Greek Economic Inscriptions

GEI032

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Honorary decree for Lucius Aufidius Bassus


[ἔδοξε τ]ῇ βουλῇ καὶ τῷ δήμῳ, πρυτάνεων γνώμη· ἐπεὶ [Λεύ-]
κιος Αὐφίδιος Λευκίου υἱὸς Βάσσος διὰ παντὸς εὔνους ὢ[ν]
διατελεῖ καὶ κατὰ κοινὸν τῇ πόλει καὶ καθ’ ἰδίαν ἑκάστῳ τῶ[ν]
πολιτῶν, πατροπαράδοτον παρειληφὼς τὴν πρὸς τὸν δῆμο[ν]
5ἡμῶν εὔνοιαν, καὶ πολλὰς καὶ μεγάλας τῇ πόλει παρέσχηται
χρείας, μεγαλοπρεπῶς τε καὶ φιλαγάθως πολλῶν χρημάτων ἄφε-
σιν πεποίηται· ὅ τε πατὴρ αὐτοῦ, καθ’ ὃν καιρὸν ἐπιγενόμενος ὁ
κοινὸς πόλεμος καὶ συνεχεῖς πειρατῶν ἐπίπλοι τὴν νῆσον οὐ-
χ ὡς ἔτυχεν συνηνάγκασαν ὑπὸ τῶν δανείων ἐπιβαρηθῆ-
10ναι, μόνος καὶ πρῶτος τῶν συνηλαχότων, πρὸ πλείονος ἡγη-
σάμενος τὴν τῆς πόλεως σωτηρίαν ἢ τὸ περὶ τὸν ἴδιον βίον
λυσιτελές, χρημάτων πλῆθος, ὅσον προῃρούμεθα, προθυμό-
τατα ἔδωκεν ἐξ ἑτοίμου τόκων πολὺ κουφοτέρων παρὰ τοὺς [ὑ-]
πάρχοντας τότε, τούτων τε συνπεριφορὰν ἐποιήσατο πάν-
15τα τὸν τῆς ζωῆς χρόνον, διετέλει τε λέγων καὶ πράττων
διὰ παντὸς τὰ βέλτιστα καὶ συνφέροντα τῇ πόλει· ἐφ’ οἷς ὁ δῆ-
μος ἡμῶν, ἔργῳ λαβὼν πεῖραν τῶν ὑπ’ αὐτοῦ γεγονυιῶν εὐε[ρ-]
γεσιῶν παραχρῆμα τὰς καθηκούσας ἐψηφίσατο τιμὰς αὐτ[ῷ]·
διαδεξάμενός τ’ αὐτὸς ἐπηγωνίσατο τῆι πρὸς τὴν πόλιν εὐ̣-
20νοίᾳ, καὶ δύο μὲν συνγραφὰς καταλελειμμένας ὑπὸ τοῦ πα-
τρὸς αὐτῶι κατὰ τῆς πόλεως ἕκτων τόκων, τὴν μὲν μίαν δρα̣-
χμῶν Ἀττικῶν μυρίων χιλίων, τὴν δ’ ἑτέραν Ἀττικῶν μυρίων ἐ-
νακισχιλίων πεντακοσίων, ἐλοιπογράφησεν χωρὶς ἀργυρίου κομι-
δῆς παρακληθεὶς ὑπὸ τοῦ δήμου· τοῖς δὲ ἄλλοις δανείοις ἄνωθεν
25ἀπὸ τῶν συνγραφῶν δραχμιαῖον τόκον ἐξ εὐθυτοκίας ἵλκυσεν [ἐ-]
τῶν καὶ πλείονων, καὶ συνχωρήσας πλῆθος χρημάτων ἱκανώτ[ε-]
ρον, πάλιν ἁτὸν ἐν τῇ πρὸς τὸν δῆμον ὑπερέθετ’ εὐεργεσίᾳ· τὸ
γὰρ συναχθὲν ἐκ τῆς ἐπιεικεστάτης ψήφου κεφάλαιον εἰς ἄλ-
λον πενταετῆ συνεγράψατο χρόνον τόκου τετρωβόλου· δι-
30ελθόντος δὲ καὶ τούτου καὶ πλειόνων ἄλλων ἐτῶν ἐπιγε[νο-]
μένων, καὶ μὴ δυνηθέντων ἡμῶν διὰ τὰς ὑφ’ ἑτέρων γειν[ο-]
μένας ἐπιβαρήσεις ἀποδοῦναι τὰ ὀφειλόμενα αὐτῶι, καὶ διὰ
ταῦτα συναθροισθέντων διαφόρων πλειόνων καὶ τῆς πό[λε-]
ως ἐν τοῖς ἐσχάτοις ὑπαρχούσης κινδύνοις, πάλιν ἐν τοῖς [πα-]
35ροῦσι καιροῖς ἡγησάμενος εὐσεβὲς καὶ μεγαλοπρεπὲς ὑπ[άρ-]
χειν ἑαυτῷ τὴν προσήκουσαν τῆς πατρίδος ἡμῶν ποιήσασ[θαι]
φροντίδα, ἀρχαίας νήσου καὶ ἱερᾶς ὑπαρχούσης, εἶναί θ’ ἑαυτ[ῶι]
πλούτου παντὸς κρείττονα πόλεως σωτηρίαν καὶ τὴν π[αρὰ]
πᾶσιν ἀγαθὴν εὐφημίαν, πολλὰ πάλιν χρήματ’ ἐπέδω[κε τῶι]
40δήμωι, οὐ μόνον ἀπὸ τῶν ὀφειλομένων αὐτῶι μεγάλ[α ἀφ]ελὼ[ν]
κεφάλαια, ἀλλὰ καὶ χρόνον εἰς τὴν ἀπόδοσιν ὧν ἐπείσ-
θη δοὺς ἑνδεκαετῆ, καὶ τοῦτον ἄτοκον, χάριν τοῦ κατὰ
τὸ δυνατόν, ὅσον ἐπ’ αὐτῷ, τὴν νῆσον καὶ πάντας ἡμᾶς
ἐν αὐτῇ συντηρηθῆναι, γενόμενος τῶν μεγίστων ἡμεῖ[ν]
45παραίτιος ἀγαθῶν· ἐπιδημήσας τε ἡμῶν ἐν τῇ πόλει πλεί-
ονα χρόνον σώφρονα καὶ σεμνὴν καὶ πᾶσιν προσηνῆ τὴν
ἀναστροφὴν ποιεῖται· ἐφ’ οἷς οὐχ ἧττον ὁ δῆμος ἡμῶν αὐ-
τὸν καὶ διὰ ταῦτα θαυμάζει τε καὶ τιμᾷ, καὶ εἰλι[κρινῶ]ς [γ]νησ[ί-]
αν ἔχοντι πρὸς πάντας φιλοστοργίαν εὐχαρισ[τ]εῖ· ἔν τε
50τοῖς ἄλλοις πᾶσιν ὡ[ς] δικαίαν καὶ εὐσεβῆ γνώμην ἔχων καὶ ἁ[ρ-]
μοζούσῃ παρρησίᾳ χρώμενος εἰς ἐπίστασιν καθέστακεν [ὅ-]
σον ἐπ’ αὐτῷ τοὺς ἐπιβαροῦντας, καὶ τοῖς ἀδίκως κινδυν[εύου-]
σι δικαίαν παρέχεται βοήθειαν, [π]άν[τω]ς̣ τε ἐν παντὶ καιρ[ῷ] πρό-
θυμον ἁτὸν ἐπιδίδωσιν ἐπὶ τὰ τῆς πόλεως πράγματα· ὅ-
55πως οὖν καὶ ὁ δῆμος ἡ[μῶν] φαίνηται τὰς ἐπιβαλλούσας
τοῖς εὐεργέταις ἀποδιδούς χάρ<ιτ>ας, πε[ρὶ δὴ τούτων], [ἀ-]
γαθῇ τύχῃ, δεδόχθαι τῇ βουλῇ καὶ τῷ δήμῳ, ἐ[παινέσαι - - - ]
[ - - - ]ΕΚΑΙΤΗΣ[ - - - ]
[ - - - ]ΟΥ[ - - - ]
60[ - - - ]Σ̣ΡΦ̣ΙΛΛΜ̣[ - - - ]
[ - - - - - - - - - - ]
[ - - - ]I[ - - - ]
[ - - - - - - - - - - ]
(seqq. vv. fere 26 valde detriti)
Translation:
Resolved by the Boule and the Demos, proposal of the prytaneis: considering that Lucius Aufidius Bassus, son of Lucius, continues in all matters to be kind both to the city in common and to each of the citizens individually, having inherited his father’s goodwill towards our people, and has rendered many and great services to the city and remitted several amounts of money with magnificence and goodness; considering that his father, at the time when the Common War had arisen and the incessantly recurring pirate raids forced our island to overburden itself with debts in no ordinary manner, he alone and the first among those who had drawn up a contract with us, placing the safety of the city before his own profit, lent us as much money as we proposed most eagerly, at much lower interest in comparison to those current at the time, and that he showed leniency about this matter for his whole life and continued saying and doing in any circumstance whatever was better and useful for the city and because of these good services our people, having actually experienced the benefits coming from his good deeds, immediately bestowed the proper honours on him by decree; considering that (Lucius Aufidius Bassus), after having succeeded his father contended in goodwill towards the city, and that two contracts left to him by his father towards the city at an interest rate of 1/6, one of 11,000 Attic drachms and the other one of 19,500 Attic drachms, he carried over without receiving any money, because the people begged him to do so, and for the other debts he drew a simple interest at the rate of one drachm for several years, going back to the time of the contracts; considering that, having granted a more considerable sum of money, he surpassed himself in good deeds towards the people again: the capital gathered according to the fairest reckoning, he put under contract for another period of five years at an interest of 4 obols; considering that, as this period of time had elapsed and many other years gone by in addition, as we were not able to pay back the money we owed him because of charges imposed by others and because of this many profits had been accumulated and the city was in the utmost danger, considering again that in the present circumstances it would have been a sign of devotion and magnificence for him to bestow upon our country the proper care, as the island was ancient and sacred, and that his good reputation among people and the safety of the city meant much more to him than his wealth, he gave again a large amount of money to the people, not only remitting large amounts of capital from what we owed him but consenting to grant us a period of 11 years to give him back the money we persuaded him to give us, without imposing any rate of interest, in order to preserve, as far as it was possible for him, the island and us all on it, becoming to us the source of the greatest benefits; considering that he stayed in our city for a long period of time and behaved wisely, nobly and kindly towards anyone and our people don’t admire and honour him less for this reason and are thankful to him for his absolutely genuine affection for everybody; considering that in any other matter, as he had a just and pious opinion and spoke with proper frankness, he stopped, as far as it was possible for him, those who overloaded us and gave the rightful support to those who were unjustly in danger; considering that he displays his zeal totally and in any circumstances when the interests of the city are at stake; in order to make clear that our people express the proper gratitude towards their benefactors. About this, with Good Fortune! The Boule and the demos decreed that (he) should be praised [ - - - ]
Commentary:
The date of the inscription is firmly anchored in the first half of the first century BC; there are no precise or explicit chronological data in the text, but the mention of a κοινὸς πόλεμος at l. 8 leaves two possible options: either the campaign against pirates by Pompey in 67 (so Boeckh in CIG II 2335; Dareste, BCH 8, 1884, 363; Billeter, Geschichte des Zinsfusses, 94; and Maróti, Klio, 40, 1962, esp. 125-126) or the war Rome and her allies fought against Mithridates from 88 to 84 BC (this historical context is preferred by Hiller von Gaetringen in IG XII 5 860; Bogaert, Banques et Banquiers, 193 with n. 346; Migeotte, Emprunt, 224). So the activity of Lucius Aufidius Bassus’ father on Tenos can be dated as roughly between 88 and 67 BC. After that, several years must have gone by before the proposal and approval of a decree for his son; although an exact assessment of how many years is impossible, the decree in honour of Lucius Aufidius Bassus can be dated to around the middle of the century with a good degree of likelihood.
The stele carries precisely the text of this honorific decree for Lucius Aufidius Bassus, issued by the community of the Tenians. The part of the document which focuses on the motives why this man deserved such an honour provides a very detailed account of these reasons and dwells at length upon then (a bit verbosely), from l. 1 to l. 54, i.e. the largest part of what remains. The hortatory intent is limited to a short formula between l. 54 and 56, then the resolution formula is preserved (both the Boule and the Demos of Tenos are involved in the resolution).However, the part in which the honours awarded to Lucius Aufidius Bassus presumably were listed has been lost (Hiller von Gaertringen estimated the extent of this missing final portion of the document to be about 30 lines). According to the hypothesis of Payne, Aretas eneken: Honors to Romans, 278; these might have been of proxeny status, other honours attendant with proxeny, title of Benefactor and perhaps even the dedication of a statue. Perhaps the lost lines also contained dispositions for the inscribing and the collocation of the stone(s) with the text of the honorific decree. The plural “stones” in the previous sentence may be a correct guess, since there are two known inscriptions from Tenos – IG XII 5 860 and SEG 29 756 – carrying the same text of the decree. It is likely that at least two copies of the decree were provided for, perhaps to be displayed in two different “significant” places in the topography of the city (one in the agora and the other in the polyadic sanctuary, as suggested by Étienne, ZPE, 36, 1979, 148?), such was the will of the Tenians to properly honour their benefactor and to make him and his family a public example of generosity.
As to the family of the honorand, in this case - even if it is not so surprising or uncommon - family history matters: indeed, there are two prominent personalities making their appearance in the document, and next to Lucius Aufidius Bassus, the honorand of this decree, there is his father Lucius Aufidius. Lucius Aufidius Senior has been identified with a homonymous banker previously known on Delos at the end of the 2nd century/beginning of the 1st century BC (Hatzfeld, Les trafiquants italiens, 43; Hatzfeld 1912, 19 no. 4; I.Délos 1728, cf. Bogaert, Epigraphica III, no. 6; I.Délos 1729; Hatzfeld, Roussel 1910, 398-399 nos. 44-45). From the text of the inscription, it can be assumed that at least for a limited period of time he moved his business to Tenos and maybe died here. This most probably happened towards the end of his life and may have involved only a part of his business. For a more detailed commentary on the career of this man, see Bogaert, Banques et Banquiers, 190 and 195-196 and, more recently, Mendoni, Zoumbaki, Roman Names in the Cyclades, 212-213. Most importantly, the elder Lucius Aufidius was also a great benefactor of the Tenians, and the decree states (l. 18) that he too was properly honoured as such by a decree. Although this earlier text is not extant, it was evidently taken into account – with all its content and the history of the relationship between the Tenians and the honorand of that decree – when his son was to be honoured, and it was most likely not very different in character and tone from the one dedicated to his son.
After the death of the father, his son took over his financial and maybe banking business on Tenos. Most importantly for those who drew up the text of this decree, Lucius Aufidius Bassus was the worthy successor of his father with respect to his behaviour towards the city of Tenos, following his father’s path in generously financing it in hard times. Judging from the extent of Lucius Aufidius Bassus’ patience and generosity towards the Tenians, Migeotte (Emprunt, 228) was right in assuming he could rely on a considerable personal wealth, most likely as a result of his father’s and his own efforts in business, or he would not have taken such risks. Maybe Lucius Aufidius Bassus was not staying on Tenos anymore when this decree was passed, since his stay is referred to in the aorist past (l. 45 ἐπιδημήσας), although his behaviour towards the Tenians is described in the present tense (so Bogaert, Banques et Banquiers,196 and Migeotte, Emprunt, 225). In any event, with this decree and the decree for Lucius Aufidius Senior, the Tenians showed how much they cared about their relationship with the Aufidii family and how great was their desire to maintain a strong bond with their benefactors. For a more detailed commentary on the life and activity of Lucius Aufidius Bassus see Mendoni, Zoumbaki, Roman Names in the Cyclades, 214-218.
These introductory elements should allow the reader to frame the inscription in a broader picture; the following commentary will mainly focus on discussing economic aspects related to this inscription. In order to give a full and clear account, the text will be considered in small portions commented upon separately:
ll. 1-7: The text sums up in general terms the reasons why Lucius Aufidius Bassus is honoured by the people of Tenos; his “good deeds” consisted mainly in financial benefits towards the city, since “he remitted several amounts of money” (l. 7).
ll. 7-18: This rather long digression on the activity of the honorand’s father on the island is not only meant to make a proper display of a significant family precedent for the goodwill of Lucius Aufidius Bassus towards the city and of the good financial relations between Tenos and the family (see discussion above), but it is also necessary to go back to the loans granted by the father to Tenos to give some measure of the son’s generosity. When there was the “Common War” and the pirates tormented the island with their continuous raids, the city went deeply in debt, probably because it had to face high defence expenditures and maybe also to give some contribution, financial or material, to the military actions. The city drew up written contracts with its creditors about these loans (l. 10 τῶν συνηλαχότων). Lucius Aufidius Senior, alone among those creditors, made the sum agreed upon immediately available to the city and granted a rate of interest that was more favourable than that current at the time. What’s more important, the text states he “was patient” about this matter throughout his whole life: he probably granted delays in payment to the city on various occasions, and maybe remissions of a part of the debt. Because of this, the city had already paid him an honour similar to the one it was bestowing on his son.
ll. 19-23: At his father’s death, Lucius Aufidius Bassus inherited two credits the former had with the Tenians. These credits had been granted at an interest rate of 1/6 (ἕκτων τόκων; see further in the commentary for the textual and interpretative problems posed by this expression), about 16.7 %, which is per se rather high, but reasonable enough if compared with rates known from other contemporary and similar situations, when the transaction was between ruthless Roman financiers and Greek cities which were in such a miserable state to be forced to accept much heavier conditions, without any possibility to pick and choose or alternative. An example is the transaction between the city of Gytheion and the Cloatii (IG V 1, 1146 and Migeotte, Emprunt, 90-96 no. 24), which initially set a rate of interest of 48%. So in this case the creditor (Lucius Aufudius Bassus’ father) was undoubtedly generous in a certain way.
The reading ἐκ τῶν τόκων at l. 21 gave commentators no little trouble in the past: it was not easy to understand what the meaning of two written contracts (συνγραφαί) inherited by the son “as a result of the interest”/ “because of the interest”. The expression συγγραφή/συγγραφαὶ ἐκ τῶν τόκων has no parallel in ancient sources. Some commentators hazarded that these contracts were stipulated from accumulated interest (Billeter, Geschichte des Zinsfusses, 95 and Dareste, BCH 8, 1884, 363) or because of unpaid interest (Hatzfeld, Les trafiquants italiens, 205 n. 3), but these hypotheses are very far from satisfactory and find no basis in ancient documents of economic nature, as already stated above. According to Migeotte, Emprunt, 226, the term συγγραφή: “dans le crédit public… désigne toujours le contract original réglant le conditions de l’emprunt. In general, such a strict limitation for the term may be questioned; from mid-4th century BC, it is used quite flexibly to define several types of transactions and the term itself without further specification can hardly be taken as a “label” to classify the type of transaction that was registered in that document, let alone the conditions the two parties agreed upon during the transaction (cf. Bianchini 1979). In 1st century BC, four additional cases are known where Greek cities were grated loans by Romans – Migeotte, Emprunt, nos. 24, 75, 95 and 105, and in these cases the lexical choices to denote the involved “contracts” and transactions are either συγγραφή or συνάλλαγμα. Nevertheless Migeotte’s interpretation fits very well in this specific case, especially if you accept the reading ἕκτων by Étienne (cf. infra) instead of ἐκ τῶν: in this commentary the συγγραφαί mentioned at l. 20 are interpreted as the original contracts stipulated between Lucius Aufidius Senior and the city to regulate the conditions of the loans he granted to the Tenians.
Bogaert (ZPE 33, 1979, 129) suggested a different solution by connecting the expression ἐκ τῶν τόκων at l. 21 (probably a mistake for ἐκ<τός>) with the verb ἐλοιπογράφησεν at l. 23: in his interpretation Lucius Aufidius would have allowed the capital to remain in arrear, but would have remitted the outstanding interest (his translation: “et deux contrats laissés à lui par son père contre la cité, il les a inscrits pour solde excepté les intérêts”). The solution of the problem comes with the reading ἕκτων τόκων by Étienne (ZPE, 36, 1979, 146), which is accepted in the text by Migeotte and is based on good comparison in ancient use (singular or plural genitive case is frequently used for expressions indicating interest rates, see Migeotte, Emprunt, 226 n. 326 and 270 n. 40; loans at an interest rate of 1/6 are rarely, but certainly attested, see Étienne, ZPE, 36, 1979, 146): both the translation and the commentary here given are based on this reading. According to this interpretation, the son inherited two contracts from his father at an interest rate of 1/6 and although he had the right to exact repayment according to the terms of the contracts, he granted the city a moratorium. He didn’t exact the money the Tenians owed him (he didn’t get back the capital his father lent; it isn’t certain if he remitted the outstanding interest or not) and simply extended the loans at the same rate of interest; in the current translation “he carried them over”. (The verb λοιπογραφέω, known only from epigraphic and papyrological sources, has not always been correctly interpreted by commentators: see Dareste, BCH 8, 1884, 363, “il en fit remise gratuitement”, followed by Hatzfeld, Les trafiquants italiens, 84 and 208, n. 2 and 3, and Ziebarth 1929, 116 n. 113; for the correct meaning inscrire pour solde see Bogaert, ZPE 33, 1979, 129; Robert, OMS IV, 204 and Migeotte, Emprunt, 226 n. 328).
The sums at ll. 22-23 (11,000 and 19,500 Attic drachms) evidently represent the capital Lucius Aufidius Senior originally lent to the Tenians (Bogaert, Banques et Banquiers, 193; Bogaert (ZPE 33, 1979, 129; Migeotte, Emprunt, 226-227), and not, as Hatzfeld (Les trafiquants italiens 205 no. 3) supposed, the joint amount of the capital and the accumulated interest.
ll. 24-25: The text reads ἄλλα δάνεια: apart from Billeter, who thought this was the capital Lucius Aufidius Senior originally lent to the Tenians, in opposition to the συγγραφαί of l. 20, which according to his interpretation were contracts regarding only accumulated interest on that original capital (Billeter, Geschichte des Zinsfusses, 96 n. 1), all previous commentators simply assumed this to be other, different credits Lucius Aufidius Bassus inherited from his father, in addition to those two mentioned separately at l. 20 (see for example Bogaert, Banques et Banquiers, 194 and Hatzfeld, Les trafiquants italiens, 208 with n. 3). Migeotte (Emprunt, 226) emphasizes the strong opposition μέν-δέ in the Greek text, between καὶ δύο μὲν συνγραφὰς καταλελειμμένας ὑπὸ τοῦ πατρὸς αὐτῶι (ll. 20-21) and τοῖς δὲ ἄλλοις δανείοις (l. 24): he suggests that it is possible that the city incurred these debts more recently and not with Lucius Aufidius’ father, but directly with Lucius Aufidius himself. In any case, these contracts expired as well, but the city managed again to get a moratorium from Lucius Aufidius and, most importantly, a significant reduction of the interest rate to a drachm per mina and per month, with retroactive effect, i.e. backdating to the time these contracts had been drawn up. The text states explicitly that the interest is simple (ἐξ εὐθυτοκίας), and this probably suggests that the creditor had originally required a compound interest to be registered as a condition in the contracts. This switch from compound to simple interest was a major advantage to the city, and a very generous concession by Lucius Aufidius Bassus.
l. 26: The text states that Lucius Aufidius Bassus granted to the city “a more considerable sum of money” and this is open to two different interpretations: either the same concession as in ll. 24-25 (Hatzfeld (Les trafiquants italiens, 208-209 esp. n. 4; Bogaert, Banques et Banquiers, 194) or (better: cf. comparative ἱκανώτερον) another, different credit granted to the city by Lucius Aufidius Bassus, and in this case he granted a more considerable sum of money than the sums involved in the previous transactions (Dareste, BCH 8, 1884, 363; Billeter, Geschichte des Zinsfusses, 97-98, Migeotte, Emprunt, 226-227).
ll. 27-29: Here there is another major concession by Lucius Aufidius Bassus to the Tenians: he grants them a renewal of all the debts the city has accumulated over time towards him and his father, by drawing up a contract lasting 5 years at a very favourable interest rate of 4 obols (8%). Presumably, it was no simple matter to handle: they had to resort to “the fairest reckoning” to establish exactly the status of the debts, capital and unpaid interest involved in the different transactions over time.
ll. 30-45: This is the apex of Aufidius’ generosity towards the Tenians: the time being long overdue, the city is still not able to pay him back, even at the very favourable conditions he had granted them in the last transaction (ll. 27-29). Tenos is in “utmost danger”, probably under constant threat of an attack during the Roman civil wars, debt laden and very likely victim of war requisitions/tributes (l. 31 ... because of charges imposed by others ...). In these circumstances, the text says, Lucius Aufidius Bassus remitted a large part of the debt and granted an interest-free respite of 11 years for the payment of the money the city still owed him. He clearly, completely, gave in to the Tenians’ pleas: it is no surprise to find him honoured as a saviour of the island and the citizens. Perhaps the Tenians also owed him another important kind of “financial” support during the rough times of the civil wars: at l. 51-52 the text says that Lucius Aufidius Bassus “stopped, as far as it was possible for him, those who overloaded (ἐπιβαροῦντας: note the same lexical choice as in l. 31, τὰς ὑφ’ ἑτέρων γειν[ο]μένας ἐπιβαρήσεις) the Tenians. It could be inferred that Lucius Aufidius Bassus went so far as to choose in some case to exploit his influence to try to prevent overwhelming Roman pressure (or more in general, other less accommodating creditors’ claims) from completely wrecking the finances of Tenos, maybe by acting himself as a sort of intermediary/negotiator on behalf of the city.
To conclude, probably Tenos was at last able to repay what was left of its debts, honouring the deadline, otherwise there would have been mention of further transactions between the city and Aufidius Bassus in order to display the full amount of his generosity.

Bianchini 1979 = M. Bianchini, La συγγραφή ed il problema delle forme contrattuali, in A. Biscardi (ed.), Symposion 1974: Vortrage zur griechischen und hellenistischen Rechtsgeschichte, Koln - Wien - Bohlau, 1979
Hatzfeld 1912 = J. Hatzfeld, Les Italiens résidant à Délos mentionnés dans les inscriptions de l'île, BCH, 36, 1912, 5-218
Hatzfeld, Roussel 1910 = J. Hatzfeld, P. Roussel, Fouilles de Délos exécutées aux frais de M. le Duc de Loubat. Décrets, dédicaces et inscriptions funéraires (1905-1908) II, BCH, 34, 1910, 355-423
Ziebarth 1929 = E. Ziebarth, Beiträge zur Geschichte des Seeraubs und Seehandels im alten Griechenland, Hamburg 1929
Author: Laura Francesca Carlini