Two more Sling Bullets from Antikythera

Fig. 1. Sling bullet no. 1 (a. original, b. plaster cast).

Ποδαί- (κηρύκειο) θου

Recently two sling bullets from Antikythera came to light.1 The first was found in 1963 inside the fortification walls of Antikythera by Mr. Demetrios Artemis, who kindly offered it to the Archaeological Museum of Kythera (Mus. cat. no. 840) after the publication of a relevant article by the author.2 Fig. 1. The same name, which is a rare one, can be read on a similar sling bullet published in 1862.3 The name Πόδαιθος is attested (as the father of an officer) in Lato of Crete, in a treaty text with the Hierapytnians.4 Hermes is represented on the coins of the city of Lato.

The presence of the caduceus, the god’s symbol, on the sling bullet makes it likely that the person came from Lato.5 One cannot say if he is the same person as the father’s officer of Lato mentioned in the treaty, because the sling bullet was found on the surface of the ground.

Fig. 2. Sling bullet no. 2.


The second sling bullet,6 battered on both sides was found on the surface of the ground close to the gate of the fortification walls towards the sea and must have belonged to someone attacking the city. (Kythera Museum, cat. no 847); fig. 2. The preserved traces of the first letter of the name might belong to the letter Π, and thus the inscribed name could be [Π]αιωνίδ(ου) or to the letter Φ and thus the name could be [Φ]αιωνίδ(ου).7

The name Παιωνίδης is found once in Attica.8 The name Παίων, from which it derives, appears in Attica, Delos, Gortyn of Crete and elsewhere. The name Φαιωνίδης is not attested. The name Φαίων, from which it derives, appears in Locri Epizephirii of Italy.

The two sling bullets confirm the assumption that many of the inscriptions on the sling bullets from Antikythera may be names (or fractions of names) of officers, probably from Cretan cities, who may have participated in frequent frays on the island over the approximately 250 years of the fortified city’s existence.

Aris Tsaravopoulos


1 A full publication of these two sling bullets by A. Tsaravopoulos appeared recently in Gdańsk Archaeological Studies 2 (2012) 207-220, esp. 211-212.2 See A. Tsaravopoulos, Η επιγραφή IGV1, 948 και οι ενεπίγραφες μολυβδίδες του Κάστρου των Αντικυθήρων (IG V1, 948 and the inscribed sling bullets from the Kastro of Antikythera), HΟΡΟΣ 17-21 (2004-2009) 327-348.
3 See Ath. Roussopoulos, AE 1862, 314, n. 397. The editor misread the inscription.
4 SEG XXVI 1049.4 (=Fraser – Matthews, LGPN I, 374). For the treaty see A. Chaniotis, Die Verträge zwischen kretischen Poleis in der hellenistischen Zeit, Stuttgart 1996, no. 59.
5 The two deities worshipped in the city of Lato were Eileithyia and Hermes who are also represented on the coins of the city.
6 A similar sling bullet, also battered, was published by Roussopoulos, op. cit., n. 399, but is now lost.
7 In the similar sling bullet, op. cit. p. 399, Roussopoulos read a phi.
8 Osborne – Byrne, LGPN II, 356.