A Sacrificial Calendar from Corinth on Stone and Lead

Paul A. Iversen (Case Western Reserve University)

In this paper I will discuss the earliest known example of a sacrificial calendar in the Greek world that was found at Corinth. The stone calendar (ICor VIII,1,1) includes two newer fragments that were found in 1970 and whose full editio princeps is now being prepared (cf. H.S. Robinson, Hesperia 45, 1976, 230-31, esp. n. 90 and pl. 52e = Corinth Inventory I-70-4). It will be shown that these newer fragments' identical spacing of register lines, material, disposition of text, proximate find spots, and letter shapes, sizes and coloring, leave no doubt that they belong to the same monument as ICor VIII,1,1. It will also be argued that this inscription was housed under the roof of the Late Geometric Temple on Temple Hill, either incorporated into one of its walls, perhaps at the antae as H.S. Robinson (1976, 231) thought, or on separate monument consisting of two to four faces, and that it was destroyed in the same conflagration that enveloped the Late Geometric Temple ca. 570 BC.

In addition, I will discuss an unpublished lead tablet found on Corinth's Temple Hill (Corinth Inventory MF-75-86) that also contains the remnant of a sacrificial calendar – the only known example of a sacrificial calendar inscribed on lead. Given that the content, shape of lettering, design and execution of the preserved portion of this tablet are strikingly similar to ICor VIII,1,1, it is entirely possible that this lead tablet is a copy of ICor VIII,1,1. If correct, the lead tablet provides us with additional information on the layout and restorations of ICor VIII,1,1. The care with which the letters on both the stone monument and the lead tablet were inscribed suggest that this sacrificial calendar was commissioned at the behest of some important official or official body. Three possibilities suggest themselves: either Periander (626/5–586/5 B.C.), or his successor and nephew Psammetichus (586/5-583/2 B.C.), or the Oligarchs who took over after they had deposed Psammetichus, the last of the Cypselids.

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