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The Art of ForgettingDisgrace and Oblivion in Roman Political Culture$

Harriet I. Flower

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780807830635

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807877463_flower

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Did the Greeks Have Memory Sanctions?

Did the Greeks Have Memory Sanctions?

(p.17) Chapter II Did the Greeks Have Memory Sanctions?
The Art of Forgetting

Harriet I. Flower

University of North Carolina Press

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter analyzes the function of memory and punitive sanctions of the Greeks that provide the essential background to later Roman practices, especially during the Republic, and to the culture of memory that was cultivated under Hellenistic influence in the wider world of the eastern Mediterranean. It points out that the attitude of the Greek city-states to memory sanctions is primarily revealed in their laws and statutes. The chapter notes that the internal stability of the individual cities depended on their being able to deal with threats, whether real or potential, from errant citizens who might disrupt the community or even overturn its government, sometimes seizing power and imposing a tyrannical regime. It observes that political strife (stasis) was endemic to Greek politics, and that patterns of repeated tyrannies or oligarchies were vivid in the collective memories of many cities.

Keywords:   memory, punitive sanctions, Greeks, Hellenistic influence, Mediterranean, laws, statutes, political strife

Οἱ γὰρ ἄνθρωποι πρὸς ἃ ἔπασχον τὴν μνήμην ἐποιοῦντο‎.

People shape their memory according to their present experience.

Thucydides 2.54

In this neatness one pfe6erceives a calculating venom; for to destroy the context of an erasure might have made it impossible to tell who was contemned.

Sterling Dow, Prytaneis

In an analysis of the function of memory and of punitive sanctions, the Greeks provide the essential background to later Roman practices, especially during the Republic, and to the culture of memory that was cultivated under Hellenistic influence in the wider world of the eastern Mediterranean. One example can serve to illustrate this point. In 1993 a Greek inscription in honor of the emperor Claudius and recorded on a marble Doric architrave came to light at Ilion, the site of ancient Troy. The building in question was named for Claudius, together with Athena Ilias and the local demos, that is, the people of Ilion.1 This text contains an erasure of the building's dedicant, who seems to have been King Mithridates VIII of Pontus, named in the inscription with his queen.

This Mithridates had attempted to revolt, had been defeated by a Roman (p.18) army, and had been taken to Rome as a hostage, so the erasure attests to the loyalty of the local people to Rome and especially to the Julio-Claudian family. It is typical of habits in the mid-first century A.D. and of reactions to political crisis under the Julio-Claudians and may also reflect the bitter memories at Ilion of the ravages of an earlier Mithridates, this man's ancestor who had fought Sulla and later been defeated by Pompey. Yet because Ilion itself had a venerable history of erasure, as is attested by its early third century B.C. anti-tyranny law, the practice of political erasure could be part of a regional tradition that was particularly related to the treatment of kings and to local autonomy. Mithridates' role was that of a Hellenistic king, or at least a candidate for that position, who was being dishonored in a city and by a people whom he once patronized. Meanwhile, the Romans played a role similar to that to which the king himself aspired, as they inserted themselves into a milieu that remained essentially Hellenistic in culture, in outlook, and in much of its political rhetoric. The erasure of Mithridates represents a Hellenistic memory sanction that may well have been imposed by the people of Ilion on their own initiative and in accordance with their own political memory space, rather than in imitation of a Roman custom, despite the fact that the emperor Claudius himself made use of a variety of memory sanctions.2

Greek Laws and Memory Sanctions

The attitude of the Greek city-states to memory sanctions is primarily revealed in their laws and statutes. The internal stability of the individual cities depended on their being able to deal with threats, whether real or potential, from errant citizens who might disrupt the community or even overturn its government, sometimes seizing power and imposing a tyrannical regime. Such threats could be just as real as the danger of war with neighboring communities, and the two could and often did go together. Political strife (stasis) was endemic to Greek politics, and patterns of repeated tyrannies or oligarchies were vivid in the collective memories of many cities.3 Disaffected citizens might also join foreign enemies, such as the Persians. Even in the earliest times, sanctions against traitors and tyrants are attested in many Greek communities.

A Lokrian law of the late sixth century b.c. demonstrates the regular use of severe sanctions against the worst lawbreakers, such as murderers or violators of other communal civic agreements.4 Such sanctions included the confiscation of property and the razing of the transgressor's house, which thus spelled the expulsion of the individual and of his family from the community. (p.19) The razing of the house was a widely attested penalty, which the Greeks themselves dated back to mythical times in the story of the revenge taken on those guilty of the murder of Hesiod.5 Although not mentioned in the Homeric poems, its place in myth underlines the symbolic significance of such a penalty in the Greek imagination. Greek tragedies often speak of the gods' destruction of the houses of the wicked, and many villains of tragedy were portrayed as tyrannical rulers who misused their power in relation to men or to gods, even as they brought disaster on the cities they were supposed to be leading.

Such destruction was used at Corinth to mark the end of the reign of the Cypselids. At Sparta the houses of individual kings were destroyed, even though the monarchy itself was never in question as an aspect of the traditional system of government.6 The razing of the house symbolized the ruin of the family and of its position in society. Even in the historical period, the gods were thought to enact their own form of this penalty against particular offenders. Glaukus the Spartan, for example, dared to ask the Delphic oracle whether he could swear a false oath in order to keep a deposit of money that had been left in his care.7 Although he never actually committed the perjury he was contemplating, Apollo still punished him by making his family and house disappear from Sparta, where he had formerly enjoyed a reputation for justice and fairness.

An archaic sanction that carried distinct religious overtones,8 the razing of the house went far beyond mere symbolism. It literally destroyed the economic status and social position of the whole family, or at least of the branch that lived in the house in question. The result was that the offending individual would no longer live there, nor would his descendants and relatives. The implication was that this family could no longer coexist with the community at large. In most cities outside Athens, the confiscated land seems simply to have been reused for another purpose, so that all traces of the erasure itself were also removed. Presumably, the whole incident might eventually be forgotten.9

Although the razing of a house was not primarily designed as a memory sanction, it could and often did carry this secondary effect. Surely the immediate impact on the surviving family members was initially much more important than the eventual effect on how they were remembered. Moreover, this penalty was not limited to political elites and to a desire to curb their ambitions for power. In the archaic period any murderer could be subject to this punishment, even one whose house was modest and whose memory would have been insignificant. The origins of this sanction seem more probably to (p.20) lie in the community's desire to rid itself of the pollution associated with crimes such as murder.10 Meanwhile, the examples in our sources of houses that were destroyed are naturally those of more prominent citizens. It is hard to say how often such a penalty was actually used in any given community, even when the history of a city is well documented.

Additional penalties could be associated with confiscation and destruction of property. Equally severe was the restriction of burial within the territory of the city.11 Most often this penalty would apply to the offender himself, but it could also involve his descendants (those now going into exile) and even sometimes his ancestors. In the latter case, graves might be dug up and the remains cast out beyond the borders of the community. Cypselus, the founder of the Corinthian tyranny, was thrown over the border unburied, as were the bones of his ancestors. The remains of the Alcmeionids were said to have been cast out twice under the Peisistratid tyranny at Athens, only to be returned subsequently. The Athenians might also institute a trial for treason after death, so that the offender could be exhumed and expelled from Attica.12

It seems that the Athenians had at least two locations where bodies were left exposed, probably under guard, so that they would indeed lie unburied rather than simply being deposited just beyond a border and collected by a relative from there.13 Such exposure of a corpse assimilated the offender to an enemy of the state and made a public display of his new status as noncitizen. The Athenian state still claimed the power to control the ultimate fate of a citizen's body, despite the fact that even the bodies of enemies who had been killed in battle were often returned to their relatives. Individual identity would be lost by exposure in a communal pit, since no grave could be set up elsewhere. How often bodies were exposed is unknown. However, the existence of two recognized pits in Athens suggests again that it was perhaps not as uncommon as the prevailing silence in our sources might lead us to believe.

In this case, it seems fairer to speak of denial of burial as a true memory sanction, especially when a whole family group was affected. The presence of the family in the city was marked by the house of the living and by the graves of the dead. In cases of treason, tyranny, or other egregious violations, a whole family might be removed from the community as if it had never been a part of it. Such a removal could involve an elaborate series of public events, including the razing of the house and the ritual of exposing a corpse, or the digging up of family graves and the casting of old bones over the border. It seems probable that the expulsion of ancestors was more likely to involve (p.21) prominent families and to represent a much more politicized erasure of family power and influence than the unceremonious casting of a common criminal into a pit reserved for those who had been crucified. The element of civic celebration and the affirmation of political values are well illustrated by the destruction of the tyrants' palace at Syracuse in Sicily in the late fourth century. After his defeat of the tyrants, Timoleon enlisted the help of all willing citizens to come and take part in the demolition work and in the observance of the occasion as a public holiday.14

When it comes to the imposition of the death penalty, it seems that many citizens of Athens, especially those of means, were expected to remove themselves from the community by going into voluntary exile and never returning to face execution.15 This practical solution removed the offender from the city without forcing officials to deal with imposing the death penalty or to decide about burial. By definition, such a man could not be buried inside Attica, so his departure obviated the issue of dealing with his tomb or his body. Meanwhile, his disappearance was convenient for all and might save his family from further consequences.

Athenian law offers the richest source for examples of legislation that mentions the severest penalties, including those that might affect memory,16 but similar sanctions could be found throughout Greece according to the local customs of each community. At Athens such extreme sanctions are especially associated with measures against tyrants or oligarchs who aimed to subvert the established system of government by the people. Athenian laws developed from the time of Draco and Solon to meet the changing needs of the city as it faced both internal factions and the tyranny of the Peisistratids and to protect Athens' democracy in the fifth and fourth centuries. Athenian penalties were related to the evolving definition of atimia, first as a radical loss of rights that made the person an outlaw who could be killed by anyone with impunity, but later as a more constitutional form of loss of certain legally defined civic rights.17

Throughout this development there was a consistent stress on achieving the expulsion of the offender (and his family) and enforcing sanctions against his return, rather than on securing his person for execution. Houses might be destroyed to reinforce these laws. Athenian practice grew logically in response to the constant civil strife of the archaic period, when groups of aristocrats battled each other for power and exiles might return with foreign armies or mercenaries to enforce their own political aims. The establishment of the democracy by Cleisthenes was related to the need to control political conflict and violence, as well as to give many more citizens a role in politics. (p.22) The democracy of the fifth century moved away from the battles of rival clans to more moderate uses of exile, notably in the typically Athenian form of ostracism.18 This penalty, which was designed to target especially prominent citizens who might pose a threat to the community, imposed only ten years of exile with no concomitant loss of property or family status. Meanwhile, traitors were fiercely punished with death or exile, confiscation of property, and a ban on burial at home.

What made Athens different from the point of view of memory was its practice of publicly recording the names of traitors and other notorious offenders on stelai that were prominently displayed in the city.19 By providing examples (paradeigmata) of individual villains, such inscriptions ensured that their memory would be perpetuated in a negative way that served the purposes of the Athenian democracy. Far from erasure and oblivion, the Athenians' system of memorializing notorious offenders helped to protect the city by describing the individuals who posed the most serious threats to its way of life. These memorials to traitors fit in with the democracy's characteristic emphasis on writing in public and on the teaching of political values through public texts. The earliest to be mentioned was the stele on the acropolis that enumerated the names and penalties (adikeia) of the Peisistratids in 510 B.C., a monument that could still be read (in its original form?) by Thucydides more than a century later. Other notable inscriptions included one condemning Hipparchus, son of Charmus, which was made by melting down a statue in his honor from the acropolis after his ostracism in 487 B.C., and the markers that labeled the places where the houses of Antiphon and Archeptolemus had been leveled in 410 B.C.

Consequently, Athens redefined the worst offenders as outlaws who had lost not only their citizen status but also their physical place within the community, both in life and after death. The implied, albeit usually silent, consent of the community of citizens as a whole was an important part of this rhetoric of punishment.20 Oblivion remained the more common lot of the lowly criminal. The notorious elite offender, however, especially the traitor or aspirant to tyranny, was memorialized as such by having his name and deed advertised through special inscription(s). If his house was destroyed, its former location was marked rather than being simply consigned to the vagaries of collective memory. From its earliest days the Athenian democracy arrogated to itself the practice of labeling and controlling public memory in order to preserve its political system, communal values, and way of life. The positive label was initially more significant than any systematic erasures. So the stele of the Peisistratids survived together with some of their monuments (p.23)

Did the Greeks Have Memory Sanctions?

Figure 2. Peisistratus' dedication of an altar to Apollo Pythios, Athens, c. 521 B.C. No modifications to this text are visible. By permission of Oxford University Press, L. J. Jeffrey, The Local Scripts of Archaic Greece (1991), no. 37 pl. 4.

and inscriptions, most notably the dedication of the younger Peisistratus to Apollo Pythios that memorializes his archonship around 521 B.C. (figure 2).21 The Athenians apparently felt that the inscription of the decree of outlawry was authoritative enough to outweigh or to redefine any other honorific text that might still remain standing.

Amnesty: (Re)Shaping Civic Memory

The Athenians, and other Greeks also, developed another practice that was a type of deliberate memory sanction, namely an amnesty. According to the terms of an amnesty, a reconciliation was made between two sides in a conflict, whether within a community or between two rival Greek cities. The new settlement was based on a pledge to put aside past differences and not to pursue old grudges. Such a pledge was usually made by both sides in the conflict by means of an oath taken by each person in his own name. Each person would make a personal pledge to reconcile and to make a new start. This practice reveals much about the construction of political memory within the Greek city, as well as between cities. In the Greek view, political relations took place within the memory space specifically created by the community, and the role of the past in determining the future was clearly acknowledged. A new start was made by promising not to use the past as a political weapon.

The standard term used in Greek for the oaths was ou mnesikakein, “not to remember evils from the past” or even “not to misuse memory.”22 In other words a special verb was created to express the recalling of previous wrongs, presumably nearly always with a view to seeking some kind of personal vengeance or to provoking political unrest. Rather than using a verb of forgetting or of reconciling, the Greeks expressed an amnesty in negative terms, literally as a sanction against certain types of or uses of “memory.” This was not a general ban on the act of remembering itself, but rather a specific agreement about the public use of certain kinds of memories. The agreement relies on memory and presupposes that people will and must inevitably recall the past (p.24) in order to obey the law. The same verb appears outside the actual agreements written on stone, notably in the Attic orators, when speakers accuse individuals of violating the terms of the famous Athenian amnesty of 403 B.C. An alternative term was a verb of “being angry on the basis of memory” (mnasicholesai). In this case the individual would swear not “to be angry in remembering the past.” The connection of anger with vengeance and strife is a time-honored Greek concept that goes back to the anger of Achilles in the Iliad. Similarly, the Odyssey ends with an exchange of oaths and a pact between Odysseus and the families of the suitors whom he has killed. The word “amnesty” was also a Greek term (amnestia) but is only attested later, for example, in the alliance between Miletus and Heracleotis of about 180 B.C.23

T ehpractice of banning such memories of evil was current in the fifth century, as attested in the reconciliation between the Athenians and the Bottiaians in 422 B.C.24 Other examples include the reconciliation of Athens and Iulis (362 B.C.) and the amnesty decree from Aliphera in Arcadia (late third century B.C.). The practice is also celebrated in myth by the reconciliation of Poseidon and Athena after their contest over who should be the principal protective deity of Athens.25 The myth was depicted in sculpture on the monumental west pediment of the Parthenon. According to Plutarch, Poseidon was happy to share a temple with Athena, and there was an altar dedicated to Lethe, goddess of Forgetting, at the Erechtheium. Each year the Athenians apparently omitted the second day of the month Boedromion because that had been the day of the contest between Poseidon and Athena. By contrast, the Furies (Erinyes or Eumenides) were characterized as goddesses who kept alive the memories of evil and whose constant quest for revenge was based on memory, linked to grief and pollution. In Aeschylus' Eumenides the goddesses become the protectors of the city by agreeing to accept legal arbitration of blood feuds and by taking on an official role as guardians of memory.26

Of all the amnesties in Greece, the most famous was the Athenian reconciliation of 403 B.C.; this was the occasion recalled by the emperor Claudius at the beginning of his reign, when he wanted to enact an amnesty after the murder of his nephew and predecessor Gaius in A.D. 41.27 This amnesty enabled the Athenians to return to a form of democracy based on the image of a unified people. All swore to put the past aside and to enjoy reconciliation, except for the Thirty Tyrants themselves, their closest associates, and those guilty of shedding citizen blood with their own hands. The importance of this well-publicized episode lay both in its effectiveness in stopping civil war and in its function as a paradigm for the future. Despite, and indeed because of, (p.25) the disasters Athens had suffered after the huge loss of life in the Peloponnesian War, the humiliating defeat by Sparta, and the strife caused by two oligarchic coups, a new start was decreed. An effective limit was put on revenge and bloodshed by elevating a law of reconciliation (and consequently also the legal system in general) as an authoritative tool to put an end to disputes between citizens.

At the same time, the lawcourts served as venues for exploring and controlling the bitter memories of the past.28 Athenian legal speeches continually recalled the past rather than keeping silent, but this practice seems to have served to reinforce rather than to undermine the effectiveness of the amnesty decree. Open discussion in the courts of its limits and consequences helped to shape its practical details and to give the community ownership of the new political order. The price of peace was for all to step aside from their past roles, whether as defeated oligarchs, victorious democrats, or fearful citizens who had simply tried to stay out of the conflict. At the same time, the collective guilt and reproaches for what had happened could be virtually transferred to the notorious Thirty, who could serve as scapegoats for the whole community. Their small and precise number suggested that most other Athenians had been their victims and that the unity of the community had essentially remained intact. As a result, the new democracy could be closely associated with the old, even as the constitutional break of 404 was isolated and relabeled. Meanwhile, all citizens who remained in the community were to be on an equal footing and hence to emerge as the victors from the conflict.

The amnesty of 403 B.C. was appropriately celebrated in its own right as an expression of Athenian civic values and as a basis for shared political life. It recalled ancient pledges of an end to blood feuds and a respect for laws that brought to mind Solon and the first establishment of a stable political system. Yet it also inaugurated a new style of democracy and a renewed appreciation for the value of the law as the true basis of the political community.29 The importance of controlling the memory of the past for the future of the community was acknowledged and brought home to every citizen in his personal taking of the oath. Control of memory ultimately belonged to each citizen in his own person, rather than to any representative group or body within the city. The conception and success of this amnesty became celebrated throughout the fourth century and helped to establish the image of Athens that was familiar to successive generations.

(p.26) Erasing Greek Public Inscriptions

The treatment of traitors and political subversives, as well as the public creation of a culture of memory specific to each community, suggests the function of memory sanctions in Greece and especially at Athens. Similarly, erasures can also be found in Greek inscriptions of many kinds and from many centuries that attest to a desire to rewrite history or to remove and to shame the memory of individuals who had fallen from favor.30 Each Greek city had its own culture of writing, ranging from the rich epigraphical dossier of Athens to the very limited use of writing in Sparta. Most communities may have been somewhere between these two extremes. Consequently erasure would also express different messages in each particular civic and urban context.

Meanwhile, it needs to be kept in mind that a standard Greek practice was to destroy the inscriptions, including the laws and honorific decrees, of one's political opponents by removing the whole stele that bore the text.31 This practice can help to explain why there is not more evidence for erasures in Greek texts. In this way, the Thirty at Athens removed many texts, presumably because public inscriptions were especially associated with the democracy they had overthrown. Their acts can be traced in the extensive restoration program of the new democracy, which reinscribed a whole series of such texts, including proxeny decrees and the sacrificial calendar of the city, which had also become a target. Similarly, the new Athenian democracy of 318 B.C. restored the honors that had been granted to Euphron of Sicyon, who had been given Athenian citizenship in 323 B.C., by inscribing on the same stele both the old decree (lines 1–34) and a new one (lines 35–87).32 These inscriptions may have taken original wording from the archives, but they specifically memorialized the previous destruction and hence also the overthrow of the destroyers and the present restoration in the context of political renewal. Such restored texts communicated a new meaning and recalled a series of events well beyond the inscription of the original decree on the stele that they replaced.

The desire to change an inscription is almost as old in Greece as the practice of writing on stone itself. A convenient example is provided by the stone base for the famous bronze statue of the charioteer at Delphi (figure 3).33 This prominent monument was dedicated by Polyzelus, tyrant of Gela, to recall his victory in an Olympic chariot race around 478 B.C. The inscription was changed later without any damage to the dedication as a whole. While the change did not remove the name of Polyzelus as the victor and dedicant, it served to efface the memory that he had been a tyrant. In other words, the (p.27)

Did the Greeks Have Memory Sanctions?

Figure 3. Polyzelus' dedication, base of bronze charioteer, Delphi, c. 478 B.C. Text emended after 460 B.C. to remove the reference to the Deinomenid tyranny at Gela in Sicily. By permission of Oxford University Press, L. J. Jeffrey, The Local Scripts of Archaic Greece (1991), no. 9 pl. 51, Delphi Museum 351.

Sicilians wanted to keep the memory of the famous victory without memorializing the Deinomenid tyrants, who had fallen from power by 460 but who had made many lavish dedications at leading Panhellenic shrines in Greece.34 The attention given to Polyzelus' dedication illustrates the importance of pilgrimage sites such as Delphi in creating a common memory space shared by many Greeks from all over the Mediterranean.

Similarly, one of the most famous dedications at Delphi was the tripod set up by the Greeks as firstfruits of the Persian spoils, whose original dedication text was erased soon after its inscription. Pausanias the Spartan first wrote a couplet dedicating the tripod in his own name as leader of the Greeks in the war against the Persians. According to Thucydides, the Spartans had Pausanias' text erased and inscribed the names of all the cities that had taken part, and this list is still extant on the tripod (now in Istanbul). When Pausanias was starved to death by being trapped by the ephors in the Temple of the Goddess of the Brazen House, it was Delphic Apollo who insisted on honorific burial for Pausanias at the site of his death and on expiation of the curse the Spartans had incurred through their treatment of him. In the end Pausanias received a tomb marked by a stele and two bronze statues in the goddess' precinct, dedicated as memorials of his death.35

Erasures of different kinds that do not target specific individuals can be found in Greek laws and treaties. For example, the contemporary treaties between Athens and Rhegion and Athens and Leontini of 433/32 B.C. both show erasures of the original prescripts and reinscription of new but longer texts in the spaces.36 There is a marked difference in the writing style of the second preamble of the treaty with Leontini. In such a case of elaborate recasting it is not possible to recover the details of the original text. A more easily understandable example is provided by the honors awarded by Athens to Neapolis in Thrace for loyalty to the Athenians in 409–407 B.C. (figure 4).37 Here the references to Thasos as the mother city of Neapolis have been erased in the first of the two decrees. Such an erasure may reflect a request from (p.28)

Did the Greeks Have Memory Sanctions?

Figure 4. Inscription recording a treaty between Athens and Neapolis in Thrace, Athens, 409–407 B.C. Erasures in the opening section removed references to Thasos as the mother city of Neapolis. Epigraphical Museum, Athens, EM 6598, IG I3 101.

Neapolis that constituted an acknowledgment of its image at Athens. The erasure has changed Neapolis' identity in order to express it in a more independent way. A similar erasure of the epithet Eleuthereus for the god Dionysus in a decree of 330 B.C. also represents a political realignment in terms of territorial loyalties.38

A complex Greek text might contain multiple erasures made at different times. This is the case with the decree of Aristoteles establishing the Second Athenian Confederacy of 377 B.C., a document that was preserved but adapted to meet the changing political climate (figure 5).39 This decree from the Athenian agora contains an erasure in lines 12–14 that removed about (p.29)

Did the Greeks Have Memory Sanctions?

Figure 5. Treaty of the Second Athenian Confederacy, Athens, 377 B.C. Multiple changes made to the text at different dates. Epigraphical Museum, Athens, EM 10397, IG II2 43.

(p.30) half of the rationale for the original alliance. The meaning of the lines in the erasure has been much disputed, but for the present purposes it is clear that as the emphasis of the naval alliance shifted over time, there was an attempt to erase some of the objectives that had been agreed upon at the start. The names of the allies were inscribed in the margins along the sides of the decree. Here also there is a prominent erasure of a name, probably that of Jason of Pherae. The law also contains traditional sanctions against those who break it, including a ban on burial inside Attica or in the territory of any of the allies. In the case of this decree various erasures remained on view in Athens throughout the time that the stele itself was visible.

Attitudes to erasures and to the use of the gaps they created in texts were clearly varied and are strikingly illustrated by an anti-tyranny law from Ilion dating to around 280 B.C.40 Although many Greek cities passed laws to prevent tyrannies, and virtually all of these laws contained clauses outlining sanctions against those who might subvert the city, none is quite as detailed or as fascinating as this particular example from Ilion. A democracy had apparently been set up or renewed recently in Ilion, and this law contains elaborate measures to punish would-be tyrants and to reward those who support and protect the new democracy against them. It seems that a specific recent tyranny had prompted the reissuing of a law that contained traditional elements.

The anti-tyranny law from Ilion contains special measures to remove the name of the tyrant or oligarchic leader from all texts in the city, specifically from lists of priests, votive gifts, and graves. These three enumerated categories are used to describe the types of inscriptions to be found in Ilion, or at least those considered most important as memorials. It is interesting to see that graves and votives given to the gods are included. In each case the offending name is to be chiseled out. In the case of the priestly lists, the space may then be sold; the buyer may insert the name of whomever he chooses, as long as the person is eligible to hold such an office in the city. Clearly no technical problems were envisaged, although it is not specified exactly how the insertions should be made. The provision addresses the desire not to have gaps in the priestly lists that were used for purposes of dating. Erasures in less official texts appear more tolerable. In the case of votives, the people are to decide about the fate of the gift after the erasure, with the proviso that no memory of the original donor can be left. Here also, then, it would be possible to insert another name or to describe the votive as the gift of the people as a whole. In the case of a dedication made by several people, the offending individual's name is to be removed so completely that no traces are left behind. (p.31) This clause describes the nature of a complete erasure and specifically guards against an incomplete one.

From the Ilion law it seems evident that a Greek city of the early third century might be thoroughly conversant with all the details of erasure and of either displaying or filling the gaps created by removing a name from a variety of texts. It is hard to believe that such detailed provisions existed merely in a vacuum. Rather they must reflect a culture of erasure and memory sanctions that had developed through the use of such sanctions within the individual community, and perhaps also in neighboring cities. Erasure is specifically described as targeting memory and is presented as a tool used by the demos to create its own civic space and identity. Some erasures will themselves be removed while others will not. A correctly executed erasure is defined as one that completely removes the name without leaving any legible traces. Memory sanctions seem thoroughly developed by this date, and they present a much more systematic approach than is to be found in archaic anti-tyranny legislation. Moreover, the Ilion law represents the creation of civic identity in the local sphere without reference to the politics of the great Hellenistic kingdoms that surrounded and fought over Asia Minor throughout the third century. The politics of the city still appears or at least claims to function on its own terms in regard to its own civic memory.

Hellenistic Memory Sanctions in Context

The terms of the law from Ilion raise the question of the role of memory sanctions in the political culture of the Hellenistic age, when most Greek cities were no longer as independent as they had been or as they liked to represent themselves as still being. Cities like Ilion and Athens continued to use traditional memory sanctions as tools and deterrents to deal with any of their own citizens who might be planning internal revolution or betrayal. Meanwhile, they now had to deal with a completely new area of foreign policy that involved their relations with the Hellenistic kings, who acted out various roles as successors to Alexander the Great. Skillful handling of international relations might still enable a city to enjoy a degree of internal autonomy and self-determination.

The Greek cities that did not fall victim to the aggression of Hellenistic kings and usurpers tended to use the traditional language and habits of euergetism to describe and control their relationships with the king.41 The king was thus represented as a benefactor of the community, and his rule was characterized in a euphemistic way. At the same time, he was expected to live (p.32) up to this positive image as benefactor of the Greek cities, and honors were granted to him in return for gifts, notably for exemption from taxes and for other privileged statuses that could elevate a city in relation to its neighbors and free it from the burdens of empire. A further dimension was added by the ruler cult, which consisted of divine honors offered by communities to Hellenistic kings. The Hellenistic ruler cult began in the time of Alexander the Great, to whom the Greek cities of Asia Minor almost certainly granted divine honors during his lifetime, and it is possible that he requested such honors from the cities of mainland Greece toward the end of his life. After his death, the cult of kings, both living and dead, became a regular feature of political life throughout the Hellenistic world.42

In Macedonia, a ruler cult had not traditionally been practiced either for living or for dead kings. From the end of the fourth century onward, however, Greek cities like Athens voted extravagant honors to Hellenistic monarchs—although not to all of them—both in the hope of winning favors for themselves and with a view to influencing the king's policies in a more general way, sometimes to make war on their rivals.43 Divine honors were a further dimension added to the honors that had been granted to benefactors in earlier ages. They had the advantage of exerting more pressure on the king to live up to his image as a powerful and generous patron of the city. In this way they enhanced what the cities could offer in the elaborate habits of gift exchange that characterized the rhetoric of power relationships between the king and the city.

Dossiers of extant inscriptions attest to the evolving exchange of favors between a king and a community. An illustrative example comes in two lengthy inscriptions from Teos in Asia Minor that record relations between Antiochus III (the Great) and the locals around 203 B.C.44 Antiochus and his queen Laodike received a divine cult as saviors of the city and were honored with marble cult images that were associated with the god Dionysus and his festivals and were to be kept in his temple. The royal couple were further honored with individual altars. In addition, the king had a priest, a festival, and a bronze cult image in the bouleuterion of the city, where the civic leaders paid him homage and he was presented with the firstfruits of the harvest, while Queen Laodike had a special new fountain in the agora named for her. The water from this fountain was to be used for the libations in all the various religious ceremonies on behalf of the city and by the brides of the city as they drew water for their wedding ceremonies.

Thus the royal couple received both new cult and honors in their own right, as well as being linked to the most venerable city cults, such as that of (p.33) Dionysus, and to civic and family ceremonies such as weddings. The imagery of fertility is especially pronounced throughout the decrees and in the association of Antiochus with the firstfruits of the harvest and Laodike with brides on their wedding day. As a result they were represented as the savior gods who guaranteed the safety and prosperity of the community. The second decree also emphasizes the idea of memory, both as a goddess (Mneme) who receives a sacrifice together with the king in the bouleuterion, and as the specified aim of the honors paid to the queen in the agora, honors that will last forever and will be seen by all the foreigners who visit the city.45 The honors voted in the decrees were presented to Antiochus by an embassy and were inscribed on a pilaster at the entrance of the temple of Dionysus at Teos. They have survived in relatively good condition because they were discarded near the west wall of the temple precinct, probably around 190 B.C. or soon after. In the end, the honors proved to be ephemeral, and it is unclear whether such projects as the fountain in the agora were ever completed in Laodike's name.

As the inscriptions from Teos show, the granting of such extravagant honors by cities also carried with it the possibility that these grants could be reversed in the same way in which they had originally been enacted.46 If the city could bestow divine honors, it could also take them away. Such a reversal might come from the city itself, if the king failed to live up to his obligations and the city's expectations, or might be imposed by another king who had now come to control the territory of the city or of the king who had been honored before. After the Romans defeated Antiochus at the battle of Magnesia and subsequently made a treaty with him at Apamaea in 188 B.C., Teos came under the control of the kingdom of Pergamum, and a new ruler cult was established for its king Attalus and his queen Apollonis.

In the fourth century the honors of Philip II (which probably did not include cult) had been canceled at Eresus and Ephesus as a result of a tyrannical coup, which included the overturning of altars and the destruction of Philip's statue in the famous temple of Artemis at Ephesus.47 Similarly, Demetrius Poliorketes was discredited by his political opponents with the result that elaborate divine honors at Athens were reversed and his rule was labeled a wretched time of servitude.48 His disgrace in collective memory is starkly illustrated by the erasure of his name from the list of those who had given donations to rebuild the city of Thebes in 304 B.C. Demetrius had contributed 10 percent of the rich booty he had taken from Rhodes, but even this generosity was erased. The history of Hellenistic ruler cults comprises a multitude of grants of honors but also, and equally importantly, of reversals of previous gifts. It seems evident that almost from the beginning, the reversal of these (p.34) divine honors was envisaged, with the result that many cults dedicated to the eternal memory of a divine ruler were indeed shortlived. Both the cities that offered such honors and the kings who accepted them must have been fully aware of this situation. Consequently, memory sanctions played a regular and important part in Hellenistic diplomacy and power politics, since characteristically shifting spheres of influence and conquests created a changing geopolitical landscape in which kings and dynasties tried to replace their rivals in memory and history, as soon as they had defeated them on the battlefield.

Philip V of Macedon: The Romans Visit Athens in 200 B.C.

The best-attested example of memory sanctions in a Hellenistic context is offered by the penalties imposed on the memory of Philip V and his ancestors by the Athenians in 200 B.C. as part of the initial stages of the Second Macedonian War.49 This episode sums up the practice and purpose of Hellenistic sanctions and highlights the Romans in their new role as power brokers in the Greek world of the eastern Mediterranean. As has already been discussed, memory sanctions were very much a part of the rhetoric of Hellenistic power relationships and conflicts, a world that the Romans entered and participated in by observing and often by appropriating for themselves many of the habits and the diplomatic language that they encountered there. The well-worn slogan advocating the “freedom of the Greeks,” first used by Antigonus the One-Eyed at the end of the fourth century, was put to great effect by the Roman general T. Quinctius Flamininus.50 This slogan can be related directly to the relationship of a city like Athens to a king like Philip V. The Athenians used memory sanctions precisely to declare their political independence from Philip and from the whole history of Macedonian hegemony, and there is every reason to believe that their example taught the Romans some valuable lessons in power politics and self-advertisement.

The sanctions against Philip are described in detail by Livy (31.44.4–8), probably drawing on Polybius' narrative, which is no longer extant.

They immediately passed a resolution, and the people approved it, that the statues and portraits of Philip and all their inscriptions, as well as those of all his ancestors, both male and female, be removed and destroyed. The festival days, rituals, and priesthoods that had been instituted in Philip's honor and to honor his ancestors, were all deconsecrated.

(p.35) In addition any place where something had been set up or inscribed in his honor should have a curse on it. They decreed that nothing which required a sacred location should be placed or dedicated there in future. On whatever occasion the public priests prayed for the Athenian people and their allies, and their armies and navies, on each such occasion they should pronounce a curse and execration against Philip and his children and his kingdom, his forces on land and sea, and the whole name and people of the Macedonians. A clause was added to the decree that if anyone should later propose a motion with regard to the disgrace and dishonor of Philip, the Athenian people should pass it in its entirety. If anyone should speak or act in opposition to his disgrace or in support of his honor, anyone who killed such a person should be deemed to have killed him justly. Finally a clause was included that all the sanctions that had once been decreed against the Peisistratids should likewise apply to Philip. The Athenians were waging war against Philip with written and spoken words, which are their only strength.51

The Athenians thus voted to destroy all the honors for Philip and for the earlier Macedonian kings. What amounted to a completely new political alignment for the Athenians was reinforced by an oath to be taken by all citizens. Anyone who opposed the sanctions (ignominia) or tried to reinstate the honors of the king (honos) could be killed with impunity. Presumably the ban on any Macedonian's entering Attica was passed at the same time. Erasures in Athenian inscriptions attest to the abolition of the two Athenian tribes named after Antigonus and Demetrius, which were soon replaced by a tribe named in honor of Athens' new Hellenistic royal ally, King Attalus of Pergamum (figures 6, 7).52

Livy concludes his section on the sanctions of 200 B.C. by stating that the Athenians specifically imposed on Philip all the same penalties that had been voted against the Peisistratids. This public reference to the paradigm of the Peisistratids demonstrates the symbolic function of such public memory sanctions in Athenian culture. The Athenians thereby declared that memory sanctions were among their most hallowed traditions and were connected to the beginning of the glorious phase of their democracy. At the same time, the historic precedent served to characterize Philip and his ancestors as “tyrants” in the classic sense of the term. The figure of the “tyrant” could be invoked both as the city's most traditional enemy and as the type of the “bad king,” who had not been a benefactor but an exploiter and oppressor. The reversal of honors was literal since in 307 B.C. the statues of the Antigonids had been (p.36)

Did the Greeks Have Memory Sanctions?

Figure 6. Inscription of 271/70 B.C., with erasure of Antigonid tribe dating to 200 B.C., Athens. American School of Classical Studies, Athens, Agora Excavations, ISE 18.


Did the Greeks Have Memory Sanctions?

Figure 7. Decree honoring Phaidros, with erasures dating to 200 B.C., Athens. Epigraphical Museum, Athens, EM 10546, IG II2 682.

(p.38) placed next to those of Harmodius and Aristogeiton, the traditional liberator figures and heroes of the fifth-century democracy.53 In other words, those who had been the city's liberators were now relabeled as its oppressors. The fierce sanctions against Philip were, in fact, innovative in their wide-reaching effects in Athens, where direct Macedonian rule had ended in 229 B.C. but alliance with Macedonia had continued. The Macedonians, and more than a hundred years of their history, were to be removed from Athens and were to be marked with erasures and curses.

In actual fact, it is both anachronistic and misleading to make a simple equation between the outlawing of the Peisistratids (an Athenian family) and sanctions against Philip (a foreign ruler who was an ally).54 The Peisistratids were outlawed, but we cannot recover all the provisions recorded on the stele put up at the time. It is evident, in any case, that Peisistratid names were not chiseled out everywhere, and prominent monuments were often left standing, such as the Altar of the Twelve Gods. The Athenians seem to have appropriated a number of symbols used by the Peisistratids to characterize the public image of the new democracy, including the famous owl of Athena featured on Athens' coinage.55 By contrast, the erasures of the year 200 have decisively affected the record of Athenian inscriptions of the third century B.C. (figure 8). A life-sized bronze equestrian statue of Demetrius that had originally been covered with sheets of gold was thrown into a well in the agora.56 These differences can be explained in terms of the looming war with Philip, the weakness of the Athenians and their need for new military allies, and ultimately the character of the Hellenistic ruler cult itself, which had few features in common with the simpler times of the Peisistratids.

It was precisely because the Athenians now carried through a new and drastic erasure of their city's history that they needed to make a historical analogy that would be recognizable, both at home and abroad. They needed to define their own actions, which changed their political alignment, in terms of traditional Athenian norms of political behavior. Drastic action was needed to remove the heavy Macedonian imprint on the city. At the same time, neither the words of the decree against Philip nor the parallels with the Peisistratids were necessarily taken completely at face value, even at the time. Erasures in epigraphic sources were extensive and thorough but certainly not universal. The curses do not appear in the language of Athenian prayers from the 180s and may not have been in use for very long.57 The penalties themselves, as well as their inscription on a stele that Polybius seems to have been familiar with, carried their own symbolism that could allow the Athenians to move on to the next stage in their political lives. We may imagine that the (p.39)

Did the Greeks Have Memory Sanctions?

Figure 8. Honorary decree for Prytanis of Caristus, with erasures dating to 200 B.C., Athens. American School of Classical Studies, Athens, Agora Excavations, ISE 28.

new anti-Macedonian stele was probably placed strategically in relation to the stele relating to the Peisistratids on the acropolis (whether the original or a restored version). Such a location would have legitimized and advertised the Athenians' ability to shape their own civic image and landscape, even in an age when they relied for the survival of their city on foreign powers, notably (p.40) the Rhodians, King Attalus of Pergamum, and, to an increasing extent, the Romans.

The chronology of the opening moves in the Second Macedonian War is complex and disputed, and it is important to keep in mind that the Athenians had not been formally allied with Rome before.58 Their sanctions against Philip came as part of their decision to declare war on him. Rhodes and Attalus were already at war with the Macedonians, and there was every indication that the Romans also had already voted for war or were about to do so. For the present concerns, the chronological details are less significant than the fact that the Athenian resolutions against Philip were adopted immediately before the arrival of a large group of foreigners that included King Attalus himself and official embassies from both Rhodes and Rome. As a result, Athens' sanctions need to be read as partly addressed to this audience and as being both affected by and exerting an influence on those involved in negotiating a coalition that would fight in the upcoming conflict. Attalus and the Rhodians were both part of the traditional world of Hellenistic diplomacy, and Attalus himself benefited immediately from being granted honors in place of those for Philip that were now being erased.

It is impossible to be precise about the role of the Romans in the negotiations. For them the conflict was not new but was represented as the settling of old grudges against Philip that went back fifteen years to his alliance with Hannibal after the disastrous Roman defeat at Cannae.59 Consequently, they represented the new hostilities as the continuation of a previous war, and later Roman historiography would retroject the alliance with Athens into the third century in order to help justify Rome's aggressive Mediterranean policies. What can be said is that at perhaps the most decisive turning point in their own relations with the Greek world, the Romans ambassadors witnessed one of the most dramatic and extensive erasures of memory ever enacted by a Greek city against a Hellenistic monarch. In their report to their fellow senators after their return, the ambassadors C. Claudius Nero (cos. 207), P. Sempronius Tuditanus (cos. 204), and M. Aemilius Lepidus (cos. 187, 175) would have had no reason not to give a full account of what they had seen. The fact that the city was Athens only made the gesture seem grander and more momentous. The Romans were not yet ready to step into the gap created by the erasures in the way that Attalus was, but they clearly benefited and felt some obligation toward Athens as a result. It was Roman troops who were to save Athens from Philip later that same year. By the time the Romans fought Philip's son Perseus, their commander L. Aemilius Paullus did insert himself (p.41) in place of his Macedonian royal rival on a well-known victory monument at Delphi.60

The Romans saw the effects of memory sanctions in relation to Hellenistic war and diplomacy at the same time as they experienced their ability to sweep away kings like Philip V and Antiochus III and to write new chapters in their own imperial history. Hence most discarded or erased stelai from Asia Minor that date to the second century tell part of the story of Roman expansion in terms of the reactions of local Greek cities. An example from Stratonikeia shows that when Caria was freed from Rhodian domination by Rome in 167 B.C., the name of the Rhodian governor who had replaced the Seleucids as the local power broker and honorand was now chiseled off his honorific decree on stone.61 Rome had become an active player in the Hellenistic world, and it is not surprising that its leading politicians were heavily influenced by its customs, both in their public and private lives. While Rome, like most Mediterranean cities, had its own culture of remembering and forgetting, the vivid and dramatic erasures that Romans witnessed and were the direct cause of throughout the eastern Mediterranean almost certainly affected how contemporary Romans, both at home and abroad, came to think of themselves and of their particular role in creating and destroying the memories of kings and of their empires.62


(1) Rose (1994) = AE 1994.1644.

(2) See Meyer (2004) 184–87 for the case of Q. Veranius, governor of Lycia and Pamphylia (a.d. 43–48) who imposed “Roman” standards by curbing erasures and editing in Greek legal texts and documents.

(3) For civil conflict in Greek cities, see Lintott (1982), Gehrke (1985), and J. Price (2001).

(4) For the Locrian law of 525–500 B.C.? on a bronze plaque, see ML 13 lines 12–16 with Connor (1985) T3.

(5) For the murder of Hesiod, also at Locri, see Plut. Mor. 162b–e with Connor (1985) 83 and T1. For Greek tragedies and the fall of houses, see Connor (1985) 88–89 and Allen (2000) 86–94.

(6) For the expulsion of the Cypselids from Corinth, see Nic. Dam. FGH 90 F 60 with Connor (1985) T2 and Kurke (1991) 15. For Spartan examples, see Connor (1985) T6–7, Her. 6.72 (Leotychidas c. 476 B.C.), and Thuc. 5.63 (Agis). Cf. Diod. 12.78.5

(7) for an Argive example. 7 For Glaukus the Spartan, see Her. 6.86 with Loraux (2002) 132.

(8) For the razing of the house in Greek law and culture, see esp. Connor (1985) for the extant examples from Athens, Sparta, Corinth, Syracuse, and Locri. Further discussion in Parker (1983) 194–95, Kurke (1991) 15–16, and Pomeroy (1997) 85.

(9) See Allen (2000) 217 for the argument that destroyed houses were not marked outside Athens. However, lack of evidence may have obscured the picture we now have.

(10) For pollution, see Lyc. 1.129, Dem. 18.296 with Connor (1985) 91–93. Parker (1983) 45–47 shows that the corpse of the outlaw was probably not considered polluted.

(11) For denial of burial as a legal penalty, see Allen (2000) 216–24, esp. 217: “Their corpses were cast into the utter oblivion and dishonor of forgetfulness.”

(12) For the Cypselids, see note 5 above. For the Alcmeionids, see Her. 5.71; Thuc. 1.126–27, 2.13; Isocr. 16.26 with J. Davies (1971) 9688; Connor (1985) T4; R. Thomas (1989) 144–54, 272–81; and Pomeroy (1997) 83–84.

(13) For the Athenian pits (barathron and orugma), see Allen (2000) 218–21 and 324–25 with the literary and archaeological evidence.

(14) For Timoleon, see Plut. Tim. 22 with Connor (1985) T11, Westlake (1952), Talbert (1974), and Westlake in CAH 6 (1994) chap. 13.

(15) For self-imposed exile as a norm, see Allen (2000) 200–202.

(16) For Athenian law in general, see now Todd (1993).

(17) For atimia and the development of Athenian tyranny laws, see Ostwald (1955), Hansen (1976), Carawan (1993), and Todd (1993) 142–43. For the case of Andocides, see And. 1.77–85, 95–98 with Furley (1996). For atimia at Sparta, see MacDowell (1986) 42–46.

(18) For ostracism, see now Forsdyke (2000), who places the practice in the context of the politics of exile and gives bibliography.

(19) For the recording of Athenian penalties on stelai, see Arist. Rhet. 1400a32–36 and Dem. 47.22 with Allen (2000) 202–5. For the Peisistratids, see Thuc. 6.54 with Gomme, Andrewes, and Dover (1970) 324–25 (cf. SIG 58 = ML 43 from Miletus c. 450 B.C.); Hipparchus, son of Charmus (Lyc. Against Leocrates 117); Antiphon and Archeptolemus (Craterus at Plut. Mor. 833d–834b); Phrynichus (Craterus FGH 342 F17); Athenian supporters of King Cleomenes (scholiast to Arist. Lys. 273).

(20) For the silent consent of the community, see Allen (2000) 197–98, 223. See esp. 203: “The community's networks of social knowledge and social memory were the executioner of reputation not only in the city's public spaces but also across time—some of the force of punishment lay in its guarantee that a wrongdoer would be remembered precisely as a wrongdoer; the city's narrative of his life and not the wrongdoer's would be what persisted in the social memory.”

(21) For the dedication of Peisistratus in 521 b.c., see ML 11, Jeffrey (1990) 78 no. 37 pl. 4, Thuc. 6.54.6. Lavelle ([1993] 76) speaks misleadingly of deliberate effacement, but it may be that the letters were not recolored with red. For the Peisistratids in general, see Stein-Hölkeskamp (1989), de Libero (1996), and Sancisi-Weerdenburg (2000).

(22) Me mnesikakein: Her. 8.29; Thuc. 4.74, 8.73; Arist. Lys. 590; Dem. 18.96, 23.193; Lys. 18.19, 30.9; Ant. 2.1.6; And. 1.81, 95; Xen. Hell. 2.4.43; Isocr. 14.14 with Loraux (2002) 149 and Wolpert (2002) 76–84. See Her. 6.21 for the ban on Phrynichus' play about the sack of Miletus as bringing back a distressing memory of sorrow. For medena medeni mnasicholesai, see SEG 25.447.

(23) For amnestia, see SIG 633 of c. 180 B.C.

(24) For Athens and the Bottiaians, see IG 1 76 lines 15–16, 20–21 (422 b.c.). For Athens (p.290) and Iulis, see Tod 142 lines 58–62 (362 B.C.) with Te Riele (1967). For Aliphera, see SEG 25.447 lines 4–5 (late third century B.C.).

(25) For Poseidon and Athena, see Plut. Mor. 489 b–c and 741 a–b (Altar of Lethe at the Erechtheium) with Loraux (2002) 41, 153, 171–90. For the west pediment of the Parthenon, see A. Stewart (1990) 151–54 with figs. 354–60 and Lagerlöf (2000) 48–60.

(26) See Aes. Eum. 382–83 with Loraux (2002) 30–41.

(27) For the amnesty of 403 B.C., see Ath. Pol. 38.3–40.4, Xen. Hell. 2.4.38 and IG 2 10, Tod 100, SEG 12.84 (= Harding [1985] no. 3) for the modest rewards for the liberators. For discussion, see Allen (2000) 237–42, Loraux (2002) esp. 145–69 and 245–64, and now esp. Wolpert (2002) 84 (who calls it “a kind of erasure of the past from civic memory”). For the earlier amnesty on Samos, see Thuc. 8.73.6. For the Thirty, see Krentz (1982).

(28) Wolpert (2002) 48–71 reviews the main lawcourt speeches and the different points of view that they represent.

(29) For the character of fourth-century Athenian democracy, see esp. Ostwald (1986) and Hansen (1991).

(30) For the epigraphic habits of various Greek cities, see R. Thomas (1995). For Athens, see Habicht (1997) 71 and Hedrick (1999); for Sparta, see Millender (2001). Allen (2000) 241 notes that the demos controlled writing and memory in public spaces.

(31) For erasure in Greek inscriptions, see Guarducci (1967) 1.485–86 and Woodhead (1981) 9. Loraux (2002) 15: “Nothing is more official than an erasure.” For destruction of whole stelai, see IG 1 236–41 (restorations after the revolution of 411), Tod 98, Woodhead (1948), and SEG 14.35, 40 (for the destruction caused by the Thirty Tyrants). For discussion of the Thirty, see esp. Wolpert (2002) 15–24, 37. For the erasure of the Athenian sacrificial calendar, see Ostwald (1986) 479–80, Robertson (1990), and Rhodes (1991).

(32) For Euphron of Sicyon, see IG 2 448 = SIG 310 (Harding [1985] no. 123A) with Habicht (1997) 45–49.

(33) For the Delphi charioteer inscription, see Jeffrey (1990) 266, pl. 51.9 (Delphi Mus. 3517). The two texts have been tentatively dated to 478 and 460 b.c. respectively. Seven dedications made by the Deinomenid brothers (Gelon, Hieron, and Polyzelus) are attested at Delphi and Olympia, see Jeffrey (1990) 266–67, 460, 275 nos. 5–9. The great Panhellenic sanctuaries could serve to memorialize previous alliances and former leaders; see Paus. 2.3.14–16.

(34) The erasure of a title could also be left standing, as in the multiple erasures of the name of the Athenian general Timotheus in a fourth-century Athenian naval cata-log (IG 2 1606). After Timotheus' name, his title as general (strategos) has been removed. Timotheus was exiled twice; in 372 he joined Artaxerxes II, and he died soon after being exiled a second time shortly after 357/6.

(35) For Pausanias and Spartan attempts to denigrate his memory, see Thuc. 1.128–35, [Dem.] 59.98, ML 27 = Fornara 59 (Istanbul), with Hornblower (1991) ad loc., and Allen (2000) 218.

(36) For the treaties, see ML 63 (Rhegium) and ML 64 (Leontini) of 433/2 B.C. IG 1 21 has the last two lines erased in a treaty about Miletus of 450/49 B.C.

(37) For Athens and Neapolis, see ML 89 lines 7–8 of 409–7 B.C.

(38) For Dionysus Eleuthereus, see IG 2 410 = SIG 289 (c. 330 B.C.) from the Theater of Dionysus at Athens. The erasure must date to a time when Eleutherai belonged to Boeotia rather than to Athens. Wilhelm (1943–47) notes that a word could be restored over plaster used to smooth over the erasure once an epithet was put back in place.

(39) For the Second Athenian Confederacy of 378/77 B.C., see IG 2 43 = SIG 147 = Tod 123 = Bengston (1975) 257 = Harding (1985) 35 (EM 10 397) with Accame (1941). Tod 123: “the most interesting epigraphic legacy of fourth-century Athens.” For discussion, see Cawkwell (1981), Jehne (1994) 24–25 with n. 88, and Rhodes and Osbourne (2003) no. 22.

(40) For the anti-tyranny law from Ilion, see IIlion 25 with commentary and pls. 6–8 and Habicht (1970) 83. On the reuse of erased spaces in Greek inscriptions, see Loraux (2002) 151: “To erase in the Greek sense is to destroy by additional covering: they recoat the surface of a whitewashed official tablet, and once the lines condemned to disappear are covered up, space is available for a new text; similarly, they insert a correction with paint and brush on an inscribed stone, hiding the old letter with a new one.”

(41) For euergetism and the relationship between Greek cities and Hellenistic kings, see Billows (1995) esp. 70–80, and now Ma (1999) 179–242, esp. 225 for the ruler cult as creating “instant memory.”

(42) For the Hellenistic ruler cult, see Habicht (1970) esp. 236–42, Billows (1990) esp. 231–36, Cawkwell (1994), Badian (1996), M. A. Flower (1997) 258–62, and Ma (1999) 1–25.

(43) The Athenians tried to persuade Demetrius to make war on the Aitolians in 290 b.c. (Athen. Deipn. 253b–f with Billows [1995] 75–76).

(44) For the Teos inscriptions, see Herrmann (1965) 33–40, 51–85, pl. 1 (SEG 41.1003, I and II) and now Ma (1999) nos. 17 and 18 with translation and bibliography. For the letter of M. Valerius Messalla to the Teians in 193 b.c., see Ma (1999) no. 38.

(45) For memory in the Teos inscriptions, see line 34 (the goddess Mneme) and lines 64–67: “… and in order that Queen Laodike should have, in addition to the honors given to her, other honors which not only contain gratitude in the present but also create memory for the rest of time …” (tr. Ma [1999]).

(46) For Teos' change of politics after 190 B.C., despite their previous loyalty to Antiochus, see Ma (1999) 248–50.

(47) For Philip II at Eresus and Ephesus, see Arrian Anab. 1.17.10 with Habicht (1970) 14–15, 186. The honors may have been restored by his son Alexander.

(48) For the disgrace of Demetrius Poliorketes, see Plut. Dem. 30 and 46.1 and IG 7 2419 = SIG 337 (Thebes Museum) with Wilhelm (1943–47) and Habicht (1970) 187–89. For the removal of ruler cults, see Habicht (1970) 185–92.

(49) For Philip V and Athens, see Habicht (1982) 142–58 and now Habicht (1997) 194–219. For Philip, see also Badian (1958) 55–95; Gruen (1984) 132–57, 373–402; Walbank (1984) 473–81; and Hammond and Walbank (1988) 317–36.

(50) For the “freedom of the Greeks,” see Gruen (1984) 132–57 and Billows (1990). For a dossier on kings and tyrants from Eresus in the later fourth century B.C., see Tod 191.

(51) Livy 31.44.4–8: rogationem extemplo tulerunt plebesque sciuit ut Philippi statuae et imagines omnes nominaque earum, item maiorum eius uirile ac muliebre secus omnium tollerentur delerenturque, diesque festi sacra sacerdotes, quae ipsius maiorumque eius honoris causa instituta essent, omnia profanarentur; loca quoque in quibus positum aliquid inscriptumue honoris causa fuisset detestabilia esse, neque in iis quicquam postea poni dedicarique placere eorum quae in loco puro poni dedicarique fas esset; sacerdotes publicos quotienscumque pro populo Atheniensi sociisque, exercitibus et classibus eorum precarentur, totiens detestari atque exsecrari Philippum liberos eius regnumque, terrestres naualesque copias, Macedonum genus omne nomenque. Additum decreto si quis quid postea quod ad notam ignominiamque Philippi pertineret ferret, id omne populum Atheniensem iussurum; si quis contra ignominiam proue honore eius dixisset fecissetue, qui occidisset eum iure caesurum. Postremo inclusum ut omnia quae aduersus Pisistratidas decreta quondam erant eadem in Philippo seruarentur. Athenienses quidem litteris verbisque, quibus solis ualent, bellum aduersum Philippum gerebant. See also Briscoe (1973) ad loc. and [Dio Chrys.] Or. 37.41 and Paus. 1.36.5 and 2.9.4. For the ban on Macedonians in Attica, see Livy 41.23.1.

(52) For the erasure of the Macedonian tribes at Athens, see SEG 14.64 (271/0 b.c.) = ISE 18 (photo at pl. 63 in Hesperia [1954]). Pritchett (1954) gives a list of demes from the acropolis that was left unfinished at this time. For the new honors for Attalus, see Ferguson (1911) 267 and Habicht (1997).

(53) For the association of the Macedonian kings with Harmodius and Aristogeiton, see Habicht (1970) 191 and (1997) 68–69.

(54) For an anachronistic equation between the Peisistratids and Philip V, see Lavelle (1993) esp. 76–79, who also sees Athenian sanctions in terms of erasure and oblivion, regardless of the testimony of the stelai.

(55) The Altar of the Twelve Gods was not overbuilt until the third quarter of the fifth century b.c. (Lavelle [1993] 76). For the Athenian owls as a symbol of democracy, see now Shapiro (1993). For the culture of Peisistratid Athens in general, see Kolb (1977) and Shapiro (1989).

(56) For the erasure of the names of the Macedonian kings at Athens, see the lists of Dow (1937) 48–50 and Habicht (1982) 148–49, esp. n. 137. Especially notable examples include ISE 25 (236/35), 28 (226/25); Chapoutier (1924); SIG 466; IG 2/32 677 (263/2), 682 (263/2), 780 (250/49). See also Habicht (1970) 189–90 and SIG 547 from Eleusis that shows erasure beyond what Livy implies. For the statue in the well, see ISE 7, Shear (1973) 165–68, pl. 36, and Habicht (1982) 148 n. 137. For the overstriking of bronze coins, see M. Thompson (1981) 354.

(57) For the Athenian curses, see Briscoe (1973), commenting on Livy 31.44.

(58) For the outbreak of the Second Macedonian War, see OGIS 283, Pol. 16.1 and 25.4–6, 26.6–8, Livy 31.2.1 and 15.1–6 with Gruen (1984) 21–22, 392–95, Errington (1989) 255–58, Ma (1999) 79–105. The chronology has now been reconstructed in detail by Warrior (1996), who notes that Livy has obscured the role of the Roman ambassadors in Greece and the East. They were C. Claudius Nero (cos. 207), P. Sempronius Tuditanus (cos. 204), and M. Aemilius Lepidus.

(59) For Rome's old grudges against Philip V, see Gruen (1984) 382–98.

(60) For Aemilius Paullus and the monument of Perseus at Delphi, see chapter 3.

(61) For the inscription from Stratonikeia, see IStrat. 9 with Ma (1999) 236, 249 and photo at Roos (1975) pl. 60.3. Cf. also Ma (1999) 252 and no. 22 for the consecration of the city of Xanthos to Leto, Apollo, and Artemis by Antiochus III in 197 B.C. The inscription was completely erased, probably by the Carians, although the text is still legible.

(62) See esp. Purcell (1995) 144–48 for Rome's role as a Hellenistic power that could control and impose its own narrative of explanation. For memories of Greece as a Roman province, see Alcock (1993, 2002).