Greek Economic Inscriptions

GEI033

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Agreement between Chairephanes and the city of Eretria concerning the reclamation of a swampland


κατὰ τάδε [Χ]αιρεφάνης ἐπαγγέλλεται Ἐρετ[ριεῦσιν ἐξάξειν τε καὶ ξηρὰν ποιήσειν τὴν λίμνην τὴν ἐν]
[Π]τέχαις αὐτὸς τὰ ἀναλώματα παρέχων εἰς τ[ὴν ἐξαγωγήν,] [τέλος δὲ μὴ τιθεὶς τῆι πόλει ὅταν εἰσάγει κα-]
[ὶ] ἐξάγε[ι] ἕνεκα τῆς ἐργασίας τῆς εἰς τὴν ἐξα[γωγὴν καὶ ἀτέλεια δὲ ἔστω αὐτῶι ἐπὶ εἰσαγωγῆι καὶ ὑλῶν]
καὶ ξύλ[ων], ὅσων ἂν δέηται εἰς τὴν ἐργασίην, κ[αθάπερ γέγραπται τοῖς ἐργολαβοῦσί τι τῶν ἔργων τῶν δη-]
5μοσίων· ἐ[π]ειδὰν δὲ ἐξαγάγ[ε]ι τὴν λίμνην, καρ[πιζέσθω τὴν γῆν τῆς λίμνης τριάκοντα ταλάντων μισθωθ-]
[εῖ]σαν δέκα [ἔ]τη ὑποτελέων τῆι π[ό]λει τὸ μίσθ[ωμα ἑκάστου ἐνιαυτοῦ τοῦ Ἀπατουριῶνος μηνός·] [ἐξαγαγε-]
[ῖν] δὲ [τ]ὴν λίμνην τὸ πλεῖστον ἐν τέτταρσιν ἔ[τεσι Χαιρεφάνην·] [χρόνος ἄρχει τῶν συνθηκῶν τῶνδε ὁ] [ἐνι-]
αυτὸς ὁ μετὰ τὴν Ἱπποκύδου [κα]ὶ συναρχόντων [προβούλων ἀρχὴν καὶ μὴν Ἀπατουριὼν καὶ τὸν χρόνον τῶν]
τεττάρων ἐτῶν ἀπὸ τούτου ἄρχειν τοῦ χρόνου· [τέλος δὲ μὴ τιθεῖν τῆι πόλει μηδὲν Χαιρεφάνην πωλοῦν-]
10[τ]α ἐ[ν] Ἐρετρίαι τὸν καρπὸν καὶ [μ]ὴ ἐξάγοντα· ὀμ[όσαι δὲ τοὺς πολίτας καὶ πίστεις δοῦναι(?) ἐν Ἀπόλλωνο-]
ς Δα[φ]νηφόρου Χαιρεφάνει ἦ μὴν [ἐά]σειν καρπίζ[εσθαι τὴν γῆν δέκα ἔτη τριάκοντα ταλάντων,] [ἐπειδὰν ἐ-]
ξαγάγει τὴν λίμνην· ἀναγράψαι δὲ τὰς συνθήκα[ς τάσδε ἐν στήλει λιθίνει·] [ἀναγράψαι δὲ καὶ τὰς πίστε-]
ις καὶ τὸν ὅρκον καὶ τἆλλα πάντα καὶ στῆσαι α[ὐτὴν ἐν τῶι ἱερῶι τοῦ Ἀπόλλωνος τοῦ Δαφνηφόρου·] [ἐὰν δὲ]
πόλεμο[ς] διακωλύσει Χαιρεφάνην ἐξάγοντα τὴ[ν λίμνην ξηρὰν ποεῖν,] [ὡς γέγραπται,] [ὁ ἴσος αὐτῶι χρόν-]
15ος ἀποδοθήτω, ἐπειδὰν δυνατὸν εἶ καὶ εἰρήνη γέ[νηται,] [ὅσονπερ ὁ] [πόλεμος αὐτὸν διεκώλυσεν·] [ἐὰν δὲ πό-]
λεμος ἐπιγένηται καὶ μὴ δυνατὸν εἶ καρπίζεσθα[ι τὴν γῆν τῆς λίμνης . 25.]
[..] ὁ ἴσος α[ὐ]τῶι χρόνος ἀποδοθήτω ὅσονπερ ἐκωλύθ[η,] [ἐπειδὰν δυνατὸν εἶ·] [καὶ ἐξέστω δὲ Χαιρεφάνει κα-]
[ὶ] ἐν τοῖς ἰδι̣ωτικοῖς χωρίοις φρεατία[ς] ποεῖν τῶ[ι ὑπονόμωι,] [ἀλλὰ ταύτας μὴ ποείτω πλὴν διὰ τοῦ χωρί-]
ου οὗπερ καὶ πρότερον τὴν τιμὴν δῷ· κατὰ δὲ τὴν λίμ[νην,] [ἐάν του χωρίου δέηται,] [λογισάμενος μίαν δραχμ-]
20ὴν τοῦ ποδὸς τοῦτο ἀποτεισάτω Χαιρεφάνης, [ὅτα]ν ἐ[ξαγάγει τὴν λίμνην ἐν τέτταρσι ἔτεσι·] [τὴν δὲ λίμν-]
ην ἐξαγέτω ἀπὸ τῶν ἐργασίμων χωρίων δι[ὰ] τῶν ἀργῶ[ν,] [ἵνα μὴ βλάπτωνται οἱ γεωργοῦντες(?)·] [ποησάσθω δὲ]
κ[α]ὶ δεξαμενὴν τοῖς ποταμοῖς μὴ μείζον[α] ἢ δύο στα[δίων . 20. ἡνίκα δὲ Χαιρεφάνη-]
ς αὐτὸς καρπίζεται τὴν γ[ῆ]ν, ἐπισκευαζέτω τὸν ὑπό[νομον καὶ τὴν δεξαμενὴν(?),] [ἐπιμελείσθω δέ,] [ὅπως ἕξει κ-]
αλῶς καὶ εἰς τὸν ἔπε[ι]τα [χ]ρόνον πάντα· καὶ δρυφάκτ[ους δὲ ποησάσθω περὶ τὴν δεξαμενὴν·] [ἔνθα δὲ τὸ ὕδω-]
25ρ εἰσπίπτει εἰς [τ]ὸν ὑπόνομον, καὶ θύραν ἐργασάσθω [καὶ . 32. ἵνα ἐ-]
ὰν τοῦ ἦρος, [ὕδ]ατος γενομέν[ου], δέωνταί τι οἱ γεωργο[ῦντες τὴν χώραν(?) . 19. ἐξῆι(?) αὐτ-]
οῖς ἀποκλείσασι τὸν ὑπόνομον χρῆσθαι τῶι ὕδατι μ[ὴ τέλος τιθέντες τεῖ πόλει μηδέν(?) . 8. ἐὰν δ-]
[έ] τι πάθει Χαι[ρ]εφάνης πρὶν ἐξαγαγεῖν τὴν λίμνην, ε[ἶναι τοῖς μετὰ Χαιρεφάνους ἐργαζομένοις ἅπασι κα-]
[ὶ] τοῖς κληρονόμοις τοῖς Χαιρεφάνους τὰς αὐτὰς συν[θήκας . 30. εἰ δ-]
30[έ] τις ἀκύρους ἐρεῖ τάσδε τὰς συνθήκας ἢ ἄ[ρ]χων ἢ ἰδιώτη[ς ἢ] [γράψει ἢ] [ἐπιψηφίζει παρὰ τὰς συνθήκας οὕτ-]
ω ἀνανκάζων Χ[α]ιρεφάνην καὶ τοὺς κοινω[ν]οὺς λύειν τὰ[ς συνθήκας ἐπὶ παρευρέσει ἢ] [τρόπωι ἢ] [λόγωι ὡ-]
[ι]τινιοῦν, ἄτι[μος] ἔστω καὶ τὰ χρήματα αὐτοῦ ἔστω ἱερὰ [τῆς Ἀρτέμιδος,] [καὶ αὐτὸς καὶ γένος τὸ ἐξ αὐτοῦ]
ὃ ἂν πάθει, [ν]ηπ[οι]νεὶ πασχέτω· καταστῆσαι δὲ καὶ Χαιρε[φάνην ἐγγυητὰς συνεπαγγελλομένους,] [ὅταν ἐ-]
ξαγάγει τὴν λίμνην, ἦ μὴν ἔσεσθαι ξηρὰν τὴν λίμνην [ὡς αὐτὸς ἐπαγγέλλεται καὶ βέβαιον παρέχοντας]
35τὴν αὐτοῦ [κ]άρπ[ω]σιν τριάκοντα ταλάντων. Γ οἱ πρόβουλοι [εἶπον]· [ἔδοξεν τεῖ τε βουλεῖ καὶ τωῖ δήμωι·] [ἀνα-]
γράψαι πρὸς τὰς συνθήκας τὰς Χαιρεφάνους τὰς πρόσθε[ν γεγραμμένας ἐν τεῖ στήλει τὴν δεδομένην]
[α]ὐτῶι ἀσυλίαν ἐργαζομένωι τὰ πρὸς τὴν πόλιν καὶ κατὰ γ[ῆν καὶ κατὰ θάλασσαν καὶ πολέμου καὶ εἰρήνη-]
[ς καὶ] αὐτῶι καὶ τοῖς μετὰ Χαιρεφάνους ἐργαζομένοις ἅπα[σιν·] [. 19. καὶ μὴ ἐξεῖναι]
[συλᾶ]ν τοὺς συνεργαζομένους ἀεί, πλὴν εἴ τις σῦλον κατὰ τῆς πόλεως ἔχει, τούτω[ι δὲ μὴ ἐξεῖναι συλᾶν τοὺς με-]
40[τὰ Χα]ιρεφάνου, πρὶν ἂν διαλύσωνται πρὸς τὴν πόλιν πάντ[α·] [ἐγγυηταὶ . 26.]
ἐξ Ἀσ(- - -), Ἱέρων Φηγοείσ(ιος) Ὠρεων(ίδος(?)), Ἀμφιχάρης Αἰγ(αλῆθεν), Τιμόξενο[ς . 38.]
[. 5.]κράτης Ἀφαρ(εῦθεν) (vac. ) οἱ πρόβουλοι εἶπον· ἔδοξ[εν τεῖ βουλεῖ καὶ τωῖ δήμωι·] [ὀμόσαι τοὺς πο-]
[λίτας π]άντας Χαιρεφάνει ἐν Ἀπόλλωνος Δαφνηφόρου· ὃς δ’ ἂν μ[ὴ ὀμόσει,] [ἄτιμος ἔστω·] [. c. 7. ἐξορκού-]
[ντων δὲ] οἱ πρόβουλοι, ἐξορ[κ]ούντων δὲ καὶ οἱ στρατηγοὶ κατὰ [ἐνιαυτὸν τοὺς ἀεὶ ὄντας ἐφήβους ἕως ἂ-]
45[ν τὴν γῆν] καρπίζηται τὰ ἔτη τὰ σ[υ]γκείμενα Χαιρεφάνης· ἀναγ[ράφειν καὶ τὸ ψήφισμα καὶ τὸν ὅρκον ἐν σ-]
[τήλει λιθ]ίνει καὶ στῆσαι ἐν τῶι ἱερῶι τοῦ Ἀπόλλωνος τοῦ Δα[φνηφόρου·] [ἀναγράψαι δὲ καὶ ἐν τεῖ στήλε-]
[ὶ τοὺς ὀμόσαντας·] [ἀ]ναγράφειν δὲ καὶ τῶ[ν] ἐφήβων τοὺς ὀμόσαντ[ας ἐν στήλει . c. 21.]
[ὅρκος·] [ὁ δὲ ὅρκος ὅδε] ἔσται· ὀμνύω τὸ[ν Ἀ]πόλλωνα καὶ τὴν Λητοῦν καὶ [τὴν Ἄρτεμιν ἦ] [μὴν ἐάσω καρπίζεσθαι]
[τὴν γῆν τῆς λίμνη]ς Χαιρεφάνην, ὧι συνέθετο ἡ πόλις ὑπὲρ τῆς λ[ίμνης·] [ἐὰν δέ τις λύει τὰς συνθήκας τὰς]
50[πρὸς Χαιρεφάνην,] [οὐ]κ ἐπιτρέ[ψ]ω εἰς δύναμιν ξυ̣νοῦ ὅρκου κειμέ[νου·] [καὶ εὐορκοῦντί μοι εἶναι πολλὰ κἀγαθά],
[εἰ δὲ ἐπιορκέοιμι,] [ἀπ]ολέσθ[αι] αὐτὸς καὶ χρήματα τὰ ἑαυτοῦ· ὀ[μόσαι δὲ πᾶσι τοῖς μετὰ Χαιρεφάνου ἐργα-]
[ζομένοις τὰ αὐτὰ ἅ]π̣ερ Χαιρεφ<άν>ει ὀμνύωσιν, μὴ κατανεμεῖ[ν ἄλλοις(?) τὴν γῆν τῆς λίμνης]․[. c. 13.]
[παρὰ ταῦτα] δὲ ἐάν τις λέγει ἢ γράφει ἢ ἐπιψηφίζ̣[ει ὡς δεῖ ἄλλοις κατανέμειν τὴν γῆν τῆς λίμνης . c. 3.]
[.. ὁ] [δὲ ἐπίορκος μνᾶς δέκ]α τίσει· ἐπομνυόντων δὲ τὸν Ἀπόλλω[να καὶ τὴν Λητοῦν καὶ τὴν Ἄρτεμιν καὶ ἐπ-]
55[εύχεσθαι εὐορκοῦντι εἶναι τ]ῶι αὐτῶι πολλὰ κἀγαθά, εἰ δὲ ἐπιο[κέοι,] [ἀπολέσθαι αὐτὸν καὶ χρήματα τὰ ἐκεί-]
[νου πάντα·] [ἐὰν δέ τις λέγει ἢ] [γρά]φει ἢ ἐπιψηφίζει παρὰ τοὺς ὅρκ[ους,] [ὡς ἀκυροῦν δεῖ τὰς συνθήκας,] [ἄτιμο-]
[ς ἔστω καὶ τὰ χρήματα αὐτοῦ ἱερὰ ἔσ]τω τῆς Ἀρτέμιδος τῆς Ἀμαρυσί[ας καὶ ὃ] [ἂν πάθει,] [νηποινεὶ πασχέτω κ-]
[αὶ αὐτὸς καὶ γένος τὸ ἐξ αὐτοῦ·] [τῶν δὲ] πυρριχιστῶν ἄν τις τούτων π̣α̣[ραβαίνει τι - - - ]
[ - - - δραχμὰς ἱερὰς τῆι Ἀρτέ]μιδι τῆι Ἀμαρυσίαι· ἐξορκο[ύντων δὲ καὶ τοὺς - - - ]
60[ - - - ὅπως καὶ τούσ]δε τοὺς ὅρκους καὶ τὰ ψη[φίσματα - - - ]
[ - - - ἀναγρ]άψουσι, τῶν δὲ συνθηκῶ[ν ἀντίγραφα - - - ]
[ - - - πέμψαι καὶ εἰς] Μέγαρα καὶ Ἄνδρον [καί(?) - - - ]
[ - - - ἀναθ]εῖναι τὰς συνθήκας [ - - - ]
[ - - - ά]γουσιν τὰς αὐτὰ[ς τιμάς(?) - - - ]
65[ - - - τὸ] ψήφισμα τόδε [ - - - ]
Translation:
At these conditions Chairephanes promises [the people of] Eret[ria that he will drain and make dry the marsh in P]techai, he himself providing for the expenses for t[he drainage, without paying any duty to the city if he will import and] export (something) for the works concerning the drai[nage, and he shall get the exemption from duties on import of both tree trunks] and wooden boards, how many he will need for the works, a[s it is written for the people who make a contract for one of the pu]blic works; after he will have drained the marsh, he [shall] exp[loit the land of the marsh leas]ed [for thirty talents] for ten years, paying the city the fe[e for the lease every year in the month of Apatourion; Chairephanes shall have drained] the marsh at most within four y[ears; the time of these agreements begins from the ye]ar after the [magistrature] of Hyppokydes and of his colleagues [probouloi and the month Apatourion, and the time of the] four years shall begin from this moment; [Chairephanes shall not pay any taxes to the city if he sel]ls his products in Eretria’s land and he does not export them.
[The citizens shall] sw[ear and give assurances(?) in the temple of Apollo] Daphnephoros that they will let Chairephanes expl[oit the land for ten years at the price of thirty talents, after he] will have drained the marsh; [these] agreements shall be inscribed [on a stone-stele; also the assuran]ces and the oath and all the rest shall be inscribed and [the stele] shall be collocated [in the temple of Apollo Daphnephoros].
[If] war will prevent Chairephanes from draining t[he marsh and making it dry, as it is written, the same tim]e shall be granted [him] - when it will be possible and [there will] be peace [- as long as the war has prevented him; if w]ar will come and it will be impossible to exploi[t the land of the marsh, - - - ] the same time shall be granted him, as long as he was prevente[d, when it will be possible].
[And Chairephanes shall be allowed] to make wells for the [underground tunnel also] in private fields, [but he shall not make them save through the fiel]d which he had also previously paid the compensation for; Chairephanes, [if he will need some land] near the mar[sh, estimating one drachm]a per foot, shall pay this price, if he will [have drained the marsh within four years]; he shall drain [the mar]sh away from the cultivated fields through those uncultivate[d, in order that the farmers will not be damaged(?) ; he shall make] also an artificial pond for the rivers not bigger than two sta[dia (= ca. 360 m) - - - as long as Chairephane]s himself will exploit the land, he shall provide for the upkeep of the under[ground tunnel and the artificial pond(?) and he shall be careful that] all [will be g]ood also for the future time; and he shall make fen[ces around the artificial pond; where the wate]r falls down into the underground tunnel, he shall make also a flood gate [and - - - , so that, i]]f in spring, when there is (a lot of) water, the people who farm [the land(?) - - - ] will need it for something, [it will be possible for th]em, after closing the underground tunnel, to make use of the water with[out paying any tax to the city(?) - - - ].
[If] something will happen to Chairephanes before he will have drained the marsh, the same agree[ments shall be valid for all the people who work with Chairephanes and] for his heirs [ - - - ; if] someone will say that these agreements are not valid, whether archon or privat[e citizen, or will make some written proposal or vote against the agreements], forcing [thu]s Chairephanes and his collaborators to break up th[e agreements for wh]atever [pretext or reason or in wh]ichever [way], he shall be deprived of all his rights and his property shall be sacred [to Artemis, and he himself and his family], whichever thing will they suffer, they shall suffer it with impunity. Chaire[phanes] shall produce [guarantors who will promise together that, if he] will have drained the marsh, the marsh will be dry, [as he himself promises, and who will make safe] his exploitation (of the land) for thirty talents (i.e. they will grant the thirty talents).
The probouloi [made the proposal, the council and the people resolved]: that, beyond the previou[sly written] agreements with Chairephanes, should be [in]]scribed [on the stele also the] inviolability [that has been granted h]im - when he carries out the business of the city - both on la[nd and on sea, during war and peace, both] himself and all the people that work with him; [ - - - and it shall not be possible to exercise the righ]t [of reprisal] on the people who, from time to time, work with Chairephanes, unless someone can exercise it against the city, but th[is person shall not be permitted to exercise the right of reprisal against Cha]irephanes [and his workers], before they will have fully reconciled themselves with the city in; [guarantors - - - ] from As(- - -), Hieron from Phegous, of the tribe Oreonis(?), Amphichares from Aigaleia, Timoxeno[s, - - - ]krates from Aphareus.
The probouloi made the proposal, [the council and the people] re[solved: that] all [citizens should swear] to Chairephanes in (the temple) of Apollo Daphnephoros; who will n[ot swear, shall be deprived of all his rights - - - ] the probouloi [shall make swear] and also the strategoi shall make swear [those who will be ephebes every year as long as] Chairephanes will exploit [the land] for the fixed years; [both the decree and the oath] shall be insc[ribed in a st]one-[stele] and shall be collocated in the temple of Apollo Da[phnephoros; on the stele shall be inscribed also the people who have sworn; and shall be i]nscribed [on the stele] also those who have sworn among the ephebes [ - - - oath: the oath] will be [this]: “I swear by Apollo and Leto and [Artemis that I will let] Chairephanes [exploit the land of the marsh], he with whom the city has made the agreements concerning the m[arsh; if someone will try to break up the agreements with Chairephanes, I will no]]t allow it - as much as it will be possible for me -, because a common oath is in for[ce; and, if I keep my oath, may I be blessed by good luck, if instead I perjure myself], may I myself be ruined with my own property;” (the citizens) [shall swear to all the people who work with Chairephanes the same things th]at they will swear to Chairephanes, that they will not allocate [to others the land of the marsh(?) - - - beyond that], if someone will say or make some written proposal or vot[e that it is necessary to allocate to others the land of the marsh, - - - the perjurer] will pay [ten mines]; the citizen shall swear by Apollo [and Leto and Artemis and they shall pray that, if someone keeps his oath], he may be blessed with good luck, if someone instead perju[res himself, he himself with all his property may be ruined; | if someone will say or will make some writ]ten proposal or vote against the oa[ths, that it is necessary to invalidate the agreements, he shall be deprived of all his rights and his property shall be sacred to] Artemis Amarysi[a, and, whichever thing will he suffer, he shall suffer it with impunity, both he himself and his family]; if someone among the pyrrichistai [will violate something - - - drachmas sacred to Art]emis Amarysia; (the probouloi/strategoi(?)) shall make swe[ar also the - - - ].
[ - - - in order that these] oaths and the de[crees - - - will insc]ribe, [copies] of the agreements [ - - - shall be sent both] to Megara and Andros [ - - - ] the agreements shall be [dedica]ted [ - - - ] receive/bring the sam[e honors(?) - - - ] this decree [ - - - ].
Commentary:
Thanks to στοιχηδόν disposition in A (the only side considered in this commentary), it is possible to reconstruct more or less the length of every line of this part of the inscription (see in particular ll. 5, 13, 32, 37, where the integrations are very probably correct). Thus also a large part of the lost text can be reconstructed and the general sense, if not the single details, is quite clear. Some editors seem to feel a sort of horror vacui and try to fill all the gaps in the text, but this leads often to very dubious integrations, especially when the number of letters does not fit the στοιχηδόν. Even the text of Ziebarth (and the modifications and additions proposed by Knoepfler - e.g. ll. 46-47) does not escape this kind of criticism and in some points appears to be a bit too prolix and repetitive (even if repetition is typical of this sort of inscriptions, here cf. e.g. l. 34 λίμνην), or suspiciously complete, e.g. ll. 15-17, 25-27, 53-54, 61-62, where, despite the gaps not fully filled, the sentences are perfectly clear. Currently, there is the need for a new critical edition of this epigraph in order to revise that of Ziebarth, and one is expected from Knoepfler, who in his 2001 article (Knoepfler, Le contrat d’Érétrie) already made important contributions to our knowledge of this text.
The inscription’s structure (also followed in the current translation) is shown below:

Side A
a) ll. 1-35: συνθῆκαι between Chairephanes and Eretria.
ll. 1-10: Chairephanes’s promise to reclaim the swampland within 4 years in exchange for the exploitation of the land so obtained for 10 years at the price of 30 talents + some clauses about eventual exemptions from duties/taxes (concerning the import-export of the materials or the selling of products) and precise temporal indications about the beginning of the contract;
ll. 10-13: clause that advances the compulsory oath for all the citizens (cf. point c) and about the collocation of the stele in the temple of Apollo;
ll. 13-17: clause that takes into consideration possible hindrances or delays (produced by war) of the works of reclamation/exploitation of the land;
ll. 17-27: technical details about the works of drainage and reclamation (plus the possibility of expropriating private lands to compensate for the hindrances mentioned previously);
ll. 27-35: final dispositions (clause concerning the premature death of Chairephanes, ἀτιμία and requisition of property of the citizens who might side against the validity of the agreements, request of guarantors).
b) ll. 35-42: ψήφισμα on the ἀσυλία granted Chairephanes and the people who work with him plus guarantors of the contract (ll. 40-42).
c) ll. 42-59: ψήφισμα on the ὅρκος which Eretria’s citizens should swear.
ll. 42-47: duty to swear for all citizens and ephebes;
ll. 47-59: text of the oath (to Chairephanes and his heirs) and eventual penalties for the people who should try to violate it or to propose modifications to the agreements or the oath itself.
d) ll. 60-66: final dispositions on the inscription of the stele (and perhaps about some copies that will be sent to Megara and Andros).
Sides B and C (not printed here): names of the citizens and of the ephebes who have sworn.

The dating of the epigraph has been definitively shown to be around the last decades of the 4th century BC by Knoepfler, Le contrat d’Érétrie, 61 ff., mainly on the basis of paleographical and linguistic arguments. The terminus ante quem is the disappearance of the στοιχηδόν from Eretria after 301 BC. Moreover, the inscription is written in κοινή, but there are some ionic-Euboic forms left (see e.g. l. 4 ἐργασίην or l. 6 ὑποτελέων): this period of linguistic transition can be set with some certainty between 320 and 310 BC. Knoepfler wishes also to limit the dating to shortly after 318 BC: around this year probably a democratic revolution took place in Eretria (see Diod. 18.55 ff. and IG XII 9 196). A democratic context seems indeed to be required by the inscription: the restitutions of ll. 35 and 42, with the mention of βουλή and δῆμος, are nearly sure; all the citizens (?) must swear, l. 43. Knoepfler whishes also to identify our Chairephanes with Χαιρεφάνει Αἰσχύλου of SEG 47 490, an entrepreneur to whom Kassandros granted the ἀτέλεια, probably during the last years of the 4th century BC. But all these reflections remain quite hypothetical and the evidence is not entirely sufficient to limit the dating around 318. A slightly larger temporal window (320-310 BC) should work better.
About the bas-relief engraved on the top of side A see again Knoepfler, Le contrat d’Érétrie, 63-65. It is only partially conserved and, beyond the two visible figures (Leto and Artemis), there should have been also Apollo. Probably there was still space for something else, maybe a representation of Chairephanes himself or the god protector of his city (Knoepfler), maybe one of Eretria’s citizens in the act of swearing to the goddesses. For this second hypothesis see LIMC Artemis 1128 (= Apollon 1466/635b): it is a bas-relief from Kato Vathia, dating around the middle of the 4th century BC, which represents Apollon, Leto and Artemis and, near Artemis, the smaller figure of a worshipper, nearly touching the arm of the goddess. Moreover, this bas-relief may have been originally part of the temple of Ἄρτεμις Ἀμαρυσία, which is mentioned in the current inscription on l. 57 (on this temple see Knoepfler 1988, 382-421; 410-411 on the bas-relief).
The agreements between Chairephanes and the city of Eretria consist of a συγγραφή (enterprise contract) plus a μίσθωσις (lease contract), cf. Knoepfler, Le contrat d’Érétrie, 46-47. Chairephanes will reclaim the marsh and then he can exploit and cultivate the land, leasing it.
In order to make this (if the restitutions are correct), Chairephanes should benefit from two kinds of ἀτέλεια. The first one (ll. 2-5) is from the πεντηκοστή, a duty on imported/exported goods and materials which was around 2% of their value. The second one (ll. 9-10) is from ἐπώνιον, a tax on the sale on goods whose rate may fluctuate; this should have encouraged Chairephanes, after the reclamation of the marsh, to sell his products straight on the local market. For πεντηκοστή and ἐπώνιον see Migeotte, L’economia delle città greche, 51-52; Chankowski 2007, 312.
After the reclamation of the marsh, Chairephanes will exploit the land for 10 years at the price of thirty talents - so three talents per year. The duration of the μίσθωσις is quite normal: see e.g. IG II^2 1241, IG II^2 2499 or I.Thespiai 55 and Pernin, Les baux ruraux, 502-503 (the most widespread lease contracts were those which lasted 10 years and those which were perpetual). The price of three talents per year, instead, is very high: Knoepfler, Le contrat d’Érétrie, 49 compares the rent gained by the temple of Apollon at Delos from all its sacred properties, which around 250 BC. amounted more or less to 11,500 drachmas (against the 18,000 drachmas = 3 talents paid every year by Chairephanes). Normally, Attic leases were lower than 1000 drachmas (for parallels see Pernin, Les baux ruraux, 171, 233 ff.). If the expenses for the reclamation cannot have been less than 10 talents (Bresson, L’économie de la Grèce des cités I), we may infer that - after the reclamation of the marsh - Chairephanes would have had to earn at least 4 talents per year in order to refund his patrimony. Finally, Fantasia, Aree marginali nella Grecia antica: paludi e bonifiche, 104, points out that Chairephanes could have exploited the land in many ways: directly, cultivating it with cereals or using it to farm animals, or indirectly, subleasing it to private citizens.
About the technical details concerning the reclamation, see Chatelain, Assèchement et bonification des terres dans l’Antiquité grecque. From the inscription Chairephanes seems to have employed a drainage system with an underground tunnel (ὑπόνομος) which was connected to open air by means of wells (φρεατίαι) and which carried away the water from the marsh to the sea. There was also an artificial pond (δεξαμενή) on the surface which collected the water from the rivers which increased the marsh and poured it into the underground tunnel. This water could possibly also be exploited by farmers for irrigation. For other famous examples of reclamations in the antiquity see e.g. Strabo 9.2.18 (lake Copais in Beotia) or Suet. Claud. 20.1-2 (lake Fucinus in Abruzzo); an interesting parallel for the underground gallery with its wells is Polyb. 10.28.1-5. For other references see also (more in general) Collin-Bouffier, Vers une gestion intégrée de l’eau dans l’Empire romain.
Much more disputed is the geographical collocation of the marsh and the δῆμος of Πτέχαι. Two sites had been proposed: a) east of Eretria, near the city (cf. Diog. Laert. 2.133) ; b) near the δῆμος of Δύστος, in the north-east of Eretrian χώρα. In both these places the presence of marshes is well-attested up to the end of the 19th century. However Knoepfler, Le contrat d’Érétrie, 68 ff. has strongly contested these locations and proposed a third possibility, i.e. the current plain of Velousia-Lepoura. His arguments cannot be analysed here, but, unless the archeological searches throw new light on this problem, the question is probably bound to remain open. More in general about the topography of the Eretrian χώρα see Knoepfler 1997, 352-449 (with references).
In order to protect the safety of Chairephanes and the people who work with him during the reclamation and the exploitation of the land, the ἀσυλία, inviolability from the right of reprisal (for the concept see Bravo, ASNP, s. III, 10.3, 1980 and Rigsby, Asylia) is granted them. Lines 38-40 are very difficult to understand, especially because of the many gaps, but Bravo in his article has doubtfully suggested two possible interpretations. The second one in particular is really persuasive (for the first one see instead, with doubts, Knoepfler, Le contrat d’Érétrie, 56), but it requires a slightly different restoration of the text from that proposed by Ziebarth. Thus, in the apparatus you can find an alternative integration proposed already by Eustratiades that would fit the second interpretation offered by Bravo, as it can be seen from the translation of ll. 38-40: “all the people who from time to time work [with Chairephanes shall get his sam]e [inviolability], unless someone can exercise the right of reprisal against the city; [no one] of th[ese shall be among the people who work with Cha]irephanes, before they will have fully reconciled themselves with the city”. In other words, the city will give the workers the inviolability, but before it must be sure that they will not have any controversial issue with the city itself, otherwise they could exercise their right of reprisal with impunity thanks to the granted ἀσυλία.
The final part of the inscription contains the ὅρκος which sets very strict penalties for the transgressors. Here we have the earliest mention of ἐφηβία in Euboea (l. 47: see Chankowski 1993, 17-44); the πυρριχισταί (l. 58) are perhaps ephebes or members of the local nobility who danced the πυρριχή during the procession in honor of Artemis Amarysia (see Ceccarelli 1998, 191-195).
To sum up, this text is an interesting example of how the relationships among private entrepreneurs and (public) cities worked in the antiquity. The great care in defining the details of the contract, beyond - as we have said - the high price of the lease, shows that this was an enterprise of outstanding importance and relevance, both for Chairephanes and for Eretria and its people, something that would have drastically changed the environment. Unfortunately, we do not know if Chairephanes in the end was successful or not.

Ceccarelli 1998 = P. Ceccarelli, La pirrica nell’antichità greco romana, Pisa-Roma 1998
Chankowski 1993 = A.S. Chankowski, Date et circostances de l’institution de l’éphébie à Érétrie, DHA, 19.2, 1993, 17-44
Chankowski 2007 = V. Chankowski, Les catégories du vocabulaire de la fiscalité dans les cités grecques, in J. Andreau, V. Chankowski (éds.), Vocabulaire et expression de l'économie dans le monde antique, Bordeaux 2007, 299-331
Knoepfler 1988 = D. Knoepfler, Sur les traces de l'Artémision d'Amarynthos près d'Érétrie, CRAI, 132.2, 1988, 382-421
Knoepfler 1997 = D. Knoepfler, Le territoire d’Erétrie et l’organisation politique de la citè (demoi, choroi, phylai), in M.H. Hansen (ed.), The Polis as an Urban Centre and as a Political Community, Copenhagen 1997, 352-449
Author: Giorgio Ferronato