Skip to main content Accessibility help
Hostname: page-component-544b6db54f-4nk8m Total loading time: 0.339 Render date: 2021-10-23T12:35:38.415Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true, "newUsageEvents": true }

The Statue Monument of Oecumenius: A New Portrait of a Late Antique Governor from Aphrodisias*

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 March 2012

R. R. R. Smith*
Lincoln College, Oxford


Ancient portraits are best interpreted with their busts or statue bodies and in the contexts in which they were set up and experienced, but such fully preserved monuments are not common. This article is the first publication of a new late antique portrait from Aphrodisias in Caria that has a statue body, an inscribed base, and a precise ancient setting. It was set up in honour of a provincial governor named Oecumenius, and his chlamydatus statue is now the most complete example around which others of this characteristic type of late antique statue can be understood. The monument also has wider connections outside Aphrodisias and raises interesting problems of historical interpretation in the period around a.d. 400.

Copyright © R. R. R. Smith 2002. Exclusive Licence to Publish: The Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)



For comments, references, and discussion relating to various aspects of this new find, I am most grateful to friends and colleagues, in particular: Angelos Chaniotis, Catherine Draycott, Julia Lenaghan, Cyril Mango, Marlia Mango, Fergus Millar, Simon Price, Chris Ratté, and Charlotte Roueché. For generous help with plans, drawings, and photographs, I warmly thank M. Ali Döğenci, Cécile Evers, Reinhard Förtsch, Kutalmiş Görkay, Irene Lemos, Harry Mark, Jutta Meischner, and Robert Wilkins.

The following abbreviations are used:

Aurea Roma = S. Ensoli and E. La Rocca (eds), Aurea Roma: Dalla città pagana alia città cristiana (Exhib. Rome, 2000)

AJA 1995 = R. R.R. Smith and C. Ratté, ‘Archaeological research at Aphrodisias in Caria, 1993’, AJA 99(1995), 33–58

AJA 1996 = R. R. R. Smith and C. Ratté, ‘Archaeological research at Aphrodisias in Caria, 1994’, AJA 100(1996), 5–33

AJA 1997 = R. R. R. Smith and C. Ratté, ‘Archaeological research at Aphrodisias in Caria, 1995’, AJA 101 (1997), 1–22

AJA 1998 = R. R. R. Smith and C. Ratté, ‘Archaeological research at Aphrodisias in Caria, 1996’, AJA 102 (1998), 225–50

AJA 2000 = R. R. R. Smith and C. Ratté, ‘Archaeological research at Aphrodisias in Caria, 1997 and 1998’, AJA 104(2000), 221–53

ALA = C. Roueché, Aphrodisias in Late Antiquity (1989)

Grabar, Byzantium = A. Grabar, Byzantium: From the Death of Theodosius to the Rise of Islam (1966)

IR I = J. Inan and E. Rosenbaum, Roman and Early Byzantine Portrait Sculpture from Asia Minor (1966)

IR II = J. Inan and E. Alföldi-Rosenbaum, Römische und frühbyzantinische Porträtplastik aus der Türkei: Neue Funde (1979)

Jones, LRE = A. H. M. Jones, The Later Roman Empire (1964)

JRS 1999 = R. R. R. Smith, ‘Late antique portraits in a public context: honorific statuary at Aphrodisias in Caria, A.D. 300–600’, JRS 89 (1999), 155–89

Ratté = C. Ratté, ‘New research on the urban development of Aphrodisias in Late Antiquity’, in D. Parrish (ed.), Urbanism in Western Asia Minor: New Studies on Aphrodisias, Ephesos, Hierapolis, Pergamon, Perge and Xanthos, JRA Supplement 46 (2001), 116–47

Ševčenko = I. Ševčenko, ‘A late antique epigram and the so-called Elder Magistrate from Aphrodisias’, Synthronon: Art et archéologie de la fin de l'antiquité et du moyen age, recueil d'études, Bibliothèque des Cahiers Archéologiques 2 (1968), 29–41

Volbach = W. F. Volbach, Elfenbeinarbeiten der Spätantike und frühe Mittelalters (3rd edn, 1976)

Unless otherwise stated, photographs are from the Archive of the New York University Excavations at Aphrodisias.


1 It is part of a project studying public statue practice in the city in the Roman and late Roman periods that comes from research undertaken at Aphrodisias by New York University since 1991 which aims to document the excavations undertaken by K. T. Erim between 1961 and 1990 (see AJA 1995–98 and 2000). Earlier studies include: Smith, R. R. R., ‘Late Roman philosopher portraits from Aphrodisias’, JRS 80 (1990), 127–55;Google ScholarCultural choice and political identity in honorific portrait statues in the Greek East in the second century A.D.’, JRS 88 (1998), 5693;Google ScholarJRS 1999; ‘A late Roman portrait and a himation statue from Aphrodisias’, in Friesinger, H. and Krinzinger, F. (eds), 100 Jahre Österreichische Forschungen in Ephesos: Akten des Symposions Wien 1995 (1999), 713–19Google Scholar; ‘A portrait monument for Julian and Theodosius at Aphrodisias’, in Reusser, Chr. (ed.), Griechenland in der Kaiserzeit: Neue Funde und Forschungen zu Skulptur, Architektur und Topographie (2001), 125–36Google Scholar.

2 Ratté, 116–47; cf. Liebeschuetz, J. H. W. G., Decline and Fall of the Roman City (2001), 36–7Google Scholar.

3 JRS 1999, 171–3, figs 7, 10–11; Ratté, 126–9.

4 Recent work reported in: AJA 1996, 9–13; AJA 1997, 1–6; AJA 1998, 233–5; AJA 2000, 230–5.

5 AJA 1996, 9–13; van Voorhis, J. A., The Sculptor's Workshop at Aphrodisias, PhD dissertation, New York University (1999)Google Scholar.

6 ALA, no. 43; Ratté, 134–5.

7 Base: ALA, no. 56. Statue: IR I, no. 244. Reconstruction: JRS 1999, 167–8, fig. 8, pl. IV.

8 IR II, nos 186–7, with reconstructions in Smith, op. cit. (n. 1, 1998), 66–8, figs 1–2.

9 For the setting: here Pls X and XI, 3. Statues and reconstructions: JRS 1999, 162–7, figs 5–7.

10 Erim, K. T., Aphrodisias: City of Venus-Aphrodite (1986), 71–3Google Scholar; Ratté, 129–30. The complex is currently being studied by M. Berenfeld.

11 Gros, P., ‘Les nouveaux éspaces civiques du début de l'Empire en Asie Mineure: les examples d'Ephèse, Iasos, et Aphrodisias’, in Aphrodisias Papers 3 (1996), 112–20,Google Scholar at 118.

12 AJA 1995, 43–52, for date of temple-church conversion, based on coin finds; Ratté, 130–3.

13 Erim, op. cit. (n. 10), 73, with fig.; Campbell, S., ‘Signs of prosperity in the decoration of some 4th–5th c. buildings at Aphrodisias’, in Aphrodisias Papers 3 (1996), 187–99,Google Scholar at 190–2, figs 7 (three Graces) and 8 (Victory). The study of Michelle Berenfeld (above, n. 10) will present archaeological arguments to date the paintings in the later fourth century (contra, Campbell, 192: ‘sixth, possibly seventh century’). On possible resonances of these images, see below, nn. 63 and 70.

14 Erim, op. cit. (n. 10), 71; Ratté, 129; Lavan, L., ‘Late antique governors' palaces: a gazeteer’, Antiquité Tardive 7 (1999), 135–64,CrossRefGoogle Scholar at 149–51; idem, ‘The praetoria of civil governors in late antiquity’, in Lavan, L. (ed.), Recent Research in Late-Antique Urbanism, JRA Supplement 42 (2001), 3956Google Scholar.

15 Some examples of ‘combed’ hair. (I) Istanbul ‘Arcadius’: IR II, no. 82; (2) Brussels head, here Pl. XXIV, 1: IR II, no. 204; (3) Getty head: H. Jucker and D. Willers (eds), Gesichter: griechische und römische Bildnisse aus Schweizer Besitz (1982), no. 95A. The hair on the crown of the new head, though less well finished, is in principle most like the flat-chiselled hair of, for example, IR II, nos 196 (Aphrodisias), 194–5 (Ephesus).

16 The following two late Aphrodisian portraits, of probably the mid- to later fourth (rather than fifth) century have similar eye formations to the new head, without a separately engraved iris: (1) unfinished togatus: IR II, no. 195; (2) bust of ‘sophist’: Smith, op. cit. (n. 1, 1990), 148–50, no. 11, pls XV–XVI. For examples of fifth-century eye technique: ibid., 135, pls VI–XIV; JRS 1999, 184, pls VI–IX.

17 Slender noses, a few examples from many. (1) Istanbul ‘Arcadius’: IR II, no. 82; (2) Eutropius from Ephesus: IR I, no. 194; (3) new head from Ephesus: Aurenhammer, M., ‘Drei neue Porträtköpfe von der Tetragonos Agora in Ephesos’, ÖJh 69 (2000), 1733,Google Scholar at 25–33, figs 13–18. A period feature common also in the West: L'Orange, H. P., Studien zur Geschichte des spätantiken Porträts (1933), figs 192–3 (Munich), 194–5 (Terme)Google Scholar; Aurea Roma, nos 200 (‘Honorius’), 201 (Munich), 202 (Capitoline), 203 (Terme).

18 Clean-shaven, some examples. (1) Unfinished togatus, Aphrodisias: IR II, no. 195; (2) head fragment, Aphrodisias: IR II, no. 196; (3) chlamydatus bust, Thessaloniki: L'Orange, H. P., ‘Der subtile Stil: eine Kunstströmung aus der Zeit um 400 nach Christus’, AntK 4 (1961), 6874,Google Scholar pl. 27, J a nd 3; and (4) two clean-shaven togati from the ‘Temple of Minerva Medica’, Rome: M. Cima (ed.), Restauri nei Musei Capitolini le sculture della sala dei magistrati e gli originali greci della sala dei monumenti archaici (1995), 125–35; Aurea Roma, nos 12–13; for the provenance of these two statues, see now Coates-Stephens, R., ‘Muri dei bassi secoli in Rome: observations on the re-use of statuary in walls found on the Esquiline and Caelian after 1870’, JRA 14 (2001), 217–38Google Scholar. On fourth-century portrait norms, see recently: M. Bergmann, ‘Il ritratto imperiale e il ritratto privato: 1'evoluzione delle forme’, in Aurea Roma, 237–43, at 239–4.

19 G. Bruns, Der Obelisk und seine Basis auf dem Hippodrom zu Konstantinopel (1935); Kiilerich, B., ‘The obelisk base in Constantinople: court art and imperial ideology’, ActaAArtHist 10 (1998), 1194,Google Scholar at 96–101 (date), 105–11 (attribution to an Aphrodisian workshop).

20 IR 205.

21 IR II, no. 200.

22 IR II, no. 204.

23 IR I, no. 134 (now lost).

24 IR 154.

25 Meischner, J., ‘Das Porträt der theodosianischen Epoche, II: 400 bis 460 n. Chr.’, Jdl 106 (1991), 385407,Google Scholar at 388, pl. 88.3.

26 Kranz, P., ‘Ein Bildnis frühtheodosianischen Zeit in der Sammlung George Ortiz bei Genf’, AA (1979), 76103, at 86, fig. 6.Google Scholar

27 IR II, no. 304.

28 107.

29 Kranz, op. cit, (n. 26); Jucker and Willers, op. cit. (n. 15), no. 95; G. Ortiz, In Pursuit of the Absolute: Art of the Ancient World, the George Ortiz Collection (1996), no. 248.

30 Kranz, op. cit. (n. 26), 89–102.

31 Cyprus Museum, Nicosia, Inv. E 487. Marble, without visible crystalline structure. H: 27.5 cm. Find report: Munro, J. A. R. and Tubbs, J. A., ‘Excavations in Cyprus, 1890. Third season's work: Salamis’, JHS 12 (1891), 59198, at 99–101Google Scholar, on the find context, with pl. VII A (= plan of Site F, ‘the Atrium’), and 145–6, no. 1, on the objects recovered: ‘The finds were not of much importance, but ranged from the latest period to a very early date. A few may be mentioned: (1) A marble portrait head of a bearded man. Life size, style of the Roman imperial period. Realistic work, truculent expression’ (145–6). Later bibliography: Vessberg, O., ‘Roman portrait art in Cyprus’, Opuscula Romana 1 (1954), 160–5Google Scholar, a 165, figs 12–13 (early fifth century); Vessberg, O. and Westholm, A., Swedish Cyprus Expedition IV.3: The Hellenistic and Roman Periods in Cyprus (1956), 103, pl. 20, 3–4Google Scholar; Karageorghis, V. and Vermeule, C. C., Sculpture from Salamis II (1966), 31–3,Google Scholar no. 103, pl. 18 (c. A.D. 400); Vermeule, C. C., Greek and Roman Cyprus: Art from Classical through Late Antique Times (1976), 119–20Google Scholar (c. A.D. 400, possibly of Hadrian); Kranz, op. cit, (n. 26), 84, figs 4 and 11.

32 Herodes and circle: G. M. A. Richter, Portraits of the Greeks (1965), III, 286–7; Walker, S., ‘A marble head of Herodes Atticus from Winchester City Museum’, AntJ 69 (1989), 324–6;Google ScholarMeyer, H., ‘Vibullius-Polydeukion: ein archäologisch-epigraphischer Problemfall’, AM 100 (1985), 393404Google Scholar. Others: Dillon, S., ‘The portraits of a civic benefactor of 2nd c. Ephesos’, JRA 9 (1996), 261–74;Google Scholar K. Fittschen, ‘Courtly portraits of women in the era of the adoptive emperors and their reception in Roman society’, in D. E. E. Kleiner and S. B. Mathieson (eds), I Claudia: Women in Ancient Roman Society (1996), 42–8, esp. at 46.

33 K. Fittschen and P. Zanker, Katalog der römischen Porträts in den Capitolinischen Museen und den anderen Kommunalen Sammlungen der Stadt Rom (1983–5) I, no. 126, with Beil. 95, for three versions of an imperial portrait type of the later fourth century (Valentinian or Valens?); ibid., III, no. 39, for three versions of a late empress portrait type (‘Ariadne’); Aurea Roma, nos 269–71.

34 P. Bruun, ‘Notes on the transmission of imperial images in Late Antiquity’, Studia Romana in honorem P. Krarup (1976), 122–31.

35 Some examples. Pindar and Alexander: Smith, op. cit. (n. 1, 1990), 132–8, nos 1–2, pls VI–IX. Menander: Richter, op. cit. (n. 32), 222–33, nos 3, 9, 46–7 (Aphrodisias, Capitoline, Konya, Ephesos). These and others are well discussed by P. Zanker, The Mask of Sokrates: The Image of the Intellectual in Antiquity (1995), 320–7: ‘Late Roman copies: new faces on old friends’.

36 Cyprus, consularis: Jones, LRE, 1459. Salamis-Constantia, metropolis of Cyprus from mid-fourth century: Hill, G., A History of Cyprus I (1940), 249–50;Google Scholar Pauly-Wissowa, s.v. Constantia. It might be tentatively suggested from the new evidence presented here that the ‘Atrium’ at Site F, a late Roman mansion, where the head was found (above, n. 31), was the governor's residence. For a parallel career promotion, praeses in Lycia, later consularis on Cyprus: below, n. 76.

37 Inv. 65–199. Erim, K. T., ‘Two new early Byzantine statues from Aphrodisias’, DOP 21 (1967), 285–6,Google Scholar no. 2, fig. 2, JRS 1999, 162–5, fig. 6, pl. II.

38 Some examples. (1) Mosaic picture of Justinian and entourage, Ravenna, S. Vitale: Grabar, Byzantium, figs 171–2; (2) Vienna Genesis, courtiers before Potiphar's wife: ibid., fig. 222; (3) Rossano Gospels, Pilate and officials: ibid., fig. 232. Segmenta: JRS 1999, 176–7, with refs nn. 66–7.

39 Belt: Daremberg-Saglio, s.v. cingulum, with literary and law code references; Delbrueck, R., Die Consulardiptychen und verwandte Denkmäler. Studien zur spätantiken Kunstgeschichte II (1929), 36–7;Google Scholar H. Löhken, Ordines dignitatum. Untersuchungen zur formalen Konstitutierung der spätantiken Führungschicht (1982), 83–6; JRS 1999, 176–8.

40 Contrast the big powerful hands of an honorand of the first century A.D.: Hallett, C. H., ‘A group of portrait statues from the civic center of Aphrodisias’, AJA 102 (1998), 5989,CrossRefGoogle Scholar at 69, no. 2, figs 12–13.

41 Terror-effect of military chlamys, banned for senators in Constantinople: Theodosian Code 14.10.1. Civil service as militia: Jones, LRE, 566; Libanius refers to members of the civil administration as ‘soldiers’ (Ep. 821, 81) and ‘hoplites’ (Or. 44.2): Liebeschuetz, J. H. W. G., Antioch: City and Imperial Administration in the Late Roman Empire (1972, repr. 2000), 114, n. 3Google Scholar. Further lit. and refs: JRS 1999, 177, nn. 63 and 73.

42 Zanker, op. cit. (n. 35), 190–7, 268–84.

43 Volbach, no. 63; Kiilerich, B. and Torp, H., ‘Hic est hic Stilicho: the date and interpretation of a notable diptych’, Jdl 104 (1989), 319–71Google Scholar.

44 Kollwitz, J., Oströmische Plastik der theodosianischen Zeit (1941), nos 2–3Google Scholar; IR I, nos 242–3.

45 Examples and discussion: JRS 1999, 184–9, Pls VI–XI.

46 Bandinelli, R. Bianchi, Rome: The Late Empire. Roman Art, AD 200–400 (1970), 77–8,Google Scholar fig. 69; B. Andreae, The Art of Rome (1977), fig. 629.

47 Four well-preserved examples, in probable chronological order. (1) Thessaloniki bust: L'Orange, op. cit. (n. 18); (2) Ortiz bust: above, n. 26; (3) Tokat bust: above, n. 28; (4) Stratonikeia bust: Özgan, R. and Stutzinger, D., ‘Untersuchungen zur Porträtplastik des 5. Jhdts. n. Chr. anhand zweier neugefunden Porträts aus Stratonikeia’, IstMitt 35 (1985), 237–74Google Scholar.

48 Mosaics, manuscripts: above, n. 38. Ivory diptychs: Volbach, nos 35 (Halberstadt), 47 (Bologna), 64 (Novara).

49 Recently investigated: AJA 2000, 234–5, fig. 13.

50 After c. A.D. 300, most of the statue bases at Aphrodisias, of which enough survives to tell, can be seen to be made from re-cycled components. About ten were made from re-used column parts (ALA, nos 8, 20, 23–7, 64, 82, 86). More were made from old statue bases, and of these about twelve from re-cycled tall panelled shafts of the high imperial period of the kind used for Oecumenius' statue (ALA, nos 14, 16, 21,31 = Oecumenius' base, 33, 37, 41, 56, 65, 73, 86, 88).

51 Seen, for example, on the plinth of a late himation statue found near Geyre in 1989: JRS 1999, 181, pl. V, 2.

52 Ševčenko, 30; ALA, no. 31.

53 Ševčenko, 29–41.

54 Ševčenko, 36–8. The two statues: above, n. 44.

55 Above, n. 8. On the crown: cf. Rumscheid, J., Kranz und Krone: Zu Insignien, Siegespreisen und Ehrenzeichen der römischen Kaiserzeit, Istanbuler For-schungen 43 (2000), 32–4, pls 4.2–4, 5.1.Google Scholar

56 Ševčenko, 30–6, drawing on Robert, L., Hellenica IV: Epigrammes du Bas-Empire (1948).Google Scholar

57 JRS 1999, 185–9.

58 Poulsen, V., Les portraits romains I (1973), no. 1;Google Scholar L. Giuliani, Bildnis und Botscahft: hermeneutische Untersuchungen zur Bildniskunst der römischen Republik (1986), 56–100: ‘Pompeius, der leutselige Kriegsheld’.

59 Smith, R. R. R., ‘The public image of Licinius I: sculptured portraits and imperial ideology in the early fourth century’, JRS 87 (1997), 170202Google Scholar.

60 IR I, no. 239; Smith, op. cit. (n. I, 1998), 84, pls V, 4; XIII, 2. Other and later portraits with a slight smile, especially when seen in profile are (1) a head from Ephesus in Izmir: IR I, no. 188 (‘Constantinian’); and (2) the chlamydatus bust in Thessaloniki: above, n. 18.

61 ALA, no. 32 (Alexander): quoted below, n. 63. I.Ephesos 1310 (Stephanus): ‘To straight-judging Stephanus, after the labour of his pure administration, the whole city set up this marble statue. It is fitting that he was born as a fortunate child to Naxos, who nourished ivy-crowned Bacchus to (sc. bring) joy (es euphrosynēn)’, with further refs and discussion in Feissel, D., ‘Vicaires et proconsuls d'Asie du IVe au Vie siècle: remarques sur l'administration du diocèse asianique du bas-empire’, Antiquité Tardive 6 (1998), 91104,CrossRefGoogle Scholar at 98. Feissel's translation of euphrosynē as ‘la rejouissance’ captures the combination of pleasure and delight that the word connotes — better than ‘good cheer’, ‘joy’, or ‘rejoicing’, which have different and later overtones. See also I.Ephesos 555 (Eulalios); G. Kaibel, Epigrammata Graeca ex lapidibus conlecta (1878), 1055 (Philippopolis, Syria); interesting further texts and material in Manganaro, G., ‘La dea della casa e la euphrosyne nel basso impero’, Arch Class 12 (1960), 189207;Google Scholar L. Robert, BullEpig 1973, 380; Roueché, ALA, pp. 56–7, with further refs.

62 Text in IR II, no. 107 (J. R. Reynolds); cf. Rumscheid, op. cit. (n. 55).

63 ALA, no. 32: ‘A marble image of the just Alexander the mother of Phrygia sent here to the mother of Caria, (as) an undying mark of his god-like rule; but all words fall short of the man's good cheer (euphrosynē)’. It is worth recalling that Euphrosyne was one of the three Graces, and was represented in a large wall-painting with her sisters in the ‘Bishop's Palace’, the residence located immediately behind the statues of Alexander and Oecumenius: above, n. 13.

64 Another example from the immediate context may be cited. The phrase ‘full of (knowledge of) laws’ (nomōn plēthonta) inscribed at the beginning of the text on Oecumenius’ base no doubt picked up and echoed the phrase on Dometeinus' base (n. 62) where his role as ‘the law-maker’ (ton nomothetēn) is emphasized. The late Roman governor was thus placed in a local tradition of legal wisdom. For an excellent study of statue dialogue and response in a sanctuary in an earlier period: Hölscher, T., ‘Die Nike der Messenier und Naupaktier in Olympia: Kunst und Geschichte im späten 5. Jahrhunderts v. Chr.’, JDI 89 (1974), 70111Google Scholar.

65 PLRE I, (Oecumenius Dositheus) Asclepiodotus, on whom further below; PLRE II, Oecumenius, comes (East), A.D. 512–16; PLRE III, none. The name is no more common outside PLRE and the office-holding élite: Ševčenko, 39, nn. 80–1. Pauly-Wissowa, s.v. Oikoumenios, adds only a bishop of the fourth century and a bishop of the sixth to seventh century. LGPN so far adds only one person of related name, of the imperial period from Athens(?) (LGPN II, Julius Eutychianus ho kai Oikoumenis = SEG 30.272).

66 Ševčenko, 39–40, noting, beyond the rarity of the name, the bilingualism that the Cretan governor doubtless also had from his association with contemporary aristocracy in Rome (below, n. 68) and the old connections between Crete and Caria — neither admittedly strong arguments.

67 He is PLRE I, Asclepiodotus 2.

68 The inscriptions are: I.Creticae I, p. 256, no. 13 (Olus); IV, nos 284–5, 313–20 (Gortyn). The list of those honoured includes: Flavius Hypatius, Sextus Petronius Probus (both former praetorian prefects), Anicius Bassus (consularis of Campania), Valerius Severus, Gabinius Vettius Probianus, Anicius Paulinus, and the famous Vettius Agorius Praetextatus (all former prefects of Rome) — as well as the two statues of the governor himself and dedications to Gratian, Valentinian II, and Theodosius. For the date of these dedications, in A.D. 382–3: Novaks, D., ‘Anicianae domus culmen, nobilitatis culmen’, Klio 62 (1980), 473–93,Google Scholar at 478.

69 PLRE I, Addenda, Oecumenius 2.

70 On the committed pagan connections of the Cretan governor, see Robert, op. cit. (n. 56), 103–6, interpreting the dedication of his statue at Olus by one Ursus (above, n. 68) to the ‘Victory of the Romans’ in the light of the contemporary stand-off between the Roman Senate and the emperors (Gratian, then Valentinian II) over the Altar of Victory in the Curia in A.D. 382–4. ‘Ursus et Asklépiodotos faisaient partie du milieu où la Victoire Romaine était un signe de ralliement’ (Robert, 106). With this in mind it is worth recalling again the late antique paintings in the nearby (governor's?) residence at Aphrodisias, one of which was a flimsily clad frontal flying Victory of appropriate type: above, n. 13. For the appearance of the Victory statue in the Curia at Rome: Stutzinger, D. (ed.), Spätantike und frühes Christentum (Exhib. Frankfurt, 1983), nos 78–9Google Scholar. For Olus: Sanders, I. F., Roman Crete (1982), 141Google Scholar.

71 Ševčenko, 39; ALA, pp. 66–7, 320–1.

72 This would depend essentially on when the ‘Theodosian’ court hairstyle worn by Oecumenius and seen by us first on the obelisk base of A.D. 390–2 (PI. XXIV, 3) was introduced — that is, how much before A.D. 390. Further, below: nn. 79–81.

73 Ševčenko, 40; ALA, p. 55. Roueché (ibid., pp. 51–2) also points out the striking similarity of the unusual phrasing used in the dedication of imperial statues at Gortyn by the Cretan governor in c. A.D. 382–3 and by the powerful praetorian prefect Tatianus at Aphrodisias in A.D. 388–92. Further, below: n. 98.

74 Large numbers, short tenure: Jones, LRE, 380–7; Liebeschuetz, op. cit. (n. 41), III, tenure often less than a year at Antioch. Swaggering ex-governors: Liebeschuetz, 174–80, 186–7.

75 Above, n. 31.

76 A similar career path is attested in the mid-fourth century, for example, for a governor named Quirinus, who was praeses of Lycia before going on to be consularis perhaps of Pamphylia and certainly of Cyprus: PLRE I, Quirinus. In this period, a second govenorship at the same rank was meant to be exceptional, while a second governorship at a higher grade was not unusual: Jones, LRE, 385.

77 IR II, nos 207–8; JRS 1999, 168, 184–5, Pls X–XI. For a fuller account of this late group of portraits, c. A.D. 500: Smith, op. cit. (n. 1, 1999).

78 On the fifth-century series at Aphrodisias and elsewhere: Severin, H. G., Zur Porträtplastik des 5. Jhds. n. Chr. (1972)Google Scholar; Spätantike und frühes Christentum (1983), nos 62–72; Kranz, op. cit. (n. 26); Özgan and Stutzinger, op. cit. (n. 47); Meischner, op. cit. (n. 25); JRS 1999, 182–5; most recently, Aurenhammer, op. cit. (n. 17); Bergmann, op. cit. (n. 18).

79 ALA, nos 25–7; IR I, no. 66; JRS 1999, 162–4, figs 3–4. pl- I, 1.

80 Early diptychs: Volbach, nos 2 (Felix), 35 (Halberstadt), 54 (Bresica), 62 (Probianus), 63 (Stilicho: also above, n. 43), 64 (Novara).

81 Above, n. 19.

82 This is based on the explicit resolution given in a fragmentary manuscript of Psalm I, 3 in the Bodleian Library, Oxford: P.Grenfell II, 112 a. Fullest collection of material: J.-O. Tjäder, ‘Christ, Our Lord, born of the Virgin Mary (XMΓ and VDN)’, Eranos 68 (1970), 148–90; cf. A. Blanchard, ‘Sur quelques interpretations de ΧΜΓ’, in Proceedings of the XIV International Congress of Papyrologists, Oxford (1975), 19–24; Robinson, G., ‘ΚΜΓ and ΟΜΓ for ΧΜΓ’, Tyche 1 (1986), 175–7Google Scholar. Good discussion by Roueché, ALA, pp. 189–90, with further literature.

83 Manuscripts: n. 82. Clay pot: ALA, no. 146; cf. van Doorninck, F. M. Jr., ‘The cargo amphorae on the 7th c. Yassi Ada and 11th c. Serçe Limani shipwrecks: two examples of a re-use of Byzantine amphoras as transport jars’, in Déroche, V. and Spieser, J.-M., Recherches sur la céramique byzantine (1989), 247–57, at 250–2.Google Scholar

84 Head: above, n. 22. Inscription: ALA, no. 145.

85 Theodosian Code 16.10.21.

86 Bovini, G. and Brandenburg, H., Repertorium der christlich-antiken Sarkophage I (1967), no. 929Google Scholar.

87 M. Beard, J. North and S. Price, Religions of Rome 2: A Sourcebook (1998), 334–5.

88 This practice is however not found at Aphrodisias until considerably later. The apparently earliest such cross, on the statue base for Flacilla, c. A.D. 380, ALA no. 23, was certainly added later than the text; and the ΧΜΓ (ALA, no. 144) on the side of the statue base for the praetorian prefect Anthemius, c. A.D. 410, was also cut later, independently of the statue's text (ALA, no. 36). The earliest crosses on public monuments, contemporary with the texts they accompany, are those on building works of one Flavius Ampelius in the mid-fifth century: ALA, nos 38 (‘Agora Gate’ façade) and 42 (east city gate). On engraved crosses at Aphrodisias, cf. Trombley, F. R., Hellenic Religion and Christianization, c. 370–529 (1993), II, 54–6,Google Scholar though not accurate on the cross on ALA, no. 23. For a subtle account of the governor's role, position, and powers in relation to provincial élites: Brown, P., Power and Persuasion in Late Antiquity: Towards a Christian Empire (1992), 2034Google Scholar.

89 Length of tenure: above, n. 73. Honours at or after end of office: Horster, M., ‘Ehrungen spätantiker Statthalter’, Antiquité Tardive 6 (1998), 3759,CrossRefGoogle Scholar at 57–6.

90 Reynolds, J. M. and Tannenbaum, R. F.. Jews and Godfearers at Aphrodisias (1987)Google Scholar. Re-dating is most thoroughly argued on onomastic grounds by Chaniotis, A., ‘The Jews of Aphrodisias: new evidence and old problems’, Scripta Classica Israelica 21 (2002)Google Scholar.

91 Reynolds and Tannenbaum, op. cit. (n. 90), 6–7, Face B, lines 25, 46, 53 — chalko(tupoi), bronze-workers; line 57 — ikono(graphos?), image-painter or statue-maker; line 49 — latu(pos), stone-worker; line 51 — leu(kourgos?), marble-worker(?); line 60 — tekto(n), carpenter; with commentary, ibid., pp. 118–22.

92 von Haehling, R., Die Religionszugehörigkeit der hohen Amtsträger des römischen Retches seit Constantins I. Alleinherrschaft bis zum Ende der theodosianischen Dynastie (1978)Google Scholar.

93 cf. Trombley, op. cit. (n. 88), 54: ‘It is probable that the fourth-century governors of Caria were Hellenes (sc. pagans)’.

94 Ševčenko, 35–6.

95 Chaniotis, A., ‘Reinheit des Körpers — Reinheit des Sinnes in den griechischen Kultgesetzen’, in Assman, J. and Sundermeier, Th., Studien zum Verstehen fremden Religions, Band g: Schuld, Gewissen und Person (2000), 142–78.Google Scholar

96 Compare, for example, Momigliano, A. D. (ed.), The Conflict between Paganism and Christianity in the Fourth Century (1963)Google Scholar and Brown, op. cit. (n. 88); cf. Liebeschuetz, op. cit. (n. 41), 226, ‘no great personal animosity between pagans and Christians [at Antioch]’.

97 Roueché, ALA, pp. 50–2, 64–6, 85–97, 105; Chaniotis, A., ‘Zwischen Konfrontation und Interaktion: Christen, Juden und Heiden im spätantiken Aphrodisias’, in Ackermann, C. (ed.), Patchwork: Dimensionen multikultureller Gesellschaften (2002), 83128Google Scholar.

98 ALA, nos 25–7. The same formulation was repeated in dedications of imperial statues made by Tatianus elsewhere in the eastern provinces at the same date. At (1) Antinoopolis: OGIS 723; ILS 8809; and (2) Side: Nollé, J., Side im Altertum I, Inschriften griechischer Städte aus Kleinasien 43 (1993), 329–31,Google Scholar no. 52; cf. Scharf, R., ‘Die Familie des Fl. Eutolmius Tatianus’, ZPE 85 (1991), 223–31,Google Scholar at 225, ‘It can be guessed similar statue groups were set up in all the provincial capitals of Tatianus'; prefecture by his supporters’.

99 Beard, North and Price, op. cit. (n. 87), I, 386–8; 11, 286–7.

100 ALA, no. 37.

101 ALA, no. 64.

102 Asklepiodotos' grave stone: ALA, no. 54. Pytheas' inscribed base: ALA, no. 56. His statue and reconstructed monument: above, n. 7.

103 Athanassiadi, P., Damascius: The Philosophical History (1999)Google Scholar; Kugener, M.-A., Zacharie le scholastique: Vie de Sévère, Patrologia Orientalia II. 1 (1904, repr. 1980)Google Scholar; Trombley, op. cit. (n. 88), II, 4–15, 20–9, 52–73.

104 Above, n. 44; JRS 1999, 183, pl. VI, 4.

105 C. Mango and R. Scott, The Chronicle of Theophanes, 604–6.

106 The sources are well collected in Cabrol, F. and Leclerq, H., Dictionnaire d'archéologie chrétienne et de liturgie (1953), vol. 15, 2429–43Google Scholar, s.v. ‘tonsure’. It is however surprising how rarely the tonsure appears in late antique monuments and images: it seems to be optional even in the elaborate and careful presentation of the clergy in the presence of the emperor on the famous mosaic panel of Justinian at Ravenna (above, n. 38).

107 Discussed above, Section III.

108 Above, n. 12; Hebert, L., The Conversion of the Temple of Aphrodite into a Christian Church, PhD dissertation, New York University (2000)Google Scholar.

109 Erasing Aphrodite's name: ALA, pp. 79, 148–50. Defacing reliefs: Smith, R. R. R., ‘The imperial reliefs from the Sebasteion at Aphrodisias’, JRS 77 (1987), 88138,Google Scholar at 97–8; Ratté, 133.

110 Above, nn. 82–3.

111 IR II, no. 208, with new reconstruction in JRS 1999, 168, fig. 9, pl. X.

112 Compare the repeated formulations inscribed on statue bases set up by a praetorian prefect in this period in widely separated eastern cities: above, n. 98.

Cited by

Send article to Kindle

To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

The Statue Monument of Oecumenius: A New Portrait of a Late Antique Governor from Aphrodisias*
Available formats

Send article to Dropbox

To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

The Statue Monument of Oecumenius: A New Portrait of a Late Antique Governor from Aphrodisias*
Available formats

Send article to Google Drive

To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

The Statue Monument of Oecumenius: A New Portrait of a Late Antique Governor from Aphrodisias*
Available formats

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *