Pentapolis (MAMA XI 134-156)

During the summer of 1955, Ballance recorded 24 monuments in the Sandıklı ovası, home in antiquity to five small poleis, Eukarpia, Hierapolis, Otrous, Brouzos, and Stektorion. The town of Lysias may also have been situated in this region, on the westernmost fringe of the Sandıklı ovası.1

Beginning in the southernmost part of the plain of Sandıklı, the ancient town of Stektorion is fairly securely identified with the exiguous ruins on the mound on Kocahüyük, between the modern villages of Menteş (3km to the south-west) and Alamescit (formerly Elli Mescit, 1.5km to the north-east). The key item of evidence is the inscription republished here as MAMA XI 135, a statue-base of Nerva erected by the civitas Stectoren(orum), built into the wall of the tekke at Menteş. Monuments from the neighbouring villages of Menteş (MAMA XI 142, 151, 152), Alamescit (MAMA XI 147), Ekinova (MAMA XI 156), and Macil (now Örenkaya) may all be attributed to Stektorion with reasonable confidence.2

North of Stektorion lay the territory of Hierapolis, occupying the part of the plain immediately to the west of the large modern town of Sandıklı. Hierapolis itself is securely located at the modern village of Koçhisar (MAMA XI 143, 146), on the basis of its proximity to the hot springs at Hüdai Kaplıcası (the mediaeval Agros Thermon), 3km south of Koçhisar. Inscriptions from the neighbouring village of Başkuyucak (MAMA XI 150), 2.5km north of Koçhisar, are very likely to derive from Hierapolis.3

The most important city of the Pentapolis in antiquity was Eukarpia, a Graeco-Macedonian foundation of the Hellenistic period. Numismatic and epigraphic evidence suggests that the Pentapolis was generally known as the ‘Eukarpeitikon (pedion)’. The location of Eukarpia is still to be determined with absolute certainty. A large plateau just to the north-west of the modern village of Emirhisar, 8km west of Hierapolis-Koçhisar, has been proposed as a plausible site. Ballance’s discovery at Emirhisar of MAMA XI 139, the funerary doorstone of a bouleutes from Eukarpia, provides some support for this identification. If this is correct, then MAMA XI 140, from Saltık, 4km west of Emirhisar, ought also to be attributed to Eukarpia.4

8km to the north-east of Emirhisar, the modern village of Karasandıklı is firmly established as the site of ancient Brouzos, thanks to the discovery of MAMA XI 136 (a statue base of Septimius Severus erected by ἡ Βρουζη[νῶν] πόλις). Three new inscriptions from Karasandıklı are published here (MAMA XI 141, 145, 154). Also probably to be attributed to Brouzos are monuments from the villages of Dodurga, 2km south of Karasandıklı; Odaköy, 3km to the south-west (MAMA XI 137, 149, 155); Kozvankuyucak, 3km to the south-east (MAMA XI 148); and Karadirek (formerly Kılandıras), 5km to the north.5

Four further monuments derive from villages in the far west of the Sandıklı ovası, Çevrepınar (formerly Kilter: MAMA XI 134 and 144), Güre Köyü (MAMA XI 153) and Otluk (MAMA XI 138). All four monuments are likely to have been brought from a major ancient and mediaeval site at Yanıkören, on the upper Kûfû Çayı (the ancient river Kloudros). This site controls the northern entrance to the Kûfû Vadisi, an important pass connecting the Sandıklı ovası to the upper Maeander valley at Eumeneia. The site has been identified with both Otrous and Lysias; there are no decisive arguments one way or the other.6

List of monuments from Pentapolis


1. Ramsay, Phrygia II 677-708; Waelkens 1986: 185; TIB Phrygien 358, s.v. Pentapolis.

2. Ramsay, Phrygia II 689-90; Habicht 1975: 87; TIB Phrygien 389, s.v. Stektorion; Cohen 1995: 321-2. Inscriptions: Ramsay, Phrygia II 704-6, nos. 640-7; 719-20, nos. 654-5, 733-4, nos. 660-1; Buckler, Calder and Cox 1926: 55-6, nos. 172-3.

3. Ramsay, Phrygia II 679-83; TIB Phrygien 272-3, s.v. Hierapolis (2); Thonemann 2011a: 84-7; Thonemann 2012. Inscriptions: Ramsay, Phrygia II 698-700, nos. 630-3; 720-33, nos. 656-9 (no. 656 is a pierre errante, at Kılandıras); Buckler, Calder and Cox 1926: 54, no. 171.

4. Ramsay, Phrygia II 690-3; Calder 1956; TIB Phrygien 250-1, s.v. Eukarpia; Le Rider and Drew-Bear 1991: 374-5, n.56 (for ‘Koçhisar’, read ‘Çorhisar); Cohen 1995: 299-301. Pentapolis as ‘Eukarpeitikon’: SEG 15, 812 (Sandıklı: BE 1958, 467); RPC I 511, nos. 3159-60. Inscriptions: Ramsay, Phrygia II 702-3, no. 638 (Çorhisar); 706, nos. 648-50. Citizens of Eukarpia appear in MAMA XI 45 (Eumeneia); MAMA IX 72 (Aizanoi); BE 1976, 809 (Rome).

5. Ramsay 1882: 503-5; Ramsay, Phrygia II 683-6; Cohen 1995: 292-3. Inscriptions: Ramsay, Phrygia II 700-2, 634-7; 734-5, nos. 662-3; Buckler, Calder and Cox 1926: 53-4, nos. 169-70.

6. TIB Phrygien 331, s.v. Lysias; 414-15, s.v. Yanıkören; Drew-Bear 2011. Kûfû Vadisi: Thonemann 2011a: 139-43, 164-7. On Otrous, see further Aulock 1980: 81-3; TIB Phrygien 353, s.v. Otrus.