Thursday, August 11, 2016

Diskin Clay's Encounter with Oinoanda

I stumbled across what appears to be the unpublished correspondence of Diskin Clay, the American academic that wrote the extensive article in ANRW on Oinoanda.

The chapter on his encounter with the ruins in the early years of the revival of exploration of the site is worth repeating:

Oinoanda, 1975 & 1977

A brief memoir for Angelo Casanova
in Harmonia: Scritti di Filologia Classica in onore di Angelo Casanova
 (Florence 2012)

I was far from Fetiye and the Xanthos in Lycian Turkey when I first discovered Oinoanda.  In 1972, I was teaching at l’Université de Lille III (Charles de Gaulle) and directing a mémoire de maîtrise on the philosophical inscription of Diogenes of Oinoanda.  Claire Millot and I were studying and perplexed by New Fragment 7 that Martin Ferguson Smith had published the year before (in the American Journal of Archaeology 74 [1971], 365-69), an issue in which he published twelve new fragments to bring the total of new fragments he had discovered since his second visit to the site in 1969 to sixteen.  New Fragment 7 comes from the Physics Treatise.  Smith first interpreted the text (of two columns and part of a third) to be a description of cosmogony based on the physics of Democritus.  By the unreliable luck of a philologist, I had just been reading Plutarch’s tract against Epicurus’ ethical philosophy with the provocative title, “That According to Epicurus the Pleasant life is not Even Possible.”  There I discovered a quotation from a letter Epicurus wrote to fellow Epicureans in Lampsakos describing a shipwreck he barely survived on his way to Lampsakos on the Asiatic coast of the Propontis (Moralia 1090E).  I wrote to Martin to report my discovery.  With his characteristic generosity and enthusiasm for Diogenes and his inscription he embraced the suggestion that I was soon to publish.

Eventually my discovery of Epicurus’ shipwreck led to my joining the Oinoanda Survey in the summers of 1975 and 1977.  Oinoanda is not easy to reach, but not as difficult as other parts of the Kibyratis described by George Bean in his Lycian Turkey (London 1978) 170-175.  Oinoanda is a mountain city dominating the high plain (yayla) of Seki and the sources of the Xanthos River.  In the early summer of 1975, I had been visiting Turkey with my friend Charles Kahn, and we had come down from Istambul and the Bosporus for a Presocratic tour of Ionia.  At the end of our Presocratic tour, I left Charles to catch a bus up to Izmir and I took a dolmush (a share taxi, meaning “it is said to be full”) to Fethiye.  The next day I took the yellow Ali Jet up to Seki where I was greeted by Martin Ferguson Smith, Alan Hall of the British Institute of Archaeology at Ankara, and the architectural expert J. J. Coulton, who was to study the buildings and draw up a plan of the site.

The mountain of ancient Oinoanda is known locally as Asar Bel, “the ridge with the ruins.”  The ascent of the mountain begins at the small village of Incealiler at the foot of the mountain to the south.  It is not a steep climb and takes about forty-five minutes.   The climber has no sense that he is approaching an ancient city until he encounters the first limestone joints for the pipes that supplied the city with water carried by an aquaduct bringing water down to Oinoanda from a lake to the south.  The path leads to the impressive and well-preserved southern walls.  Beyond these lie the agora and a confusion of stone leading to “The Great Wall.”  This is a defensive wall to the north of the city constructed perhaps in the second century A.D. or later.  It is fertile with inscriptions from Diogenes’ stoa, some of which the French had pried out during their campaigns of 1884, 1885, and 1889.  Beyond to the north is the open space the French called l’Esplanade.  It too conceals Diogenes inscriptions, as has been demonstrated by excavations conducted in 2008 by Martin Smith and Jürgen Hammerstaedt.  Further north is the theater.  Its inscriptions are all civic.  The acropolis on the northern edge of the city is guarded by the vigilant lions on sarcophagus lids.  We would draw up rainwater from the sarcophagi for our squeezes, being careful to avoid snakes.

As luck would have it, on my first day at the site I discovered a new fragment on the wall enclosing the Esplanade to the east.  In it Diogenes explained how hail can form in the summer (New Fragment 82 = Fr. 99 of Smith’s The Epicurean Inscription).  This is in fact not a fragment but a “monolithic maxim.” 

At the beginning of our explorations in the summer of 1975, we and our young surveyors from the North London Polytechnic Institute camped out in tents at the top of the mountain.  We had three site guards.  All were armed with shotguns.  The fiercest of these was Mehmet.  Mehmet and I would hunt for oregano on the mountainside to season the omelets I would make for my colleagues and the starving surveyors.  Our sylvan life on the mountain was not to last long.  Late one afternoon a group of four or five armed men arrived at our camp.  With Turkish politeness we greeted them hosh geldinez (“you have come as a pleasure”).  The expected reply should have been hosh bulduk  (“we find you as a pleasure”).  We did not receive it.  We served tea and they sat with their guns pointed vaguely but significantly in our direction.  They were what the Italians would call tombaroli (tomb-robbers). That night there was gunfire that seemed to be directed towards our tents.   This brought our stay on the mountain to an end.  We moved down to Seki where we stayed in an austere schoolhouse whose only decoration was a large poster incongruously illustrating every variety of ocean fish.  The Mediterranean (or Ak Deniz, White Sea) was very far from us.

Seki and Incealiler held many charms.  On our way up the mountain we could sometimes hear the crippled shepherd Sami Bey playing his reed pipe.  Then on our way down in the late afternoon our site guards, Ali and his wife, would offer us ayran (yogurt mixed with cold water), a drink we relished at the end of a long hot day.  Ali’s wife was the only woman I actually looked at during my two seasons on the mountain above yayla.  The women with their children would work the fertile plain of Seki with their heads covered.  Sometimes we could sight camels down on the plain, or Ak Dag, the White Mountain, looming to the east of Seki.  Down on the coast not far south of Fetiye was the Olu Deniz (the Dead Sea) where we would swim and relax every two weeks.  There I came to understand the difference between the Turks of the Mediterranean and the Turks of the interior.

In 1975, I took a bus up to Smyrna where I stayed at the Grand Ephesos Hotel.  Before swimming in the hotel’s pool I took a much-needed bath.  As I washed I discovered a strange lump in my left armpit.  It was an engorged tick that I had transported from the mountain.  The pool, comfort, and food of the hotel restored me to civilization, yet I missed the mountain.  I flew up to Istanbul and from Istanbul to Athens and from Athens to what was then home, Portland, Oregon.  My second return from Turkey in 1977 (now to Baltimore, Maryland), was more sudden and abrupt.  Jim Coulton and I were down in Fetyie where we picked up a copy of the Jumhuryet (The Republic).  There we found the headline “Ankarada Kolera” (Colera in Ankara”).  We immediately returned to Seki, picked up our belongings, and hurried to Kushadashi for a boat to take us to Samos and then to the Peiraeus before the Greek authorities imposed a ban on travelers coming from Turkey.  The prevalent Imbat (a strong wind from the north, in Greek, the bãthw) was blasting the sea at 8 Beaufort and the scenes of seasickness were grisly.  I returned to Athens and America, never to return to Turkey again.  Martin Ferguson Smith still ranges the mountain of Oinoanda with his daughter and granddaughter, but less often.  He often works in Seki on the plain below. 
The count of new fragments discovered by 2010 came to 138; with the publication of the survey results for which the Austrian Institute in Ankara is now responsible, the total of new finds mounts to 190.  I dedicate these short memoirs of my two summers in Oinoanda to my colleague Angelo Casanova who in 1984 published his splendid edition of Diogenes, I Frammenti di Diogene d’Enoanda.  He has never been to Oinoanda, but there is a fine photograph of Martin Ferguson Smith, Angelo Casanova, and myself taken at the entrance of the archaeological site of Herculaneum.  He now has a print of it.       

            A last memory of mountains: On the Olympic peninsula on the northern shore of in Washington state, there is a nice path that leads to its western extremity.  There I found the town of Sappho.  I did not know then that I would get to know and write on her poetry or admire her statue on the main square of the capital of Lesbos.  On the Olympic peninsula I found a poster announcing a dance and assuring us that “Terpsichore will not be absent.”  Sometimes it is better to take the low road.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

A BMCR Review - The Epicurean Inscription of Diogenes of Oinoanda: Ten Years of New Discoveries and Research

Jürgen Hammerstaedt, Martin Ferguson Smith, The Epicurean Inscription of Diogenes of Oinoanda: Ten Years of New Discoveries and Research.   Bonn:  Verlag Dr. Rudolf Habelt, 2014.  Pp. 288.  ISBN 9783774939271.  €69.00.   

Reviewed by Pamela Gordon, University of Kansas (

That Epicurus was such a prolific writer irked his ancient detractors. Epictetus thought that Epicurus’ efforts to compose and broadcast his texts contradicted his stance on friendship (Discourses 2.20.20), and Plutarch claimed that Epicurus’ energetic communications with an array of readers violated the “live unnoticed” precept attributed to him (Moralia 1128). Diogenes of Oinoanda would have caused similar consternation. Faced with human suffering, Diogenes considers it the responsibility of “any good man” (χρηστὸς τις ἀνήρ, fragment 2 II 11-12) to run to the aid of his contemporaries (an intervention he expresses with the pun ἐπικουρεῖν fragment 2 V 7).1 This philosophical rescue effort took place not just among small circles of like-minded friends, but on the walls of a stoa in the thick of things in urban Oinoanda (in southwest Asia Minor, now Turkey). Of all known inscriptions from Greek and Roman antiquity, Diogenes’ is the longest. According to the preface by Hammerstaedt and Smith, this limestone inscription of Roman imperial date (“probably the first half of the second century AD”) “may have occupied about 260 square metres of wall-space and contained about 25,000 words” (p. 1). Oenoanda had a rich epigraphic culture, and it seems highly relevant that Diogenes chose the medium favored by other wealthy elites and public benefactors, particularly in the Greek East.

It is fitting that such a generous, affable, and industrious Epicurean should have the expert support of Hammerstaedt and Smith, who have not only devoted considerable effort to the discovery and preservation of the fragments of Diogenes’ dismantled inscription, but who have also published the new fragments and new readings of rediscovered stones within months of their discovery (along with indispensable commentaries and translations). Smith has been the international leader of work on Diogenes of Oinoanda since 1968, and most of this volume presents the fruitful results of his collaboration with Hammerstaedt, a relative newcomer.

In 2007, a new survey-project in Oinoanda began under the directorship of Martin Bachmann, of the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut, Istanbul. Between 2007 and 2012, 76 new fragments were discovered (some of them quite substantial). The editors are optimistic that more fragments will soon emerge, so this is not yet the time to produce a full, consolidated edition of the inscription. The present volume comprises seven previously published articles that present the Greek texts of these new fragments along with photographs, English translations and commentary, and abstracts in Turkish, all of which appeared in Anatolian Studies or Epigraphica Anatolica. In addition, there is a brief but informative preface, a crucial three-page section aptly titled “Finding and Citing the Latest Edition of a Diogenes Fragment,” a previously published article on the text (in German), and a new 25-page section that prints lists of corrections and additions, the “Theological Physics-sequence” as one continuous text (old and new fragments combined, with translation), and Greek indices of all of the fragments and new readings first published in 2003-2012. This new material will be essential to any scholarship on Diogenes, but even the (uncorrected) reprinted articles are valuable, as many university libraries do not subscribe to the journals. Moreover, Epigraphica Anatolica does not appear in the usual online databases and sometimes passes under the radar of Google Scholar. Here I will mention only a few of the new discoveries, and I will refer to the translations rather than to the Greek text.

New Fragment (henceforth NF) 157 and Hammerstaedt’s and Smith’s commentaries will be relevant to any discussion of Epicurean attitudes toward sexuality. In the new fragment, Diogenes seems to say that lovers (“those who are sick with the passion of love”) are not aware “that they derive pleasure to the highest degree from looking even without copulation” (p. 89). Here Hammerstaedt and Smith disagree about the significance of this text, which Smith takes as a statement of an orthodox position that both Epicurus and Lucretius would affirm. Hammerstaedt—rightly, in my opinion—finds Diogenes’ “positive attitude to the pleasure obtained from looking at an attractive person” (p. 90) at odds with Lucretius’ treatment of the connection between vision and erotic desire (Lucr. 4.1937- 1287). The inclusion of Hammerstaedt’s and Smith’s divergent views here will benefit future scholarly debate.

Refuting the notion of divine providence in NF 182, Diogenes refers to thunder, hail, violent winds, and other phenomena (including nighttime) that he pronounces “useless” or “even harmful” (p. 118). Hammerstaedt and Smith note incidentally that a violent storm that damaged the local apple crop coincided with the chance discovery of NF 182. Thus Diogenes’ interest in storms “would have seemed highly appropriate” to the inhabitants of his mountainous region (p. 118).

Also of particular importance is NF 186, which adds a small but significant piece of evidence for the existence of female students of Epicurean philosophy. This fragment “may or may not belong to Letter to Menneas,” one of the “Ten-Line-Column Writings” that may have been in the central course of the apparently seven-course inscription (p.129). Almost an entire column of NF 186 is well preserved, and one feminine pronoun and one feminine participle are clearly legible. Hammerstaedt and Smith translate: “… [I shall help them (?)] [in every] way, when I can. As you know, we do not have better things to offer them (N.B. ‘them’ is feminine) than our own good fare. For indeed they happen already to have done some tasting of the doctrines of Epicurus, but to be sure not in such a way that [the disturbances] that strike [them have been removed]” (p. 130). The commentary suggests plausibly that the addressee is “an Epicurean or Epicurean sympathizer” and that “our own good fare” may refer to Epicurean philosophy (p. 130). Sadly, the next column is too damaged to read more than a few characters. Perhaps future discoveries will reveal whether these women belonged to some sort of circle of seekers or students, or if they were simply two or more acquaintances or correspondents.

In NF 192, addressing “Zeno and Cleanthes, and you, Chrysippus,” Diogenes asserts that the Epicurean telos is not the pleasures of “the masses,” as the Stoics claim, but is like the Stoic telos, though the Stoics “hate the name of pleasure” (p. 153). Diogenes’ naming of Chrysippus, who is not mentioned in other fragments, will be of interest to scholars who think that Epicureanism continued to develop after the lifetime of Epicurus. Chrysippus (born c. 280 BCE) was only a boy when Epicurus died in 270 BCE.

This leads me to one aspect of the fine work of Hammerstaedt and Smith that is not to my taste, though it may bother only a minority of other scholars. I would have liked to see in the commentaries more attention to Diogenes’ particular context in the Epicurean tradition. While acknowledging that later Epicureans seem to have been eager to demonstrate their loyalty to the teachings of Epicurus or, more generally, to the teachings of “The Men” (Epicurus, Hermarchus, Metrodorus, and Polyaenus), I agree with Snyder that Epicurean texts were “not simply a static body of documents to be restored, but a sinuous, evolving entity.”2 Philodemus’ allegiance seems to be to “The Men,” but so far it appears that Diogenes saw himself as a follower solely of Epicurus, whom he mentions eight times in the known fragments if we count one certain and one uncertain reference to “son of Neocles” (the fragment numbers are listed on p. 131). And yet, Diogenes does not deliver wisdom straight from the books of Epicurus, as his inimitable voice and aspects such as his reference to Chrysippus make clear.

But Smith’s approach to these fragmentary texts often involves filling in lacunae with words imported from the texts of Epicurus, though Hammerstaedt and Smith do take care to remind readers that Smith’s restorations are merely suggestions. For example, in the notes on NF 156, they write: “S.’s restoration of the whole maxim…is closely based on the passages in which Epicurus (especially Hdt. 49-50) and Diogenes (especially fr. 9, 43) describe how the images cause vision, thought, and dreams, but of course he does not claim to show how the text went, only how it might have gone” (p. 59). Sometimes the editors have found that “how it might have gone” was clearly not how it went. NF 157 was discovered in 2008 (published expeditiously in 2008), but the full text on the stone was not uncovered until the following season (and then published in 2009). For the 2008 publication, Smith presented restorations and a translation of the text as it had so far been revealed (p. 60). But when the rest of the stone was uncovered a year later, Hammerstaedt and Smith discovered that half of that restored text and most of the translation were incorrect, as the full photograph, text, and translation demonstrate (p. 89). To their credit, Hammerstaedt and Smith call attention to the hazards of restoration by issuing “a mild ‘health warning’” (p. 3) and a list of updates (p. 5) for readers who would otherwise be unaware that a proposed restoration has become untenable.

This book will be essential for scholars and fans of Diogenes of Oinoanda, and the wealth of detail it contains about the extensive recovery, recording, and preservation efforts should make any reader optimistic that Diogenes has even more to tell us.

Table of Contents

Finding and Citing the Latest Edition of a Diogenes Fragment 
New Fragments (NF) 136-212, and Some Additions to “Old” Fragments 
1. MFS, In praise of the simple life: a new fragment of Diogenes of Oinoanda [= Anatolian studies 54 (2004) 35-46]
2. MFS, JH, The Inscription of Diogenes of Oinoanda: New Investigations and Discoveries (NF 137-141)." [= Epigraphica Anatolica 40 (2007) 1-12]
3. JH/ MFS, Diogenes of Oinoanda: The Discoveries of 2008 (NF 142-167) [= Epigraphica Anatolica 41 (2008) 1-37]
4. JH/ MFS, Diogenes of Oinoanda: The Discoveries of 2009 (NF 167-181)." [= Epigraphica Anatolica 42 (2009) 1-38]
5. Hammerstaedt, Jürgen, and M. F. Smith. "Diogenes of Oinoanda: The Discoveries of 2010 (NF 182-190)." [= Epigraphica Anatolica 43 (2010) 1-29]
6. Hammerstaedt, Jürgen, and M. F. Smith. "Diogenes of Oinoanda: The Discoveries of 2011 (NF 191-205, and Additions to NF 127 and 130)." [= Epigraphica Anatolica 44 (2011) 79-114]
7. Hammerstaedt, Jürgen, and Martin Ferguson Smith. "Diogenes of Oinoanda: new discoveries of 2012 (NF 206-212) and new light on" old" fragments." [= Epigraphica Anatolica 45 (2012) 1-37]
Further Contributions
8. JH, Zum Text der epikureischen Inschrift des Diogenes von Oinoanda [= Epigraphica Anatolica 39 (2006) 1-48]
9. JH / MFS, The Continuous “Theological Physics-sequence” (NF 167 + NF 126/127 + fr. 20 + NF 182)
10. JH / MFS, Additions and Corrections
11. JH / MFS, Greek Indices


1.   For the text of this and other fragments discovered before 1993 (through NF 124), see Martin Ferguson Smith, Diogenes of Oinoanda. The Epicurean Inscription, La scuola di Epicuro, Supplemento 1, Naples, Bibliopolis, 1993. Fragments discovered after that publication (through NF135) can be found in Martin Ferguson Smith, Supplement to Diogenes of Oinoanda, The Epicurean Inscription, La scuola di Epicuro, Supplemento 3, Naples, Bibliopolis, 1993. The publication under review here includes corrections to those editions. 
2.   H. Gregory Snyder, Teachers and Texts in the Ancient World (New York: Routledge, 2000), 53.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Fragments 5 & 6

These two pieces constitute related parts of the texts and the stones were in excellent condition (except for some obscuring of the text) when Kalinka wrote them up. Unlike fragments 7 & 8 these two do not overlap in their placement. 





The source here is Ernst Kalinka and Rudolf Heberdey, L'inscription philosophique d'Oenoanda in the Bulletin de correspondance hellénique. Volume 21, 1897. pp. 359.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

The Economy of Oenoanda

It is probably useful to put Oenoanda in context first. It was a hilltop city that was very outside the Roman model, moreover it also was not on any major routes so thus "not on the way to anywhere else". Therefore the city had to rely on its own very small hinterland for its economic prosperity. In this respect its closest parallel in modern times is the Italian hill towns of Tuscany.

Some versions have it that the town takes it name form the Greek word for wine. Certainly the area has not been known for its wine or grape growing for a very long time. However, in a recent report the Hurriyet newspaper reported a reactivation of wine growing at Arycanda, citing evidence of "wine houses" in the region of Oenoanda and claiming that wine in the world had been first grown in the region 4,000 years ago. 

Just east of the Esplanade in the upper part of the city, archaeologists have identified what they have termed a screw-press (constructed from spolia) for wine production that dates from a late stage of the city's history, the size of which has been deemed worthy of being shown on maps of the area. 

We can therefore presume that wine and probably olive growing were also profitable economic activities in the area. Though what the surplus for export might have been is unfathomable.  

We might regard the city's "territory" as being the valleys on either side of its mountain eyrie. An inscription relating to the establishment of the Demosthenaia festival notes that there were 35 villages within the territory of Oenoanda. The evidence also suggests that there was summer pasture under the city's control that was a source for sacrificial animals and presumably herds as a food source. 

The map below shows the town and the valleys around. Kemerarasi was known as Termessos Minor in ancient times.  

What was grown in these valleys in ancient times remains a mystery but a clue may be the ransom that the Romans demanded of the Cabalian League which consisted of 10,000 medimni of wheat. According to A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities. William Smith, LLD. William Wayte. G. E. Marindin. Albemarle Street, London. John Murray. 1890. an Attic medimnus consisted of 12 imperial gallons (11.556 gallons) or 1 1/2 bushel, though there were different versions that were less. However, for the region to have such a large surplus (hopefully) of wheat to make the payment, this must have been a crop of importance in the valleys of the region. 

Pliny commented upon the cedars of the region, but did not comment as to whether they were cut and traded or not. 

The nature of industries in the city is also unknown at this stage as little effort has gone into exploring the "suburban" parts of the ruined city.  

In the book The Politics of Munificence in the Roman Empire: Citizens, Elites and and Benefactors in Asia Minor by Arjan Zuiderhoek, Cambridge University Press, 2009, it is mentioned that the Demosthenaia festival involved a suspension of tolls and levies with the goal being that during the duration of the festival traders from other areas would come and negotiate their business in the city. A sort of temporary "free-trade zone" to boost the local economy and ensure that the festival goers had a sufficient supply of foods and consumer goods. The author speculates that this might imply that tariffs on trading were high enough or trading good enough in normal times that the city could offer this dispensation at special times.  

Another interesting document is a treaty agreed between the citizens of the nearby city of Tlos and the Termessians. As has been mentioned elsewhere the Termessians may actually be the citizenry of Oenoanda with the city and territory having a different name to the inhabitants. In any case, in the article Une convention entre cités en Lycie du Nord, In: Comptes-rendus des séances de l'Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, 140e année, N. 3, 1996. pp. 961-980 bu Christian Le Roy the author discusses the rights the Tlosians allowed to the Termessians. Amongst these was the cutting of wood from their territory (though whether this was firewood or wood for construction/furniture etc has not been established) and rights of pasturage, which is seemingly summer grazing. 

The author also makes reference to the floating of logs down the Xanthos river from the region of Tlos and Oenoanda to the sea. 

For the forestry resources of the zone he cites Revue de Géographie alpine 47, 1959, p. 373-385: "les oliviers ne dépassent pas les 900 m ; Puis, on a les pins rouges, jusque vers 1000 m ; les pins noirs et les chênes vers 1 300 m ; les cèdres et genévriers jusque vers 1800 m au sud et 2100 m au nord. Pour le pourtour du massif étudié (audessus de la baie de Fethiye et de la plaine de Nif), l'auteur emploie l'expression de « grande sylve lycienne » (p. 378). Encore fait-il à bon droit observer que * ces hauteurs sont et ont été occupées aux limites de leurs possibilités » et que cette « surcharge pastorale » explique « la dévastation absolue de la forêt au-dessus de 1800 m et sa réduction à quelques taches au-dessus de 1550 m ». La couverture sylvestre devait être beaucoup plus dense dans l'Antiquité".

Thus we might be so daring as to suggest that the known economic activities of Oenoanda might have been trading in general, wood, wheat, wine, olives, animal husbandry. From this might also come woodworking, wool processing and some other as yet unknown manufacturing and value added activities linked to the raw materials it had at its disposal in the zone. 


Pliny, HN 12.61.132, 13.11.52, 16.59.137· Theophrastus, Historia plantarum, 3.12.3.

ANADOLU AKDENİZİ, Arkeoloji Haberleri, 2013-11, News of Archaeology from ANATOLIA’S MEDITERRANEAN AREAS: Oinoanda 2012, Report on the 2012 Campaign at Oinoanda, Martin BACHMANN

Une convention entre cités en Lycie du Nord In: Comptes-rendus des séances de l'Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, 140e année, N. 3, 1996. pp. 961-


Friday, March 11, 2016

Donors to the Storehouse Project

In the Spring of 2010, when the Turkish authorities finally gave permission for the erection of a storehouse had been granted, the archaeologists launched an international appeal for funds. The appeal quickly received an extremely generous response. 

By far the largest contribution was made by The Gilbert de Botton Memorial Foundation, a cultural fund established under the will of Gilbert de Botton (1935–2000). One of those who administer the fund is his son, the writer and philosopher Alain de Botton. Immense gratitude is owed to him for making possible an extraordinary gift. 

Other principal donors were: 

  • MFS 
  • Gustav Kranck 
  • Steelteam 
  • Kulturerhaltprogramm des Auswärtigen Amtes der Bundesrepublik Deutschland 
  • Klaus Fischer/ Fischer Befestigungssysteme 
  • John Fraser (Versoix) 
  • Il Centro Internazionale per lo Studio dei Papiri Ercolanesi
  • Deutsches Archäologisches Institut, Abteilung İstanbul 
  • The Seven Pillars of Wisdom Trust 
  • Societat Catalana d’Estudis Clàssics

Gratitude is due to all these institutions and individuals, as well as to numerous friends of Jurgen Hammerstaedt, academic and non-academic, who made gifts to the Oinoanda project on the occasion of his fiftieth birthday.

Oenoanda's Political Context

It might be useful to put the "city" of Oenoanda is some sort of political context. Essentially it was a large town, though I am sure it regarded itself as a small city and it did have many of the trappings of a major population centre despite its limited population.

What was its political status though?

The Tetrapolis

The political arrangement of Oenoanda prior to 81 BC was that it, and the cities of Balbura, Bubon and Cibyra, belonged to a political alliance known variably as the Tetrapolis, the Cibyratis, or Cabalian League. It was dominated by the city of Cibyra (Kibyra), which formed a league approximately contemporaneously with the Lycian League, to the south. 

The main ancient sources on the subject are Polybius and Strabo. 

Cibyra ruled the Turkish Lakes Region. It was called Cibyra Megale, "Greater Cibyra," to distinguish it from Cibyra Mikra or "Little Cibyra" (today near Okurcalar) near Side. The lakes region is a string of alpine valleys in the folds of the Taurus Mountains, which have no natural exits. Instead they have collected lakes. Cibyra was on a low hill to the west of Gölhisar Valley and Gölhisar Lake, just north of Gölhisar.

Cibyra dominated an ancient region, Cabalis, which was divided between the later states of Lycia, Pisidia and Lydia, subsequently incorporated in Phrygia. According to Strabo, it spoke four languages, Lydian, even though Lydian had disappeared elsewhere, Greek, Pisidian and "that of the Solymi." Cabalis, which was later divided into Lycian and Asian Cabalis, was the putative home of the Solymi. It included the Milyas District of Lycia, putatively the home of the first Lycians. It is possible that they spoke a form of Anatolian earlier than the attested Lycian, which some have dubbed "Milyan." 

Also according to Strabo the Cabalian grouping operated on the basis of each of the cities having one vote with the exception of Cibyra that had two votes. 

The Cibyratis was ruled by a succession of deliberately ostentatious and high-handed tyrants. Having become a thorn in the side of Rome, they attracted the attention of Gnaeus Manlius Vulso, commander of the Roman armies successfully fighting the Galatian War of 189 BC. Manlius turned toward Cibyratis with the intent of removing the thorn. The tyrant, Moa'getes, barely escaped with his life and his position by entering the Roman camp dressed in humble clothing, with a handful of similarly dressed assistants, claiming destitution and begging for mercy. He offered a payment of 15 talents. Manlius set the payment at 500 talents, a huge sum, impossible of payment. Finally moved to mercy, he allowed Moa'getes to bargain him down to 100 and 10,000 medimni of wheat, necessary to the Roman commissary.

When the Romans had departed Moa'getes dropped the pretense, and Cibyratis resumed its arrogance. Consequently, when Lucius Licinius Murena (elder) did finally deal with Cibyratis, he had no political mercy.

Strabo says that Bubon and Balbura were transferred to the Lycian League forthwith. He does not mention Oenoanda, but it had been a city of the Lycians anyway. It minted coinage of the League subsequently. There is no evidence that Cibyra was ever admitted to the League, although that assumption sometimes is made. It was in Asian Cabalia and as such was joined to Phrygia later, an event supported by their coin issues. The last tyrant of the Tetrapolis was also named Moa'getes, a different one, unless the term was a title, or Strabo made a mistake.

After the dismemberment of the Cibryatis alliance, Oenoanda was grafted onto the Lycian League. Whethre this involved a loss of relative status was unclear, as it went from being a large city in a small grouping to being yet another city in a much more substantial grouping where it was "outvoted" by cities such as Xanthos. 

The Lycian League

The Lycian League (Lukiakou systema in Strabo's Greek transliterated, a "standing together") is first known from two inscriptions of the early 2nd century BC in which it honors two citizens. Bryce hypothesizes that it was formed as an agent to convince Rome to rescind the annexation of Lycia to Rhodes. Lycia had been under Rhodian control since the Peace of Apamea in 188 BC. 

In 168 BC, Rome took Lycia away from Rhodes and turned over home rule to the League. There was no question of independence. Lycia was not to be sovereign, only self-governing under republican principles. It could neither negotiate with foreign powers nor disobey the Roman Senate. It was not independent. It could govern its own people and for a time mint its own coins as a right granted by Rome. It did not determine its own borders. Land and people could be assigned or taken away by the Senate. Remarking on this protectorate Strabo says of the government:

"Formerly they deliberated about war and peace, and alliances, but this is not now permitted, as these things are under the control of the Romans. It is only done by their consent, or when it may be for their own advantage."

Exactly what such a statement might imply is uncertain. Lycia had not been a sovereign state for some time. Whether the Lycian League as such is meant, implying that it existed anciently, or some other similar government is meant, is not clear. The statement does not say also whether there was a gap between the former sovereign state and the new Lycian League, or whether they are to be conceived as chronologically continuous.

According to Strabo, the league (prior to 81 BC) was comprised of some 23 known city-states as members. It was a federal-style government that shared political and economic resources. A “Lyciarch” was elected by a senate (συνέδριον, synedrion, "sitting together") that convened by agreement beforehand at "what city they please." Each member had one, two or three votes (presumably by different representatives), depending on the city's size. The decline of some cities over time caused them to join with the major state in their vicinity to form a sympolity. In that case they lost their vote (if they had one) assuming an influence in the vote of the major city. After election of the Lyciarch the Senate voted for the other public officials and the magistrates. The League's government took precedence, but, as in many federal systems, the issue was not entirely settled, and the resulting civil conflict led to the dissolution of the union.

Strabo identified the major cities of the League; that is, the three-vote cities, as Xanthos, Patara, Pinara, Olympos, Myra, and Tlos, with Patara as the capital. The full complement has been identified by a study of the coins and mention in other texts.

As mentioned earlier the Roman consul, Lucius Licinius Murena (elder) in 81 BC grafted the cities of Balbura, Bubon and Oenoanda onto the league, having stripped from the Cabalian systema to the north. 

Monday, March 7, 2016

The Inscription's Debris Field

The term "debris field" is most associated today with crashed airliners, rather than archaeological sites. But it is particularly apt in the case of the Great Epicurean Inscription of Oenoanda where a disaster left the once epic construction shattered into a myriad of pieces scattered across a wide area as if it had been smashed by some divine mallet.

I came across this interesting representation of the intensity of the finds from the destroyed stoa. This was created by Konrad Berner of the Deutsche Archaeologisches Institut in Istanbul. 

As one can note the most intense occurrence of pieces is around the site of the stoa which stood on the south side of the Esplanade. This is understandable considering where the stoa was located and the fact that many pieces were reused as filler in the defensive wall which was created across the site and may have been the motivation for destruction of the structure in the first instance. 

Sunday, March 6, 2016

The Stoa of Diogenes

Alan Hall states "The stoa of Diogenes must have stood on the southern side of the Esplanade - an area which was either the early Agora or the exercise area for the gymnasium - and perhaps extended down the approach road from the later Agora. Secondly, it is clear that the stoa was taken down when the new defensive circuit was constructed around 270 A.D., and that its material was then used in new buildings across the northern half of the site, including the new defensive wall itself. And thirdly, it is evident that a great many more fragments lie close to the surface in this relatively restricted area". 

In the book, Epicureanism The Complete Guide edited by Paul Muljadi there is an essay by Guido Reale that states that the stoa consisted of a rectangular piazza surrounded by a portico, and furnished with statues. On one of the smaller sides was placed a portal, with perhaps Diogenes' mausoleum on the opposite side. On the two larger sides Diogenes inscribed a lengthy account of Epicurean doctrines.

Some dispute that the stoa was erected by Diogenes and may have been a pre-existing structure. Martin Ferguson Smith comments in his essay Two New Fragments of Diogenes of Oenoanda, The Journal of Hellenic Studies, Vol. 92 (1972), pp. 147-155 that : "The fact that Diogenes, an Epicurean, decided to have his work inscribed in a stoa must have greatly amused his contemporaries. But, although Diogenes, whose work is not without touches of humour, no doubt shared their amusement, he may have had a serious propagandist motive in choosing the stoa; for, although he must have decided upon it primarily because it just happened to contain the wall (or walls) best suited for the carving of the inscription, being spacious and in a public place, it is possible that his choice was influenced partly by a desire to emphasise the anti-Stoic character of his work by having it inscribed in a building of the same kind as that in which Zeno and his successors taught and from which their school derived its name: his verbal attacks on his chief philosophical opponents might seem all the more stinging and effective for being made almost literally on the Stoics' own ground. Moreover, he must have foreseen that news of an Epicurean stoa would spread far and wide, and that many ζενοι would thus be attracted to Oenoanda to see and read his work". 

Below can be seen a reconstruction by Nikolaus Koch of DAI, Istanbul (and Karlsruher IT) showing the two-storey North Stoa and the so-called Diogenes Stoa to the right. 

The stoa of Diogenes was dismantled in the second half of the third century CE to make room for a defensive wall; previously the site had been undefended.

More work is required to definitively position the stoa in the ruins of the city. This would require some, though not extensive, excavation. The shame is that so little work has been done at the city and often it has been thwarted by fluctuating interest from the authorities in permitting work by foreign archaeologists. 

Thursday, March 3, 2016

The Theatre At Oinoanda

The theatre of the city is believed to date from the 2nd century BC and is located on the northern fringe of the city, build on a natural slope. It ended up outside the walls when the Great Wall separated off the area to be abandoned.   

It was originally Greek in style (i.e. open on the stage side), but had a scene building added in Roman times, probably the second half of the first century A.D.. The cavea, which was 55 metres in diameter, sat 2,000 and faced south. In shape it exceeded a semicircle and was somewhat horseshoe-shaped. It had only one maeniana, with at least 17 rows of seats in 11 cunei

The orchestra is 17.5 m in diameter, while the frons scenae was 25.5 x 5.75 m with five doorways.

The site map above is sourced from 
Building Mk1 at Oenoanda, Author(s): Roger Ling and Alan HallReviewed work(s):Source: Anatolian Studies, Vol. 31 (1981), pp. 31-53.

As can be seen from the accompanying pictures the theatre is not in exceptionally bad condition considering the vicissitudes of earthquakes and extended exposure (it snows at site in winter). The frons scenae would appear to have potential for some sort of reconstruction. 

Sources: Sear, Frank; “Roman theatres: an architectural study”. Oxford University Press, 2006. // Ciancio Rossetto, Paola; Giuseppina Pisani Sartorio (eds); Teatri Greci e Romani: alle origini del linguaggio rappresentato. Rome: SEAT, 1995. // Bean, George; “Lycian Turkey”. London, Ernst Benn, 1978. // Freely, John; “The Western Mediterranean coast of Turkey”. Istanbul, Matbaacilik ve Yayincilik A.S., 1997. // Yilmaz, Yasar; “Anadolu Antik Tiyatrolari”. Istanbul, Yem Yanin, 2010.