THE EPIGRAPHICAL SCIENCE AS A RESOURCE FOR ROMAN LYDIA AND PHRYGIA ANAPLASIS (Vlast)


(BEING CONTINUED FROM 5/04/17)

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ended with a confession or a preliminary examination including giving an oath of innocence with a conditional self-curse. Taking an oath/depositing a curse meant giving the last word to the gods, who were expected to open an inquiry, prosecute and chastise the guilty and, in cases of theft, claim (a part of) the stolen property for themselves.153 Tablets reporting on the details of a specific case and invoking divine aid are referred to in Lydian inscriptions as pittãkia, pinak¤dia, tãblai.154 They must have been commonplace in every temple, hanging on the walls or deposited next to cult statues or on platforms (bÆmata).155 In their wording, they reflected the form and terminology of petitions and complaints in secular courts of law, while the expected divine judgment was a substitute for inadequate human justice. Although Lydian village priests did not possess autonomous judicial authority, their role in the whole process was not negligible. They were probably present at all the stages of the procedure taking place in their temple: they witnessed the lodging of the complaint, the setting up of the divine sceptre, and the taking of an oath. Moreover, as intermediaries between gods and their worshippers, they consulted the gods on the transgressor and communicated back divine answers and commandments. Fines in money or natural products were delivered to them or to their assistants – hieroi – and they took care that the transgressor erected a stele informing everyone of his sin, sometimes, perhaps, even taking part in formulating the text of the inscription. For the villagers, divine justice was not something abstract. They firmly believed that the gods would punish the transgressor and help the injured party, so that human intervention was needed only on some “technical points” during the process of establishing connection with the divine world. After that, it was just of question of time and patience until the punished transgressor confessed his guilt and redressed the wrong he had done.

THE END

MARIJANA RICL /UNIVERSITY OF BELGRADE

Dedicated to the Memory of Professor Peter Herrmann (1927–2002)

NOTES

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SOURCE  aus: Epigraphica Anatolica 35 (2003) 77–101
Dr. Rudolf Habelt GmbH, Bonn

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