Decree Concerning the Sacred Land of the Sanctuary of Eleusis
The decree concerns the sacred land (ἱερὰ ὀργάς) of the sanctuary of Demeter and Kore at Eleusis and focuses on two related but distinct issues: the definition of the boundaries of the sacred land and the possibility for the future of renting and farming - or of not renting and leaving fallowed - the land immediately beyond the boundaries of the sacred land and already cultivated in the past. The decree is an important document in many respects. First of all it attests the disputes between Athens and Megara for the control of the Eleusinion’s sacred land, adding to the accounts of the attidographers Philochorus and Androtion and referring to the existence of a former decree connected to the sacred land and proposed by a certain Philocrates. Moreover, it confirms the existence of the practice of renting the sacred land in mid-fourth century BC – mentioned in other contemporary inscriptions and urged by Xenophon in his Poroi. It also offers some useful elements for the dating of the Eleusinion’s restoration works. Finally, it provides evidence for the consultation of the Delphic oracle and sheds light on Athenian democratic procedure in the middle of the 4th century BC.
Keywords: Tempio eleusino • Terra sacra • Atene • ἱερὰ ὀργάς • Eleusi • Affitto di terre sacre • Megara