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A Note on Colonel W. M. Leake

  • Martin Ferguson Smith


In AS XXXVII (1987) 23–35 J. M. Wagstaff writes interestingly of “Colonel Leake and the Classical Topography of Asia Minor”.

Leake succeeded in identifying a large number of ancient sites in Asia Minor. Dr. Wagstaff is well aware of this and naturally enough does not make it his business to list them all. However, in view of current B.I.A.A. work at Oenoanda and Balbura in the Cibyratis, it seems worth pointing out, as a footnote to his article, that Leake was the first to identify both cities, although he never visited either of them. He identified them on the basis of epigraphical evidence collected in October 1841 by Richard Hoskyn, Master of H.M.S. Beacon, and the naturalist Edward Forbes, and his “Remarks on Mr. Hoskyn's Paper”, Journal of the Royal Geographical Society XII (1842) 162–9, may be added to Dr. Wagstaff's list of publications of the man whom Louis Robert justly described as “l'incarnation de la géographie du monde hellénique pendant la première partie du XIXe siècle”.



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1 As Wagstaff (28) points out, “Leake's first-hand knowledge of Asia Minor was limited”.

2 See Hoskyn, R., “Narrative of a Survey of Part of the South Coast of Asia Minor; and of a Tour into the Interior of Lycia in 1840–1”, Journal of the Royal Geographical Society XII (1842) 143–61. Hoskyn suggested that the city which Leake was to identify as Oenoanda might be Choma (p. 156). He further suggested that “the ruins of Katra and Huzum may probably be those of the cities of Bubon, Balbura, or Oenoanda” (p. 157), and it was Leake who pointed out that the ruins at Katra must be those of Balbura. Leake's identifications are incorporated in Hoskyn's map, which is bound in at the end of the journal.

3 CRAI (1972) 597.

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A Note on Colonel W. M. Leake

  • Martin Ferguson Smith


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