Aphrodisias in Late Antiquity 2004
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7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 252 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18
II.1 We have frustratingly little evidence for the way in which the city developed during the period after the accession of Diocletian, and before the sole reign of Constantius II which must have been an important period in the development of the city: at Aphrodisias, as at many other sites, the dramatic drop in the number of inscriptions which might inform us about the changes through which the city was passing is itself a symptom of those changes. The epigraphic style of no.7, if it is correctly dated to the reign of Diocletian, gives no sign of any change from the preceding period; the alteration in script, and, increasingly, in formulae and content, come later, with no. 9 showing a uneasy mix, and nos. 10 onwards much more change. It is tempting — but very possibly misleading — to associate this development with changes in society.
II.2 There is no evidence as to what hardships Aphrodisias suffered in the later third century; but, as elsewhere, the issue of local coinage had stopped after 268. Furthermore, the appearance of penalties expressed in bullion in funerary inscriptions which, in all other respects, appear to be of the third century, or of the early fourth (nos. 147, 148, 149, 150) would seem to be an indication of the impact of the third century inflation. What is even more striking is the sudden reduction in the proportion — as well as the number — of inscriptions dateable to this period which honour, or record benefactions by, private citizens. Of those here no.10 records a religious dedication; nos. 11, 12, 13 and 252 are all apparently given by the sculptors responsible for the monuments. Moreover, from this period on, almost no citizen of Aphrodisias, in a public inscription, is described by his patronymic (the only exceptions are 66 and 91), although patronymics continue to be used in funerary inscriptions. The only evidence for the kind of practical problems which may have occasioned such changes — apart from the general situation of the empire as a whole — is the mention of warfare and banditry from neighbouring Stratonicaea (see further at II.18).
II.3 In the difficulties of the later third and early fourth centuries, many cities effectively disappeared. Aphrodisias, by contrast, survived in considerable prosperity for a further 300 years; and I have little doubt that the chief reason for this was its function as a provincial capital. It is highly likely that Aphrodisias was the capital of the joint province of Caria and Phrygia, established in the 250s (see I.5). When, at sometime between 301 and 305, a separate province of Caria was created, Aphrodisias was certainly its metropolis. Text 16 is probably the earliest record of the activity of the provincial assembly of Caria, which will normally have met at Aphrodisias, further enhancing the city's status (see further II.37).
II.4 The only inscription found at the site which gives the name of the joint province is text 7, which honours T. Oppius Aelianus Asclepiodotus, a citizen of Aphrodisias who had been governor of the joint province before going on to be proconsul and corrector of Asia: the joint province is named because of the need to distinguish between his different posts. In the first publication of this text I suggested, on the basis of the letter forms, and the mention of a first archon, that this text might be of a similar date to the other honours for governors of the joint province — 5, 6 and 253 — and so perhaps put up in the 250s or 260s. But the lack of comparative material for this period makes such criteria very uncertain; and Asclepiodotus is honoured not as governor, but as a former governor, and a local citizen. In 1981 David French published a milestone inscription from Tekin in Phrygia, referring to an Asclepiodotus who was governor, presumably of the joint province, under Carus, Carinus and Numerian — so after September 282, but before news came of the death of Carus in July 283: See List of Governors. This could, therefore, be the same man. If that is so, however, we must assume that he had been promoted from perfectissimus (as on the milestone) to clarissimus (as in no.7). The procedure would be unusual but not impossible, and might be the kind of advancement to be expected at a time of dramatic changes of power: we might assume that he was in control of the joint province when Diocletian came to power, and was rewarded for prudent behaviour by adlection to the senate and appointment as proconsul of Asia.
II.5 If this is correct, 7 provides useful evidence for the highly conservative style and appearance of an official inscription at Aphrodisias at this date. The lettering and the layout are very similar to those of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 253, set up in the 250s, which are themselves in a style found in public inscriptions at Aphrodisias throughout the later second and third centuries. This is the latest datable inscription in this characteristic lettering: it is also the last inscription from the site to refer to the civic magistrate responsible for the erection of the statue, although the use of the nominative both for the city and for the man responsible is unusual and unclear. This is the last appearance of the office of first archon, which was common in the second and third centuries at Aphrodisias (see List of Local Officials). The man concerned, Ti. Claudius Marcianus, bears a nomen that could suggest that he belongs to one of the old families of the city élite. If this is so, he is the latest identifiable member of this élite; no later inscriptions from the site show citizens of Aphrodisias using any nomina other than Aurelius or, most abundantly, Flavius.
II.6 Asclepiodotus himself appears to have no connections with the upper class of Aphrodisias known to us from previous centuries. The name Asclepiodotus, which is found several times in the late Roman period, is attested only once in the inscriptions of the Imperial period (in a third century funerary inscription, unpublished). Aelianus is attested only three times, once on a seat in the Stadium and twice in the Jewish community; but an Aeliane contributed to a series of dedications in the Hadrianic Baths in the early second century, suggesting a reasonably high status.1 The nomen Oppius, which is not particularly common anywhere in the Roman imperial period, is not known as a local nomen from any other inscriptions so far found at Aphrodisias.2 The patronage promised by Q. Oppius to Aphrodisias in the aftermath of the Mithridatic war (A&R 13) could have included obtaining Roman citizenship for prominent Aphrodisians, who could have borne his name, but would normally have preserved the praenomen (Quintus) as well as the nomen. On present evidence, therefore, it is not easy to connect T. Oppius Aelianus Asclepiodotus with any other Aphrodisian family known to us, and he should probably be seen as a new man.
II.7 If Asclepiodotus is correctly identified as the subject of both the Tekin and the Aphrodisias inscriptions, he first held office as an equestrian, appointed perfectissimus praeses of Caria and Phrygia. This appears to have been an unusual appointment, since he was not only preceded but also followed in the post by senatorial governors (see List of Governors). Such alternation appears to have taken place in the governorships of other provinces, and definitely did so in Numidia.3 While we cannot usually detect any reason for such 'extraordinary' appointments, it may well be that Asclepiodotus was recommended by his local origins at Aphrodisias and that such considerations outweighed questions of rank.
II.8 Although, however, Asclepiodotus is described as perfectissimus praeses in the Tekin inscription, at Aphrodisias he is called τὸν λαμπρότατον ὑπατικὸν ἡγεμόνα, which we now know to be the full title of the senatorial governors of Caria and Phrygia. Such a description of Asclepiodotus' office in an inscription put up several years later might, of course, be an understandable inaccuracy; but, since he clearly acquired senatorial and consular rank at some point, it may well be argued that he was adlectus inter consulares while in office as governor; this would have regularized his position as governor of a normally senatorial province. Christol, however, in his discussion of this inscription, considers that this interpretation creates too many difficulties, and that the two Asclepiodoti at Tekin and at Aphrodisias should therefore not be identified; he suggests that it is better to consider T. Oppius Aelianus Asclepiodotus as a governor of the joint provinces at some time between 250 and 283 . See List of Governors.
II.9 With senatorial and consular rank, Asclepiodotus went on to be proconsul and ἐπανορθωτής / corrector of Asia. Christol points out that such an appointment would be without precedent; but the wording of the inscription can hardly describe anything other than a simultaneous holding of two offices. The phrasing also makes it hard to see the description of Asclepiodotus as corrector Asiae as referring to anything other than a responsibility for the whole province, despite the examples of correctores appointed to deal with more restricted areas cited by Christol.
II.10 The precise functions of a corrector/ ἐπανορθωτής in the east (as opposed to the correctores known as regional administrators in Italy) are not known. Holders of this title appear occasionally in various eastern provinces during the third century,4 and abundantly in Achaea.5 The title appears to have been used to describe a series of ad hoc appointments, with varying duties and powers, made to deal with a series of special situations; such appointments were apparently eventually rendered superfluous by the administrative reforms of Diocletian.6 Only one other corrector/epanorthotes of the whole province of Asia can be identified; Aurelius Appius Sabinus, who held the office at some time after serving as prefect of Egypt under Philip and Decius (PIR A 1455).7 I have suggested that Sabinus might have been responsible for matters arising from the separation of the new province of Caria and Phrygia from proconsular Asia. As has been said, Asclepiodotus, if he was both proconsul and corrector, held an apparently unprecedented office; one possible explanation is that he was appointed to oversee the further subdivision of the province of Asia under Diocletian, perhaps in 293.8
II.11 It is difficult to know what importance to attach to the epithets with which Asclepiodotus is honoured. Κτίστης, found in several inscriptions at Aphrodisias (see Index) is a standard epithet for a benefactor, and need mean no more than that he was responsible for a building; but, as Robert pointed out, it is often used of a person who has acted as a founder by obtaining privileges for a community.9 Σῶτηρ is used of another governor of the province, Celsinus, see List of Governors and another imperial official at Aphrodisias in 14 below; this might also be banal, or might refer to specific services in the city's relationship with the imperial authorities. It is therefore possible that we should see Asclepiodotus as the representative of a new city élite, which came into prominence through imperial service, rather than through local eminence (compare 11, 12, 13).
II.12 The other inscriptions which can definitely be ascribed to the reign of Diocletian are, of course, the Aphrodisias copies of the Price Edict and of the Currency document, which were cut on the panels of a balustrade at the northern end of the large Basilica at the south side of the South Agora (see plan). The texts, published in Aphrodisias in Late Antiquity as nos. 230 and 231, are to be re-published separately by Michael Crawford and Joyce Reynolds.
II.13 We may assume that the text of the Price Edict at Aphrodisias was cut in 301 on the orders of Fulvius Asticus, governor — perfectissimus praeses — of Caria and Phrygia, whose edict accompanies the copy of the Price Edict at Aezani. Milestones put up under Asticus as governor have been found at various points in Caria (see List of Governors); in none of these documents does he give the name of his province, but the geographical distribution makes it clear that it must have been Phrygia and Caria. It was pointed out by Crawford and Reynolds that Asticus may be presumed to have been responsible for at least ten inscribed copies of the Price Edict, all found in Phrygia and Caria. The only copy of the Currency document which has so far been found is that at Aphrodisias, and it is tempting to relate this to the city's position as capital of the joint province; but Asticus' own edict, which presumably accompanied the Price Edict to every city where it was inscribed, has only been found at Aezani.
II.14 The widespread publication and inscribing of the Price Edict represents a major Tetrarchic innovation, which is all the more striking for coming at a time when, in general, fewer inscriptions are being cut.10 While there is no specific evidence, it may be assumed that the cost of the undertaking was met by the cities themselves. The aims of the edict are also innovatory and represent at least an attempt to circumscribe economic activity:11 whether or not it met with any success, such an attempt must mark the effective end of the economic freedom which Aphrodisias had enjoyed in preceding centuries.
II.15 The script of the Aphrodisias texts of Diocletian's Price and Currency documents provide the principal basis for dating text 8, one of the very few other Latin texts from the site. The lettering has a similar flow (note V and B); A is written without a crossbar: and G has a noticeably low bar. It seems likely that this text should be dated to approximately the same period. While not very much can be made of the surviving phrases, they appear to come from an epigram, and to be concerned with the administration of justice; this seems, therefore, to be one of the earliest of the epigrams found at Aphrodisias praising a governor or some other imperial official. The man concerned is apparently praised for his incorruptibility, inemptum being perhaps an epithet applied to his rule or to his judgment. This standard theme occurs in the epigram honouring the (?) late fourth-century governor Oecumenius (31, and discussion at III.33); and there is perhaps another similarity to that inscription in the mention here of lingua. Oecumenius was praised for knowing both Greek and Latin, and it is very likely that this epigram made a similar point.
II.16 While there is no way of assessing the direct impact, if any, of the Price Edict at Aphrodisias, the inscribing of these documents may have affected the epigraphy of the city. Very few other Latin inscriptions are known from Aphrodisias, and at least three of them are probably from this period (8, 79 and 220). Inscribing the Edicts must have been a demanding undertaking for the epigraphic masons of the city. Text 7 shows that the style of script conventionally used for public texts during the second and third centuries, with each letter conceived as based on a square, survived into the reign of Diocletian. The later texts from the city show the increasing use of the tall elongated style of lettering which is so characteristic of late Roman epigraphy , and is paralleled in the so-called Kanzleischrift of papyri of the same period.12 At some other sites in Asia Minor, this style of script appears in official inscriptions as early as the third century, as it does in papyri, but at Aphrodisias during the Roman period it is found only in private texts, most notably in the Jewish inscription.13 It seems quite likely that the development of this late Roman script was influenced by the style of Latin epigraphy, and its adoption for public texts at Aphrodisias in the early fourth century may have been encouraged by the inscribing of the city's first large Latin text, that of the two Diocletianic documents.
II.17 It is therefore of interest that a text which apparently dates from the later years of the Tetrarchy, 9, exhibits an uneasy use of the traditional letter-forms. The text honours plural emperors and Caesars, and might date from the first Tetrarchy.14 What is surprising, however, is that none of the rulers is named. The closest parallel that I know of is an inscription from Palmyra referring to emperors and Caesars, on the occasion of the completion of the Diocletianic Baths: ὑπὲρ σωτηρίας καὶ νείκης τῶν κυρίων ημῶν Αὐτοκρατόρων καὶ Καισάρων ἐτέλεσθη τὸ Διοκλητιανὸν βαλανῖον.15 There, presumably, the name of the baths was sufficient to indicate which emperors were meant; and it is of course possible that the Aphrodisias inscription, although it is apparently a free-standing statue-base rather than a building element, originally belonged in a context which made its meaning clear — for example, supporting a statue of one of the Tetrarchs who was named on the plinth. Alternatively, this inscription may date from a period when there was some doubt about the membership of the imperial college — as there could well have been at various moments after the abdication of Diocletian and Maximian in 305, until all the various rulers had acquired the title of Augustus, by 311.16 Such a date would also agree with the development of the script from the conventional forms still being used in the early years of the reign of Diocletian (7).
II.18 If it has been correctly understood, the cautious phrasing of this inscription may reflect the tense circumstances of the difficult years after the abdication in 305. As well as political uncertainty, there were more immediate problems. The famine attested under Maximin (at some time between 311 and 313) appears to have affected Caria, where its results, in raising the price of oil, are mentioned in the inscription of M. Sempronius Arrunctus Clemens at Panamara.17 That inscription also records the presence of Maximin at Panamara, accompanied by troops, on an expedition against brigands; whether these were political opponents or ordinary bandits, it implies violence and insecurity in the area, but for conditions at Aphrodisias we have no direct evidence.
II.19 Fulvius Asticus in 301 is the last datable governor of the joint province; the existence of two other probable equestrian governors of the province suggests that, by the end of the third century, the province was regularly under equestrian officials.18 At some time before the abdication of Diocletian and Maximian, on 1 May 305, Aurelius Marcellus, praes. prov. Cariae, set up a dedication to the Tetrarchs at Halicarnassus.19 There appears to be no room on the stone to allow for a longer title; and it is therefore most likely that Marcellus was governor of a separate province of Caria, created at some time during the years 301-5. Since the province of Numidia was divided in 303, the province of Phrygia and Caria was perhaps divided at the same date.20 It may be that, at the same time, the boundaries of the provinces were adjusted, since Miletus and Didyma, which were in proconsular Asia earlier in the reign of Diocletian,21 came to form part of the province of Caria in the early fourth century (by 325, if the Nicene lists are to be trusted).
II.20 As provincial metropolis, Aphrodisias also became the metropolitan see of the diocese of Caria, in the ecclesiastical arrangements which were institutionalised at the Council of Nicaea; the earliest attested bishop of Aphrodisias is Ammonius who attended the Council of Nicaea in 325: see List of Bishops. We know very little about Christianity at Aphrodisias before this date. A confused account of two martyrs at Aphrodisias is conserved in the Martyrologium Syriacum, the Laterculi Hieronymiani, and the Synaxaria Constantinopolitana, (all in the Acta Sanctorum), and in a latin passion narrative, published by P.Peeters.22 Almost all the sources agree that the martyrdoms took place at Aphrodisias, on April 30, under Decius (Passio) or Diocletian (Synax.Const.). The names of the two martyrs vary, but are most probably Diodoretus (or Diodorus) and Rhodopianus. The name Diodorus, but not Diodoretus, is attested in inscriptions on the site;23 Rhodopianus is not attested, but a Rhodopaeus appears in the sixth century (nos.85, 86, 87). According to one source, Rhodopianus was a deacon (Synax. Const.). They were attacked by a crowd in the Agora, and stoned to death there (Synax.Const.) or outside the city (Passio). This highly unsatisfactory tradition does little more than indicate the existence of a pre-Constantinian Christian community at Aphrodisias; but the existence of such a community is to be expected, particularly in view of the evidence for an active Jewish community in the city.24
II.21 Two inscriptions which may be Jewish, or may conceal Christian sympathies are no.10 and the funerary inscription no. 151. The chief indication of the date of inscription 10 is provided by Eusebius' rank of e primipilaribus. Rank descriptions of this kind are first found during the third century, and become frequent from the time of Diocletian; the usage appears to reflect the increasing tendency for ex-holders of a particular office to be automatically entitled to a particular rank, with its associated privileges and exemptions.25 In the case of primipilares, this had been codified in law by 317: primipilaribus post emeritam militiam perfectissimatus vel ducenae vel centenae egregiatus dari dignitas potest (CTh 8. 4. 3, very probably recognizing what was already general practice). It is perhaps significant that Fl. Eusebius does not find it necessary to mention his rank: the status of ex-official is itself dignity enough. An interesting parallel is provided by an inscription from Pitanae, honouring a certain Fl. Herculanus, πρειμοπειλάριον ἐξ ἐπάρχων λεγιῶνος Σιδηρᾶς, primipilarius, e praefectis of the legion VI Ferrata. The monument was erected by his wife, Fl. Maximilla, and his children, who are described as τέκνα τῆς εἰς αὐτὸν ἀκολούθου ἀξίας, children of the rank pertaining to him.26 Herculanus' rank, the ἀξία which descended to his children, is not specified — it is clearly implicit in his status of ex-prefect. This suggests a date for both Eusebius and Herculanus not later than the first decades of the fourth century, but not earlier than the last decades of the third. A closer terminus post quem is perhaps provided by their use of the nomen Flavius, also used by Herculanus' wife and children. It seems very likely that they, like other government officials at this period, derive their nomen of Flavius from the imperial dynasty established by Constantine;27 see further discussion at II.27, 28.
II.22 What is not certain is the function denoted by Fl. Eusebius' title of e primipilaribus. It is quite possible that he had received the title by codicil, a standard means of conferring rank at this period, and had never served as a primipilarius.28 Holding such an honorary rank would presumably have created no difficulties, even if he were a Jew (see below). Πρειμοπειλάριος is the standard Greek term used to translate the two Latin terms primipilus — a senior centurion — and primipilaris — a former primipilus.29 At some time in the second half of the third century military reforms eliminated the army post of primipilus, but the term primipilaris continued in use to denote members of the officium of governors and other imperial officials. Primipilares in this second sense are first attested under the Tetrarchy, but it is uncertain exactly when the military office of primipilus disappeared; commentators have suggested a range of dates between the reigns of Gallienus and Diocletian.30 It seems likely, however, that there was a period when πρειμοπειλάριοι in both senses co-existed. If I am right in suggesting an early fourth-century date for Fl. Herculanus, then he will represent one of the latest examples of a πρειμοπειλάριος with a military career. Fl. Eusebius might, therefore, have been a military or a civil official, although the duties of a civil official might have been easier to reconcile with the requirements of Judaism.
II.23 The suggestion that text 10 is Jewish rests primarily on the terminology of lines 3-4. The concept of giving from God's gifts is characteristically Jewish, as in an inscription from the synagogue at Sardis: ἔδωκα ἐκ τῶν δωρεῶν τοῦ παντοκράτορος θεοῦ; it is also, by inheritance, used by Christians. 31 The name Eusebius could be Jewish or Christian. In the absence of any cross or Christian symbol, such terminology would seem to suggest a Jewish origin; and it may be of some significance that the inscription was found in the same general area as the major Jewish inscription from Aphrodisias (J&G, doc. 1). A major difficulty in this interpretation is the dedication to θεῷ ἐπηκόῳ (line 1); the formula is very common in pagan inscriptions, but is not attested in any Christian texts, and only uncertainly in any Jewish ones (see J&G ad loc., p. 137). The closest parallel is provided by a text of about this period, found at Panticapaeum, and dated to 306: Aurelius Valerius Sogous built an oratory — προσευχή — which he dedicated to Θεῷ ὑψίστῳ ἐπηκόῳ, Theos Hypsistos, a monotheistic cult with strong judaising elements.32 What remains tantalizingly unclear in our text is what word — apparently of some five letters, ending in a dative in omega — was replaced in the dedication of Fl. Eusebius by θεῷ. One possibility is that the original term was recognizably Christian, and was replaced by a more ambiguous term at a time of persecution; but if this inscription records a contribution to a building whose function would, presumably, have been quite evident, there seems little point in such a substitution. An alternative possibility is that the earlier term was Κυρίῳ and that the change was simply a matter of taste.
II.24 Eusebius claims that he made, ἐποίει, rather than gave, his contribution. The term is not commonly used by donors at Aphrodisias, with the exception of the four dedications which follow (11, 12, 13 and 252) where the donors are apparently the sculptors of the works they are offering, and the inscription by a governor of the mid-fourth century on the mosaic in the Basilica (235). The verb is, however, regularly used by contributors to synagogues.33 Eusebius gave the first and third intercolumniations,34 just as a Christian donor in the fifth century roofed two intercolumniations, διάχορα (below, 66). The arrangement seems odd, and it is tempting to assume that we are meant to understand the first to the third intercolumniations.
II.25 Four texts erected by three men — Flavius Zeno (texts 11 and 12), Flavius Andronicus (text 13) and (?Flavius) Palladius (text 252), share the unusual characteristic that the donor claims to have made, as well as dedicated, an object. There is no indication as to what these bases supported — they differ in size and shape — but they the phrasing is similar; 11, 12 and 13 are all dedications to the homeland. As has been discussed elsewhere,35 these two men should almost certainly be identified with two members of a group of three Aphrodisians whose 'signatures' have been found on a series of statue bases excavated at Rome — Fl(avius) Zeno, ἀρχιερεὺς καὶ διασημότατος (IGUR IV.1594, 1595, 1596, 1597, 1598), Fl(avius) Andronicus (IGUR IV.1592, 1593) and Fl. Chryseros (IGUR IV.1599, 1600, 1601, 1602, 1603). In all the texts at Rome the three men describe themselves as Aphrodisian (and fragments remain of another seven such texts referring to Aphrodisians, IGUR IV 1605-1611) and employ the verb ἐποίει, which on the plinth of a statue, would most easily be understood as a claim to have made the statue. The same verb is used in what are clearly donor inscriptions of this period at Aphrodisias, by Flavius Eusebius (10) and the governor Flavius Constantius (235); but at Aphrodisias Fl. Zeno, Fl Andronicus and Palladius expand the phrase — ἐποίει καὶ ἀνέθηκεν, ἐποίει καὶ ἐδωρήσατο — apparently distinguishing the making from the giving. There is no parallel at Aphrodisias for the use of such phraseology in the dedicatory inscriptions of any other monuments. The implication is that the men claim to have manufactured the accompanying monuments (which, at Aphrodisias, are all lost). The similarity of the phraseology makes it very tempting to restore Flavius before the name Palladius in 252.
II.26 The inscriptions at Rome have for many years been included in the corpus of 'signatures' of Aphrodisian artists.36 Other Aphrodisians who signed statues at Rome include another Zeno (IGUR IV.1562, cf. 1222), Menestheus (IGUR IV.1576) and Polyneices (IGUR IV.1581). It was quite usual for sculptors working at Rome to give their place of origin; Aphrodisias ranks second only to Athens in frequency (see IGUR 1554ff.). This group of inscriptions -with their statues — was for many years dated to the second century. This was due in part to a misreading of the rank διασημότατος — perfectissimus — used at Rome by Fl. Zeno, and at Aphrodisias by Fl. Andronicus. This rank first appears under the Severi, and is used of very high imperial officials; during the third century it gradually came to be used by a wider range of men in public service. Its use by men who give no other indication of their standing cannot easily be dated before the early fourth century, and most probably the reign of Constantine.37 A similar date is indicated by Fl. Zeno's use at Aphrodisias of the title comes; there are no parallels for the use of this title, without reference to any imperial office, before the mid-320s.38 Moreover, the fact that three of the sculptors — Zeno, Andronicus and Chyseros — use the nomen Flavius without praenomen suggests very strongly that they are using it to indicate status held through service to the emperor Constantine and his house (in the same manner as Flavius Eusebius (see II.21); it may well be that Palladius also held the 'Flaviate'. All these reasons suggest a date for the inscriptions at Rome, and at Aphrodisias, not before the accession of Constantine.39
II.27 The dating may be yet more precise. At Aphrodisias, the first inscription of Flavius Zeno (11) is one of the latest inscriptions from the site to use the earlier forms of sigma and omega. At Rome, there are questions raised by the provenance of the fragments, which were found broken up and used in the foundations of walls in the Esquiline area.40 These walls are from various structures apparently erected in the late antique period — principally in the fourth century — and are characterised by the extensive re-use of broken statuary in the foundations.41 One of the plinths naming Flavius Zeno (IGUR 1595) was found in the foundations of one of the earliest such walls, in a bath whose bricks are date-stamped under Maxentius;42 while such bricks might have been used after the fall of Maxentius, the building activity in Rome at the period makes it seem unlikely that they will have remained unused for very long.43 If all this is correct, then the inscription of Flavius Zeno, with his Constantinian titulature, must have been cut, and the statue then broken, very early in the reign of Constantine. The earliest example of the 'Flaviate' in the East comes almost immediately after Constantine took control of the east;44 this therefore suggests that it could have appeared earlier in the West. The concept of using an imperial nomen in this way had already been established by the use of Valerius under the Tetrarchs; in Egypt Valerius is replaced by Flavius very promptly after Constantine's accession to power in the east.45
II.28 Flavius Zeno went on to acquire the title comes, probably not before the 320s; in his inscriptions at Aphrodisias (one of which was put up after his death) he uses it in preference to his rank of perfectissimus. Flavius Andronicus also advanced to a higher rank, since while he gives no rank in Rome, the word διασημότατος — perfectissimus was added to his inscription at Aphrodisias (13). What remains unclear is what made these men so important. Flavius Zeno is not unique among foreign sculptors in giving little extra self-description; an Athenian sculptor described himself as ἱερεύς, 'priest', in an inscription probably of the 2nd century AD;46 but the practice is unusual. Flavius Zeno's title of high-priest, found at Rome and at Aphrodisias, was erased in inscription 11, at Aphrodisias; in my previous publication I took this as perhaps indicating that he had held one of the new provincial pontificates invented by Maximin, but we now know that the same title was erased from adjacent inscriptions of other periods. The title is quite unsurprising at a provincial city, used to describe the local high-priest of the imperial cult; it is not common in Rome. The only context in which it occurs there regularly is in describing the high-priests responsible for the imperial cult on behalf of the synod of athletes, which had its headquarters on the Esquiline. It is just possible that we should see Flavius Zeno as in some way associated with that body. In an article in 1891 Seymour de Ricci first raised the possibility, that the Aphrodisian sculptures might have decorated the curia athletarum, which was the world centre of the international association of athletes.47 A document of the reign of Constantine is concerned with the regulation of money paid to the synod: money has been spent εἴς τε τὰς εἰκόνας καὶ τὰ πλάσματα καὶ τοὺς στηθιαίους ἀνδριάντας τοὺς λιθίνους — that is, on images of different kinds.48 In that document none of the officials of the synod are Flavii. But it is perhaps of significance that earlier high-priests of the Roman centre regularly held positions in the imperial household, as ἐπὶ βαλανείων Σεβαστῶν; so M. Ulpius Firmus Domesticus (IGUR 240) Marcus Aurelius Demetrius (IGUR 239, 240), M. Aurelius Asclepiades (IGUR 241), all dated to the second century.
II.29 Such a position might explain the 'Flaviate' of Flavius Zeno; but it is perhaps strange that he does not then expand and explain it in his inscriptions at Aphrodisias. Nor can this explain the status of the other two men, who were apparently also in imperial service, presumably carrying out what seems to have been their primary function — as sculptors, or at least suppliers of statuary. The greatest opportunity for sculptors to acquire imperial favour at this period must have come from Maxentius and Constantine's building activity at Rome and, above all, Constantine's activity at Constantinople; he is known to have been concerned to encourage the training of architects and artifices.49 If it was their sculptural work which led Andronicus and Zeno to imperial favour, it is easy to understand why they would have been proud to refer to their professional activity in their inscriptions at Aphrodisias. That such honours were exceptional, however, is indicated by a law of 384, regulating the grant of dignities to members of the officium of the comes sacrarum largitionum: the perfectissimate is for the highest level of bureaucrats, and sculptores et ceteri can only expect to become centenarii.50
II.30 The redating of the inscriptions has created serious problems for the history of the statues found in Rome, which had been generally understood to be of the second century AD. There has been much discussion of the implications; this has been most conveniently and lucidly summed up in an article by Dr. Mette Moltesen, curator of the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek where the statues from Rome are now displayed.51 Within the context of the history of Aphrodisias at this period, these inscriptions are unusual in that they present three local citizens erecting public monuments in the second quarter of the fourth century; there is otherwise little datable evidence for private citizens either being honoured or acting as benefactors between 250 and 400 (10 above, and perhaps 30, 33, 34, 35). It may well be that Andronicus and Zeno were able to undertake such activity precisely because they were directly responsible for the production of the monuments. The donors' claim to have made the statues which they have dedicated, together with the evidence of the Rome inscriptions, which take the standard form of sculptors' 'signatures', suggests that the men were actively involved in the manufacture of statuary, probably as the proprietors of sculpture workshops. While it has long been clear from the surviving material at Aphrodisias that the tradition of sculpture continued there until well into the fifth century, this cluster of texts provides the only epigraphic evidence for the activity of sculptors there in the late Roman period.52 These men were therefore exceptional: the sculpture which they produced merited honours from the imperial authorities, and in their home community they were able to make unusual donations. It may be, therefore, that we must accept that their work was outstanding in its fidelity to the traditions and skills of the past, and that work of this kind was otherwise rare in the early fourth century.
II.31 Texts 11, 12, 13 and 252 appear to be the only inscriptions from this period recording benefactions by local citizens — and at least 2 of the 3 benefactors seem to have gained their status from working in the imperial service. The only other texts which appear to date from the same period are concerned with imperial officials. Texts 14 and 15 both employ the unusual phrase friend of the emperors, which makes it virtually certain that these two inscriptions honoured the same man, although his name does not survive; he shares the title comes with Flavius Zeno (11 and 12).
II.32 While the concept of friends of the emperor was well established, the term was not used in the Roman imperial period as a title in formal descriptions of individuals; it is found rather in imperial letters and pronouncements employed by the emperor himself.53 The implication is that it was a mark of favour from the emperor, which a subject would not normally assume. The official term, which had a related sense, of a man with access to the emperor, was comes, which developed from this restricted sense into much more widespread use in the reign of Constantine.54 The anonymous here is styled both comes and amicus principum; the only other example of this combination known to me is used — in a letter of Constantine — of Acacius τὸν δισημότατον κόμητα καὶ φίλον ἡμῶν, but this is not strictly comparable, since the term amicus is here again being bestowed by the emperor.55 In both cases, however, the collocation of the two terms suggests that comes is being used in respect of an official position (as increasingly at this period) and that amicus conveys the former sense of comes — an imperial companion. In the case of Acacius, Millar has proposed that his official position might have been that of comes Orientis, contrary to the standard view that the post of comes Orientis was created in 335.56
II.33 The anonymous at Aphrodisias, comes et amicus principum, is further described as σωτῆρα τῶν ἐθνῶν. The expression has its parallels in honours for men described as saviour of a province;57 but I know of no other epigraphic example with the plural, saviour of the provinces. A similar phrase is used by Libanius — δύο μὲν ἐν ἄρχοντος τάξει σεσωκὼς ἔθνη — of a man's governorship of more than one province (Ep. 1363); he speaks of the PPO as ἄρχων τῶν ἐθνῶν (Or. 19, 36; cf. 41. 10, 52. 41 and 54) and of a vicar as νῦν πολλῶν ἄρχων ἐθνῶν (Ep. 11). The plural therefore indicates that this is a man with authority over more than one province, such as the PPO or a vicar; the title comes of such a position suggests that he is a comes provinciarum, or a vicar, more probably than PPO. It is not obvious that the distinction customarily drawn between comites provinciarum and vicarii (e.g. Jones, LRE, 105) is necessarily correct; the alternation of the two titles (as illustrated in the Fasti of PLRE I) may merely indicate uncertainty over the terminology of a new institution. The title comes continues to be used instead of vicarius in the late Roman period, but usually with a further explanatory phrase.58 Its presence here, however, as a substantive without further qualification, and used by a man of apparently high standing, suggests a period when the title still conveys considerable distinction, and so not later than the first half of the fourth century. While a date under Constantine would be possible, the plural βασιλέων is most easily taken of his sons.59 These inscriptions should, therefore, probably be dated to the joint rule of the sons of Constantine, 337- 50.
II.34 The anonymous is apparently being honoured for his benefactions to Aphrodisias. While κτίστης is a standard term in such a context (see II.11), ἐπανορθωτής is not, although Gregory Nazianzen describes the governor of Cappadocia, Olympius, as τῶν κοινῶν ἐπανορθωτήν in a letter of 382 (Ep. 140). The standard third-century use of this word, as the title of a special imperial commissioner, has been described at II.10, in discussing text 7, where Asclepiodotus, ἐπανορθωτής of Asia, is praised in terminology similar to that used of the anonymous: κτίστην καὶ σωτῆρα καὶ τῆς ἑαυτοῦ πατρίδος. The term last appears as an official title in the reign of Diocletian; it is not easy to assess its significance here, apparently as nothing more than a laudatory epithet. It is a useful reminder of the fluidity of such terminology at this period (as with comes) the Aphrodisians may have found it a fine-sounding expression, which for them had no specific administrative implications. It is also, however, possible that the relatively new office of vicar/comes provinciarum was seen as equivalent to the earlier ad hoc office of ἐπανορθωτής; while this text is no proof, such a supposition might be of value in a reconsideration of the origins of the vicariate.
II.35 The other benefactor who appears to be dateable to this period is Helladius, clearly a governor — ἡγεμών — of Caria (16): see List of Governors. While there is no internal evidence in these texts for dating him more precisely than to the late Roman period, the scripts appear to date from relatively early in that period; 16 includes a late example of a conventional ligature. More particularly, the unusual script of 17 and 18 is strikingly similar to that of 12 and 252 and should probably be assigned to about the same period; Helladius therefore probably held office in the early or middle fourth century. It is tempting to identify him with the Aurelius Helladius, apparently a governor in the east, to whom two rescripts were addressed in 325;60 but the name is too common for such a link to be reliable. In all three inscriptions Helladius is described in language typically used of benefactors and governors in the late Roman period; ἀνανεωτής (see Index) has been discussed by Robert,61 as has ἁγνός, a term frequently used of men in authority (cf. 5 and 6 above).62 17 and 18, which were clearly intended to be read as part of a sequence of texts, indicate that Helladius was responsible for building or restoration in the Hadrianic baths, which seem to have been the focus of a good deal of activity throughout the late Roman period (see Monument List).
II.36 If our dating is correct, 16 is the earliest Greek example (cf. 8) of the many laudatory epigrams found at Aphrodisias, which are so characteristic of the epigraphy of the eastern empire in the late Roman period.63 It was Robert who, in Hellenica 4, published in 1948, and making extensive use of material which he had studied at Aphrodisias, first clearly identified and analysed this general development, which appears at Aphrodisias as something quite new in the fourth century. The sudden choice of verse as an appropriate medium for the praise of those in authority, and of benefactors, coincides — at least at Aphrodisias — with a new approach to the lettering of inscriptions. This has already been touched on (see II.16); but one striking feature is that, from the fourth century, substantially different styles of script are employed in official inscriptions of similar date. The difference between the script of 16, and that of 17 and 18, all honouring Helladius, is noticeable, even if it is not as striking as the variation between the hands in the inscriptions honouring Pytheas at the end of the fifth century (nos 55, 56, 57, 58). It appears that, instead of the uniformity which makes the inscriptions of the Roman period at Aphrodisias so hard to differentiate, variety is now a deliberate aim — providing equal difficulties for dating.
II.37 If correctly dated, 17 provides the first epigraphic evidence for Aphrodisias' status as metropolis in the newly formed province of Caria. As metropolis, Aphrodisias will have been the normal meeting place of the provincial assembly, first attested here as setting up 16. The assembly also set up statues at Aphrodisias in honour of Aelia Flaccilla (23, in 379/86, the PPO Anthemius (36, in 405/14) and Flavius Palmatus, governor in the late fifth or early sixth century (63). In all these texts, both prose and verse, the assembly is described not as an institution, but as a group, the Carians. All this provides an impression of continued activity over a long period.
II.38 The last full discussion of the late roman provincial assemblies is still that by Kornemann, in 1900.64 It is now clear that the late roman assemblies were active and important organisations, at least until the end of the fifth century.65 As far as can be determined, assemblies were constituted in all the new provinces created during the provincial reorganisation of the late third and early fourth centuries. That there was a positive policy of reorganising assemblies in accordance with provincial divisions is perhaps suggested by the fact that in Lycia and Pamphylia, where the Lycians and Pamphylians had maintained separate concilia for centuries, a united ἔθνος of the Lycians and Pamphylians addressed an appeal to Maximin in 311/12.66 Such reorganisation appears to indicate the importance attached to the functioning of these bodies within the provinces. It was apparently provincial assemblies whose acclamations — in praise or blame of governors — Constantine ordered to be brought directly to his attention (CTh 1.16.6, of 331, retained as CJ 1.40.3; messengers bringing these acclamations could use the cursus publicus, CTh 8.5.32, of 371). An inscription from Ephesus, of 439/42, mentions how the Praetorian Prefects had received the acclamations of the provincial assembly of Asia in praise of the proconsul.67 They regularly honoured officials with statues: at Aphrodisias 16, 36 and 63.68
II.39 The most strikingly new feature of the late roman consilia is that they were composed not, as before, of delegates from member cities, but — at least in theory — of all the honorati and curiales of the province.69 This arrangement is likely to have further enhanced the status of the metropolitan city, which became the meeting place of the provincial aristocracy, at the cost of the other cities, which were no longer specifically represented; such a development is perhaps reflected in the ruling of Valens, recorded in an inscription at Ephesus, conceding the right of non-metropolitan citizens to hold provincial office, but restating the obligations of provincial officials to their own cities.70 It is also, I think, possible to observe an increasing tendency to describe important men in terms of their province, rather than in terms of their city — thus as Carian rather than Aphrodisian or Milesian; and this probably reflects the gradual substitution of the province for the municipality as the political and social unit in the empire.71 This kind of centralisation, at a provincial level, as well as the increasing empire-wide centralisation on the great capitals, was likely to accelerate the decline of large numbers of non-metropolitan cities: this decline is reflected in the legislation concerning the removal of civic funds, and even actual statues and building materials, from less important cities to metropolises and other important cities — metropoles vel splendidissimas civitates (CTh 15.1.14, of 365).72
|1||Stadium: PPA 45.12.L; Jews: J&G 1, b.29. 30 and ?42, with discussion, p. 97; Baths, Reynolds (1997a).|
|2||For another Titus Oppius see I.Eph. 4341. For the nomen, RE XVIII 1, 762-48; the latest occurrence is recorded in PLRE II.|
|3||See the useful discussion by B. Malcus, OpRom 7 (1967/9), 220-3.|
|4||Roueché (1981), 109 nn. 32 and 33; A. M. Demichelli, Contributi Garzetti (Rome, 1917), I, 57-74.|
|5||See J. H. Oliver, GRBS 14 (1973). 403-5.|
|6||See B. Malcus, op.cit., 233.|
|7||Roueché (1981), 109 notes. 23-7, with the observations of Professor Herrmann.|
|8||Evidence for the new provinces is provided by CIL III.450, of 294, for Insulae, and I.Ilion 97 for Hellespontus: see Barnes, NE, 215; for a more radical hypothesis, see G. Di Vita-Evrard, L'Africa Romana II (Sassari, 1985), 149-77.|
|9||Hellenica 4, 116; BE 1956.317.|
|10||F. Millar, ERW, 257- 8.|
|11||M. H. Crawford, CR 25 (1975), 277-8.|
|12||W. Schubart, Paläographie (Munich, 1925), Index s.v. and, for example. Pap. Graec. Berol. pl. 35.|
|13||J&G, pp. 19-21.|
|14||As assumed in Roueché (1981), 106, 109.|
|15||SEG 7.152, under the governorship of Sossianus Hierocles, so certainly during the first Tetrarchy: see PLRE I, Hierocles 4.|
|16||Barnes, NE, 5-6.|
|17||Lactantius, DMP 37. 4; Eusebius HE 9. 8. 1; I.Stratonikeia I, 310.|
|18||See List of Governors, Asticus, Iu[ . . ., Optimus.|
|19||See List of Governors.|
|20||H-G. Kolbe, Die Statthalter Numidiens von Gallien bis Konstantin (Munich, 1962), 51, 65ff.|
|21||I.Didyma 89, 90, 159; datable to 286-93, PLRE I, T. Flavius Festus 7.|
|22||AB 23 (1904), 255-57, with full references to the other sources.|
|23||MAMA 8, 492, 499|
|24||Since the publication of the Jewish inscriptions by Reynolds and Tannenbaum — J&G — material reflecting the presence of the Jewish community has continued to emerge, chiefly in the form of Jewish graffiti; see Chaniotis (2002).|
|25||See F. Millar, JRS 73 (1983), 76-96, esp. 94.|
|26||IGR IV.266, from BCH 4 (1880), 377 no. 3.|
|27||J. O. Keenan, ZPapEpig 11(1973), 33-63; A. Mocsy, Akt. IV. Congr. Epigr. Wien (Vienna, 1964), 257- 63.|
|28||F. Millar, op.cit., 95.|
|29||See J.-M. Carrié, Actes XVe Congr. Pap. (Brussels, 1977) IV, 156-76, esp. 171-3.|
|30||Carrié, ibid., argues for abolition under Gallienus, but presents the other arguments; see also his article in ZPapEpig 35 (1979), 212-24.|
|31||L. Robert, NIS, 49, with several parallels.|
|32||IGR I.873, or CIRB 64; see S. Mitchell, The cult of Theos Hypsistos, in P. Athanassiadi and M. Frede edd., Pagan Monotheism in Late Antiquity (Oxford, 1999), 81-148.|
|33||Robert, NIS, 38 ff..|
|34||For διάστυλον compare a second-century inscription at Aphrodisias, MAMA 8, 498 and see L. Robert, BCH 60 (1936), 194 = OMS II, 901.|
|35||Erim and Roueché (1982)|
|36||Listed by M. Squarciapino, 11- 17.|
|37||W. Ensslin, art. Perfectissimus, RE 37 (1937), 664- 83, esp. 672, and the discussion at Roueché (1981), 106- 1.|
|38||O. Seeck, art. Comitiva, RE 4.l (1900), 633- 5.|
|39||So Moretti, in his republication of the Rome texts in IGUR.|
|40||See E. La Rocca's description of the excavation of this area in the 1870s, L'auriga dell'Esquilino (Rome, 1987), 1-12.|
|41||Robert Coates-Stephens, Muri dei Bassi secoli in Rome: observations on the re-use of statuary in walls found on the Esquiline and Caelian after 1870, JRA 14 (2001), 217-38; I am very grateful to Dr. Coates-Stephens for discussion on these points.|
|42||On the building see La Rocca, (op.cit.), 11-12.|
|43||On the brick-stamps, M. Steinby, L'industria laterizia di Roma nel tardo impero in A. Giardina ed., Società romana e impero tardoantico (Rome, 1986-) II, 149-164 ; I am particularly grateful to Professor Steinby for her views on these points.|
|44||Keenan (op.cit.), 48, cites POxy X.1261, of 13 January 325.|
|45||Keenan, (op.cit.), 44-46|
|46||IGUR IV, 1572.|
|47||La ξυστικὴ σύνοδος e la curia athletarum, BollCommArch (1891), 207-9; most recently, M. Caldelli, Curia athletarum, iera xystike synodos e organizzazione delle Terme a Roma, ZPE 93 (1992), 75-87.|
|49||CTh I 13. 4. 1 (334) and 4. 2 (337), quoted by Jones, LRE, 1013-14.|
|50||CTh VI.30.7, cited by C. Lepelley, L'ordre équestre de Dioclétien à Theodose, in S. Demougin, H. Devijver et Marie-Thérèse Raepsaet-Charlier edd., L'Ordre équestre : histoire d'une aristocratie (Rome, 1999), 629-657, 641.|
|51||M. Moltesen, The Esquiline group: Aphrodisan sculptures in the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Antike Plastik 27 (2000), 111-131; I am very grateful to Dr. Moltesen for many years of fruitful discussion.|
|52||For sculptors at Aphrodisias, see Erim and Reynolds (1990).|
|53||Millar, ERW, 110ff., esp. 116.|
|54||Millar, ERW, 117 ff.; the fullest account remains that of O.Seeck, cited above (n. 38).|
|55||Eusebius, V. Const. 3. 53; for the man see PLRE I Acacius 4.|
|56||Millar, ERW, 118 n. 60; for the traditional view, PLRE I, Felicianus 5.|
|57||For example, in the later fourth century the phrase is used to describe Petronius Probus in an inscription at Gortyn, I.Cret. IV.312|
|58||See the useful observations of C. Foss, ZPapEpig 26 (1977), 175-4 n. 14.|
|59||See the discussion by C. Vatin, BCH 86 (1962), 229- 32, of two inscriptions at Delphi.|
|60||PLRE I, Helladius 5, but not in Barnes, NE.|
|61||Hellenica 11-12, 24-7.|
|62||Hellenica 4, 39, and Studii Clasice 16 (1974), 11 n. 8.|
|63||For a full discussion see Roueché, Benefactors in the late Roman period: the eastern empire, Actes Xe Congrès, 353-68.|
|64||Concilium, RE 4.1, (1900), 820-26; for a brief treatment see J. Deininger, Die Provinziallandtäge der römischen Kaiserzeit (Munich, 1965), 183-88; see also Liebeschuetz (2001), 12, 38.|
|65||A. Chastagnol and N. Duval, Les survivances du culte imperial, Mélanges Seston (Paris, 1974), 87 — 118; F. M. Clover, Emperor Worship in Vandal Africa, Romanitas Christianitas: Festschrift J.Straub (Berlin, 1982), 662-74.|
|66||TAM II, 785; IGC 282.|
|67||Most recently published as I.Eph. 1352; see also BE 1961.537. For similar evidence from Africa, see Clover, art.cit.|
|68||On all this see Horster (1998), 55-7.|
|69||Liebeschuetz (2001), 12.|
|70||Most recently published as I.Eph. 43.|
|71||F. Abbott and A. Johnson, Municipal Administration in the Roman Empire (Princeton, 1926), 498.|
|72||This reinforces CTh XV.1.1 of 357 in forbidding such conduct; but the laws came gradually to sanction it: thus CTh XV.1.18, of 374; XV.1.26, of 390, and 37, of 398.|
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