Sacred Law from Ios in Homer’s Honour
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.