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16.
Athens honours Dionysios I of Syracuse
IG II2 18 Athens, EM 6899 394/93 Plate 9

Found in Theatre of Dionysos in 1862. Left edge of inscription preserved. Plain narrow taenia and ovolo below relief. Possible traces of anta at lower left. Surface badly worn, corroded, with vertical cracks. White, medium-grained marble. p.h. 0.58, p.h. of relief 0.32, p.w. 0.47, th. 0.10, relief h. 0.01, h. of letters 0.015.

The document is a resolution of the Athenian boule honouring Dionysios I of Syracuse, his brothers Leptines and Thearides, and his brother-in-law Polyxenos. (Leptines is perhaps the adopted Syracusan father of the Alketas honoured in no. 21.) The inscription is securely dated to the sixth prytany of the archonship of Euboulides, 394/93 (lines 1-2). None of the provisions of the decree are preserved. Because the proposer of the decree was apparently the poet Kinesias and because it was passed at the time of the Lenaea and according to its find-spot apparently set up in or near the Theatre of Dionysos, Köhler suggested that the honours were in some way connected with Dionysios' well-known patronage of poets. It comes from the beginning of a brief period of rapprochment between Dionysios and Athens that was marked by Dionysios' increasing involvement with Athenian literary figures.

The relief depicts the dexiosis of Athena and a female figure representing Syracuse or Sicily, a subject more appropriate for an alliance than an honorary decree. It is possible that, although framed as an honorary decree, the document contained interstate agreements of some sort, but it was not until the early 360s that Dionysios was given Athenian citizenship (IG II2 103) and contracted an alliance with Athens (IG II2 105). The Athena is an adaptation of the Parthenos type, with her left hand resting on the rim of her shield and a large snake coiled behind her (cf. nos. 30, 65, 106, 132, 164). The figure opposite her apparently wears a peplos and in her left hand holds an object that thickens toward the top like a torch. She has often been identified as Demeter, but the possibility that the object she holds is a torch and her somewhat smaller scale relative to Athena suggest that she is Persephone, whose head appears on the coins of Syracuse.

The relief is very badly worn, but the figures, like others in reliefs of this period, remain stiffly upright, the drapery over their weight legs falling in thick, undifferentiated folds (cf. nos. 12, 13).

S. A. Koumanoudes, Philistor 4 (1862) 542 no. 2; U. Köhler, Hermes 3 (1869) 156-59 no. 2; Schöne, 24 no. 49, pl. 7 (drwg.); A. Dumont, Monuments Grecs 1 (1873) 35; J. Overbeck, Griechische Kunstmythologie III (1873) 509 no. 7; Heydemann, 256-58; Köhler, AM I (1876) 4-5; IG II 8; Dumont, BCH 2 (1878) 563, 566, 569 n. 2; Sybel, 280 no. 3907; Friederichs and Wolters, 383-84 no. 1159; P. Gardner, JHS 9 (1888) 60; Matz, 57; SIG3 128; Binneboeßel, 8 no. 27, 20, 34, 47, 49, 50; H. Speier, RM 47 (1932) 54, 91 Svoronos, 664 no. 429, pl. 205.2; Süsserott, 32 n. 21, 35 n. 28, 38-42, 43 n. 57, 47 n. 71, 71, 98 n. 8, 199 n. 11, pl. 2.1; Tod II, 24-26 no. 108; Lippold, 230 n. 2; Hamdorf, 92 no. 241(a); Frel, Les sculpteurs anonymes, 19; Frel and B.M. Kingsley, GRBS 11 (1970) 210 no. 44; A. Peschlow-Bindokat, JdI 87 (1972) 122, 152 R39; C. J. Sanders, Dionysios I of Syracuse and Greek Tyranny (1987) 1-25; LIMC IV, 881 no. 447, s.v. Demeter (L. Beschi); Meyer, 276 A 38, pl. 11.2; SEG 37.66.

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