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The Statilii Tauri and the Cult of the Theos Tauros at Thespiai1a

Fabienne Marchand
  • University of Warwick, Department of Classics and Ancient History, Coventry, CV4 7AL, UK and University of Oxford, Centre for the Study of Ancient Documents, 66 St Giles, Oxford, OX1 3LU, UK
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Published Online: 2013-11-01 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jah-2013-0009


It is now generally accepted that the cult of the Theos Tauros at Thespiai is linked with the Roman senatorial family of the Statilii Tauri – and particularly with their most prominent member, T. Statilius Taurus (cos. suff. 37, ord. II 26) –, who were active in the Boiotian city in the late first century BCE-early first century CE, as illustrated in an eclectic epigraphic dossier.

Two honorific inscriptions recently published in Paul Roesch’s Les Inscriptions de Thespies shed new light on the dossier, for they reveal, if the readings are correct, the existence of an as yet unknown member of the Statilii Tauri. As well as investigating this new avenue and its consequences for the longevity of relations between the Roman family and the Boiotian city, this study reassesses the cult of the Theos Tauros at Thespiai, along with its place in the wider context of cults for Romans in the Greek world. It also explores various aspects of the dynamics of Roman relations in Greece in the post-Actium era, notably through the complex networks between the Statilii Tauri and members of a local Boiotian elite.

Keywords: Boiotia,; Thespiai,; Romanization of Greece,; cult for Roman magistrates,; patronage,; Statilii Tauri

Ten stones1b from Thespiai, all bearing the same short inscription, θεοῦ Ταύρου, are the only direct attestations of the cult of a God Tauros in the Boiotian city, a god who is otherwise unknown. Dionysos and Poseidon have unconvincingly been evoked as possible candidates for this deity.3 Apollo was also suggested, following the discovery at Askra in 1966 of a large limestone block with the relief of a bovine head above which the inscription Ἀπόλλωνος was carved.4 This monument, however, is probably an altar, similar for example to a quadrangular altar from Chaironeia dedicated to Sarapis, Isis and Anubis, with the relief of a deer head on the front and at the back.5 The bovine head thus probably commemorates a sacrifice instead of embodying a local epithet of Apollo. A significant breakthrough in the dossier of the Theos Tauros was made by Moretti, who suggested identification with a member of the Statilii Tauri, an influential Roman senatorial family who were active at Thespiai.6 The epigraphic documentation of the Statilii Tauri and Thespiai was thoroughly examined in another fundamental study by Kajava in 1989. Two inscriptions recently published in IThesp allow us to reappraise the dossier and to shed a new light on the relations between the Statilii Tauri and the Boiotian city.

The most prominent member of the Statilii Tauri is T. Statilius Taurus (PIR2 S 853; stemma fig. 1), a novus homo who, despite his obscure origins, had an impressive career.7 He was portrayed by Velleius Paterculus as the closest friend of Augustus after Agrippa (Vell. 2.127.1). As a military officer he notably commanded the land forces at Actium and was thrice acclaimed imperator. He became suffect consul in 37 BCE and ordinary consul in 26 alongside Augustus. T. Statilius Taurus built at his own expense the first permanent amphitheatre of Rome on the Campus Martius in 29 BCE in commemoration of his successes in Africa, for which he had earned a triumph in Rome.8 Three generations of consuls are attested among his direct descendants, starting with his grandsons, the brothers T. Statilius Taurus and T. Statilius Sisenna Taurus.9 The former married a daughter of the famous orator M. Valerius Messala Corvinus (PIR1 V 90).10 Their two sons, T. Statilius Taurus (PIR2 S 856) and T. Statilius Taurus Corvinus (PIR2 S 822) became consuls respectively in 44 and 45 CE. In the fifth generation two cousins deserve some attention: L. Valerius Catullus Messalinus (PIR1 V 41), consul in 73 CE, and Statilia Messalina (PIR2 S 866), the third wife to Emperor Nero, who removed the Eros by Praxiteles from Thespiai and brought it to Rome.11 The stemma of the Statilii Tauri is still not securely established. The two brothers who were consuls in 11 and 16 CE have also been thought to be the sons and not the grandsons of T. Statilius Taurus. However, in the most recent scholarship a gap of one generation between T. Statilius Taurus and the two consuls has been generally accepted.12 It has also been suggested that the T. Statilius Taurus IIIvir monetalis (PIR2 S 854) instead of being the uncle of the consuls of 11 and 16 CE, might in reality be their father or their brother, or even T. Statilius Taurus cos. 11 CE himself.13

1 The epigraphic dossier

The epigraphic dossier of the Statilii Tauri at Thespiai consists of the following inscriptions:

1. Top of a limestone base, broken to the left and right, and at the back.

IG VII 1854 (IThesp 413); SEG XXXIX 457.

[ὁ δῆμος Θεσπιέω]ν Κορνηλίαν, Σεισέννα

[θυγατέρα, γυναῖκα δὲ] Ταύρου, ἀρετῆς ἕνεκεν.

[ὁ δῆμος Θεσπιέω]ν Κορνηλίαν Σεισέννα | [Τ. Στατειλίου] Ταύρου, ἀρετῆς ἕνεκεν – IG VII (IThesp). The alternative [ὁ δῆμος Θεσπιέω]ν Κορνηλίαν, Σεισέννα [θυγατέρα,] | [γυναῖκα δὲ] Ταύρου, ἀρετῆς ἕνεκεν was also suggested by Kajava. For the whole demonstration see Kajava (1989), particularly 139–41.

The restoration proposed by Kajava identifies this Cornelia as the wife of T. Statilius Taurus cos. suff. 37, ord. II 26 instead of the daughter of T. Statilius Sisenna Taurus cos. 16 CE. The accuracy of the restoration seems to have been confirmed in 1993 with the publication of two statue bases from the Asklepieion of Cos, one for T. Statilius Taurus, the patron and euergetes of the city, and the second for his wife, Cornelia.14 The editors link these two honorific inscriptions with the severe earthquake from which Cos suffered badly in 26 BCE and suggest that T. Statilius Taurus was involved in the help dispatched by Augustus in 25 BCE after the earthquake. If this hypothesis is correct, it would bring a welcome complement to our knowledge of T. Statilius Taurus’s career, for his whereabouts between 26 and 16 BCE are quite elusive. However, Statilius’s presence in Greece could also be placed in the context of the aftermath of the battle of Actium.15 At Thespiai the honorific inscription for Cornelia is the earliest piece of our dossier, and the only document securely related to the Augustan general. According to Kajava’s restoration, her husband only appears as Ταῦρος, and indeed there is not enough space on the left to restore Τίτου Στατειλίου if the second line is centred and ἀρετῆς ἕνεκεν marks the end of the text. However, the stone is broken to the right as well, and therefore it could be theoretically possible to expand the text both to the right and the left. If T. Statilius Taurus is indeed simply called Ταῦρος in this inscription, his identity must have been clear to the viewers of the monument. Perhaps as in Cos, two monuments had been erected at Thespiai, one for him, and another one for his wife. The short formula would also make particular sense if T. Statilius Taurus was the Theos Tauros of Thespiai.

2. Upper part of a statue base of limestone.

IThesp 412. Cf. Jones (1970), 227 no. 6; Schachter (1981–94), III 54 and n. 2.

Πολυκρατίδης Ἀνθεμίωνος ἱερατεύων Τίτον

Στατείλιον Ταῦρον τὸν ἑαυτοῦ πάτρωνα,


A Thespian, Polykratides son of Anthemion, while holding a priesthood, dedicated a statue of his patron T. Statilius Taurus to the gods

3. Orthostate of grey marble. Found at Thebes, but probably a pierre errante from Thespiai.16

CIL III 7301; SEG XXXII 495; IThesp 425. Cf. Roesch (1982) 173–7.

Left column

St(atius) Vallius St(atii) f(ilius) Lem(onia) Rufus

Cn(aeus) Castricius A(uli) f(ilius) Pal(atina) Macer

A(ulus) Castricius A(uli) f(ilius) Pal(atina) Modestus

4 P(ublius) Bruttius P(ublii) f(ilius) Qui(rina) Rufus

T(itus) Statilius Tauri l(ibertus) Eros

L(ucius) Licinius Faustus

T(itus) Statilius Tauri l(ibertus) Faustus

8 Cn(aeus) Statilius Tauri l(ibertus) Rex

T(itus) Statilius Tauri l(ibertus) Festus

Sex(tus) Aemilius Primus

Right column

Aniochus Athenadis

12 Androcles Athenadis

Saturus Caphisiae

Pammenes Chrysilai

L(ucius) Ambasius Modestus

16 L(ucius) Marius Grecinus

St(atius) Vallius Faustus

L(ucius) Ambasius Ilus


20 Exacestus Myrtonis

Centred under the two columns

Sex(to) Appuleio, Sex(to) Pompeio co(n)s(ulibus)

pri(die) Idus Decembres dedicata.

This dedication is engraved on a large orthostate (90 x 87 x 27 cm) and is dated to the 12th of December 14 CE, about three months after the apotheosis of Augustus on the 17th of September of that year. For this reason it has been suggested that the slab might have belonged to an aedicula or a large altar for the Imperial cult.17 The use of the Latin language and the Roman dating formula are probably significant, and enhance the Italian character of the monument. The names of the dedicants, perhaps organised in a collegium, are arranged in two columns according to social status. Four Roman citizens (lines 1–4)18 followed by three liberti of a T. Statilius Taurus in lines 5, 7 and 9 are listed in the left-hand column. A fourth libertus, of a potential Cn. Statilius Taurus, stands out in line 8, but the reading is problematic since the stone was partially erased in that area.19 On the right, peregrini with Greek names are mixed with individuals bearing Roman names. The unexpected onomastic formula used for the liberti of T. Statilius Taurus is remarkable. The usual formula would normally include the master’s praenomen and read ‘T(iti) l(ibertus)’. However in this inscription the cognomen Taurus appears instead of the praenomen, leaving no doubt as to the identity of the master of the liberti. The cognomen seems to have been used to display a privileged connection with the prominent Roman general who obviously was an important figure at this local level.

4. Fragment of a catalogue of victors at the Mouseia.

SEG XXXI 514; IThesp 174 (Manieri (2009) Thes. 36).


- - - - - - - - - - - - - έ̣ους Θηβαῖο̣[ς],


4 - - - - - - - - - - - - - ος Θεσπιεύς,

ἐπῶν ποιτὴς (sic)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - νος Θεσπιεύς,

[ἐνκωμιογρ]άφος εἰς Σεβαστὴν Ἰουλίαν Μνημο-

8 σύνην

[- - - {name}- - -] Ἡρακλείτου Ἀλεξανδρεύς,

ἐνκωμιογράφος εἰς Ταῦρον

[- - -{name}- - -] Μουσαίος 〚- - -〛Ἀθηναῖος,

12 ἐνκωμιογράφος εἰς Μούσας

- - - - - - - - ε̣ι̣τ̣ος Ἡρακλ<ε>ίτου Ἀλεξανδρεύς,

[ἐνκω]μιογράφος εἰς Μεσσαλεῖνον

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

This victors’ list reveals in line 10 an enkomion in honour of an unidentified Taurus. In lines 7–8, the enkomion praises Livia, who is to be recognised in the Σεβαστὴ Ἰουλία identified as Mnemosyne, the mother of the nine Muses of the Helikon.20 The inscription is dated between her adoption into the gens Iulia after the death of Augustus in 14 CE and 29 CE, the year of her death. A date around 20 was proposed by Moretti.21

This eclectic dossier of inscriptions does not record the titles or offices of the Statilii Tauri, and the lineage is not indicated either. Before Kajava’s fundamental study in 1989 the whole dossier was attributed to the brothers consuls in 11 and 16 CE, with a preference for Sisenna as his name seemed to appear in no. 1. However, since he was able to recognise Cornelia in no. 1, Kajava argued instead that the most prominent member of the family, T. Statilius Taurus cos. suff. 37, ord. II 26, was the only member of the family to appear in the epigraphy of Thespiai. Kajava’s conclusions have been widely followed in the most recent scholarship, notably by K. Wachtel in the relevant fascicle of PIR2 published in 2006.

Two honorific inscriptions published for the first time in 2007 in IThesp throw a new light on the dossier. The two stones were found next to each other by Paul Roesch in 1975 in the Valley of the Muses in the vicinity of the altar of the Muses.22

5. Fragmentary crowning of base of limestone.

IThesp 410.

[ὁ δῆμος Θεσπιέων]

Τ̣ίτ̣ον Σ̣τατείλι[ον]

[Κο]ḯντου υἱὸν Ταῦ[ρον]

4 [Μ]ούσαις.

L. 2: The squeeze is unfortunately flat in the area of the second line, and Roesch’s reading of Στατείλι[ον] cannot be confirmed.

L. 3–4: Roesch’s reading is confirmed by the squeeze. The last two letters of line 3 are tau and alpha according to the squeeze. The upsilon is no longer visible.

6. Crowning of limestone base.

IThesp 411.

ὁ [δῆ]μ[ος] Θεσ[πι]έων Τίτον

Στ[α]τε[ίλιον Κ]οντ[ου] υ[ἱ]ὸ[ν]

Τ̣α[ῦρ]ο[ν vac. το]ῖς θεοῖς.

L. 2: The photograph seems to reveal a large nu, followed by a round letter, an omicron or perhaps a theta. The squeeze was flat except for these two letters, which do not appear in Roesch’s transcription.

These two texts seem at first sight banal honorific inscriptions by the demos of Thespiai for a T. Statilius Taurus. Their rather plain formula follows the pattern of other monuments for Romans dedicated in the Valley of the Muses.23 However, they pose a challenge since the honorand appears to be the son of a Κόϊντος, and the praenomen Quintus is unattested so far among the Statilii Tauri. The identification of the honorand with a member of the family of the Statilii Tauri largely rests on the gentilicium in the second line of no. 5, since the two preserved letters of the cognomen Ταῦρον in the third line are not sufficiently diagnostic for a secure attribution of the inscription to a Taurus.

Roesch’s notebooks reveal that he was not able to read IThesp 411 (no. 6) at all at the time of his discovery of the stone in the Valley of the Muses. It is likely that he deciphered some letters at a later stage, presumably from his squeeze, and that he based his restorations on the more secure reading of IThesp 410 (no. 5). The influence from the reading of IThesp 410 on 411 may also come from the fact that the two stones were found next to each other, and that they bear two consecutive entries in his notebooks. If the readings of both IThesp 410 and 411 are correct, then two monuments were erected for the same person – unless they are homonymous relatives – in the sanctuary of the Muses, one dedicated to the Muses and one to the Gods. A dedication to the Gods in the sanctuary would be surprising, for dedications to the Gods are generally set up in the context of the agora, and less frequently in sanctuaries.24 A systematic survey of IThesp shows that only four additional dedications to the Gods were found in the Valley of the Muses.25 They may also be pierres errantes since they were all reused in the chapel of Haghia Trias, which harboured at least two blocks from the city of Thespiai.26

If some doubts can legitimately be raised about the reading of IThesp 411 (no. 6), on the other hand IThesp 410 (no. 5) was read in its entirety by Paul Roesch at the time of its discovery, including the crucial nomen gentilicium Στατείλιον in line 2. It is therefore extremely tempting to accept Roesch’s transcription and restoration of IThesp 410, and therefore to conclude that a T. Statilius Taurus son of a Quintus was honoured by the demos of Thespiai. He cannot be T. Statilius Taurus cos. suff. 37, ord. II 26, because his father was called Titus, as we see in various documents, such as the inscription from Cos mentioned above (see n. 14). Since IThesp 410–11 cannot be located at the moment, conclusions can only be drawn with extreme caution. It is nevertheless worth exploring how these new inscriptions might inform our knowledge of the family of the Statilii Tauri and their relations with Thespiai.

2 Quintus Statilius Taurus?

A Quintus Statilius appears in the context of a revision of the membership of the Senate performed by Octavian in association with Agrippa in 29 BCE during which some 190 members of the senate from the lowest ranks were excluded. Cassius Dio records how a plebeian tribune named Quintus Statilius resisted and had to be deposed.27 The lex Saenia de plebeis in patricios adlegendis, passed in 30 BCE, had raised some members of the senate to patrician status, and consequently new gentes were created, among which were probably the Statilii Tauri.28 No Statilius is found holding a plebeian magistracy after that date.29 The identity of Quintus Statilius was discussed by Rapke, who suggested that he belonged to the family of the Statilii Tauri. He argues that given the new status of the family, a Statilius Taurus could no longer pursue a career as a plebeian tribune, hence Octavian’s firmness despite the fact that Quintus was a relative of his friend and general.30 Rapke argued that Quintus Statilius was the son of the prestigious general of the family, and the father of the consuls of 11 and 16 CE, and indeed the stemma of the family offers only unsatisfactory alternatives (see fig. 1).

Rapke’s suggestion has been largely overlooked.31 Arguments against it essentially lie in the praenomen, which is indeed so far unattested among the Statilii Tauri.32 But very little is known about onomastic practices in the generations preceding the famous general. Besides, it is not unusual in Roman families for brothers to be given different praenomina, even without considering an adoption. It seems certain, though, that the more recent generations of Statilii Tauri unsurprisingly all received the praenomen of their most illustrious ancestor. An additional objection may come from our only source for the praenomen of the brothers, the indices of Cassius Dio’s books 56 and 57, containing consular lists which record that both the consuls of 11 and 16 CE were ‘T. υἱ.’. However, the indices were not composed by Dio, but are late additions that might have been corrupted.33 From the chronological point of view, the date of birth of Q. Statilius does not raise any difficulties. The deposed plebeian tribune must have been born around 56 BCE at the latest since he was holding his office in 29 BCE, a date compatible with that of his potential sister Statilia (PIR2 S 858), daughter of T. Statilius Taurus cos. suff. 37, ord. II 26, who was born between 59 and 46 BCE, probably around 48 BCE.34

: stemma of the Statilii Tauri
Fig. 1

: stemma of the Statilii Tauri

If the readings of either no. 5 or 6 (IThesp 410 and 411) are correct, they contribute irrefutable evidence for the existence of a Q. Statilius Taurus. Since he would be the father of a T. Statilius Taurus, few possibilities for his identification are offered to us. He is either the father of the IIIvir monetalis, or, and this is the more likely solution, the father of the T. Statilii Tauri, consuls in 11 and 16 CE, as Rapke suggested. If the Q. Statilius dismissed by Octavian is indeed a Q. Statilius Taurus, then the only other attestation of this man would appear in the epigraphy of Thespiai, for he does not seem to have pursued a political career. He probably died relatively young. Furthermore, the newly published inscriptions from Thespiai would reveal that a younger generation of Statilii Tauri was active at Thespiai.

3 The Statilii Tauri and Thespiai

The victors’ list at the Mouseia IThesp 174 (no. 4) could also well be related to a young Statilius Taurus. In addition to the enkomion for a Taurus mentioned above (l. 10), in l. 14 another enkomion is listed, εἰς Μεσσαλεῖνον, for a Messalinus, who, given his name, must be a relative of the wife of the T. Statilius Taurus cos. 11 CE, perhaps one of her brothers, either M. Valerius Messala Messalinus cos. 3 BCE or his younger brother M. Aurelius Cotta Maximus Messalinus, cos. 20 CE, a friend of Ovid.35 Strikingly, none of the brothers seems to have been honoured anywhere else in Greece, suggesting that it is their family relationship with the Statilii Tauri that prompted the enkomion at Thespiai, although other ties may have linked Thespiai and the Messala family.36 The elder brother had followed Tiberius and Germanicus in Pannonia and was a friend of Tiberius. Tiberius himself appears in the epigraphy of Thespiai in an honorific inscription (IThesp 429), and as a victor at a chariot race at the Erotideia and Romaia between 6 BCE and 2 CE (IThesp 188). His mother Livia was honoured in the sanctuary of the Muses by the Thespians as early as 16 or 13 BCE with a life-size bronze statue placed in a monumental group erected for Agrippa’s family featuring Agrippina I, perhaps as a baby held by her father, and Julia between Lucius and Gaius.37 Livia received a new set of honours at Thespiai after the death of Augustus, revealing perhaps that the free city of Thespiai was afraid for its status at the time of the accession of the second emperor. In this context Livia embodied continuity between the two sovereigns, and this may be the reason for her appearance in another monument set up in the sanctuary with an inscribed epigram by the Corinthian poet Honestus, in which she is associated with the goddesses of the Helikon (IThesp 424).38 More strikingly, the Mouseia were celebrated at least twice with the additional name of the agon of the Σεβαστή Ἰουλία,39 probably shortly after 14 CE,40 and IThesp 174 (no. 2) leaves no doubt that she was celebrated in an enkomion at the Mouseia. Remarkably Livia is awarded similar honours after her death at Corinth at the Tiberea Caesarea Sebastea, with a ποίημα celebrating the θεὰ Ἰουλία Σεβαστή, while Augustus and Tiberius received enkomia.41 Enkomia at the Thespian Mouseia generally praise both the reigning Emperor (or Emperors) and the Muses.42 With at least four enkomia – for Livia, Taurus, Messalinus and the Muses – our fragmentary victors’ list stands out. At the time of their celebration at the Thespian Mouseia, both Livia and Messalinus43 were probably alive, and consequently it would not be unreasonable to assume that the Taurus praised in the other enkomion was alive himself, too. In this case he is more likely to be the consul in 11 CE rather than his brother Sisenna because he was married to Messalinus’ sister.44 However one cannot completely rule out that the enkomion was composed to honour the memory of the most illustrious Statilius Taurus (cos. suff. 37, ord. II 26), especially if he had become the Theos Tauros.45

Inscription no. 2 (IThesp 412) involves a member of the local elite, Polykratides son of Anthemion, who commissions a statue for his own patron, a T. Statilius Taurus.46 The monument was dedicated to the Gods and therefore might have been erected in the agora, a location not contradicted by the findspot of the stone in the Byzantine Kastro. Polykratides belongs to a leading family recorded in the epigraphic documentation of Thespiai over six centuries from the third century BCE to the third century CE.47 He was identified as the rogator of an undated honorary decree for the proconsul Futius Longus (IThesp 35). His activities cannot be firmly dated. They have been placed in the last third of the first century BCE or at the very beginning of the first century CE.48 Polykratides appears to be deeply involved in the Roman community of his city: for example, he built a gymnasium for the Italian negotiatores and supplied oil for it.49 The reciprocity of the relations between the negotiatores, the family of Polykratides and the Statilii Tauri is well illustrated in our small dossier. In return for donating a gymnasium to the local Italian community, Polykratides is honoured by those who call themselves the Ῥωμαῖοι οἱ πραγματευόμενοι ἐν Θεσπιαῖς (IThesp 373). In IThesp 412 he appears as the cliens of a T. Statilius Taurus, who is more likely to have been the prestigious T. Statilius Taurus cos. suff. 37, ord. II 26 than one of his descendants.50 He erects the statue for his patron while serving as a priest (ἱερατεύων), leading Schachter to suggest that he was acting as the priest of the Theos Tauros.51 If this is the case, it might well provide an early illustration of the strategies of self-promotion implemented by a local prominent family similar to those developed by Greek elites who sought to hold priesthoods of the Imperial cult for their advancement. The fact that Polykratides’ son Lysandros may subsequently have become the archiereus of the cult of Augustus and Rome strengthens this hypothesis.52 One might even wonder whether Polykratides was not involved in the creation of the cult for his patron, a process in which the negotiatores may also have played a role, especially since freedmen of the family were settled at Thespiai. As a member of the local elite and a cliens of Statilius Taurus closely connected to the Italian community of his city, Polykratides would certainly be an ideal candidate for such a role.

The close links between Polykratides’ family and the Romans are carried over to the following generations. Polykratides’ nephew Phileinos built a stoa dedicated to the γένος Σεβαστῶν and Rome ἐκ τῶν ἰδίων (IThesp 427), while another descendant, T. Flavius Lysandros, erected a monument in honour of the Emperor Hadrian (IThesp 437).53 More relevant for our purposes, another member of the family, Ariston son of Phileinos – probably identical to the Phileinos mentioned above54 – was honoured by the demos of Thespiai ἀγωνοθετήσαντα δὲ Ἐρωτιδήων καὶ Καισαρήων καὶ Μουσήων καὶ Σεβαστῆς Ἰουλίας, a position he held at least twice (IThesp 376–7). None of the victors’ lists can be securely attributed to the Mouseia when they temporarily bore the additional names of the agones of the Sebaste Ioulia. However, IThesp 174 (no. 4), since it features an enkomion εἰς Σεβαστὴν Ἰουλίαν Μνημοσύνην, may well be one of them.55 If this hypothesis is correct, the re-naming of the Mouseia after Livia is more likely to have taken place shortly after 14 CE rather than in 41/2 CE or 29 CE as suggested by Kantiréa (see n. 40), especially since she is not Θεά. It would also be significant that a member of the family of Polykratides, the cliens of a T. Statilius Taurus, was the agonothete of a festival celebrating precisely relatives of the family’s old patron, Taurus and Messalinus.56 To what extent Ariston son of Phileinos was involved in the process of adding enkomia for Taurus and Messalinus to the programme of the Mouseia cannot be determined from the current state of our documentation. An indication that Greek elites sought to introduce competitions in honour of Romans into the programme of local festivals comes from Corinth, where the poetry contest for Livia mentioned above was promoted by a prominent Epidaurian while he was serving as agonothete of the Tiberea Caesarea Sebastea.57 It is likely that Polykratides’ descendants actively sought to maintain their invaluable connections with the powerful Roman family. IThesp 174 (no. 4) reveals, furthermore, that these ties had been extended to an in-law of T. Statilius Taurus cos. 11 CE, namely Messalinus the friend of Tiberius. The family of Polykratides-Ariston – or at least the city of Thespiai – seems to have sought a closer relationship with the Emperor by exploiting diplomatic networks with senatorial families who themselves had a personal connection with the Imperial family.

If IThesp 410 and 411 honour T. Statilius Taurus cos. 11 CE, they would fit well within the context of a policy by the Thespians to maintain their ties to the Statilii Tauri. The city of Thespiai may have sought to perpetuate its privileged relations with the Roman family after the death of the T. Statilius Taurus cos. suff. 37, ord. II 26 by honouring his grandson, the new paterfamilias. Our epigraphic evidence leaves no doubt that the relations between the Statilii Tauri and Thespiai still flourished in the first decades of the first century CE well after the death of the Augustan general. They may even have continued for another two generations until the grandson of T. Statilius Taurus, cos. 11 CE, L. Valerius Catullus Messalinus, the fellow consul of Domitian in 73, who perhaps facilitated the relations between the Emperor and the Boiotian city. In fact, the Thespiai Survey has recently brought to light a bilingual building inscription by Domitian,58 and the only Imperial coinage at Thespiai was minted under Domitian.59

4 The cult of the Theos Tauros

Let us now return to the Theos Tauros at Thespiai. Its terminology is remarkable, for in the case of cults for Roman magistrates the term θεός followed by the name of the recipient of the cult is otherwise unattested in our sources.60 The priests of Roman magistrates are all called ἱερεύς followed by the name of the magistrate in the genitive, and θεός is never used.61 The only Romans who seem to have been called theoi in the Greek world are Julius Caesar,62 Augustus and members of the Imperial family.

Θεὸς Ταῦρος, the God Taurus, is most likely to have been the most prominent Statilius Taurus, T. Statilius Taurus cos. suff. 37, ord. II 26, whose wife was honoured by the demos of Thespiai, and who established the first connections between his family and the Boiotian city. The fact that in 11 CE Augustus forbade the award of honours to governors in the provinces during their office and for a sixty-day period afterwards63 and that divine honours in his reign and later tended to be awarded essentially to members of the Imperial family makes it less likely that the Thespian cult honoured one of Statilius Taurus’ descendants. T. Statilius Taurus might have been alive at the time the cult was established, for divine honours were commonly offered to Roman officials in their lifetime, and the word θεός, which is not a synonym for divus, can apply to living humans, especially emperors.64 In first-century BCE Asia Minor, cultic honours for benefactors can be awarded both after the death of the honorand or, less often, during his lifetime, as was the case with Diodoros Pasparos for example.65 However, the use of θεός in the context of a cult for a Roman magistrate is remarkable and remains exceptional. A parallel might come from a dedication of an altar in Zela to a Καλουεῖνος θεός, who has sometimes been identified as Cn. Domitius Calvinus (PIR2 D 139).66 Θεός is also used in an inscription and coins for Theophanes of Mytilene, but all these documents postdate his death in 44 BCE.67 The distinctive terminology of the Theos Tauros of Thespiai might therefore indicate that T. Statilius Taurus became theos after his death, which took place probably shortly after 10 BCE. As Ferrary’s inventory of cults for Roman magistrates shows,68 no such cult starts in the Greek world after the end of the first century BCE, and the cult of the Theos Tauros at Thespiai counts therefore among the last to be established. How long the cult lasted cannot be determined in our documentation. Some personal cults survived beyond Augustus’ reign, such as Flamininus’ at Chalcis, which was still celebrated in Plutarch’s time (Plu., Flam. 16.3–4); but this is an exception, for most of these cults disappeared under Augustus’ influence as we have seen above.

: IThesp 75 (Archives P. Roesch -- HiSoMA (UMR 5189) -- MOM, Lyon)
Fig. 2

: IThesp 75 (Archives P. Roesch -- HiSoMA (UMR 5189) -- MOM, Lyon)

The exact reasons behind the setting up of the cult at Thespiai remain unknown to us. T. Statilius Taurus perhaps intervened with the Roman authorities in favour of the Boiotian free city, and might have obtained privileges for them.69 In Asia Minor in the first century BCE cultic honours were mostly awarded to benefactors who had successfully interceded with the Roman authorities on behalf of their community.70 T. Statilius Taurus appears in our documentation as the personal patron of Polykratides, but he might well have been the patron of the city too, as he was at Cos.71 The fact that freedmen of the Statilii Tauri were established locally indicates that the Roman family was doing business at Thespiai or, perhaps, owned land,72 which would explain the longevity of their relations with the Boiotian city. As one of Augustus’ closest generals with private interests in the city, T. Statilius Taurus would have been an ideal patron for the city. It is therefore also perhaps as a euergetes deeply involved locally, and not just as a distant Roman magistrate who performed a one-off benefaction, that Taurus received cultic honours at Thespiai.

The Statilii Tauri display a strong attachment to Boiotian mythology and topography, as manifested in the names they gave to their slaves and freedmen. These are preserved in the columbarium which the Statilii Tauri erected in the city of Rome for their dependants on the Esquiline.73 The founder of the tomb is thought to be T. Statilius Taurus cos. 11 CE.74 The 429 funerary inscriptions from the monumentum Statiliorum have brought to light a substantial series of names of slaves and freedmen of the Statilii Tauri, among which several reveal a Boiotian flavour.75 At least fifteen are called Eros,76 including one Eros Boeotianus (CIL VI 6436) – although one must not overlook the fact that Eros is the most common slave name in Rome.77 Also attested are one Musaeus, two Musa, one Helico,78 and one Thespius (CIL VI 6523) – perhaps the most original name of the series since it is a unicum in the servile population of Rome. Other names reveal a Boiotian or Theban colour, such as Cebes, Cadmus and Zethus.79 This funerary material cannot be firmly dated and it cannot be determined how long the practice of giving names inspired by Boiotia to slaves and freedmen lasted. The rather distinctive onomastic repertoire nevertheless illustrates a familiarity of the Statilii Tauri with the local mythology and topography, and to some extent sentimental ties with Boiotia.

: IThesp 79 (Archives P. Roesch -- HiSoMA (UMR 5189) -- MOM, Lyon)
Fig. 3

: IThesp 79 (Archives P. Roesch -- HiSoMA (UMR 5189) -- MOM, Lyon)

The ten stones marked θεοῦ Ταύρου provide some additional evidence to complete our dossier (See figs. 2-4). Most of them are small quadrangular blocks measuring only 20–50 cm high.80 They are generally thought to be boundary stones, but the possibility that they are altars has also been raised.81 The Thespian series can only be identified as altars with great difficulty. None of the stones bears any of the typical features of altars, such as crowns, garlands, bucrania, mouldings, or hollow top. Some are only ‘dégrossi’ at the back and/or at the top according to Roesch’s descriptions, suggesting that not all sides were designed to be visible (IThesp 75, 76, 80). The lettering shows a remarkable consistency which might indicate a homogeneous series. The use of the genitive case is not decisive, since both the genitive and dative are attested on altars.82 Overall the shape of the monuments and lettering would be more compatible with a series of boundary stones, which, given their small size, were probably built into the wall of the piece of land it delimited, perhaps a temenos. With as many as ten stones, they represent the largest series of boundary stones found in Boiotia. As for its location, the concentration of the stones around the site of the ancient city suggests that the dedicated land was either urban or peri-urban.83

: IThesp 80 (Archives P. Roesch -- HiSoMA (UMR 5189) -- MOM, Lyon)
Fig. 4

: IThesp 80 (Archives P. Roesch -- HiSoMA (UMR 5189) -- MOM, Lyon)

5 Conclusion

The cult of the Theos Tauros is the only cult for a Roman magistrate attested so far in Boiotia.84 Thespiai, with its well-known pro-Roman record, its status of free city, and its community of negotiatores – the only one of its kind in Boiotia – offered a uniquely fertile ground for the establishment of such a cult. The key factor, however, lies in the role which T. Statilius Taurus, supporter of Augustus and victor at Actium, played at Thespiai, as revealed in our documentation in the settlement of liberti and in the complex relations of clientela with the local elite. The relations between the senatorial family and Thespiai stretch over several generations, a continuity perhaps motivated by commercial interest as we saw above. Augustus and the other victors at Actium, Agrippa and T. Statilius Taurus, received particular attention at Thespiai. The Thespians used their sanctuary of the Muses, which reaches a peak in the early Imperial period as Robinson (2012) demonstrates vividly, as well as their prestigious agones, to establish privileged relations with the Romans. They also displayed a certain interest in Livia, which increased in intensity after the death of Augustus. The multiplication of honours for Romans at Thespiai reveals the strategies developed by the free city to express loyalty towards the Roman authorities. Our epigraphic dossier also illustrates remarkably well how a leading Roman family sponsored a local Boiotian elite, and the reciprocity in their relationships. The cult of the Theos Tauros is to be placed in the context of the aftermath of Actium and might well have served the same purposes as the Imperial cult: the promotion of the city, and perhaps also the self-promotion of the local elite.


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  • 1b

    IThesp 72–80 (see figs. 2–4). One additional stone was discovered in the course of the Thespiai Survey. 

  • 3

    Dionysos was suggested on the basis of the Hesiodic Aspis (104–5), where the Poseidon of Thebes is called ταύρεος Ἐννοσίγαιος (on which see Schachter (1981–94), II 224 s.v. Poseidon (Thebes)). For Dionysos associated with a bull, see for example Plu. Quaest. Gr. 36 and Ath. 11.476 A. On the improbable identification of the Theos Tauros of Thespiai with Dionysos, see the comments by Bérard (1976), 65. Schachter (1981–94), III 53 n. 7 also considers Zeus, on the basis of Moschos, Europa 135, where Zeus is called θεόταυρε. 

  • 4

    See SEG XXV 555, where it is recorded as a dedication. It is also classified in IThesp among dedications to Apollo (IThesp 228). Since the name of the deity appears in the genitive a dedication seems implausible. 

  • 5

    IG VII 3308 (RICIS I 105/0808). For pictures and a recent commentary, see Chandezon (2011), 155–9 with figs. 5–6. The inscription is fragmentary. The name of the dedicant has disappeared, and only a few letters of the names of the deities in the dative are preserved. 

  • 6

    Moretti (1981), 214–16. Roesch seems to have reached the same conclusion independently: see Roesch (1982), 181 n. 180. Moretti has been widely followed: see for example Schachter (1981–94), III s.v. Theos Tauros, and Kajava (1989). 

  • 7

    He may have originated from Lucania, as argued notably by Syme (1939), 237 who has been widely followed. See also Camodeca (1982), 155–6 (with bibliography). For his career, see, besides PIR2, RE IIIA (1929) s.v. Statilius Taurus, 33 ff. (Nagl). His extended family has also been discussed by Benario (1970), slightly outdated. 

  • 8

    LTUR I s.v. Amphitheatrum Statilii Tauri. 

  • 9

    Respectively PIR2 S 855, cos. 11 CE and PIR2 S 851, cos. 16 CE. The latter also appears as Sisenna Statilius Taurus. The praenomen Sisenna is discussed notably by Salomies (1987), 329 and Solin (1989), 254–5. 

  • 10

    On Messala Corvinus, see Syme (1986), 200–26. 

  • 11

    Paus 9.27.3. It is unclear whether Statilia Messalina accompanied her husband to Greece or not, and whether Nero actually visited Thespiai. On these questions see among others Hahn (1994), 224 n. 36 with all references, and Halfmann (1986), 173–4. 

  • 12

    See the recent stemma in PIR2 p. 322. 

  • 13

    These hypotheses are summarised in Hasegawa (2005), 12. The IIIvir monetalis is known only from coins minted under Augustus in c. 8 BCE (RIC I2 423–5). Syme (1986), 376–7 and n. 54 argues against the identification of the IIIvir monetalis as the father of the consuls of 11 and 16 CE, and opts for ‘an elder brother (perhaps by a different mother)’. Wiseman (1971), 150 n. 4, 263 no. 413 identifies him with the consul of 11 CE. Cf. also the relevant entries in PIR2 and the corresponding stemma no. 20 p. 322. 

  • 14

    SEG XLIII 558: ὁ δᾶμος ἐτίμασε Τίτον Στατείλιον | Τίτου υἱὸν Ταῦρον, τὸν ἁτοῦ πάτρωνα | καὶ εὐεργέταν ἀρετᾶς ἕνεκα καὶ εὐνοίας | τᾶς ἐς αὐτόν; SEG XLIII 559: ὁ δᾶμος ἐτίμασε Κορνηλίαν | τὰν Τίτου Στατιλίου Ταύρου | γυναῖκα, τοῦ πάτρωνος τᾶς πόλιος. For pictures and a discussion of the texts see the editio princeps in Höghammar (1993) 52, 165–6 nos. 55–6, figs. 23–4. See also Thériault (2009). A T. Statilius Taurus was honoured in a similar fashion at Megara in IG VII 86: ἡ βουλὴ καὶ ὁ δῆμος | Τίτον Στατίλιον Ταῦρον | ἀρετῆς ἕνεκεν | καὶ εὐεργεσίας. This honorand is also thought to be T. Statilius Taurus cos. 11 CE or cos. 44: see Kajava (1989), 146, who opts for the cos. suff. 37, ord. II 26. T. Statilius Taurus is not honoured anywhere else in Greece. 

  • 15

    See Eilers (2002), 212 no. C42. Syme (1939), 302 and n. 4 evoked the possibility that Taurus became governor of Macedonia, but this remains a conjecture. 

  • 16

    The Thespian provenance was suggested first by Foucart (1882), 19 and developed later by Hatzfeld (1919), 69 and Roesch (1982), 175 who adds in IThesp that the inscription was found in Thebes along with other stones from Thespiai. 

  • 17

    See among others the comments by Roesch (1982), 175 and n. 148, as well as Kantiréa (2007), 167. Schachter (1990), 108 suggests that the stone perhaps ‘marked the celebration of the Mouseia and Erotideia held soon after the death of Augustus and the elevation of Livia’. 

  • 18

    Prof. A. Lintott kindly suggested that the urban tribe Palatina may indicate that two Castricii brothers were perhaps descended from freedmen, too. On the Castricii in Boiotia and in Thespiai in particular, see Müller (1996), 162–3. 

  • 19

    Roesch (1982), 175 (apparatus criticus) and n. 147. See also Kajava (1989), 143 who notes the rarity of the combination ‘Cn. Statilius’. A [C]n. Statilius was associated with the columbarium of the Statilii Tauri by Caldelli and Ricci (1999), 143 no. 47 (An. Ép. 1999 no. 386). 

  • 20

    On Livia in this inscription, see Jones (1970), 250–5; Schachter (1981–94), II 145 and n. 3 and 175 no. XV (SEG XXXVI 478); Roesch (1982), 181 no. 2. For Livia as a goddess or a personification in Greek honorific inscriptions, see the full catalogue by Hahn (1994), 322–34 (97 entries) and discussion 38–53. On such identifications, see, among others, Veyne (1962), 52–6. 

  • 21

    Moretti (1981), 214; cf. BE 1981 no. 284. 

  • 22

    Their current location is unknown. Y. Kalliontzis kindly confirms that they have not been brought to the Museum of Thebes. An expedition in the Valley of the Muses in August 2012 with Profs. A. Snodgrass and J. Bintliff seems to indicate that they are no longer where Paul Roesch saw them. Both original photographs and squeezes taken by Paul Roesch were examined in Lyon in November 2010, along with his notebooks. The photographs of the stones are too poor to be reproduced in this publication. 

  • 23

    Such as IThesp 400 and 401 (both from the same monument), and 404. IThesp 397 (for Sulla) is slightly more elaborate since the ἀρετή, ἀνδραγαθία and εὔνοια of the honorand are mentioned. 

  • 24

    See among others Veyne’s discussion based on a case study from Tanagra (Veyne (1962), 64–7). 

  • 25

    IThesp 342, 350, 353 and 474. IThesp 401 bis reused dedications to the Muses (IThesp 400 and 401). One of the two fragments of the statue base for Caesar (IThesp 420, with a restored dedication to the Gods), was found in Haghia Trias in the Valley of the Muses by Jamot in 1888 or 1889. 

  • 26

    The proxeny decrees IThesp 2 and 19. See Étienne and Knoepfler (1976), 160 and n. 487 (discussion of the provenance of IThesp 19 and 353 only, and further examples from Boiotia). The bulk of the Thespian dedications to the gods were found in the vicinity of the site of the ancient city, mostly in the Byzantine kastro (IThesp 343, 346–8, 358, 367 (restored), 368, 376, 388, 396, 399, 403, 406, and 412). At Erimokastro: IThesp 345 and probably 436; village of Tachi (south of Thebes): IThesp 374; undetermined provenance: IThesp 351. 

  • 27

    D.C. 52.42.3 οὗτοι μὲν οὖν ἑκούσιοι δῆθεν ἰδιώτευσαν, Κύιντον δὲ δὴ Στατίλιον καὶ πάνυ ἄκοντα τῆς δημαρχίας, ἐς ἣν ἀπεδέδεικτο, εἶρξεν. On the various purges of the Senate by Augustus, see Res Gestae Divi Augusti 8.2 with their recent commentaries by Scheid (2007), 39–40 and Cooley (2009), 138–9. 

  • 28

    Heiter (1909), 54–5; see also, among others, Syme (1939), 382 n. 9; Scheid (2007), 39. 

  • 29

    Cf. Heiter (1909), 54; Wiseman (1971), 172. 

  • 30

    Rapke (1988). 

  • 31

    His article did not appear in time to be considered by Meyer Reinhold for his commentary of Cassius Dio’s books 49–52 published the same year. PIR2 mentions his proposal only very briefly (PIR2 S 814), and does not record it in the stemma p. 322 

  • 32

    Cf. PIR2 S 814. However Salomies (1987), 164 n. 420 records that 111 Statilii are called Titus in CIL VI, while 25 bear another praenomen. The praenomen Lucius might have been in use: see Nicolet (1974), 1026–7 no. 329. 

  • 33

    See Swan (2004), 33–4, 39–40. 

  • 34

    Eilers (1996), 221–2. 

  • 35

    Respectively PIR1 V 93 and PIR2 A 1488. On the two brothers, see also Syme (1978), 117–34. On Ovid and Cotta Maximus: 125–8. Preference for the elder brother as the recipient of the enkomion is expressed in An.Ép. 1974 no. 602 and Kantiréa (2007), 167 and n. 2. Undecided between the two brothers: Schachter (1981–94), III 54, followed by Manieri (2009), 408. 

  • 36

    M. Valerius Messala Corvinus translated Hyperides’ speech in defense of Phryne, who was from Thespiai. Schachter (1990), 108 suggests that Messala Corvinus could have found the original of the speech at Thespiai. He was also one of the victors at Actium, who, as we saw, were honoured at Thespiai. However no inscription besides IThesp 174 mentions members of the Messala family at Thespiai. 

  • 37

    IThesp 422–3 for the texts. See the study of the monument by Rose (1997), 13–14, 149–50, including a discussion on the date. The devotion of the Thespians to Livia was already noted by Schachter (1990), 8. 

  • 38

    For the identification of the Σεβαστή as Livia and not Julia, and a discussion on the poet, see Jones (1970), 250–5. See also the commentary to IThesp 424 for a list of alternative identifications with bibliographic references. For Honestus at Thespiai, see Robert (1946), 13–14 and Jones (2004), 93–5. 

  • 39

    IThesp 376–7: Μουσήων καὶ Σεβαστῆς Ἰουλίας. 

  • 40

    Moretti (1981) proposed a date around 20 CE. Kantiréa (2007), 169 suggests that the games named after her might have commemorated her apotheosis in 41/2 CE, or her death in 29 CE. The fact that she does not appear as θεά at Thespiai – a term routinely used for her in Greece already under Tiberius, see Hahn (1994), 38–42, 322–6 – rather suggests that Livia was still alive when her games were celebrated in the Boiotian city. See below, where a date in the beginning of the reign of Tiberius will be argued. 

  • 41

    Corinth VIII/1 19. See also Hahn (1994), 38–9, and for the date Kajava (2002). 

  • 42

    IThesp 177–9. The fact that the Emperor and the Muses are praised both in enkomia and poems shows that at the Thespian Mouseia enkomia were in prose. IThesp 175 also registers an enkomion for Eros and the Romans, and a second for the Muses. 

  • 43

    The two Messalinus brothers were still alive at the beginning of the 20s CE: see among others Syme (1978), 129 and 131. 

  • 44

    See, among others, Schachter (1981–94), III 54 and (1990), 108, as well as Kantiréa (2007), 167. Others are undecided between the two consuls of 11 and 16 CE: Moretti (1981), 215 (cf. BE 1981 no. 284), Manieri (2009), 408. 

  • 45

    Kajava (1989), 146, followed notably PIR2. 

  • 46

    For portraits of patrons in the Republic, see Tanner (2000), particularly 36–40 for honorific statues of Romans in Greece. For patrons and patronage, see, besides Eilers (2002), Nicols (1990), Ferrary (1997b), and Canali de Rossi (2001). For a survey of the term ‘patron’ in Greek inscriptions, see Ferrary (1997a), 208–12. 

  • 47

    See the fundamental article by Jones (1970). On this Polykratides see among others Kajava (1989), 144–5 and Kantiréa (2007), 167–8. 

  • 48

    A high date in the first century BCE is favoured by Kajava (1989), 145, following Roesch’s examination of the lettering. Kantiréa (2007), 168 opts for the end of the first century BCE or the beginning of the first century CE. 

  • 49

    IThesp 373: Ῥωμαῖοι οἱ πραγματευόμενοι ἐν Θεσ|πιαῖς Πολυκρατίδην Ἀνθεμίωνος | πρῶτον ἀναθέντα καὶ αὑτοῖς γυ|μνάσιον καὶ ἄλιμμα διὰ βίου. 

  • 50

    As argued notably by Kajava (1989), 145. 

  • 51

    Schachter (1981–94), III 54 and n. 2 who points to the parallel of the dedication of a statue of Flavia Domitilla as Tyche by a woman who appears to be her priestess (IG VII 572: ἡ ἱέρεια Ἀλεξὼ Ἡ|ρακλᾶ Φλ(αβίαν) Δομίτιλ|λαν Τύχην τοῖς θε|οῖς καὶ τῇ πόλει). See also Veyne (1962), 58–64 with further parallels, and Müller (2002), 100, who seems to have reached the same conclusion as Schachter independently. 

  • 52

    See IThesp 374 and the commentary by Kantiréa (2007), 168. Cf. also Jones (1970), 244. 

  • 53

    See Jones (1970), 235 no. 16 

  • 54

    See Jones (1970), 226 and stemma p. 231. 

  • 55

    See Manieri (2009), 408. 

  • 56

    Several members of the extended family of Polykratides are known to have been agonothetai at Thespiai: his son Lysandros (IThesp 374 and perhaps IThesp 188, the games at which Tiberius won, cf. SEG XLIV 420), Phileinos son of Mondon (IThesp 269), and T. Flavius Ariston (IThesp 177; see Manieri (2009) Thes. 43 and p. 411). Another relative, T. Flavius Mondon son of Ariston receives a statue from the enkomiastai (IThesp 382–3; see also Roesch (1982), 178–82). 

  • 57

    Corinth VIII/3 153 l. 9–10: [carmina ad Iulia]m Diva[m Au]g(ustam) virgi[numque certame]n institutit, if one follows Kajava in seeing there Cn. Cornelius Pulcher instead of the local L. Castricius Regulus as originally argued by Kent (see Kajava (2002)). See also Corinth VIII/1 19 mentioned above. 

  • 58

    Schachter and Marchand (2012), 292–4 no. 5 (with picture), dated to 86 or 87 CE. 

  • 59

    RPC II nos. 266–74. 

  • 60

    See the list of cults for Roman magistrates established by Ferrary (1997a) appendix 2, which registers the use of theos only for Caesar, and Mark Antony and Octavia. For a full study of the word theos in a Greek religious context see Price (1984). For theos and Hellenistic rulers see Habicht (1970), 156 n. 75. 

  • 61

    See for example the priests of Μ. Aquillius at Pergamon (IGR IV 292 l. 39), P. Servilius Isauricus at Ephesus (IEph 702 l. 6–8 and IEph 3066 l. 6–7), M. Iunius Silanus at Chalcis (IG XII.2 916 l. 4), and L. Munatius Plancus, C. Marcius Censorinus, and M. Vinicius at Mylasa (respectively IMylasa 135 l. 2, IMylasa 341 l. 5–7, and Ferrary (1997a), 218 n. 48). 

  • 62

    Ferrary (1997a), appendix 2 no. 12: Γάϊος Ἰούλιος Καῖσαρ αὐτοκράτωρ | θεός at Demetrias (SEG XIV 454); at Karthaia: ὁ δῆμος ὁ Καρθαιέων | τὸν θεὸν καὶ αὐτοκράτορα | καὶ σωτῆρα τῆς οἰκουμένης | Γάϊον Ἰούλιον Καίσαρα Γαΐου | Καίσαρος υἱὸν ἀνέθηκεν (IG XII.5 557; the last two probably after Thapsus: see Raubitschek (1954), 74 n. 26). For Caesar’s cult in Italy and the provinces, see Weinstock (1971), 401–10. See also Gradel (2002), 54–72. 

  • 63

    Cassius Dio 56.25.6. 

  • 64

    See Price (1984). 

  • 65

    For a detailed discussion of cultic honours for benefactors in Asia Minor, see Strubbe (2004). 

  • 66

    IGR III 108: Καλουείνῳ | θεῷ | Φίλων. See Olshausen (1990), 1880. 

  • 67

    Syll.3 753 (assimilated to Zeus Eleutherios); RPC I 2342. See Buraselis (1999). 

  • 68

    Ferrary (1997a) appendix 2, gathering 19 examples. 

  • 69

    The only hypothesis so far was proposed by Ferrary (1997a) appendix 2 no. 18, who evokes a possible ‘retour à l’ordre après la très dure période des guerres civiles’. 

  • 70

    See Strubbe (2004). 

  • 71

    Three patrons have been identified by Eilers (2002) nos. C24-C26 for the city of Thespiai, of whom only one is secure. These are probably L. Caninius Gallus (see IThesp 399) and Julius Caesar (cf. IThesp 420, where both his name and the term patron are restored), and M. Licinius Crassus cos. 30 BCE and proconsul of Macedonia probably in 29–28 BCE (IThesp 403). 

  • 72

    See Kantiréa (2007), 167 n. 5, and also Alcock (1993), 75–7. Robinson (2012), 238 n. 68 suggests that T. Statilius Taurus might have been granted land at Thespiai by Octavian in the aftermath of Actium. 

  • 73

    See Caldelli and Ricci (1999), Hasegawa (2005). 

  • 74

    Hasegawa (2005), 11. 

  • 75

    As demonstrated by Schachter (1981–94), III 53 n. 8 and Schachter (1990), 107. 

  • 76

    CIL VI 6215 (see also CIL VI 6217), 6224–5, 6246, 6274, 6276, 6281, 6299, 6368, 6435–6, 6510, 6533, 6535, and 6577. 

  • 77

    See Solin (2001), 312 and 316, who counts 357 occurrences solely in Rome. 

  • 78

    Respectively CIL VI 6215 (see also CIL VI 6217), CIL VI 6350 and 6489, and CIL VI 6221. Μοῦσα, Μουσαῖος and Ἑλικών are all well-attested Greek personal names. The latter, although it derives from the Boiotian mountain (cf. Bechtel (1917), 554), is not attested in Boiotia (cf. LGPN III.B). These three names are not uncommon in the servile population of Rome: Solin registered eleven Musaeus, 63 Musa and eight Helico (Solin (1996) s.vv.). 

  • 79

    Respectively CIL VI 6271, 6366 and 6391. As many as 54 slaves named Zethus are recorded in Rome, see Solin (1996) s.v. 

  • 80

    Some are smaller, such as IThesp 78 and 80 (fig. 4), which are only 15 cm high, but the latter is broken. IThesp 74 is the upper part of a stele with pediment. IThesp 73 is also fragmentary. 

  • 81

    Müller (2002), 96, probably following J. and L. Robert, BE 1981 no. 284. The identification as altars has already been dismissed by P. Roesch, however, without detailed arguments (see introduction to IThesp 410). For series of very small altars, sometimes only 30 cm high, see Veyne (1962), 72–3. For the 94 small altars for Hadrian at Athens IG II2 3324–80, see Benjamin (1963). 

  • 82

    Dative: IThesp 435 and IG VII 2851 (for Hadrian; for the identification of the monuments as altars see Benjamin (1963), 77). Genitive: the altar for Apollo mentioned above (IThesp 228), and probably IThesp 81, although it is classified among boundary stones in IThesp. On the use of both cases in altars, see Benjamin and Raubitschek (1959), 68 n. 20. 

  • 83

    IThesp 72 and 77 were re-used in houses at Erimokastro. IThesp 72 might have been copied at Erimokastro by Dodwell in 1805 before the medieval village moved to the newer site on the hill at the beginning of the 19th century. In that case the stone was located in the vicinity of Hagios Athanasios, like IThesp 80 (fig. 4). IThesp 74–6 were found by Jamot in 1891 in the Byzantine Kastro (IThesp 75: see fig. 2). Three were built into fountains, at Barbaka (IThesp 73), west of Barbaka (IThesp 78) and Xiro Vrisi (the latter was discovered during the Thespiai Survey). Finally IThesp 79 (fig. 3) was discovered by Roesch in 1972 at Toumboutsi in the vicinity of the temple of Apollo excavated by Jamot in 1890. I thank Prof. Albert Schachter, who was present at the time of discovery, for confirming the findspot. 

  • 84

    See the full list by Ferrary (1997a), appendix 2. Two are attested in neighbouring Euboia, for T. Quinctius Flamininus at Chalcis and for L. Mummius at Eretria (see nos. 1 and 2 in Ferrary’s list). These are the two earliest cults for Roman magistrates in the Greek world. 

About the article

Fabienne Marchand

Published Online: 2013-11-01

Published in Print: 2013-11-01

Citation Information: Journal of Ancient History, Volume 1, Issue 2, Pages 145–169, ISSN (Online) 2324-8114, ISSN (Print) 2324-8106, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jah-2013-0009.

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