Monograph 14: Sardis: Greek and Latin Inscriptions, Part II: Finds from 1958 to 2017 (2019)

by Georg Petzl

Author’s Preface

Author’s Preface

Lydia is an area of western Asia Minor which offers a particularly rich harvest of ancient Greek and Latin inscriptions.1 For its capital city of Sardis, W. H. Buckler and D. M. Robinson produced an excellent corpus of the Greek and Latin inscriptions in 1932,2 which had been copied by early travelers or unearthed during the Sardis excavations of 1910–14 and 1922.3 The editors provided full documentation (photographs of stones, paper squeezes, and facsimiles of drawings), translation, and—in part succinct4—commentary for each inscription. After the Greek-Turkish war of 1920–22, the decision to publish this corpus was made, “since the date at which excavation can be renewed is uncertain.”5 Inscribed monuments discovered in Sardis between 1922 and the year of publication (1932), if there were any, cannot be found in Sardis VII 1.

In 1964, the directors of the resumed excavation wrote, “Since 1958 the Archaeological Exploration of Sardis has been engaged in excavating the site of the ancient capital of Lydia…. The Archaeological Exploration of Sardis has been fortunate in securing for the publication of the new epigraphic material the cooperation of Professor Louis Robert and Mme Jeanne Robert. Upon Professor Robert’s suggestion, it has been decided to present the most important epigraphic finds in a series of monographs.”6 The first of these monographs was L. Robert’s Nouv. inscr. Sard. I (1964), from where the above quotation is taken; the volume contains twenty-two numbers. A corpus established by J. and L. Robert was announced, but never appeared.7

Editiones principes of single inscriptions or certain groups of them were provided by various scholars, among whom C. Foss, Ph. Gauthier, G. M. A. Hanfmann, P. Herrmann, J. H. Kroll, H. Malay, and L. Robert deserve special mention. In his Nouvelles inscriptions de Sardes II (1989), Gauthier presented an excellently documented and commented publication of a dossier, which had been entitled by the late L. Robert “Documents royaux du temps d’Antiochos III,”8 containing seven inscriptions. To Kroll we owe the corpusculum of “The Greek Inscriptions of the Sardis Synagogue” (2001), some eighty numbers, each of which is presented with full documentation, illustration, and profound commentary.9

It was P. Herrmann who produced a series of highly informative articles on new epigraphic finds and such Sardian inscriptions, which were already known from publications. He had been asked by Hanfmann and J. Robert to take care of the other inscriptions (namely the ones which did not belong to Gauthier’s share).10 After Herrmann’s untimely death in 2002, his wife, Dr. Eva Herrmann, did not only entrust me with paper squeezes and photographs of Sardian inscriptions kept by her husband,11 but also with an unfinished digital manuscript containing some 150 inscriptions, many of them unpublished.12 Herrmann had furnished each item with detailed description and commentary (in German); these were clearly preparatory steps toward an epigraphic corpus, which, regrettably, never appeared. For the present volume I have made use of these invaluable schedae, each time pointing out in the commentaries the authorship of this outstanding scholar.

At the outset of the present corpus my aim was a modest and limited one. I planned to compose from the scattered publications of the Sardian inscriptions, which had come to light after 1922, a Repertorium, furnished with sufficient documentation, translations, commentaries, illustrations, and last but not least, indices and concordances. It was supposed to be a tool for further research, and I was not sure whether it should exist only in digital format or also as a printed book. After preliminary correspondence I was kindly invited, in 2006, by C. H. Greenewalt, jr., who was at that time the Director of the Expedition, to work in Sart, joining the excavation group. This stay proved to be fruitful, as was a second one in 2009; I was mainly working on the stones kept in the Expedition compound.

Ever since the opening of trenches in Field 55 in 2013, fresh epigraphic material has continually been unearthed in great quantity, above all honorific texts from the Roman Imperial period. N. Cahill, who had taken over the directorship in 2008, renewed the friendly invitations gladly accepted by me in the summers of 2013–15. The new discoveries needed more developed commentaries than the ones conceived for the Repertorium (often but résumés of earlier publications), so I ended up transforming the latter into the corpus Sardis: Greek and Latin Inscriptions, Part II (abbreviated I. Sardis II); I gratefully acknowledge that Chr. Habicht (Princeton) encouraged me to do this and to produce it in the form of a printed book.

For ease of use, the count in I. Sardis II starts with no. 301 (the last inscription in Sardis VII 1 bears the number 228).

When I worked with the many fragments recovered from the field or kept in the storage depots I was of course delighted each time some of them could be joined.13 Yet, despite the risk of missing out on further rejoining of suitable fragments, I have nevertheless decided to omit many pieces containing only one or two letters;14 there would simply have been too many of them. It should also be mentioned that, in general, only inscriptions on stone and mosaic inscriptions are included, and in a few cases, those on earthenware, metal, or painted also appear.

The majority of the inscriptions in Sardis VII 1 was found in the city itself; there are others which originate from neighboring places.15 To establish the exact borders of the hinterland, which certainly changed over the course of time (see below the cases of the sanctuary of Apollon Pleurenos and of Satala), seems impossible. I hesitatingly propose the following delimitation:

According to the map in TAM V 1, the northern shore of the Gygaean Lake (Marmara Gölü) belonged to the territory of the city of Daldis.16 I have included here some inscriptions which were found in various places near that shore: in Sazköy, no. 448; in Yeniköy (formerly Hasankıranı or Hacıhasankıranı),17 further east, nos. 317, 318, and 441. In a field near Kemerdamları, ca. 5 km southeast of Yeniköy, the stele no. 323 was found, which, as do nos. 317 and 441, originates from a sanctuary of Apollon Pleurenos, the exact location of which has not yet been determined. No. 656 is said to have been found in neighboring Poyrazdamları. At the time of the inscription (150/149 BC) the sanctuary belonged to the royal chora of the Attalids and was later integrated into the territory of Sardis.18 Not included here are inscriptions from Taşkuyucak, east of Gölmarmara,19 in an area belonging to Daldis’s northern territory, according to the map in TAM V 1. Yet, the famous Attalid stele from Taşkuyucak (Herrmann and Malay, New Documents, no. 32) has been attributed by some scholars to the territory of Daldis, by others to that of Sardis.20 Further east-southeast the city of Satala (modern Adala) was, in the Roman Imperial period, an independent entity with its own territory; it seems that in an earlier period it had belonged to a neighboring city, probably Sardis.21 From the northeastern area, only the following inscriptions have been included: no. 321 from Çapaklı (18 km from Sardis) because of the repeated reference to Sardis, furthermore, nos. 325 (see there the commentary) and 674. The late Hellenistic(?) boundary stone “sacred to Artemis,” no. 432, was found further east, near İğdecik, in the borderland of Satala and Maionia; the editors assume that it delimited land belonging to the Sardian Artemis. Inscriptions from Tatar/Tatarislam (nos. 569 and 683) and Çaltılı (nos. 644, 647, 669, 670, 673, 689, 711, and 714), both located in the eastern part of the Sardis plain, have been included, but not those from Salihli (a modern settlement). No. 381 is the only inscription from Yeşilkavak (formerly Monawak),22 east-southeast of Salihli, which has been included here as “the People of the Sardians” participate in the bestowal of honors to a person. The site is close to the borderland of the city of Philadelphia.23 The inscriptions nos. 303, 324, 331, 641, and 664 were found in Ahmetli, about 9 km west of Sardis; nos. 411, 452, and 691 in Allahdiyen, approximately the same distance southeast of the city.

As the Table of Contents shows, the texts are arranged according to certain categories, but this repartition could not always be strictly maintained.24 Texts belonging to two different categories, written on the same stone, can appear here either under one number25 or two numbers.26 A text may also be categorized according to its prevailing character.27 Altars dedicated to Roman emperors (nos. 331, 374, and 375) or other monuments naming the imperial addressees in the dative case are included among the Honorific (nos. 405 and 406) or Building Inscriptions (nos. 419 and 420), not among the dedications belonging to Religious inscriptions; yet, the altar dedicated to Octavianus and Dionysos, no. 444, has been taken into the latter category. The inscriptions from the Synagogue have almost all been put amongst the Religious Inscriptions even though some of them might as well be expected under the Building Inscriptions.28

As for the lemmata preceding the Greek texts, they do not claim to give references to every instance where a given inscription has been published or mentioned, but may be limited to the most important and recent publications (the latter often being the SEG). For those interested in more detail, publications providing further references are indicated. To follow up on the discussion of an individual inscription, it is often advisable to use the concordances of the SEG volumes. In terms of the physical characteristics of the inscriptions, dimensions are recorded in meters, and when a monument consists of fragments bearing different Sardis inscription inventory numbers (IN-numbers), the one stressed with italics is the parent number (see, e.g., no. 414).

The presentation of the Greek texts follows conventional standards; special use of diacritical marks is explained ad locum.29 Some remarks: I have attempted to reproduce, approximately, the relative position of the lines’ beginnings (e.g., nos. 351 and 366). Free spaces before or after a line or between letters can be indicated by “vacat” or “vac.” (e.g., no. 344, 1, 6, 25). In cases of centered or indented lines, this indication is often dropped (e.g., nos. 344, 30; 687; 693). The signs “v”, “vv”, “vvv”, etc. symbolize the width of free spaces according to the widths of the corresponding number of letters (e.g., nos. 730 and 735). Whenever the number of lost letters in a lacuna could be estimated, this number has been indicated by dots, eventually arranged in groups of five (e.g., no. 305, 36–72).30

My thanks go to many friends and colleagues who gave their advice and support during the preparation of the corpus. It is with warm affection that I mention here the late Crawford H. Greenewalt, jr., to whom I owe the introduction into the wonderful teamwork and atmosphere of the campaigns at Sardis. He not only helped me with work in the field and in the compound, but also he was an expert guide for a tour into the “Gyges tumulus” and a close companion during a trip up to Mount Tmolus. That tour had been organized by Nicholas D. Cahill, whom I also very warmly thank for his constant interest in the progress of this corpus; he not only invited me year after year to join the fieldwork, but also he helped to facilitate the work in many ways (from moving heavy stones to preparing small mirror strips which enabled me to read letters hidden in narrow gaps); in frequent correspondence we discussed a good number of topics. In general, I feel deeply indebted to all the members of the excavation crew and the staff who contributed to making the stays in Sardis unforgettable events. Special thanks go to Annetta Alexandridis, Lisa Anderson, Brianna Bricker, Will Bruce, Elizabeth Gombosi, Theresa Huntsman, Kathy Kiefer, Andrew Ramage, Marcus Rautman, and Bahadır Yıldırım; they have helped in many ways and improved my German-influenced English. Valuable remarks by Angelos Chaniotis, Christopher P. Jones, Léopold Migeotte, and Kent J. Rigsby helped to improve the corpus. I also gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Archaeological Exploration of Sardis, Harvard Art Museums. As to the eastern side of the Atlantic, my foremost thanks go to the late Peter Herrmann, a wonderful person and close friend. His important contribution to the corpus and his wife’s kind help have already been mentioned above. Hasan Malay, to whom I have been attached in friendship for more than thirty years, was not only a constant help during my travels in Turkey, but also always ready to supply epigraphic information. I had the pleasure of getting help by discussing various questions with Walter Ameling (Cologne), Jens Bartels (Zurich), Domitilla Campanile (Pisa), Manfred Clauss (Hennef/Sieg), Werner Eck (Cologne), Denis Feissel (Paris), Alister Filippini (Palermo), Henri W. Pleket (Leiden), Marijana Ricl (Belgrade), Christof Schuler (Munich), and Gregor Staab (Cologne). “Moral” and linguistic support (my daughter and sister living in England) came from my family.

The responsibility for all deficiencies remains, of course, with me.

Georg Petzl, April 2019


  • 1See G. Petzl, “Lydien in der späteren Kaiserzeit: Wirtschaft, Gesellschaft und Religion im Spiegel der Inschriften” (in XI Congresso Internazionale di Epigrafia Greca e Latina; Roma, 18–24 settembre 1997: Atti [1999], pp. 473–488), p. 487, a map showing Lydia’s regions for which then existed corpora of Greek and Latin inscriptions; meanwhile, two more corpora have been published concerning Lydia, one in 2006, dealing with the territory of Blaundos (quoted in no. 582,4 comm. and no. 667,9–11 comm.), the other in 2007, covering Sardis’s neighboring city of Philadelpheia and its hinterland (TAM V 3).
  • 2The corpus of inscriptions in the Lydian language was published by E. Littmann (Sardis VI 1: Lydian Inscriptions [1916]) and W. H. Buckler (Sardis VI 2: Lydian Inscriptions, A Collection of the Texts in Lydian Script Found at Sardis and Elsewhere [1924]).
  • 3"Sardis VII 1: Greek and Latin Inscriptions (1932); Part II, which never appeared, was planned to contain “Diaries of Robert Wood and his friends: notes taken at Sardis in 1750” (Sardis VII 1, p. 1), “along with the testimonia relative to Sardis” (Sardis VII 1, Introduction, p. II); for the latter, cf. J. G. Pedley, Ancient Literary Sources on Sardis (1972 = Sardis M2).
  • 4“…elaborate annotation has been avoided except in cases of special interest” (Sardis VII 1, Introduction, p. II).
  • 5Sardis VII 1, p. 1.
  • 6G. M. A. Hanfmann and A. H. Detweiler in L. Robert, Nouv. inscr. Sard. I, p. 5.
  • 7“Sardis (M15): L. Robert and J. Robert, Greek and Latin Inscriptions (forthcoming)” (SPRT, p. xxv).
  • 8Gauthier, Nouv. inscr. Sard. II, p. 7, referring to nos. 307313. Robert’s wording is repeated in the first subtitle of Nouv. inscr. Sard. II, which is followed by a second one: “Décret de Sardes en l’honneur d’Héliodôros,” referring to no. 302.
  • 9For details concerning Gauthier’s and Kroll’s publications see here “Abbreviations of Sources,” pp. xxiv–xxix.
  • 10Gauthier, Nouv. inscr. Sard. II, p. 7: “En octobre [1985]… Mme Jeanne Robert et G. M. A. Hanfmann…me proposèrent d’étudier et de publier les deux premiers de ces dossiers, Peter Herrmann se chargeant des autres inscriptions.” For further details see my paper “Zum Inschriftencorpus von Sardeis—einem Vorhaben Peter Herrmanns,” in Epigraphische Notizen. Beiträge zu einer Tagung zur Erinnerung an Peter Herrmann, ed. K. Harter-Uibopuu (Hamburger Studien zu Gesellschaften und Kulturen der Vormoderne [2019], pp. 13–27).
  • 11I have passed these documents on to the archives of the Inscriptiones Graecae, Berlin.
  • 12Here referred to as “Herrmann, ms.”
  • 13In this respect the very helpful commissioner of the 2014 season, Özcan Şimşek (İstanbul Archaeological Museum), deserves special mention.
  • 14One of the few exceptions is no. 742; my choice was admittedly subjective.
  • 15West of Sardis: Sardis VII 1, nos. 144 (Mersindere); 101b (Dereköy); 48; 93a; 163 (Ahmetli); 35; 36; 39 (Turgutlu/Kasaba; CIG 3454 [IGRR IV 1491] and CIG 3466, copied at the same place, have only been mentioned, not reproduced in Sardis VII 1, p. 166); north of Sardis, between the southern shore of the Gygaean Lake and Bin Tepe: nos. 84; 139; 153; 160; east of Sardis: nos. 146 (Çaltılı); 75; 150 (Salihli); south of Sardis: nos. 141 (“Deirmend in the Paktolos valley about 5 kilometers south of Sardis”); 209 (Allahdiyen?).
  • 16See TAM V 1, pp. 200–219, chapter XV: “Daldis.”
  • 17See H. Malay and C. Nalbantoğlu, Arkeoloji Dergisi IV (1996), p. 75, n. 1, referring to other inscriptions found in Yeniköy: TAM V 1, 618, 625, 630, 639; SEG 29, 1214–1215.
  • 18See the commentary on no. 441, 1–3.
  • 19Inscriptions from Taşkuyucak: TAM V 1, 619; SEG 29, 1209 and 1210; Malay, Manisa Museum, nos. 521, 522, 525; Herrmann and Malay, New Documents, nos. 35–38. Gölmarmara: Herrmann and Malay, New Documents, on no. 23 (from Gölmarmara), consider that the δῆμος mentioned in line 2 of the text was that of Sardis. The location of Gölmarmara was probably too far north to have belonged to Sardis’s territory.
  • 20Daldis: edd. pr. and SEG 57, 1150; SEG 59, 1376; SEG 61, 982; Sardis: C. Brixhe and Ph. Gauthier, BE 2007, 451 (hesitatingly); M. Ricl, EpAnat 44 (2011), p. 144, with n. 4.
  • 21See P. Herrmann, TAM V 1, p. 195 (“Testimonia”), with references. F. Kolb, EpAnat 14 (1990), pp. 111–12, concludes from inscriptions on seats of the stadium in Saittai reading φ(υλῆς) Σαταληνῶν or simply Σαταληνῶν (SEG 40, 1063, 12–14) that in the second/third century AD Satala belonged as a κώμη to the city of Saittai (cf. Schuler, Ländliche Siedlungen, p. 274, n. 10; U. Kunnert, Bürger unter sich; Phylen in den Städten des kaiserzeitlichen Ostens [2012], p. 131). The stringency of the argument seems to be doubtful; the phyle may have been a community of citizens of Satala resident in Saittai, perhaps comparable to the Σμυρναίων φυλή in Ephesos (SEG 59, 1319, 8). Satala is not listed amongst the κῶμαι in Schuler, Ländliche Siedlungen, pp. 291–97.
  • 22cf. TAM V 3, 1494, lemma.
  • 23The inscription in Buresch, Aus Lydien, pp. 11–13, no. 8 (De Hoz, Kulte, p. 191, no. 15.24) was found in Tepe köy near “Monamak” (read Monawak); L. Robert, Op. Min. III, p. 1575 remarks, “L’inscription…se rapporte à Philadelpheia, non à Sardes.” Further inscriptions from Yeşilkavak and its surroundings: Keil–Premerstein II, no. 17; Malay, Manisa Museum, no. 176; Malay, Researches, no. 134; TAM V 3, 1536–1538; SEG 46, 1495.
  • 24Within them, as far as possible, chronologically.
  • 25No. 308, ranged amongst Letters and Dossiers Containing Letters, Decisions, Petitions, Subscriptiones, Honors, contains a decree and two letters, the first of which refers to the decree.
  • 26This is the case of the letter no. 310 and the decree no. 302, written below it. The opisthograph stele (nos. 319320), ranged amongst Letters and Dossiers…, begins with a letter (319) and continues (320) with minutes of an assembly of the Areopagus (which would belong to Decrees…). The lid of a cinerary chest, no. 631, appears amongst Cinerary Chests; the opposite face was later used as stele bearing the Funerary Inscription (Prose), no. 672.
  • 27As the lines 31–33 show, no. 305 has the character of a Decision (ἐπίκρισις), under which category it has been placed; formally speaking, the stele belongs to the category of Boundary Stones (line 1: ὅρος).
  • 28Exception: no. 786.
  • 29The use of the division sign (|) in no. 419, lemma, and 689, 5–13 comm.; and of the half brackets (⌞ ⌟) in no. 429, 5 comm.
  • 30As to the translations, it should be mentioned that Latin names, which occur in abbreviated form in inscriptions (e.g., Aur., Fl., etc.) are not consistently rendered in their full form Aur(elius/-a), Fl(avius/-a), etc.