Bryn Mawr Classical Review

Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2011.06.54

Riet van Bremen, Jan-Mathieu Carbon (ed.), Hellenistic Karia: Proceedings of the First International Conference on Hellenistic Karia, Oxford, 29 June-2 July 2006. Études, 28.   Talence:  Ausonius Éditions, 2010.  Pp. 602.  ISBN 9782356130365.  €40.00.  

Reviewed by R. Malcolm Errington, Philipps-Universität Marburg (

The volume under review is the publication of a conference held in Oxford in 2006. It makes a substantial contribution to a field that has seen major archaeological and historical activity in the last twenty years, which Riet van Bremen in her introduction summarises. In particular, epigraphic research has made significant advances; the number of important new inscriptions from the area, chronicled annually in the Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum, sheds new light on a multitude of facets of the political, social and religious life of Karian communities, especially in the Hellenistic and Roman periods. This volumeis now complemented by the recent publication of the Swedish conference commemorating 60 years of archaeological work at Labraunda.1

The Oxford conference volume contains 27 articles grouped in six sections. Most are in English, but three are in French and five in German. The collection as a whole presents a thorough and largely up-to-date survey of many Karian themes, and several of the studies will provide a stimulating basis for further work in the area. The conference was clearly a great success, as is the published volume, elegantly presented by Ausonius at a very acceptable price.

The sections are of unequal size and weight. Section I consists of a single contribution by François de Callataÿ and Fabrice Delrieux. They provide a respectful description of the Fonds Louis Robert and its coins, collected by the Roberts in Turkey. More than 400, mostly small bronzes, are Karian. The preparation of a catalogue is in progress and preliminary information is included in two tables.

Section II is more substantial, containing six thoughtful historical and archaeological papers related to Hekatomnid Karia. Gary Reger offers a careful discussion of the phases of Mylasan expansion in the Hekatomnid and Seleukid periods and pays especial atttention to the indentification of the “Little Sea”, which was the object of a long dispute with neighbouring Iasos. Koray Konuk examines the possibility of identifiying the coins used to pay the ekklesiastikon at Iasos, mentioned in I.Iasos 20 (SEG 40, 949) and convincingly criticises Delrieux’ attempt to link certain bronze coin issues with this inscription. Gianfranco Maddoli discusses the evidence of five recently discovered inscriptions from Iasos (now: PP 62, 2007) that shed new light on Hekatomnid and post-Hekatomnid Karia—most interesting are the first recorded use of the word “Maussolleion” for a cenotaph at Iasos and a late cult for Alexander and Olympias. Raymond Descat tries to identifiy the argyrion symmachikon mentioned in inscriptions from Miletos and Kolophon in the late fourth century. He rejects the identification with coins of Kolophon or Miletos and regards the “alliance” implied by the phrase as the Karian symmachia for which Alexanders were coined at Miletos for a few years under Alexander and after his death. This seems a reasonable solution to the numismatic problem. Two archaeological papers have been at least partly overtaken by events in the field. Frank Rumscheid argues persuasively that the “Uzun Yuva” in Mylasa was a cenotaph for Maussollos; unfortunately the discovery in 2010 by grave robbers shows that an actual burial took place there and suggests that the extremely prominent tomb was even earlier, perhaps even that of Hekatomnos himself. The same unprofessional discovery makes Olivier Henry’s attempt to identify the large extra-mural tomb at Mylasa known as “Berber İni” as that of Hekatomnos more than doubtful.

Section III, entitled rather enigmatically “Carian Inflections”, presents three papers on the Karian language by Ignacio J. Adiego, H.Craig Melchert, and Diether Schürr, which taken together offer a very useful and—even to the non-comparative linguist—largely comprehensible review of recent research in the field, but also drawing attention to the limits of what is, or even can be, known, as long as the current linguistic material is not expanded by new bilingual discoveries. Ender Varinlioğlu publishes four inscriptions from Kilikia and draws attention to some similarities with Karian names beginning Ko-: the significance of these observations remains unclear. Daniela Piras examines the development of language usage and onomastics to illustrate the gradual Hellenization, at least at a superficial level, of Karia in the Hellenistic period, and Pierre Debord has similar aims in his study of the mythical figures Chrysaor, Bellerophon and Pegasos, which shows how the Hellenistic world in Karia made use of both epichoric traditions and current Greek ideas.

Section IV, “The Role of the Landscape” comprises four archaeological papers. Christopher Ratté gives an account of four years of field survey on the hinterland of Aphrodisias, the Upper Morsynos valley. As with all such projects, dating difficulties of the find places make detailed interpretation problematic, but settlements of the late Classical and early Hellenistic periods were certainly found, including farms and forts. Lydian rather than Karian influence is traceable, and the village settlements seem to end at the latest in early imperial times, when the city of Aphrodisias dominated the area. Poul Pedersen offers a preliminary overview of research on the city walls of Halikarnassos. The wall goes back to Maussollos (no earlier traces have been found) and was carefully planned with a series of strategic fortresses integrated into the defensive system. Bernhard Schmalz reports on his work on the city walls of Kaunos, with particular attention to sections where repairs were needed, and shows the different techniques used. These sections offer no suitable criteria for dating the wall as a whole, since Schmalz establishes a general tendency as late at the later third century to use old-fashioned building techniques. Anne-Marie Carstens decribes a selection of apparently Hellenistic tomb-complexes on the peninsula of Halikarnassos, whereby the dating criteria remain unclear. She claims to be dealing with “landscaping”, but the treatment of the concrete archaeological finds remains largely descriptive.

Section V under the title “Coastal Interactions” consists of five papers. The first is a systematic survey by Winfried Held of the known cults at Loryma. He emphasises the strong Rhodian influence and the associated presence of foreigners with their own cult activities in the hellenistic period. Only Apollo seems to be earlier. David J. Blackman discusses the archaeological and epigraphic evidence for Rhodian maritime bases around Rhodes and at several places on the Karian coast in a useful survey of the available evidence. Christof Schuler examines the largely epigraphic evidence for sympoliteiai in Lykia and Karia, and makes the reasonable suggestion that the influence of the political system practiced in Rhodes itself stood as model for restructuring the areas put under Rhodian control by the Romans in 188 B.C. A useful appendix summarises the scattered epigraphic evidence for this thesis. Hans-Ulrich Wiemer defends the standard view of the structure of the Rhodian Peraia going back to Fraser and Bean, as consisting of “integrated” and “subject” parts, against the recent sceptical view of Vincent Gabrielsen. The basic structure of the subject Peraia was dominated by koina, each with its own officials, not poleis, and these were clearly subordinate units, since some such communities had earlier been poleis. He is, however, sceptical about the possibility of making further progress on these questions. Alain Bresson surveys the topography of Knidos and supports the view of a re-location of the city in the fourth century. This is the only scenario that makes some sense of the inadequate sources for the description of the sea battle of 394 B.C. Section VI, “Cities”, presents five papers. It begins with a survey by Angelos Chaniotis of the meagre evidence for early Aphrodisias. Apart from new evidence that the polis Aphrodisias existed under Rhodian rule in the earlier second century, little concrete information can be won for the early existence of the city. Roberta Fabiani’s contribution analyses the evidence of the inscriptions of Iasos for the political structure of the city. She makes a good case for a change in the post-Hekatomnid period, when the number of phylai seems to have increased from four to five and the officials called archontes were replaced by prostatai. Riet van Bremen gives an excellent detailed discussion of the date of the temple at Lagina and provides what seem to me to be convincing arguments for a date in the second century after the Karians were freed from Rhodian rule. This excludes the frequently asserted connection of sections of the frieze with Rome and the Mithridatic Wars. Fabrice Delrieux discusses with particular attention to Karia the well-known Late Republican financial woes of the cities of Asia Minor, and Christine Bruns-Özgen concludes the book with an examination of a series of female statues found near Knidos (Aphrodites?) and provides stylistic arguments for dating them to the early Hellenistic period.

This useful collection ends with a composite bibliography and indices, which make reference to the individual articles much easier than in many such publications based on conferences. The editors are to be congratulated for producing such a user-friendly publication of these papers.


Acknowledgements 13
Riet van Bremen, Introduction 15
List of Maps 19
I Karian Numismatics and the Fonds Louis Robert
François de Callataÿ and Fabrice Delrieux, Karian Numismatics in the Fonds Louis Robert (Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres). 23
II Hekatomnid Karia and its Legacy
Gary Reger, Mylasa and its territory. 43
Koray Konuk, The Payment of the Ekklesiastikon at Iasos in the light of new evidence. 59
Frank Rumscheid, Maussollos and the “Uzun Yuva” in Mylasa: an unfinished Proto-Maussolleion at the heart of a new urban centre? 69
Olivier Henry, Hekatomnos, Persian satrap or Greek dynast? The tomb at Berber İni. 103
Gianfranco Maddoli, Nouveautés au sujet des Hékatomnides d’après les inscriptions de Iasos. 123
Raymond Descat, argyrion symmachikon et l’histoire de la Carie à la fin du
IVe s.a.C. 133
III Carian Inflections
Ignacio J. Adiego, Recent developments in the decipherment of Carian. 147
H. Craig Melchert, Further thoughts on Carian nominal inflection. 177
Diether Schürr, Spätkarisch: Regionalisierung und Lautenentwicklung. 187
Ender Varinlioğlu, Kodapa and Kodopa. 207
Daniela Piras, Who were the Karians in Hellenistic times? The evidence from epichoric language and personal names. 217
Pierre Debord, Chrysaor, Bellérophon, Pégase en Carie. 235
IV The Role of the Landscape
Christopher Ratté, New research on the region around Aphrodisias. 253
Poul Pedersen, The City Wall of Halikarnassos. 269
Bernhard Schmaltz, Kaunische Mauern: zwischen Stil und Pragmatismus. 317
Anne-Marie Carstens, The Sepulchral Landscape of the Halikarnassos peninsula in Hellenistic times. 331
V Coastal Interactions
Winfried Held, Die Heiligtümer und Kulte von Loryma. 355
David J. Blackman, The Rhodian fleet and the Karian coast. 379
Christof Schuler, Sympolitien in Lykien und Karien. 393
Hans-Ulrich Wiemer, Structure and development of the Rhodian Peraia: evidence and models. 415
Alain Bresson, Knidos: topography for a battle. 435
VI Cities
Angelos Chaniotis, New evidence from Aphrodisias concerning the Rhodian occupation of Karia and the early history of Aphrodisias. 455
Roberta Fabiani, Magistrates and phylai in late Classical and early Hellenistic Iasos. 467
Riet van Bremen, The inscribed documents on the temple of Hekate at Lagina and the date and meaning of the temple frieze. 483
Fabrice Delrieux, La crise financière des cités grecques d’Asie Mineure au Ier siècle a.C. et la lettre de Cicéron à Q.Minucius Thermus (Fam.XIII, 56). 505
Christine Bruns-Özgan, Aphroditen aus Knidos. 527
List of Abbreviations 539
Bibliography 543
Index of Sources 577
Index 593


1.   Lars Karlsson and Susanne Carlsson, Labraunda and Karia. Uppsala, 2011.

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