Saturday, November 07, 2015


An Inscription from Phlius

Richard Wünsch (1869-1915) first used the terms apopompē ( ἀποπομπή) and epipompē (ἐπιπομπή) to describe two different ways of banishing evil. See his "Zur Geisterbannung im Altertum," Festschrift zur Jahrhundertfeier der Universität zu Breslau = Mitteilungen der Schlesischen Gesellschaft für Volkskunde 13/14 (1911) 9-32. Wünsch used apopompē to mean simply driving away evil, epipompē to mean driving away evil onto someone or something else or to some other specific location.

There is an example of epipompē in lines 2-4 of an inscription from Phlius (Inscriptiones Graecae IV 444). Perhaps the inscription is an imprecation against tomb violators. I can't find a discussion or a translation of the inscription anywhere, so here is my own tentative translation (omitting the first, fragmentary line):
And whatever you do to this one [or, in this place], may it be turned against you; this is our prayer for you. If [you do] something willingly, it is not mine to invoke requital; but the avenging, unyielding judgement of Nemesis hangs over you even as you depart. [— — — — — — —] Aristomenes [— —] always and everywhere strength to [your] mind or heart.
Here is the entire inscription, from the Packard Humanities Institute's Searchable Greek Inscriptions:

[— — — — —] τ̣ις Ι[— —]
καὶ ὅτι ἂν ποιῇς τῶ[ιδε],
εἰς σεαυτὸν τρεπέ[σθω]·
ταῦτά σοι εὐχόμεθ[α].
εἰ δέ τι ἑκών, ἐξαμ[οιβὴν]        5
οὐκ ἐμὸν ἐπαράσα[σθαι]·
δίκη δὲ ἐπικρέματα[ί σοι]
τιμωρὸς ἀπελθόντ̣[ι περ]
ἀπειθὴς Νεμέσε[ως].
          {²vacat 0,07}²
[— — — — — — —]        10
Ἀριστ̣ομ[ε]ν[— —]
ἀεὶ κα<ὶ> <π>ανταχοῦ̣
μέ[ν]ο[ς θ]υμῷ ἢ κα[ρδίᾳ(?)]
I don't find ἐξαμοιβή (line 5) in Liddell-Scott-Jones, but ἀμοιβή means recompense, requital.

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