A new interpretation of the decree from Rhamnous and the apotheosis of Antigonos Gonatas

A.-M. Kotarba

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The aim of this paper is to explore new interpretation of the inscription showing decree in honor of Antigonos Gonatas, before 236/5 BC found in Rhamnous and published by Petrakos in 1991. It is also to tie in different strands of evidence and scholarly discussions on the political and military relations of Antigonos Gonatas with Athens and the deme of Rhamnous. Most importantly, this paper explores Antigonos‟s approach to his own apotheosis and divine honours donated to him by different demes. Based on the facts and opinions discussed in this paper it can hardly be confirmed with any degree of certainty that the inscription from Rhamnous defines Antigonos Gonatas – King of Macedon as a Saviour and Benefactor of demos of Athenians. This sacrifice had been granted by the demos of Rhamnous between 255 and 236/235 B.C and according to it, king Antigonos was worshipped there with the goddess Nemesis during Games Nemeia, and has been honoured as an equal to Gods. He was eliminated from the cult of Nemesis about 225/224. The fact that Antigonos Gonatas favoured tyrants in cities of Peloponnese did not prevent him from being considered worthy of cult honours in Athens, or in the Aegaeis, or in other places. There is no evidence that any Hellenistic king ever discouraged such a public opinion or refused to accept such honours voted for him. Therefore commonly agreed association of Antigonos Gonatas being the only exception should, in light of arguments presented in this paper, be rejected.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSacrum et profanum V
Subtitle of host publicationcenturies of memory: from family heritage to national shrines
EditorsNikolai Alexandrovich Alekseyenko, Henrik Hoffmann
Place of PublicationSevastopol
PublisherJagiellonian University Press
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9789668738265
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameSacrum et Profanum


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