Athens honours Telesias of Troizen
IG II2 971 Athens, EM 8043 + 8044 + 8045 ca. 140/39 Plate 96

Four fragments: a (EM 8043 + 8044 + 8045) found in 1876-77 excavations on South Slope of Akropolis, b (EM 7571) reported from same vicinity in 1877/78. Part of top, left edge preserved, back rough-picked. Relief in pediment. Four crowns between pediment and inscription, eight crowns below inscription, ninth broken away. Surface worn, chipped. Grey, medium-grained marble. Fragment a: p.h. 0.59, w. 0.52, th. 0.14, relief h. 0.009, h. of letters 0.006.

The partially preserved decree is apparently a reaffirmation for Telesias of Troizen of the Athenian citizenship previously given to one of his ancestors. Although the decree is securely dated to the eighth prytany of the archonship of Hagnotheos (line 9), 140/39, Osborne suggested that the monument itself may be considerably later, for in some of the crowns below the text are records of Telesias' positions in Athenian state religion that he could not have held without citizenship.

The relief refers particularly to Telesias' Athenian citizenship. The only surviving example of mythological narrative in a document relief, it depicts Theseus lifting the rock which covered the gnorismata by which he would prove his own Athenian citizenship, an event that took place in his youth in Troizen. In the centre of the relief the nude Theseus turns toward the right and pushes against a tall, oblong rock, revealing on the ground beneath it the sword and shoes of his father Aigeus, king of Athens. There was a bronze statue of Theseus lifting the rock on the Akropolis (Paus. 1.27.8), and the deed is also depicted in vase painting. Although the stele is ambitious in size and ornament, the relief itself is crudely cut, the anatomy distorted, and the shoes and sword barely recognizable.

S. A. Koumanoudes, Athenaion (1876/77) 522-25 no. 6; Athenaion 6 (1877/78) 369-70 no. 3; Sybel, 299 no. 4049; IG II 1358; F. von Duhn, AZ 35 (1877) 171-72 no. 104; W. Hartel, Studien über attisches Staatsrecht und Urkundenwesen (1878) 36; IG II.5 458b; A. Wilhelm, Beiträge zur griechischen Inschrtftenkunde (1909) 230 Svoronos, 667 no. 442 (5), pl. 217.5; T. Ritti, MemLinc 14 (1969/70) 268 no. 5, pl. II fig. 2; C. Sourvinou-Inwood, JHS 91 (1971) 94-109; SEG 28.464; SEG 29.120; Osborne, Naturalization, D 102; SEG 31.271; SEG 32.134; Meyer, 315-16 C 2; SEG 36.175.

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