Priapus in Rough Cilicia?

Günder VARİNLİOĞLU  Ender VARİNOĞLU   906–916

 

Abstract: The phallic imagery encountered across Rough Cilicia has traditionally been associated with Hermes, the second most common deity in the region. An inscription on a door post from Güvercinlik, dating from the third or fourth centuries CE, challenges this assumption. The inscription and phallus, which serve the purpose of protecting the crop against the plunderers, recalls a similar epigram inscribed on a statue of Priapus from Acireale in Sicily, dating from the second or third century CE. In the West, Priapus was a common figure in Roman domestic spaces. The Güvercinlik inscription, on the other hand, belongs to a rural landscape with limited agricultural capacity, which nevertheless was aggressively exploited and inhabited from the Late Roman period till the end of antiquity. In light of the Güvercinlik inscription and the widespread occurrence of phallic symbols across this rural territory, we argue that a cult of Priapus may have existed in semi-urbanized rural contexts of Rough Cilicia, affected by Roman traditions.

Keywords: Rough Cilicia; Güvercinlik; Hermes; epigram; phallus; Priapus.

 

References

Aydınoğlu 2010

Ü. Aydınoğlu, The Farms in Rough Cilicia in the Roman and Early Byzan­tine Periods, Adalya 13, 2010, 243–282.

Bent 1890

J. T. Bent, Cilician Symbols, Classical Review 4, 1890, 321–322.

Bent 1891

J. T. Bent, A Journey in Cilicia Tracheia, JHS 12, 1891, 206–224.

Dagron 1978

G. Dagron (ed.), Vie et Miracles de Sainte Thècle: Texte Grec, traduction et commentaire, Brussels 1978 (Subsidia Hagiographica 62).

Dagron – Feissel 1987

G. Dagron – D. Feissel, Inscriptions de Cilicie, Paris 1987.

Durugönül 1998

S. Durugönül, Türme und Siedlungen im Rauhen Kilikien: Eine Unter­suchung zu den archäologischen Hinterlassenschaften im Olbischen Terri­torium, Bonn 1998 (AMS 28).

Durukan 2001

M. Durukan, Eine Studie zur Kultfiguren und Symbolen in Olba, in: E. Jean – A. M. Dinçol – S. Durugönül (eds.), La Cilicie: pouvoirs et espaces locaux (2e millénaire av. J.-C. 4e siècle ap. J.-C.), Paris 2001, 327–348.

Eichner 2008

I. Eichner, Sinekkale – Herberge, Kloster oder Gutshof?, Olba 16, 2008, 337–360.

Engelmann – Merkelbach 1971

H. Engelmann – R. Merkelbach, οὖρος, ὅρος, ZPE 8, 1971, 97–103.

Feld 2005

K. Feld, Barbarische Bürger: Die Isaurier und das Römische Reich, Berlin 2005 (Millennium-Studien 8).

Fredrick 1995

D. Fredrick, Beyond the Atrium to Ariadne: Erotic Painting and Visual Pleasure in the Roman House, Classical Antiquity 14,2, 1995, 266–288.

Hagel – Tomaschitz 1998

S. Hagel – K. Tomaschitz, Repertorium Der Westkilikischen Inschriften. Ergän­zungsbände zu den Tituli Asiae Minoris 22, Vienna 1998.

Heberdey – Wilhelm 1896

R. Heberdey – A. Wilhelm, Reisen in Kilikien, ausgeführt 1891 und 1892, Vienna 1896 (DenkschrWien 44.6).

Hellenkemper – Hild 1986

H. Hellenkemper – F. Hild, Neue Forschungen in Kilikien, Vienna 1986 (VTIB 4).

Hicks 1891

E. L. Hicks, Inscriptions from Western Cilicia, JHS 12, 1891, 225–273.

Hild – Hellenkemper 1990

F. Hild – H. Hellenkemper. Kilikien und Isaurien, Vienna 1990 (TIB 5).

Keil – Wilhelm 1931

J. Keil – A. Wilhelm, Denkmäler Aus Dem Rauhen Kilikien, Manchester 1931 (MAMA 3).

Lenski 1999

N. Lenski, Assimilation and Revolt in the Territory of Isauria, from the 1st Cen­tury BC to the 6th Century AD, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 42.4, 1999, 413–465.

MacKay 1990

T. S. MacKay, The Major Sanctuaries of Pamphylia and Cilicia, ANRW II 18.3, 1990, 2045–2129.

Manganaro 1985

G. Manganaro, Per la storia dei culti nella Sicilia greca, in: In Il tempio Greco in Sicilia Architettura e culti: Atti della 1a rinuione scientifica della scuola di perfezionamento in Archeologia Classica dell’Università di Catania, Siracusa 24–27 novembre 1976, Catania 1985, 148–164 (Cron. d’ Arch. 16).

Minor 1979

C. E. Minor, The Robber Tribes of Isauria, Ancient World 2, 1979, 117–127.

Mitford 1980

T. B. Mitford, Roman Rough Cilicia, ANRW II, 7.2, 1980, 1230–1261.

Peek 1955

W. Peek, Griechische Vers-Inschriften I: Grab Epigramme, Berlin 1955.

Pilhofer 2006

S. Pilhofer. Romanisierung in Kilikien?: Das Zeugnis der Inschriften, Munich 2006 (Quellen und Forschungen zur Antiken Welt 46).

Preteux 2005

F. Preteux, Priapos Bébrykeos dans la Propontide et les Détroits: Succes d’un mythe local, REG 118, 2005, 246–265.

Shaw 1990a

B. D. Shaw, Bandit Highlands and Lowland Peace: The Mountains of Isauria-Cilicia, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 33.2, 1990, 199–233.

Shaw 1990b.

B. D. Shaw, Bandit Highlands and Lowland Peace: The Mountains of Isauria-Cilicia (Continued), Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 33.3, 1990, 237–270.

Şahin 2010

H. Şahin, Dağlık Kilikia Yerleşim Tarihi ve Epigrafya Araştırmaları 2008, AST 27.3, 2010, 17–28.

Şahin et al. 2011

H. Şahin – F. A. Yüksel – E. Erten – Z. Görücü – G. Ergin – F. Şahin – F. Cam­­göz – S. R. Ünsal, Dağlık Kilikia Bölgesi Yerleşim Tarihi-Epigrafya Araş­tırmaları ve Korykion Antron Çalışmaları 2009, AST 28.2, 2011, 321–338.

Şahin et al. 2012

H. Şahin – F. A. Yüksel – N. Hoşkan – F. Şahin, Dağlık Kilikia Yerleşim Tarihi ve Epigrafya Araştırmaları 2010, AST 29.2, 2012, 379–388.

Uden 2010

J. Uden, The Vanishing Gardens of Priapus, HSCP 105, 2010, 189–219.

Varinlioğlu 2007

G. Varinlioğlu, Living in a Marginal Environment: Rural Habitat and Land­scape in Southeastern Isauria, Dumbarton Oaks Papers 61, 2007, 287–317.

Varinlioğlu 2011

G. Varinlioğlu, Trades, Crafts, and Agricultural Production in Town and Countryside in Southeastern Isauria, in: O. Dally – C. Ratté (eds.), Archaeology and the Cities of Asia Minor in Late Antiquity, Ann Arbor 2011, 173–187 (Kelsey Museum Publication 6).

Varinlioğlu 2013

G. Varinlioğlu, Rural Habitat in the Hinterland of Seleucia ad Calycadnum During Late Antiquity, in: M. C. Hoff – R. F. Townsend (eds.), Rough Cili­cia: New Historical and Archaeological Approaches. Proceedings of an Inter­natio­nal Conference Held at Lincoln, Nebraska, October 2007, Oxford 2013, 199–209.