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Athens and Methone
IG I3 61 Athens, EM 6596 424/23 Plate 1

Found in Theatre of Dionysos. Upper part of relief and bottom of inscription broken, edges badly chipped. Surface very worn, corroded, with several vertical cracks. Grey-white, medium-grained marble. p.h. of stele 1.00, p.w. of stele 0.53 (top), 0.55 (bottom), th. 0.11, p.h. of relief 0.21, relief h. 0.015, h. of letters 0.015 (lines 1-2), 0.01 (lines 3 ff.).

The stele recorded at least four decrees concerning Methone, an Eretrian colony on the Thermaic gulf, probably a tributary ally of the Athenian empire by this time, and favoured by Athens for its strategic position in an area of Macedonian influence. Only the first two decrees, setting forth financial and trading privileges and warning Perdikkas of Macedon of Athenian support for Methone, are well-preserved. The decrees were not passed in the same year, and the date of the first (between 430 and 426) in particular is problematic, but the stele itself was carved in the eighth prytany of 424/23, when Phainippos was secretary of Akamantis (Thuc. 4.118.11). He is named at the top of the inscription (line 2), in addition to the secretaries of the first three decrees, and so must have been the secretary of the last decree, which is lost (ATL III, 133).

The relief depicts Athena seated on a rock at the far right, facing another figure in the centre of the relief. She extends her right hand toward the somewhat smaller figure and rests her left elbow on part of the rock (or once-painted shield?) behind her. She wears a sleeved chiton, a mantle wrapped around her lower body, and an aegis, its small gorgoneion barely visible. Her head is almost entirely broken away. The seated Athena is a popular type in late fifth- and early fourth-century document reliefs (see nos. 11, 71, 72, 87, 90, 91). The other figure, whose upper half is almost completely destroyed, wears a short, belted chiton and extends her right hand toward Athena; she is accompanied on the left by a dog, and there are further unidentifiable traces of relief on the far left. The dress of the figure, the dog, and the probability of the figure's dexiosis with Athena make Artemis, a major Eretrian deity, a likely symbol of her colony; cf. NM 1783 B, a late fifth-century votive relief dedicated to Hermes and the Nymphs with a similar figure of Artemis wearing a short chiton (Svoronos, pl. 28; Mitropoulou, Corpus I, fig. 186). The disparity in the scale of the two figures, which has sometimes been cited as an objection to this identification, is no more than the conventional difference in size between standing and seated figures grouped together. The relief is very worn, but Athena's position and the prominent modelling lines across her legs bring to mind the drapery of the seated Athena of the east frieze of the Hephaisteion (Hesperia 31 [1962], pl. 77b, fig. 6; Ridgway, fig. 50).

Pittakys, ArchEph (1838) 96-98 no. 45, fig. 45 (drwg.) opp. p. 114; Rangabé I, 313-28 no. 250, pl. 7 (drwg.); Müller and Schöll, 53-58 no. 31, 76, 82; Schöne, 24-25 no. 50, pl. 8 (drwg.); A. Dumont, Monuments Grecs 1 (1873) 37-38; IG I 40; Dumont, BCH 2 (1878) 563, 566; P. Gardner, JHS 9 (1888) 54-55; Le Bas, pl. 34 (drwg.); Farnell I, 351; Kern, xi no. 15, pl. 15; Matz, 55; SIG3 75; Walter, Beschreibung, 20; IG 12 57, Add. p. 302; Kjellberg, 139; W. R. Halliday, The Greek Questions of Plutarch (1928) 64-65; Diepolder, 18; Binneboeßel, 3 no. 3, 20, 25-29, 36, 52; H. Speier, RM 47 (1932) 90; Svoronos, 664 no. 428, pl. 205.1; Walter, ÖJh 30 (1937) 53-54; ATL I, 120, 162-63, 209, 212 D3-6; Picard II.2, 838; Tod I, 129-32 no. 61; ATL II, 48-49, pl. 1; ATL III, 133-37; SEG 10.66; Lippold, 198 n. 6; SEG 21.40; Meiggs and Lewis, 176-80 no. 65; SEG 25.27; Mitropoulou, Corpus I, 172 no. 5, fig. 77; SEG 26.17; SEG 31.2; SEG 32.8; Meyer, 265 A , pl. 4.1; SEG 38.3.

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