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Section: I | II | III | IV | V | VI | VII | VIII | IX | X | XI | XII

Section IX: Funerary texts

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Document Contents
Epitaphs with bullion penalties
Epitaphs in verse
Other epitaphs
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Inscriptions in this section

147 | 148 | 149 | 150 | 151 | 152 | 153 | 154 | 155 | 156 | 157 | 158 | 159 | 160 | 161 | 242 | 162 | 163 | 164 | 165 | 166 | 167 | 168 | 237 | 169 | 243 | 170 | 171 | 172 | 173 | 174 | 175 | 176 | 177 | 178

IX.1 Aphrodisias in the Roman period was, like any other city of the time, ringed by graveyards; since burial within cities was not permitted except in the most exceptional circumstances, necropoleis developed immediately outside the city. When the walls of Aphrodisias were built in the mid-fourth century, following the line of the city boundary, they incorporated a good deal of material from funerary monuments outside the city; as a result, although no necropolis at Aphrodisias has yet been extensively excavated, we possess many funerary inscriptions of the Roman period from this re-used material (see, for example, CIG 2824-50; MAMA 8, 532-97). They are mostly expressed in recurring formulae, which, while reflecting forms current elsewhere in Asia Minor, use terms particular to Aphrodisias, just as other cities and areas have their own funerary terminology. 1 

IX.2 There is, therefore, a striking contrast between the Roman and the late Roman periods, since this section, including all the epitaphs apparently datable after AD 250, comprises only thirty-seven texts (including 54, the epitaph of Asclepiodotus, and 250, the epitaph of Pytheas). This is almost certainly an underestimate, for among funerary texts using the traditional formulae there are no safe criteria for distinguishing those inscribed after AD 250. I have included here, first, a small group (147-50) of texts with such formulae, which should probably be attributed to our period because of the type of penalty for violation, and second, all the funerary epigrams, 153-162, and 242, which with 54 and 250 are likely to be of this period; but in both cases there are probably others of a similar date.

IX.3 This leaves only eighteen texts that have a characteristically 'late' form (163-78, 237, and 243). Almost all of these were stray finds or with no significant context; 164 (sixth century), 165 and 166 (fifth or sixth century), however, were definitely located outside the city walls. This suggests that the tradition of extra-mural burial continued at Aphrodisias into the sixth century. As Professor Dagron has pointed out, permission to bury within cities is a significant indication of the disappearance during the late Roman period of the antique concept of the city. 2  Considerable numbers of medieval graves have been found within the city; but it is typical of its conservatism that this development came relatively late at Aphrodisias. It also helps to explain the relative shortage of funerary inscriptions from our period: many more may well lie in the unexcavated necropoleis outside the city, but after the walls were constructed in the mid-fourth century, there was no further major building project which re-used such material and so kept it above the surface.

IX.4 Out of thirty-one inscriptions, eight, texts 153, 154, 157, 159 (in verse) 148, 164, 170, and 172 commemorate women. At some sites the late-antique epigrams give many descriptions of professional status; here, only five texts, 147.a (which is very probably earlier than our period), 150, 151, 152, 169 and 237 mention secular professions, while four, texts 165, 166, 167 and 168, commemorate clergy. Professional descriptions may also be concealed in the obscure wording of 155 and 156 (in verse) and 163 (in prose).

Epitaphs with bullion penalties

IX.5 Texts 147, 148, 149, 150 exemplify the problems of determining which inscriptions should be dated before or after AD 250. They all use formulae standard in Aphrodisian funerary texts of the Roman imperial period, expressing the ownership of the funerary monument, and the penalties payable for its misuse — even though both 147 and 148 were clearly inscribed on re-used monuments. But although they use the traditional phrases for threatening with a penalty anyone who violates or re-uses the tomb, the penalty is expressed not in currency (as in the vast majority of such texts) but in weights of bullion — silver, 147, or gold, 148, 149, 150. This feature, which is common in inscriptions of the fourth and fifth centuries, 3  appears to have developed in response to the inflation of the later third century, as precious metals came to be seen as the only reliable form of payment. 4  In 147 the penalty is expressed as a pound of bullion, ἄσημον. When not further qualified, this term is normally taken as meaning silver bullion rather than gold. 5  The text is unusual in specifying a penalty of only one pound of silver, since such penalties are normally higher. 6  In 148 the payment, in ounces of gold, to the hieron, shrine, of Aphrodite is otherwise unprecedented, although funerary penalties are often payable to the goddess Aphrodite (e.g. MAMA 8, 555, 565, 571, 576-7, 579, 593-4). It is not clear how far into the fourth century it would have remained practicable for penalties to be paid to a pagan temple. In 149 the payment is a far more substantial two pounds of gold. In commenting on this text, Robert considered that the names Marcus Aurelius were likely to be earlier than the designation of penalties in gold, and that the inscription might have been partially recut. It seems clear, however, that it is homogeneous; and the evidence of this text, together with 148 and perhaps 147, suggests to me that the practice of designating penalties in bullion started as soon as the great inflation took effect — that is, in the second half of the third century, when there is other evidence for a change from currency to precious metals. Another funerary text, not included here (MAMA 8, 578), uses very traditional formulae, but states a penalty in myriads of silver; that too may be a product of the same period of monetary uncertainty. What is very uncertain is how far after 250 any of these texts should be dated. The traditional formulae, the mention of the temple of Aphrodite in 148, the nomen Aurelius (only otherwise found in the later inscriptions of Aphrodisias in 151) in 148 and 149, and the epithet σεμνότατος in 150 all suggest to me that these texts should be dated in the later half of the third century or the first few decades of the fourth.

IX.6 147 is on an apparently reused monument, where part of the earlier text survives (b). There is no difficulty in considering b as contemporary with the surviving sculpture of the monument — probably of the first half of the third century AD. The text, although fragmentary, seems to refer to a tabernarius, tavern-keeper: the Greek form is otherwise known only from a Christian epitaph from the late Roman cemetery at Corycus (MAMA 3, 311). Inscription a may also be contemporary with the monument, added by an untrained hand, perhaps that of the owner. It is more likely, however, to have been inscribed by someone re-using the stone, who did not apparently erase the earlier text, perhaps to avoid damaging the sculpture. The name Euarestus, while not otherwise attested at Aphrodisias, is a common one, and so a likely, although not a certain, restoration; for Acheus/Achaeus compare 91. The principal indication of date is the penalty; see discussion at IX.5 ff.

IX.7 148 is inscribed on a sarcophagus, and again preserves the remains of two inscriptions. a clearly survives from an earlier use of the sarcophagus. The construction of b is unusual, in that ἐνθάψαι is left without an object; and it is not obvious how the end of line 3 and the beginning of line 4 should be interpreted. The discovery of an adjoining fragment, containing the left ends of the lines, has not made the structure any clearer. The principal indication of date is the penalty; see discussion at IX.5 ff.

IX.8 149 is inscribed along the lid of a sarcophagus, including the projections. The interpretation of the second line is far from certain; and since the grammar of the text is fairly erratic — thus the switch from genitive to nominative in listing the owners of the tomb — it is particularly difficult to make any restorations. If we assume that line 2 was cut in a straight line on the recessed area and on the projections as they occur, we should then read the name of the father as Peritianus Κω, 7  or perhaps as Peritianus Κωτος. 8  This, however, requires us to read at the end of the line the apparently nonsensical ΠΟΡΙΔΙΟΥ (the Ρ might be Β). I have therefore assumed with great diffidence that the cutter wrote on the two projections successively, giving the name of the father as Peritianus ?son of Coridius.

IX.9 The term σκεῦος for coffin is attested only here at Aphrodisias, but is found in Macedonia 9 . The name Peritianus is attested in one other text at Aphrodisias (an unpublished fragment; the feminine form is found in another), and is presumably a derivative of the abundantly attested Pereitas. Eutyches and Heracleius are unremarkable pagan names: the former is otherwise attested at Aphrodisias, the latter not. The most significant feature of the names is that the father, Peritianus, does not apparently have the cognomen Aurelius and so perhaps died before AD. 212; if that is right, this text could not be later than the late third century. The other principal indication of date is the penalty; see discussion at IX.5 ff.

IX.10 The terminology of 150 is conventional, as in 147, 148, 149 and 151. The personal names in lines 2-3 cannot be deciphered with any certainty; but the man named in line 2 certainly does not have the nomen Aurelius — perhaps suggesting a fourth- rather than a third-century date. Of the names, Asterius appears again at Aphrodisias. In commenting on the previous publication, with the name Paulius, Feissel points that the name Praulius, which fits the surviving traces, is attested at other sites in Asia Minor, and in the Jewish community at Aphrodisias. 10  What is without parallel is the tomb-owner's description of himself as cursor of the most revered phylae. There is another cursor, messenger, courier, in text 117; he gave no further definition of his function, and was probably a member of the governor's staff. The man here is cursor of the phylae, or tribes? σεμνότατος, most revered, is an honorific epithet regularly used, especially in the third century, of municipal institutions and corporate bodies. 11  Phylae are attested at many cities in Asia Minor in the Roman period, including Aphrodisias; 12  but it is not entirely clear is what the term connotes at the various cities at which it is found. 13  While at many cities it clearly denotes civic tribes, into which the citizen body is divided, at Philadelphia the term is used of guilds of craftsmen. 14  A funerary inscription from Nicomedia, apparently of the late third century, with a penalty payable in gold, commemorates a man from Syrian Apamea who was phylarch of a phyle at Nicomedia, indicating that it must have been possible to join a tribe without being born into it. 15  There is no way of knowing what kind of organization the Aphrodisian tribes were; but the closest parallel for their employment of a cursor is to be found in guilds at Rome and in the area, several of which employed messengers, viatores. 16 The principal indication of date is the penalty; see discussion at IX.5 ff.

IX.11 The name Marcus Aurelius, together with conventional formulae, re-appears in 151, an inscription on a re-used sarcophagus. The chief indication of date is the use of πολιτευόμενος. This verb, which originally means to function as a citizen, is used with a laudatory adverb in inscriptions of the Hellenistic and Roman periods in describing good citizens (see LSJ s.v., B. ii); in late Roman texts, however, it is used without qualification to mean curialis, of the curial class. This usage is widespread by the later fourth century, but it is not clear how early it begins. προπολιτευόμενος is found in the late third century; 17  but πολιτευόμενος has been thought only to occur later; 18  it may be worth noting, however, that the term is found in a papyrus dated to 266/7, although the fragmentary state of the document leaves unclear the way in which the term is being used. 19  It seems rash to argue, as the editors of that document did, that the term cannot mean curialis at so early a date. The inscription here uses formulae which are likely to be of the later third or early fourth century, and so we perhaps have here one of the earliest examples of πολιτευόμενος in its later sense. The men who owned this sarcophagus were themselves apparently below the curial class. M. Aur. Papaeus Polychronius describes himself as the steward of Papias, the curialis. His friend, M. Aur. Leontius, gives himself the additional name Auchenius, stiff-necked, proud or perhaps long-necked. It is particularly frustrating to be unable to date this text more closely, since this might shed some light on the description of Leontius as teacher of friends, διδάσκαλοσ φίλων. I can find no parallel for this term; but it is suggestive of Jewish or Christian terminology. J. M. Reynolds suggests that the name Leontius is perhaps a little more likely to be Jewish.

IX.12 Another text which should be dated to the late third or very early fourth century is text 152 the epitaph of Victorinus, who is described as a former protector, or guard, a term which first appears in the third century. Several inscriptions recording distinguished careers of the period 253-68 include the title protector Augusti/Augustorum, and the first protectores as imperial bodyguards had been thought to originate in this period; 20  but M. Speidel has demonstrated that protectores already existed as imperial guards in the reign of Caracalla, and that the term was also used of bodyguards serving imperial officials and provincial governors. 21 

IX.13 Victorinus claims no rank, but uses his position as ex-protector to define his status, in a manner typical of the later third or early fourth century; he also uses no nomen, which probably indicates a date sufficiently late in the third century for the nomen Aurelius to have lost its force, but before the intensive adoption under Constantine and his heirs of the nomen Flavius by men in imperial service. This inscription should probably, then, be dated under the Tetrarchy — which would also agree well with the style of the script. From serving as a protector, whether in imperial service or on the staff of the governor of Caria and Phrygia, Victorinus went on to an equestrian office of ducenarian rank as praefectus vehiculorum; if our dating is correct, he will be among the latest attested holders of the office. It is known still to have existed in 326 (CTh VIII. 5. 4. 1), although it seems to have disappeared by c. 350, when responsibility for overseeing government transport had passed to the agentes in rebus. 22  The spelling of the Latin term is closely paralleled by that in an earlier third-century inscription from Cos, honouring an ἔπαρχος βεικούλων. 23  The two offices held by Victorinus are also associated in another and possibly slightly later text, from Moesia Inferior; there the prefect, Fl. Dinnius, is honoured by his son, M. Bitianus, who is himself a protector domesticus and praefectus vehiculorum. 24 

IX.14 It must be stressed that several other funerary texts, which present no obviously datable characteristics and have not been included here, may in fact date from after 250, and that some of the other epitaphs, texts 153ff, may be as early as those presented here.

Epitaphs in verse

IX.15 A second type of funerary inscription found both in the Roman and the early Byzantine periods is the funerary epigram. The first and classic collection of inscribed epigrams was that of O. Kaibel, Epigrammata graeca ex lapidibus conlecta, which appeared in 1878. There is some material in W. Peek, Griechische Vers-Inschriften I: Grabepigramme (1955, reprinted Chicago, 1988) but this collection is difficult to use and flawed. 25  The fullest discussion of their language and terminology is still that by R. Lattimore, Themes in Greek and Latin Epitaphs (Urbana, 1942); but as L. Robert has pointed out, both Lattimore's and Peek's books are rendered extremely difficult to use by the lack of an index. The situation has now been altered by the publication of an admirable new series of volumes Steinepigramme aus dem griechischen Osten being published by R. Merkelbach and J. Staufer (Stuttgart, 1998-).

IX.16 The number of funerary epigrams discovered at Aphrodisias is not particularly great, and the majority (54, 153, 154, 155, 156, 157, 158, 159, 160, 161, 242, 250) seem to belong to the Late Antique period. There are at least two substantial fragments from the site (MAMA 8, 569 and an unpublished text) from funerary epigrams which should probably be assigned to the Roman period. Another such text not included here is a fragmentary epigram, first copied by Waddington in 1850, and published by him as LBW 1648. From this copy it was republished by Kaibel, EG, no. 429, and by Grégoire, IGC 279, as a Christian inscription, since it seems to refer to an after-life free from care. Ramsay, in republishing the text (CBP no. 430), indicated his doubts about whether it was in fact Christian. The stone (MAMA 8, 601) has been found again by the current expedition, and while it is probably third century, nothing in the script necessitates its inclusion among inscriptions datable after 250. Conversely, texts 160 and 161 may in fact be earlier than I have assumed here. These texts, with the notable exception of 157, provide little or no evidence of date; the only firm indication is that, since they are all in dactylic metres, they are unlikely to be later than the end of the sixth century. They are of interest, however, for indicating further the extent of the 'epigram-culture', the ideas and the language of which are paralleled over several centuries and over a wide area of the Greek-speaking world.

IX.17 As with the other epigrams from the site, the funerary epigrams are not particularly specific in giving information, and not easy to date. They use similar archaising language, and reflect the terminology and the topoi found in other verse of the period. Thus the commonplace of the soul leaving the body in the grave is found in 153,154, 157. A common reference to Fate snatching away the dead occurs in 156 and 159; in 156 the hostile force is described as Fate, Μοῖρα, as in 153; in 159 it is φθόνος. The idea that they have not really died, but moved to another realm is used of Asclepiodotus, 54, and of Pytheas, 250; the soul is described as joining the blessed in 154 and 157. These are widespread ideas; there are also phrases which recur regularly in such verse, and sometimes in verse which we can date and identify: cf. 154, 155.

IX.18 There is little to indicate the likely date of 153. The two main themes are commonplaces found over a long period — that of the likening of death to marriage, in the case of someone such as Claudia who has died before marriage, 26  and that of the soul leaving the body, which remains in the grave. 27  For Δίκη in such a context compare e.g. Peek, GV 1979; Moira, as on side b, is more common (for its use in Christian contexts see Lattimore, op.cit., 317). For εἰσανορούω, first attested in Quintus Smyrnaeus, cf. LSJ s.v; compare Peek, GV 1763 ἐς μακάρων ἀνόρουσε κέαρ.

IX.19 154 has little in the content to indicate the date, and no suggestion that it is Christian; but the letter forms, in particular xi, point to a date well into our period. The unnamed girl, probably called Thea—, was presumably in her eighteenth year (l.3): τετρατο might refer to the month. The verse, in hexameters rather than couplets, turns on conventional themes: for σῶμα λιπεῖν (line 1) see e.g. Peek, GV 1907, 1963, 1978. The concept of the soul leaving the body and joining the blessed dead is a commonplace in pagan (e.g. AP 16.31) as well as Christian (e.g. AP 7.2, 613) epitaphs; it is emphasised at Aphrodisias in 54, 157 and 250. But the idea is taken rather further here in ll. 8-9 with the reference, apparently, to the girl's soul as ἀθανάτοισιν ὁμέστιος. The closest parallels that I have found are in Nonnus — a description of Semele as αἰθερίοις ναέτῃσιν ὁμέστιον — and, in prose, in an excerpt from Damascius' Life of Isidore (Frag. 174), where, after the death of the pagan philosopher Heraiscus, supernatural appearances indicated ποίοις ἄρα θεοῖς ἐγεόνει συνέστιος. These parallels may indicate, firstly, a late fifth- or sixth-century date for this text and, secondly, that it may have originated in pagan circles. Ῥώμης καὶ Φαρίης (in line 5) recurs in a poem of Agathias (AP 7. 612). The phrase was perhaps already in circulation among the writers of epigrams, but an origin from Rome and Alexandria might suit someone in the pagan circles of Aphrodisias, with their strong connections with Alexandria. ἕρμα σαοφροσύνης (line 7) recurs in an epigram at Athens honouring the pagan philosopher Plutarchus; 28  and it is worth noting the expression of similar ideas of immortality in 54, the epitaph of the philosopher Asclepiodotus, and 250, the epitaph of Pytheas, a member of the same circle.

IX.20 It is not clear whether 155 came from Aphrodisias or its necropolis, or an outlying settlement. The only indications of date are the echoes of Nonnus, and perhaps the rounded hand (compare text 85, of the sixth century). The opening phrase, σῆμα τόδε, is a very common one — see Peek's index of first lines in GV for examples. διάκτορος, servant, follower, is a metrically convenient word used several times by Nonnus in his paraphrase of St John's gospel, and on one occasion in a similar grouping of words — διάκτορος ἄγριος ἀνήρ (28. 105). The phrase here, servant of piety, may be no more than an elaboration of the idea of a pious man; but the terminology perhaps suggests that this is a poetic periphrasis for διάκονος (for the equivalence cf. Nonnus, Par.Jo. 12. 107) indicating that Stephanus held the ecclesiastical office of deacon. For the cliché of Fate snatching the dead, see 156 and 159.

IX.21 Jordanes — the most probable restoration of the name of the son of Eulalius commemorated in 156 — is not otherwise attested at Aphrodisias, but is a fairly common name among Christians in the late Roman period. 29  The terminology in line 3 is standard: for Moira in this role compare 153 with IX.18, and for snatching away the dead, see IX.17. Jealous Fate is the same as the Φθόνος, Envy, of 159. What is less usual is the phrasing of line 2. While chilly Justice could be easily understood as another description of death (cf. 153), it is not clear how death could have him as a worthy servant: this line appears in fact to be describing Jordanes' situation before he died. If we take Justice as having a strong sense here, we should perhaps see Jordanes as a man who was studying law: it is described as chilly virgin Justice, because his studies have impeded him from getting married, with a play on the conventional virginity of Justice (e.g. AP 11. 380). If we take Δίκη in a weaker sense as just describing his lot, then the force is perhaps supplied by virgin, and the implication is that he had chosen a celibate career, presumably as a monk. The former explanation seems more plausible, especially since the last line probably described the splendid eminence that death, demonstrating its jealousy, has prevented him from reaching.

IX.22 Text 157 dated under Justinian, and to a seventh indiction, must be of 543 or 558. 30  On dated inscriptions see discussion at IX.30. The first line of the epigram is the famous opening line of the epitaph of Homer (AP 7.3) ἐνθάδε τὴν ἱερὴν κεφαλὴν κατὰ γαῖα καλύπτει cited in several literary sources (see Beckby, ad loc.), and re-used in several inscriptions (see e.g. Peek's index of first lines in GV). Here κατὰ has been omitted in error. For the cliché in line 5, compare 154, and the references at IX.19 to both pagan and Christian uses of the phraseology of going to join the blessed. What is remarkable here is the specific reference to gods, for which I can find no certain parallel; it must raise the question whether Euphemia came from the same pagan circles as the girl commemorated in 154.

IX.23 Text 158, although carefully cut, is not easy to interpret. The opening ἔνθα suggests that it is funerary (compare 152, 169, 170, 171), and the next letters are almost certainly from the name Macedonius. If we assume that the last, shorter, line was centred, there are at the very minimum three letters lost at the end of each line, but probably a good deal more. The language, such as can be determined, strongly suggests a poem in dactylic verse. The stop in l.4 probably indicates a line-end.

IX.24 159 is particularly elaborately inscribed; but the only part of the text that can be made out is a reference to Phthonos (for which see VI.21) having snatched someone or something (see IX.17), as in 157. This makes it clear that the text is funerary; the traces in the first line suggest that the dead person was probably a woman. The remaining fragments of 160 suggest another dated epigram, like 157. The circumstances evoked by the line of verse cannot be determined; but there is a an echo of Homer, φίλων ἐν χερσὶν ἑταίρων (Iliad 13.653, cf. 5.574).

IX.25 161 and 242 are rather similar in appearance, although they appear to come from different monuments. They are both too fragmentary to be very informative. In 161 the word ψυχή, with other groups of letters which cannot be related to standard formulae, suggest strongly that it formed part of a funerary epigram. Similarly, in 242 the reference to having released/loosed recalls funerary verse.

IX.26 Although there is no internal evidence of date for 162 the letter forms — and particularly the beta — suggest that it should be assigned to the fifth or sixth century. The text starts as verse, and then gives the name of the deceased in prose. Arcimus should be read as a variant of Alcimus. 31  For the name Damocharis at this period see VI.3, VIII.2.

IX.27 The influence of verse can also be detected in text 163, a long but rather obscure account of the adventures of the dead man, Athanasius. The reference to performing all civic duties suggests a date not later than the middle of the sixth century, and probably earlier, although the inscription clearly dates from a period when Christian cult was firmly established at Aphrodisias. Such a reference to public office in a late Roman text is unusual, and should be seen as yet further evidence for the continuity or revival of civic traditions at Aphrodisias.

IX.28 Athanasius' description of his travels is paralleled in other epitaphs of all periods: travel, and the opportunity which it provides to see a wide range of places are regularly cited as a point of pride. 32  These examples include men of a wide range of professions, and we do not know why Athanasius travelled so extensively. The use of ἱστορεῖν might suggest that he was a writer or intellectual of some sort, but this almost certainly places too much weight on the word, which can be used of simple 'sight-seeing'. 33  Σωθεις (in a, l.7 and b, l.7) is an acknowledgement of the danger inherent in any kind of travel or voyage. The tone is similar to that in an epitaph at Stratonicea for a certain Theagenes, who, having sailed as far as Egypt and the Nile and escaped many storms and dangers, celebrates his good fortune in being buried at home: κέρδος ἔχων βιότου τὸν τάφον ἐν πατρίδι. 34 

IX.29 While the lower part of the text on both sides is too damaged to permit of certain reconstruction, it appears that Athanasius asked to be buried near the traces — i.e. relics — of saints (the standard practice of depositio ad sanctos, as noted by L. Robert in suggesting the supplement παρά in a, l. 10 and b, l.9). The traces in a, l.11 suggest that these may well have been martyrs. We know of local martyrs at Aphrodisias (see II.20); we also have evidence of a later church dedicated to two further martyrs (text 108). The advocate referred to may be one of these saints, or the supreme Advocate, the Holy Spirit. 35 

Other epitaphs

IX.30 In striking contrast to the vague wording of the funerary epigrams is another tendency of this period, found here in 157, ?160 and 164, to date epitaphs very precisely. Both 157 and 164 are dated under Justinian. Text 157 is a funerary epigram, accompanied by a date and a prose statement. Text 164, however, is almost entirely composed of a series of precise dates, for the birth and death of Philosophia, and for the deaths of both her parents. These caused some confusion to Reinach (whose analysis was followed by Grégoire). The dates were first corrected by D. Feissel, 36  who has also explained the apparent discrepancies in a further analysis 37  As he observes, the numbering (rather than naming) of months was not a widespread practice; but it was used at Aphrodisias, in referring to the provincial calendar of Asia, which started on the 23rd of September.

IX.31 The first date, of the death of Aristolaus, should therefore be dated not to February (as in my previous edition) but to 14 Apellaios (the second month), which would be 6 November, in a first indiction. The name of the day in l.2 does not survive in full, and this could be either 522 (when the sixth was a Sunday, πρώτῃ) or 537 (a Friday, so ἕκτῃ). His wife Theodoreta died on 13 Peritios (the fourth month), so 5 January, in a fourth indiction; in neither of the possible years, 526 or 541, was this a Friday, as given in the text, but 541 is more likely, since 5 January 541 was a Saturday — only one day out from the Friday given in the text.

IX.32 Their daughter Philosophia is the main subject of this inscription, which her husband, John Philadelphus, put up, presumably shortly after her death on 20 Artemisios (the seventh month), so 12 April 551, which was indeed a Wednesday, as described. This date agrees with the indiction (a fourteenth, so 550-1) and with Justinian's regnal year (the twenty-fifth, which began on 1 April 551). The third dating formula is ten years after the consulate of Flavius Basilius. After the consulate of Basilius in 541, the consulate lapsed until the end of Justinian's reign; documents were therefore dated from Basilius' consulate and, as here, the regnal year came into regular use as a means of dating. 38  Philosophia was born on the fifth of the fourth month (Peritios), so 28 December 521. It was not, however, the consulate of Rusticius, who was consul in 520, but with this redating the discrepancy is only of one year, not of two. Finally we are given Philosophia's age as 29 years, 2 months, and an uncertain number of days. If the date of her death is correct, as it appears, either her age or her birthday are wrong; Philadelphus probably miscalculated, and wrote two, instead of three, months.

IX.33 The information provided here is so detailed that it probably came from documents of some kind. There is a noticeable increase in the use of dates, particularly in epitaphs, in the late Roman period, which continues throughout the Byzantine era, suggesting that the source for such information may have been records kept by the church. These are very likely to have included records of dates of birth — or more probably baptism — and death. The increased tendency to note professions in epitaphs may also reflect the way in which such records were kept. The details provided here, together with the errors, suggest that Philadelphus had access to some documents which recorded births and deaths by day, month, and indiction. That records were kept in this form is also suggested by the large number of Byzantine epitaphs dated solely by day, month and indiction (at Aphrodisias however only 157). But, as Feissel points out, the error over the consulate of Rusticius would not have been made in a document completed at the time of Philosophia's birth, but suggests a later calculation; it remains unclear precisely how this information was transmitted.

IX.34 The other interesting aspect of this text is the care with which it is composed — especially the use of μέν and δέ in ll.7-8. Τρισεύμοιρος in line 3 — apparently found only here — is a variant on the more common τρισόλβιος (see 57). Κυρὰ τῶν ὧδε in line 4 is an odd expression, but presumably means lady (i.e. wife and mother) of those (mentioned) here.

IX.35 Some of the funerary inscriptions function more clearly as labels to monuments. This is most obviously the case with the inscriptions which came from the tomb of Bishop Theopropius (165, 166) of which one is on the lintel of the tomb doorway; both these are in the genitive, as are 167, where a noun may have preceded the genitive, and 168 — where the noun is given. It seems certain that 165, the block seen by the earlier visitors in the modem wall of the Turkish cemetery came originally from the tomb of Theopropius, now excavated inside that cemetery, and marked by 166.

IX.36 Theopropius was presumably a bishop of Aphrodisias who used the simpler title of bishop rather than archbishop (as did Orthagoras, 90), but there is no certain indication of his date: see List of Bishops. The lettering of his two inscriptions is carefully cut, with serifs; the closest parallel for the angular forms is perhaps provided by one of the inscriptions honouring Pytheas at the end of the fifth century (55), but there are significant differences. My instinct — but it is nothing more — would be to assign these inscriptions to the late fifth or sixth century. The fact that in both texts he uses the form Theopropius suggests that he need not be identified with the bishop Theoprepius attested at Keramos at a similar date. 39  Ζῇ in funerary inscriptions of the Roman period indicates that the owner of the tomb was still alive when the inscription was cut. 40  It could have the same sense here, but in a Christian context the old formula may have a different force, and refer to eternal life.

IX.37 It is not obvious why a bishop of Stratonicea should be mentioned in text 167, an inscription in the territory of Aphrodisias/Stauropolis. Since the drawing suggests that this is not a fragment of some complex document, but perhaps only a one-line text, the simplest explanation is that the bishop was a native of Aphrodisias (so Robert). If so, we should perhaps read ἐπισκόπου, rather than ἐπίσκοπος) as Cormack did. I am not sure of the significance of the monogram after Stratonicea, which Cormack read as τοῦ; if his resolution is correct, the text must have continued for at least one more line.

IX.38 For ἔνβασις used in 168 to describe the re-used sarcophagus in which Cyriacus was interred, see the discussion at BE 1964.631. The primary sense is bath-tub?,which easily takes on the meaning coffin, sarcophagus, as does πύελος. Denis Feissel, who kindly drew my attention to this reference based on a text from Agrigentum, also points out another Sicilian example, from Catania. 41 

IX.39 Another version of this 'labelling' kind of inscription is the use of the formula here lies, ἔνθα κατάκειται or a variant. This formula for funerary inscriptions became widespread in the late Roman period and continues to be found throughout the Byzantine period; it is used in 152, 169, 170, 171, 172 and 237 all with the name in the nominative, and, a slight variant, in 173 — here lie the remains of Nicholas — with an echo of the simple formula in the genitive discussed at IX.45.

IX.40 In 237 Epiphanis for the name Epiphanios is typical of the late roman period (cf. e.g. 98). The man's occupation, however, is a hitherto unattested word, ταυρωτρόφος, which can only mean breeder or rearer of bulls. This cannot mean simply a cattle farmer; cattle are described by the word βοῦς, giving βουτρόφος or βούκολος. The unusual term makes it clear that this man was raising bulls in particular; and if so, the most obvious reason for doing so would be to provide the bulls which were extensively used for bull fights and bull chases. 42  A similar term, θηροτρόφος, is attested in the Roman period for a man responsible for the beasts for a venatio, 43  and is also found in the late fifth century: Mentzou cites the life of St Auxentius, in Bithynia, who was approached for help by the wives of both a charioteer (PG 114, 1401a) and a θηριοτρόφος, (ibid. 1432a). 44  One specific term, ἀρκοτρόφος, bear-rearer, is first attested in the sixth century, when Procopius uses it, with some disdain, to describe Acacius, the father of the future empress Theodora: Ἀκάκιος ἦν τις ἐν Βυζαντίῳ θηριοκόμος τῶν ἐν κυνηγεσίῳ θηρίων μοίρας Πρασίνων, ὅνπερ ἀρκοτρόφος καλοῦσιν. 45  Bears were very frequently used in wild-beast fights, as is clear from the consular diptychs. 46  This evidence therefore confirms what we would in any case assume, that venationes continued at Aphrodisias well into the late Roman period.

IX.41 Both 237 and 169 exemplify a frequent tendency in early Byzantine texts to describe people by their profession. The most numerous examples are in epitaphs; 47  while these two are the only such epitaphs so far found at Aphrodisias, the dedicators of 113 and 116 describe themselves in the same way.

IX.42 Robert, in his comments on 169, gave an exhaustive elucidation of the term used to describe Theodorus, κηροματίτης. Κήρωμα or κηρωτή is a salve based on wax (κηρός), and used in the treatment of strained or broken limbs. The ceromatites, as well as applying such treatments, apparently came to have a wider range of skills in the massage and manipulation which such injuries required, and the term can be translated simply surgeon. 48  The practice of these arts was particularly required by those involved in the activities of the gymnasium; the term came to be considered as equivalent to παιδοτρίβης, the man who both trained and treated young athletes. 49  The art therefore came to include not only setting limbs to right, but also teaching how they should be used and treated; thus Schwartz quoted a scholion on Zacharias' Life of Severus, κηροματίτης γὰρ ὁ τὸ κήρωμα διδάσκων; and the ceromatites is listed in Diocletian's Price Edict among those who teach. As Robert pointed out, these late references indicate that the practice of the ceromatites' skill continued after the use of gymnasia had ceased; and our inscription, which should probably be dated between the fourth and the sixth centuries, provides further evidence of that survival.

IX.43 169, which was seen in the Turkish cemetery, reshaped as a tombstone, has not been found again; but 243, also reshaped into a Turkish tombstone, is likely to have come from the same funerary area, since it is the epitaph of Zoetus, almost certainly the man mentioned as the brother of Theodorus in 169. In 169 Theodorus described himself by his profession and in terms of his brother. Zoetus, in 243, only gives a patronymic; he is then described as one who strove for the blessed life. The elements of this phrase are not uncommon: ζηλοῦν βίον is a phrase found in inscriptions of the imperial period, and ὄλβιον βίον is found in verse inscriptions. 50  But this may have a more specific sense, and imply that Zoetus was a monk: so, in an inscription in Crete, of the sixth or seventh century, a man is described as τὸν μονήρη βίον ἐζηλωκὼς. 51 

IX.44 Although carefully cut, text 170 appears to have been left unfinished, with the month never cut. For the abbreviation of indiction as ΙΔΝ see Avi-Yonah, Abbreviations, citing an inscription of 573 from Syria. 52  The only indication that 171 is funerary is the appearance of κατάκειται in l.2. The names are perhaps those of family members entitled to use the tomb. In text 172, the simple here lies formula is combined with a prayer for Eutychia, as in 174, for Theodocius. The same formula is used in 173, by its lettering one of the latest inscriptions from the site.

IX.45 A very simple funerary formula is apparently represented by 175, 176, 177, and ?178, where the inscription seems simply to be the name in the genitive. These texts are found on a series of similar panels, which probably lay over the tombs of the people named in them. While they offer almost no information, the fact that one of them, 175, is clearly Christian suggests that these inscriptions should be dated to the late Roman or, perhaps less probably, to the Byzantine period. Such a date would be supported by the rough script. The name Asclepiodotus appears at Aphrodisias several times. Polychronius and Polychronia are widespread at all periods, and are found several times at Aphrodisias. Rufinia or Rufinianus are not otherwise attested at Aphrodisias, but Latin names of this kind become widespread in the Greek world in the late Roman period.

IX.46 Texts 226 and 227 are both inscribed on rectangular slabs or panels. They are both likely to be from funerary texts, but this is not certain. In 226 the apparent mention of the city in line 1 may mean that it is honorary; for the general appearance compare 89, on a very similar stone. The only other definitely determinable word, κονητρον, is not otherwise known. It should probably be associated with κονητής, servant, perhaps indicating the service of Christ, or the place where Christ is served. In 227 we can perhaps restore κατάκιτε, in which case the fragment is certainly funerary; compare 169173.

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1. layout text For Aphrodisias see L. Robert, Hellenica 13, 184 — 206; J. Kubinska, Tombeaux d'Aphrodisias.
2. layout text DOP 31 (1977) 11-19.
3. layout text L. Robert, Hellenica 3, 106-7, and BE 1979.573, no. 32, with references there; D. Feissel, in I.Maced., commentary on 232, 295; EKM 455 (Feissel's 295) and comments there.
4. layout text J-P. Callu, ANRW ii. 2 (1975), 611; D. Sperber, Roman Palestine, AD. 200-400; Money and Prices (Ramat-Gan, 1991), ch. 12, 85 ff.
5. layout text LSJ s.v. 2; Sperber, op. cit., 208 n. 12.
6. layout text Compare the text most recently edited by Reynolds (2003), no 142 and comments there.
7. layout text For which there is no obvious sense at Aphrodisias, see Hellenica 13, 15, although a Papias Κωος is attested in an unpublished inscription.
8. layout text For the name used by a Milesian see IG ii-iii2, 9620.
9. layout text Thessalonica: IG X 2;1 609.
10. layout text Aphrodisias: J&G 1.B, 10; Ephesus: I.Eph 2223A.4, and ÖJh 55, 147, no.4411, whence SEG 1984.1135; Lydia: TAM V, 1-2, 757 and 1331.
11. layout text L. Robert, Hellenica 13, 209.
12. layout text MAMA 8, 413, 497; Reinach 142; 201; PPA 45.2.M, 45.32.Y.
13. layout text See A. H. M. Jones, Cities of the East Roman Provinces (Oxford, 1971), 73; D. Magie, Roman Rule in Asia Minor (Princeton, 1950), 135-6 and nn. 48 and 49; and a series of tribes' names from the seats of the theatre at Hierapolis, published by F. Kolb, ZPapEpig 15 (1974), 255-70.
14. layout text Magie, ibid., n. 49.
15. layout text TAM IV.1.258.
16. layout text CIL vi, 647, 7861, 10254. xiv, 2112, cited by J.-P. Waltzing, Etude historique sur les corporations professionelles chez les Romains (Louvain, 1895-1900) I, 416.
17. layout text A.K. Bowman, Town Councils of Roman Egypt (Toronto, 1971), 155-8.
18. layout text See J. Rea on P. Oxy. LI. 3627
19. layout text P.Oxy XX. 2266, 18-19.
20. layout text M. Christol, Chiron 7 (1977), 393-408.
21. layout text M. Speidel, Guards of the Roman Army (Bonn, 1978), 130-3.
22. layout text Ensslin, RE xxiv (1954), 1336-40
23. layout text IGR xv, 1057.
24. layout text CIL III, 144124 and PLRE I, s.v.
25. layout text See L. Robert, Gnomon (1959), 1-30 (= OMS III, 1640-69).
26. layout text see Lattimore, op.cit., 1934.
27. layout text see e.g. Peek, GV1752 ff..
28. layout text IG II2 3818, with Hellenica 4, 96.
29. layout text D. Feissel, IMaced, 30.
30. layout text Feissel, Ktema 18 (1993), 183 — 543.
31. layout text Feissel (1991), 376.
32. layout text L. Robert, Hellenica 2, 107-8; 4, 47 n. 8; x, 281, and La Carie, 189, 190 n. 1; note in particular the references to his travels by an Aphrodisian sculptor at Rome, IGUR III, 1222.
33. layout text J. Martindale points out the use of the term by tourists at Thebes: IGR i,1210, 1215,1217-18, 1220-1,1223, 1225.
34. layout text I.Stratonikeia 1203: L. Robert, who saw the stone, described it as late.
35. layout text See Lampe, s.v., C.
36. layout text BCH 105 (1981), 494-6.
37. layout text BCH 119 (1995) 375-379.
38. layout text See Bury, HLRE ii, 348. For 551 counted as the tenth year after the consulate of Basilius see R. S. Bagnall and K. A. Worp, The Chronological Systems of Byzantine Egypt (1978), 88 n. 1.
39. layout text I.Keramos 70, 71.
40. layout text L. Robert, (1966), 379 n. 5.
41. layout text G. Rizza, Oikoumene, Studi Paleocristiani (1964), 605, no. 2.
42. layout text PPA 14 and commentary.
43. layout text Robert, Gladiateurs, 320.
44. layout text Mentzou, Συμβολαί, 148.
45. layout text HA IX.2; for the spelling see Cameron, CF, 194, n.2.
46. layout text PPA, p. 78. see also Robert, 'Une vision de Perpetué', 246-8 (= OMS V, 809-11).
47. layout text Particularly those found in the necropoleis of Corycus and Tyre: see JRS 71 (1981), 138 and n. 234
48. layout text So E. Schwartz, in his edition of the Life of St Sabas by Cyril of Scythopolis (Leipzig, 1939), 304.
49. layout text So, specifically, in the scholia on Aristophanes, Equites 492
50. layout text cf. Bernand, Inscr. métriques, document 46, 20.
51. layout text I.Cret. (Biannos) 6, 5.
52. layout text Syria I, 303.
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Document Contents
Epitaphs with bullion penalties
Epitaphs in verse
Other epitaphs
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Section: I | II | III | IV | V | VI | VII | VIII | IX | X | XI | XII

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