The Origins Of The Athenian Moldmade Bowl

Moldmade bowls appeared suddenly in Athens early in the last quarter of the 3rd century. They did not develop gradually but seem to have been the result of a single act of inventioa In their relief designs and the sheen of the glaze they resemble gold, silver, and bronze bowls. Ancient testimonia tell us that metal vessels of this sort were highly prized;1 that they were often duplicated by a mechanical process is clear from plaster casts which were taken for this purpose.2 The similarities between existing precious bowls and some of the earliest moldmade bowls confirm the supposition that metal bowls served as prototypes for the ceramic ones.


A silver hemispherical bowl from a temple treasure found at Toukh-el-Qarmous in the Nile delta is almost identical with a ceramic moldmade bowl of a very early type in the National Museum at Athens.3 Both are decorated with tall, pointed, overlapping lotus petals and each has a rosette medallioa A tall silver cup from Ithaka is decorated with the alternating acanthus leaves and pointed lotus petals which appear on several ceramic bowls in the Agora (cf. 49,50).4 Other parallels are not so close. The Nymphaea nelumbo, absent on Athenian moldmade bowls, plays a large role in the decoration of most of the metal bowls,5 and there are no metal parallels of Hellenistic date for figured moldmade bowls. Nonetheless there is no doubt that bowls of precious metal served as models for the first moldmade relief bowls.6

The fact that Egyptian motifs appear on moldmade bowls has suggested to several scholars that the bowls originated in Ptolemaic Alexandria.7 The palm, the rounded Nymphaea lotus, pointed Nymphaea

1 Athenaios, Deipnosophistai v.l99e; xi.781e, 782b; Pliny, Naturalis Historia xxxm.55.154-157; Livy, ab urbe condita, xxxvu. 59.4-5.

2 See Richter, "Ancient Plaster Casts of Greek Metal ware," pp. 369-370.

3 Edgar, "The Treasure of Toukh-el-Qarmous," pp. 57-62, pis. 27, 28:2; Hausmann, p. 20, pi. 1.

4 Strong, Greek and Roman Gold and Silver Plate, p. 101, pi. 25:b.

5 E.g., ibid., pi. 31; "Les bols megariens," pp. 14-15, figs. 11-13, p. 21, fig. 20.

6 Two bowls in the Agora collection invite comparison with silver bowls. A silver bowl from Greece or Bulgaria is strikingly like 375 and P 3377, no. 79 from Thompson's Group E (Kraus, Zentralmuseum, pp. 18-20, pis. 4,5; "Les bols megariens," p. 20; Thompson, pp. 408-409, figs. 96a, 96 b). Both the Agora fragments and the silver bowl have a large, double-rosette medallion and four pairs of alternating Nymphaea nelumbo petals and acanthus leaves, with flowered tendrils between them, on the wall. On both, the tip of the acanthus leaf nods slightly. The silver bowl is more naturalistic in style, but the decorative scheme is identical to that on the ceramic fragments. Both the silver bowl and P 3377 are comparatively broad and shallow in shape. Kraus and Byvanek-Quarles van Ufford date the silver bowl to the 1st century b.c. The fragment 375 comes from a context of the late 3rd century. The larger fragment P 3377 must date before 110 (for the date of Group E see Appendix and F 15:2 in Deposit Summaries). This suggests that the silver bowl dates no later than the 2nd century, possibly as early as the 3rd century.

A silver bowl in Hildesheim resembles 67 ( Pernice and Winter, Der hildesheimer Silbeijund, pp. 28-30, pis. 6, 7). The walls of both are decorated with alternating naturalistic and fantastic plant forms. Fancy has flown further on the metal bowl; the plants spring as elegant and complicated growths from a spindly stalk and calyx. On 67 they are solid, tuberous spirals, too symmetrical to be natural, yet firmly rooted in the calyx. The context of 67 dates it no later than the early 2nd century; Byvanek-Quarles van Ufford dates the Hildesheim bowl in the second half of the 1st century ("Les bols megariens," p. 19).

7 Zahn, "Tongeschirr," pp. 413-418; Pagenstecher, Die Gefasse in Stein und Ton, Knochenschnitzereien, pp. 64-65; "Les bols megariens," pp. 13-15; Thompson, p. 455.

caerulea and broad Nymphaea nelumbo petals are native to Egypt. More significant, hemispherical bowls decorated with a calyx of leaves or petals were known in Egypt from the time of the Old Kingdom. Water birds among the foliage and antithetical goats are also common Egyptian motifs. Hellenistic Alexandria boasted a flourishing metal industry, and pottery imitating metal prototypes might well be expected to arise there.

One of the most compelling objections to Egypt as the birthplace of ceramic relief bowls is the small number of such bowls which have been found in Egypt. If the Alexandrians invented them, they do not seem to have manufactured them in large numbers thereafter. Furthermore, most of the examples found in Egypt are of the relatively late "Delian" type, with matt glaze and inturned rim.8

Since Egyptian motifs were already widespread in the Mediterranean in the Hellenistic period, it has been argued that their presence on moldmade bowls does not necessarily point to an origin in Egypt, or even to an inspiration by Alexandrian metalwork. Antithetical goats, for example, were originally a Near Eastern motif, which may be found on Rhodian vases and black-figured pottery as well as on late 4th-century Attic grave stelai.9 The calyx of lotus petals, though originally Egyptian, is common on Achae-menid phialai and was sometimes adapted to deeper, hemispherical bowls.10 This deeper variety has been found, for instance, in Etruria and Rhodes in the 7th century,11 in Egypt in the 5th and 3rd centuries,12 and in Syria in the 4th century.13 The hemispherical shape is a simple one and common to many cultures.14 Clearly the shape and the decoration which appears on the Hellenistic moldmade bowl were current throughout the eastern Mediterranean at an early date, and their occurrence in ceramics does not necessarily point to Egypt

The combination of hemispherical bowl and vegetal calyx which characterizes the moldmade bowls of the late 3rd century and first half of the 2nd century was, however, particularly popular in Egypt Its history may be traced there from Prehistoric to late Hellenistic times.15 Many Egyptian faïence bowls of this type are known, one from a 3rd-century context at Tarsus, others from the Hellenistic cemeteries of Alexandria.16 It seems that this form of bowl had an unbroken history in Egypt Furthermore, it was current in Egypt in the early Hellenistic period.

Since Athens is the earliest center of manufacture currently known for moldmade relief bowls, it is likely that they were the invention of Athenian potters.17 The gold and silver prototypes, however, were probably Alexandrian.18 Although each of the Egyptian elements (shape, vegetal calyx, water birds, antithetical goats) can be found elsewhere, only in Egypt do they all occur. The evidence of excavation indicates that

8 Courby, pp. 424-426; Kraus, Zentralmuseum, p. 2; Noshy, The Arts in Ptolemaic Egypt, p. 130; Parlasca, pp. 132-134. The so-called "Delian" bowls are now believed to have been imported to Delos from Ionian workshops (Délos XXXI, pp. 1-3). They date between 166 and 69 (ibid., p. 7).

9 Kraus, "Antithetische Bôcke," pp. 119-123.

10 Strong, Greek and Roman Gold and Silver Plate, p. 99, pi. 25 :a. For copies in glass see Oliver, "Persian Export Glass," pp. 9-13, figs. 1-9; Von Saldern, "Glass Finds at Gordion," pp. 41-42, figs. 27-29.

11 Strong, Greek and Roman Gold and Silver Plate, p. 65, pi. 12:a; pp. 56-57, fig. 12.

12 I. Rabinowitz, "Aramaic Inscriptions of the Fifth Century B.C.E. from a North-Arab Shrine in Egypt," JNES 15, 1956, pis. 1, 3-5; "Les bols mégariens," p. 14, fig. 10. i -+ A. Lansing, "A Silver Bottle of the Ptolemaic Period," Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art 33, 1938, p. 199, fig. 1 for a group of Ptolemaic silver phialai with this decoration from the Delta in Egypt.

13 C. F. A. Schaeffer, "Les fouilles de Ras Shamra-Ugarit, sixième campagne (printemps 1934)," Syria 16, 1935, pp. 152-154, pl. 30:4.

14 Zahn, "Makedonischer Schild, makedonischer Becher," p. 58; Kraus, Zentralmuseum, p. 2.

15 Parlasca, pp. 136-146. For an example from the New Kingdom see L. Keimer, "The Decoration of a New Kingdom Vase," JNES 8,1949, p. 4, pi. 7. Fifth-century bowls are illustrated in Rabinowitz, op. cit. (footnote 12 above), pp. 1-2,9, pis. 1, 3-5; and Five Years of Collecting Egyptian Art, 1951-1956, pp. 43-45, pis. 69, 75, nos. 50, 51.

16 Ibid., p. 38, pi. 64, no. 42; Adriani, pis. 2-4; Tarsus I, no. 183, p. 225, fig. 132.

17 Kraus, Zentralmuseum, p. 2; Labraunda II, i, pp. 19-20.

moldmade ceramic bowls were not manufactured until the 220's, over a century after the foundation of Alexandria. There was therefore ample time for Greek and Egyptian elements to blend to produce a distinctive Alexandrian style of metalwork,19 which was then imitated by the Athenian potter. This style had in fact already been adopted by other toreutic centers in the Mediterranean.

The case for Alexandrian prototypes is strengthened by the existence of close parallels between ceramic moldmade bowls and gold glass. This technique of sandwiching decoration in gold leaf between two closely fitting layers of glass is believed to be an Alexandrian invention of the 3rd or early 2nd century.20 A hemispherical gold-glass bowl from Syria formerly in the Rothschild Collection is nearly identical in shape and decoration to a number of early moldmade bowls from the Agora (49-53).21 Its rosette medallion is surrounded by two lines which resemble the ridges and grooves of Attic bowls. Its walls are covered with alternating lotus petals and stylized ferns or fronds, with floral tendrils between them. Even the meander pattern of the rim finds a parallel in the Agora collection (291). Another parallel to Athenian moldmade bowls is provided by a gold-glass bowl from Mozdok in the Caucasus,22 also probably of Alexandrian manufacture. The Mozdok bowl is parabolic in shape and has an elaborate rosette medallion and a calyx of alternating Nymphaea caerulea petals and acanthus leaves. Above this is a border of battlement design, then a broad band filled by a horizontal ivy garland. Below the rim is a band of olive leaves. One bowl in the Agora collection (69) shares with it both the horizontal vine and the parabolic shape.

A review of a few of the surviving products of the Alexandrian metal industry of the 3rd century may provide a picture of the sort of precious bowl the Athenians sought to reproduce in clay. These survivors are unfortunately few and often cannot be dated by any but stylistic criteria. Provenances are often uncertain or unknown. Only a very sketchy picture can be drawn from the evidence currently available.

The group of metal vessels found at Toukh-el-Qarmous gives some idea of the products of the early Ptolemaic period.23 The cache contained coins of Ptolemy I and II and should therefore represent Egyptian silverwork shortly before the inception of moldmade bowls in Greece. A silver bowl from the treasure has already been mentioned (see p. 6). It has a rosette medallion, a calyx of tall, overlapping lotus petals, and a simple rope rim pattern. This picture may be supplemented by a group of plaster casts which appeared on the Cairo market early in this century. According to the dealer, they came from what was apparently the metalworkers' quarter of Mitrahinet (Memphis).24 They are casts of Hellenistic silver, probably of the 3rd century, but taken in the Roman period.25 Three of these are casts of hemispherical bowls.26 Two (nos. 18 and 19) have double-rosette medallions and calyces of overlapping, fern-like leaves, from which spring

19 It was formerly thought that production began between 275 and 250, which left little time for the influence of a new Alexandrian industry to reach Athens. Kraus, Zentralmuseum, p. 2; Courby, p. 425.

20 Adriani, p. 124; Harden, "The Canosa Group of Hellenistic Glasses," p. 41. For the technique of gold glass see Von Saldern, "Glass Finds at Gordion," p. 46. For a list of known examples of gold glass see Oliver, "A Gold-glass Fragment," pp. 9-10. Oliver dates the invention of gold glass to ca. 200 {ibid., p. 16); Harden dates it to the first quarter of the 3rd century.

21 Wuilleumier, Le trésor de Tárente, pp. 29-31, pis. 11, 12. Wuilleumier dated the Rothschild bowl in the first half of the 3rd century and believed it was manufactured in Asia Minor. Adriani and Byvanck-Quarles van Ufford believe it is an Alexandrian product. Adriani dates it in the 3rd century, Byvanck-Quarles van Ufford in the mid-2nd century (Adriani, pp. 119-120; "Les bols hellénistiques en verre doré," pp. 139-140). Its close similarity to Athenian moldmade bowls of the late 3rd century and the fact that gold glass was probably invented in the late 3rd to early 2nd century suggest a date around 200 b.c.

22 Adriani, pl. 1. Adriani dates the bowl to the middle of the 3rd century, Oliver to the late 3rd or early 2nd century, and Byvanck-Quarles van Ufford to the last quarter of the 2nd century. It has been attributed to workshops of Asia Minor, Syria, and Alexandria; the last, substantiated by Adriani through parallels in faience from Alexandria, seems likeliest. See Adriani, pp. 105-111, 124, pis. 2, 3; Oliver, "A Gold-glass Fragment," p. 16; Byvanck-Quarles van Ufford, "Les bols hellénistiques en verre doré," pp. 130, 139. See also a similar gold-glass bowl from Iran (Byvanck-Quarles van Ufford, "Le bol hellénistique en verre doré au Corning Museum of Glass," pp. 47-48, figs. 3, 4).

23 Edgar, "The Treasure of Toukh-el-Qarmous," pp. 57-62, pis. 27, 28:2; Hausmann, p. 20, pl. 1.

24 Rubensohn, Hellenistisches Silbergeràt, p. 3.

25 Ibid., p. 88; "Les bols mégariens," p. 15; Richter, "Ancient Plaster Casts," pp. 370-371.

26 Rubensohn, Hellenistisches Silbergeràt, nos. 18-20, pis. 7, 9.

elaborate tendrils with lotus and lily blooms. There is an Eros among the vines on no. 19. Although they are more florid in style and lack the lotus petals which characterize Attic moldmade bowls, these casts compare with such Athenian examples as 55 and 57. On the third cast (no. 20) are a rosette medallion and a calyx of acanthus leaves and Nymphaea nelumbo petals, above which are preserved what may be the feet of a pair of antithetical goats. Although Nymphaea nelumbo petals never occur on bowls of Attic manufacture, stylized acanthus leaves are often found in the calyces of Athenian figured bowls; though stylistically far removed, cast no. 20 is similar in composition to 122 from the Agora.27

Products of the southern Italian metal industry were heavily influenced by Alexandria and can add more to the sketch of 3rd-century Alexandrian metaiwork. The Treasure of Taranto included a pyxis which contained seven coins datable to the period between 290 and 270 b.c.28 Although there is some disagreement about the date of the pieces in the treasure,29 they certainly fall within the 3rd century. There are no hemispherical bowls in this group, but the interior of the lid of the pyxis30 in which the coins were found has a scheme of decoration similar to that of ceramic moldmade bowls: a central rosette or flower and a calyx of alternating rounded Nymphaea lotus and Nymphaea nelumbo petals and acanthus leaves, with floral tendrils between them. The overlapping Nymphaea lotus petals of the thymiaterion from the treasure are closely similar to those on ceramic moldmade bowls such as 14 and 18.31 A grave in Ancona contained another pyxis,32 whose rounded body is decorated with alternating Nymphaea nelumbo petals and acanthus leaves, with floral tendrils between them. The grave was dated at the time of excavation to the late 3rd century on the evidence of a bronze coin. Both the coin and the other contents of the grave may in fact date somewhat later. These few pieces, which can be dated by their contexts, give some idea of the metal vessels, from or heavily influenced by Alexandria, which served as prototypes for moldmade ceramic bowls.

Archaeological Evidence

A fairly close and reliable date for the beginning of production of moldmade bowls in Athens can now be extrapolated from the evidence of the many well-dated 3rd-century deposits excavated in the Agora. It seems clear that the bowls have formerly been dated as much as half a century too early. Thompson's date for the beginning of the bowls was based on his analysis of three Hellenistic deposits which he published in 1934.33 He estimated that the earliest of these (Group A) was deposited about 300. The main body of this deposit contained no moldmade bowls, although there were a few fragments in a later, undated fill in the upper part of the well. There were no moldmade bowls in Group B, which Thompson thought was closed about 275. They were plentiful, however, in Group C, which he dated around the end of the 3rd century. The obvious conclusion was that the bowls began to be produced between 275 and 200. Thompson dated this event ca 275, a date later modified by Edwards to ca 250.34 Further excavation and study of the chro

27 See also a silver vase in Amsterdam, which was acquired in Egypt. It is decorated with alternating Nymphaea nelumbo petals and acanthus leaves with floral tendrils between them. It is dated by Byvanck-Quarles van Ufford to the end of the 3rd century ("Les bols mégariens," pp. 15-16, fig. 13). Parlasca dates it in the middle of the 2nd century (Parlasca, p. 143). A silver hemispherical bowl in the British Museum is decorated with overlapping Nymphaea nelumbo petals (Walters, Catalogue of the Silver Plate, no. 11, p. 4, pi. 3). The provenance of the bowl is unknown, but it is generally thought to be Alexandrian. Byvanck-Quarles van Ufford and Parlasca agree on a date in the 3rd century for the bowl ("Les bols mégariens," pp. 15-16; Parlasca, p. 143).

28 An Inventory of Greek Coin Hoards, edd. M. Thompson, O. Morkholm, and C. Kraay, New York 1973, p. 295, no. 1983, where the date of burial is given as 290-270 b.c.

29 Wuilleumier suggests that they were buried before the war between Tarentum and Rome in 272 b.c. {Le trésor de Tarente, p. 7). Byvanck-Quarles van Ufford dates the objects in the hoard on the basis of style to the third quarter of the 3rd century ("Le trésor de Tarente," p. 52).

30 Wuilleumier, Le trésor de Tarente, pl. 2:2.

32 G. Pellegrini, "Regione IV," Notizie degli scavi di antichità, 1910, pp. 345-353, esp. pp. 349-350, no. 4.

33 Thompson, Groups A-C, pp. 313-369.

34 Ibid., p. 457. Pnyx, p. 90; Corinth VII, iii, p. 152.

nology of the Hellenistic period have since shown that Groups A and B were deposited about 40 years later than Thompson had thought (see Appendix): Group A was closed around 260, Group B around 240. The earliest well-dated deposit in the Agora which contained significant numbers of moldmade bowls is B 20:7. The latest datable object from this well is a stamped amphora handle of ca. 217 b.c.; the fill was probably deposited shortly thereafter. A few fragments of bowls have been found in deposits P 10:2, L 17:7, and the lower fill of N 21:4, all of which date little if any earlier than B 20:7. There are no moldmade bowls in the lower fill of the Dipylon well B-l, which contains material as late as ca. 222 (see Appendix). This suggests that manufacture of moldmade bowls in Athens began sometime between 240 and 220.

Nowhere else are moldmade bowls attested at such an early date. Manufacture seems to have begun sometime during the last quarter of the 3rd century in Corinth and Argos, and somewhat later in other Peloponnesian centers.35 At Demetrias in Thessaly moldmade bowls were unknown before the late 3rd century.36 At Delos, no bowls were found under the stoa east of the S toa of Philip (built between 250 and 228), and only a few fragments were found under the Stoa of Philip and the Sanctuaries of Serapis (ca 200 b.c.).37 The earliest example at Pergamon is one fragment from Bauphase 8 of the Asklepieion, dating to the end of the 3rd century. Large numbers of fragments appear in Bauphase 9, which dates from ca 200 to 191.38 At Tarsus a few fragments of moldmade bowls appear in the "Middle Hellenistic Unit", dated to the 3rd and early 2nd centuries; large numbers are found in the "Late Hellenistic Unit" of the 2nd century.39 At Antioch fragments occur in the early Hellenistic period (3rd to mid-2nd century), but no uncontaminated strata of the first half of this period were excavated. Very few fragments occurred in the only significant group of deposits, a series of superimposed floors covering the years between 225 and 175; Waagé's conclusion that manufacture began soon after 300 and flowered in the 3rd century must be adjusted.40 The earliest bowls at Samaria and Hama seem to date in the 2nd century.41 To the west of Greece, available evidence indicates that moldmade bowls were not manufactured in Italy before 200.42 It appears therefore that the earliest bowls from the Agora are dated by context 10 to 20 years earlier than those from other excavated sites, and it is not unreasonable to suggest that the moldmade bowl was invented by Athenian potters.

Such near-by cities as Corinth and Argos, however, were not far behind, and Athenian bowls must have immediately been exported and copied elsewhere. Fragments of Attic bowls have been found in southern Russia, in the east at Pergamon, Kyme, Antioch, Hama, Labraunda, and perhaps Tarsus, and in Greece at Siphnos, Delos, Aigina, Corinth, Argos, Eretria, and perhaps Halai.43 They were exported widely, although

35 Siebert, Recherches sur les ateliers, pp. 159-180; see also pp. 181-189 for discussion of non-Peloponnesian chronology.

36 U. Sinn, in Demetrias I, edd. V. Milojcic and D. Theocharis, Bonn 1976, pp. 96, 114-121.

37 Courby, p. 397; "Les bols mégariens," p. 7; Délos XXXI, p. 7.

38 Pergamon XI, i, pp. 123-125, pl. 43, no. 158 {Bauphase 8); pp. 125-127, 130-131, pi. 45, nos. 192-200 {Bauphase 9).

39 Tarsus I, p. 163; Byvanck-Quarles van Ufford, "Variations sur le thème des bols mégariens," pp. 59-60.

42 Moldmade bowls occur in a context of the 2nd century at Cosa (M. T. M. Moevs, Memoirs of the American Academy in Rome, XXXII, The Roman Thin-walled Pottery from Cosa, Rome 1973, p. 21; see also AJA 66,1962, p. 198). Fifteen fragments of moldmade bowls were found in the destruction debris of the sanctuary of Demeter and Kore at Morgantina. The destruction has been dated to 211 {AJA 62,1958, pp. 158-160; AJA 63,1959, p. 169; AJA 64,1960, p. 133), but the debris included a number of stamped amphora handles dating in the first half of the 2nd century. For this information I am grateful to Virginia Grace and to Shelley C. Stone.

43 Southern Russia: Zahn, "Hellenistische Reliefgefasse," pp. 45-49, nos. 1-3.

Pergamon: Pergamon XI, i, no. 261, p. 139, pi. 49; no. 291, pp. 143-144, pi. 49.

Kyme: Kyme I, MB 72, p. 62, pi. 9, and possibly MB 113, p. 71, pi. 13; p. 33, fig. 5.

Antioch: Antioch IV, i, fig. 17, nos. 11, 13, 14, p. 30.

Labraunda: Labraunda II, i, no. 158, p. 65, pi. 11.

Siphnos: J. K Brock, "Excavations in Siphnos," BSA 44, 1949, p. 60, no. 9.

apparently not in large numbers since local imitations would soon have been able to meet the demand more cheaply.

Historical Evidence

The archaeological evidence, as we have seen, suggests that moldmade bowls were introduced in Athens between 240 and 220 and probably originated with Athenian potters. That they were inspired by Alexandrian prototypes also seems clear. It is therefore not surprising that, turning to the historical record, we find that this was a time of especially friendly relations between Athens and Alexandria. A look into the events of this period can throw light on the chronology of the bowls.

After winning her freedom from the Macedonians in 229, Athens renewed her friendship with Egypt Shortly thereafter the Athenians bestowed lavish honors on King Ptolemy III Euergetes. A new tribe was created and named after the king, his statue was added to the Monument of the Eponymous Heroes, and a festival was initiated in his honor. A deme was named after his queen, Berenike, and a priesthood of the royal couple was established.

Evidence for these institutions can be pieced together from scattered literary and epigraphical testimonia. The existence of the tribe Ptolemais and the deme Berenikidai is known from inscriptions too numerous to mentioa Pausanias (i.5.5) tells us that the Athenians named a tribe after Ptolemy: uoTepov 6e kcn ano TCúvSe cpuAág éxouoiv, ArráAou toü Muooü koi riToAeMaíou toü AiYumíou. He believed that the Ptolemy in question was Ptolemy II Philadelphos, but a lexicographical entry on the deme Berenikidai proves that it was his successor, Euergetes I, that the Athenians honored:44

BepeviKÍSar ó 6ñ|jo<; ano Bepevknc; tñq toü riToAe|jaíou toü EúepyéTOu yuvaitóg- tóv |jev ávSpa Tñ (puAñ, Tñv yuvaika Sé tu 5ñ|jco éncovú|joug énoínaev. The tribe must therefore have been created before the death of Ptolemy III in February of 221; strong epigraphical evidence indicates that it was instituted in 224/3.45 It would have been made up of demes reassigned from other tribes, except for Berenikidai, created expressly for the new tribe.46

As an eponym Ptolemy took his place among the other tribal heroes on the Monument of the Eponymous Heroes in the Agora. The remains of this monument have been excavated and identified; it consisted of a long pedestal supporting statues of the eponyms, surrounded by a parapet. Pausanias saw a statue of Ptolemy there (i.5.5), which must have been added at this time; traces of the addition can be detected in the remains of the monument The original pedestal had been lengthened at both ends in 307/6 for the addition of statues of Demetrios and Antigonos, in whose honor tribes had been created. For the next 80 years or so the pedestal supported 12 statues, flanked at either end by a tripod. Cuttings in the top of the southernmost capping block of the pedestal show that at some time the tripod was removed and replaced by a bronze statue. This can only have been the statue of Ptolemy, for removal of Demetrios and Antigonos in 200 would have made space for Attalos, another Hellenistic eponym, and a special extension was

Delos: Bruneau, "La vaisselle," D 2 - D 3bis, p. 240, pi. 40.

Aigina: Siebert, Recherches sur les ateliers, e.g. Eg 8, Eg 17, Eg 45-54, pp. 402-405, pi. 61. Corinth: unpublished.

Argos: Siebert, Recherches sur les ateliers, pp. 63-64; AT 1 - AT 7, pp. 367-368, pi. 42. Eretria: Metzger, Eretria II, p. 62, nos. 1-3.

Halai: H. Goldman, "The Acropolis of Halae," Hesperia 9, 1940, p. 496, no. 49; p. 498, fig. 241:4.

44 Anecdota Graeca, ed. J. A. Cramer, Paris 1841, iv.180.12; see also Stephanos of Byzantium, s.v. BepeviKiSai.

45 This conclusion rests primarily upon calendar-prytany equations and changes in tribal order occasioned by the introduction of the new tribe. For a complete account see W. K. Pritchett, The Five Attic Tribes after Kleisthenes, Baltimore 1943, pp. 13-23 (= "The Tribe Ptolemais," AJP 63, 1942, pp. 413-423); B. D. Meritt, "Philinos and Menekrates," Hesperia 38, 1969, p. 441; RE XXIII, ii, 1959, 5.v. Ptolemais 11, col. 1887; W. S. Ferguson, Hellenistic Athens, London 1911, pp. 241-243.

46 Pritchett, "The Tribe Ptolemais" (footnote 45 above), p. 426; J. S. Traill, Hesperia, Suppl. XTV, The Political Organization of Attica, Princeton 1975, p. 29.

provided for the statue of the emperor Hadrian, who became an eponym in a.d. 124/5.47 We know from the account of Pausanias that the Athenians also sent a statue of Ptolemy to Delphi to be added to the Marathon monument, on which Athenian eponymous heroes were represented.48

As eponym of a tribe, Ptolemy was entitled to the worship of his tribesmen; the priesthood of Ptolemy and Berenike attested by an inscription dating between 229 and 22149 may have been instituted at this time to attend to the affairs of the cult

In all likelihood the Ptolemaia, an athletic festival in Ptolemy's honor, was established at the same time,50 though some have suggested that it was instituted a few years earlier.51 The first mention of games in honor of Ptolemy occurs in IG II2, 1303, lines 9-12,52 in which the gymnasiarch for 224/3, a wealthy citizen named Theophrastos, is honored not only for producing the traditional games but also for presenting, at his own expense, games in honor of the Egyptian king:

toùç ÔYcbvçç ë0riK8, toûç T8 ka0nkovtaç koi lôiai tûi 6aoiÀéï nTOÀ[e]|JCiÎG)i npoGeiç âQÀa toïç aycovi^eoQai 6ouÀo|jévoiç tûv veavioKcov, (p[i]àoti(joû|j[ev]oç àKoAoy0(oç tci tolj 5h|jou npoai-péoei n|jâv tçv 6aoiÀécr

The phrasing of the decree implies that these games were an innovation, and thus we may here have a record of the institution of the Ptolemaia. The precedent set by Theophrastos was perpetuated by the state, and the Ptolemaia is thereafter listed along with the Dionysia, the Panathenaia, and the Eleusinian Mysteries as an occasion on which honors are to be proclaimed.53 That it is not mentioned in this context in a decree of 226/5 indicates that the festival had not yet been instituted at that time.54 It must therefore have been established in either 225/4 or 224/3; of these the latter, when the tribe and deme were also created, is the more likely.

Considerable attention has been given here to the evidence for the date of these honors, particularly the date of the festival, because it has a very important bearing on the date of the moldmade bowls. The bowls appear suddenly upon the scene in Athens and were apparently the result of a single stroke of inventioa They immediately became popular with the Athenians, who adopted them as their standard wine cups. This suggests that their invention was inspired by a specific, particularly fine and well-publicized group of Alexandrian silver bowls which appeared in Athens at that time, a group of bowls such as might have been imported for the first celebration of the festival of Ptolemy III Euergetes. A procession was an indispensable part of a festival, and processional vessels would certainly have been displayed in such a parade. Athenaios preserves Kallixeinos' account of the procession of Ptolemy II Philadelphos, which took place in Alexandria in 279/8 and in which great numbers of gold and silver cups, pitchers, and bowls were

47 T. L. Shear, Jr., "The Monument of the Eponymous Heroes in the Athenian Agora," Hesperia 39,1970, pp. 171-176,181-186, 196-203, esp. p. 199. For dates of creation of new tribes see W. K Pritchett, "Note on the Attic Year 307/6," AJP 58, 1937, pp. 220-221, and The Five Attic Tribes (footnote 45 above), pp. 5, 33, 37; S. Follet, Athènes au Ile et au IIIe siècle, Paris 1976, pp. 119-121.

48 Pausanias For discussion of the remains of this monument see H. Pomtow, "Studien zu den Weihgeschenken und der Topographie in Delphi. II," Klio 8, 1908, pp. 73-120; D. Kluwe, "Das Marathonweihgeschenk in Delphi," Wissenschaftliche Zeitschrift der Friedrich-Schiller-Universitat-Jena 14, 1965, pp. 21-27; RE, Suppl. IV, 1924, cols. 1214-1218, no. 7.

49 IG II2, 4676; L. Moretti, Iscrizioni storiche ellenistiche I, Florence 1967, pp. 58-60, no. 27.

50 Ferguson, op. cit. (footnote 45 above), p. 242, and "Researches in Athenian and Delian Documents," Klio 8, 1908, pp. 339-341; L. Robert, Revue des études grecques 54, 1941, pp. 246-247.

51 M. Mitsos, "Eine agonistische Inschrift aus Argos," AthMitt 65, 1940, p. 49; RE XXIII, ii, 1959, v. Ptolemaia 2, cols. 15851586.

52 For restored text see W. S. Ferguson and S. Dow, "The Decree of the Athenian Garrisons Honoring Theophrastos I.G? II 1303," Hesperia 2, 1933, p. 448; Moretti, op. cit. (footnote 49 above), pp. 69-71, no. 31.

53 E.g. B. D. Meritt, "Greek Inscriptions," Hesperia 5, 1936, pp. 419-428, no. 15, line 49; IG II2, 891, line 14, 900, line 10, 956, lines 34-35.

-+ B. D. Meritt, "Greek Inscriptions," Hesperia 4, 1935, pp. 525-528, no. 39; Moretti, op. cit. (footnote 49 above), pp. 60-63, no. 28.

carried.55 Something similar must have taken place at the Athenian Ptolemaia. The early Ptolemaic bowl from Toukh-el-Qarmous, which is so similar to an Athenian moldmade bowl, was part of a temple treasure of the sort that might have been displayed in Egyptian processions.56 It is likely that vessels carried in honor of King Ptolemy III in Athens would have been imported from Alexandria, one of the foremost centers for the production of precious metalwork. They would have been seen by large numbers of Athenians and excited widespread admiration in the city. A shrewd and enterprising Athenian potter might well have recognized a market for cheap imitations of the magnificent gold and silver bowls. If this is so, we can date the first Athenian moldmade bowls in the year 224/3.

55 Deipnosophistai v.i97c, 198 d, i99b-200a, 201 d.

56 Edgar, "The Treasure of Toukh-el-Qarmous," pp. 57-62, pis. 27, 28:2. See p. 6.

Was this article helpful?

+1 0

Post a comment