Sebaste (MAMA XI 65-89)

The city of Sebaste, whose name survives in the modern village of Sivaslı, was created by Augustus through the synoikism of several ancient villages along the middle course of the Banaz Çayı, west of the Çatma Dağı mountain range in central Phrygia. Two churches, originally of the sixth century AD, but extensively remodelled in the middle Byzantine period, have been excavated at the modern village of Selçikler.1

Ballance recorded 21 monuments from Sebaste and its territory in 1955 and 1956, three of them at Sivaslı itself (MAMA XI 67, 70, 78), with another five from the neighbouring village of Selcikler (MAMA XI 68, 72, 73, 75, 87). South of Sivaslı, he recorded single monuments at the villages of Dedeballar, 4km south-west of Sivaslı (MAMA XI 81), and Yayalar, 5km west of Dedeballar (MAMA XI 71). To the north of Sivaslı, single monuments derive from the villages of Erice (MAMA XI 83), Akarca (MAMA XI 77), and from the neighbourhoods of Samatlar (MAMA XI 69) and Balıkkaya (MAMA XI 85).

Ballance copied six monuments at the modern village of Kırka, 17km north of Sivaslı (MAMA XI 74, 76, 80, 82, 84, 86); a dedication to Philip the Arab, recorded by Ballance at Kabaklar, 3km west of Kırka, may have been carried there from Kırka (MAMA XI 66). This last monument was erected by the inhabitants of a village of Dioskōmē, which is explicitly said to be part of the territory of Sebaste (ἡ Διοσκωμητῶν κατοικία τῆς λαμπροτάτης Σεβαστηνῶν πόλεως). It is surprising to find that the territory of Sebaste extended so far north; the ancient city of Traianopolis, at modern Ortaköy, was situated only 4km north of Kabaklar. The ancient territory of Akmoneia probably extended as far as the village of Kızılcasöğüt, 6km east of Kırka (MAMA XI 118, 122, 124).2

In 1954, Calder recorded four monuments at the hamlet of Payamalanı, around 8km north of Sivaslı (MAMA XI 65, 79, 88, 89). One of these, MAMA XI 65, allows us to identify Payamalanı as the ancient village of *Eibeos, also named in two unpublished inscriptions from the site.3

List of monuments from Sebaste


1. Foundation: Merkelbach 1997 (SEG 47, 1749; Merkelbach and Stauber 2001: 16/01/01). History and inscriptions: Ramsay, Phrygia II, 581-2, 600-10, nos. 472-510; Buckler, Calder and Cox 1926: 87-94, nos. 217-29; Waelkens 1986: 180-2. Churches: Fıratlı 1970; TIB Phrygien 376-7, s.v. Sebastē.

2. Buresch 1898: 169-70; Le Rider 1990: 700; TIB Phrygien 234, s.v. Dioskōmē.

3. Ramsay, Phrygia II, 584-5, 597-8, 609; Buresch 1898: 171-2; Fıratlı 1970: 118-9; Stillwell 1976: 293-4, s.v. Eibeos (N. Fıratlı); Waelkens 1986: 182; TIB Phrygien 246, s.v. Eibeos.