5 October 2022 The Future is the Product of the Past

2000-year-old Ancient Greek ‘graduate school yearbook’ carved in stone found

Historians have discovered that an ancient Greek inscription on a marble slab in the collection of the National Museums of Scotland is a rare, previously unknown “graduate school yearbook” type list of names.

The carved letters on this marble are a list of ephebic friends, and close friends, who passed through the ephebate in Athens, a year of rigorous military and civil training during the reign of Emperor Claudius (AD 41-54).

An ephebus was a youth in ancient Greece who had reached the age of puberty. Ephebi (the plural of “ephebus”) aged 18 or 19 were at one time required to undergo two years of stringent military training, but the requirement became less compulsory and the training less rigorous and militaristic over time. The youthfulness of the ephebi inspired the adjective “ephebic”.

Ephebic training became a requirement for all young males eligible for admission as Attic citizens in the 4th century B.C. If they were 18 years old of Attic parentage on both sides, the youths would be de jure citizens, but to actually exercise those rights (vote, be a party to a lawsuit, attend the assembly), first, they had to sign up for two years of military studies. The requirement was ultimately dropped, and by the 2nd century B.C., ephebic training was open to foreigners and the study of literature and philosophy was added to the curriculum. From roughly 39 A.D., everyone who had completed an ephebic training was considered an Attic citizen.

The stone is inscribed with a list of names. Photo: National Museums Scotland

It lists a group of 31 friends who went through the Athenian ephebate together during the reign of the Roman Emperor Claudius (AD 41-54) and was intended to commemorate the close relationships they had formed.

When they read heard about it, experts assumed it was a replica of a similar list in the collection of the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, but when they examined it, they realized that was not the case.

Because inscriptions from this time period are uncommon, scholars say it’s even more remarkable that the newly discovered ephebic list dates from the same year and cohort as the Ashmolean’s inscription.

Dr. Peter Liddel, professor of Greek history and epigraphy at the University of Manchester, who led the discovery, said: “Because of lockdown we were not able to travel to the museum until July 2021, and on seeing it we realized that this was not a copy of an already known inscription but it was a completely unique new discovery which had been in the storerooms of the NMS for a very long time, since the 1880s, and it listed a group of young men who called themselves co-ephebes or co-cadets and friends.

It is not known where the list was displayed but it is thought it could have been put up somewhere such as the gymnasium where the young men trained.

“It turned out to be a list of the cadets for one particular year during the period 41-54 AD, the reign of Claudius, and it gives us new names, names we’d never come across before in ancient Greek, and it also gives us among the earliest evidence for non-citizens taking part in the ephebate in this period.

The top of the plaque is peaked and a worn relief believed to depict a small oil amphora of the type ephebes would have used in the school gymnasium. It is not known where the list was displayed but it is thought it could have been put up somewhere such as the gymnasium where the young men trained.

In the archonship of Metrodoros, when the superintendent was Dionysodoros (son of Dionysodoros) of Phlya, Attikos son of Philippos, having inscribed his own fellow ephebes (and) friends, dedicated (this).

The 31 names are inscribed in two columns under the dedication. Attikos’ select bros in the ephebate were Aiolion, Dionysas, Anthos, Herakon, Theogas, Charopeinos, Tryphon, Dorion, Phidias, Symmachos, Athenion, Antipas, Euodos, Metrobios, Hypsigonos, Apollonides, Hermas, Theophas, (H?)elis, Atlas, Zopyros, Euthiktos, Mousais, Aneiketos, Sekoundos, Zosimos,  Primos, Dionys, Eisigenes, Sotas and Androneikos.

The inscription is published this week.

Cover Photo: National Museums Scotland

Banner
Related Post

Roman-era Mixers and Millstones Made with Geology in Mind

22 September 2021

22 September 2021

A study on stone tools from an outpost of the Roman Empire has found that for ancient bakers and millers,...

2100-year-old women skeleton found lying in bronze ‘Mermaid Bed’

4 June 2022

4 June 2022

Archaeologists have discovered the 2100-year-old skeleton of a woman lying in a bronze ‘Mermaid Bed’ near the city of Kozani...

The Historian Says That the Saint Petrus Cave Church in Antakya is Not the First

24 February 2021

24 February 2021

According to a news from Trt World, A historian who was in the news recently for claiming a church in...

Famous Egyptologist Zahi Hawass Wants to See Hieroglyphs as an İntegral Part of The Curriculum

23 February 2021

23 February 2021

The Egyptian council of ministers is discussing the introduction of archaeological and tourist materials in the education curriculum to help...

Central Turkey’s largest Byzantine mosaic structure found

28 October 2021

28 October 2021

A 300-square-meter (3,330 square feet) ​floor mosaic belonging to the Late Roman-Early Byzantine period was discovered during excavation work in...

A Batavian Cavalry Mask was found on the Battlefield of Roman Comrades

22 July 2022

22 July 2022

Archaeologists have discovered that a rusty corroded plate they found 4 years ago at an old battlefield in the city...

Norse Runic Text found in Oslo could be Prayer!

30 December 2021

30 December 2021

Archaeologists from the Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Studies (NIKU) have unearthed two objects inscribed in Norse runic text in...

Knights-era painting found behind bricked-up arch at Museum of Archaeology in Malta

30 November 2021

30 November 2021

A newly found Knights-era painting hidden behind a bricked-up arch at the Museum of Archaeology might give insight into the...

The greatest Anglo-Saxon treasure trove ever unearthed has been discovered by a metal detectorist

10 November 2021

10 November 2021

A metal detector in West Norfolk, England, unearthed 131 coins and 4 golden artifacts going back 1,400 years. This is...

An ancient “fridge” have uncovered at the Roman legionary fortress of Novae, Bulgaria

30 September 2022

30 September 2022

Polish archaeologists, during excavations at the Roman legionnaires’ camp in Novae, discovered a container that could be described as an...

Sacred Hill of Moon God Sin “Sogmatar”

23 June 2022

23 June 2022

Sogmatar, Şanlıurfa is 53 kilometers from Harran. It is located in Yağmurlu village, where there are important springs in the...

Researchers may have found the wreck of British explorer James Cook’s Endeavour

3 February 2022

3 February 2022

The wreck of Captain James Cook’s famed vessel the Endeavour has been found off the coast of the U.S. state...

Mustatil Structures in Arabia May Be 7,000-Year-Old Stone Remnants of Cattle Cult

1 May 2021

1 May 2021

Archaeologists examining the mustatil stone remains in the northwest of Arabia think that these stone remains may have been used...

2000-year-old quarry discovered in Jerusalem that could be the source of Second temple stones

5 September 2021

5 September 2021

Archaeologists have discovered a 2,000-year-old quarry in Har Hotzvim, now an industrial park in Jerusalem. The Israel Antiquities Authority said...

In Bergama, the City of Greek Gods, the People Kept the Cult of Cybele Alive

25 August 2021

25 August 2021

The figurines of Cybele, the goddess of the fertility of Anatolia, and the presence of sanctuaries unearthed in the Ancient...

Comments
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.