THE EPIGRAPHICAL SCIENCE AS A RESOURCE FOR ROMAN LYDIA AND PHRYGIA ANAPLASIS (IV)


(BEING CONTINUED FROM 20/04/16)

I.3. Cult Associations An impressive number of cult associations are on record in Roman Lydia and Phrygia.94 All these associations occupied with the religious and material aspects of the sanctuary and composed mostly of individuals of a certain prestige and a certain level of economic ease, were involved in the economic and administrative functioning of the sanctuary, working closely with its personnel. In addition to functioning as social and funerary clubs,95 cult associations voted honours for their own distinguished members and priests of their tutelary divinities,96 set up altars and statues out of their own funds,97 collected donations for the sanctuaries (?),98 erected buildings for their use,99 celebrated festivals,100 and made contributions to cult practice by publishing cult rules.101 They had their own funds and officials.102 At times they themselves appear as objects of devotion and recipients of dedications. The classic cult association of Lydia is the image (also found in Phrygia and northern Pisidia)103 and in Phrygia theimage  The question of the true meaning of the last term has produced a lively controversy but, as Th. Drew-Bear and Chr. Naour have convincingly shown,105 the word bennos means “cult association”. It is found in the cults of Zeus Bennios, Zeus Bronton, Zeus Kalagathios, and Men. At the head of a bennos stood a bennarches. 106 Another well-known Phrygian cult association is that of Xenoi Tekmoreioi. It had its centres at Sagır and Kumdanlı north of Antiocheia ad Pisidiam, and its members worshipped Artemis of Limnai and the Roman emperors.107

II. TEMPLE ECONOMY

II.1. Patrimony

II.1.1. Land

The essential base of any sanctuary’s patrimony, forming its territory, was made up of the lands in its possession. Sacred land should not be imagined as a homogenous block in either extent or use; instead, this property was geographically fragmented and comprised several discrete sections. Lydian sanctuaries possessed arable land,108 woods and groves,109 vineyards,110 uncultivated plots,111 and probably also meadows and gardens. Inscriptions supply abundant evidence of the important part played by the rural population in the acquisition of these possessions, proving that sanctuaries and their upkeep were to a very high degree dependent on the private generosity of locals.112

Moreover, gods often made open demands upon worshippers’/transgressors’ landed property, addressing themselves even to the heirs of the deceased ones and coming into possession of tracts of land, woods, vineyards, houses, plots, etc. Although we do not have any information about the purchase of land by sanctuaries, it is a reasonable supposition that this also occurred. A confession inscription113 represents a rural sanctuary of Men Axiottenos as the local granary and storehouse: people came to the temple to borrow corn – advances which they repaid with interest if they defaulted.114 A recently published sacred regulation from the territory of Silandos contains strict prohibitions issued by the god Men to ofl ‡dioi against selling or mortgaging any of his possessions.115 The new inscription is more a lex sacra than a confession inscription.

A concrete transgression and punishment inflicted on a group of people guilty of mismanagement of his property induced the offended divinity to publicize new rules regulating the management and maintenance of his sacred property.116 Vaguely referred to as the gods ‡dioi in line 3 (members of the senior temple personnel?), the transgressors suffered an unspecified punishment and then erected the stele as a part of the atonement process. The god forbade them to sell and mortgage any of his assets. It is not impossible that in this case Men had in mind not only the land and other immovable property, but also the people attached to the sanctuary.117

 

(TO BE CONTINUED)

MARIJANA RICL /UNIVERSITY OF BELGRADE

Dedicated to the Memory of Professor Peter Herrmann (1927–2002)

NOTES

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SOURCE  aus: Epigraphica Anatolica 35 (2003) 77–101
Dr. Rudolf Habelt GmbH, Bonn

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