Tuesday, July 08, 2008


Protection of Sacred Groves

Thanks very much to Professor David Whitehead for the following email (links added):
Dear Mr Gilleland,

Your recent posting on this subject put me in mind of an Athenian inscription (late fourth century BC) that I once had occasion to study: the edict of the priest of Apollo Erithaseos. (In conjunction with the secular arm, both "national" and local, he prescribes what will happen to offenders, slave or free, in this regard.)

Googling that deity's name then brought up Aslak Rostad, Human Transgression - Divine Retribution: a study of religious transgressions and punishments in Greek cultic regulations and Lydian-Phrygian reconciliation inscriptions (diss. Bergen, undated). At pp.118-122 Rostad briefly discusses a total of 9 documents that bear upon this topic.

The invaluable Dr Google also came up with a full on-line text of: M.P.J.Dillon, 'The ecology of the Greek sanctuary', ZPE 118 (1997) 113-127.

With best wishes,

David Whitehead
There is also a full on-line text of Rostad's dissertation (see the link above), from which I excerpt the following list of documents (p. 119):
1) LSCG 37, Attica, 4th century BC; Apollo Erithaseos.
2) LSCG 84, Korope (Magnesia, Thessaly); ca. 100 BC, Apollo Koropaios.
3) LSCG 91, Euboia, 4th century; Apollo.
4) LSCG 111, Paros, late 5th century BC; the name of the deity is damaged.
5) LSCG 116, Chios, 4th century BC; the name of the deity is not mentioned.
6) LSCG 148, Gortyn (Crete), 3rd century BC; the name of the deity is damaged.
7) LSCG 150 A, Kos, late 5th century BC; probably regulation of an Asklepieion.
8) LSCG 150 B, Kos, 4th century BC; Apollo Kyparissios and Asklepios (?).
9) LSS 81, Samos, 1st century AD; the name of the deity is damaged.
LSCG stands for F. Sokolowski, Lois sacrées des cités grecques (Paris: E. de Boccard, 1969), LSS for F. Sokolowski, Lois sacrées des cités grecques: Supplement (Paris: E. de Boccard, 1962).

Rostad also presents the Greek text and an English translation of some of these inscriptions in his dissertation:To supplement my earler post on the Lex Luci Spoletina, here is another translation, this one by E.H. Warmington, Remains of Early Latin, vol. 4 = Archaic Inscriptions (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1940), p. 155:
Let no one damage this grove. No one must cart or carry away anything that belongs to the grove, or cut wood in it, except on the day when holy worship takes place every year. On that day, person may without offence cut wood as required for the procedure of worship. If any one does damage, he shall make sin-offering to Jupiter with an ox; if any one does damage knowingly and with wrongful intent, he shall make sin-offering to Jupiter with an ox, and moreover let there be a fine of 300 as-pieces. The duty of exacting the said sin-offering and fine shall be with the dedicator.

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