Pagans and Christians in Late Antique Aphrodisias1
The ancient Greco-Roman city of Aphrodisias, located in southwestern Asia Minor, allows for an unusually detailed look at the play of paganism and Christianity in the Late Antique world. Evidence suggests that in this well-to-do town, capital of the province of Caria, the conservative elite class clung tenaciously to traditional, pagan practices and beliefs, not accepting Christianity until the late fifth century. To that same period dates the most striking physical evidence for the transition from paganism to Christianity at Aphrodisias: the conversion of its principal pagan shrine, the Temple of Aphrodite, patron deity of the city, into a Christian church that surely served as the cathedral of the city (Figs. 1-4). Excavated mainly in the 1960s, evidence for the date of the temple conversion was not discovered until some further work took place there in 1993. A group of coins found then showed that the conversion cannot have taken place before the third quarter of the fifth century, the same period in which the local aristocracy finally put aside paganism in favor of Christianity.2 That the two conversions, that of the temple and that of the upper class at Aphrodisias, appear to have occurred almost simultaneously is surely more than coincidence. They are certainly connected; this paper seeks to show how. Taking the temple conversion as a starting point, a variety of sources -- literary, epigraphic, and sculptural -- will then be called upon to illuminate the social, religious, and political circumstances within which it took place.
APHRODISIAS: AN OVERVIEW
A brief overview of the city and its history will be helpful. Aphrodisias lies in a fertile valley about 75 miles inland from the Aegean Sea. Systematic excavation of the site, begun in 1961, has uncovered many of its major public buildings and a number of private houses, along with a wealth of inscriptions and marble sculptures.3 (Fig. 1) It was a well-appointed Greco-Roman town, with a city center consisting of a series of grand marble buildings and marble-framed spaces.4 The great majority of these structures date from the late first century B.C.E. to the early third century C.E., when Aphrodisias, like many other cities around the Mediterranean, enjoyed a period of remarkable peace and prosperity as part of the Roman Empire. Defining the plan of the city center were the theater to the south (Fig. 1, no. 11), the temple of Aphrodite to the north (Fig. 1, no. 2), and two large public squares laid out in between them (Fig. 1, nos. 5, 19). Ranged around and among them were a civil basilica that housed the law courts and business transaction centers (Fig. 1, no. 17), a large public bath building (Fig. 1, no. 18), and a bouleuterion or meeting hall for the city council (Fig. 1, no. 5). At the north edge of town lay the stadium (Fig. 1, no. 2), the setting for athletic competitions held at festivals honoring Aphrodite. Following the civic traditions of the Greco-Roman era, it was the local elite class of wealthy landowners who had paid for all this, receiving in return the honors of public office, of portrait statues erected in public spaces, and of public inscriptions detailing their benefactions to the city.
Such was the state of Aphrodisias as it entered the Late Antique era, defined here as the late third to seventh centuries. For the Greco-Roman world, the mid-third century marked a break with the past. It was a period of acute military, political, and economic instability, characterized by constant civil war, frequent and often successful barbarian attacks, and rampant inflation. By the mid-fourth century, the empire had regained stability, but was considerably changed. Much of the western empire had fallen to invading barbarian tribes, and while Rome retained its aura of greatness as caput mundi, the eastern city of Constantinople, the city on the Bosphorus founded by Constantine (306-337), was now the main imperial residence and political nerve center of the empire. Most importantly, Christianity had become the state religion of the empire.
As for Aphrodisias, its fortunes also experienced a downturn in the mid-third century, notable in the cessation of the prodigious building activity that had characterized the early and high imperial periods. The town recovered relatively quickly, though, and went on to enjoy several more centuries of vital urban life. The tradition of civic benefactions by the local elites continued, as did the traditional means of acknowledging them through public inscriptions and statuary, though not, it is true, at the same pace as before.5 But whereas the empire as a whole was under the leadership of a Christian ruler from the time of Constantine on, it appears that the civic leaders of Aphrodisias, its wealthy elite class, were much slower to adopt the new religion.
Fig. 1. Aphrodisias, City Plan. Courtesy of New York University's Aphrodesias Excavations.
THE CONVERSION OF THE TEMPLE
The Temple of Aphrodite, constructed in the late first century B.C.E., had been one of the first major monuments built at Aphrodisias.6 Built entirely of white marble, including even its roof tiles, it was an Ionic temple with an 8 x 13 m. exterior colonnade enclosing a cella in which the cult statue of Aphrodite stood (Fig. 2). In the second century C.E., an elaborate temenos enclosure was built around it, shielding the sacred space from its secular surroundings.7 Colonnaded porticoes wrapped around the temple to the north, south, and west. Along the east side, an ornate, multi-storied columnar screen, decorated with bronze statuary, faced the front of the temple. The main entrance to the temple temenos was through a doorway in its center. Constructed 35 m. east of the temple, this left a spacious marble-paved plaza to serve as the locus for cult activity and ritual honoring Aphrodite. Her sanctuary also included a large, park-like space to the east of the temenos, which one entered through a monumental gateway in its east side, known as the Tetrapylon (Fig. 1, no. 6). Thus, as Aphrodisias entered the Late Antique era, a large part of the city center was dedicated to the goddess.
Fig. 2. Composite phase plan of the Temple of Aphrodite and the church. Courtesy of New York University's Aphrodesias Excavations.
Aphrodisias by no means stood alone in marking the overthrow of the old gods through the transformation of their shrines, but the structural alterations that turned the temple into the cathedral were unique, and extraordinarily ambitious.8 (Fig. 2) In a complete restructuring of the building that basically turned the temple inside out, the cella was first dismantled to make way for the nave of the church. Then the four-sided exterior colonnade of the temple was rearranged to form two long colonnades that would separate the nave and aisles of the church. Columns from the east and west façades of the temple were taken down and re-erected in line with those left in situ from. the north and south temple colonnades. Thus, what had been a continuous rectangular colonnade became two separate colonnades of nineteen columns each. Blocks from the dismantled cella were re-used to construct the exterior walls of the church, narthexes, an atrium to the west of it, and an apse with flanking chambers at its east end. As for the temenos enclosure, it was modified but for the most part left standing, serving now to close off Christian, rather than pagan, sacred space from the secular world beyond. The change in orientation from eastward-facing temple to westward-facing church meant, though, that the great columnar display originally facing the front of the temple now stood at the back of the church. The doorway in its center was filled in with a chapel.
Fig. 3. The apse of the church, looking east from the nave. Courtesy of sitesandphotos.com.
Fig. 4. Restored section of the church, looking east. Courtesy of New York University's Aphrodesias Excavations.
In this way, what had been a “typical” pagan temple -- a building type in use for centuries throughout the Mediterranean world, and one instantly recognizable as the home of a pagan deity -- was transformed into one of the standard church types of its own day, the early Christian basilica. Much taller than the temple had been, the new cathedral would have been visible for miles around. In a single stroke, it set the indelible stamp of Christianity on the entire city.
The mere fact of the temple conversion and the means by which it was carried out are interesting in and of themselves. But what were the processes and circumstances by which and within which such a major transformation of the public face of the city took place? Temples loomed large in the landscapes and cityscapes of the Late Antique world. As highly visible symbols of paganism, they often provoked strong reactions in a world that was becoming Christian. One might expect that with Christianity now the official state religion of the empire, the pagan temples would have been done away with as offensive to the Christian God. In some cases they were, but the fate of the temples was by no means uniform. Some were destroyed, some were converted to churches either sooner or later, and still others were simply left standing. Local circumstances played an important role in determining what happened to a given temple, and at Aphrodisias, we have the good fortune of being unusually well informed about them.
In attempting to understand the circumstances of the temple conversion at Aphrodisias, we may take as a starting point a consideration of the importance of the cult and sanctuary of Aphrodite within the history of Aphrodisias, both in earlier centuries and at the time of the conversion. The scope will then broaden to examine the Late Antique history of some other pagan shrines in order to gain perspective on that of Aphrodisias. The religious history of Late Antique Aphrodisias will then be reviewed, including the local progress of Christianity on the one hand, and the strength of paganism on the other. Then, having painted a backdrop against which to view the conversion of the temple, we may examine it once more.
THE CULT AND SANCTUARY OF APHRODITE IN THE HISTORY OF APHRODISIAS
As home to the eponymous goddess of the city, the sanctuary of Aphrodite had played important roles both in the evolution of Aphrodisias as an urban center, and in the creation of a sense of civic identity among its citizens. Archeological finds indicate that the cult of the goddess goes back to at least the sixth century B.C.E., and that the sanctuary even then included monumental architecture.9 The remains of a large Hellenistic structure, datable to the third century B.C.E., show that the sanctuary was rebuilt in that period.10 The local settlement, meanwhile, was little more than a village that grew up alongside it.
The sanctuary of Aphrodite would certainly have been the most important sacred site in the rural valley that Aphrodisias occupied. When, in the early first century B.C.E., communities of that valley joined together to found a new city, there can be no doubt that the site of Aphrodisias was chosen because of its sanctuary.11 As its name reflects, Aphrodisias owed its very existence to the goddess. In the Late Hellenistic and Roman periods, her cult gained widespread fame for the city. Such famous names as Sulla and Julius Caesar paid her honors and made dedications to her.12 Octavian, who would take the title Augustus and become the first Roman emperor, put the city under his personal protection, in part to promote its cult of Aphrodite, whom he claimed as his divine ancestress.13
Throughout the imperial centuries, the cult and sanctuary of Aphrodite were cornerstones of the life of ancient Aphrodisias. Festivals and games in her honor dominated the sacred calendar, culminating in offerings in the sanctuary in the court in front of her temple.14 To be made a priest, priestess, or officer of her cult was among the highest honors a citizen could receive; these were positions to which the city’s elite aspired, and which they proudly announced in public inscriptions.15 Her treasury -- made rich by the dedications of locals and of pilgrims from far and wide, and by revenues accrued from agricultural lands dedicated to her -- was an important source of the wealth of the city.16 Not only were numerous public buildings dedicated to Aphrodite, along with the emperor and the people, but at least one, a large and elaborate bath complex (Fig. 1, no. 18), was paid for by her treasury and dedicated by her to the emperor Hadrian.17 Her image represented the city on local coinage minted from ca. 100 B.C.E. until the 260s C.E., when the city stopped minting its own coins altogether.18 The material remains of Aphrodisias show unequivocally that from the first century B.C.E. to the third century C.E., Aphrodite, her sanctuary, and her cult were central to the life of the city. After the third century C.E., evidence for the official, public administration of her cult ceases. However, for the most part, this previously had taken the form of buildings and inscriptions. Since relatively little new building took place at Aphrodisias after the third century C.E., and since the number of inscriptions fell at the same time, lack of evidence in those particular forms need not be taken as proof that her cult ceased to exist. Indeed, it may have continued well into the fifth century, as occurred, for example, with the cult of Athena in Athens.19 Whatever the state of her publicly administered cult, veneration of Aphrodite continued. She is honored in inscriptions as late as ca. 500.20 Meanwhile, her temple and sanctuary still stood, occupying a significant portion of the city center and visible to all.
THE TEMPLES IN LATE ANTIQUITY
When the temple conversion finally did occur, how might it have happened? Consideration of the fate of other temples in the Late Antique era can help to formulate some possible scenarios for that of Aphrodisias. An important source for this is imperial legislation, for which our main source is the collection of laws known as the Theodosian Code, with some additional later laws preserved in various other sources.21 Taken together, they give us an extremely useful, though not complete, record of the laws passed regarding temples in Late Antiquity. Promulgated in 438, the Theodosian Code was a compilation of laws issued from the reign of Constantine until 437. Book 16, Chapter 10 of the code, titled “Concerning Pagans, Sacrifices, and Temples,” contains most of the laws relevant for this study. Not surprisingly, the main target of the laws was sacrifice, the central act of pagan ritual. Constantine, the first Christian emperor, had apparently issued a law banning blood sacrifice, though it does not survive.22 It was, however, referred to and reiterated by his son in a law of 341, which began with the forceful declaration, “Superstition shall cease; the madness of sacrifice shall be abolished.”23 Numerous later prohibitions would repeat the ban, increasing the penalties for those who engaged in it, and holding provincial governors and other officials responsible, under threat of ever increasing penalties, for enforcing the laws.24 The frequent reiterations of the ban are a sure sign that the laws were often ineffective, but while difficult to enforce, the imperial position on sacrifice never wavered.25
In contrast, the imperial position regarding the temples always remained ambiguous. Sixteen laws, ranging in date from the 320s to 458, address temples specifically. Two state clearly that the temples are to be closed,26 though three others imply this, using such language as “no person shall go around the temples” and “no person shall wander through the temples.”27 Two other laws order the destruction of temples.28 In opposition to these seven “anti-temple” laws are seven others calling for their preservation. Four state specifically that temples not be destroyed,29 and one even orders that a certain temple remain open, though sacrifice is forbidden.30 Elsewhere, two laws order that the temples are to be preserved but put to other uses.31 Finally, two more are ambiguous, mentioning temples to say that no sacrifice should take place there, but giving no direction as to the buildings themselves.32 In this series of laws, no chronological progression from a more lenient to a less lenient policy on the temples can be discerned.
Two later laws, which postdate the Theodosian Code and also address the issue of temples, are among the most interesting. In 451, the emperor Marcian ordered, as had been done many times before, that the temples were to be closed, though he did not call for their destruction. His vivid description of what is not to happen in the temples, while perhaps partly inflated rhetoric, seems to suggest that such rites continued. It is sacrilege, he stated, “to adorn the impious portals of shrines with garlands; to kindle profane fires on the altars; to burn incense upon the same; to slaughter victims there, and to pour out libations of wine from bowls.”33 Still later, in 458, Majorian ordered that “buildings founded by the ancients as temples and other monuments” not be harmed or destroyed, explaining that such “beautiful structures” are the adornments of the cities and reminders of a proud past.34 It is true that Majorian was ruler of the western empire, but the laws issued by the ruler of either half were -- in theory, at least -- to be upheld throughout the empire.
Majorian’s edict reveals an attitude toward temples that is one of several explanations for the complex policies of the emperors concerning temples. It is an attitude of deep respect for them as historic monuments, precious for their antiquity, their cultural significance, and their majestic appearance.35 But another, and probably more important, reason for the inconsistency of laws regarding temples was the need to maintain peace in the empire. Despite the repeated bans on paganism, it remained strong in many areas. The fate of the temples, as symbols and settings for the old religion, could thus be a source of controversy and violence. The laws issued with regard to the temples, commanding sometimes their destruction and sometimes their preservation, are most often addressed to a specific provincial or regional government official. We may thus assume that they are rescripts, that is, responses to individuals who had petitioned the emperor for a ruling on a particular matter. In these laws, we are able to glimpse imperial responses to local situations, prescribing whatever course of action the emperors believed least likely to cause trouble.
The record provided by the legislation gives only part of the picture. Rarely do we know anything of the actual situations to which the laws respond. Literary sources, however, provide a great deal of information. As soon as Christianity became the religion of the emperors in the fourth century, the temples began to suffer, and we hear frequently of their destruction, some apparently at the direction of imperial laws that are not preserved, others carried out by zealous Christians acting without imperial direction.36 Constantine himself had several temples torn down, sometimes building churches in their stead. In all instances, though, the temples were on sites that were sacred to Christianity or that housed especially objectionable cults of prostitution.37 That these actions do not represent his attitude toward temples in general is shown by his granting a town’s request to build a temple in his honor in 333, though he stipulated that no blood sacrifices be made there.38 We know of a number of other temple destructions or conversions under Constantine, and then under Constantius, only because of Julian the Apostate’s (361-363, the sole and short-lived pagan emperor after Constantine) attempts to reverse them. For example, Constantius had granted Bishop George of Alexandria the temple of Mithras to convert to a church.39 Knowing this would provoke the pagans of the city, Constantius sent along soldiers to oversee the transition. Some years later, with their confidence bolstered by the accession of Julian, a pagan mob lynched George for, among other things, his destruction of the temple. A similar sequence of events occurred at Arethusa in Syria, with the difference that, under Julian, the pagans seized and tortured the bishop, but eventually released him.40 Julian himself expelled the bishop of Cyzicus for destroying some temples, and ordered the bishop of Aegae in Cilicia to restore the temples that Christians had destroyed there.41 That these were not isolated occurrences is suggested by Sozomen’s remark that Julian “condemned those who had demolished temples in the reigns of Constantine and Constantius to rebuild them, or to defray the expenses of their re-erection. On this ground, and because they were unable to pay the sums, many of the bishops, clergy, and other Christians were cast into prison.”42
Thus, we see that from the time of Constantine, the temples often caused violent clashes between pagans and Christians. A few later episodes are described in great detail and give us a clearer picture of how such events might take place, and of the violence they might engender. One of the earliest temple destructions of which we have a detailed account was the razing of the Temple of Zeus at Apamea in Syria in 384-388.43 According to the historian Theodoret, this occurred under the oversight of the bishop of Apamea, Marcellus, and was in accordance with an imperial edict (not preserved) that ordered the general destruction of temples. Military forces were sent by the emperor to execute the order. Upon arrival, however, they found the temple too solidly constructed to destroy. Bishop Marcellus sent them away and took charge himself, hiring local laborers to destroy the temple. No longer under an official eye, Marcellus took it upon himself to gather a band of soldiers and gladiators for the purpose of destroying all the temples in the city and its environs. As he was attempting to carry this out, the pagans of the city captured him and burned him alive.
A few years later, ca. 391, the Serapeum at Alexandria, one of the most famous shrines of antiquity, was destroyed, again in the midst of extreme violence.44 A riot between pagan and Christian factions in the city had broken out, and the pagans made use of the Serapeum as a stronghold. Imperial officials intervened, ordering the pagans to give up the Serapeum, but they refused. The officials informed the emperor, who then ordered the destruction of the Serapeum.
A few years after that, in 402, the Temple of Zeus at Gaza was destroyed, but only after the local bishop, Porphyry, with great effort, obtained the permission of the emperor.45 Gaza’s Christian community suffered constant persecution by the much stronger pagan population of the city. In an effort to remedy this, Porphyry sent the deacon Mark to Constantinople to request that the emperor suppress the pagan temples and idols. With the help of the bishop of Constantinople and an imperial official whom he befriended, Mark obtained a letter from the emperor ordering the closing of the temples of Gaza. An imperial official was sent to carry out the order, but was bribed by the local pagans to leave open the Temple of Zeus, the city’s most important shrine. A couple of years later, Bishop Porphyry decided to try again. He, himself, went to Constantinople this time, where he enlisted the support not only of the powerful bishop of the imperial city, but also of the empress. The emperor Arcadius (sole ruler of the east 395-408), unwilling to provoke the powerful pagan population of Gaza, could not at first be persuaded to close the Temple of Zeus. Eventually, though, the determined bishop and his powerful allies prevailed. A letter ordering the destruction and burning of all the temples of Gaza was issued. Imperial officials with a military force at their command were sent to carry out the emperor’s mandate. Eight temples, including that of Zeus, were destroyed. According to Mark the Deacon’s Life of Porphyry, our main historical source for this episode, a church was built on the site of Zeus’ temple. In what can only have been a deliberate insult to the evicted god and his pagan followers, the temple stones were used to pave the area in front of the church, where they would be trod upon “not only by men, but also by women, dogs, pigs, and other animals.”46
The episodes just discussed bring out some important points concerning the fate of the temples. First, it is important to note that the temples, their lands, and their estates had become the property of the emperors, who could choose to exercise their control over them in order to avert local conflicts.47 Bishops were not given free rein to deal with the buildings as they saw fit, but -- officially, at least -- required imperial permission to destroy a temple. Porphyry of Gaza, had he been less persistent or had less powerful allies, might very well have been refused permission. In fact, one of the rare instances in which we do know something about the circumstances that prompted the issuing of imperial law regarding the temples, is provided by a law of 399, addressed to the Proconsul of Africa, declaring that the temples may not be destroyed.48 As pointed out by Garth Fowden, this particular law was “clearly ... an attempt to conciliate the pagans of Africa,”' who had reacted violently to the destruction of some of their temples earlier in that same year.49
When emperors did order the destruction of a temple, the execution of their orders was not left to the bishops. Imperial officials were sent to announce the edicts, with troops to back them up and actually carry out the orders. Thus, the emperors hoped to remove contentious temple demolitions from the level of local conflict, so that they might take place with as little disturbance as possible. Clearly, they were not always successful, but the attempt was made.
The inconsistency of the imperial laws regarding temples, taken together with the literary accounts of temple destructions, shows that the temples, which were everywhere, posed a serious problem for the emperors, sometimes bringing into conflict two of their major duties. On the one hand, with the empire now under the protection of the Christian God, the very security of the state was seen to depend on the emperors’ upholding and defending the faith. When Christianity was seen to be threatened, hampered, or sullied by the presence of a pagan temple, the emperors were duty-bound to get rid of it. On the other hand, they had the difficult job of maintaining peace in this often deeply divisive period, when Christianity was on the rise, but paganism, in many places, remained strong. In the interest of keeping the peace, overzealous promotion of Christianity sometimes had to be kept in check. Not wanting to provoke tensions among pagans and Christians, the emperors generally left the temples alone when they seemed not to cause problems among the locals, neither enforcing their closure nor ordering that they be preserved or remain open. In other words, the pace of Christianization usually was set locally, with the emperors not interfering unless circumstances demanded. When local circumstances did demand a response, the course of action they took -- recorded both in the legislation and the literary record -- was to endorse the destruction of temples only when the demand for it was so great that looming or actual violence threatened public security, or when a particularly persistent bishop could not be ignored. Conversely, when conflict concerning the fate of pagan shrines arose, and the pagan population was strong enough to seriously threaten security, the emperors sometimes gave in to them, ordering that temples be preserved.
The events at Alexandria, Apamea, and Gaza all occurred in the late fourth and early fifth centuries. They have been discussed here because of the insights they provide into both the physical and official mechanics of temple destruction and conversion. Serious, often violent, religion-based conflict did, however, persist long afterwards, as the struggle between paganism and Christianity continued to plague the unity and harmony of the empire well into the sixth century. In fact, another major incident at Alexandria, discussed below, occurred late in the fifth century and involved two natives of Aphrodisias.50
PAGANISM AND CHRISTIANITY AT APHRODISIAS
We must now bring these considerations to bear on the temple conversion at Aphrodisias. Since the relative strengths of paganism and Christianity in a given locale prove to have been decisive, we must assess the strengths of the two religions at Aphrodisias at the time of the conversion. Fortunately, a great deal of evidence is at our disposal. The image it creates is that of a dynamic society which, as late as the late fifth century, included both fervent pagans and zealous Christians.
The chance survival of two texts, one by a pagan author and one by a Christian, paint a vivid picture of religious life at Aphrodisias, and elsewhere, in the late fifth century. Both written in the early sixth century, one is the Life of Severus, patriarch of Antioch in 512-518, by Zacharias Scholasticus,51 and the other is the fragmentary Life of Isidore, a pagan philosopher, written by Damascius.52 The two texts corroborate each other, discussing some of the same characters and events, and directly contradict each other only in how they interpret some of those events.
Looking first at the Life of the patriarch Severus, much of the text recounts Severus’ student days in Alexandria in the mid 480s, where he and the author had studied together. Zacharias describes the very cosmopolitan school at Alexandria. Its faculty and students included both pagans and Christians from all over the eastern Mediterranean, living together in what appears to have been a somewhat uneasy peace. In a long digression, Zacharias tells the story of two well-to-do brothers from Aphrodisias, Paralius and Athanasius, who also had come to study in Alexandria.53 The brothers came to Alexandria as pagans, but after long spiritual struggles, both converted to Christianity. Having converted, they then became involved in a clash between the pagans and Christians of Alexandria. The conflict, which led to violence and came to involve representatives of the local and imperial governments, resulted in the destruction, by Christians, of a sanctuary of Isis. Afterwards, the brothers returned to Aphrodisias, probably in the early 490s, where they attempted to convert their still-pagan family members, reminding them of the many times they had made offerings to the pagan gods there -- never, they said, with any positive results, attributing their failure to the surreptitious efforts of a Christian who attended the sacrifice, apparently only to thwart it. Whether or not the brothers succeeded in converting their family members we are not told, but Zacharias does state that at Aphrodisias, they founded a monastery and converted many pagans.
Damascius’ Life of the pagan philosopher Isidore includes biographies of many of Isidore’s contemporaries, including one Asclepiodotus, a character who had also turned up in the Christian Life of Severus, just discussed.54 Asclepiodotus, a native of Alexandria, was a philosopher of some fame, with a particular interest in pagan ritual and its accoutrements. In the 480s, he settled at Aphrodisias where he ran a thriving school of pagan philosophy. He married a local woman whose father also was named Asclepiodotus and also was a pagan.55 This second Asclepiodotus was one of the highest-ranking men in the city. He held first rank in the city council and had, according to Zacharias, “honors and dignities showered upon him by the emperor.”56 Damascius states that under Asclepiodotus, pagan philosophy and religious activity flourished at Aphrodisias, mentioning it side by side with Athens as an important center of philosophy. He also says that pagan religious practices were “exported” from Aphrodisias, meaning probably that Asclepiodotus’ students went on to establish their own schools in other cities.
Asclepiodotus of Alexandria was involved in an incident concerning his pagan religious beliefs that may have caused him to be disgraced at Aphrodisias. Previously childless, he and his wife went away to Alexandria where they finally had a baby. According to Asclepiodotus, it was his and his wife’s supplications to the goddess Isis at her shrine in Egypt (the same shrine that was destroyed in the incident described by Zacharias) that allowed them to conceive the baby. Others (Christians, including Paralius of Aphrodisias) claimed that this was a lie and that while the couple had indeed visited the shrine of Isis, they had not conceived the child, but had bought it from a priestess. Both Zacharias and Damascius thus mention the incident, though according to the Christian source, the baby was purchased, while the pagan source, not surprisingly, attributes its birth to the powers of Isis.57 News of the scandal reached Aphrodisias. A high-ranking, and certainly Christian, official interceded to ensure that the Christian “truth” be made known. Whether he was disgraced by the incident, or for other reasons, Asclepiodotus did not return to Aphrodisias.
The writings of Zacharias and Damascius show that in the late fifth century, Aphrodisias’ population included both pagans and Christians. They reflect a society among whose elites Christianity had made inroads, but that still remained, in its upper classes at least, significantly pagan. The two brothers who converted to Christianity were clearly of the upper class, since they were sent to Alexandria for their education, and they came from a pagan family, though they returned to the city as Christians. Asclepiodotus, a native of Alexandria and a pagan philosopher of some renown, came to Aphrodisias to teach, and then married the daughter of a local aristocrat. According to Zacharias, he lived there for a long time. He surely would not have settled in the city had he not found many pupils. If he met with Christian opposition, it was not strong enough to drive him away, at least not for some time. Both authors show that the local pagans not only studied philosophy, but also engaged in sacrifice, actively seeking the counsel of their gods. Where they concern Aphrodisias, the writings of Zacharias and Damascius are corroborated by inscriptions found at the site, both in specifics, since they name some of the persons mentioned in the two texts, and in the overall picture they present of a pagan aristocracy, only very slowly giving way to Christianity.58 Numerous inscriptions with overt expressions of paganism, dating as late as ca. 500, were on display throughout the city center. Among them, perhaps the most notable for its conspicuous paganism, is a fragmentary base for a portrait statue of a leading citizen of Aphrodisias. It was found together with the statue that stood on it and is datable to ca. 500.59 The inscription on the base refers to Aphrodisias as the “city of the Paphian goddess” (Aphrodite) and honors not only Pytheas, the subject of the portrait and a local benefactor of the highest senatorial rank, but also the goddess herself for the glory she had brought to the city. The statue had been prominently displayed in the city council house. That pagan sentiments could be expressed so freely and publicly at this late date is striking.
Our knowledge that Aphrodisias’ elites included many pagans until the late fifth century suggests that its lower classes did as well, since this was a world in which vertical ties of patronage connected the upper and lower classes. In fact, there is concrete evidence to support this idea. A marble slab inscribed with markings to serve as a game board was found at Aphrodisias.60 Inscribed slogans carved along adjacent edges read “The fortune of the Pytheanitae wins!” and, flanked by crosses, “The fortune of Mardaetus wins!” The term Pytheanitae, in all likelihood, refers to the clients and supporters of the same Pytheas whose statue stood in the city council house. Mardaetus is otherwise unknown, but the crosses flanking his slogan show clearly that he was a Christian. The presence of these inscriptions along the edges of a game board certainly suggests competition between the Pytheanitae and Mardaetus. The inclusion of the crosses flanking Mardaetus’ inscription, along with our knowledge of Pytheas’ paganism, suggests that there was a religious element to that competition. Adding to the impression of religion-based rivalries at Aphrodisias is the frequent appearance at the site of carved graffiti depicting symbols that are explicitly pagan (a double-headed axe, symbol of the Aphrodite of Aphrodisias), Christian (the cross), or Jewish (menorahs and others). They often are found next to one another, suggesting that rival religious groups were competing to put their stamp on particular areas of the city.61
The city’s vigorous sculpture industry continued to cater to the pagan population until at least the fifth century. Numerous small-scale statues of pagan deities dating to the fourth and fifth centuries have been found in domestic contexts, in the ruins of a sculptors’ workshop located in the city center, and elsewhere throughout the site.62 On a larger scale, there is a series of fine philosopher portraits dating to the fifth century, found in an elegant house that may have served as Asclepiodotus’ school.63 The series includes nine tondo busts, originally mounted on a wall of the house, and two freestanding busts. All were found dumped, with their heads deliberately knocked off, in a dead space behind the house. Discovered inside the house was a headless bust holding a statuette of the Aphrodite of Aphrodisias.
With regard to the history of Christianity at Aphrodisias, our evidence is less plentiful and less explicit than that for late paganism. Two early Christian martyrs from Aphrodisias were honored with a feast day already by the beginning of the fifth century, while an inscription, not closely datable but probably fourth century or later, shows that a martyrion existed somewhere near the city.64 We know that Aphrodisias had a bishop by 325, and the names of a whole series of Aphrodisian bishops are preserved in the signature lists of various general church council meetings and assorted other sources.65 For the great majority of them, we know nothing more than their names. One exception, though, is the bishop Cyrus, whose episcopacy lasted from at least 431 to 449.66 He attended the chaotic and violence-plagued Council of Ephesus in 431; a law issued by Theodosius II in 436 mentions Cyrus by name.67 It exempted Cyrus, and only Cyrus, from the payment of tribute in gold that the law required from all other bishops, stating that his “merits are so great that even contrary to the provisions of a general sanction of this kind, he shall not be prohibited from the full enjoyment of a special grant of imperial favor.” What Cyrus did to deserve such favor is not known; it seems significant that he was bishop when Theodosius II visited Aphrodisias in 443.68
Our knowledge of the Christian community headed by these bishops is not extensive. A number of funerary inscriptions name Christians, but they do not give much information about the subjects.69 Furthermore, only one can be precisely dated, to 551, by which time the contest between paganism and Christianity at Aphrodisias was basically over.70 The others could have been cut anytime from the fourth or fifth century to the sixth century' or later. Some further evidence comes from a series of “place” inscriptions in which the name, and sometimes the occupation, of a person was carved, for example, onto a column or doorpost to mark the place where he practiced his trade. In some cases, the inscriptions are flanked by incised crosses and thus clearly belonged to Christians.71 They tend to be informally cut, meaning that they also are not closely datable, but they probably belong to the fourth or fifth centuries, or later. Where occupations are given, they include a surgeon, a trouser-maker, a cloakroom attendant at the public baths, and a barber, all members of the middle or lower classes. The earliest inscriptions to evidence Christianity among the upper classes at Aphrodisias date probably to the mid-fifth century. Two inscriptions honor one Ampelius, a high-ranking citizen and a Christian, for public building works that he sponsored.72 After Ampelius, surviving inscriptions that honor high-ranking Christian citizens do not appear again until about 500. From that point, they become increasingly common, and by the reign of Justinian (527-565), the signs of paganism are few and far between.
To summarize, the late fifth century seems to have been a turning point for religion at Aphrodisias. Paganism remained strong throughout most of the fifth century, and seems even to have gained strength under the tutelage of Asclepiodotus in the 480s. As shown by inscriptions, pagan aristocrats felt free to express their religious sympathies publicly and clearly as late as the late fifth century. After ca. 500, though, we see almost no sign of the old religion, while Christianity becomes far more visible.
We may now turn once more to the conversion of the temple at Aphrodisias. The fate of the temples, as has been shown, could differ depending on the religious affiliation of the local population. Where temples were not problematic, or where conflicts regarding them could be resolved locally, emperors left well enough alone. When they were called upon to make a ruling, emperors could be swayed either to hand a temple over to the local Christians, or to protect it from them, with their decisions intending to strike a balance between the sometimes conflicting aims of protecting and promoting Christianity on the one hand, and avoiding provocation of often powerful pagan groups on the other. Available evidence suggests that Aphrodisias was home to such a pagan group until the late fifth century. It is entirely possible that there were just as many Christians as there were pagans in the city, but the conservative, pagan beliefs of many of its wealthiest, most powerful citizens cannot be doubted. The emperors, dependent on this group for taxes and the smooth running of their cities, and desiring to keep the peace, could not have afforded to alienate them.73 Thus, long after the adoption of Christianity as the state religion of the empire, the pagan elites of Aphrodisias were free to maintain and express their religious ideas without fear of harassment or reprisals.
The coins found in the excavation of the temple-church at Aphrodisias show that the conversion cannot have occurred before the third quarter of the fifth century. In light of the strength of the pagan upper classes at Aphrodisias at that time, and given what we know of the continuation of pagan religious practices elsewhere, it seems quite probable that until the time of conversion, the pagan aristocracy of Aphrodisias continued to visit the shrine. Though they could not legally offer public sacrifice, they could have maintained its buildings, keeping alive the symbols, if not the rituals, of the cult to which their city owed so much. At the very least, we can assume that they would have put up vigorous protest should the local bishop have tried to turn their temple into a church.
What finally pushed the emperor, whoever it was, to hand over the tempIe to the bishop cannot be known. Prior to the coin finds, the conversion of the temple had been tentatively linked to Theodosius II's visit to Aphrodisias in 443 and to the favor he showed Bishop Cyrus.74 More recently, Frank Trombley saw it as a reprisal visited upon the pagans of Aphrodisias by the emperor Zeno (474-491) for their support of the revolt of Illus, since a passage in Zacharias’ Life of Severus suggests that the pagans of Aphrodisias had supported him in the hope that they might revive their religious practices should he come to power.75 The numismatic evidence does not refute his idea, but there is no evidence for Zeno having exacted this type of revenge.76 Possibly, the disgrace of Asclepiodotus turned the religious tide among the city’s elite in favor of Christianity. We are not able to pinpoint an actuating event for the conversion of the aristocracy of Aphrodisias, but we may now safely say that since the conversion of the temple would have required their support, the religious transformation of Aphrodisias’ leading citizens must have preceded the structural transformation of its principal shrine.
This paper is a revised version of a section of my Ph.D. thesis, listed below. I would like to thank New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts for supporting my graduate work; Professors Thomas Mathews, Christopher Ratté, and R. R. R. Smith for their help and advice; architect Harry Mark for lending his talents to the drawings; and Professor Oliver Nicholson for organizing the conference at Minnesota and providing many useful criticisms and suggestions for this paper.
Citations of periodicals and standard reference works use the abbreviations given in the American Journal of Archaeology 95 (1991): 4-16, itself abbreviated AJA. Additional abbreviations are:
Aphrodisias de Carie - J. de la Genière and K. Erim, eds., Aphrodisias de Carie, Colloque du Centre de Recherches Archéologiques de l’Université de Lille III, 13 Novembre 1985 (Paris, 1987).
Aphr. Papers 1 - C. Roueché and K. Erim, Aphrodisias Papers: Recent Work on Architecture and Sculpture, Journal of Roman Archaeology Supplemental Series 1 (Ann Arbor, MI, 1990).
Aphr. Papers 2 - R. R. R. Smith and K. Erim, eds., Aphrodisias Papers 2: The Theatre, a Sculptor’s Workshop, Philosophers, and Coin-Types, Journal of Roman Archaeology Supplemental Series 2 (Ann Arbor, MI, 1991).
Aphr. Papers 3 - C. Roueché and R. R. R. Smith, eds., Aphrodisias Papers 3: The Setting and Quarries, Mythological and Other Sculptural Decoration, Portico of Tiberius, and Tetrapylon, Journal of Roman Archaeology Supplemental Series 2 (Ann Arbor, MI, 1996).
Hebert - “The Temple-Church at Aphrodisias,” (Ph.D. thesis, New York University, 2000).
Justinianic Code - Codex Iustinianus in Corpus Iuris Civilis, ed. P. Krueger (Berlin, 1929).
Theodosian Code - Imperatoris Theodosiani Codex at www.gmu.edu/departments/fld/CLASSICS/theod.html. The translation used here is C. Pharr, The Theodosian Code and Novels and Sirmondian Constitutions (Princeton, 1952).
Eleven coins were all found together in the foundation of the outer narthex. Of the legible coins, the earliest is from the joint reign of Theodosius I, Arcadius, and Honorius (393-395); the latest are two coins of Leo I (457-474). See R. R. R. Smith and C. Ratté, “Archaeological Research at Aphrodisias in Caria,” AJA (1995): 43-46.
Major publications on Aphrodisias include K. Erim, Aphrodisias, City of Venus Aphrodite (London, 1986); J. Reynolds, Aphrodisias and Rome (London, 1982); C. Roueché, Aphrodisias in Late Antiquity (London, 1989); Aphrodisias de Carie; Aphr. Papers 1; Aphr. Papers 2; Aphr. Papers 3; and excavation reports by R. R. R. Smith and C. Ratté in AJA 99 (1995): 33-58; AJA 100 (1996): 5-33; AJA 101 (1997): 1-22; AJA 102 (1998): 225-50.
For the urban development of Aphrodisias, see C. Ratté, “The Urban Development of Aphrodisias in the Late Hellenistic and Early Imperial Periods,” Patris und Imperium, ed. C. Berns et al. (Leuven, 2002), 5-32; idem, “New Research on the Urban Development of Aphrodisias in Late Antiquity,” Urbanism in Western Asia Minor: New Studies on Aphrodisias, Ephesos, Hierapolis, Pergamon, Perge and Xanthos, JRA Suppl. 45, ed. D. Parrish (Portsmouth, RI, 2001), 117-47.
Inscriptions: Roueché, Aphrodisias in Late Antiquity, passim. Statues: R. R. R. Smith, “Late Antique Portraits in a Public Context: Honorific Statuary at Aphrodisias in Caria, A.D. 330-600,” Journal of Roman Studies 80 (1999): 155-89.
The architecture of the temple is the subject of two studies by D. Theodorescu: “La restitution de l’Aphrodision: certitudes et perplexités," Aphr. Papers 1, 49-65; idem, :Le Temple d’Aphrodite: prolégomènes à une étude de restitution," Aphrodisias de Carie, 87-97.
On the architecture of the temenos, see S. Doruk, “The Architecture of the Temenos,” Aphr. Papers 1, 66-74.
On the architecture of the conversion, Hebert, 35-75; R. Cormack, “The Temple as the Cathedral,” Aphr. Papers 1, 75-88. On temple conversions in general, see F. W. Deichmann, “Frühchristliche Kirchen in antiken Heiligtümern,” Jahrbuch des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts 54 (1939): 105-36, which, though often outdated and with only summary descriptions, remains a valuable resource. More recent studies include J. Vaes, “Cristliche Wiederverwendung antiker Bauten: Ein Forschungbericht,” Ancient Society 15-17 (1984-86): 305-441; idem, “‘Nova construere sed amplius vetusta servare’: La réutilisation d’édifices antiques (en Italie),” Actes du XIe congrés internationale d’archéologie chrétienne, 1986, vol. 1 (Vatican City, 1989), 299-321.
M. Mellink, “Archaeology in Asia Minor,” AJA 68 (1964): 161; idem, '”Archaeology in Asia Minor,” AJA 69 (1965): 145; idem, “Archaeology in Asia Minor,” AJA 70 (1966): 154; K. Erim, “Aphrodisias, 1965 Campaign,” Türk arkeoloji dergisi 15/1 (1968): 59-60; idem, “Aphrodisias, Results of the 1967 Campaign,” Türk arkeoloji dergisi 16/1 (1968): 69-70; idem, Aphrodisias, 58; M. Mellink, “Archaeology in Asia Minor,” AJA 76 (1972): 184-85; K. Erim, “1971 Excavations at Aphrodisias in Caria,” Türk arkeoloji dergisi 20/1 (1973): 66; J. de la Genière, “Premières recherches sur Aphrodisias préromaine,” Aphrodisias de Carie, 54-56; L. Brody, “The Iconography and Cult of the Aphrodite of Aphrodisias,” (Ph.D. diss., New York University, 1999) 21-25.
Erim, Aphrodisias, 57-58; Theodorescu, “Le Temple d’Aphrodite,” 90; K. Welch, “The Temple of Aphrodite at Aphropdisias: A History of the Building’s Excavation and a Documentation of its Hellenistic Phases,” unpublished report (1992).
On the foundation of the city, see Reynolds, Aphrodisias and Rome, 1-3.
Reynolds, Aphrodisias and Rome, 3-5, doc. 12.
Reynolds, Aphrodisias and Rome, doc. 10.
Brody, “The Iconography and Cult of Aphrodite,” 39-40.
A. Laumonier, Les Cultes Indigènes en Carie (Paris, 1958), 484-85; Brody, “The Iconography and Cult of Aphrodite,” 36-39.
Laumonier, Les Cultes Indigènes en Carie, 483-84; Brody, “The Iconography and Cult of Aphrodite,” 42-43.
Brody, “The Iconography and Cult of Aphrodite,” 43-44.
Brody, “The Iconography and Cult of Aphrodite,” 281-88.
See Alison Frantz, “From Paganism to Christianity in the Temples of Athens,” Dumbarton Oaks Papers 19 (1965): 185-205, esp. 191-93, 200- 201, with further bibliography.
See below, 101-102.
For the texts used here, see, the list of abbreviations above. The laws recorded in the Theodosian Code were reproduced there in an abbreviated form and, though intended to be all-inclusive, some would certainly have been left out because the texts were lost. For some recent studies of the Theodosian Code and other Late Antique legislation, see John F. Matthews, Laying Down the Law: A Study of the Theodosian Code (New Haven and London, 2000); Jill Harries, Law and Empire in Late Antiquity (Cambridge, 1999); Tony Honoré, Law in the Crisis of Empire, 379-455 AD (Oxford, 1998). All three are reviewed by A. D. Lee, “Decoding Late Roman Law,” Journal of Roman Studies 92 (2002): 185-193.
Constantine’s attitudes towards pagans and paganism, including the issue of whether he ever did actually ban sacrifice, are the subject of controversy. For a recent assessment, see S. Bradbury, “Constantine and the Problem of Anti-Pagan Legislation in the Fourth Century,” Classical Philology 89/2 (Apr. 1994): 120-39.
Theodosian Code 16.10.2. The text states that Constantius, emperor of the eastern empire (337-361), issued the law. It was, however, issued in the western empire and therefore should be attributed to Constans, emperor of the western empire (337-350).
Theodosian Code 16.10.4-13, 15-16, 18-23, 25, prohibit sacrifice. Theodosian Code 16.10.12-13 and 19, hold provincial governors, defensores, and decurions punishable for violations committed under their jurisdiction, if those officials should fail to report them.
The single, short-lived exception is that of Julian the Apostate (361-363), the sole pagan emperor after Constantine.
Theodosian Code 16.10.4; Justinianic Code 1.11.7.
Theodosian Code 16.10.10, 11, 13.
Theodosian Code 16.10.16, 25.
Theodosian Code 16.10.3, 15, 18; Nov. Maj. 4.
Theodosian Code 16.10.8.
Theodosian Code 16.10.19; Sirm. 12.
Theodosian Code 16.10.7, 12.
Justinianic Code 1.11.7.
Theodosian Code Nov. Maj. 4
A. Geyer, “‘Ne ruinis urbs deformetur ...’: Ästhetische Kritirien in der spätantiken Baubesetzgebung,” Boreas 16 (1993): 63-77; J. Alchermes, “Spolia in Roman Cities of the Late Empire: Legislative Rationales and Architectural Reuse,” Dumbarton Oaks Papers 48 (1994): 167-178; H.R. Meier, “Alte Tempel-neue Kulte,” in Innovation in der Spätantike, ed. B. Brenk (Wiesbaden, 1996), 363-76.
See G. Fowden, “Bishops and Temples in the Eastern Roman Empire,” JThS n.s. 29 (1978): 53-78.
Christian sacred sites include Mambre and the site of the Holy Sepulchre at Jerusalem (Temple of Aphrodite). See Eusebius Vita Con. 3.26-30, 3.51-52. Though Eusebius mentions only an altar and idols being destroyed at Mambre, a temple and temenos existed as well, and were partly re-used in the church. See Deichmann, “Frühchristliche Kirchen,” 107; E. Mader, Mambre. Die Ergebnisse der Ausgrabungen im heiligen Bezirk Râmet el-Halîl in Südpalästina, 1926 (Freiburg im Breisgau, 1957). Sites of ritual prostitution include Aphaka and Heliopolis in Phoenicia. See Eusebius Vita Con. 3.55, 58. Eusebius also claimed that Constantine had the temple of Asclepius at Aegae in Phoenicia destroyed (3.56), but see P. Chuvin, A Chronicle of the Last Pagans (Cambridge, 1990), 33-34.
Chuvin, A Chronicle of the Last Pagans, 31.
Ammianus Marcellinus 22.11.3-11; Julian ep. 60; Socrates Historia Ecclesiastica 3.2; Sozomen Historia Ecclesiastica 5.7-8. Fowden, “Bishops and Temples,” 59-60.
Libanius ep. 819.6; Gregory of Nazianzus Orations 4.88-91; Sozomen Historia Ecclesiastica 5.10.5-14; Theodoret Historia Ecclesiastica 3.7.10. Fowden, “Bishops and Temples,” 60.
Cyzicus: Sozomen Historia Ecclesiastica 5.15.4-10; Fowden, “Bishops and Temples,” 60. Aegae: Zonaras Epitomae Historiarum 13.12.30-34; Fowden, “Bishops and Temples,” 61.
Historia Ecclesiastica 5.15; Fowden, “Bishops and Temples,” 60.
The main source is Theodoret Historia Ecclesiastica 5.21 The date used here is that of Cynegius’ tenure as PPO. For modern summaries, see Fowden, “Bishops and Temples,” 64; J. BaIty, “Le sanctuaire oraculaire de Zeus Bêlos à Apamée,” Topoi Orient-Occident 7/2 (1997): 791-99.
A good modern summary, with further bibliography, is in Christopher Haas, Alexandria in Late Antiquity: Topography and Social Conflict (London, 1997), 161-63. See also Fowden, “Bishops and Temples,” 69-70. The main historical sources are Paulinus of Nola Carm. 19.98-116, Socrates Historia Ecclesiastica 5.16, Theodoret Historia Ecclesiastica 5.22.
Mark the Deacon Vie de Porphyre, èvêque de Gaza, trans. and ed. H. Grégoire and M.-A.Kugener (1930), 17-76. See also Fowden, “Bishops and Temples,” 72-75.
Mark the Deacon Vie de Porphyre 76.
The temples with their lands and estates had probably been confiscated by Constantine. They were restored by Julian, but taken back again by Valentinian and Valens. See A. H. M. Jones, The Later Roman Empire, 284-602: a Social, Economic, and Administrative Survey, vols. 1 and 2 (Baltimore, 1986), 92, 121, 416, 420, 732.
Theodosian Code 16.10.18.
Fowden, “Bishops and Temples,” 54.
See nn. 51 and 52.
The text survives only in a Syriac translation of the original Greek, which has been translated into French and published as Zacharias Scholasticus, Vie de Sévère, ed. and trans. M.-A. Kugener, Patrologia Orientalis t. 2, fasc. 1 (Paris, 1907), 7-115.
The Philosophical History, ed. and trans. P. Athanassiadi (Athens, 1999). For other discussions of the two Lives, see Roueché, Aphrodisias in Late Antiquity, 85-86, 88-93; Chuvin, A Chronicle of the Last Pagans, 105-11; F. R. Trombley, Hellenic Religion and Christianization, c. 370-529, vol. 2 (New York, 1993), chaps. 5-6.
Zacharias Vie de Sévère 14-44.
Damascius Life of Isidore 203-7, 213-21, 233. For Asclepiodotus of Alexandria, see PLRE II, 161-62 s.n. Asclepiodotus 3; Roueché, Aphrodisias in Late Antiquity, 85-93; and below, n. 54.
For Asclepiodotus of Aphrodisias, see Roueché, Aphrodisias in Late Antiquity, 85-93; PLRE II, 160-61 s.n. Asclepiodotus 2. Note that Athanassiadi, 348-49, believes that the identities of the two men are somewhat confused.
Zacharias Vie de Sévère 17.
Zacharias Vie de Sévère 16-20; Damascius Life of Isidore 233.
The inscriptions are translated and discussed in Roueché, Aphrodisias in Late Antiquity, esp. 85-122; and Trombley, Hellenic Religion and Christianization, 2: chap. 6.
For the inscription, Roueché, Aphrodisias in Late Antiquity, doc. 56; Trombley, Hellenic Religion and Christianization, 2:62, with a slightly different translation. For the statue monument, see Smith, “Late Antique Portraits in a Public Context,” 167-8.
Roueché, Aphrodisias in Late Antiquity, 96-97, doc. 59.
See A. Chaniotis, “Zwischen Konfrontation und Interaktion: Christen, Juden und Heiden im spätantiken Aphrodisias,” in Patchwork: Dimensionen multikultereller Gesellschaften: Geschichte, Problematik und Chancen, ed. A. Ackermann and K. E. Müller (Bielefeld, 2002), 83-128. For the Jewish community at Aphrodisias, see also A. Chaniotis, “The Jews of Aphrodisias: New Evidence and Old Problems,” Scripta Classica Israelica 21 (2002): 209-42; J. Reynolds and R. Tannenbaum, Jews and Godfearers at Aphrodisias (Cambridge, 1987), passim.
For pieces from the sculptors’ workshop, which was destroyed at some point in the fourth century, see J. Van Voorhis “The Sculptor’s Workshop at Aphrodisias” (Ph. D. diss., New York University, 1999), esp. chap. 3. For others, see R. R. R. Smith, “Archaeological Research at Aphrodisias 1989-1992,” Aphr. Papers 3, 19, fig. 10; 24, figs. 17-18.
R. R. R. Smith, “Late Roman Philosopher Portaits from Aphrodisias,” JRS 80 (1990): 127-55.
The Syriac Martyrology of 411 records the feast day of April 30th for the two martyrs: F. Nau, “Un Martyrologe et douze Ménologes syriac,” Patrologia Orientalis 10 (1915): 16. The martyrs also are mentioned under varying names in the Martyrologium Hieronymianum, ed. De Rossi and 1. Duchesne, AASS, Nov., t. II: 1, LII; the Synaxaria Constantinopolitana, ed. H. Delehaye, AASS, Propyl. ad Nov.. cols. 638-39; and in the Passio Diodoroti et Rodopiani iiii nonas Julii, preserved in a 10th/11th c. manuscript at Rouen. The Passio was published by P. Peeters, “Passio SS Diodoroti et Rodopiani,” Analecta Bollandiana 23 (1904): 255-57, where the other texts also are summarized. For the martyrion, see Roueché, Aphrodisias in Late Antiquity, 207-8, doc. 163.
For a list of the known bishops of Aphrodisias, with further bibliography, see Roueché, Aphrodisias in Late Antiquity, 322-326.
Roueché, Aphrodisias in Late Antiquity, 60-61, 323.
Theodosian Code 11.1.37.
For Theodosius II in Aphrodisias, see Roueché, Aphrodisias in Late Antiquity, 60.
Roueché, Aphrodisias in Late Antiquity, docs. 153, 155, 156, 158, 163-67, 169-72, 174, 175.
Roueché, Aphrodisias in Late Antiquity, doc. 164.
Roueché, Aphrodisias in Late Antiquity, docs. 189-91, 194, 199, 200, 202, 206, 208, 210, 211. Two others, docs. 187-88, are associated with the temple-church and seem to postdate the conversion, so that they are not helpful in trying to get a picture of the Christian community before the conversion of the temple.
Roueché, Aphrodisias in Late Antiquity, docs. 38, 42. A third inscription, doc. 43, of which part is missing, probably also honors Ampelius for another major project, and a very fragmentary fourth inscription, doc. 44, probably named him as well. For an earlier inscription that may be Christian, see Trombley, Hellenic Religion and Christianization, 2:64.
Trombley, Hellenic Religion and Christianization, 2:71-72.
Roueché, Aphrodisias in Late Antiquity, 153; R. Cormack, “The Temple as the Cathedral,” 84.
Trombley, Hellenic Religion and Christianization, 1:82; 2:66-68. For the rebellion of Illus, see Jones, The Later Roman Empire, 1:225-29. Though Illus was not killed until 488, the rebellion was effectively quashed in 484 when Zeno’s troops first laid siege to his stronghold. For Illus’s religious beliefs, see PLRE II, 589-90, sn. Illus 1.
See G. Fowden’s review of Trombley in Journal of Roman Studies 85 (1995): 343.