ICret I VIII, 11*

Menekles from Teos, the son of Dionysios: ambassador, κιθαρῳδός, interpreter

View XML


170-140 BC


Κνωσίων. ἔδοξε Κνωσίων τοῖς κόσμοις καὶ τᾶι πόλει· ἐπει-
δὴ Ἡρόδοτος Μηνοδότω καὶ Μενεκλῆς Διονυσίω
ἀποσταλθέντες πρεγγευταὶ πὰρ Τηίων πορτὶ
τὰς ἐν Κρήται πόλιας καὶ διατρίψαντεν τὸν πλεῖσ-
5 τον χρόνον ἐν τᾶι ἁμᾶι πόλει, οὐ μόνον τὰν ἀπὸ τᾶς
ἀναστροφᾶς εὐταξίαν ἀπεδείξαντο, ἀλλὰ καὶ ἐπε-
δείξατο Μενεκλῆς μετὰ κιθάρας πλεονάκις τά τε
Τιμοθέω καὶ Πολυίδω καὶ τῶν ἁμῶν ἀρχαίων ποιη-
τᾶν καλῶς καὶ ὡς προσῆκεν ἀνδρὶ πεπαιδευμέ-
10 νωι· ὁπᾶι ὦν ἰσᾶντι Τήιοι ὅτι ἁ πόλις ἀποδέδεκται
τὸς τοιούτος τῶν ἀνδρῶν, δεδόχθαι ἐπαινέσαι
τάν τε τῶν Τηίων πόλιν ἐπὶ τῶι τοιούτος ἄνδρας
πέμψαι, ὁμοίως δὲ καὶ τὸς πρεγγευτάς, Ἡρόδοτον
καὶ Μενεκλῆν, ὅτι καλῶς καὶ εὐτάκτως ἐνδεδα-
15 μήκαντι. τὸς δὲ κόσμος δόμεν ἀντίγραφον τῶδε
τῶ ψαφίσματος, σφραγίξαντας τᾶι δαμοσίαι σφρα-
γῖδι, ἀποκομίσαι Ἡροδότωι καὶ Μενεκλεῖ πρὸς Τηίος
ἵν’ ἐπιγνῶντι καὶ αἰεί ποκα πρόνοιαν ποΐωνται τῶν
τοιούτων ἀνδρῶν.

Translations (en):

Decree of the Knosians. It was resolved by the kosmoi and the city; since
Herodotos son of Menodoros and Menekles, the son of Dionysios, who were sent by the
Teians as envoys to the cities of Crete and resided in our city for a long time,
not only held a good conduct while dwelling in our city, but also Menekles
delivered many demonstrations with the kithara of the works of Timotheos and Polyidos and
our other ancient poets finely and as would be expected by a refined man;
therefore, so that the Teians may know that our city welcomes such men, it is
resolved to praise the city of Teos for sending such men, and similarly to
praise Herodotos and Menekles because they dwelt with us in a fine and
well-behaved manner. The kosmoi shall give a copy of this decree to Herodotos
and Menekles, sealed with the public seal as they can take it back to the Teians, so
that they may be aware of it and may always show care for such men.

Translations (it):
Decreto dei cittadini di Knosos. Sembrò bene ai magistrati e alla città di Knosos;
poiché Herodotos figlio di Menodotos e Menekles figlio di Dionysios, dal momento
che furono inviati come ambasciatori da parte della città di Teo presso la nostra
città cretese e vi trascorsero lungo tempo, non soltanto si comportarono decorosamente
nel loro soggiorno, ma Menekles si produsse anche frequentemente con la
cetra sulle composizioni di Timotheos, Polyidos e dei nostri antichi poeti con successo
e come si addice a un uomo di cultura; affinché dunque i cittadini di Teo sappiano
che la nostra città accoglie degli uomini tanto nobili, è sembrato bene di rendere
lode alla città di Teo per aver inviato cotali uomini presso di noi e parimenti
anche agli ambasciatori, Herodotos e Menekles, poiché hanno soggiornato con decoro
e dignità. I magistrati consegnino una copia di questo decreto, autenticata con
il pubblico sigillo, a Herodotos e Menekles da riportare a Teo, affinché la città ne
sia informata e porti sempre rispetto nei confronti di cotali uomini.

Commentary (en):

Two very representative decrees from Crete attest to the activity of the κιθαρῳδός Menekles, come from Teos, together with Herodotus, as ambassador with the assignment of reaffirming the good relationships between Teos and the cities of Crete. Actually eight decrees document the diplomatic and artistic activity of this delegation but, while the texts of the cities of Aptera, Arkades, Biannos, Palla (Malla?), Hytarkina, and Erannos (I.Cret.: II iii, 2*; I v, 53*; I vi, 2*; I xix, 2*; II xv, 2*; SGDI 5182) focus uniquely on the status of the political relations (mostly confirming friendship and sacredness of Teos and granting the isopoliteia), the inscriptions from Knosos and Priansos focus on both the ambassadors and thoroughly narrate the artistic endeavours of Menekles. The texts are quite specular, nonetheless the one from Priansos seems more meticulous. This inscription informs us about the artistic activity of Menekles: he delivered ἐπιδείξεις on the kithara with traditional pieces of the kitharodic repertoire, from Timotheos, Polyidos, and other ancient poets of Crete; he also collected, from the ancient literature, a κύκλος ἱστορημένηνος on gods and heroes of the island. As local culture was the focus of the narrative collection of Cretan stories, so it was for the demonstrations on the kithara, conducted in a fine and fitting manner, as it is proper of a man of culture. The content of the kitharodic reperformances delivered by this Teian ambassador paves the way towards two thematic cornerstones: the cultural education carried out by the Cretans (Timotheos and Polyidos) and the cultural heritage defined by a very local authorship (ancient Cretan poets).


For commentary and bibliography on this inscription and the artistic skills of the Teian ambassador Menekles, see Cinalli 2020.