Shepherds beating the bounds? Territorial identity at a dependent community (IPriene 361–63)

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In this article, I re-examine a little-studied stele from Thebes on Mount Mykale in Asia Minor for the light which it sheds on the position this minor community occupied as a territorial possession of Miletus. Two texts were inscribed on this stele in the early fourth century BC, on its front and back. Both are exceptional: IPriene 363 in delineating the territorial boundaries of Thebes for an internal audience; IPriene 362 in setting out an onerous schedule of sacrificial offerings which those who pastured sheep or goats were obliged to observe. After identifying another inscription, IPriene 361, as an additional fragment of the same stele, and presenting photographs, texts, translations and commentaries, I argue that the stele functioned as a coherent monument regulating the activities of pastoral producers and that it was probably erected by the Thebans themselves in order to reinforce their territorial integrity. As such it represents a unique case study for exploring issues of territoriality and communal dependence in the Greek world.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-77
JournalThe Journal of Hellenic Studies
Publication statusPublished - 23 Oct 2015


  • Religion
  • Thebes on Mykale
  • dependent communities
  • territory
  • pastoralism


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