Terms, Abbreviations, and Definitions

Key terms

decree inscribed at third community – an individual proxeny decree inscribed neither at the granting community nor at the community of the recipient, but at a separate place

ethnic – an adjective forming part of an individual’s naming formula identifying them as the member of a particular citizen community, whether a polis or/as well as a wider federal koinon (the ethnic as preserved in the inscription is presented through a mousover box over the ‘community of proxenos’ column)

foreign judge – an interstate institution in which judges from other cities were brought in to settle and/or judge outstanding or problematic cases between citizens

group grant – a grant of proxeny made to multiple unrelated individuals simultaneously, usually in the context of an inter-polis delegation (contrast grants made to individuals, which might also be extended to the heirs of the recipient)

IACP – An Inventory of Archaic and Classical Poleis, ed. M. H. Hansen and T. H. Nielsen (Oxford, 2004)

list or catalogue of proxenoi – a type of inscription collecting a number of proxeny grants made at a particular time or all those made within a particular period (chronological list), or a community’s entire network of proxenoi (catalogue)

koinon – (pl. koina) collective grouping of states (usually translated as ‘federation’ or ‘league’), or sometimes individuals (translated ‘association’)

occupation/activities – information on the specific occupation or activities of recipients of proxenia given by the proxeny decrees themselves

polis – (pl. poleis) a Greek city-state

proxeny – (Gr. proxenia) the status of proxenos

proxenos – (pl. proxenoi)

renewal of proxenia – individual proxeny decree describing the grant of proxeny as a renewal of a pre-existing hereditary relationship


asylia – freedom or immunity from the practice of seizure as a result of disputes arising between states and their citizens

‘all else given to proxenoi’ – a catch-all clause often found in proxeny decrees suggesting that there was often an established set of honours and privileges granted to proxenoi by virtue of their status, whether defined by law or precedent

ateleia – freedom or immunity from taxation, often more narrowly expressed (for example, in relation to inport or export duties)


eisodos – the right to approach and address the key decision-making institutions of Greek city-states, the council and assembly

enktēsis – the right to acquire real property (land or houses) in the territory of the granting community

epimeleia – ‘care’, an instruction given to officers of the granting community to take care of the recipient in question

epinomia – the right to pasture goats or sheep within the territory controlled by the granting community

euergesia – a grant of the status of euergetēs (benefactor)

hereditary grant – the extension of some or all honours granted by the decree, including proxeny, to the descendants of the recipient

politeia – a grant of citizenship and the rights and privileges associated with it


prodikia – preferential/accelerated access to local legal institutions

proedria – reserved/preferential seating at local communal festivals

proxenia – a grant of the status of proxenos

publication clause – publication of the proxeny decree specified as one of the honours granted to the recipient

harm clause – also known as a ‘restitution clause’, this clause promised that, if a proxenos was harmed or injured within a community which was controlled by the granting community, a penalty would be levied against that community

specific description of services – reference made in the inscription, usually in the motivation clause justifying the grant of proxeny to an individual, to specific acts or benefactions made by the individual recipient

stereotypical proxenos description – reference made in the motivation clause to a generalized pattern of behaviour on the part of the recipient appropriate to a proxenos

theorodokia – the honorific position of theorodokos, involving hosting festival-announcing delegations (theoria) from the granting community on arrival at the community of the recipient

xenia – hospitality, specifically an invitation to dinner on the occasion of the grant of proxeny

Date abbreviations

For dating, PNAW follows the abbreviations used by the Lexicon of Greek Personal Names (LGPN)

iv BC = fourth century BC (399-300 BC)

f.iv BC = first half of the fourth century BC (399-350 BC)

s.iv BC = second half of the fourth century BC (349-300 BC)

iv/iii BC = late fourth to early third century BC (324-275 BC)

iv-iii BC = fourth or third century BC (399-201 BC)

Probability of attestation

Inscriptions are often preserved in a fragmentary state, so that in some cases we cannot be certain whether the text in question granted proxenia. In order to recognise and assess the degree of likelihood that a particular piece of evidence attests to a relationship of proxeny, PNAW adopts a four point probability scale which is signalled in the ‘Honours’ column by the following transcriptions:

proxenia (1) – indicating a certain attestation of proxeny (i.e. the word itself survives or an unambiguous portion of it)

proxenia (2) – indicating a judgement that, although unambiguous traces of a reference to proxeny do not survive, one can be assumed with a high degree of probability on the basis of textual and contextual factors (e.g. 80-100%)

proxenia (3) – indicating a judgement that a particular inscription probably contained a reference to proxeny, although with less confidence than proxenia (2) (e.g. 51-79%)

proxenia (4) – indicating a judgement that the most likely of the possible restorations of a text involve a reference to proxeny (e.g. up to 50 %). Instances where other restorations appear as probable as proxeny, on the basis of textual and contextual factors, are not included.