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Sacred Law from Ios in Homer’s Honour

Davide Tronchin    Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia, Italia    



On the Cycladic island of Ios, an exceptional epigraphic document was unearthed, the ‘sacred law’ in Homer’s honour. Dated to the 2nd-3rd century AD, the text is inscribed on a white and blue marble stele, on whose surface two snakes are depicted crawling towards a third decorative element, interpreted as either an offering or a violet. The inscription allows us to reflect on the importance of Homer for the island of Ios, which was considered in the ancient tradition to be the death place of the Greek aoidos, and which is mentioned in ancient literature only in connection with Homer. The document therefore allows some observations on the heroic cult of poets, considered as essential in the education of a good citizen, as well as personifications of the values sung in their own verses and expressions of civic pride.

June 20, 2022
April 9, 2022
Feb. 8, 2022

Keywords: Sacred LawHomerHeroic CultEpichoric Traditions

Copyright: © 2022 Davide Tronchin. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.