Version classiqueVersion mobile

Regionalism in Hellenistic and Roman Asia Minor

 | 
Hugh Elton
, 
Gary Reger

Geography, Labels, Romans, and Kilikia

Hugh Elton

Texte intégral

  • 1 IG, II2, 3430 = OGI, 357. The stone is broken on both left and right sides, intact at top and bott (...)

1An Athenian inscription has been restored to refer to an Archelaos, king of Kappadokia and Rough Kilikia1. This Archelaos was the Archelaos I who ruled Kappadokia and parts of Kilikia between 20 BC and AD 17. As restored, the dedication reads:

[ὁ] δῆμος / [βασιλέα Καπ]παδοκί[ας καὶ τῆς / τραχεία]ς Κιλικίας’A[ρχέλαον/Φι)λόπιατριν ἀρε[τῆς] / ἔνεκα.
“The people to the king of Kappadokia and Rough Kilikia, Archelaos Philopator, on account of his virtue.”

  • 2 E. g. Dessau, ILS, 2839, 2861, 2899, 7577.
  • 3 Strab. 14.5.1, cf. 14.5.1, 5.8.
  • 4 Strab. 12.1.1, 1.3, 1.4, 2.7, 2.11, 6.1; 14.3.1, 3.2, 4.2, 5.1, 5.6, 5.10, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3.
  • 5 Diod. 20.19.3; App., Mithr., 12.92; Selinus, C. Ptol. Georg., Geog., 5.8.2, 5; Seleukeia, Plin., N (...)
  • 6 Suet., Vesp., 8; Magie 1950, 574 and n ° 27. The use of the Greek tracheia is interesting; see Tow (...)

2Should Archelaos’ kingdom be restored as Rough Kilikia? It is a modern commonplace that Kilikia can be divided into two parts, the plains (Flat or Smooth Kilikia, Kilikia Pedias or Campestris) and the mountains (Rough Kilikia, Kilikia Tracheia or Aspera). These divisions, however, were not used by the Roman imperial government which only acknowledged the existence of Kilikia, a term not qualified in any way. Nor were these divisions used by the locals, who, regardless of which part they came from, simply called themselves Kilikians2. Strabo is the only early imperial source to mention Kilikia pedias, once directly, twice allusively3. Strabo is also the major source for tracheia Kilikia (or sometimes tracheotis Kilikia)4. Ptolemy also mentions Tracheia Kilikia, which he locates in the province of Pamphylia (Ptol. Georg., Geog., 5.5.3, 5.5.9). Otherwise, tracheia is used to describe a part of Kilikia in Diodorus and Appian and the region of Selinus in Ptolemy as Selinitis tracheia. The only other Kilikian use is to describe the city of Seleukeia-on-Kalykadnos as Seleukeia tracheotis or tracheia5. The divisions into Rough and Flat do not occur in other geographers, so are not part of Pliny, Pomponius Mela or Ptolemy, who simply describe the region as “Kilikia”. The only Latin case is in Suetonius’ Life of Vespasian where a list of provinces annexed by Vespasian includes “Thraciam Ciliciam,” usually emended to “Trachiam” (read in some manuscripts) because Thrake was already a province. The emendation is usually accepted, but with the exception of Strabo, this is the only attestation of the phrase to describe a unit of government6. The lack of examples, especially from epigraphy, shows that any use of Rough and Flat Kilikia is very different from precise Roman government terms like Upper and Lower Germany, terms that are used where appropriate in Ptolemy. If we do use these terms to describe units of government, then we are making distinctions which contemporaries did not.

  • 7 Cf. Bosporan inscriptions, IGRom, 1, 879, 903, 907.
  • 8 Mitchell 1994, 95-105 at 95-96, 102; cf. OGI, 349; AE, 1936, 110.
  • 9 Burnett et al. 1992, 571-574.
  • 10 Coins of Antiochos are known from Anemourion, Kelenderis, Kietis, Korykos, Sebaste, Lakanatis and (...)

3So what titles did rulers use in Kilikia? Parts of Kilikia were given by the Roman state to Kleopatra and Ptolemy of Egypt, Amyntas of Galatia, Archelaos I and II of Kappadokia and Antiochos IV of Kommagene. With the possible exception of the Archelaos inscription, no ruler used any title which included “Kilikia”. This should not be too surprising, since mention of a kingdom is almost unknown in royal inscriptions from the first centuries BC and AD7. More common are mentions of the people ruled. Thus Amyntas was described as “king and tetrarch of the Galatians,” but no inscription actually refers to Galatia as the area ruled8. This suggests a concept of kingship involving a monarch holding power in his person, not through a territory. Coins reflect the same concept, with almost all simply referring to kings without qualification, though Antiochos IV of Kommagene did describe himself as basileus with a legend on the reverse of Kommagenon9. So it should not be surprising to find little royal titulature on coins other than “king”. We have only a few coins of Archelaos I and rather more of Antiochos IV minted in Kilikia. On these, Archelaos was simply “king”, while Antiochos kept the same format as his issues in Kommagene, although replacing Kommagenon with the names of cities, Korukioton, Anemourieon, Selinousion, etc. Interestingly, Antiochos identified himself as ruler over another area, Lykaonia, with coins with the legend basileus Lukaonon, but Kilikia was not like Lykaonia and Antiochos did not see himself as ruling a coherent kingdom of Kilikia or even a distinct region, but rather as ruler of a collection of cities10.

  • 11 P. Lond. 3.1178 = (1977); Mitteis and Wilcken 1912, 156; Sullivan 1977; Dessau, ILS, 8795.

4If the kings did not describe themselves as ruling kingdoms, what did the Romans, who granted them the kingdoms, do? The royal titulature used by the Romans could be somewhat different from that used by the kings and as far as the Roman state was concerned, kings could be described as ruling over places. Thus a rescript of AD 47 from Claudius to Antiochos IV and Polemon refers to Polemon as king in Pontos and perhaps to Antiochos as king of Kommagene (though with no reference to Kilikia). But Romans also describe kings as ruling peoples and a Flavian inscription from Harmozica in Armenia mentions “Mithridates, king of the Iberians”, while many other dedications refer simply to kings with no qualification11.

  • 12 Tac, Ann., 2.42.

5Thus we should be aware of different ways to refer to the ruling authorities. Some could be termed official, i. e., the usage of the rulers themselves or the Roman state. However, we also need to consider unofficial, i. e., non-royal usages by contemporaries, such as any of the other contemporary inscriptions from Athens referring to Archelaos I (none of which mention his kingdom or people), as well as the way in which contemporary authors wrote about the kings. Caution is needed when arguing directly from literary sources. Tacitus described the Tarkondimotid king Philopator on his death in AD 17 as “king of the Cilicians” (rex Cilicum), but it is hard to know what he really had in mind. Since Philopator ruled only the cities of Hierapolis and Anazarbos, it is unlikely that “king of the Cilicians” was a contemporary title or that Tacitus thought Philopator ruled all of the Kilikians12. This raises again the problems of the political coherence of Kilikia and leads to the question of whether there was any sense in which the Romans conceived of Kilikia as a political entity.

  • 13 Shaw 1990, 199-233, 237-270; Desideri & Jasink 1990.

6Kilikia was seen by the Romans in a different sense from the kingdoms of Egypt, Galatia, Kappadokia and Kommagene. These four states were coherent kingdoms, with their own histories, dynasties and capital cities. Thus Kappadokia had its ten (or eleven) strategiai, Galatia its tetrarchies. Furthermore, each was annexed as a single province in one operation (twice in the case of Kommagene). Kilikia, however, was not a kingdom like these. This is not to deny that there were men in Kilikia who called themselves kings, but there never was a kingdom of Kilikia13.

  • 14 MacKay 1968; Staffieri 1978.
  • 15 Tarcondimotids, Strab. 14.5.18; D. C. 51.7.3-4; Syme 1995, 161-165; Sullivan 1990, 185-192; Feisse (...)
  • 16 Sullivan 1979, 6-20.
  • 17 Plut., Ant., 61.1; cf. Cass. Dio. 54.9.2 with a list of dynasteias; coins, Burnett et al. 1992, 57 (...)
  • 18 Jos., AJ, 18.5.4; probably referred to in Dessau, Dessau, ILS, 8823 and IGRom, 3, 173; Magie 1950 (...)

7From the middle of the first century BC, Kilikian political diversity is bewildering and there is still no sense of a kingdom. Besides the ruling of parts of the uplands at times by Kleopatra, Amyntas of Galatia and Archelaos I of Kappadokia, there also existed free cities such as Seleukeia-on-Kalykadnos and Kilikian dynasts ruled Olba14 and Anazarbos15. The confusion we perceive continued for a long time into the first century AD. During the early part of Tiberius’reign, Archelaos I ruled Korykos, Sebaste, and some other parts of the uplands, Tarkondimotos controlled the Amanos, Olba was independent under the Teukrid ruler Aiax and then under Polemon, and Seleukeia and Syedra were probably free cities. Archelaos was described as king, but exactly how the Kilikian rulers referred to themselves is more complicated. The priestly rulers of Olba used several different titles on their coins. Thus Aiax called himself archiereus and toparches of the Lalasseis and Kennatae and Polemon was archiereus and dynastes of the Olbans, Lalasseis and Kennatae. Later, under Nero and Galba, coins of M. Antonius Polemo, possibly the same man, described him as “king” with no qualification16. The same process of gradual promotion can be seen with Tarkondimotos, attested epigraphically first as toparches, and then as basileus, which is the only title used on his coins. The only other title we have for him is from Plutarch, who includes in a list of kings “Tarkondemos, king of upper Kilikia” (Tarkondemos o tes anô Kilikias). This use of “upper” is interesting, but I can find no other examples, or any mention of a parallel katô. Nor was “upper” a synonym for “rough”, since it referred to the Amanos mountains in the east of the region17. The same vagueness is found with Alexander, son-in-law of Antiochos IV, who ruled in Kilikia after AD 72 and was known only as “king”18.

  • 19 Magie 1950, 418 and n. 11; Bickerman 1947, 353-362.
  • 20 Syrian governors, e. g., Dessau, ILS, 918, 972, 1015+, 1055+, 2683, 8970; Rey-Coquais 1978, 61-67; (...)
  • 21 D. C. 49.22.3; cf. 53.12, mentioning Kilikia as a separate province in the settlement of 27 BC; Mi (...)
  • 22 Tac., Ann., 2.78, 80, 6.41, 12.55; Vonones, Tac., Ann., 2.4, 58, 68.
  • 23 Vibius Fronto, praefectus equitum, Tac., Ann., 2.68; Speidel 1983, 7-34; Russell 1991, 283-97.
  • 24 Syme 1995, 164-65; Keil and Wilhelm 1915, 51.

8Even beyond the kings and lesser rulers, other parts of the region were ruled directly by Rome. It is often said that Flat Kilikia was part of Syria until AD 72, after which it was united with Rough Kilikia to make a province known as Kilikia. It is probable that the lowlands to this date were run from Syria, though the evidence is meager indeed19. But even if Strabo’s Flat Kilikia is used as the unit of government, it included (at least until AD 17), the Tarkondimotid kingdom in the Amanos mountains. And here too Roman titulature was vague. In all of the contemporary evidence, the Syrian governor in charge of Kilikia was always “of Syria” and there is no mention of Kilikia in any of the surviving inscriptions20. The only later example is a remark by Cassius Dio that in 38 BC Sosius had a command (archen) in “Syria and Kilikia”21. Roman failure to acknowledge the existence of Kilikia in official titulature implies a Roman concept of region much weaker than that found in other provincial titles such as Pontus et Bithynia or Lycia et Pamphylia. But no matter how vague their job titles were, the governor of Syria was clearly the most important political figure in Kilikia. Examples of these powers are Gnaeus Calpurnius Piso in AD 19 giving orders to Kilikian reguli as part of his abortive revolt and Roman military interventions launched from Syria in 36, 52 and 72 in the kingdoms of Archelaos II and Antiochos IV. Lastly, a Roman prefect was used in AD 19 to arrest the fleeing Armenian king Vonones, who had been placed in Kilikia for safe-keeping by Germanicus22. Despite this intensive military involvement, nothing is known of the Roman garrison in Kilikia, though we might extrapolate an ala in the plains in AD 19 from the prefect who arrested Vonones23. Further evidence of Roman dominance might come from Hierapolis in the middle of the Tarkondimotid kingdom where there was a statue of a Lucius Calpurnius Piso. He has been argued to be the Piso who was governor of Syria between 4 and 1 BC, though unfortunately the undated inscription gives only the title “legatus pro praetore”24. If the date is right, we have a Roman governor commemorated in an allied kingdom, but this is only a possibility. Regardless of this case, the mix of Roman direct rule and of allied monarchs is highly confusing, but makes it hard to argue that the Romans ruled Kilikia as a political unit or even conceived of it in these terms. There was a geographical region of Kilikia, i. e. the area to the east of the Tauros but west of Syria, and a people, the Kilikians, who inhabited it. But as far as Rome was concerned, there was no state, kingdom, or political unity that might easily be defined.

  • 25 Freeman 1986, 253-275 including a review of the literature; Mitford 1979, 1230-1261.
  • 26 Freeman 1996, 91-118.
  • 27 AE, 1914, 128 = JRS, 2 (1912): 99 n ° 31, procuratori... [pr] ovinciae [Capp] adociae et Ciliciae; (...)
  • 28 Millar 1993, 56-69; Brunt 1983, 55-56.
  • 29 Strab. 12.2.7.
  • 30 Cf. Gwatkin 1930; Syme 1995, 154-159; Tac., Ann., 12.49; thanks to Gary Reger for suggesting this (...)

9The uncertain beginnings of the Republican province and the bizarre shape of the Ciceronian province have been remarked on frequently25. However, the perspective has often been that there was a logic behind Roman practice and we are dealing only with occasional deviations from “the system”26. The problem with this sort of approach, if not already evident, can be demonstrated with two inscriptions regarding an imperial administrator in Kilikia. These refer to Proculus, the Neronian procurator of Kappadokia and Kilikia27. Kappadokia was a procuratorial province between AD 17 and 72 and Proculus was thus its governing official. But where was the Kilikia he was assigned to? Proculus might have been a Roman official working in both the directly administered province of Kappadokia and the allied kingdom of Kommagene or territory of Olba. Or he might have been an official who controlled Kappadokia and the Kilikian lowlands, but was simultaneously subordinate to the legate of Syria, similar to the relationship that Judaean prefects and procurators had with the Syrian legate28. Neither relationship is unlikely, but both would throw doubt on any simple “system” of Roman government. A third choice limits his authority more. Strabo notes that when some of Kilikia was added to Kappadokia by the Romans (at an unknown date) it was done as an eleventh strategia known as Kilikia29. Could this be the explanation for Proculus’title? There is no epigraphic evidence of any other Kappadokian procurators, but such a formula might also explain the title used in the Archelaos inscription from Athens, if restored without the tracheia30. All three are plausible reconstructions of Proculus’ post, but none suggest a distinct unit of Kilikia.

  • 31 Suet., Vesp., 8.
  • 32 Millar 1993, 80-90.

10Much of the confusion surrounding Kilikia was removed in AD 72. In this year, Vespasian annexed Kommagene and created a province of Kilikia incorporating the lowlands which had been run from Syria and most of the uplands31. But this did not mean that all dynasts disappeared; Olba may have been independent for a few more years and Antiochos’ son-in-law Alexander had the title of king and ruled somewhere in the region, probably at Sebaste. The question remains, why form a province of Kilikia, rather than keeping the Kilikian parts of Antiochos’ kingdom together with the rest of Kommagene? The answer to this lies in Vespasian’s reorganization in the East in AD 72. With the known difficulties of administering the Tauros, it may have seemed easier to detach the uplands from Kommagene and control them from the lowlands on that side of the Tauros. At the same time, the increasing duties of the Syrian governor, now directly responsible for administering Kommagene, may have suggested that this control might be better exercised from Tarsos rather than Antioch. With a center at Tarsos, the natural name to use for this command was Kilikia. Since Kappadokia now had a senatorial governor, two legions and a military role, running the uplands from here would present the same problems as running them from Syria. It is to arguments like this that we should look for the reason behind Vespasian’s creation of the province of Kilikia32. However, there was no political unit from which Vespasian’s province could be created. Nor did the architectural, religious or linguistic forms from Kilikia made up any sort of unity that was represented in the Vespasianic province. Though there were strong characteristics, these were shared with Syria, Pamphylia or Kappadokia in different fields and different times. This in itself need not be decisive since culture and any concept of a regional identity tend to be values held in the mind, rather than in physical evidence. But when this cultural confusion is combined with the lack of any political expression of Kilikia, it suggests that Kilikia should be seen as a geographical expression alone. Although there were strong cultural and political identities within Kilikia, they were not expressed at a regional level. Kilikia, then, was a label used by the Romans in the early imperial period to define a region based not on politics, ethnicity or any type of culture, but instead on geography, the lands between the Tauros and Syria.

Notes

1 IG, II2, 3430 = OGI, 357. The stone is broken on both left and right sides, intact at top and bottom; I would like to thank Richard Billows, Charles Crowther, and Gary Reger for help with this inscription. IG, II2, 3431-3433 for Archelaos; cf. also IG, II2, 3444.

2 E. g. Dessau, ILS, 2839, 2861, 2899, 7577.

3 Strab. 14.5.1, cf. 14.5.1, 5.8.

4 Strab. 12.1.1, 1.3, 1.4, 2.7, 2.11, 6.1; 14.3.1, 3.2, 4.2, 5.1, 5.6, 5.10, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3.

5 Diod. 20.19.3; App., Mithr., 12.92; Selinus, C. Ptol. Georg., Geog., 5.8.2, 5; Seleukeia, Plin., Nat., 5.93; C. Ptol. Georg., Geog., 5.8.5.

6 Suet., Vesp., 8; Magie 1950, 574 and n ° 27. The use of the Greek tracheia is interesting; see Townend 1960, 98-120; see Wardle 1993, 91-104.

7 Cf. Bosporan inscriptions, IGRom, 1, 879, 903, 907.

8 Mitchell 1994, 95-105 at 95-96, 102; cf. OGI, 349; AE, 1936, 110.

9 Burnett et al. 1992, 571-574.

10 Coins of Antiochos are known from Anemourion, Kelenderis, Kietis, Korykos, Sebaste, Lakanatis and Seleinos, Burnett et al. 1992, 560-66.

11 P. Lond. 3.1178 = (1977); Mitteis and Wilcken 1912, 156; Sullivan 1977; Dessau, ILS, 8795.

12 Tac, Ann., 2.42.

13 Shaw 1990, 199-233, 237-270; Desideri & Jasink 1990.

14 MacKay 1968; Staffieri 1978.

15 Tarcondimotids, Strab. 14.5.18; D. C. 51.7.3-4; Syme 1995, 161-165; Sullivan 1990, 185-192; Feissel & Dagron 1987, n ° 26; Potter 1989, 305-312.

16 Sullivan 1979, 6-20.

17 Plut., Ant., 61.1; cf. Cass. Dio. 54.9.2 with a list of dynasteias; coins, Burnett et al. 1992, 575.

18 Jos., AJ, 18.5.4; probably referred to in Dessau, Dessau, ILS, 8823 and IGRom, 3, 173; Magie 1950 576 with n. 26.

19 Magie 1950, 418 and n. 11; Bickerman 1947, 353-362.

20 Syrian governors, e. g., Dessau, ILS, 918, 972, 1015+, 1055+, 2683, 8970; Rey-Coquais 1978, 61-67; more evidence is cited in Schürer 1973, 1.249-66; I have not seen Dabrowa 1998.

21 D. C. 49.22.3; cf. 53.12, mentioning Kilikia as a separate province in the settlement of 27 BC; Millar 1964, 41-4, 94-5.

22 Tac., Ann., 2.78, 80, 6.41, 12.55; Vonones, Tac., Ann., 2.4, 58, 68.

23 Vibius Fronto, praefectus equitum, Tac., Ann., 2.68; Speidel 1983, 7-34; Russell 1991, 283-97.

24 Syme 1995, 164-65; Keil and Wilhelm 1915, 51.

25 Freeman 1986, 253-275 including a review of the literature; Mitford 1979, 1230-1261.

26 Freeman 1996, 91-118.

27 AE, 1914, 128 = JRS, 2 (1912): 99 n ° 31, procuratori... [pr] ovinciae [Capp] adociae et Ciliciae; IK, 44-Side, 55, epitropon Sebastou eparcheias Kappadokias kai Kilikias.

28 Millar 1993, 56-69; Brunt 1983, 55-56.

29 Strab. 12.2.7.

30 Cf. Gwatkin 1930; Syme 1995, 154-159; Tac., Ann., 12.49; thanks to Gary Reger for suggesting this possibility.

31 Suet., Vesp., 8.

32 Millar 1993, 80-90.

© Ausonius Éditions, 2007

Conditions d’utilisation : http://www.openedition.org/6540

Rechercher dans OpenEdition Search

Vous allez être redirigé vers OpenEdition Search