From Iasos to the Court of a ‘Divine’ King Gorgos Son of Theodotos between Alexander the Great and the Greeks

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Giacomo Aresi



Gorgos son of Theodotos was a prominent citizen of the polis of Iasos in Karia who came to enjoy a close relationship with Alexander the Great and to hold an office at his court. Even though he is completely absent in the major narratives of Alexander’s life, Gorgos is mentioned in a fragment of the first-generation Alexander historian Ephippos of Olynthos and in four inscriptions stemming from Iasos, Samos, and Epidauros. By re-examining this evidence, the paper aims at providing an overall assessment of this individual. It is argued that Gorgos was a markedly political figure, who exploited his proximity to Alexander to favour the interests of the communities he had relations with. Furthermore, Gorgos actively promoted Alexander’s policies and his self-presentation as a superhuman being both at court and in the wider Greek world. The paper deals also with the recently discovered Iasian joint cult of Alexander and his mother Olympias, arguing that it was likely established during the king’s reign and that Gorgos might have been instrumental in promoting this initiative among his fellow-citizens.


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