Magnesian inviolability

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2009-09-01

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Abstract

In 221/20 the citizens of Magnesia on the Maeander sought to create crowned games in honor of Artemis Leukophryene. The goddess had appeared to them and Delphi instructed that "it is more agreeable and better for those who revere Apollo Pythios and Artemis Leukophryene and treat the city and territory of the Magnesians on the Maeander as sacred and inviolable." But why it took Magnesia more than a decade to secure asylia and inaugurate the enhanced games has remained a puzzle. It has been thought since Kern (1901) that the Magnesians first attempted to win acceptance of inviolability and the games in 221/20, that their invitations were almost universally snubbed, and that the city did not succeed in securing international recognition until 208/7. This paper argues that there was no failed campaign of invitations in 221, that Magnesia did not canvass the Greek world until 208/7.

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Scholars@Duke

Sosin

Joshua D. Sosin

Associate Professor of Classical Studies

Pronouns: he/him.

One of the things that I like best about Classics is the wide range of intellectual opportunities it offers. As an undergraduate I was interested in early Christianity and Latin love elegy, which are about as far from my current work as you can get! But our discipline is built for roaming and many of its earliest practitioners would not fit neatly into the boxes that we use today.

The 'traditional' part of my work lies at what I like to call the intersection of law, economics, and religion. Under that broad rubric I have written on currency standards and exchange, ancient charitable foundations, funding of eponymous festivals, grain supply, land leasing, taxation and tax shelter, diplomacy, and other subjects. I have long tended to pursue these subjects with a special focus on their representation in documentary sources (inscriptions, papyri, and coins). But lately, I've grown increasingly interested in Athenian law and so not only in the orators but also in the lexicographic, encyclopedic, and scholiastic traditions that preserve such a wealth of information on the subject (see Harpokration On Line). I have been especially drawn to what the law has to say about personal status (citizens, enslaved people, freedpersons, metics, non-citizens).

I am also part of the Duke Collaboratory for Classics Computing (DC3), which is embedded in the Libraries. We developed and maintain papyri.info. We are working on a variety of projects to do with crowd-curation of papyrological and epigraphic texts (text, translation, metadata, commentary, bibliography, and images), geo-spatial data, prosopographical information, medieval manuscript witnesses and apparatus criticus data, image recognition and text-image alignment, and more. 

When I am not on the clock I am often on my bike (er, bikes), on pavement, on dirt, around town, in the middle of nowhere, for a few minutes, for a few days (punk still in the earbuds [first 6 sec.]; for ramblings on how punk, cycling, and classics are somehow the same experience for me listen to Mirror of Antiquity ep.5). Maybe it's that same freedom to roam that draws me.


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