A. Alexander the Great


Tod, GHI 186 (Syll.3 278)                                                                               Summer, 334

Following his victory over the Persians in the cavalry battle at the Granikos River in May of 334, Alexander proceeded south in Asia Minor and, after his arrival at Ephesos, set about the liberation of the Greek cities (Arrian 1.18.1-2; on Alexander's actions and policy here see esp. E. Badian, “Alexander the Great and the Greeks of Asia,” Ancient Society and Institutions, Studies Presented to Victor Ehrenberg [Oxford 1966] 37-70). To this period (about August, 334) belongs the present decree of the city of Priene (cf. the reference to autonomy in the prescript). Antigonus, later known as the “One-Eyed” (Monophthalmos), served in Alexander's army as commander of the allied contingents until early in 333 when he was appointed satrap of Phrygia (Arrian 1.29.3). From Alexander's death in June, 323 until his own on the field at Ipsos in 301, Antigonus' rôle in the struggles of the successors was a major one (see further nos. 6 and 7). Precisely what he did for Priene in 334 is unknown.

[Resolved] by the boule [and the demos], on the second of [the month] Metageitnion, at a [regular] assembly, the Prieneans being autonomous, Hippo[krates] being the prytanis: to Antigonus, son of Philippos, Macedonian, who has been a benefactor and who is zealous toward the city of the Prieneans, to give to him proxenia and citizenship and the right to own land and house, and freedom from taxation on all things pertaining to his own house, except land, and the right of import and export, both in war and in peace, free from plunder and without special treaty, and access to the magistrates and the demos of the Prieneans first after the sacred matters; and for these things to belong to him and to his descendants.


Tod, GHI 192 (Syll.3 283)                                                                            332

Early in 333 the island city of Chios, previously governed by a democracy that supported Alexander, was betrayed to Darius' commander Memnon (Arrian 2.1.1; cf. Diod. 17.29.2). An oligarchy was thereupon established and a number of people, presumably anti-Persian democrats, expelled from the city. In the latter part of 332 the democrats succeeded in turning the city over to Alexander's admiral Hegelochos after a siege (Arrian 3.1.3-4; Curtius 4.5.15-18). It is probably to the period immediately after the recovery of the city by Alexander's forces that this letter belongs. While the prescript indicates that the letter was addressed by Alexander to the Chians, its original form seems to have been altered in the process of transcription at Chios: note the differing forms of reference to Alexander in the third person, the use of what appears to be the royal plural in the provision about the Chian triremes, and the ambiguous “us” (a royal plural, or does it refer to the Chians themselves?) in the last sentence but one.

Deisitheos being the prytanis; from King Alexander to [the] demos of the Chians. All the exiles from Chios are to return; the form of government in Chios is to be demos. Law-drafters are to be chosen, who shall draft and revise the laws, in order that nothing may be contrary to the democracy or the return of the exiles; the results of the revision and drafting are to be referred to Alexander. The Chians are to provide twenty triremes with crews at their own expense, and these are to sail for as long as the rest of the fleet of the Greeks sails with us. Of those who betrayed the city to the barbarians, as many as have already departed are to be exiles from all the cities sharing in the peace and are to be subject to arrest according to the resolution of the Greeks; as many as have been caught are to be taken before and judged in the synhedrion of the Greeks. If there is any dispute between those who have returned and those in the city, they are to be judged in this matter before us. Until the Chians are reconciled with one another, there is to be as large a garrison as may be sufficient among them from Alexander the King, and this the Chians are to support.


1. The peace treaty concluded between Philip II of Macedon and the Greeks in 338/7 after his victory at Chaeronea (Wickersham-Verbrugghe, The Fourth Century, 74) and renewed by Alexander in 336/5.

2. The council of the Corinthian League, instituted by Philip and continued by Alexander, to which all member states sent delegates, synhedroi.

3. Curtius 4.8.12-13 suggests that early in 331 Alexander, agreed to a Chian request for the withdrawal of the garrison.


Tod, GHI 196                                                                                                 330-326

Early in the 320's Greece labored under a serious shortage of grain (cf. 62). Prices rose widely, but such was the fertility of Cyrene in North Africa that it could at the same time distribute grain from a massive surplus (probably at reduced prices rather than free; so Tod, GHI II, p. 276). The total listed here is 805,000 medimnoi (the equivalent of 1,207,500 Attic medimnoi, if the figure is given according to the Aeginetan standard, cf. Tod, loc.cit.), and it went to numerous places in Greece and the islands, as well as to two individuals: Alexander's mother Olympias (a total of 72,600 medimnoi) and his sister Cleopatra (50,000).

The priest (is) Sosias, son of Kalliadas. Those to whom the city gave grain, when there was the shortage of grain in Greece: To the Athenians, 100,000 (medimnoi); to Olympias, 60,000; to the Argives, 50,000; to the Larisaeans, 50,000; to the Corinthians, 50,000; to Cleopatra, 50,000; to the Rhodians, 30,000; to the Sikyonians, 30,000; to the Meliboians, 20,000; to the Megarians, 20,000; to the T[en]ians, 20,000; to the Lesbians, 15,000; to the Theraeans, 15,000; to the Oitaeans, 15,000; to the Ambrakiots, 15,000; to the Leukadians, 15,000; to the Karystians, 15,000; to Olympias, 12,600; to the Thessalians of Atrax, 10,000; to the Kythnians, 10,000; to the Opountians, 10,000; to the Kydoniates, 10,000; to the Koans, 10,000; to the Parians, 10,000; to the Delphians, 10,000; to the Knossians, 10,000; to the Boeotians of Tanagra, 10,000; to the Akarnanians of Palairos, 10,000; to the Megarians, 10,000; to the Meliboians, 8,500; to the Phliasians, 8,000; to the Hermioneans, 8,000; to the Oitaeans, 6,400; to the Troizenians, 6,000; to the Plataeans, 6,000; to the Keans of loulis, 5,000; to the Aiginetans, 5,000; to the Hyrtakinians, 5,000; to the Aiginetans, 5,000; to the Keans of Karthaia, 4,000; to the Kytherans, 3,100; to the Keans, 3,000; to the I1lyrians, 3,000; to the Keans of Koresos, 3,000; to the Ambrakiots, 1,500; to the [I]ketyrians, 1,000; to the Knossians, 900.


Tod, GHI 202 (Syll.3 306)                                                                             324

In summer 324 Alexander sent Nikanor of Stagira to the Olympic Games with instructions for him to have the victorious herald read out the following communication: “King Alexander to the exiles from the Greek cities: We were not responsible for the fact that you are in exile, but we will be responsible for your return to your own fatherlands. We have written to Antipater about these matters, that he might compel to bring back (their exiles) those cities that do not wish to do so.” (Diod. 18.8.4; cf. 17.109.1). On the whole the measure was welcomed, especially by the more than 20,000 exiles present, but it produced immediate discontent at Athens and in Aetolia (Diod. 18.8.6 ff.). It also produced problems in the various cities affected, and the present text gives an indication of how the situation was handled at Tegea. Apparently a previous piece of Tegean legislation had not found complete favor with Alexander, and what we have is a version revised in the light of the statement of principles communicated to the city in the king's diagramma referred to at various points in the text.

[- - - King Alex]ander [ - ] the diagramma; (it) is to be written as the city has corrected (it) according to the objections raised in the diagramma. The exiles who return are to receive the property on their father's side, which was theirs when they went into exile; and as many women as, not having been given in marriage, held property and did not in fact have brothers (are to receive) the property on the mother's side. And if it should happen, in the case of a woman given in marriage, that her brother and his line be extinct, then she shall have the property on the mother's side, and it shall not go to a more distant relation. Regarding houses, each is to have one (house), according to the diagramma. If a house has a garden by it, let him not take another (garden); if there is no garden by the house, but there is one up to a distance of a plethron away, let him take half of it, as is prescribed in the case of other land. As the price of the houses, let him receive for each house two minas; the tax-assessment on the houses is to be as the city reckons; the tax on the gardens is to be double what is prescribed in the law; the city is to remit the money and not to give a formal receipt either to the exiles or to those previously enjoying citizen-rights at home. Regarding the festivals which the exiles have been missing, the city is to deliberate, and whatever the city decides after deliberation is to be valid and binding. The foreign court is to sit for sixty days. For as many as do not file suit within the sixty days, it is not to be possible for them to have property claims judged in the foreign court, but at all times in the city court. If they discover anything subsequently, (let them bring it to court) in sixty days from the day the court begins to sit; if he does not file suit even within this time, it shall no longer be possible for him to have the matter judged. If any return later, when the foreign court is no longer in session, let him register the property (in question) with the strategoi within sixty days; and if the matter is one that requires defense, the court is to be at Mantinea. If he does not file suit within this period, it shall no longer be possible for him to have the matter judged. Regarding the sacred moneys [ - ] amounts owing, in cases where the city has settled with the goddess let him who is in possession of the property give over half of it to him who has returned, just as the others are to do. As many as have themselves been in debt to the goddess, by way of guarantees or otherwise, if he who is in possession of the property has evidently settled the debt to the goddess, let him give half to the one returning, just as the others are to do, without delay. If he has evidently not paid the goddess back, let him give over half of the property to the one returning, but let him settle the debt from his own half. If he does not wish to settle it, let him give over the whole of the property to the one returning, and let the latter, when has received it, settle the whole debt to the goddess. As many wives or daughters of the exiles as remained at home and married or who went into exile and later married in Tegea and paid for their exemption (from banishment) remaining at home, neither these nor their descendants are to be subject to inquiry about paternal or maternal property, except those who were forcibly exiled subsequently and who are returning on the present occasion, either they themselves or their children - both they and their descendants are to be subject to inquiry about the paternal and maternal property, according to the diagramma. I swear by Zeus, Athena, Apollo, Poseidon that I shall bear good-will towards those who have returned whom the city has resolved to receive back, and I shall bear no malice against any of them for anything he may propose after the day on which I swear the oath, nor shall I stand in the way of the safety of those who have returned, neither in [ ... ] nor in the public affairs of the city [ - ] against those who have returned [ -   ] to the city [ - - - ] what is written in the diagramma about - -  nor shall I give counsel against any one (of them).


4. I.e., houses beyond the one allowed by the diagramma; these would have to be given up by the returning exile.

5. The precise meaning of the text at this point is particularly unclear; for this version cf. Tod, GHI II, pp. 298, 300.

6. It seems most likely that the reference here is to a panel of judges brought in from another city, probably Mantinea (note the time limit and the mention of Mantinea a few lines later; cf. also Tod, GHI II, p. 301), but the reference might possibly be to a Tegean court which dealt with suits between citizens and foreigners. Cf. n. 33.

7. Athena Alea.


Tod, GHI 201 (OGIS 2)                                                                                         324

This inscription is part of a decree passed by the Lesbian city of Mytilene and containing regulations dealing with the return to the city of exiled citizens. The context is probably the same as that of the similar Tegean enactment of 324 (4), although it has been assigned also to that of Alexander's letter to the Chians (2; see C.B. Welles, AJA 42 (1938) 245-260). It is at any rate clear that these measures were directly influenced by communication from Alexander.

[ - - - and let the] basileis [favor the one who has returned on the ground that] the one previously [in the] city [is guilty of fraud. But if any of those who have returned] does not abide by these settlements [let him not receive (?)] from the city any property and let him not [enter into possession] of any of those things which those previously in the city granted to him, but let those previously in the city who granted (them) [to him] enter upon possession of these things, and let the strategoi [transfer the possessions back] to the one previously in the city [on the ground that] the one who has returned [has not observed the settlement], and let the basileis favor [the one] previously [in] the city on the ground that the one [who has returned] is guilty of fraud. And if anyone institutes a lawsuit concerning these things let neither [the peri]dromoi nor the diaskopoi nor any other magistrate bring it to court. [It is to be the concern of] the strategoi and the basileis and the pe[ridromoi and] the disaskopoi and the [other] magistrates if [everything does not take place] as [has been written] in the [decree]; and let them condemn [him who disregards any of the things] written [in the decree], in order that [there may be] no difference between those who have returned and those [previously] in the city, [but] (that) all who have been reconciled [may deal] with one another [without suspicion and] without plotting, and (that they may abide by [the king's answer and] by the settlement in this decree. The demos [is to choose as arbitrators] twenty men, ten [from those who have returned] and ten from those previously in the city. Let these [maintain careful watch] and see to it that there shall be no [difference between those] who have returned and those previously in the city; and [they shall act] concerning the disputed possessions [so that those who return] shall, [preferably] come to terms both with those in the city and with [one another], and, failing this, that they shall be as just as possible, and that all shall abide by the settlements which the king has determined [and by the reconciliation], and shall inhabit the city [and the country] in a state of concord with one another. And concerning possessions, [after] the settlements [have been accepted] as far as possible, and concerning the oath, [which the] citizens [are to swear], concerning all these things where mutual agreement has been achieved, let the men chosen bring (reports) before the [demos  and let the demos] when it has heard, deliberate as to what it considers advantageous. [If the demos considers the] mutual agreements advantageous, fit is to decree for those who] returned during the prytany of Smithinas [the same as] has been decreed [for the rest]. If there is anything lacking from this decree, [the decision concerning this shall be] with the boule. When the decree has been ratified [by the demos, the entire] demos, on the twentieth of the month [after the sacrifice, is to pray] to the gods that the settlement between those who returned [and those previously] in the city occurs for the safety and happiness [of all the citizens]. [All the public] priests and priestesses are to open the temples and [the demos is to come together for prayer.] The sacrifices which the demos vowed, when it dispatched [the messengers to] the king, are to be offered (on the king's [birthday] every year; present at the sacrifice are to be [the twenty men and the] messengers sent to the king, [the ones from those previously] in the city and the ones from [those who returned.] When the treasurers have had this [decree] inscribed [on a stele---]