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A leading Family of Cibyra and some Asiarchs of the first century*

  • R. A. Kearsley (a1)


Recent studies of some of the leading families of Asia Minor in the early imperial period have shown the value of a prosopographical analysis for elucidating the history of the region and, in particular, of bringing into sharp focus the complex and far-reaching connections among those families which formed the aristocratic elites in the Graeco-Roman cities. In her 1966 study, Shelagh Jameson dealt at length with the Lycian family of Licinnii from Oenoanda. Among its members was a certain Marcia Lycia who, as the daughter of Marcius Titianus, married into the family from Cibyra. Jameson did not turn her attention to these Cibyran relatives of the Licinnii and the following is offered, therefore, as a supplementary study of the history and significance of that network of families. The discussion has two aspects: the delineation of one of the connections of these Cibyrans with another family elsewhere in Asia Minor, and a discussion of the evidence provided about the nature of the title asiarch in the first century.



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1 Jameson, S., AS 15 (1965) 54–8 and AS 16 (1966) 125–37; Jones, C. P., HSPh 80 (1976) 231–7; Mitchell, S., JRS 64 (1974) 2739 and AS 29 (1979) 1322.

2 S. Jameson (n. 1 above) 125 n. 2.

3 Jameson (ibid) does not date Marcia Lycia, but H. Halfmann, Die Senatoren aus dem östlichen Teil des Imperium Romanum bis zum Ende des 2. Jahrhunderts n. Chr. (Göttingen 1979) 149 places her in the early-second century on the basis of her husband's term as lyciarch in 115. Orestianus, Ti. Claudius Celsus and Lycia, Flavia: IGR IV, 908. Their date is supplied by the reference to the first and second neokorates of Pergamum (see n. 42 below).

4 IGR IV, 643 = 1696. The identification is tentatively proposed by Rossner, M., “Asiarchen und Archiereis Asias”, StudClas 16 (1974) 128–29. Ramsay, W. M., The Social Basis of Roman Power in Asia Minor (Aberdeen 1941) 34, believed that Hiero was not a Roman citizen; but the imperial nomen of Lycia in the Cibyran text implies it, as does an Ephesian inscription (I. Ephesos = Inschriften griechischer Städte aus Kleinasien. Die Inschriften von Ephesos (Bonn, 19791984) III, Addendum 854) which is likely to represent a brother of Montanus named Flavius Soter and Montanus' three nephews, Rufus, Montanus and Flavianus. Thus with his three children all bearing the Flavian nomen, the most likely situation is that they all inherited it from their father Hiero. He probably received Roman citizenship under one of the Flavian emperors.

5 This inscription is discussed by Ramsay (n. 4 above) 33–4. His comments as to the way Montanus might have become a Roman citizen and also his explanation of the source of Montanus' wealth (ibid, 34, 162) seem implausible in the light of subsequent discussions.

6 Dobson, B., “The praefectus fabrum in the Early Principate”, Britain and Rome, Essays Presented to E. Birley, Jarrett, M. G. and Dobson, B. eds (Kendal 1966) 77–8.

7 The festival of which Montanus was agonothete for life is not specified, but since it is associated with his office of sebastophantes it may well have been the Sebasteia. There has been some disagreement as to whether these offices were held in Ephesus or Acmonia. Ramsay (n. 4 above) 33 presumes they were Acmonian offices but Quass, F., “Zur politischen Tätigkeit der munizipalen Aristokratie des griechischen Ostens in der Kaiserzeit”, Historia 31 (1982) 200, prefers Ephesus as the location. Since Magie's, D. list of local cults of Augustus in the towns and cities of Asia (Roman Rule in Asia Minor (Princeton 1950) II, 1614) includes only Ephesus of these two places, unless new discoveries change the situation, Quass' view is more likely to be correct.

8 I.Ephesos VI, 2037. A date between 102–12 is indicated by Trajan's titulature.

9 I.Ephesos VI, 2061: II, lines 8–9. The very fragmentary inscription I.Ephesos II, 498 may have referred to this donation also.

10 I.Ephesos VI, 2062–3. There may have been something of a family tradition of involvement in this project since the prytanis Hiero Aristogiton, son of Hiero, who also constructed a vault of the theatre according to I.Ephesos VI, 2033, could be an ancestor of Montanus.

11 I.Ephesos VI, 2061: I–II. Pflaum, H. G., Les carrières procuratoriennes équestres sous le Haut-Empire romain (Paris 1960) 156–8, dates Lentulus to the reign of Trajan, some time after 106.

12 The interpretation of this phrase is unclear from the context, but it may be illuminated perhaps by comparison with I.Ephesos V, 1486 where the same phrase occurs in a letter of Hadrian to the gerousia of the city. There, ta dikaia is used in connection with a decision of the proconsul of Asia that certain money owed to the gerousia had to be repaid.

13 Nollé, J., Nundinas instituere et habere. Epigraphische Zeugnisse zur Einrichtung und Gestaltung von ländlichen Märkten in Afrika und in der Provinz Asia (Hildesheim 1982) 66–7 = PIR 1 F323. Another possible connection, proposed by Ramsay (n. 4 above) 96–7, between the family of Flavius Montanus and a M. Antonius Hiero appears to be unlikely on present evidence as there is no sign of Antonius as a family nomen.

14 I.Ephesos III, 698.

15 I.Ephesos III, 714. Her name is not preserved but she is described as the niece of P. Aelius Tundianus. This man is not otherwise known but it may well be more than a coincidence that the rare cognomen, Tundianus, appears on coins of Acmonia from the time of Pius, Antoninus and Aurelius, Marcus (Catalogue of the Coins in the British Museum, Phrygia pp.1213). The rank of Rupillius' wife is not certain because the text is broken. If hypatikēn is the correct restoration, it is not clear how the archiereia achieved this rank since Rupillius her husband is not described as a man of senatorial rank.

16 IGR IV, 906: Ti. Claudius Polemo and Ti. Claudius Deioterianus, the father and uncle of Claudius Orestianus are both so designated.

17 IGR IV, 883, 907, 909 = PIR 2 C963.

18 On the couple as archiereis of Asia see n. 42 below. Honorary titles of adoption such as this were reserved for leading families and generous benefactors of the cities (Robert, L., in Laodiceé du Lycos: le Nymphée, des Gagniers, J. et al. eds (Quebec 1969) 317–21).

19 See the stemma PIR 2 C947.

20 Magie (n. 7 above) 241–2.

21 Individuals who represent other families with similar preeminence in more than one province are attested: asiarch and bithyniarch (OGIS 525) and bithyniarch and pontarch (IGR III, 69, 90).

22 Summaries of the main lines that the discussion has taken, together with references may be found in Chapot, V., La province romaine proconsulaire d'Asie depuis ses origines jusqu'à la fin du haut-empire (Paris 1904) 468–82, Magie (n. 7 above) 1298–1301 and Deininger, J., Die Provinziallandtage der römischen Kaiserzeit von Augustus bis zum Ende des 3. Jahrhunderts n. Chr. (Munich 1965) 3850.

23 Deininger (n. 22 above) 44; Rossner (n. 4 above) 106–7.

24 Burton, G. P., “The Curator Rei Publicae: Towards a Reappraisal”, Chiron 9 (1979) 471; Knibbe, D. & Alzinger, W., “Ephesos vom Beginn der römischen Herrschaft in Kleinasien bis zum Ende der Principatszeit”, ANRW II, 7.2 (Berlin 1980) 773; Price, S. R. F., Rituals and Power (Cambridge 1984) 6263.

25 Guiraud, P., Les assemblées provinciates dans l'empire romain (Paris 1887) 103–4; Chapot (n. 22 above) 479–80; Deininger (n. 22 above) 49–50.

26 Strabo, , The Geography 14.2.42.

27 The Acts of the Apostles 19.31.

28 Deininger (n. 22 above) 41–2, 50.

29 Rossner (n. 4 above) 106 n. 34. Halfmann (n. 3 above) 149 objects to Rossner's chronology, but see n. 42 below where her view is confirmed.

30 Ibid. However, she did observe elsewhere (ibid, 124) that there were in fact several generations among the asiarchs of this family.

31 Lightfoot, J. B., Apostolic Fathers, S. Ignatius and S. Polycarp vol. 3 (London, 2nd ed. 1889) 414–5; Chapot (n. 22 above) 480; Taylor, L. R., “The Asiarchs”, in The Beginnings of Christianity Pt. 1 Vol. 5, Foakes-Jackson, F. J. and Lake, K. eds (London 1933) 260; Deininger (n. 22 above) 46.

32 Deininger (n. 22 above) 38.

33 Taylor (n. 31 above) 261.

34 Guiraud (n. 25 above) 105–6; Larsen, J. A. O., Representative Government in Greek and Roman History (Berkeley 1955) 119–20; Deininger (n. 22 above) 46; Rossner (n. 4 above) 106–7.

35 It is true, nevertheless, that the date could vary by as much as a year according to Eck, W., “Jahres- und Provinzialfasten der senatorischen Statthalter von 69/70 bis 138/39”, Chiron 12 (1982) 320. (Even if the proposal of Syme, R., “P. Calvisius Ruso. One Person or Two?”, ZPE 56 (1984) 173–91, that P. Calvisius Ruso the younger was proconsul of Asia in 97/98 should be correct and actually apply to the Ephesian inscription, it would not shift the date of Aristio beyond the end of the first century.)

36 Only Deininger (n. 22 above) 42 n. 1 has sought to post-date Ti. Claudius Aristio to the reign of Trajan. I.Ephesos II, 461 also appears to date the combined grammateia of the demos and asiarchy of Aristio to the proconsulship of P. Calvisius Ruso but its original location is unknown. The combination seen here in Claudius Aristio, of city magistracy and asiarchy, is a frequent feature in inscriptions and on coins Rossner (n. 4 above) 106.

37 IGR IV, 907.

38 The word can be used with a range of meanings such as, for example, son, grandchild, or descendant (Gregory, T. E., “Roman Inscriptions from Aidepsos”, GRBS 20 (1979) 260).

39 IGR IV, 912. The resulting relationships indicate that in this inscription ekgonē should be translated “grandchild” while in IGR IV, 907ekgonos was used in the broader sense of “descendant”.

40 PIR 2 C947 where this group forms only part of a considerably larger stemma.

41 IGR IV, 908.

42 Habicht, C. and Wörrle, M., Altertümer von Pergamon VIII.3: Die Inschriften des Asklepieons (Berlin 1969) p. 159. This has already been noted by Cagnat, , IGR IV, 908 n. 2. For the view that one term for the husband and one for the wife is being referred to, rather than two terms of office for the husband only, see Kearsley, R. A., “Asiarchs, Archiereis, and the Archiereiai of Asia”, GRBS 27 (1986) 189. While it is true that Groag and Stein (n. 40 above) did not discuss chronology, in their stemma and also in the later stemma of Halfmann (n. 3 above) 150, Marcia Lycia was placed as the sister of a Marcius Deiotarianus, lyciarch and military tribune who, in turn, was shown to be the great-grandfather of Orestianus. Halfmann (n. 3 above) 149 dated Orestianus' father, Polemo, to the reign of Marcus. This reconstruction of the relationships depends on the identification of the lyciarch Marcius Deioterianus recorded at Cibyra with the T. Marcius Quirina Deiotarianus, tribune of Legio XXII Primigenia and the son of Marcius Titianus, who is documented in Lycia, (IGR III, 472; 500, col. III, 11. 28–30). Such an identification, however, does not conform to the available evidence. Apart from the fact that it is not known whether the praenomen of the Cibyran Deioterianus was the same as that of the military tribune or not, the offices attributed to the two are entirely different. T. Marcius Deiotarianus is only described as tribune, not lyciarch, while Deioterianus of Cibyra is described in two separate inscriptions as lyciarch (IGR IV, 907, 912) but there is never any indication that he undertook military service or was of equestrian status. Even if the absence of the title lyciarch for T. Marcius Deiotarianus were attributed to the fact that he had not yet obtained the position as Dittenberger suggests (OGIS 495 n. 8), no explanation is forthcoming as to why in the Cibyran texts, one at least of which must have been inscribed towards the very end of his lifetime, the Cibyran Deioterianus is not described as either tribune or eques. Equestrian status is only accorded to his two grandsons in one of the two inscriptions bearing his name. However, the point which must carry most weight against any identification of the two men is a chronological one. The Cibyran inscriptions, IGR IV, 907–8, 912 provide evidence for an indisputable set of relationships stretching over five generations, the later end of which is firmly rooted in the early-second century. It is simply not possible for T. Marcius Deiotarianus, and his sister who married a lyciarch of 115 (n. 3 above), to have lived four generations earlier than Orestianus who served as archiereus of Asia in Pergamum c. 114. Marcius Deioterianus the lyciarch can only be an ancestor of T. Marcius Deiotarianus the tribune as well as of Cl. Celsus Orestianus.

43 A span of roughly this scale is proposed as a reasonable working unit by Broadbent, M., Studies in Greek Genealogy (Leiden 1968) 8–1. It is used implicitly by Macro, A.D., “A Confirmed Asiarch”, AJPh 100 (1979) 97 in his study of the Ulpii Carminii of Attuda and Aphrodisias.

44 Paul in Ephesus c. 52–7: Perowne, S., The Journeys of St. Paul (London 1973) 75. The composition of Acts by c. 70: Marshall, I. Howard, The Acts of the Apostles. An Introduction and Commentary (Leicester 1980) 46–8 although there has been much difference of opinion in the past and later dates have often been maintained.

45 Deininger (n. 22 above) 49–50.

46 IGR IV, 907.

47 Chapot (n. 22 above) 472; Deininger (n. 22 above) 46.

48 See, for example, Chapot (n. 22 above) 479–80; Magie (n. 7 above) 450, 1298–9.

49 Kearsley (n. 42 above) 183–92.

50 Other aspects of the asiarchy, such as its frequent association with magistracies of the cities (n. 36 above) demand detailed treatment. A separate study of this problem is foreseen in the future.

* I wish to thank Dr. G. H. R. Horsley and Professor E. A. Judge for their helpful comments on a draft of this paper.

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A leading Family of Cibyra and some Asiarchs of the first century*

  • R. A. Kearsley (a1)


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