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Xanthus Stele’s Epigram

Margherita Facella    Università di Pisa    



One of the most well-known monuments of the so-called acropolis of Xanthos (Lycia) is a large pilaster originally supporting a burial chamber and the statue of the deceased. On the sides of the pillar are two fragmentary inscriptions in Lycian A and B (Milyan), beside a Greek epigram of 12 lines. The epigram celebrates Harpagus, who excelled in sporting and military competitions and was devoted to gods and in particular to Zeus. The name of this dynast is only partially preserved, but can be confidently restored as Gergis and identified with Kheriga who appears on the Lycian texts. Comparison with the other texts of the stele, where Darius II, Artaxerxes II, Tissaphernes, Amorges and other people are mentioned, allows us to date the inscription at the end of the 5th century. The epigram shows that Greek was already used in Lycia before the Hellenistic period; the choice of the Greek language by a dynasty tracing itself back to the powerful Kuprlli shows the intention to state its prestige and political power also in the face of a Greek or Hellenized public.

June 29, 2018
April 1, 2018
Jan. 10, 2018

Keywords: ArpagoEpigrammaLiciaGergisXanthosKheriga

Link AXON 224
Copyright: © 2018 Margherita Facella. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.