclear for the time being, it is apparent, even from the brief summary just presented, that the rules could very well derive from some sort of regional authority, whose sphere of influence extended over several, fairly disparate communities in Arkadia. On the other hand, it also needs to be stressed that, aside from some of the examples mentioned above (especially Kleitor), the places listed in the tablet whose location can be precisely established are actually confined to a relatively limited area in central and southwestern Arkadia. Two crucial loci, though neither of them is explicitly mentioned by name, appear to be the sites of Methydrion (cf. IACGP 283) with its nearby mountain called Thaumasion, and of Mount Lykaion. They may well have been at the center of some of the most important rituals evoked in the extent tablet: as far as Mount Thaumasion is concerned, we have the myth surrounding the festival of the Hoplodmia; for Mount Lykaion, an allusion is perhaps made to this area with the sacrifice to Pan or Apollo at the enigmatic Zapatea in line 8 or in other cases (see below). Likewise, a few of the places mentioned in the tablet lie in the periphery of these mountain sanctuaries: Korynitios/Gortys and its neighbour Maratha are ca. 15km to the southwest of Methydrion, between this city and Mount Lykaion, and very close to the valley of the Alpheios.33 Beyond this, it may be telling that most of the other sites mentioned, such as Welweion (?) (line 4), Keleprodos (?) (line 9), Geneswa/Genesia (lines 14 and 18), Hylasmoi (line 15), Tetonata (line 18), and Chanch[—] (line 22), remain completely unknown. This would tend to suggest that we are dealing with small local communities and sanctuary sites within this limited geographical range, rather than a truly pan-Arkadian sweep. Another problem is that it is also uncertain whether the rules of the festival were intended for publication in their current form, rather than simply for consultation or reference on the tablet. In other words, we can ask (but probably cannot answer) whether the tablet represents an effort at consolidating or codifying rules by a group of communities or whether it might instead emanate from an important Arkadian sanctuary like that of Mount Lykaion (or even from Methydrion).34

  • 35 .See Call. 1.10–54; Paus. 8.38.3; and Jost (1985), esp. p. 285–286. See further Jost (1998) on the (...)
  • 36 .Paus. 8.36.3: καὶ τεκεῖν μὲν συγχωροῦσιν αὐτὴν ἐν μοίρᾳ τινὶ τοῦ Λυκαίου, τὴν δὲ ἐς τὸν Κρόνον ἀπά (...)

103For now, it is better to focus on the interpretation of the rituals themselves. Looking more closely at the tablet, we have seen that, in the most minimalistic sense, it is primarily concerned with rites for a three-day festival, which every eight years included a variety of special rituals and was called the Hoplodmia. If the inference that some of these rites took place at or near Methydrion should prove to be correct — the site was at the heart of the worship of Zeus Hoplosmios and the festival of the Hoplodmia as we have seen, and the cave (ἰν Σπέλαι) mentioned in line 9 may have been located there, if not at Mount Lykaion — then this city and its periphery will have formed one of the focal points of the festival, at least during its first day (lines 1–13). But it might also be possible that the legend of the “wonderful” mountain (Mount Thaumasion), though still vivid to Pausanias more than half a millennium after the writing of this tablet, was already being coopted or overshadowed by the widely accepted Arkadian legend of the birth of Zeus at Mount Lykaion and his rearing there by local nymphs.35 Pausanias himself tells us that the Methydrians of his day agreed that the birth of Zeus itself took place “on some part” of Mount Lykaion, while Mount Thaumasion was more to be viewed as a preliminary location to the major event, the place of the first defense of Rhea and of the deception (ἀπάτη) of Kronos.36

  • 37 .See the passage from Paus. cited n. above and cp. Hes. Th. 471 (μῆτις). Line 8 makes the connectio (...)

104More broadly, it should be remarked that there appears to be a complex polytheistic and ritual network that is played out as part of the festival described on the tablet, combining several elements perhaps related to both mountains and their respective sanctuaries. Nearly all of this is appropriately centered on the Arkadian legend of the birth of Zeus, and the armoured figure of Hopladamos/Hoplosmios. Apparently celebrated more modestly in other years, every eight years the three-day festival seems to have involved the offering of a panoply (line 6). In this connection, we also find an (annual?) sacrifice to the figure of Theritas (identified with Ares or Enyalios, line 12). These martial resonances on the first day have a cultic context: the legend underlying the Hoplodmia was concerned with armed figures of Giants mounting the defense of Rhea prior to the birth of Zeus. Did the young boy who took out the objects forming the panoply (again, line 6) thus contribute to ritually reenact the legendary “Arming” or “Armouring”? Noteworthy is also the fact that the core rituals of the Hoplodmia, which are tied to the mythical preparations for the birth of Zeus, nearly all seem to appropriately occur at the beginning of the tablet, on the first day of the three-day festival. In this vein, it might not be impossible to view the place called Zapatea (line 8) as having echoed the famous “deception” (ἀπάτη) which enabled Rhea to trick Kronos.37

105The newborn king of the gods is not only present as Keraunos, the lightning of the mountain tops and his principal weapon of power (line 9; see also at line 15); again, very aptly on the second day of the three-day festival, his birth (probably at Mount Lykaion) is evoked by the place called Geneswa/Genesia (lines 14 and 18). Accordingly, we should reasonably suppose that the god implicit in many of the sacrifices which are identified only by the mention of a toponym or a sanctuary on the tablet (line 6: ἰν Κορυνίτιον; lines 14 and 18: ἰν Γενέσϝαν; line 17: ἰν Σ̣άμ̣ασι; line 18: ἰν Τ̣ε̣τ̣ονατ̣αν; line 21: Κλετοράδε) was the one whose birth was celebrated during this recurring festival: Zeus himself (indeed, all of the offerings in these contexts are male or not explicitly qualified).

  • 38 .For the latter, note intriguingly that a Herakles-Daktyl was later known at Megalopolis: Paus. 8.3 (...)
  • 39 .Hes. Th. 478–479. Cf. LSJ s.v. ὁπλότερος, “younger”, with a discussion of the possible original se (...)

106Nevertheless, there is also much that is missing on the tablet and that we would like to know: for instance, in the context of this multi-cyclic festival, what are the possible cultic connections between Zeus and Hermes (line 14), or Zeus and Dionysos of the early-grape-harvest (line 15), or Zeus and Herakles (line 19)?38 And are any of the rituals probably involving goddesses (lines 1–2, 5, and 13) to be tied with Rhea or other female figures revolving around the Arkadian myth of the birth of Zeus (for instance, Hera who was also known as Hoplosmia)? Such regrets notwithstanding, the tablet provides an evocative sketch of an important Arkadian three-day festival, periodically celebrating the deception and defense of the mother, followed by the birth and rise of Zeus Megas, the ὁπλότατος παίδων of Rhea and Kronos — the youngest child, but also the one most capable of arming himself and fighting against his father.39

Fig. 1.Colour photo of the tablet

Fig. 2.Scan/Xray of the tablet

Fig. 3.Map of Arkadia and nearby regions, showing places mentioned or alluded to in the tablet. Modified by JMC using the mapping software found at:​awmc/​applications/​carte-transitional/​

© MapBox | Data © OpenStreetMap and contributors, CC-BY-SA | Tiles and Data © 2013 AWMC CC-BY-NC 3.0

Table 1: Chronological Outline of the Three-Day Festival and its Cycles

NB Only the most explicitly or plausibly dated entries are included here. “Ideal” seasonal time for the festival = mid- to late summer, or more specifically July/August?



Ritual Activity


[7th day?]

Annual (?)


cf. 12-13?


(ἁ πανάγορις ἁ τριανβρίς / ἁ τριπανάγορις)

Sacrifice suggesting athletic contests


Sacrifice involving the Marathidai and athletic contests


Sacrifice of a pair of oxen to unknown recipient(s)


Unknown rites at Korynitios/Gortys


Sacrifice sent to Korynitios/Gortys and perhaps sacrifice to Otinios(?)




Offering / ritual use of a panoply


Sacrifices at Zapatea


Sacrifice to (Zeus) Keraunos at Keleprodos(?), probably in connection with the overlapping penteteric Olympic games


Offering to unknown recipient and perhaps hecatomb “during the festival/assembly” (?)

10, cf. 11

8th day

Annual (probably)

Offerings sent to Geneswa/Genesia and for Hermes


Sacrifice to Dionysos at Hylasmoi for the annual “early-grape-harvest” (Protrygaia)



(ἁ πανάγορις ἁ τριανβρίς / ἁ τριπανάγορις)

Probably the sacrifice “in/to the (land/sanctuary) of Kaitas”


Trieteric (other year)

Other sacrifice “in/to the (land/sanctuary) of Kaitas”(?)


Sacrifice at Samata / the “Tombs”


Other offerings to unknown recipient




Unknown rites


Sacrifice to unknown recipient, probably in connection with the overlapping penteteric Olympic games


9th day

Annual (probably)

Various offerings to unknown recipient; offering at/to Chanch[…]


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F. Sokolowski, Lois sacrées de l’Asie Mineure, Paris, 1955.


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Carbon, J.-M. (2015b) “Rereading the Ritual Tablet from Selinous”, in A. Ianucci, F. Muccioli, M. Zaccarini (eds.), La città inquieta, Selinunte tra lex sacra e defixiones (Mimesis: Diadema 3), Sesto San Giovanni, p. 165–204 + 306.

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1 .Heinrichs (2015), p. 26–63, App. 1, with readings based on the two photographs, one in colour and another scanned/x-ray. For the scant details available on the provenance of the tablet and its appearance on the antiquities market around 2010, see there p. 3. The authors are aware of other, forthcoming work on the tablet by S. Minon (on the letterforms and the context), by L. Dubois, and by M. Jost, all of which is eagerly awaited.

2 .Paus. 8.28.1: λέγουσι δὲ οἱ ἐπιχώριοι καὶ τάδε, ὡς Ἀλέξανδρος ὁ Φιλίππου τὸν θώρακα καὶ δόρυ ἀναθείη τῷ Ἀσκληπιῷ, καὶ ἐς ἐμέ γε ἔτι ὁ θώραξ καὶ τοῦ δόρατος ἦν ἡ αἰχμή.

3 .Revision of the stone by JMC (EM 13198, forthc.) reveals that only one letter is missing at the beginning of the month-name. Though very effaced, this can only be lambda or delta. Thus, the month must be read either as Λ̣ άπατος (just as at Orchomenos) or as Δ̣άπατος.

4 .For the cave of Pan called Lykeios, see Porph. Antr. 20: σπήλαια τοίνυν καὶ ἄντρα… ἐν Ἀρκαδίᾳ δὲ Σελήνῃ καὶ Πανὶ Λυκείῳ. We are grateful to M. Jost for drawing again our attention to this passage. Cp. IG V.2 93, Tegea, 2nd c. AD, for the later form of the epithet Lykeios (also Prokathegetos) — rather than Lykaios; see also IG V.2 549 and 550 for the important priesthood of Pan at Mt. Lykaion.

5 .The rare ἱερωνία in P.Teb. 1.119 (2nd c. BC), line 32, presumably meaning “sacrifice”, or better “purchase [of animals] for sacrifice”, seems to be a compound with (ϝ)ὤνιος; therefore, this cannot work as a parallel, since one would have expected ἱεροϝωνία in Arkadian.

6 .We are very grateful to Robert Parker for this suggestion.

7 .It might be that a similar ritual action, “releasing the animals”, is envisaged at NGSL 3 (Phrearrhioi), lines 9–10: [τῶν ἀκ|ολ]ουθῶμ ἱεροποιὸς ἀφιέτω τας[, though more probably this refers to the freeing of slaves or servants, cp. LSCG 36, line 4, from Piraeus.

8 .Cf. also the offering of a skyphos to Zeus Naios in Carbon (2015a), no. 1, where the reading σκύφον is to be maintained according to a forthcoming edition from autopsy by K. Knäpper, contrary to the excessive emendation proposed by Carbon (JMC kindly thanks her for orally sharing this information).

9 .One tentative possibility (JMC) for an identification might start from a comparison with Χήν (Dor./Ark. Χάν?), generally thought to have been situated in Lakonia (IACGP 328). But as Shipley notes apud IACGP: “sources cited by Diog. Laert. 1.106–107, of whom the earliest is Aristoxenos (born c.370), located it in Laconia or Arkadia”. A place of the same name is also known in Oita in Thessaly (IACGP 425).

10 .On this inscription see Dubois (1986) II, p. 94–111, the commentary in IPArk 8, and Duhoux (2007).

11 .See Viredaz (1993), p. 334 and Duhoux (2007), p. 48–50 for other theories of the origin of tsan.

12 .Lejeune (1972), p. 51; Dubois (1986) I, p. 68–69; Nieto Izquierdo (2011), p. 3; Parker (2013), p. 224.

13 .Chantraine (1999), p. 772; Beekes (2010), p. 1043.

14 .JMC: for (Zeus) Epopeus, cf. esp. IK. Priene 415 (Thebes-on-the-Mykale), line 24; the worship of Zeus Epopetes is known in Attica, for instance at Erchia, LSCG 18, col. III, lines 20–26; note also the divine and the initiatory senses of the noun ἐπόπτης (cf. LSJ s.v.).

15 .Allen (1958), p. 116–117; Viredaz (1993), p. 333.

16 .Doric τέτορες, without any trace of original *w is variously explained, see Chantraine (1999), p. 1109; Beekes (2010), p. 1472.

17 .Lejeune (1972), p. 112–114; Nieto Izquierdo (2011), p. 7.

18 .See Dubois (1986) I, p. 80–83, for the development of ρσ in Arkadian.

19 .See Barber (2013), p. 118–122 for discussion and references to previous work on the Mycenaean development of feminine suffixes such as that found in “priestess”.

20 .For the derivation of Greek χοῖρος from *ghor-yo-, see Chantraine (1999), p. 1267; Beekes (2010), p. 1641.

21 .For a partial comparandum from Attica, see the calendar of the Marathonian Tetrapolis, Lambert (2000), which also features epithets of Demeter without the theonym (the goddess herself is never mentioned): cf. col. II, lines 27 (Achaia), 48 (Eleusinia), and 49 (Chloe); however, other deities appear in a more expected form — theonym + epithet — in that calendar.

22 .For a recent analysis, and with further refs., see Carbon (2015b).

23 .The alternative proposed above that τριανβρίς or ἁ πανάγορις ἁ τριανβρίς refers to an annual festival, occurring from the 5th to the 7th of the month, also remains a possibility. According to this view, it might only be the expression ἁ τριπανάγορις (line 3) that implies a trieteric festival. The phrase at line 16, τοία τριανβρὶς, τι δ᾽ ἀτέροι ϝἔτε<ι>, would in this case indicate that the offering in question was “(suitable for the) three-day” but did not actually take place during this time, since it occurred on the 8th, one day afterward. The mention of “the other year” in lines 16, 17 and 19, would presumably refer to the other year in the cycle of the τριπανάγορις.

24 .Cf. LSJ s.v. ὕστερος A.II (c. gen.). This reading is to be preferred to an interpretation of τᾶς τριπαναγόρσιος as a possessive genitive, which would have made the festival last more than three days (perhaps six in total).

25 .In this context, note that trieteric festivals are commonly attested elsewhere in Arkadia, e.g. in the mysteries of Demeter at Pheneus, cf. Paus. 8.15.2: ἄγοντες δὲ παρὰ ἔτος ἥντινα τελετὴν μείζονα ὀνομάζουσι (cp. 8.29.1 on Trapezous); or the Skiereia for Dionysos at Alea, id. 8.23.1. For this predilection, cf. also the resolution, in the sympoliteia of the Euamnioi with Orchomenos, IG V.2 343 (4th c. BC), lines 16–19, that: πομπ̣[ὰ|ς] δ’ ἐπιγενέσθαι δ[ι]|ὰ̣ τρία ϝέτεα Ἀρ[κά|δω]ν ἐπὶ ϝρήσι.

26 .The month appears perhaps to be preceded by another, called Leschanasios (see IG V.2 3, line 29: τᾶι εβδόμαι τ Λεσχανασίο μενός). See also Trümpy (1997), p. 253, and 204–205 for the analogous month Panagyrios known at Amphissa.

27 .Cf. e.g. again the tablet from Selinous, NGSL 27A, stipulating a deadline before the penteteric truce of the Olympiad (with Carbon [2015b]).

28 .The penteteric Olympic festival is generally thought to have either begun on the first full moon after the summer solstice, viz. ca. 21/22 June + ca. 1–25 days, or to have culminated around this date. The sources for the dating are very scanty; cf. e.g. Hannah (2005), p. 35–41 for a discussion. Intriguingly, he proposes the hypothesis that an octaeteric (i.e. enneateric) cycle underlies the calculation of the cycles of the Olympiad. Regardless, the festival and games clearly took place every four years, and this should be what is meant in the new tablet from Arkadia. Unfortunately, the calendar of Elis remains relatively poorly understood, cf. Trümpy (1997), p. 199–201.

29 .For enneateric festivals, see esp. the idea of the Pythiad as this sort of cycle: IG II² 2336 (with SEG 32, 218, 103/2–97/6 BC), line 2, FD III.2 48 (97 BC), line 8, with Parker (2011), p. 196 with n. 88; and see n. above. Cf. also the enneateric Στεπτήριον at Delphi, described in Plu. Moralia 293b-f. Cp. also the enneateric contests known from Roman-era Pisidia, I.Perge 128 (ca. 121/2 or 124/5 AD), and SEG 47, 1771 (Termessos, late 2nd c. AD), line 10.

30 .Another persistent problem concerns the identification of rituals taking place annually rather than during one of the lengthier cycles. For instance, does τἀλφει χ{⁝}ρον ἰ̣ν Ϝ̣ελ̣ϝε̣ιο̣ν (?), appearing without any indication of a date in line 4, refer to an annual sacrifice on the 7th day? This seems probable, but the entries in the regulation may also have followed another logic, referring implicitly to previously mentioned dates. Other self-contained entries making no explicit reference to a date occur in line 12 (twice) and in line 18 (ἰν Τ̣ε̣τ̣ονατ̣αν ὄϝις σκεπτός).

31 .For later (early Hellenistic) evidence of the Lykaia on Mount Lykaion, see notably IG V.2 549 and 550, among others.

32 .For recent discussions, see e.g. Roy (2013); Nielsen (2002), p. 121–157, and (2015). For evidence of the Arkadian league meeting and inscribing texts on Mount Lykaion, see notably IG V.2 548 (4th c. BC).

33 .Again, part of the problem with locating Κορυνίτιος/Gortys in relation to the origin of the tablet lies in the fact that this place appears perhaps both “close” (in the dative in line 3) and at some “distance” (in the accusative after ἰν in line 7); but these interpretations of the cases may be misleading.

34 .Though much diminished, especially from the 4th century BC onward, Methydrion nevertheless seems to have maintained a legendary reputation for the simplicity and piety of its denizens: cf. the story told about a certain Klearchos, viewed as a model of piety by the Pythia, at Theomp. FGrH 115 F 344 (Porphyr. De abst. 2.16); the passage notably mentions the existence of κατ᾽ ἐνιαυτὸν… θυσίας δημοτελεῖς at Methydrion.

35 .See Call. 1.10–54; Paus. 8.38.3; and Jost (1985), esp. p. 285–286. See further Jost (1998) on the Arkadian versions of the myths of the birth of Zeus.

36 .Paus. 8.36.3: καὶ τεκεῖν μὲν συγχωροῦσιν αὐτὴν ἐν μοίρᾳ τινὶ τοῦ Λυκαίου, τὴν δὲ ἐς τὸν Κρόνον ἀπάτην καὶ ἀντὶ τοῦ παιδὸς τὴν λεγομένην ὑπὸ Ἑλλήνων ἀντίδοσιν τοῦ λίθου γενέσθαι φασὶν ἐνταῦθα.

37 .See the passage from Paus. cited n. above and cp. Hes. Th. 471 (μῆτις). Line 8 makes the connection of Zapatea with the cycle of the Hoplodmia indisputable: Ζα]πατέαι ὄ̣ϝιν ὄρενα, ἐνϝότοι ϝἔτει τοίπερ Ὁπλόδμια. However, it remains unclear if Zapatea is to be tied more closely to Mt. Thaumasion or to Mt. Lykaion. The second entry in this line (with the sacrifice τι ΠΑ[— —]) could still be related to Mount Lykaion and to a sacrifice to Pan, the Arkadian god par excellence.

38 .For the latter, note intriguingly that a Herakles-Daktyl was later known at Megalopolis: Paus. 8.31.3, with Jost (1985), p. 344. Could this be a further resonance of the birth of Zeus by Rhea, whose fingers, dug into the soil during her labour pains, were thought to be the origin of the Dactyls?

39 .Hes. Th. 478–479. Cf. LSJ s.v. ὁπλότερος, “younger”, with a discussion of the possible original sense: “capable of bearing arms”. Note that in Th. 137 Kronos is the ὁπλότατος of his generation.

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Table des illustrations

Légende Fig. 1.Colour photo of the tablet
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Légende Fig. 2.Scan/Xray of the tablet
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Légende Fig. 3.Map of Arkadia and nearby regions, showing places mentioned or alluded to in the tablet. Modified by JMC using the mapping software found at:​awmc/​applications/​carte-transitional/​
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Jan-Mathieu Carbon et James P.T. Clackson, « Arms and the Boy: On the New Festival Calendar from Arkadia »Kernos, 29 | 2016, 119-158.

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Jan-Mathieu Carbon et James P.T. Clackson, « Arms and the Boy: On the New Festival Calendar from Arkadia »Kernos [En ligne], 29 | 2016, mis en ligne le 01 octobre 2019, consulté le 30 janvier 2023. URL : ; DOI :

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Jan-Mathieu Carbon

Saxo Institute, University of Copenhagen/University of Liège

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James P.T. Clackson

Jesus College, University of Cambridge

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