Sacred law of Parparia (Chios island)


Click here to view it in Greek.

In November 2010 the sacred law of Parparia was transferred to the Archaeological Museum of Chios by the present author and the guard of Antiquities Mr. Theodoros Steiros. Its inventory number is MX 18468.

The inscription is a stele of local grey-black stone, broken at the bottom (right front part). The stele is slightly worked on its back and not completely smooth at the front where the inscription is carved. Height: 0.78 m, pres. width: 0.38 m, thickness: 0.167 m. Letter height: 0.03-0.05m.

The law is dated to the 5th century B.C. and records a sacrificial calendar. It determines which sacrifices are to be carried out for particular deities on each month.

The inscription was published in 1958 by the Curator of Chian Antiquities at the time, Antonios Stephanou, whose contribution to the rescue of inscriptions and other antiquities of Chios was very significant. Stephanou (1) noted that the stone was in the possession of a priest named Michael Potamousis in the village of Παρπαριά (Parparia) in Northwestern Chios.

The inscription was published again in 1960 by W. G. Forrest (2) on the basis of the autopsy of the stone. Forrest (1925-1997) had worked for a long time on Chian inscriptions in preparation of the volume comprising the Chian inscriptions of the Inscriptiones Graecae. In 1985 the stone was published for a third time after autopsy of the stone by F. Graf (3).

In April 2007 Georgia Malouchou and Angelos Matthaiou carried out an on site survey on the island of Chios with the objective of locating inscriptions that are not in the Museum. This project was undertaken during their work for the preparation of the volume of the Chian inscriptions (IG XII 6, pars 3) of the Inscriptiones Greacae. While searching for the sacred law of Parparia, they happened to visit the village kapheneion, where they were told by Mr. Heracles Potamousis, a relative of the priest, that the stone was in the house of his nephew Mr. Michael Potamousis. In spite of their efforts, Malouchou and Matthaiou were not able to see the stone.

Finally, last November (2010) in my capacity as archaeologist of the 20th Ephorate of Antiquities responsible for the research in the Chian countryside I corresponded with Mr. M. Potamousis who kindly agreed to hand over the inscription to the authorities. The stele was transferred from Parparia to the Archaeological Museum of Chios in order to be included in the Μuseum exhibition of inscriptions.

Despoina Tsardaka

20th Ephorate of Antiquities

I would like to thank warmly Georgia Malouchou for suggesting to me to write this note and for her help.The photo is by A. N. Tsaravopoulos, Curator of Antiquities whom I thank.
1 Chiaka Meletemata I, Chios 1958, 53-58.
2 See SEG XVII 379.
3 Nordionische Kulte, Vevey 1985, 31-32, 427