The House of Hermogenes of Kagrai: The Rural Elites and the Micro-Economy in the Upper Melas Valley

Burak TAKMER    87–106

Doi: 10.36991/PHILIA.201910 

 

Abstract: On the basis of a recently published inscription over the entrance of Karadağ Cave the author deals with the most prominent family of Kagrai and presents addenda et corrigenda for four published inscriptions. The Karadağ inscription implies that some economic activities took place inside the cave. The owners, Rhodon III and his son Musaios IV, were members of the most distinguished family of Kagrai which after migrating from Selge dominated the political and economic life of the settlement for at least four generations. Through various construction activities they contributed also to the development of Kagrai from a village to an autonomous demos. An old inscription from the Emerye Tower set up by the members of the same family indicates that the economic basis of their wealth was certainly landed property and agricultural production. Two published inscriptions in Gedefi Cave in the territory of Kasai indicate that some family members immortalized themselves by erecting statues, one of which was erected by Rhodon III for his father Musaios II. This evidence reveals not only the expansion of the field of activity of this Kagraian family up to Kasai, but also the importance of selfrepresentation for the members of the family even far away from their homeland. The epigraphic documentation shows that the circle of rural elites in the micro-poleis of the region was extremely limited.

Keywords: Karadağ Cave; Gedefi Cave; Selge; Τόπος; Rural economy; Farms with tower.

 

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