Beroia law

Beroia law

Ethical guidelines in sport and written in marble in the third century, BC. It set the standards for behaviour and penalties to be exacted for non-compliance with the law, and included monetary fines, flogging and so on. 

Beroia gymnasiarchy law
No one under the age of thirty shall take off his clothes when the signal is lowered, unless the leader should give his permission. When the signal is raised, no one else shall do so, unless the leader should give his permission, and no one should anoint himself in another wrestling-ground in this city, and if he does, the gymnasiarch shall prevent him and fine him 50 drachmas.

All those who come to the gymnasium shall obey the person whom the gymnasiarch appoints as leader, as is prescribed by the gymnasiarch. The gymnasiarch will flog whoever does not obey the leader with a rod, and fine the others.

The ephebes and those who are under twenty-two-years old shall practise javelin throwing and archery every day, when the boys have anointed themselves, and, equally they should do anything else that it appears necessary for them to learn.

Concerning the Boys
None of the young men may enter among the boys, nor talk to the boys, and if some one should do this, the gymnasiarch will fine him and prevent him from doing any of these things.

The physical trainers of the boys shall present themselves twice a day in the gymnasium, at hours that the gymnasiarch shall set, except in case of illness or some other trouble that compels it; otherwise, they shall report to the gymnasiarch.

If one of the physical trainers of the boys should neglect his duties, and not appear before the boys at the appointed hour, the gymnasiarch shall fine him five drachmas each day.

The gymnasiarch shall have the power to flog the boys and their paedagogoi who are disobedient, if they are not free, and to fine those who are.

He shall order the physical trainers of the boys to make an inspection of the boys three times a year, once every four months, and appoint judges for them, and crown the victor with an olive crown.

Those who may not participate in the Gymnasium
A person may not take off his clothes in the gymnasium if he is a slave or a freedman, or the son of one of these; apalaistros; a prostitute; works at a trade in the agora; or is drunk or mad. If the gymnasiarch knowingly allows one of the people indicated above to anoint himself, or if someone has revealed and pointed this out, he will pay a fine of 1000 drachmas. To ensure that the fine will be paid, the person making the denunciation will give a written statement to the city auditors so that they will place his name with the city praktor. If they do not lodge his name, or the praktor does not act, they will also be fined the equal amount, and give a third of the sum to the person making the denunciation.

If the gymnasiarch has been written up unjustly, he shall respond within ten days, and be judged before the appropriate court.

Future gymnasiarchs shall prevent those who act against the law from anointing themselves. If they do not do this they will be subject to the same fines.

No one may verbally abuse the gymnasiarch in the gymnasium. If a person does, he will be fined 50 drachmas. If anyone should move to strike the gymnasiarch in the gymnasium, those present should prevent and not allow him to do so, and the gymnasiarch shall fine the person who sought to strike him 100 drachmas, and he shall be liable to prosecution according to the common laws. Any of those present who, although able, did not come to the aid of the gymnasiarch, shall be fined 50 drachmas.

Concerning the Hermaia
The gymnasiarch is to hold the Hermaia in the month of Hyperberetaios. He shall make sacrifice to Hermes and offer a weapon and three other prizes for fitness (euexia), good discipline (eutaxia) and hard training (philoponia) for those who are under thirty years old. The gymnasiarch will make up a list of seven men from those who are on the spot to judge the fitness contest, choosing three by lot to swear by Hermes to judge fairly about who appears to them to have the best body rather than through favoritism or enmity of any sort. If those who have been chosen by lot cannot judge or do not swear an oath that they are unable to judge, the gymnasiarch will have the power to fine them ten drachmas, and will cast lots from amongst those who were left over from the previous selection by lot. In the contests for good discipline and hard training the gymnasiarch, swearing an oath by Hermes, will judge the contest for good discipline, choosing the person who seemed to him to be the best disciplined from amongst those who are younger than thirty. In the contest for hard training, he will choose the person who seemed to him to have trained the hardest from amongst those who were younger than thirty in the previous year. The winners will wear a crown on that day, and whoever wishes may be permitted to wear a headband.

The gymnasiarch is to hold the torch race of the boys and the young men at the Hermaia. The expense of the weapons is to be paid out of the existing revenues. The hieropoioi, when they are celebrating the Hermaia, are to receive not more than two drachmas from each of those who frequent the gymnasium, and shall provide a feast for them, and they shall designate others in place of themselves who will be hieropoioi in the future at the Hermaia. The physical trainers will provide the sacrifice at the Hermaia at the same time as the hieropoioi, taking not more than one drachma from each of the boys, and they will make the division of the raw meat of the sacrificed animals. The hieropoioi and the gymnasiarch will not introduce entertainers during the drinking.

Those who win prizes will dedicate them no later than the eighth month in the year of the next gymnasiarch. If they are not dedicated, the gymnasiarch shall fine then 100 drachmas.

The gymnasiarch will have the power of flogging and fining those who cheat and do not take part fairly in the contest, or one who hands victory over to another.

The election of the lampadarchs
The gymnasiarch shall chose three men from amongst those who are present in the month of Gorpaios to be lampadarchs. Those who have been chosen as lampadarchs shall provide oil to the young men, each for ten days. He will also chose three lampadarchs of the boys, and those who are chosen will provide oil for an equivalent number of days. If one of those who is chosen lampadarch claims, or his father claims, or his brothers or his guardians claim that he is not able to be lampadarch, he shall swear an oath within five days of being chosen. If he does not serve as lampadarch, or swear, the person who was chosen shall be fined 50 drachmas, provide the oil, and serve as lampadarch all the same. Likewise, if a person, who should appear to
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References in periodicals archive ?
Nevertheless, Gauthier and Hatzopoulos can draw upon numerous inscriptions of Hellenistic and Roman times (honorary decrees, dedications, epigrams, and inventories) to explain and clarify the obscurities of the Beroia law. The result is a demonstration of the working of a gymnasium in the life of a Hellenistic city, shown to be representative of its type.