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Inscriptions of Southern Lycia

This article is about two inscriptions found in southern Lycia. One of them is the Gravestone of Trokondas dated to the 1st-2nd century AD. Arsasis, the prime dedicator of the stone, wrote that she was e citizen both Myra and Gagae. Interestingly she set down Myra in front of Gagae. Was there a reason for this sequence? Because she was first a citizen of Myra before she married Trokondas who, it may be assumed from the location of the stone, was a citizen of Gagae?

The children’s names are a mixture of Greek and Anatolian (Trokondas may as well be Pisidian as Lycian) of the eight persons in the family, five have regional, Anatolian names: Arsasis/Paua, Ptomais, Toalis, Tonialis and Trokondas; only two have Greek, Demosthenes and Menodotos.

Other is a Dedication to the Emperor Claudius by the Councilors of Gagae dated to AD 43. The small corpus of personal names mentioned in the inscription, valuable because it can be dated precisely to the first half (more accurately to the first quarter) of the 1st century AD, offers a parallel illustration of the “Hellenization” which has been emphasized for the Southwestern regions of Anatolia, specifically Pisidia with particular reference to monumental, public structures and the institutions which those structures represented in the civic life of regional centers, i.e. the Pisidian cities, in the late-Hellenistic and pre-Roman period, the 2nd and 1st centuries B.C. down to the creation of the province in AD 43. The degree to which cultural mannerism, in this instance the adoption of Greek names, had been accepted at the Lycian city of Gagae can be observed in the inscription published here. It is against this background, the role of “Hellenization” n Anatolian Lycia, that the interplay between the regional cities and the Roman authorities took place in the decades before, during and after the annexation of the region in AD 43.

In the context of Lycia the Gagae document (dated here to year of annexation, AD 43) provides the most conclusive (and perhaps the earliest) evidence for the beginnings of the imperial cult in the province. Elsewhere in Lycia (and in Pisidia) under Claudius there was an acceptance of the living Emperor as god.

It may concluded, therefore, that in effect the men were leaders of the pro-Roman party from whom the Roman authorities received support for the policy of annexation. The Gagae stone, furthermore, may be interpreted as an open statement, publicly displayed by this group, of their role in the events of annexation and of their allegiance to the new order, in particular to the Emperor. By doing so, they were initiating directly or indirectly, the cult of Rome and Augustus in their own city.

*Dr. David French, Waterford Cottage 55 High Road Hertz SG 14 2 PR, England.

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