Eleusis and Athens
Documents in Finance, Religion and Politics in the Fifth Century B.C.
by Maureen B. Cavanaugh
Heartfelt thanks are owed to Roger and Joan Crile Foster for their hospitality while the revisions were underway; Susan Butler Plum for encouragement and support; and last, but not least, to Chris Plum for his unflagging support and encouragement of my efforts to resume my work on this book, and, above all, for his willingness to help with all phases of the publication process, which has been so important to bringing this to fruition.
Eleusis and Athens: Documents in Finance: Religion and Politics in the Fifth Century B.C. (review)
William C. West
From: American Journal of Philology Volume 118, Number 4 (Whole Number 472), Winter 1997 pp. 637-638 | 10.1353/ajp.1997.0047
In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: American Journal of Philology 118.4 (1997) 637-638 Maureen B. Cavanaugh. Eleusis and Athens: Documents in Finance, Religion and Politics in the Fifth Century B.C. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1996. xxiv 1 238 pp. 2 plates. 4 foldout texts. (American Classical Studies, 35) Maureen Cavanaugh states (vii) that she aims "first, to present a new text with detailed commentary of two Eleusinian account inventories (IG I3 386- 87); and second, to offer a new date for the Eleusinian First-fruits decree (IG I3 78)." Having produced her text from examination of the stone in the Eleusis Museum at various times in 1978-80, she reviews the scholarship on the board of the Epistatai at Eleusis, from the creation of the board in 460 B.C. through the fourth century. The understanding of the working of this board of officials justifies her search, in part 1 of this book, for a date for the elusive First-fruits decree. She concludes that it was passed ca. 435 B.C. In part 2 she presents a thorough study of the opisthographic inventories of the Epistatai of 408/7 and 407/6 B.C. (fourteen fragments reconstructed as a single stele). The texts of IG I3 386-87 are presented conveniently on four foldout pages at the end of the book, preceded by photographs. Though small in scale, the photographs are clear and help the reader to appreciate the layout of the texts of both inscriptions in three columns beneath a heading which runs over the entire width of space used. Her text improves that of IG I3 386-87 (published 1981) in several individual readings (letters read as certain, which are dotted by C.; letters read as certain by C. which had been restored by earlier editors), but the basic character of the text and layout is not changed. The most significant difference between Cavanaugh's text and that of IG I3 is her restoration of nineteen lines at the end of the last column of no. 387, based on the appearance of these items in no. 386. A conclusion summarizes the activities of the overseers of the sanctuary in this year, near the end of the Peloponnesian War. Students of Athenian history will now use Cavanaugh's text as the definitive document and will need to consider the implications of her proposed dating of the first-fruits decree. Set in the years leading up to the Peloponnesian War, it may be seen as a text of the period of Pericles' leadership, seeking to bring honor to an Athenian sanctuary, rather than as a document of the late 420s, as, e.g., in Meiggs-Lewis no. 73. Cavanaugh's date is fully supported by thoroughgoing discussion of all fifth century texts relating to this board. William C. West University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill