A Re-examination of the Imperial Oath from Vezirköprü

Søren Lund SøRENSEN   14–32

 

Abstract: The present article is a re-examination of the Greek text of the imperial oath from Neapolis, found in Vezirköprü by Franz Cumont in 1900. Until now the inscription, which is kept in the Istanbul Archaeological Museum, has not been subjected to a revision. Although the stone itself has suffered additional damage since its discovery, the inscribed text is still easily legible. Most of the readings proposed by Cumont are shown to be correct, and in several in­stances the present author is able to confirm and improve readings where Cumont had been in doubt (ll. 5, 11, 13, 25, 41). Nonetheless, several of the previous restorations are impossible, either because there is not sufficient room for them, or because remains of letters contradict these readings (ll. 4, 22, 39). In addition, it is shown that the dimensions and the shape of the stone given by Cumont are incorrect. The re-examined text forms the basis of four comments on the literary, geographical and historical context of the inscription. It is argued that the oath was taken at a critical point in time when the city changed political status.

Keywords: Imperial oath; Augustus; Neapolis; Vezirköprü; Neoklaudiopolis; Andrapa; Pytho­doris; autopsy; re-examination.

 

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