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M. Ulpius Appuleius Eurykles of Aezani: Panhellene, Asiarch and Archiereus of Asia

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 May 2015

R.A. Kearsley*
Macquarie University


The public career of M. Ulpius Appuleius Eurykles spanned most of the second half of the second century. He is recorded as a representative of his native city Aezani at the Panhellenion in Athens for the year 156/7. This was probably the last year of his four-year term. During that period Eurykles distinguished himself in the eyes of both his fellow Panhellenes and Athenian society for, after he left Athens and returned to Asia, four letters of commendation were sent on his behalf: two to Aezani and two to the koinon of Asia. A fifth letter was also directed by the Panhellenion to the emperor Antoninus Pius in which the virtues of Eurykles were drawn to his attention.

Research Article
Copyright © Australasian Society for Classical Studies 1987

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1 The following works will be cited by author’s name:Deininger, J.Die Provinziallandtage der römischen Kaiserze (Munich 1965);Google ScholarMünsterberg, R.Die Beamtennamen aufden griechischen Münzen (rep. Hildesheim 1973);Google ScholarOliver, J.H.Marcus Aurelius. Aspects of Civic and Cultural Policy in the East, Hesperia Suppl.13 (1970);Google ScholarReynolds, J.Aphrodisias and Rome (London 1982);Google ScholarRossner, M.Asiarchen und Archiereis Asias’, StudClas 16 (1974), 101–42;Google ScholarSpawforth, A.J. and Walker, S.The World of the Panhellenion I. Athens and Eleusis’, JRS 75 (1985), 78104.Google Scholar The following exceptional abbreviations are used: I. Ephesos = Die Inschriften von Ephesos 1–8 [Inschriften griechischer Städte aus Kleinasien (= IGSK) 11–17.4, Bonn 1979–84]; I.Iasos = Die Inschriften von Iasos 1–2 (IGSK 28.1–2, Bonn 1985); I. Magnesia = Kern, O.Die Inschriften von Magnesia am Maeander (Berlin 1900);Google ScholarI. Milet = Milet. Ergebnisse der Ausgrabungen und Untersuchungen seit dent Jahre 1899 (1906- ); I. Smyrna = Die Inschriften von Smyrna 1 (= IGSK 23, 1982); MAMA 9 = B., O.Mitchell, S.Potter, J. and Waelkens, M.Monumenta Asiae Minoris Antiqua vol.9: Monuments from the Aezanitis Recorded by Cox, C.W.M.Cameron, A. and Cullen, J. (London 1988).Google Scholar

2 The time of year at which the changeover of the Panhellenes occurred appears to have been shortly before the end of November (Oliver, 132). As one of the subsequent letters concerning Eurykles indicates (IGR 4, 576 = MAMA 9, P8 [n.3 below] with Oliver, 116) that 156/7 was his last year, his term must have extended from 152/3 to 156/7.

3 The Panhellenes under the archonship of Flavius Cyllus to the Aezanitans: IGR 4, 573 (= MAMA 9, P7); the Athenian Council of the Areopagus to the Aezanitans: IGR 4, 574 (= MAMA 9, P6); the Panhellenes under the archonship of Claudius Jason to the koinon of Asia: IGR 4, 576 (= MAMA 9, P8). An earlier letter to the koinon during the archonship of Flavius Cyllus has not been preserved but it is mentioned in IGR 4, 573.

4 The letter itself has not survived but the reply of the emperor has (IGR 4, 575 [= MAMA 9, P9]. It was found, along with the other three testimonials to Eurykles, inscribed on the walls of the temple of Zeus in Aezani.

5 IGR 4, 564 (= MAMA 9, P18), but compareEck, W.Epigraphische Untersuchungen zu Konsuln und Senatoren des 1.-3. Jh. n. Chr.’, Zeitschrfft für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 37 (1980), 47 n.48: ‘not before 161’.Google Scholar

6 I. Ephesos la, 25 (= OGIS 2,508 = Oliver, The Sacred Gerusia, Hesperia Suppl. 6, 93–6, no. 11), dated by the imperial titulature.

7 This is the last in the series of offices Eurykles is known to have held.

8 OGIS 2, 509 (= Reynolds, 185–9, no. 57).

9 Reynolds, 186. She prefers a date early in the decade, c.181, for the logisteia at Aphrodisias (188) and suggests (185) that several fragmentary inscriptions may also be associated with his term of office. As is the case with his logisteia of the Ephesian gerousia, the period for which Eurykles held the position in unknown.

10 Inventaire sommaire de la collection Waddington ed. Babelon, E. (Paris 1898),Google Scholar no. 5545 = Münsterberg, 155. For another coin of this type: BMC Phrygia, 24 no. 8.

11 Münsterberg, 155; Rossner, 137. Further information about Eurykles’ office-holding in Aezani itself is provided by a recently discovered inscription (Naumann, F.Ulpii von Aizanoi’, Istanbuler Mitteilungen 35 [1985], 217–26).Google Scholar

12 MAMA 9, C31n. See Macro, A.D.A Confirmed Asiarch’, AJPh 100 (1979), 94–8Google Scholarfor another such instance. For the asiarch as archiereus of Asia: Deininger, 44; Rossner, 106–7; Price, S.R.F.Rituals and Power. The Roman Imperial Cult in Asia Minor (Cambridge 1984), 60.Google Scholar

13 See, for example, I. Ephesos 7.2, 3825; IGR 4, 1236 (decrees) and I. Ephesos 2, 232–5, 237–41; 5, 1498 (dedications).

14 This is reflected in the diverse definitions of the asiarchy which have appeared over the years: Deininger, 44–5 (priesthood); Magie, D.Roman Rule in Asia Minor (Princeton 1950), 450.Google Scholar and Rossner, 107 (honorary title); Le Bas, P. and Waddington, W.H.Inscriptions grecques et latines recueillies en Asie Mineure 2 (Paris 1870), 245.Google Scholar (agonothete). Because of the difficulty of interpreting the evidence from Asia itself, some have resorted to relying heavily on comparisons with -αρχ- titles in other provinces (Deininger, 42–3) but this has been recognised as an unreliable approach to the problem because of the regional peculiarities and also the divisions of opinion which exist between specialists in those areas Mihailov, G.The Western Pontic Koinon’, Epigraphica 41 [1979], 3842.Google Scholar

15 Rossner, 105. Although it has been claimed that a particular connection between the asiarch and the koinon festival is demonstrated by the asiarch Philippus’ presidency at the games when Polycarp was martyred (Rossner, 105 n.22), the nature of the festival, whether koinon or civic, remains uncertain (Magie, op.cit. [n. 14] 450,1300; Deininger, 59). Neither can the connection be demonstrated epigraphically so far for, although those inscriptions which reveal asiarchs as the financiers of gladiatorial spectacles have been argued to do so (Robert, L.Les gladiateurs dans I’Orientgrec [Paris 1940], 270–3),Google Scholar none of them actually declares the displays were attached in any way to the koinon of Asia’s festival. As benefactors and officials of the cities as well as archiereis of Asia are documented as the providers of such spectacles (ibid. 268–70; Magie, op.cit. [n.14] 656, 1526 n.60), no information is forthcoming from that source about the asiarch’s relationship to the festival unless there is an a priori assumption that the gladiatorial shows were predominantly connected with the cult. Such, of course, amounts to an entirely circular argument. (Cf. Rossner, 103.) Certainly an asiarch does appear as agonothete of the koinon of Asia at Ephesus (I.Ephesos 3, 671) but there is no indication if this was in the same year as he was asiarch. It is only archiereis of Asia who are definitely known to have been agonothete of the koinon festival during their term of office (I. Ephesos 7.2, 3825; 3801:2 [largely restored]). Furthermore, the fact that archiereis of Asia are actually so named (see also I. Ephesos 3, 721; 6, 2061:2) indicates that asiarch was not a special title used by or awarded to the archiereus of Asia when he produced that festival as has been suggested (Merkelbach, R.Der Rangstreit der Stadte Asiens und die Rede des Aelius Aristeides tiber die Eintracht’, ZPE 32 [1978], 288).Google Scholar In fact, the only Greek festival with which an asiarch’s name can be directly associated so far is that most revered civic festival, the Great Ephesia. M. Flavius Rufus, asiarch, is the eponymous official for the 518th penteteris (I. Ephesos 4, 1130). (On the fourth century decree of Valens and Valentinus which has also been thought to link the asiarch with the koinon festival [Rossner, 102] see the alternative view of Magie, op. cit [n. 14] 450, which is to be preferred.)

16 Somewhat more than thirteen such men may be found in the list of Rossner, 112–41.

17 One of the double title-holders on whom considerable weight has been placed in the past in this respect is C. Iulius Philippus (Deininger, 44). Even in his case, however, chronological precision of the sort required to prove that he held both titles in the same year is not possible(Robert, L.Etudes anatoliennes (Paris 1937), 424–5; Magie, op.cit. [n.14] 1300).Google Scholar

18 In roughly chronological order: Ti. Cl. Aristio (I. Ephesos 2, 234, 508); Ti. Cl. Menander (I. Ephesos 3,644A [much restored]; 926A); T. Fl. Iulianus I (I. Ephesos 3, 674, 712B); M. Ulpius Damas Catullinus (I. Ephesos 6, 2067; OGIS 2, 492); P. Vedius Antoninus Sabinus (I. Ephesos 3, 732; 7.2, 4110); Ti. Iul. Reginus (I. Ephesos 5, 1604–5); Cn. Pompeius Hermippus (I. Ephesos 3, 710; 6, 2069); Aur. Athenaeus (I. Ephesos 7.1, 3057; IGR 4, 1233–4); M. Aur. Mindius Mattidianus Pollio (I. Ephesos 3, 627; OGIS 2, 525). Not all attestations of the titles occur actually at Ephesus. For example, Aur. Athenaeus is archiereus of Asia at Ephesus and asiarch at Thyatira. In general, the inscriptions are honorific in character and cannot be dated relatively but some of those bearing the name of Iul. Reginus are exceptions as they bear the number of some penteterides of the Great Ephesia. There have been attempts to use these as examples of the contemporaneous holding of the two titles (Deininger, 44) but in fact such a conclusion is beyond the scope of the evidence (Chapot, V.La province romaineproconsulate d’Asie (Paris 1904), 476–7).Google Scholar

19 Kearsley, R.A.Some Asiarchs of Ephesos’, New Documents Illustrating Early Christianity 4 (Sydney 1987), 53–4.Google Scholar

20 Stein, A.Zur sozialen Stellung der provinzialen Oberpriester’ in Epitymbion H. Swoboda dagebrach (Reichenberg1927), 300–2.Google Scholar

21 The Ephesian family of Vedii and their relatives, for example, produced many asiarchs and many archiereis of Asia and one member of the family even held both titles (I. Ephesos 7.1, pp. 76, 88-89). See I. Ephesos 3, 613, 721 for the only examples among the many office-bearers documented there who do not appear to possess Roman citizenship (cf. I. Ephesos 8.1, Wortindex: ).

22 Chapot, op. cit. (n.18) 471; Rossner, 106.

23 Many examples are collected in Münsterberg, 253 and the index to Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum. Sammlung H. v. Aulock (Berlin 1981), The designation of Iul. Dionysius as in IGR 4, 1247 is a rare exception where a formula found on coins also occurs in an inscription.

24 See, for example, Magie and Rossner, locc.citt. (n.14).

25 I. Ephesos 3, 740, 897. References in inscriptions to former asiarchs are very rare but there are two examples at least where the text has been restored convincingly with the aorist participle I Ephesos la, 21, line 240; IGR 4,1226(Thyatira). A third example (Sterrett, J.R.S.An Epigraphical Journey in Asia Minor in 1884’, Papers of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens 2 [1888], 334 no. 389),Google Scholar which is cited by C. Brandis, ‘Asiarches’, RE 2 (1896), 1568 and Chapot, op. cit, (n.18) 472, was later read as (M. Pappakonstantinou, (Athens 1895), 56 no. 85).

26 I. Ephesos 7.1, 3070; 7.2, 5101. The repetition of the office can now be demonstrated to be a feature of the asiarchy as early as the late first century B.C. (Kearsley, R.A.A Leading Family of Cibyra and Some First Century Asiarchs’, AS 38 [1988], 334,forthcoming).Google Scholar

27 IGR 4, 263 (Adramyttium).

28 I. Milet 1.9, 339a = McCabe, al., Inscriptions. Text and List: Miletus (Princeton 1984), 451.Google Scholar

29 I. Ephesos 2, 424, 435; 3, 712B; 6, 2070–1.

30 I. Ephesos 3, 653.

31 I. Ephesos la, 23; 2, 427,429, 508; 3, 613,624, 637,645,671,687,728,740,858, 897, 983; 4, 1075, 1270; 5, 1500; 6, 2039; 7.1, 3001, 3063; 7.2, 4109. IGR 1, 798 (Perinthus); 4, 1233 (Thyatira); I. Magnesia, 187; B. Theophanides, ,AD 9 (1924–25), 102–4, no. 2 (Samos).

32 Grammateis: I. Ephesos la, 23; 2, 429, 461, 508; 3, 613, 687, 858; 5, 1500; 6, 2039; 7.1, 3001.1. Magnesia, 187. Prytaneis: I. Ephesos 2, 427; 4, 1087A, 1270. Theophanides, op.cit. (n.31). Prytanis and grammateus at the same time: I. Ephesos 7.2, 4109. In the inscriptions the wording which suggests the contemporaneity of the offices is varied. Occasionally it is expressed by the phrase at other times it takes the form of a participial construction, while elsewhere again there is simply the application of two titles to the same person; then it is the context which determines the interpretation. A simple καί has not been accepted as an indication of contemporaneity without corroborating evidence. (On inscriptions with this kind of interpretative problem, see the discussion in Mihailov, op. cit. [n.14] 36–7.)

33 Münsterberg, 253; SNG op. cit. (n.23) nos. 3590–91; Chapot, op. cit. (n.18) 471; Rossner, 106. Inscriptions: I Ephesos 2,279; 3,619,664B; 4, 1017; 7.1, 3071. IGR 4, 1323, 1325.

34 The provincial archiereiai of Ephesus are discussed in Kearsley, R.A.Asiarchs, Archiereis and Archiereiai of Asia’, GRBS 27 (1986), 183–92.Google Scholar

35 Magie, op. cit. (n.14) 1519 lists only one example. Van Bremen, R.Women and Wealth’ in Images of Women in Antiquity, ed. Cameron, A. and Kuhrt, A. (London 1983), 235.Google Scholarobserves that, despite the greater freedom in public life for women which came as a result of the flourishing euergetism of civic elites in this period, certain activities which involved travelling, deliberating or voting were not undertaken by them although priesthoods and semi-religious magistracies quite commonly were. The grammateia would, of course, have fallen into the former category, and so, it is possible, did the asiarchy. On the archiereiai of Asia as functionaries in their own right, see Kearsley, op. cit. (n. 34) 191.

36 I. Ephesos 2, 508; I. Magnesia, 197.

37 I. Ephesos 5, 1500; 7.2, 4109 (much restored). IGR 4, 261 (Antandros).

38 IGR 4, 907 (Cibyra).

39 Ephesus: I. Ephesos la, 23 with Deininger, 50 n.2. Sardis: TAM 5.1, 230 with Deininger, 59–60. In the Ephesian letter the text reveals that the asiarch was indeed grammateus and asiarch at the same time. In that from Sardis only the title asiarch is used, but it is possible that the magistracy is assumed to be covered by the higher designation.

40 Theophanides, op. cit. (n.31). A passage in which the jurist Modestinus includes the asiarchy as an (Dig. has often been quoted to prove that the asiarch was the archiereus of Asia (see, for example, Deininger, 44–5, 137) but, because of interprovince differences, Modestinus’ combination of the asiarchy with two other -αρχ- titles and, by implication, other offices which are unspecified, causes uncertainty as to his real intent by the reference (Chapot, op. cit. [n.18] 468–9). The indefinite character of the word coupled with the variety of titles suggests that he may have been using (national priesthood) as a general term to cover a range of officials who might be expected to occupy priesthoods also. There is certainly specific evidence that men did hold priesthoods in the cities at the same time as they were asiarch (I. Ephesos 7.2, 4101B; Sterrett, J.R.S.An Epigraphical Journey in Asia Minor’, Papers of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens 1 (1885), 110, no. 11; I. Magnesia, 187)Google Scholar and the frequency with which the leading magistracies and the priesthoods of the cities were filled by the same people in Antioch by Pisidia has also been pointed out (Levick, B.Roman Colonies in Southern Asia Minor (Oxford 1967), 88).Google Scholar Passages like Codex Iustinianus 5.27.1 where the two categories are specifically linked, show that the same was true for the late empire as well as the early Imperial period. Such an interpretation of Modestinus’ reference explains why it is that he chose to use the verb at Dig. in the phrase is a word generally used with reference to magisterial power not that of sacred officials. Modestinus’ use of the related verb suggests that he views the asiarchy and the other offices as magistracies even if he believes the incumbents could be called a priesthood of the nation because of the frequency with which they also occupied such positions.

41 I. Magnesia 197; I. Iasos 1, 10; IGR 4, 1294 (Iulia Gordus); IGR 4, 1642 (Philadelphia); IGR 4, 1168 (Attalea).

42 On the civic functions of the logistai, see Burton, G.P.The Curator Rei Publicae: Towards a Reappraisal’, Chiron 9 (1979), 474–6, 480–1.Google Scholar He suggests that logistai were external imperial appointees to the cities until the late third century. But his conclusion is based on seven asiarchs (ibid. 468 nos. 3,11,19, 23–24,29, 32) at least five of whom may now be understood as local civic officials since they appear to have been asiarch and logistes simultaneously. Therefore, some doubt must exist about the validity of this view. (Burton’s nos. 3 and 24 should perhaps be excluded not only for chronological reasons but also because of uncertainty as to the contemporaneity of the two offices.)

43 It appears that all Panhellenes were of necessity ex-magistrates before they could qualify for election (Oliver, 134-5) and were possibly even required to have held the most high-ranking of these positions in their cities (Oliver, 92). Nevertheless, according to the analysis of Spawforth and Walker, 88–9, the Panhellenes were of relatively varied social status.

44 Spawforth and Walker, 90.

45 Although the Aezanitan inscription in which Eurykles is named as agonothete of the Deia and priest of Dionysos for life is undated, it has been plausibly proposed (Naumann, op. cit. [n.l 1] 224) that he already held these prestigious positions before being elected as Aezani’s representative at the Panhellenion. In addition, the high standing of Eurykles' father, M. Ulpius Appuleianus Flavianus, is amply documented by this same inscription and there is therefore every reason to suppose that the highest civic office would have been open to Eurykles at an early stage of his life.

46 Ti. CI. Aristio of Ephesus, for example, was archiereus of Asia in 88/9 (I. Ephesos 2, 234), asiarch in 92/3 (I. Ephesos 2, 508) and asiarch for the third time c.l 17–24 (I. Ephesos 7.2, 5101, 5113). He was probably still alive in 123 at least since a Ti. Cl. Aristio most probably his son, appears in an inscription of that date (I. Ephesos 4, 1145).

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