DVC 2430

Private Supplementary Question or Answer (?) concerning an Olive Tree (?)

Description: Ex lamella 2430-2432: supplementary question to 2432 (?) or supplementary answer to 2432 (?)
Dialect: Attic/Ionian
Alphabet: TBD

Date: (Hellenistic?)

Findspot: Sanctuary of Zeus, 1931
Original location: Dodona
Last recorded location: Museum of Ioannina, M848

Edition: Liapis/DOL

Diplomatic Text



A: ἦ ἀλλότριον καὶ οὐ τήνδε; vel
B: ἢ ἀλλότριον καὶ οὐ τήνδε




(A: S’il s’agit d’une question:) Vais-je réserver (un olivier sauvage) appartenant à quelqu’un d’autre, et non celui-ci (en particulier)?

(B: S’il s’agit d’une réponse:) Ou (un olivier sauvage) appartenant à quelqu’un d’autre et non celui-ci (en particulier).

(A: If a question:) Shall I set aside (a wild olive-tree) belonging to another and not this (particular) one?

(B: If an answer:) Or (a wild olive-tree) belonging to another and not this (particular) one.


DVC assume, among other possibilities, that 2430A is the question to which 2432B provides the reply: but, as they admit, the terms are much too vague: how is one to understand what ἀλλότριον and τήνδε refer to? DVC state that the hand in 2430A is the same as in 2432B, but this is surely mistaken. The texts are paleographically different. More importantly, 2430A is in Attic/Ionic Greek (τήνδε), whereas 2432B is some form of Doric Greek (τὰν ἀγριέλαιον).

In any case, it is not certain at all that 2430A is to be associated with 2432B: it is quite possible that it contains the remains of a question, or a reply, pertaining to a totally different consultation. If 2430A is indeed to be associated with 2432B, we must assume that it was written down either by the enquirer himself, who evidently came from Attica or from an Ionian region, or (if the enquirer was illiterate) by a third, unrelated person, who was perhaps asked to help. The text of 2430A will then have been either a supplementary question by the enquirer or a supplementary response to a further question, now lost, by the enquirer. This behaviour is well documented (Bonnechere 2010 and 2014).

In either case, the pragmatics of the supplementary consultation would be essentially the same. The wild olive-tree to be “set apart” (ἐξελεῖν) for the hero (cf. 2432B) need not be the one harmed by the offender: it may also be a different one. The point, presumably, is that the hērōs must be expiated for the injury done to him: a wild olive-tree sacred to him has been harmed, and a wild olive-tree must now be set apart and, in essence, consecrated to him. A potential problem is that we find here ἀλλότριον (presumed to qualify an implicit ἀγριέλαιον) rather than the normal feminine ἀλλοτρίαν; but Attic inscriptions offer a few parallels of such irregular feminines, see Liapis 2015: 89 for further discussion, along with the further suggestion (n. 28, by Méndez Dosuna) that ἀλλότριον might imply a more generic δένδρον/δένδρος.

Bibliography: DVC 2430
Liapis V. 2015. “On the Oracular Lamella 2430-2432 from Dodona”, ZPE 195: 85-90
Text constituted from: DVC (facsimile)