Practitioners of the Divine: Greek Priests and Religious Officials from Homer to Heliodorus

  Dignas, Beate, and Kai Trampedach, eds. 2008. Practitioners of the Divine: Greek Priests and Religious Figures from Homer to Heliodorus. Hellenic Studies Series 30. Washington, DC: Center for Hellenic Studies.

7. Philosopher and Priest: The Image of the Intellectual and the Social Practice of the Elites in the Eastern Roman Empire (First–Third Centuries AD)*

Matthias Haake


Literary texts therefore suggest an incompatibility of priestly functions with philosophical conduct: according to the philosophical doxai and dogmata, a person could pursue one career or the other, but not both. In the following discussion, this image will be analyzed in terms of its true relevance to the social activity of persons who were philosophers and its correspondence with reality. Such scrutiny is suggested by various extant examples of discrepancies between philosophical theory, the practice of philosophers, and their legal status. Two instances may suffice here. First, the case of Favorinus of Arelate. According to Philostratus’ biography in his Lives of the Sophists (490), Favorinus tried to avoid being elected to the imperial priesthood by his native city by referring to the fact that this would not be in accordance with his position as a philosopher. In support of his position, he appealed to a law which exempted philosophers from public service. [10] When Favorinus realized that Hadrian did not consider him a philosopher—and that he therefore had no legal basis for refusing the office—he said to the emperor that his teacher Dio had appeared to him in a dream and told him that men come into the world not only for themselves but also for their patris . Therefore, Favorinus decided to obey Dio’s alleged advice and to become priest of the imperial cult. Before the Roman emperor, the man of Arelate did not bring any original philosophical arguments into play—he tried to hide behind the legal status of philosophers but did not refer to philosophy per se as being incompatible with a priesthood. [11] In other words, for Favorinus it was possible, under special circumstances, to be both philosopher and priest. [12] The second case is that of the Stoic philosopher Gaius Iulius Theon from Alexandria, who was imperial arkhiereus at Alexandria and of the whole of Egypt (POxy 12.1434): Theon was a member of Augustus’ milieu, and the first Roman emperor granted him Roman citizenship as well as vast tracts of land in Egypt. [13] Obviously, nothing prevented Theon from being a philosopher as well as holding the office of the arkhiereus at Alexandria with its attendant duties.

In sum, there were persons who were philosophers and who also served as priests. Neither from their own perspective nor in the public view of the poleis the communities in which these philosopher-priests lived—were they placed in a paradoxical situation when they combined in their own persons two ostensibly irreconcilable activities. But are we dealing here only with isolated examples, or is this a more widespread phenomenon?


The following enquiry into philosophers who also acted as priests will foreground one kind of source that is located in a completely different context of communication from that of literary texts, namely, inscriptions.

There are a great number of inscriptions in which the word philosophos is found, but the meaning in all of these cases does not seem to be the same. In some cases, the word is used as an adjective; philosophos is then combined with other honorable attributes like philopolis, philopatris, or philokaisar. In a private honorary inscription from Ancyra, dating from the mid-second century, Gaius Aelius Flavianus Sulpicius is called the first of the ethnos and twofold galatarkhos, and then labeled as philodoxos, ktistēs, and ploutistēs, polustephanos, philosophos, philopatris, and aleiptos (D’Orbeliani 1924:42f Orb. 76 = Bosch 1967:211–214). [16] Iulius Nicetes is mentioned in an honorary inscription from Claudiopolis in the second century as philosophos, philokaisar, and philopatris (IKlaudioupolis 67). [17] The dedication of a statue from around 300 for Aurelia Leite of Paros, wife of Marcus Aurelius Faustus, the first of the polis, arkhiereus of the Sebastoi and Kaisares says that she is philosophos, philandros, philopais, and philopatris (IG XII v 292 = Pleket 1969:40 no. 31). [18] The use of philosophos as an adjective is demonstrated clearly by the usage of the superlative philosophōtatos and philosophōtatē respectively: in an inscription dating from the third century, the Spartan Aurelia Oppia is called philosophōtatē, her father Calli[crates(?)] philosophōtatos (IG V i 598), and in a further inscription, her daughter [Aur(elia)] Herakleia is also designated philosophōtatē (IG V i 599). [19] Clearly, in all of these cases, the people praised in the inscriptions were not philosophers in the strict sense of the word, but lovers of wisdom just as they were lovers of their patris. The word philosophos in these contexts is then to be understood as an adjective with an encomiastic meaning: it could form part of a set of values that expressed the ideal of the good politēs, and it testifies especially to the moral character of a person. At the same time, though, it should be emphasized that—even when the word philosophos is used as an adjective—for the ancient reader, an allusion to the noun philosophos must have been implied.

In a large number of inscriptions, persons are also called philosophos without any further epithets. Examples of this type of inscription include a private honorary inscription from Caesarea Maritima for Titus Flavius Maximus (ICaesarea Maritima 12); [20] a dedication from the territory of the Cilician polis Epiphania for Demetrius Tullianus (IdC 125; second/third century AD); [21] an epitaph for Mateinianus from Nicomedia (Grélois 1998:383 no. 58 [fig. D 14 on pp. 254–255]; second century AD?); [22] the base of a statue for Ctesiphon from Thasus (Empereur-Simossi 1994:408–410 no. 1; second/third century AD); [23] an honorary inscription by the boulē and demos of Pergamum for Tiberius Claudius Paulinus from Antiochia Pisidiae (AvP 8.3.32); [24] an honorary inscription from Troizen for Marcus Aurelius Olympiodorus (IG IV 796); [25] a Spartan inscription for Iulius Phil‹oc›ratidas (IG V i 116; between 165 and 170 AD); [26] and an honorary inscription post mortem from Chaeronea for Sextus Claudius Autobulus, a descendant of Plutarch (IG VII 3425). [27] In all of these cases, it is difficult to decide, due to lack of sufficient evidence, in which sense the word philosophos is used. Similarly, in cases in which more than one member of a family is called philosophos without further epithets in the same inscription, it is not absolutely clear whether philosophos is used as an adjective or as a noun. Examples include a private dedication from Thessalonice by Sosibius, son of Sosibius—both men are called philosophos (IG X ii.i 145; before the mid-third century AD)—and an honorary inscription from Apollonia ad Rhyndacum in Mysia for Magnilla philosophos, daughter of Magnus philosophos, and wife of Menius philosophos (IGR 4.125 = Pleket 1969:40 no. 30; second/third century AD). [28] Clearly, when the word philosophos is accompanied by the article, it is to be understood as a noun; but it is not always obvious whether the person is to be understood as a philosopher in the true sense of the word. For instance, Sosibius, son of Sosibius, calls himself philosophos without an article, whereas in the case of his father, philosophos has the article (IG X ii.i 145). Even if there is no article, it is still possible that philosophos is to be understood as a noun, as in an honorary inscription from Aphrodisias for the philosopher Titus Aurelius Alexander, the father of the famous Peripatetic philosopher Alexander of Aphrodisias, in which both are designated philosophos without an article. [29] It is also important to differentiate between public decrees and private inscriptions. Only in the case of Delphi does it seem to be possible to hypothesize that the word philosophos is never used as an adjective. [30] This indicates that it is equally necessary to consider local specifics in the usage of the word philosophos.

Before turning our attention to persons who are mentioned as both philosopher and priest in the same inscription, it is necessary to consider one last group of inscriptions in which we can be certain that the word philosophos is used as a noun, because it is accompanied by a specification that indicates the philosophical school. A few examples for the different schools may illustrate this point. In an honorary inscription from Egyptian Antinoöpolis, Flavius Maecius Se[verus] Dionysodorus is mentioned as Platonic philosopher (SB 3.6012 = GIBM 4.1076 = IPortes 14); [36] Lucius Peticius Propas is called a Stoic philosopher in a private dedication of a portrait statue by his mother at Olympia, based on a psēphisma of the Elean boulē (IvO 453); [37] a certain Apollonius, otherwise unknown, is attested as a Peripatetic philosopher in a Greek inscription from Rome (IGR 361 = IG XIV 1088); [38] at Brundisium, a public grave inscription calls Eucratidas of Rhodes an Epicurean philosopher (IG XIV 674 = ILS 7780); [39] Marcus Po[r(cius)?] Sopatrus is called a Pythagorean in an inscription from the Illyrian polis Apollonia (IApollonia 260); [40] Menecles is attested in a grave epigram from Cyme as Pyrrhonian philosopher (IKyme 48 = IGR 4.1740); Uranius called himself a Cynic in an epigram from the tombs in the Royal Valley at Egyptian Thebes (Bernand, Inscr. métriques 141); [41] and finally, there is a mention of an eclectic philosopher from Alexandria in an Ephesian inscription dating from the early first century AD (IEphesos 3.789). [42]

This survey of the use of the word philosophos in Greek inscriptions dating from the Roman imperial period shows that the word was not used exclusively in its substantive meaning of philosopher, but also in its adjectival sense of lover of wisdom; the latter application is always honorary, but not literal. Generally, when the context is taken into account, it is possible to establish in which sense the word philosophos is used.


In the following section, selected epigraphic testimonies for individuals who are mentioned explicitly as priests as well as philosophers will be discussed. The analysis will embrace a variety of cults and members of different philosophical schools distributed geographically across the whole of the eastern part of the Roman Empire, in order to illustrate the diffusion and the nonspecific character of the union of philosopher and priest in one person.

We begin with three Samian inscriptions relating to Gaius Iulius Amynias from the Augustan period. One of these inscriptions, on the base of a statue dedicated by boulē and dēmos, says that Amynias was called Isocrates and that he was an Epicurean philosopher (IG XII vi, i 293). From a second inscription, we learn that he held the eponymous magistracy of dēmiourgos in AD 6/7 (IG XII vi, i 190), while a third epigraphic testimony gives information about Amynias as a member of a Samian embassy to Augustus in 6/5 BC to reassure the emperor of the loyalty of Samos (IG XII vi, i 7). This last inscription shows that Amynias was hiereus of the Autokratōr Kaisar Sebastos, son of the god, of his son Gaius Caesar, and of Marcus Agrippa. Apart from this evidence, nothing else is known about Gaius Iulius Amynias.

Thanks to three inscriptions from Didyma, we know that at least three philosophers—an Epicurean, a Stoic, and a Platonist—acted during the imperial period as prophētai. [49] The first testimony comes from one of the so-called prophet-inscriptions for a prophētēs and philosophos epikoureios by the name of Philidas, son of Heracleon, from an otherwise unknown genos which traced its origin back to Ajax (IDidyma 285). The dating of this inscription is uncertain, but it is nonetheless possible to point out some important aspects. Authors of the prophet-inscriptions were the Didymaean prophets themselves, the highest priests of Didymaean Apollo and descended from the noblest families of Miletus, [50] who were appointed by lot after the five Milesian demes had nominated one candidate each. The functions of the prophētēs were, on the one hand, the ritual performance of the sacrifices to Apollo and, on the other hand, representative duties as well as announcing and interpreting the answers of the oracle. The prophētēs Philidas, who left behind only an inscription of four lines as testimony of his office, did not see any inconsistency in being both an Epicurean philosopher and a prophet, or in publicly commemorating this aspect after the end of his term as prophet. Those who selected him as their candidate evidently had no reservations about this situation, either, for there can be no doubt that they knew about his Epicurean background. Besides Philidas, one Aelius Aelianus (IDidyma 310) is attested in a Didymaean funerary inscription as prophētēs and philosophos stōikos. [51] Finally, Phanis, too, diadokhos of a local (Platonic?) philosophical school and dedicator of a herm of Plato (IDidyma 150), was prophētēs of Apollo’s oracle at Didyma (IDidyma 127). [52]

To return to Epicurean hiereis, modern scholars have been particularly impressed by Aurelius Belius Philippus, hiereus theou megistou hagiou Belou and diadokhos of the Epicureans at Apamea ad Orontem (Rey-Coquais 1973:66–68 no. 3; cf. now Smith 1996:120). The relevant inscription is preserved only in a very fragmentary state and is dated to the second or third century AD. In spite of its poor condition, it is possible to gather from the text that Aurelius Belius Philippus had done something at the god Belus’ behest. Therefore, the Epicurean publicly recognized the god as the inspirer of his own acts. Since Aurelius Belius Philippus was diadokhos of the Epicureans at Apamea, there must have been an institutionalized Epicurean school, which is not otherwise attested. The sanctuary of Zeus Belus at Apamea was an important oracle sanctuary, [53] which was consulted, for example, by Septimius Severus (Cassius Dio Roman History 70.8.5–6). Little is known about this sanctuary, and nothing about the Epicurean diadokhos, except what the inscription tells us; yet Aurelius Belius Philippus, whose name contains Latin, Semitic-theophoric, and Greek elements, [54] has captured scholars’ interest for two reasons: first because, although being an Epicurean philosopher and therefore an exponent of Hellenic culture, he had strong relations to the cult of Belus, [55] and second, because of the supposed inconsistency between his Epicureanism and his priesthood. [56] However, rather than perceiving Aurelius Belius Philippus as a person enmeshed in inner paradoxes, we should perhaps question whether the supposed inconsistency might not prove to be an error of perspective on our part. For the issue whether an orthodox Epicurean should be a priest of Belus is relevant if, and only if, the postulate is valid that Epicurus’ doxai were determinant for his followers in their public life.


Following the description and analysis of these case studies, it is necessary to ask whether it is possible to give an explanation for our observations.

In view of the large number of examples, it is clear that persons who were philosophers and who also served as priests were not uncommon. The chronological and geographical distribution of our examples indicates further that this phenomenon was not limited to one region or to a particular period in time. Finally, given the variety of types of cult—imperial cult, oracular cult, and a wide range of polis-cults—as well as the affiliation to various philosophical schools, a satisfactory explanation cannot be based on the specific peculiarities of any given cult or philosophical doctrine.

The examples we have considered substantiate this general statement. Gaius Iulius Amynias was undoubtedly descended from the Samian elite and acted according to the common expectation of members of the upper classes of the Greek poleis during the Hellenistic and imperial periods that they should serve their patris. It was clearly compatible with this expectation that Amynias presented himself and was seen by his fellow citizens as an Epicurean, that is, a follower of a doctrine that focused on personal ataraxia and not on acting on behalf of the community of the polis. The same can be said with regard to the question of religion. Like Amynias, the imperial priest from Palaipaphos, Plous, and Tiberius Claudius Lepidus from Amastris were certainly members of the upper class. The office of the prophētēs in the temple of Apollo at Didyma was one of the most prestigious and expensive priesthoods of the polis of Miletus. As for Aelius Aelianus, we know from an inscription, set up by his daughter Aelie Aeliane when she was hudrophoros of Artemis Pythie, that this family belonged to the Milesian upper class and that its members held numerous important offices in the polis (IDidyma 310). In the case of Aurelius Belius Philippus, it is only an assumption, although a very likely one, that he belonged to the local elite. It is absolutely certain that Heraclitus of Rhodapolis descended from a family of leading citizens of his patris. Finally, Hermocrates, honored at Pergamum and attested as stephanēphoros and called philosophos in an inscription from Phocaea (CIG 3414b), was a member of a family known from many inscriptions to have belonged to the provincial elite of Asia.

The public behavior of the various actors examined was always determined by their social background and corresponded with the expectations of the polis-communities towards a member of the upper classes and the system of norms in which they were socialized; duty to the polis and honorable deeds performed for the patris formed central aspects of an upper-class man’s way of life. [65] An important role in this context was played by cultic offices, which generally required no special qualifications in the religious field, but which were rather an expression of a distinctive social prestige within the society of the poleis. The eminent importance of acting as a civic benefactor of one’s own polis finds one of its most eloquent examples in a very long and famous inscription from a small town in the Lycian mountains: Oenoanda. Diogenes of Oenoanda—a member of the local elite of his patris—wrote and published the so-called Epicurean inscription at his own expense on the front of the stoa in the agora and explains his motivation at the beginning of the text. [66] Addressing his fellow citizens, he states that, even though he is (at the present time) not engaged in public affairs (that is, he follows the Epicurean doctrine of ataraxia), the teaching expressed in the inscription is the equivalent of such actions (Diogenes of Oenoanda The Epicurean Inscription fr. 3 I 4–8 Smith). Of course, Diogenes declares that “joy [of real value is generated not by theaters] and [… and] baths [and perfumes] and ointments, [which we] have left to [the] masses, [but natural science]” (fr. 2 III 8–14). With this statement, he denies traditional elements of euergetic acts performed by members of the local upper classes. Yet the social framework for his public activity is the polis, just as it is for Demosthenes of Oenoanda, who instituted and funded the festival of the Demostheneia. [67] Demosthenes and Diogenes wanted the same thing, expressed through different means: to benefit their patris. Being an Epicurean, appearing as such and preaching ataraxia, did not prevent Diogenes from acting for his own polis, even if in a most unusual way. [68]

In the light of this distinction, it was therefore not a problem of principle if a philosopher also held a priesthood—neither from his own point of view nor from that of his social environment. The interesting question is rather: Why, in some cases of priests who were also philosophers, do the inscriptions mention both roles, while in others, such as that of Tiberius Claudius Lepidus from Amastris, they do not? Unfortunately, it is difficult to find a generally applicable answer to this question, because we are not sufficiently well informed.


[ back ] * I wish to thank the participants of the conference for their comments as well as N. Luraghi (Cambridge, MA) and A.-C. Harders (Freiburg) for reading the article and improving my English text. The article of Bendlin 2006 appeared too late to be fully taken into account.

[ back ] 1. For his dating in the late Hellenistic period, see Welles 1962:56–58 and the brief remarks by Smith 1996:121–122. On his dating in the early Augustan Period, cf. Ruge 1932:2423. On Lysias of Tarsus in general, see Goulet 2005b.

[ back ] 2. See Dio Chrysostom Oration 33.45. On Dio’s Tarsian orations, see Jones 1978:71–82. On Heracles as mythical founder of Tarsus, cf. Scheer 1993:294–305. On the cult of Heracles and his place in the local pantheon, see Chuvin 1981:319–324 and Ziegler 2002:364.

[ back ] 3. Lysias, not mentioned by Strabo in his paragraphs on Tarsus (Geography 14.5.12–15), is characterized by Athenaeus as one of those military leaders who arose out of a milieu devoted to philosophy (Deipnosophists 5.215c). Strabo’s omission of Lysias (as well as that by other relevant sources, such as Dio Chrysostom and Lucian) is surprising, because Strabo refers in his passage on Tarsus to domestic troubles in this city during the reign of Augustus. In these political conflicts was involved, besides the minor poet Boëthus (cf. Susemihl 1891:2n6, 408n194), the Stoic Athenodorus, son of Sandon, called Cananites (cf. Goulet 1989), who is possibly mentioned in an inscription from Rome (IGUR 4.1543; see Moretti 1976 and also Follet 1989a:659). The Academic philosopher Nestor (cf. Goulet 2005c) succeeded Athenodorus as lord of the city on behalf of Augustus. On the historical context, cf. Welles 1962:53–57; Berve 1967:439–440; Kienast 1999:467–468; and especially Bowersock 1965:47–48, who is fundamental for the personal relations between the two Tarsian philosophers and the first Roman emperor.

[ back ] 4. On this aspect, see e.g. the brief remarks of Berve 1967:483. Cf. Luraghi 1997, an instructive case study on one particular element of the constructed image of Greek tyrants—their death. The same is true mutatis mutandis for the dealings of other tyrants with the wealthy inhabitants of their cities.

[ back ] 5. Cf. Stier 1929:2345. For a skeptical view of Lysias of Tarsus and of the historical value of Athenaeus’ story, see Sherk 1992:223.

[ back ] 6. Cf. Wehner 2000:56 on the form of address in this passage. On Epictetus’ life and his historical, social, cultural, and intellectual context, see Fuentes González 2000; Long 2002:10–37. On the Discourses of Epictetus , see Long 2002:38–66. The relationship between Arrian (see note 64 below with main text) and Epictetus is examined especially by Brunt 1977. The short commentary on our passage by Dobbin 1998:181–182 is not convincing in every respect.

[ back ] 7. Against the background of this narrative it is a good punchline that Puplius Memmius Leo, philopatris and philosophos, was honored because he had been inter alia hiereus of the Sebastoi and agōnothetēs of the Aktia at Nicopolis (AD 244–248); see Riemann 1877:294 no. 89; Sarikakis 1965:153, 155; cf. Puech 2005a.

[ back ] 8. See e.g. Bowersock 1973:182–183. Cf. Millar 1965:147.

[ back ] 9. On Greek philosophers and their attitude to religion, cf. e.g. Attridge 1978; Frede 1999:41–44; Price 1999:126–142; Most 2003. It is important to emphasize the fact that my investigations do not deal with philosophical theologies, which are very different from common religious conceptions, but only with philosophical attitudes towards public cults.

[ back ] 10. Cf. also Cassius Dio Roman History 69.3.4–6; see Bowersock 1969:35; Hahn 1989:106; Fein 1992:142–145; Gleason 1995:145–147; Bowie 1997:6–8. On the relationship between Hadrian and Favorinus, cf. Swain 1989; on Favorinus in general, see Follet 2000; Amato 2005:1–192.

[ back ] 11. According to this passage, the Athenians decided to destroy a bronze statue of Favorinus in Athens as if he were an enemy of the emperor when they learned of the philosopher’s refusal to accept the office of the imperial priesthood. The Athenians were unconvinced by Favorinus’ argument: the fact that the man from Arelate called himself a philosopher was in their view not an obstacle to his becoming an imperial priest.

[ back ] 12. Favorinus did not act like the philosopher Secundus, who remained silent even in front of Hadrian; see Anonymous Life of Secundus the Philosopher pp. 70.16–72.13 Perry. On this passage, see Hahn 1989:182–185; Fein 1994:250–253.

[ back ] 13. On Theon, in addition to the Oxyrhynchus papyrus, from which we have the information about his imperial priesthood and his possession of land, cf. Suida, s.v. (203), where he is mentioned as a Stoic philosopher. See generally Bowersock 1965:37–38 on Theon (Pros. Ptol. VI.iii.A.4.B, no. 16763) and his relationship to Augustus; on Theon and his family, cf. Musurillo 1954:103–104. On the archiereus Alexandriae et totius Aegypti and the character of this office, cf. Demougin 2006; even if her characterization of this “priesthood” as a secular office can be accepted (although I am not entirely convinced by her remarks), it remains remarkable that it was a Stoic philosopher who was chosen for this function.

[ back ] 14. I examined these aspects in greater detail and with additional references in Haake 2007:1–12.

[ back ] 15. On the meaning of the word philosophos in inscriptions, see Hahn 1989:161–164; Lendon 1997:91; Barnes 2002:293–298, 303–304; Puech 2002:10–15. Cf. in general Veligianni 2001 on philos-composita in Greek inscriptions during the Roman imperial period.

[ back ] 16. Cf. Hahn 1989:161, 163. On Gaius Aelius Flavianus Sulpicius, who is also mentioned—without the epithet philosophos—in three further inscriptions (IGR 3.196–197; Mordtmann 1874, 21 no. 8), see Puech 2000a.

[ back ] 17. Cf. Hahn 1989:162 and Fernoux 2004:494 on this inscription; on Iulius Nicetes, see Puech 2005m. Publius Avianus Valerius is called philosophos and philopolis in a second-century honorary inscription from Hadrianoi (IHadrianoi 51 = IPrusa 18; cf. Şahin 1977:257–258 on the origin of the inscription). On philosophers at Hadrianoi—in addition to IHadrianoi 51, also evidenced in IHadrianoi 52 = IPrusa 17—see Fein 1994:254–255; Fernoux 2004:493–494.

[ back ] 18. On Aurelia Leite, see van Bremen 1996:71; Levick 2002:134; Puech 2005; Stavrianopoulou 2006:222–223., 239–240. On her husband, see Berranger-Auserve 2000:76, 171. Aurelia Charilampiane Olympias is called philandros, sophron, and philosophos in an epitaph from Heraclea Pontica (IHeraclea Pontica 10; second/third century AD); cf. Puech 1994b.

[ back ] 19. All three of them received further honorific titles besides this noteworthy epithet. On Aurelia Herakleia and Aurelia Oppia, cf. Rizakis et al. 2004:71–73 nos. 61 and 64; on Callicrates, see Bradford 1977:223 s.v. Kallikrates (63). Quintus Aufidenus Sextus, uncle of Quintus Aufidenus who was accorded the epithet philosophos, is called philosophotatos theios in a Spartan inscription honoring his nephew and dating from the early Severian period: Woodward 1927–1928:33–34 no. 56; cf. Hahn 1989:163; Cartledge and Spawforth 2002:180 with 263n6; see also Rizakis et al. 2004:65–66 nos. 44 and 46. What is especially interesting about this aristocratic family from Sparta is their kinship background (cf. Cartledge and Spawforth 2002:183): Aurelia Oppia’s husband Marcus Aurelius Teisamenus was a seer, and their daughter is designated in her grave inscription as a descendant of Heracles, Apollo, and the Iamidae (IG V i 598; for this text, see Peek 1978:254), the latter being one of the most famous families of seers in ancient Greece. On Marcus Aurelius Teisamenus, cf. Rizakis et al. 2004:128 no. 192; on the Iamidae, see Flower in this volume.

[ back ] 20. This inscription—dating from between AD 71 and the third century AD—has been published by Burrell 1993:291–292 no. II 1, with some considerations on the identity of the honorand; see Puech 2005k. If it is possible to identify Titus Flavius Maximus with another known person, then it seems most reasonable to identify him with a homonymous philosopher from Cretan Gortyn, whose gravestone has been found at Carthage (CIL 8.12924; see Liesenfelt and Le Bohec 1974–1975:127–128 no. 5; Hahn 1989:143–144n33; Puech 2005i), rather than with the procurator Augusti of the same name from Urbs Salvia in Italy (CIL 9.5529); against this latter proposal, cf. Eck 1992–1993:107n100.

[ back ] 21. On Demetrius Tullianus, cf. Puech 1994c.

[ back ] 22. On the form of the name, cf. Feissel, BE 2000 no. 33 and especially Solin 2002:112; on Mateinianus, see Puech 2005g.

[ back ] 23. On Ctesiphon, see Follet 2003:86–87.

[ back ] 24. His Latin grave inscription is known from his native town, Antioch, where he is designated not only as philosopher, but also as hērōs: CIL 3.302 = ILS 7777; cf. Hahn 1989:146n48.

[ back ] 25. Müller 1968:217–218 thinks it is unreasonable to include this curator from Troizen as a member of the leading family of the sophist Marcus Aurelius Olympiodorus from Thespiae; cf. Jones 1970:223–224; Gregory 1979:264 no. 9; Jones 1980:377–380; Puech 2002:308–312, on this family.

[ back ] 26. On this person and his name, cf. Cartledge and Spawforth 2002:180 with 263n6; Rizakis et al. 2004:320–321 no. 497.

[ back ] 27. On Sextus Claudius Autoboulos, who lived in the third century, cf. Puech 1989c. It is only because of the reference to the ancestor Plutarch and the content of the text that it seems plausible to understand philosophos in this inscription in its sense as philosopher.

[ back ] 28. On Magnilla, see Puech 2005e; on her father, Puech 2005f; and on her husband, Puech 2005l. A similar case is represented by Pompeia Polla, who called herself daughter of Pompeius Pleistarchus philosophos in an Eleusinian honorary inscription for her husband, Titus Flavius Euthykomas, from c. AD 166/7 (IG II² 3984 = IEleusis 487); cf. Follet 1976:249–252.

[ back ] 29. The statue of Titus Aurelius Alexander was erected in accordance with a decree of the council and the people by his homonymous son, who was “one of the heads (diadokhos) of the philosophical schools at Athens”; see Chaniotis 2004a:388–389 no. 4, and 2004:79. The diadokhos Alexander is the famous Peripatetic philosopher, on whom cf. Goulet and Aouad 1989.

[ back ] 30. The epigraphic evidence for philosophers at Delphi during the imperial period is as follows: an honorary inscription for Gaius, son of Xenos, who is mentioned as philosophos (F.Delphes III iv 103; about AD 130; on Gaius, see Whittaker 2000); Gaius may have been the adoptive father of Bacchius of Paphus, son of Trypho and adopted son of Gaius (F.Delphes III iv 94; on Bacchius; cf. Puech 1994). This Bacchius, one of the teachers of Marcus Aurelius (Meditations 1.6), and the Athenians Zosimus, Sotimus, Claudius Nicostratus (cf. Byrne 2003:185 s.v. Claudius no. 301; Goulet 2005d), and Marcus Sextius Cornelianus from Mallus, are called philosophoi platōnikoi in an honorary inscription (F.Delphes III iv 94; between AD 140 and 155; cf. Puech 1998:262). Lucius Calvinus Taurus, teacher of Aulus Gellius and Herodes Atticus and a friend of Plutarch, is called a philosophos platōnikos (F.Delphes III iv 91; on Taurus, cf. Lakmann 1995:207–228); similarly, the otherwise unknown Isidor of Thmouis (F.Delphes III ii 116; late second/early third century AD; cf. Puech 2000). Sextus Claudius Aurelianus from Smyrna is called puthagorios (F.Delphes III i 203; late second/early third century AD; cf. Puech 1989b). Whereas Marcus Atilius Maximus is designated as philosophos platōnikos (F.Delphes III i 199; for the text, see Daux 1959:493–495 no. 22 with J. and L. Robert, BE 1961 no. 346 and Daux 1978:610–612; cf. Puech 2005h), Publius Cornelius Lupus of Nicopolis (F.Delphes III iv 115, also mentioned in F.Delphes III iv 114; cf. Puech 2005c) and Tiberius Iulius Rufus (F.Delphes III iv 89; for the text, cf. Vatin 1970:684) are both called only philosophos. In those cases in which philosophos is written without any specification of a philosophical school, no further epithets are ever given. On the Platonic philosophers at Delphi, cf. Marek 1984:212–213; Hahn 1989:146; on philosophers at Delphi during the imperial period in general, see Weir 2004:113–116; Haake 2006:533–536.

[ back ] 31. On Callisthenes, cf. Puech 1994a.

[ back ] 32. On this inscription, see Trombley 1993:172–174, and also the brief remarks by Lorenz 1999:763; cf. now Samana 2003:432–434 no. 334; Nutton 1977:219 no. 25; on the title arkhiatros, see Nutton 1977:215. On Macedo, cf. Puech 2005d.

[ back ] 33. This inscription is IG II² 3704, on which cf. Aleshire 1991:59–70; Puech 2002:270–272 no. 122; Geagan 1991:159–160. On Titus Flavius Glaucus (Byrne 2003:233–234 s.v. Flavius no. 20), see Puech 2002:270–283 nos. 122–127; Quintus Statius Themistocles (Byrne 2003:443–444 s.v. Statius no. 11) served with distinction as kleidoukhos of Asclepius.

[ back ] 34. On the Sarapion Monument, see Kapetanopoulos 1994 with the older literature. Cf. Jones 1978a:228–231; Puech 1992:4874–4878; and Follet 2001 on the Stoic Sarapion (Byrne 2003:441–442 s.v. Statius no. 4); see also Samana 2003:128–130 no. 022.

[ back ] 35. Cf. Hahn 1989:123, 125, 129–130; also Byrne 2003:203–204 s.v. Coponius no. 3: He was archon eponymus in AD 99/100 (IG II² 1072). On his father, who was hierokērux of Hagnous and who held many of the most important and prestigious offices in Athens, cf. Byrne 2003:200f s.v. Coponius no. 2.

[ back ] 36. On this inscription, cf. Cauderlier and Worp 1982, who propose that the name of the Platonic philosopher should be restored with Se[verus]; cf. also more generally, Hahn 1989:139, 162. Proposals for the date of this inscription range from the second to the fourth century AD. On Dionysodorus, see Puech 1994e.

[ back ] 37. Cf. also Schörner 2003:444–445 cat. 841. See Zoumbaki 1996: 202–203, and Rizakis and Zoumbaki 2001:510 nos. 290, 612, and no. 298 on Lucius Peticius Propas and his mother Occia Prisca. On Lucius Peticius and the Peticii, cf. the brief remarks by Salomies 2001:165–166; further, Lo Monaco 2004:295–296.

[ back ] 38. This inscription is dated between the first and third century AD; cf. Hahn 1989:149; Riess 2001:185; Solin 2003:295. For Apollonius, see Puech 1989a.

[ back ] 39. On Eucratidas, cf. Puech 2000, and see Haake 2007:235–236, on this probably late-Hellenistic inscription.

[ back ] 40. Second century AD; cf. Cabanes 1996:93–94.

[ back ] 41. On Uranius, cf. Goulet-Cazé 1996:400; Goulet-Cazé 2005. There is some evidence that Cynics called themselves in inscriptions dogs to express their affiliation; see e.g. Diocles, who denotes himself in the royal tombs of Thebes four times as dog: Baillet 1926:1542, 1611, 1721, 1735; cf. Goulet-Cazé 1996:394.

[ back ] 42. On this eclectic philosopher, see Runia 1988:241–242, who plausibly suggests identifying him with Potamo of Alexandria, known from Diogenes Laertius’ Lives of Eminent Philosophers 1.11; cf. also Hahn 1989:138–139.

[ back ] 43. I have dealt with Amynias and the three Samian inscriptions in greater detail in Haake 2007:190–194.

[ back ] 44. On Epicureans as imperial priests, see now Koch-Piettre 2005:269–270; on Epicureans as priests of traditional city cults, Koch Piettre 2005:266–269.

[ back ] 45. In addition to the following examples, one might also mention the Epicurean Quinctilius Maximus, whose career is known from IAlexandreia Troas 39 and who is attested in Arrian’s Discourses of Epictetus as being an Epicurean (3.7); cf. Puech 2005j.

[ back ] 46. On this passage, cf. Victor 1997:149–151; for a better understanding of Lucian’s Alexandros, see now Elm von der Osten 2006, and especially Bendlin 2006:197–203. On Alexander of Abonouteichos, see Robert 1980:393–421; Jones 1986:133–148; Miron 1996. On Tiberius Claudius Lepidus, cf. Piettre 2002:140–141; Goulet 2005a.

[ back ] 47. See Apuleius Florida 25.38 with the commentaries by La Rocca 2005:239–240 and Todd Lee 2005:156; cf. also Augustinus Letters 138.19; on Apuleius, see Flamand 1994; on his priesthood, cf. Rives 1994; Harrison 2000:8.

[ back ] 48. On the Eleusinian inscription, cf. Puech 2002:357–360; on the Delphic inscription, see Jones 1971:28. On Plutarch as philosopher and priest, see Feldmeier 1998; Bendlin 2006:172–177. In a second Delphic inscription (Syll.³ 843 = CID IV 151), Plutarch is mentioned neither as philosopher nor as priest.

[ back ] 49. On the Didymaean prophētai, see Günther 1971:118–119; Fontenrose 1988:45–55.

[ back ] 50. Cf. Günther 2003:447, on the character and intention of the prophet-inscriptions. On the social elite of Miletus, see Andreou 2000.

[ back ] 51. Cf. Puech 1989; Andreou 2000:9.

[ back ] 52. See again Andreou 2000:9.

[ back ] 53. Cf. Balty 1981 and 1997 on the sanctuary of Zeus Belus.

[ back ] 54. It is not possible to say anything specific about the unique and striking name Belius because of insufficient evidence, although it is clear that this theophoric name is to be seen in the context of the relation between Aurelius Belius Philippus and the god Belus, whose priest the Epicurean was. However, we cannot tell when he received this name, so it remains an open question as to what specific meaning should be ascribed to it.

[ back ] 55. Cf. Millar 1993a:262–263; see Rey-Coquais 1997 on culture in Roman Syria.

[ back ] 56. See Smith 1996:127–130. An instructive ancient source in this context is a grave inscription from Miletus, in which Epicurus and his doxai are connected with pleasure and atheism (IMilet 734); on this inscription, cf. Haake 2007:227–229.

[ back ] 57. On this inscription, cf. Robert 1990:582; see now Samana 2003:397–399 no. 290; Puech 2000b.

[ back ] 58. On this inscription, see also the remarks by Oliver 1975.

[ back ] 59. Cf. e.g. Campanile 1994:56 no. 34c.

[ back ] 60. Cf. especially Jones 2003; also, Puech 2002:297–307 nos. 137–139.

[ back ] 61. For a translation and interpretation of the oracle, cf. Jones 2003:130; Bendlin 2006:180n64.

[ back ] 62. Cf. Robert 1978:402n57; see also Montserrat 1997 on an inscription on a mummy (SB 18.13645), where philosophos is also used as a laudatory epithet for an educated young man of the local elite in a funeral context. On Leon Thrason, cf. Puech 2005b.

[ back ] 63. Without pretending to completeness, further epigraphic evidence could be added as follows: the diadokhos Titus Flavius Pantainus (cf. Byrne 2003:237–238 s.v. Flavius no. 39) was priest of the philosophical Muses in Athens (Meritt 1946:233 no. 64; around AD 100; cf. Parsons 1949:268–272; Oliver 1979; McK. Camp 1989:50–51); Tiberius Claudius Sospis, priest of the altar (ho epi bōmos), is mentioned by Philostratus as an illustrious philosopher (Lives of the Sophists 591) and was honoured by the Athenians because of his arētē and philosophia (Meritt 1961:272–273 no. 110; cf. Follet 1976:290–292); Gnaeus Claudius Severus, son-in-law of the emperor Marcus Aurelius, consul, and pontifex, is called philosophos in a newly discovered fragment of a known Ephesian inscription (IEphesos 5.1539 with Engelmann 2000:78; for the text, see Jones 2002:113—last quarter of the second century AD). On Gnaeus Claudius Severus and his family from Paphlagonian Pompeiopolis—his father had also been consul and was one of the teachers of philosophy of the young Marcus Aurelius (cf. Jones 2002:112n21)—see the fundamental article of Groag 1902; also, Syme 1968:102–103; Halfmann 1982:643. Hadrian, who dedicated the statue of Gnaeus Claudius Severus and wrote an appendant epigram, is the famous sophist Hadrian of Tyre, on whom see Campanile 2003. A further example is the Alexandrian Lucius Septimius Trypho, philosophos, twice priest of Dionysus, arkhiereus for life of Dionysus Kathegemon and arkhiereus for life of the emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus neos Dionusos (CIG 4.6829 = IGR 4.468; between AD 198 and 209; on this inscription, cf. Merkelbach 1985). The restoration [The]o[k]ritos Ariste-[ou phil]osophos Epi-[koureios] in a list of molpoi from Aigiale is not without its difficulties (Duemmler 1886:102–104 no. 6 = IG XII vii 418 = IGR 4.998; cf. Robert 1937:53–54n5—dated by Robert to the Roman period).

[ back ] 64. On Arrian, see the overview by Follet 1989; on his career, see Syme 1982; and with particular reference to the epigraphic evidence on Arrian, Oliver 1982; Chaniotis 1988:331–332 E 47.

[ back ] 65. On the Greek polis in the Roman period, see Millar 1993, and Meyer-Zwiffelhoffer 2003 on the politai in Greek cities during the Roman imperial period; see Pleket 1998 on political culture and practice in the Greek cities of Asia Minor in the Roman Empire. On the social elites, cf. Quass 1993:149–178, 210–229, 253–269, 303–347; Stephan 2002:59–113.

[ back ] 66. On this inscription, cf. Gordon 1996; Warren 2000:144–148; Scholz 2003:208–227; Bendlin 2006:159–165. For text and translation, see Smith 1993 and 2003. The identity of Diogenes is not certain; for a discussion of the various proposals, cf. Smith 1993:35–48; Scholz 2003:210; Puech 1994d.

[ back ] 67. The inscription relating the foundation of the Demostheneia has been published by Wörrle 1988:4–17.

[ back ] 68. On Epicureanism as a philosophical trend which appealed particularly to the upper classes of the poleis, see Timpe 2000:61.

[ back ] 69. On this aspect, see Gotter 2003:175.

[ back ] 70. On this passage, see Flinterman 1995:72–73

[ back ] 71. On Euphrates, cf. Frede 1997; Flaig 2002:129–131; Jones 2003a:160–162; for a general overview on Euphrates, see Robiano 2000.

[ back ] 72. See note 48 and main text above.

[ back ] 73. On Plutarch’s career, see Jones 1971:13–38. On the importance of religious matters as an element in the lives of members of the upper classes in Greek poleis, see e.g. Galli 2001.

[ back ] 74. On the relationship between paideia and power in the Second Sophistic, see e.g. the monograph by Schmitz 1997; also, Jones 2005 on the relevance of culture in the careers of eastern senators. Cf. Anderson 1989:104–136 on the term pepaideumenoi; see Borg 2004 on portraits of pepaideumenoi.

[ back ] 75. No persona is characterized by one role exclusively, but each is composed rather by a set of roles; on this point, cf. Haake 2003:97; Bendlin 2006:178; see also the methodological remarks by Burke 1980:50–53.

[ back ] 76. See Haake 2003:97–100 on the concept of the social figure of the intellectual.

[ back ] 77. On this theme, cf. Bowersock 2002; Dillon 2002.

[ back ] 78. See Diefenbach 2000:101–112 on such models.

[ back ] 79. For a more detailed discussion with additional references, see Haake 2007:279–281.

[ back ] 80. On multiple identities in the age of the Second Sophistic, see Jones 2004; cf. more generally, Stephan 2002, especially 114–260.