Savatra (MAMA XI 343-354)

Savatra, like its neighbours Perta and Kana, was situated in the foothills of the Boz Dağ range, on the edge of the Lykaonian steppe, at the modern village of Yağlıbayat. The town is mentioned in passing by Strabo (12.6.1) apropos of the scarcity of water in Lykaonia: ‘and where it is possible to find water at all, the wells are the deepest in the world, as at Savatra (ἐν Σοάτροις), where the water is even sold’. Ruins of the ancient settlement were still visible in 1901, when the site was visited by William Ramsay, H. S. Cronin and G. A. Wathen: ‘The yaila [Yağlıbayat] lies almost in the centre of an amphitheatre of hills, a short way only up the slope of its eastern side. For a considerable distance in every direction – towards the west for upwards of a mile – the hills were covered with ruins. On the hill to the extreme west, called Maltepe, were the ruins of a temple. East of Maltepe, about half a mile west of the yaila, were the ruins of a small theatre looking east. In the low ground, immediately west of the yaila, we could trace along the road which led to Konia the sites of several public buildings.’ The cavea of the theatre and traces of other ruins are still clearly visible on satellite photographs of the region.1

Twelve inscriptions from Savatra (all recorded by Michael Ballance in 1956) are published for the first time in MAMA XI, ten of them from Yağlıbayat, and two from the village of Akörenkışla, 15km north-east of Yağlıbayat. MAMA XI 343, a Latin honorific inscription erected by the boule and demos of Savatra (bule et populus Savatr.), is the fourth monument from Yağlıbayat and its immediate vicinity to name the city explicitly.2

List of monuments from Savatra


1. Cronin 1902: 367-76 (quote from p.371); Callander 1906: 157-61; Robert, Hellenica X, 73-8; MAMA VIII 226-258; Robert, Hellenica XIII, 42-57; Aulock 1976: 48-50, 73-5; TIB Galatien 222-3, s.v. Sauatra; Mitchell 1993: I 96-7; I.Konya 120-7, 206-9.

2. Robert, Hellenica XIII, 43; see also Cronin 1902: 371-2, no. 144 (IGR III 1481); MAMA VIII 228; MAMA VIII 231.