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HorkosThe Oath in Greek Society$
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Alan Sommerstein and Judith Fletcher

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9781904675679

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781904675679.001.0001

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Ὀμνύω αὐτὸν τὸν Σεβαστόν The Greek Oath in the Roman World

Ὀμνύω αὐτὸν τὸν Σεβαστόν The Greek Oath in the Roman World

(p.203) 17 Ὀμνύω αὐτὸν τὸν Σεβαστόν‎ The Greek Oath in the Roman World

Serena Connolly

Liverpool University Press

In 3 bc, the people of Neapolis, a town recently incorporated into the Roman Empire, swore loyalty to their new leader, Augustus. Their oath was sworn at a number of towns in Paphlagonia, which had been annexed by Augustus to Galatia. Although the practice of swearing loyalty to rulers was nothing new in Greece and Asia Minor, the Paphlagonian oath was important because it is the first attested to a Roman emperor in the Greek East. This chapter examines an inscription dating back to 3 bc from Neapolis in Paphlagonia, an oath of loyalty to Augustus and his heirs, taken in Greek but with Roman trappings and with surprising echoes of oaths recorded over a thousand years in the Hittite empire. It first describes the Paphlagonian oath and its Greek predecessors, along with its manifestation of loyalty to the imperial family, and then considers non-Greek elements in the Paphlagonian oath.

Keywords:   loyalty, Neapolis, Roman Empire, Augustus, Paphlagonia, Greece, Asia Minor, Paphlagonian oath, inscription, oaths

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