Akmoneia (MAMA XI 99-130)

Akmoneia (modern Ahat) lies on one of the chief west-east roads of Asia Minor, running eastwards from Sardeis up the Hermos valley to modern Uşak (ancient Temenothyrai), and on to Afyon and the central Anatolian plateau. The site of Akmoneia overlooks this road from the south, at the point where it passes through a narrow bottleneck along the valley of the Banaz Çayı (the ancient river Sindros), between the Murat Dağı and Çatma Dağı mountain ranges. The town was an important centre for Italian businessmen in central Asia Minor during the late Republican period, and was also home to a large and flourishing Jewish community.1

Ballance recorded 32 ancient and mediaeval monuments in the course of two visits to Akmoneia in 1955 and 1956. Of these, almost half (fourteen) derive from the village of Ahat itself. A single votive monument comes from the village of Kayılı, the immediate neighbour of Ahat, 2km to the east (MAMA XI 110). Ballance saw a funerary bomos decorated in characteristically Akmoneian style at the village of Emiraz (now Ayvacık), 5.5km east of Ahat, further on up the valley leading into the hill country of the northern Çatma Dağı (MAMA XI 123). The watershed just east of Ayvacık may well have formed the boundary separating the territory of Akmoneia from that of Diokleia (probably at Yeşilhisar), which certainly included the village of Yazıtepe (formerly Doğla), 4km east of Ayvacık.2 Two monuments derive from the village of Şaban, 5km north-east of Ahat (MAMA XI 108, 117).

Ahat is situated on a little affluent of the Banaz Çayı (the ancient river Sindros); the two streams meet at the village of Susuz, 4.5km to the west of Ahat (MAMA XI 107, 114-5, 120, 125). The remaining inscriptions recorded by Ballance all derive from villages in the northern part of the Banaz ovası, the ancient ‘plain of Doias’. Gedikler lies in the centre of the plain, 4km north-west of Susuz (MAMA XI 113). The former village of İslâmköy, now renamed Banaz, is today the major town of this region (MAMA XI 99, 103); confusingly, the name Banaz köyü is retained by a small village 2km north-east of İslâmköy/Banaz (MAMA XI 109, 112). Hasan Köyü is situated in the far east of the Banaz ovası, 7km east of İslâmköy/Banaz (MAMA XI 130).3

There is no way of determining the western limit of Akmoneian territory. I have tentatively assigned a group of three monuments from Kızılcasöğüt, 5km west of Susuz, to Akmoneia (MAMA XI 118, 122, 124), on the grounds that two of them (MAMA XI 118 and 124) have clear stylistic links to other Akmoneian monuments.

List of monuments from Akmoneia


1. Ramsay, Phrygia II, 621-31; MAMA VI 239-350, with pp. 148-51 (other published monuments); Robert, Hellenica X, 247-56; Robert, OMS VII, 185-224; Varinlioğlu 2006. Italians: Thonemann 2010. Jews: Rajak 2001: 463-78; IJO II pp. 345-79.

2. Robert, Hellenica X, 120-1, n.5; Ramsay, Phrygia II 655-6, no. 583; 658 no. 605; MAMA VI 240-1, 309, 326, 335, 348.

3. Plain of Doias: Robert, OMS VII, 213-9. İslâmköy/Banaz: Drew-Bear 1980a: 942-4; Waelkens 1986: 175-6. Hasanköy: MAMA VI 245 (dedication to Meter Theon Kasmine, cf. MAMA XI 131), 248, 261, 321, 349.