Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Inscriptions in US Museums

The organisation of information on-line continues apace. The latest to appear is a database of ancient inscriptions in the US. It is located at this site.

We delved in and located those related to Antioch & Daphne. Here they are:

We reserve a special wrist slap for those institutions (the Getty?? and Dumbarton Oaks?? - shame on you!) that, in this day and age of digital photography, can't be bothered taking a photo of their inscription to accompany the entry on the object.

Friday, August 5, 2011

More on the Omphalos

We have written before on the Omphalos, a sort of central point of the city, effectively the navel of Antioch. This is a concept which also existed in sculptural structures in Rome, Athens and Constantinople as well.

In recent reading we stumbled upon a footnote in Italian in the book:

Notizie dei rostri del Foro Romano, e dei monumenti contigui by Francis Morgan Nichols, 1885

In this he comments:

"Non mi par certo che lo Omphalos di alcuna città greca fosse un monumento particolare, come si suppone l'Umbilico di Roma. Si dice che in Costantinopoli il monte centrale si chiamasse con quel nome . (Veggasi Ducange, Gloss. med. et inf. Graec. s. v. ομφαλοζ, μεσομφαλιον.) Lo omphalos di Antiochia si descrive dallo storico bizantino Malalas, come un luogo nel mezzo dei portici che traversavano la città, dove stava, sopra una gran colonna di granito, un monumento eretto in onore dell'imperatore Tiberio, nel quale luogo vi era un'immaggine di un occhio incisa in pietra.

Ανεστησε τω αυτω Τιβηριφ χαισαρι η βουλη χαι δ δομοζ των Αντιοχεων στηλην χαλχδν υπερανω χιογοζ θηβαιου ζο τη πλατεια χατα το ρισον των ομβολων των υπ αυτον χτισθιντωπ θστιζ τοποζ χεχληται ο δμφαλαζ τηζ εχων χαι τυπον εγγεγλμμινον εν λιθω οφθαλμου ητιζ στηλη ιοταται εωζ τηζ νυν. Malalas, Clirou. lib. x. (ed. Dind. 233).

Il Mueller, il quale per οφθαλμου ha voluto leggere ομφαλον, opinò che si trattasse d'un monumento simile a quello delphico. (K. O. Mueller, Antiq. Antioch.57). Ma anche con questa lezione, le parole paiono accennare piuttosto ad un'immagine di quel simbolo intagliata, forse nella base del monumento di cui parla l'autore".

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Baths - a more definitive list

We have dwelt numerous times on the baths, one of the most prominent features of this very bath-loving city.

While a definitive list will never be formed until everything is excavated (thus likely never), the best we have in the short term is a list compiled an article entitled "Bains et histoire urbaine: l’exemple d’Antioche de Syrie dans l’Antiquité" by Catherine SALIOU, the Professeur d’Histoire romaine, Univ. Paris 8 – FRANCE.

We reproduce here (and translate) her reckoning from the historical sources:

Baths of:


Chronological or topographical detail

Julius Caesar

Malalas, p. 216, l. 21-23 sqq. Dindorf = p. 163, l. 54 sqq. Thurn.

On the Acropolis

Agrippianon = Ampeli(n)on

Malalas, p. 222, l. 17-20 = p. 169, l. 78-81 Thurn.

At the foot of the mountain in the Vicus Aprippa


Malalas, p. 234, l. 11-12 Dindorf = p. 178, l. 45-46 Thurn.

Near to the Spring of Olympias, in the section of the city created by Tiberius' extension of the city walls (cf. Libanios Or. XI, 250, who mentions the spring of Olympias : in the northern part of the city) ; to be distinguished from « Tibérinon loutron » mentioned in the Life of Syméon Stylite the Younger, which is not at Antioch but rather at the foot of “Mont Admirable”.

Gaius Casar (Caligula)

Malalas, p. 243, 15-8

Dindorf = p. 184, l. 27-31 Thurn.

At the foot of the mountain

Ouarion (Varium)

Malalas, p. 244, l. 7 sqq. Dindorf = p. 184, l. 37 sqq. Thurn.

At the foot of the mountain, near to the river and the city walls, a construction by the Senator Varius, sent by Caligula to supervise the reconstruction of the city after an earthquake


Malalas, p. 263, l. 11 sqq Dindorf = p. 199, l. 52 sqq. Thurn.

Lying beside the mountain, near to the amphitheatre and the Temple of Aphrodite ; a construction of Domitian.


Malalas, p. 276, l. 1 Dindorf = p. 208, l. 39 Thurn ; cf. Libanios, Or. 32, 2 (387) ; Évagre le Scholastique, HE II, 12.

In the Old City. Partly destroyed in the earthquake of AD458.


Malalas, p. 277, l. 20-278, l. 19 Dindorf = p. 209, l. 77 Thurn ; cf. P. Euphr. 1, l. 1-2 ; Évagre le Scholastique, HE II, 12.

In the Old City. Seat of the trail court of the governor in AD245. Partly destroyed in the earthquake of AD 458


Malalas, p. 282, l. 8-10 Dindorf = p. 213, l. 74 Thurn.

Restored by Marcus Aurelius (originally built before the earthquake of AD 115).


Malalas, p. 283, l. 5 Dindorf = p. 215, l. 9 Thurn, cf. p. 220, l. 47, et p. 261, l. 52 Thurn.

Constructed under Commodus; facing the Sanctuary of Athéna, contiguous to the Xystos (on the « Forum of Valens ») ; transformed into the official residence of the Comes Orientes between the reign of Valens and the period of Malalas

Severianon, thermae Severianae

Malalas, p. 294, l. 17-19 Dindorf = p. 224, l. 30-31 ; Hier., Chron. sub anno 200 (Helm, p. 212) ; Évagre le Scholastique, HE II, 12.

Lying along the mountain in the Old City. Constructed by Septimus-Sévèrus. Partial destruction in the earthquake of AD 458.


Malalas, p. 294, l. 19-p. 295, l. 5 Dindorf = p. 224, l. 36 Thurn.

In the lower part of the city. Built in the reign of Septimus Sévèrus.


Malalas, p. 306, l. 22-p. 307, l. 1-2 Dindorf = p. 236, l. 87-88 Thurn.

Rèign of Dioclétian ; in the lower part of the city, near to the ”old hippodrome”


Malalas, p. 308, l. 3-5 Dindorf = p. 237, l. 15-16 Thurn.

Reign of Diocletian

3 Unnamed baths

Malalas, p. 308, l. 3-5 Dindorf = p. 237, l. 15-16 Thurn.

Reign of Diocletian


Malalas, p. 318, l. 4-6 Dindorf = p. 234, l. 35-36 Thurn.

Abandoned, kncoked down in the reign of Constantine, at a time when it was not being used. Site of the Golden Octagon

Balneum in Cerateas

Liber pontificalis 34 ; 58, 23-27 Mommsen



Libanios, ep. 114, 5 ; 435, ; 441, 7 ; 1184, 9.

In the city and outside of the city (at the city gates); construction before November AD 355


Ammien Marcellin, XXXI, 1 ; Évagre le Scholastique, HE I, 20 ; Malalas, p. 339, l. 17-18 Dindorf = p. 261, l. 68-69 Thurn.

Near the Hippodrome

The Imperial Palace

Théodoret de Cyr, Histoire Philothée 8 (Vie d’Aphraate), 9-10 ; Évagre le Scholastique, Histoire Ecclésiastique II, 12

On the Island, Intact after the earthquake of 458


Libanios, ep. 852, 2.

Construction between AD 382 & 384.


Libanios, ep. 898, 4.

Built in 387

Urbicius (et d’Eupatios ?)

Malalas, Sl. cf. Thurn, p. 316, l. *62-63.

Mentioned in the reports of an uprising between AD 484 and AD 491.


Malalas, p. 397, l. 10-11 Dindorf = p. 325, l. 11 Thurn (voir aussi Excerpta de insidiis, p. 268, fr. 40 ; Jean de Nikiou, 89. 23-30).

Mentioned reports of the uprising of AD 507 ; near to the Basilica of Rufinos (on the agora).

Tainâdonhûs (Adonis ?)

Chronique de Jean de Nikiou (éd. Zotenberg) 90. 24-25, p. 135 trad. Charles.

Mentioned in reports of the fire of AD 525.

Of the Syrian Nation

Chronique de Jean de Nikiou (éd. Zotenberg) 90. 24-25, p. 135 trad. Charles

Mentioned in reports of the fire of AD 525.


IGLS III, 786.

« Bath F » ; restored in AD 537-538.

Winter (« Bain d’hiver » ; « bains saisonniers »

La Vie ancienne de S. Syméon Stylite le Jeune, c. 224, l. 25 ; Évagre le Scholastique, HE VI, 8.

Near to a Basilica (?) called « Diphôtos », in a place within sight of the city ; mentioned in a report of an incident between AD 578 and AD 592 ; destruction after the earthquake of AD 588.