(Too) sexually active: Glykera, an Athenian woman

In a recent article (“Five curse tablets from the Athenian Kerameikos”, ZPE 199, 2016, pp. 109-118), J. Curbera revisits the curse tablet IB25 = I 513, found on the southern slope of the Acropolis (Eckterrasse) in a large pit dug between 317 and 307 BCE. Folded over once, the leaden tablet had not been pierced by a nail.

The thirty tablets from the Kerameikos include the oldest across the Attic world, and are the richest in prosopographical information (see Jordan 1988: “New Archaeological evidence for the practice of Magic in Classical Athens”, Praktika tou XII dethn, vol.4, pp. 273-277).

On tablet I 513, someone (whose gender is unknkown) casts a curse against Glykera, Dion’s new wife. What is targeted by the curse is the victim’s vulva, as she seems to have been too sexually active. What the author of the tablet wishes for, according to Curbera, is to have the marriage annulled.

Text (see Curbera 2016):

Γλυκέραν τὴ(ν) Δίωνος γυναῖκα κατωδομεν πρὸς τοὺς χθονίους ὅπως τιμωρηθεῖ[[σα]] καὶ ἀτελὴς γάμος ἦι καταδέω Γλυκέραν Δίωνος [πρ]ὸς τὸν Ἑρμῆν ἐρεούνιον τὸν χθόνιον. τὸν κῦσον αὐτῆς, τὴν α[ὐ]θάδεαν, τὴν ἀσώτεαν [κ]αὶ πά(ν)τα τῆς ἁμαρτησά[σα]σης Γλυκέρας.


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2 Responses

  1. Terry Walsh says:

    κατωδομεν (sic), for the first verb looks very strange; I would have expected καταδοῦμεν.

    • Violaine Sebillotte says:

      The two letters ω and ο are difficult to read.Curbera ZPE 1996 gives the photo of the inscription. He edits κατωδομεν with points under ω and ο.

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