HARPALIANI: A new Village of the Roman Colony of Philippi

Pantelis NIGDELIS    640–650

 

Abstract: First edition and historical commentary of an inscription inscribed at the front surface of a funerary altar dated to AD 2nd cent. The altar was found in the modern village of Kalamonas 9 km to the west of the Roman colony of Philippi. According to the text, which consists of excerpts of a testament, a certain Bacchanius Bizes left a bequest of two hun­dred and fifty denarii to the in­habitants of an otherwise unknown village (vicus) of the colony called Harpaliani. From the reve­nues of the bequest the latter were to provide an annual sacrifice on the deceased’s monument, a feast on the day of the Festival of Roses (Rosis), and also to enjoy the balneum (gymnasium), a detail which is attested for the first time in inscriptions with similar testaments found in Philippi and its vici. If in any year these conditions were not fulfilled, then the money was to go to the members of the cult association of Jupiter Optimus Maximus residing in Philippi. Harpaliani is a new ethno­nym derived obviously from the Greek name Harpalos. On this ground a hypothesis is suggested as to its history: the site of the village would be in the Hellenistic age a planta­tion belonging to a Mace­donian Companion named Harpalos, on a piece of land given him by a king in the district of Kala­monas; after the fall of the Macedonian dynasty the plantation and its occupants would have be­come a village, which finally had been mi­grated into the territorium of the Roman colony of Philippi (42 BC).

Keywords: Philippi; Harpaliani; funerary inscription; Rosalia; Bacchanius Bizes; Calpurnia Cleopatra.

 

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