Ephebic decree and transcript of ephebic oration, 184/5 ADSEG 50.155 Date: AD 184/5
In the archonship of Titus Flavius Sosigenes of Pallene (184/5 AD), when the superintendent (kosmēteuontos) was the priest ox-slayer (boutupou) Lakrateides son of Eutychides of Azenia, the ephebes, having gathered together after the [Theseia? contest], decided to inscribe on a stele the protreptic oration, (5) which Publius Aelius Isochrysos of Phlya, the archon of [the ephebes, gymnasiarch, and] competition director (agōnothetēs) of the Contest of Prowess (peri alkēs) delivered. uninscribed space with horizontal white line [Yesterday,] we delivered a funerary oration (epitaphion) for Theseus, thus [delivering an encomium for him] [as a hero], and we presented the first fruits (aparchas) to him, making recompense [in words] for [his] many [deeds]. Now, it has been determined that the [fellow ephebes (sunephēbous)] (10) [should rise to emulation of him], so that he may have from the ephebes also deeds [that imitate him]; . . . but that we the . . . . . . . . . . . . first . . . (15) . . . for this infant? . . . . . . from this . . . . . . the labours . . . . . . without spirit . . . . . . in the . . . (20) . . . from that? . . . . . . complete . . . . . . praiseworthy things? . . . . . . . . . who, fighting? . . . (25) . . . same . . . . . . to praise victory? . . . . . . more having been said? done? arrayed? . . . . . . to the thing that was lacking also there? . . . . . . it is fitting also to recount . . . (30) . . . best things. Let us remember . . . . . . to the founder (oikistē) of Athens Ha[drian Augustus?] . . . . . . [he built] us the greatest city [and] [thus became our fatherland’s] father (patridos patēr). So, since these things [have been accomplished] the city [flourishes again in our] time. [And] the epigram [on the gate] (35) [bears witness] to [him], “This is Athens, formerly the city of Theseus.” And we bear, [in whatever manner it may be, the hopes?] of the whole city. Remember this too: that Theseus himself, as an ephebe, earned the greatest prizes (athla) [and overcame Sinis?] in our land and his father Peri[phetes’ violence?] and drove out the Club-bearer (40) and the raiders [in the Megarid and,] after Skeiron, Prokroustes. Yes, as an ephebe, [leading the double seven], he sailed out to Crete [against the Minotaur and from the most shameful] tribute (dasmou) he freed his fatherland [and thus greatly benefited] the citizens and ephebes. Who [then, could match such great] deeds as his? (45) What ephebe [could] imitate [such things], on hearing how overwhelming (pankratē) and [splendid those done] by him were? But [our contest of excellence is not,] like his, against wild beasts [nor against Kerberos?], but [we strive] against each other, in a manner worthy [of him and] rush [into competition], and it is the superintendent (kosmētēn), [who has received (the duty of) monitoring us ephebes] that we wish to imitate, (50) in his preference for excellence in everything.