The Kalindoia Inscription

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system1988
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The Kalindoia Inscription

Post by system1988 »

Hi all

It is known that inscriptive evidence of Alexander is scarse due to the fact that did not survive to the modern age or are yet to be found. I believe that this particular inscrpition (see link: http://s1246.photobucket.com/albums/gg6 ... scription/ ) "The Kalindoia inscription" is not so known to the public, thus I thought I might post it here.

It was found in the ancient city of Kalindoia area (Halkidiki)- see the map in the album). The first half of it was given to the State by civilians who found it in 1982 and by a very lucky coincidence, the lower part was found in an excavation (1983). Today we have the entire incrpition that dates back to 334 BC to 303 BC. According to the text the priest Agathanor dedicated the stele that carries the inscription to Apollo, Kalindoia's main diety with the names of 30, in total, priests of Asclepios, of which six are mentioned before and the remaining 23 after his own name (line 16).

The catalogue's starting date is the year 334/333 BCE, thus when King Alexander the Great bestowed the city of Kalindoia upon the Macedonians, together with the nearby areas, i.e, Thamiskia, Kamakaea and Tripoatis or incorporated the city into the Macedonian Kingdom.

Agathnanor, son of Agathon who
was priest in the Asclepios temple
dedicated to Apollo (this stele)
These are the names of the priests
from when King Alexander gave
to the Macedonians Kalindoia
and the
areas near it (meaning) Thamiskia,
Kamakaea, Tripoatis: Sivras, son
of Irodoros, Troilos son of Antigonos,
Kalias son of Apollonios, Ikotas son of
Girtos, Igisipos son of Nikoxenos,
Likourgos son of Nikanor, Agathanor
son of Agathon
, Menelaus son of
Menandros, Antigonos son of Menandros,
Antimenon son of Menandros,
Kratipos son of Evritios, Gilis son of
Evritios, Kanun son of Assa(...)mikos,
Kertimas son of Krithon, Filotas son
of Leonidas, Ptolemmas son of M(...),
Mias son of Filiskos, Amerias son
of Kidias, Pason son of Skitis, Filagros
son of Menander, Gidias son of Krithon,
Filoksenos son of E(...), Perdikas son
of Amadiskos, Nikanor son of
Nikanor, Nikanor son of Sosos,
Badis son of Astion, Antifanes son
of Sos(...), Parmenion son of
Al(...), Glaukias son of Davrias,
Arpalos son Fa(...)

A few observations: One can easy udnerstand that some names are not Greek due to the mixes of the tribes in that area (Kanun for example) .

Now a question: Alexander gives Kalidnoia to Macedonia just before he crosses Ellispondos. Obviously the taking of the city must have been completed without any blooshed because I cannot recall any battles or sieges happening at the time. Can any of you help me to place this action of Alexander (did he maybe give these areas to his friends?) into a more solid historical context?

Best regards to all

Pauline
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lysis56
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Re: The Kalindoia Inscription

Post by lysis56 »

Absolutely fascinating! I'm so glad you posted this. I was wondering about some of the names, thanks for the explaination. Re your question of when the city was granted to Macedonia. I believe that just before Alexander left for Asia he divided up all "spear won land" and his private lands, between his friends in exchange for funds for the expedition. This city may well have been part of his legacy, since everything conquered in battle, or won by the King was considered his property. I recall this little segment of Alexander history because there is the little story that Perdikkas generously gives him the money he needed but apparently refused the land Alexander offered in exchange. Further there is a little tale that goes one of two ways, I've seen it written as both, that either Perdikkas asks him what he will have left for himself if he gives away all his legacy, land, etc., and Alexander is said to have replied that he would have his hopes. I've also seen this passage written that Alexander asks what he will have left after he has given all his land away and Perdikkas replies that Alexander will have his hopes. Either way it is an interesting story, it says a lot about Perdikkas' character. Again, this is a wonderful piece of info.

Lysis
agesilaos
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Re: The Kalindoia Inscription

Post by agesilaos »

I wonder if the dating doesn't just rest on the mention of Alexander, there were two other Macedonian kings called Alexander and the letter forms look more 5th Century than late 4th, though this may be an artefact of its provenance, Macedonia being more backward than the south. I am fairly sure Alexander I Philhellene did expand in this area.

In any case this is not the case of the king giving his property to his friends as in the Perdikkas story, but of attaching the surrounding pastoral land and its peasantry to the city, which he had presumably just founded; something of a regular occurence as cities needed the produce of the hinterland to survive.
When you think about, it free-choice is the only possible option.
system1988
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Re: The Kalindoia Inscription

Post by system1988 »

lysis56 wrote:Absolutely fascinating! I'm so glad you posted this. I was wondering about some of the names, thanks for the explaination. Re your question of when the city was granted to Macedonia. I believe that just before Alexander left for Asia he divided up all "spear won land" and his private lands, between his friends in exchange for funds for the expedition. This city may well have been part of his legacy, since everything conquered in battle, or won by the King was considered his property. I recall this little segment of Alexander history because there is the little story that Perdikkas generously gives him the money he needed but apparently refused the land Alexander offered in exchange. Further there is a little tale that goes one of two ways, I've seen it written as both, that either Perdikkas asks him what he will have left for himself if he gives away all his legacy, land, etc., and Alexander is said to have replied that he would have his hopes. I've also seen this passage written that Alexander asks what he will have left after he has given all his land away and Perdikkas replies that Alexander will have his hopes. Either way it is an interesting story, it says a lot about Perdikkas' character. Again, this is a wonderful piece of info.

Lysis
I am glad to find out that you liked it! Inscriptions are truly a direct evidence of the past. If it indeed refers to Alexander The Great it gives us an insight to his actions as a 20 year old, before he went to Asia.
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system1988
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Re: The Kalindoia Inscription

Post by system1988 »

agesilaos wrote:I wonder if the dating doesn't just rest on the mention of Alexander, there were two other Macedonian kings called Alexander and the letter forms look more 5th Century than late 4th, though this may be an artefact of its provenance, Macedonia being more backward than the south. I am fairly sure Alexander I Philhellene did expand in this area.

In any case this is not the case of the king giving his property to his friends as in the Perdikkas story, but of attaching the surrounding pastoral land and its peasantry to the city, which he had presumably just founded; something of a regular occurence as cities needed the produce of the hinterland to survive.
I have the same questions in my mind, meaning, where did the historians found the criteria according to which they gave the stele its date. Truth be told, I haven't exactly "done my homework": I have not read the excavation report nor the bibliography behind it (Vokotopoulou 1982, BullEpigr. 1988, Hammond 1988 etc) The first letters of the first lines however, indeed seem to be dated back to the 5th BC. So it may indeed refer to Alexander the Philhellene. This would also be great news indeed because we also lack evidence for him.

I shall do my homework...and be back.
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hiphys
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Re: The Kalindoia Inscription

Post by hiphys »

I think that the dating of this inscription, as reported by the book (334-305 BC.), is quite exact, for many reasons:
1) It seems this alphabet is written according to the 'reform of Eucleides', that took place in 403\2 BC.
In this alphabet there was a place for 'omega', H was the letter for long \e\, and so on, while in old Attic alphabet (prior to this dating) there were no signs for long \o\; lambda had the form of our L and gamma of normal lambda.
2) In the second place, in this inscription letters like 'omicron', or 'theta' are smaller than the same letters in 5th century inscriptions. On the other side, the 'pi' has the second leg shorter than the first, and we know that only in full II century BC.the two legs of 'pi' were level.
It's impossible therefore, the Alexander mentioned in the inscription were the I. There is only a slight possibility that it's a matter of Alexander II (brother of Philip II), but his short reign (370-368) was marked only by an improductive intervention in Thessaly: no Chalcidice at all!
After all it's safer to attribute this inscription to the age of Alexander III, whether at the beginning of his reign or at the end (or even after Alexander was dead) I don't know. But we must remember Cassander interests were all around Chalcidice: he founded Thessalonice and imprisoned Roxane and her son at Amphipolis, although he proclaimed himself king only from 305 BC.
lysis56
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Re: The Kalindoia Inscription

Post by lysis56 »

Just a little question to satisfy my curiosity. With reference to Alexander I Philhellene - the capital would still have been in Agai in those days rather than Pella? Also, does anyone know of any sources for more information on Alexander I Philhellene. I know very little about him and would like to know more, or at least what is in existence.

Thanks, Lysis
agesilaos
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Re: The Kalindoia Inscription

Post by agesilaos »

Interesting points Hiphys, but Eukleides' reform was not the introduction of newly invented letters (as we find on Claudian inscriptions, for example) but the adoption of the Ionic alphabet by Athens. The Chalkidike was part of the Ionic speaking Greek World so one would expect the Ionic alphabet to be used. Inspection of the stone, or rather its photo shows that the letter-cutter is quite eclectic when it comes to the sizes of his letters, consider the omicra in Philoxenos, line 35, they are as large as the other letters.

That said there are four-bar sigmai, which are said to have come in c445, though all the discussions are of Attic evidence. Not only that there are at least thirty priests between King Alexander and the inscription so that the event it mentions could belong as early as 475 and still have 445 letter forms.

It does not seem to be in Ionic though, the masculine singular genetive should be oio rather than ou, but i have only cast a cursory eye over a Greek Grammar from google, and it uses terms that leave me quite baffled when it comes to the morphology; I shall look into it.

This does not mean i think you are wrong, by the way, the archaeological context might have provided a date range; all it means is that I am a pedant and just as Alex II seems wrong, the area ought to have been long settled by Alex III, though, as you point out it may be an action 'in his name' rather than directly by him.

Just had a look at the transcript and they give a digamma at the start of line 35, which would boost an early date, however the picture is unclear and it might be a xi, compare with that of Philoxenos four lines above. It would have to start in the left hand margin though. It is not rounded enough for a beta as system 1988 has rendered it, IMHO
When you think about, it free-choice is the only possible option.
hiphys
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Re: The Kalindoia Inscription

Post by hiphys »

I never wrote that Eukleides' reform intoduced newly invented letters, but rather that Athens adopted Ionic alphabet: here omega and H as long \e\ were characteristic features.
As for masculine singular genetive in Ionic prose inscriptions is never -oio, but -o (long): the former feature occurs only in Homeric, or archaic, poetry, see for instance an inscriptions from Sigeum (early six century B.C.,C.D.Buck, The Greek Dialects, The University of Chicago press 1955 (Midway reprint 1973),pp.184-185: this book is very precious for overall assessment of Greek dialects, their phonology, grammar, inflection, and syntax).
As for the alleged digamma in line 35, the picture is too dark to see it; on the other side, the omicron in the same line 35 is the only large one among a lot of very small omicrons.
agesilaos
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Re: The Kalindoia Inscription

Post by agesilaos »

Apologies for seeming to imply that you had said that Eukleides’ reform was the introduction of newly invented letters, that ‘but’ was not meant to mean you had said that merely that had that been the case the point would be valid, however, since the Chalkidike was in the Ionian dialect area it is not significant to find Ionian letters in an inscription from there. The reform is only dating evidence for inscriptions from Attica.

I bow to your superior knowledge re the Ionian genitive case; are all those endings Attic exclusively? I think the –ou is but there are several –os my Greek is a bit too rusty, as you can probably tell. There is also that Ptolemmas in line 25 could that be a dialect form of Ptolemaios or just a different name?

Looking at the omicra I see three sizes small (ie.significantly smaller than the letter next to it), medium (slightly smaller eg the same size as the inner two bars of an adjacent sigma) and large (same size as surrounding letters)

Line small med large
1-5 too unclear
6 1 - 1
7 - - 1
8 1 - 1
9 1 - -
10 2 - -
11 1 1 1
12 1 1 -
13 - 2 -
14 1 1 1
15 4 - -
16 1 1 1
17 1 - -
18 2 - -
19 - - -
20 1 - 1
21 - - -
22 1 - -
23 - - 1
24 - - -
25 1 - -
26 - - -
27 - - -
28 - - 1
29 - - 1
30 - - 1
31 - - 2
32-37 too unclear
38
39 - - 1
TOT 19 6 14

Quite what interpretation to put upon the raw data is impossible for me to say without analysing a large number of dated inscriptions from the region. I have been unable to find any squeezes online. Maybe someone can suggest a site.

Another thought occurs to me; the stelai represents 30 priesthoods and hence at least thirty years yet there is no mention of any other king but Alexander. It is only a weak point but it might indicate all the priesthoods fell in one reign, only the Philhellene would suit that; there is no reason why they would indicate a change of regime, I suppose.

On a different note I was looking at A History of Ancient Greek: From the Beginnings to Late Antiquity by A.-F. Christidis do you or anyone else happen to know if it is a worthwhile purchase.
When you think about, it free-choice is the only possible option.
system1988
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Re: The Kalindoia Inscription

Post by system1988 »

It is impossible for me to answer about the inscription right now, i have an unexpected excavation on the way.
Yes the book is very good ( but not for inexperiencend)
Best regards
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hiphys
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Re: The Kalindoia Inscription

Post by hiphys »

I apololgize for being unable to explain myself.
There are two kinds of questions in this inscription.
1) Is it Ionic or Attic or neither?
2) Which century does the inscription belong to: V or IV B.C.?

1) The first question is related very strictly to the second: if the inscription is Ionic, the alphabet ought to be the same in V or IV century, except the form of the letters. If, on the contrary is Attic, it ought to have some letters different. The main question then is: which dialect is more common in Chalcidice? Chalcidice was occupied by Athenians very early, so even in V century it was ALMOST Attic-speaking;"of all dialects it is Ionic which shows the first signs of Attic influence and the first to lose its identity as a distinct dialect"...."It is this Attic...in some aspects modified by Ionic, that the Macedonians took up and spread, which is henceforth termed the KOINH, or more specifically, the Attic KOINH"(C.D.Buck,The Greek Dialects, Chicago 1973, p. 176).
2) The second question is more simple: inscriptions of V century (whether Attic or Ionic) have the genetive masculine singular written only -O (a long vowel which came from contraction or compensative lenghtening, Buck, p.28). Inscriptions of IV century have the same masculine singular genetive ( or even the same combination of long vowel which came from contraction or compensative lenghtening), with two letters -OY in Attic; but in Amphipolis we have -O (long) in an inscription of 357 B.C., but in the same year we find in another inscription from Amphipolis both the form with (rare), and without Y (Cf Buck , p. 193:"Amphipolis was a colony of Athens, but the population was mixed, Cf Thuc.4.102 ff. At this time evidently the Chalcidian element predominated").
So it seems to me that the Kalindoia inscription is more probably written in the Attic alphabet used AFTER the Eukleides' reform.

As to the 35 priests' nouns that occur after Alexander's, if we presume that it was written in 305 B.C., the account is almost correct.

As for Ptolemmas I think it is a short or familiar form of Ptolemaios (as Iollas is of Iolaos), rather than a different name.
Sorry but I don't know the book of A.-F.Christidis!
agesilaos
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Re: The Kalindoia Inscription

Post by agesilaos »

The genitives settle it, whatever the alphabet; the ou form is later than any possible inscription relating to Alexander I, the Perdikkas II treaty (IG I3 89) still uses the O form and that may be as late as 421, but since you can't search by date or century on PHI, I will graciously take your word for it.
When you think about, it free-choice is the only possible option.
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