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The Athena Nike dossier: IG I 35/36 and 64 A–B*

  • Harold B. Mattingly (a1)


Stephen Tracy's neat demonstration that IG I3 35—authorizing the building of a temple and appointment of a priestess for Athena Nike—was cut by the man responsible for the Promachos accounts (IG I 435) at first seemed decisive for the traditional c. 448 B.C. against my radical down-dating. Ira Mark then argued that this decree provided for the naiskos and altar of his Stage III in the 440s: the marble temple belonged to Stage IV over twenty years later. Despite these two powerful interventions the matter is not closed. David Gill has, I fancy, convincingly refuted Mark on archaeological and architectural grounds. And there is still more to be said from the epigraphic angle.

IG I 36, cut on the back of the stele, looks like a delayed rider to 35. But just how delayed was it? It arranged for the regular payment of the priestess's salary by the kolakretai in office in the month Thargelion. On the traditional view the gap would be close to a quarter of a century, since 36 is firmly dated 424/3 B.C. This is quite extraordinary, though reasons have been found for it. More serious perhaps is some neglected epigraphic evidence. We have eighteen other examples in fifth-century Attic epigraphy where decrees are followed on the same stone by other texts; but virtually all the gaps are short, never more than a few years. The relevant texts are IG I 4, 11/12, 41, 42/43, 52 A–B, 59, 61, 66, 68, 71, 72, 73, 89, 93, 101, 127/II1, 156, 1454. It is true that 42/43 are dated c. 445–442 and c. 435–427 B.C. in IG I, but this is quite arbitrary.



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1 See Tracy, S., in Studies Presented to Sterling Dow, ed. Rigsky, K. J. (Durham, NC, 1985), 277–82.David, Lewis — in Ian, Carradice (ed.), Coinage and Administration in the Athenian and Persian Empires, BAR International Series 343 (Oxford, 1987), 57 felt that this was decisive and I wavered temporarily (ibid., 68). But see my The Athenian Empire Restored: Epigraphic and Historical Studies (Ann Arbor, 1996), 522 for my come-back.

2 Mark, Ira, Hesp. Suppl. 26(1993), 4268, 104–10, 120–1, and 130–5.Tomlinson, R. A. in his review (MS 115 [1995], 238) was convinced by Mark.

3 David Gill, Historia (forthcoming).

4 See ZPE 83 (1990), 38–63. Alan Henry remains the most determined opponent of the Antiphon reading: see most recently ZPE 120 (1998), 45–8. I have answered him in ZPE 126 (1999), 117–20. For Egesta and Halikyai, see Thuc. 6.62 and 7.32.1.

5 Admittedly Lisa Kallet-Marx has suggested putting IG I3 52 A (Kallias decree) in 431/30 and Bin 418/17: see CQ 39 (1989), 94–113 and ead., Money, Expense and Naval Power in Thucydides’ History (Berkeley, 1993), 105ff. But most scholars prefer to date them to the same year: see GRBS 38 (1997), 113–26 for my counter to her view.

6 Dinsmoor, W. B., AJA 17 (1913), 376 and 27 (1923), 318–21.

7 See Mark (n. 2), 69–76.

8 For this view see Furtwangler, A., Meisterwerke der griechischen Plastik (Leipzig, 1893), 211; Dohrn, T., Antike Plastik (Krefeld, 1957), 21; Travlos, J., Pictorial Dictionary of Ancient Athens (London, 1971), 149: Jeffery, L. A., Miscellanea… E. Manni (Rome, 1980), 1237–8.

9 Mark (n. 2), 108–10 and 123–5.

10 See Thuc. 3.108 and 111 with 4.46 and 49.

11 The return of the expedition (lines 34–5) probably refers to Nikias’ Corinthian campaign, as E. Cavaignac (REG 48 [1935], 245–9) and M. F. McGregor (TAPA 66 [1935], 156–61) saw long ago.

12 Meritt, B. D., Hesp 14 (1945), 115–19.

13 See Wallbank, M. B., Athenian Proxenies of the Fifth Century B.C (Toronto, 1978), no. 19, 123–9: Barron, J. P. (in Boardman, J. and Vafopoulou-Richardson, C. E., Chios [Oxford, 1986], 101–2) and Hornblower, Simon (Commentary on Thucydides 2 [Oxford, 1996], 209–10) both support Meritt's view with good arguments.

* This paper was given in an earlier form to a meeting of the British Epigraphy Society in Cardiff on 24 April 1999. It followed David Gill's treatment of the history of work on the Nike bastion. I am grateful to all those who took part in the stimulating discussion after our two papers and to CQ reader for helpful criticism.

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The Classical Quarterly
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