The Stephanephorate of Apollo and the Historical Context of the Milesian Decree for Queen Apama (I.Didyma 480)

Altay COŞKUN 23–40

Doi: 10.36991/PHILIA.202204

How to cite 

Abstract: Soon after the Battle of Ipsos (301 BCE), the Milesians honoured king Seleukos I, his son Antiochos (I), and his wife, queen Apama, in gratitude for promising to rebuild the Apollo temple at Didyma and erecting a stoa. The decrees for Antiochos (I.Didyma 479) and Apama (I.Didyma 480) are largely extant, and the latter provides the chronological anchor for all three honours. It mentions Apollo as stephanephoros, under whom the financial officials (anataktai) were to procure the funds for the queen’s statue. In the standard edition of the text, Albert Rehm identified this stephanephorate with the year 299/8 BCE, but failed to see that it rather constitutes a terminus ante quem for the decree. The exceptional financial strain on the Milesians may already have resulted in postponing the order of the equestrian statue of Antiochos from perhaps fall 300 BCE to spring 299 BCE. This slightly adjusted timeline invites us to reconsider other aspects of dynastic history under the Diadochs. Contrary to the common opinion, the wedding of Seleukos and Stratonike, the daughter of Demetrios I, in 300 BCE does not constitute a terminus ante quem for honouring Apama, the first wife at a polygamous court, but rather a terminus a quo, since it sealed the reconciliation with Demetrios after the Battle of Ipsos. The Seleukid benefaction should be viewed within the context of a joint peace initiative that Demetrios and Seleukos started from Rhosos. It is also reflected in the mission of Nikagoras of Rhodes to Ephesos (I.Ephesos V 1453). In this context, the Milesian embassy was invited to the Seleukid court, offered the benefactions, and had their fellow citizens respond with three honorific decrees.

Keywords: Miletos, stephanephorate of Apollo, Seleukos I, Apama, Antiochos I.



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