A New Corpus of Greek and Latin Inscriptions from the Kaystros River Valley in Southern Lydia

Marijana Ricl

Citation with persistent identifier: Ricl, Marijana. “A New Corpus of Greek and Latin Inscriptions from the Kaystros River Valley in Southern Lydia.” CHS Research Bulletin 7 (2019). http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hlnc.essay:RiclM.A_New_Corpus_of_Greek_and_Latin_Inscriptions_from_the_Kaystros_River_Valley.2019


The work on a corpus of new Greek and Latin inscriptions from the Kaystros River valley commenced prior to the arrival at the Center for Hellenic Studies. During the eight weeks awarded to the editor by the CHS, about two thirds of the project were finalized, and the rest was finished at the Center for Epigraphical and Palaeographical Studies at OSU, Columbus.


The project entitled “A New Corpus of Greek and Latin Inscriptions from the Kaystros River valley in Southern Lydia” was formulated with the intention to prepare for publication/revise about 110 unpublished Greek inscriptions found by Marijana Ricl during her surveys in southern Lydia.

The Kaystros River (modern Küçük Menderes) flows through southern Lydia between the Tmolos (modern Bozdağ) and the Messogis (modern Aydın Dağları) mountains. The main civic centres of the region were Hypaipa, Dios Hieron, and three settlements of the Kilbianoi – Nikaia, Koloe and Palaiapolis. The area belonged to the Lydians, receiving later on Greek, Persian, Macedonian and Roman colonists. During the Hellenistic period, the Kaystros River valley belonged to Lydia, while in the Roman period a part of the lower valley, up to and including the modern town of Tire (ancient Thyaira), was attributed to the territory of Ephesos. The Kilbian Plain apparently began east of Dios Hieron.

North of the Kaystros River, the most important city was Hypaipa (modern Günlüce), famous for its sanctuary of the Persian goddess Anāhitā. Other urban and village settlements in the area are Dios Hieron (mod. Birgi), Nikaia (mod. Türkönü), Koloe (mod. Kiraz), Tar(i)gye (mod. Akpınar), and Oumyrota (mod. Suludere) north of the Kayster River, and Palaiapolis (mod. Beydağ), Digda (mod. Ovakent), Bonitai (mod. Büyükkale and Küçükkale), Almoura (mod. Eskioba), Potamia (mod. Bademli), Dideiphyta (mod. Kireli), Savenda (mod. Yeğenli) and others south of it. A recently published Hellenistic inscription from the region of Koloe[1] revealed a number of local toponyms, for the most part previously unattested: Kireikome, Kanateichos, Alg(e)iza, Daplata, Agreikome, Tauroukome, Saltroukome, Tarsos, Sia, Ampsyra, Dareda, Oauroa, Diginda, Oekrada.

The area of southern Lydia has seldom been the object of scholarly interest. At the end of the 19th century it was visited by K. Buresch whose results were published posthumously.[2] At the beginning of the 20th century, J. Keil and A. v. Premerstein included it in their extensive surveys of various Lydian regions,[3] and in their footsteps followed C. Foss,[4] the German-Turkish team collaborating on the corpus Inschriften griechischer Städte Kleinasiens,[5] and R. L. Bengisu.[6] H. Malay and M. Ricl have recently contributed to the epigraphic dossier of this region,[7] R. Meriç published the results of his archaeological and topographical studies in the same area,[8] and S. Altınoluk her study of Hypaipa’s coinage.[9]

Most of the new inscriptions in the new corpus date to the Roman Imperial period and belong to the category of epitaphs. A few honorary and votive inscriptions inform us about the local cults of Ephesian Artemis, Dionysos, Demeter Thesmophoros, Hekate, Kybele, Zeus Soter Karpodotes; at times, they mention some cult functionaries – priests, neopoioi and others. A rare find is a marble perirrhanterion with the names of its dedicants inscribed on the rim and a marble seat (for a cult statue?) with a dedication. Moreover, honorary inscriptions preserve the memory of some public officials, such as gymnasiarchoi, boularchoi, agonothetai, grammateis tou demou, strategoi, panegyriarchoi, archontes, komarchai who served either in Ephesos or in the local towns and villages. An honorary inscription from the Upper Kaystros Valley offers valuable evidence on the council and people of the Kilbian region/koinon. Rare Late-Hellenistic documents embrace a list of names ending with the name of a logistes, the epitaph of a hipparches who served in Nikaia, and a couple of typically simple Hellenistic funerary texts. A category by itself are boundary stones delineating the extension of lands belonging to Ephesian Artemis and local rupestrian boundary markers (horoi) recorded in several locations.

The additional stay at the Center for Epigraphical and Palaeographical Studies of the State University of Ohio in Columbus made it possible for the editor to complete her work on the corpus. It now contains the edition of 103 Greek and Latin inscriptions. A lengthy exposition on the geography, history and archaeological remains, along with an analysis of ancient literary and documentary sources for the region serves as an introduction. A corpus of inscriptions from southern Lydia has been a desideratum for a long time, and it is the right moment to fulfil the wish of historians, epigraphists and archaeologists interested in this region and Asia Minor in general and to provide them with a new research tool. 



AWE                          Ancient West & East

CSCA                         California Studies in Classical Antiquity

DHA                          Dialogues d’histoire ancienne

EA                              Epigraphica Anatolica

ETAM                        Ergänzungsbände zu den Tituli Asiae Minoris

IK                                Inschriften griechischer Städte aus Kleinasien

SEG                           Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum

TAM                           Tituli Asiae Minoris

Akkan, Y., and H. Malay. 2007. “The Village Tar(i)gye and the Cult of Zeus Tar(i)gyenos in the Cayster Valley.” EA 40:16-22.

Altınoluk, S. 2013. Hypaipa: A Lydian City during the Roman Imperial Period. Istanbul.

Bengisu, R. L. 1994. “Torrhebia Limne.” Arkeoloji Dergisi 2:33-43.

Buresch, K. 1898. Aus Lydien. Epigraphisch-geographische Reisefruchte hinterlassen von Karl Buresch, herausgegeben von O. Ribbeck. Leipzig.

Foss, C. 1978. “Explorations in Mount Tmolos.” CSCA 11:21-60.

Herrmann, P., and H. Malay. 2007. New Documents from Lydia, Denkschr. Akad. Wien, phil.-hist. Kl. 340, ETAM 24.

Keil, J., and A. von Premerstein. 1914. Bericht über eine dritte Reise in Lydien und den angrenzenden Gebieten Ioniens, Denkschr. Akad. Wien, phil.-hist. Kl. 57, 1.

IK 12, 2: Inschriften griechischer Städte aus Kleinasien. Bd 12: Börker, Chr. and Merkelbach, R. (edd.), Die Inschriften von Ephesos. Teil 2: Nr. 101-599 (Bonn), 1979.

IK 17, 1-2: Inschriften griechischer Städte aus Kleinasien. Bd 17, 1: Meriç, R., Merkelbach, R., Nollé, J. and Şahin, S. (edd.), Die Inschriften von Ephesos. Teil 7/1: Nr. 3001-3500 (Bonn), 1981; Inschriften griechischer Städte aus Kleinasien. Bd 17, 2: Meriç, R., Merkelbach, R., Nollé, J. and Şahin, S. (edd.), Die Inschriften von Ephesos. Teil 7/2: Nr. 3501-5115 (Bonn), 1981.

Malay, H. and Ricl. M. 2006: ‘Some Funerary Inscriptions from Lydia’, EA 39, 49-83.

Meriç, R. 2009. Das Hinterland von Ephesos. Archäologisch-topographische Forschungen im Kaystros – Tal, Ergänzungsheft zu den Jahreshef. der Österr. Archäol. Inst. 12.

Ricl, M. 2002: “The Cult of the Iranian Goddess Anāhitā in Anatolia before and after Alexander.” Živa Antika 52:201-214.

———. 2009. “Epigraphic Survey in the Küçük Menderes valley.” 26. Araştırma sonuçları toplantısı, vol. 1, Ankara, 267-272.

———. 2010. “Report on the Results of an Epigraphic Survey in the Cayster Valley in October 2008.” 27. Araştırma sonuçları toplantısı, vol. 2, Ankara, 439-444.

———. 2010. “A New Inscription from the Cayster Valley and the Question of Double Names in Hellenistic and Roman Lydia.” In Onomatologos. Studies in Greek Personal Names presented to Elaine Matthews, ed. R.W.V. Catling, and F. Marchand, 532-553. Oxford.

———. 2013. “New Inscriptions from the Kayster River (Küçük Menderes) Valley.” EA 46:35-56.

———. 2015. “New Inscriptions from the Kayster River (Küçük Menderes) Valley, II.” AWE 14:275-291.



[1] Herrmann-Malay 2007, 126-129 no. 97=SEG 57, 1189.

[2] Buresch 1898.

[3] Keil and von Premerstein 1914.

[4] Foss 1978.

[5] IK 17 (Ephesos), 1-2.

[6] Bengisu 1994.

[7] Malay and Ricl 2006, 68-81, nos. 39-66=SEG 56, 1299-1323, 1354-1355; Malay 2006=SEG 56, 1252; Akkan and Malay 2007=SEG 57, 1190-1193.

[8] Meriç 2009=SEG 59, 1389.

[9] Altınoluk 2013.

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