Inscription I. Rhamnous, VI, 404 in the Context of the War of Antigonos Gonatas VS Antiochos I

Keywords: ancient Greece, Hellenistic period, Antigonos II Gonatas, Antiochos I Soter, Athens, Aristeides son of Mnesitheos, Galatian invasion


The purpose of the research paper is to analyze the evidence of the published 2020 honorific decree of Rhamnous garrison which was constituted in honor of its commander, Aristeides son of Mnesitheos, and told about the participation of the latter in the Athenian embassy to Asia to King Antigonos II Gonatas, as well as to date and determine the historical context of the specified diplomatic mission.

Scientific novelty. K. Clinton’s preliminary assumption regarding the dating of the Athenian embassy to Antigonos Gonatas with the participation of Aristeides during the war of the mentioned king with the ruler of the Seleucid state, Antiochos I Soter (ca. 280-278 BCE) is developed, clarified, and properly argued. Based on the above-mentioned dating, a number of assumptions associated with the historical realities of the Early Hellenistic era are made.

Conclusions. The year when Antigonos Gonatas acquired royal status (284/283 BCE) is proposed as the terminus post quem for the Athenian embassy mentioned in the decree from Rhamnous. A hypothesis is put forward regarding the authenticity of Gonatas granting 661 silver talents to the Athenians as a price for preserving royal control over Piraeus. Assumption of R. Waterfield regarding the meeting of Gonatas with the Athenian ambassadors in the Carian Kaunos, dated by the above-mentioned researcher to the end of the 270s BCE, is refuted. The current state of the source base of the war between Antigonos Gonatas and Antiochos Soter is summarized. The involvement of Antigonos in the mentioned war is indicated as the reason for the latter's voluntary agreement to hand over the city of Eleusis to the Athenians in accordance with the demand of the embassy with the participation of Aristeides. An assumption is made regarding the connection between the arrangements of the Athenian embassy with Gonatas and the long break in the contacts of Hellenistic Athens with the Seleucid Royal House. Several arguments are offered in favor of preceding the embassy with the participation of Aristeides, to the Galatian invasion of Greece, which began in the fall of 279 BCE. Given K. Clinton’s assumption according to which the nephew of Demosthenes Demochares participated in the aforementioned embassy, an additional clarification of the date of the said diplomatic mission is proposed, which most likely took place at the end of spring – the first half of the summer of 279 BCE. It is noted that the decree from Rhamnous belongs to the few sources that elucidate the events of the war between Antigonos Gonatas and Antiochos Soter.


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How to Cite
Zelinskyi, A. (2024). Inscription I. Rhamnous, VI, 404 in the Context of the War of Antigonos Gonatas VS Antiochos I. Eminak: Scientific Quarterly Journal, (1(45), 130-143.
Ancient History