Monograph 14: Sardis: Greek and Latin Inscriptions, Part II: Finds from 1958 to 2017 (2019)

by Nicholas Cahill and Andrew Ramage

Editors’ Preface

Editors’ Preface

The publication of a corpus of inscriptions from Sardis discovered since W. H. Buckler and D. M. Robinson’s Sardis VII: Greek and Latin Inscriptions, Part I (1932) has been planned since the foundation of the Archaeological Exploration of Sardis in 1958. It has had a circuitous history, however.1 Prof. G. M. A. Hanfmann of Harvard University, director of the Expedition, entrusted the task of studying and publishing newly discovered inscriptions to Prof. Louis Robert and Mme. Jeanne Robert (Fig. 1a). The distinguished epigraphers visited the site on a number of occasions, worked on its new finds, and published important studies of selected texts—including a Hellenistic decree, dedications to local gods, and certain inscriptions from the Synagogue—in Nouvelles inscriptions de Sardes I (1964), and the dedication by Droaphernes of a statue to Zeus, documenting Persian cult at Sardis in the Achaemenid era.2 They planned to publish a corpus of all new finds as Sardis Monograph 15, but this was never completed.

Following the unexpected death of Prof. Robert in 1985, select groups of inscriptions were assigned to other scholars for study and publication. Prof. Philippe Gauthier’s study of the Hellenistic documents inscribed on the antae of the Metroon was published as Nouvelles inscriptions de Sardes II (1989), and the numerous mosaic and wall inscriptions in Greek and Latin belonging to the Late Roman Synagogue was published by Prof. John H. Kroll in the Harvard Theological Review (2001) (Fig. 2a). The remaining inscriptions, including those found since Prof. Crawford H. Greenewalt, jr. became director of the Expedition in 1976, were to be published by Prof. Peter Herrmann (Fig. 3a). Many of Prof. Herrmann’s masterful treatments of important texts are collected in Kleinasien im Spiegel epigraphischer Zeugnisse, edited by Wolfgang Blümel (2016).3 Prof. Herrmann had begun a comprehensive publication of all the inscriptions as envisioned by Hanfmann, but this remained unfinished in 2002 when Prof. Herrmann tragically passed away.

In this circumstance, Greenewalt asked Prof. Petzl to take on the task of bringing together the decades of research by these and other scholars, and we are honored and grateful that he agreed to tackle this project. Prof. Petzl’s scope widened significantly with the excavations in the sanctuary of the Imperial Cult (Sector Field 55; Figs. 2, 4). The harvest of inscriptions from this sector, about 75 of which are included in this study, is the most important epigraphic discovery of recent decades at Sardis. Many of the texts are shattered or built into later walls in such a way that they can only partly be read, and their study has presented unusual challenges. Most are published here for the first time, and future excavation will certainly add to this corpus. In bringing together the inscriptions found between 1958 and 2017, this publication is both volume 14 of the Sardis Monograph series begun by the Harvard-Cornell Expedition, and Part II of the overall corpus of Sardis inscriptions begun by H. C. Butler’s American Society for the Excavation of Sardis, following Buckler and Robinson’s Part I.

Besides these noteworthy epigraphers, the study and recording of inscriptions from Sardis has occupied many other scholars and students over decades. In particular, we are grateful for the efforts of the many members of the expedition who carefully documented the inscriptions each year and did preliminary studies as they came out of the ground. These include Sherman Johnson, John Pedley, Steve Crawford, Clive Foss, John Kroll, Barbara Burrell, Michael Bennett, Neel Smith, Hillary Wiesner, Gretchen Umholtz, Elspeth McIntosh Dusinberre, Corinne Crawford, Alessandra Sulzer, Frances Gallart Marqués, Patrick Crowley, Emily Gangemi, Monica Park, and Brianna Bricker. To those whose names have been inadvertently omitted, we extend our apologies.

In assembling and documenting the corpus, we have all been aided by the dedicated work of many other students and scholars. Editor Katherine Kiefer and Publications Data Manager Theresa Huntsman contributed enormously to regularizing the records, proveniences, and other archaeological aspects of these texts and the monuments to which they belong. William Bruce deciphered the late Prof. Herrmann’s digital manuscript in an unknown computer format, and thus saved a great deal of work that otherwise would have had to be retyped by hand.

The photographs illustrating the texts were taken by photographers since the first years of the Expedition, and it would be a Herculean task to enumerate them here. We extend particular gratitude, however, to Elizabeth Gombosi, Richard Taylor, Sara Champlin, Ellen Jordan, and Jessica Salley, who in recent years re-photographed many of the stones for this publication. Brianna Bricker and LauraLee Brott worked miracles to bring older photographs, often taken under difficult circumstances, up to modern standards for publication. The map in Fig. 1 was drawn by LauraLee Brott. The manuscript was copyedited by Lisa Anderson and Theresa Huntsman, and was laid out by Brianna Bricker. Ahmet Boratav of Ege Yayınları / Zero Books has been endlessly helpful in the production of this volume, the first Sardis monograph printed in Turkey.

Work at Sardis would not be possible without the support of many sponsors and friends in Turkey and throughout the world. Permission to excavate and do research at the site is granted each year by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Turkey, and we extend our deep thanks and appreciation to the General Directors of the Directorate of Museums and Cultural Heritage, and to the dedicated staff of the Directorate, who go out of their way each year to make this work possible and smooth. In thanking the present Minister of Culture and Tourism, Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, as well as General Director Murat Gürül, we extend our gratitude to their predecessors as well. The director and staff of the Archaeological and Ethnographic Museum in Manisa, who are responsible for the site and all its artifacts, have likewise supported our efforts at the site and those of many scholars working throughout Lydia in documenting and protecting the rich archaeological heritage of the region. Lütfi Ekinci, Sevgi Soyaker, Müyesser Tosunbaş, Hasan Dedeoğlu, Kubilay Nayır, and, at the beginning of the Expedition, Kemal Ziya Polatkan have all welcomed us to the Museum and made epigraphic research there a pleasure. Finally, Prof. Hasan Malay’s lifelong contributions to the epigraphy of Lydia are apparent throughout this volume, and his warm personal friendship and generosity must be mentioned here.

The Harvard Art Museums and its directors over these years, most recently Martha Tedeschi, have supported the Expedition since its inception, and we are deeply grateful for her continuing support of our research and publication.

The archaeological fieldwork leading to the discovery of these texts, and the research leading to this and other Sardis Reports and Monographs, are the result of the generous sponsorship of many individuals and institutions over the last sixty years. Research and publication have been supported by numerous grants from the U.S. Department of State and the National Endowment for the Humanities.4 Among the private donors are Mr. and Mrs. Max Barus, the Bollingen Foundation, the Ruth Covo Family Foundation, the J. Stephens Crawford Trust, the Ford Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. William Frederick, Dr. and Mrs. David Greenewalt and the David Greenewalt Charitable Trust, Dr. Richard Hamilton, the Institute for Aegean Prehistory, the J.M. Kaplan Fund, the John M. Kohler Foundation, Dr. Edwin H. Land and Mrs. Land, Mr. Thomas B. Lemann, the Lucius N. Littauer Foundation, the Loeb Classical Library Foundation of Harvard University, the Charles E. Merrill Trust, the Old Dominion Foundation, Mr. Donald I. Perry, the John and Emma Quint Memorial Fund, Mr. John J. Roche, the Billy Rose Foundation, the Rowland Foundation, Valerie Smallwood, the Susan G. Soderquist Trust, the Eleanor Ransom Swift Trust, Richard and Genevieve Tucker, the Vila B. Webber Charitable Trust, the estate of W. C. Burriss Young, and the Zemurray Foundation, as well as several anonymous donors. The Supporters of Sardis, founded by Prof. Hanfmann, remains an active and interested group of concerned individuals, and we are, as always, beholden to them for their support.

  • Fig. 1a

    George M. A. Hanfmann, Louis Robert, and Jeanne Robert (preparing a squeeze of no. 708), 1961. (©Archaeological Exploration of Sardis/President and Fellows of Harvard College)

  • Fig. 2a

    Philippe Gauthier, 1987 (©Archaeological Exploration of Sardis/President and Fellows of Harvard College)

  • Fig. 3a

    Crawford H. Greenewalt, jr. and Peter Herrmann, 1995. (©Archaeological Exploration of Sardis/President and Fellows of Harvard College)

  • Fig. 2

    Plan of Sardis (©Archaeological Exploration of Sardis/President and Fellows of Harvard College)

  • Fig. 4

    Plan of Sector Field 55 (©Archaeological Exploration of Sardis/President and Fellows of Harvard College)

  • Fig. 1

    Map of Lydia showing sites mentioned. (©Archaeological Exploration of Sardis/President and Fellows of Harvard College)


  • 1Discussed in detail by G. Petzl’s forthcoming “Zum Inschriftencorpus von Sardeis—einem Vorhaben Peter Herrmanns”; see Author’s Preface, note 10.
  • 2Robert, Nouv. inscr. Sard. I (1964) and “Règlement de l’autorité perse relatif à un culte de Zeus” (1974); here nos. 301, 461, 460, 494, 493, 495, 520, 512, 524, 518, 434, and others; see the Concordances.
  • 3Herrmann, Ausgew. Schriften (2016).
  • 4The Department of State made grants in Turkish funds to Harvard under the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act, Public Law 87-256 and Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act, Public Law 480 as amended (SCC 29–543). National Endowment for the Humanities grants to Harvard University for work at Sardis and for publication work in the Cambridge office: H67-0-56, H68-0-61, H69-0-23, RO-111-70-3966, RO-4999-71-171, RO-6435-72-264, RO-8359-73-217, RO-10405-74-319, RO-23511-76-541, RO-20047-81-0230, RO-20607-84, RO-21414-87, RP 10050-80-0387, RP 20247-81-2162, RP 20360-82, RP 20754-86; to Cornell University GM 21549-83.