Studies in the Ancient Black Sea Region
A. Overcoming Geographical and Ideological Barriers in Ancient Black Sea Studies:
the Legacy of Heinz Heinen (1941–2013) and the Study of Friendship Diplomacy
B. Studies in the Mithradatic Dynasty in Asia Minor and the Bosporan Kingdom
C. Further Studies in the Political History and Historical Geography
of Pontos and the Kimmerian Bosporos
D. Studies in the Historical Geography and Mytho-History of Ancient Kolchis
E. Collaborative Book Projects on Ancient Black Sea History
A. Overcoming Geographical and Ideological Barriers in Ancient Black Sea Studies:
the Legacy of Heinz Heinen (1941–2013) and the Study of Friendship Diplomacy
4) ALTAY COŞKUN: The Bosporan Kings in-between the Mithridatic Tradition and Friendship with Rome: the Usurpation of Asandros Revisited. Forthcoming in Archaia Pontou ca. 2019.
The Northern coast of the Black Sea was settled by Iranians from the steppes since the 2nd millennium BC, who were joined by Greek colonists as of the 7th century BC. Roman political interest in the region is attested since the 2nd century BC, before Roman direct or indirect control extended from the 1st century BC to the 4th, if not 5th, century AD. Of particular interest is the Bosporan Kingdom, which surrounded the Strait of Kerch. For centuries, it was ruled by Hellenized kings of Iranian (and Thracian) descent who held the titles of ‘friend of the Roman people’ (and ‘high priest of the Emperor’). Ideological perspectives on the evidence are still prevalent a quarter-century after the fall of the Iron Curtain: the 19th-century paradigm that history is to be understood as rivalry between tribes and nations led to the assumption that major events were determined by a conflict between native Iranians and invading Greeks or oppressing Romans. This conflictual approach was cemented in the 20th century by regarding Rome as a precursor of the imperialist West, at least in the eyes of many Eastern European colleagues. The late Prof. Heinz Heinen (Trier, Germany, 1941-2013) was one of the first to systematically question those simplistic antagonisms. He repeatedly demonstrated that they publicly displayed affiliations with the ruling power to enhance their prestige among the locals, rather than to arouse their resentment. Heinen left behind an unfinished manuscript on the history of the Bosporos that revisits most of the ancient sources for 63 BC to 38 AD. Altay Coşkun is preparing a posthumous edition of these chapters in the context of a major research collaboration, into which this paper will introduce. A case study will be dedicated to the reconstruction of Asandros’ usurpation, his marriage with Dynamis, the daughter of Pharnakes II and granddaughter of Mithradates VI, as well as Asandros’ diplomacy with Rome. Heinen’s sober presentation of the state of affairs forms the basis for once more revisiting the literary and numismatic evidence. A clearer picture of the stages of Asandros’ usurpation will allow us to better understand his strong and persistent desire for official recognition by Rome.
3) ALTAY COŞKUN: Amicitia, fides und Imperium der Römer aus konstruktivistischer Perspektive. Überlegungen zu Paul Burton's Friendship and Empire (2011) (‘Friendship, Trust and Empire of the Romans from a Constructivist Perspective. Reflections on Paul Burton’s Friendship and Empire (2011)’). In: Latomus 76.4, 2017, 910-924.
Mit Friendship and Empire (2011) hat P. Burton rund ein halbes Jahrhundert nach Erscheinen von E. Badians Foreign Clientelae (1958) die bisher dezidierteste Antwort auf eines der einflussreichsten Bücher zur Außenpolitik der Römischen Republik gegeben. Bereits D. Braund hatte versucht, mit Rome and the Friendly King (1984) eine Kurskorrektur herbeizuführen, und im Trierer Projekt Roms auswärtige Freunde (2002–2008) sind zahlreiche Studien entstanden, welche die Vergleichbarkeit dieser Beziehungen zu innerrömischen amicitiae in Wort und Tat hervorhoben. Burtons Ausgangspunkt ist dagegen, die tiefe Verwurzelung von Badian in der Rhetorik des Kalten Krieges und der Gedankenwelt der International Relations (IR) Realists aufzuzeigen, und dies zumal angesichts des jüngsten Erfolges der IR Neorealists in der Römischen Geschichte durch die Arbeiten von Arthur Eckstein (2006 und 2008). Burton vertritt dagegen eine zutiefst konstruktivistische Sicht, welche die wirklichkeitsprägende Kraft moralisierender Rhetorik betont. Freundschaftsterminologie sei – so zeigt er an unzähligen historiographischen Berichten von Interaktionen zwischen Rom und auswärtigen Dynasten, Königen und Städte(bünde)n für die Jahre 264–146 v.Chr. auf – hätte man sich nicht nur an die Sprachregelung, sondern auch an die für Freundschaft von Cicero formulierten Normen orientiert sowie die in der modernen Soziologie beschriebenen Verhaltensmuster befolgt. Innovativ ist die Grundannahme, dass Asymmetrie der sozialen Rollen von Freunden kein Hinderungsgrund für Freundschaft sei, sondern eine Normalität und letzlich gar eine notwendige Bedingung. Der vorliegende Aufsatz untersucht die Vorzüge, aber auch Grenzen solcher Neuansätze. Dies gilt ebenso für das Verständnis von fides: Während Burton zu Recht betont, dass eine deditio in fidem das Entstehen einer Freundschaftsbeziehung nicht ausschließe, ist seine Annahme, dass fides-Beziehungen im außenpolitischen Bereich immer zugleich amicitiae seien, nicht überzeugend. Damit sind keineswegs alle Erkenntnisse entwertet, aber es gilt, ein genaueres Verständnis von fides zu gewinnen – und zwar in seinen unterschiedlichen Erscheinungsformen (amicitia, deditio, patronatus, societas, foedus, consanguinitas), die je zu bestimmten Zeiten eine gewisse Konjunktur erlebten. Nicht amicitia, sondern – so die zentrale These des Aufsatzes – fides ist die grundlegende Kategorie römischer Diplomatie.
2) ALTAY COŞKUN: Heinz Heinen und die Bosporanischen Könige - Eine Projektbeschreibung (‘Heinz Heinen and the Bosporan Kings – Outline of a Project’), in Victor Cojocaru & Alexander Rubel: Mobility in Research on the Black Sea (Iaşi, July 5-10, 2015) (Pontica & Mediterranea 6), Cluj-Napoca 2016, 51-72.
The multiethnic Kingdom of the Kimmerian Bosporos was ruled for centuries by Hellenized kings of Iranian descent. Mithradates VI Eupator was its first ruler who held the title of ‘friend of the Roman people’ (116/111-63 BC), and despite the three wars he fought against the Mediterranean superpower, this affiliation was continued by his successors until Late Antiquity. However, the 19th-century paradigm that history is to be understood as rivalry between tribes and nations led to the assumption that major events were determined by a conflict between native Iranians and invading Greeks or oppressing Romans; this conflictual approach was cemented in the 20th century by regarding Rome as a precursor of the imperialist West, at least in the eyes of Eastern European colleagues. The late Prof. Heinz Heinen (Chair at Trier University, 1971-2006, †13) was one of the first to systemati¬cally question those simplistic antagonisms, without denying occasional tensions though. He repeatedly demonstrated that the same patterns of intercultural contact were in place as in other parts of the Roman Empire: most of the elite members avidly assumed Greek or Roman names, titles, dressing styles and cults out of free choice, though not necessarily rejecting wholesale their own traditions. They publicly displayed affiliations with the ruling power to enhance their prestige among the locals, rather than to arouse their resentment. Heinen left behind an unfinished manuscript on the history of the Bosporos that is of high intellectual appeal and historiographical importance. It covers most of the ancient sources for 63 BCE to 38 CE, and discusses various approaches especially by leading Russian and Ukrainian colleagues. The present article exemplifies the main line of argument and thus demonstrates that the manuscript still has high potential to elucidate the current scholarly debates. As his former research associate Altay Coşkun intends to prepare a posthumous edition of the work, together with the former visiting fellow Victor Cojocaru. The project will further draw on the support of an international team of experts.
1) ALTAY COŞKUN: Interconnectivity – In honorem & in memoriam Heinz Heinen (1941-2013). With a Complete Bibliography of His Scholarly Publications. In: Victor Cojocaru / Altay Coşkun / Madalina Dana (eds.): Interconnectivity in the Mediterranean and Pontic World during the Hellenistic and Roman Periods. The Proceedings of the International Symposium (Constanţa, July 8-12, 2013), Cluj-Napoca: MEGA Publishing House, 2014, 25-71.
This obituary pays tribute to the Ancient Historian Heinz Heinen (1941-2013). It begins with a brief acknowledgement of his life-time achievements in terms of teaching, research, research management and international cooperation, followed by a characterization of his personal qualities (admittedly from the subjective perspective of an alumnus and friend). The main part focuses on his approaches to eastern European scholarship on the ancient world. Topics covered in a more or less chronological order include the intercultural experience in his home country Belgium, his autodidactic study of the Russian language (1962), his early contacts and cooperation with the Forschungen zur Antiken Sklaverei at the Mainz Academy, his function of a critical but respectful mediator between the two scholarly worlds during the Cold War, his interest in the biography of Michael Rostovtzeff, which also spurred his concentration on Black-Sea Studies since the early 1990s, his role as host to several Soviet and post-Soviet scholars at Trier University, and his return to the Mainz Academy as Director of the Ancient History Section later in his life. The survey ends with a close-to-complete and systematic bibliography of Heinen’s scholarly works.
B. Studies in the Mithradatic Dynasty in Asia Minor and the Bosporan Kingdom
Also see the relevant entries in Amici Populi Romani, which are regularly completed and updated to communicate quickly the progress of my research.
6) ALTAY COŞKUN: Queens of Black Sea Kingdoms in the Shadow of the Early Roman Empire. (in preparation)
Royal women could obtain high visibility in the Hellenistic age and the early Roman Empire. Queen Dynamis is the most illustrious example from the Bosporan Kingdom. As the granddaughter of King Mithradates VI Eupator of Pontos (123–63 BC) and the daughter of King Pharnakes (II) of the Bosporos (63–47 BC), she became the prize of three subseqent usurpers, Asandros (47–ca. 19 BC), Scribonius (ca. 19–ca. 15 BC), Polemon I (ca. 37–9/8 BC), before Augustus allowed her to rule in her own right over the Kimmerian Bosporos. Both the reconstruction of her biography and the interpretation of her political choices are highly controversial. But many problems can be overcome, if the literary, numismatic and epigraphic evidence is subjected to a sober scrutiny and her career reflected in the contexts of Mithradatic Dynastic politics, Roman friendship diplomacy and Hellenistic-Roman queenship. We will also address other prominent queens, especially Dynamis’ younger rival Pythodoris, queen of Pontos and Kappadokia. Can we identify particular trends of female royal agency under Roman Imperial rule?
5) ALTAY COŞKUN: Basilissa Dynamis and Basileus Polemon Eusebes in Tanaïs. (in preparation)
Dynamis, the daughter of Pharnakes II (63–47 BC), was the most important queen of the Bosporan Kingdom. As wife the usurper Asandros, her dynastic prestige helped him consolidate his power in 47 BC. In his old age, she allied herself with the insurgent Scribonius (20/19 BC), and after a short period of sole rule (ca. 16/14 BC), she gave in to Roman pressure and married Polemon I, who united the kingdoms of Pontos and the Bosporos (14–9/8 BC). Only after his death, she enjoyed a longer period of sole rule, probably until her death in AD 7/8. Much of her political biography is highly controversial, partly because Strabo names Pythodoris as his widow and successor (though only in Pontos and Kolchis). The present study seeks to shed some more light on her and her family by revisiting the epigraphic and numismatic evidence. I shall first attribute the coin series with the enigmatic letters BAM to Scribonius ‘Mithradates’, possibly a cousin of hers. With the arrival of Polemon in the Bosporan Kingdom, she was confined to a much more passive role. I shall adduce the famous inscription mentioning Mathianes (SEG 45, 1995, 1023) as a source for the rule of King Polemon Eusebes. Nothing compels us to believe that he repudiated Dynamis or that she took arms against him. After his death, the two queens either acted in unison by requesting to rule in their own rights in the Bosporos and Pontos-Kolchis respectively, or at least this was the result after Augustus mediated, possibly after the intervention of Livia. Dynamis commemorated the deceased Mathianes (SEG 45, 1995, 1018), before she was recognized by Augustus and granted the title Philorhomaios. Her coinage continued heralding a strict subordination under Augustus (and the deceased) Agrippa, but this only implies that her foreign relations had to respect the interests of the Roman hegemonial power, not that she had to accept a Roman garrison. The conditions of her death and succession remain opaque.
4) ALTAY COŞKUN & GAIUS STERN: Dynamis in Rome? Revisiting the South Frieze of the Ara Pacis Augustae (in preparation for the first collaborative Black Sea volume, ca. 2020).
Dynamis was the most important queen of the Bosporan Kingdom. She was the granddaughter of Mithradates Eupator, who had incorporated the Kimmerian Bosporos into his inherited realm of Pontos (ca. 110 BC), before squandering all his previous possessions in three wars with Rome. When trying to regain Pontos, her father Pharnakes II fell victim to Asandros, who seized the Bosporan throne and consolidated his rule through his marriage with Dynamis (48/47 BC). In 19 BC, she joined the insurgent Scribonius, who, in turn, was killed when Polemon of Pontos tried to seize the Bosporos (16/14 BC). The coup finally succeeded with the support of Marcus Agrippa, who ordered Dynamis to marry Polemon. Most scholars are convinced that Polemon repudiated her, since he bequeathed Pontos to his younger wife Pythodoris. Connected with this is the widespread belief that she had organized the revolt of the Aspourgianoi against Polemon. This last view gained further support when Brian Rose (1990) cautiously identified Dynamis and her young son Aspourgos on the south frieze of the Ara Pacis Augustae. V.N. Parfenov (1996) modified the interpretation by suggesting that the boy is rather an unknown son of Scribonius. Either interpretation seemed to buttress the view that Dynamis was temporarily removed from the Bosporos, but later returned with hostile intentions. However, an iconographic study of the relief leads to the conclusion that the depicted woman was a teenage girl, most likely Vipsania III, and that she was showing sisterly affection for a Parthian prince living in the house of her father Marcus Agrippa. Moreover, biographical data exclude the possibility that Dynamis had a son with either Asandros or Scribonius. The available evidence is further incompatible with the assumption that Asandrochos, the father of Aspourgos, was identical with Asandros, the husband of Dynamis. Hence, Cassius Dio deserves to be trusted when he surmises that Agrippa and Augustus wanted Dynamis to be the wife of Polemon, obviously to strengthen his legitimacy through her dynastic clout. Since Dynamis lived up to this expectation until the death of Polemon (9/8 BC), Augustus rewarded her by granting her sole rule as amica populi Romani.
3) ALTAY COŞKUN: The Course of Pharnakes’ Pontic and Bosporan Campaigns in 48/47 BC. (ms. completed in April 2019)
Appian’s account of Pharnakes’ Pontic campaign (Mithr. 120.590–595) conveys the impression that the king of the Bosporos started his attack on Asia Minor by attacking Sinope from the sea. The end of the narrative, however, raises some doubts as to whether the king had a fleet at his disposition. It is therefore a plausible hypothesis that Pharnakes’ land forces had marched through Kolchis to invade Asia Minor. The Bellum Alexandrinum (34–78) and Cassius Dio (42.45–47) confirm this view and allow us to complete the picture. Seeming contradictions disappear, once we concede that Armenia (Minor) denoted the entire former Mithradatic territory in Anatolia east of the river Halys, or at least east of the river Iris. Pharnakes progressed along the south-eastern coast of the Black Sea, before turning south at the mouth of the Iris. This way, he reached northern Kappadokia, but withdrew to Pontic Armenia after the diplomatic intervention of the proconsul Cn. Domitius Calvinus. When negotiations failed, Pharnakes defeated the Romans and their allies at Nikopolis, whence he expanded further west into Paphlagonian Pontos. News of Asandros’ revolt in the Bosporos caused his army to march back east, but the unexpected arrival of Caesar induced him to turn back once more. In the meantime, he ordered allied forces to gather on the Taman peninsula, while Asandros was extending his control over the European parts of the kingdom. Beaten by Caesar at Zela, Pharnakes fled to Sinope, and was so desperate to escape Calvinus that he killed the last 1,000 horses, to evacuate their riders by sea on randomly confiscated ships. Together with his allies, he was able to retake Theodosia and Pantikapaion, but was defeated regardless by Asandros no later than early September 47 BC. Appian’s account thus emerges as largely reliable regarding facts, whereas distortions are due to his arbitrary selection of details and skewed causalities. These are best explained with the literary design of his narrative and its underlying moral lesson.
2) ALTAY COŞKUN: Mithridates Eupator: Retter, Hegemon, Feind und Opfer der Galater (Mithridates Eupator, Saviour, Hegemon, Enemy, and Victim of the Galatians). Forthcoming in: David Braund & Anca Dan (eds.): Mithridates and the Pontic Kingdom (Collection Varia Anatolica, ed. by the French Institute of Anatolian Studies, Istanbul), Paris: de Boccard, ca. 2019.
The Pontic Kingdom and the Galatian tribal states share the fate that their histories have to be, for the most part, reconstructed on the basis of a very fragmentary literary tradition, which rarely ever aims at completeness. Most pieces of information that have come down to us either relate to the generation of the founders in the earlier 3rd century BC or have been drawn from narratives dedicated to conflict or cooperation with the Romans. It is owing to the latter, however, that our documentation is relatively rich for Mithradates Eupator, yet his role as archrival of the Romans has frequently narrowed down or distorted the perspective on him. The present paper seeks to study Galatian-Pontic relations based on such marginal notes, anecdotes and historical conjecture. First, the developments of the early Hellenistic period will be rehearsed, before the occupation of Galatia by Mithradates towards the end of the 2nd century BC is studied in more detail. This intervention resulted in the demotion of the four tribal kings to tetrarchs. Relations remained very close with the Trocmi under Brogitarus, whereas the Tolistobogii soon evaded Pontic influence under the leadership of Deiotarus. Based on the resources of his own territory, but also on his easier access to allies in the West, the latter gradually grew in importance before his close friendship with Rome effectively allowed him to inherit the Mithradatic dynasty as the leading force of Asia Minor. Although Mithradates ultimately failed in his subjection of Anatolia, his relation to the Galatians appear to be quite ambivalent: prior to the brutal conflict that erupted in 86, the king had been able to maintain close supervision of the leading dynasties with minimal deployment of force, and it appears that the Trocmi remaind loyal to him even for several years after that pivotal year.
1) ALTAY COŞKUN: The Date of the Revolt of Asandros and the Relations between the Bosporan Kingdom and Rome under Caesar. Forthcoming in a Festschrift ca. summer 2019.
Following the suggestions of Heinz Heinen, I have pleaded elsewhere for a complete revision of the history of the Bosporan Kingdom. Violent successions especially in the century after the death of Mithradates VI Eupator should not be explained with lasting ethnically-based hostilities. They rather need to be contextualized within the framework of Hellenistic royal dynasties striving for survival under the changed conditions of Roman Imperialism. The present case study seeks to reconstruct as precisely as possible the usurpation of Asandros against Pharnakes II. We have unique numismatic evidence for Asandros’ rise and rule, but its implications on his policies have been obfuscated by a remarkable disregard for the literary sources. After introducing into the difficulties of Asandros’ coinage, I shall draw on Appian, Cicero and the Caesarian Bellum Alexandrinum to distill a fine chronology of the campaigns of Pharnakes, Asandros and Mithradates VII for the years 48 to 46 BC. This will allow me to date the revolt of Asandros to ca. April 47 BC. Accordingly, his coinage dated to year 1 falls into ca. Oct. 48 / ca. Sep. 47 BC. After issuing coins as archon in years 1–4, he adopted the title basileus still in year 4, i.e. 45/44 BC. This chronology supports the impression conveyed by Appian that Asandros initially sought recognition from Caesar. Upon failing to achieve this, he waited until Mark Antony sold him the title rex amicus populi Romani.
C. Further Studies in the Political History and Historical Geography
of Pontos and the Kimmerian Bosporos
5) GERMAIN PAYEN: Les suites de la paix d’Apamée en mer Noire. (in preparation for the first collaborative Black Sea volume, ca. 2020).
The second century BC began with a major geopolitical shift in the Mediterranean and Hellenistic world, one that has been studied extensively, though with a concentration on one of its aspects, ie. the interconnectivity between the Roman and the Hellenic political spheres. This paper seeks to discuss the aftermath of the settlement of Apamea (188 BC) as regards the Black Sea area. The Roman victory over Antiochos III triggered several new opportunities but also challenges for the powers in Anatolia and adjacent territories. Freed from the Seleucid control, many kings and dynasts actively reshaped the geopolitical order over the following decades. Their rivalries involved the control of the Black sea, the southern shores of which belonged to the Pontic and Bithynian kingdoms, while the control of the Marmara Sea was disputed by the Attalids, Rhodians and Bithynians. These rulers entertained diplomatic relations with some cities of the Black Sea, such as Sinope, Heraclea or Tieion on the southern shore, but also Chersonesos Taurice and Mesembria on the northern and western shores. At the same time, the Bosporan kingdom as well as several Thracian and Scythian dynasties had their own diplomatic networks and political agendas, although positive evidence for this is lacking. All of these authorities had to respond to the retreat of the Seleucid armies. The war which opposed the Attalid king and his Bithynian and Cappadocian allies, to the Pontic king and his Galatian and Armenian allies, c.182-179, was of prime importance in this period. This conflict ended with the victory of the Attalid king Eumenes II, assuring a relative supremacy over Anatolia, and saw the participation of a Sarmatian dynast, as well as the conquest of Sinope and the conclusion of an alliance with Chersonese Taurice for Pharnaces, the king of Pontus (Pol. 25.2). Among the contextual factors may have been major nomadic movements in the region, but this theory has been challenged and the archaeological evidence need further examination. The barbarian peoples, called « Sarmatians » or « Scythians » in civic decrees describing attacks against their territories, may have been subjects of dynastic states of the neighbourhood, rather than real members of these acknowleged nomadic ethnies. The conclusion of the war made clear that Roman hegemony was still a distant political factor, in spite of secondary diplomatic accomplishments by the Senate officials during the peace negociations. All in all, the kings of Pontus, Bithynia and Pergamon observed different strategies as regards to the control of this strategic area, revealing different ambitions. As it stands, Eumenes’ efforts targeted Thracia and inland Anatolia, while his influence on the Pontus relied on diplomatic relations with cities opposed to Bithynia, particularly Heraclea. The Bithynian king expressed a relative disinterest for northern Pontus-Euxinus, despite the reconquest of Attalid Tieion as a reward for his alliance in the war. Pharnaces could only keep Sinope after his defeat and was not contested by his rivals as regards the Black Sea political area, which led to a new maritime orientation for this kingdom, and to an unexpected long-term outcome: the later conquest of the Black Sea basin by Mithridates VI of Pontus.
4) ALTAY COŞKUN: Trapezus in Kolchis. (in preparation)
The Milesian or Sinopean colony Trapezus (Trabzon) is located in Pontic Asia Minor in the south-eastern angle of the Black Sea litoral. That the Tabula Peutingeriana locates it on the north-eastern coast is not simply due to an error of its author, but results from an old mytho-geographical tradition. It is first attested in Xenophon’s Anabasis, who describes the city as situated in the land of the Kolchians. Some have explained this as the result of a pre-historic Greater Kingdom of Kolchis extending into Asia Minor. More likely, however, this reflects the rivalling claims of Greek colonial settlers to have occupied the legendary kingdom of Aïetes, the destination of the Argonautic quest for the Golden Fleece. Although the mainstream tradition in the Greek motherland decided for a city on the Phasis or Rheon / Rioni in the course of the 5th century BC, the claim of the Trapezuntines left several traces in ancient cartography, geography and historiography. One of its still prevalent ramifications is the flawed view that Trapezus was coterminous with Kolchis, as repeatedly expressed by Strabon of Amaseia.
3) ALTAY COŞKUN: Pontic Athens. An Athenian Emporion in Its Geo-Historical Context. (ms. completed in February 2019)
The least significant of all ancient settlements called Athenai was located east of Trapezus on the Pontic coast. It maintained its name well into the 20th century, when its successor was renamed Pazar. That Arrian provides us with the first (surviving) description of this chorion is due to a storm that compelled him to anchor parts of the Roman fleet in its little harbour (AD 132). In the 6th century, Prokopios mentions the village only to refute the local tradition that it had been founded by its more famous namesake. Scholars have shared this skepticism and thus largely relegated Pontic Athens to footnotes or condemned it to complete oblivion. But nothing is more plausible than regarding it as a result of Perikles’ expedition to the Euxine (ca. 437/35 BC). Athenai may have a pre-history as a Milesian apoikia called Limen. Less certain is the role it played after the breakdown of Athenian thalassocracy (405 BC). It probably stood under Sinopean hegemony, before being absorbed into the Pontic kingdom in the early-2nd century BC. By then, however, Pontic Athens had shared the economic downturn of the area between Trapezus and Phasis. It lived on as a village regardless, and thus demonstrates that a polichnion could escape the historical record for centuries without ceasing to exist.
2) ALTAY COŞKUN: Chersonesos Taurike, Asandros and Rome – A New Interpretation of the Embassy of C. Julius Satyrus to Rome, 46 BC (IOSPE I2 691). Forthcoming in a Festschrift, ca. summer 2019.
Strabon (Geogr. 7.4.3 [309C]) reports that Chersonesos had constantly been subject to the rulers of the Bosporos from Mithradates VI Eupator to his own time. Pliny (Nat. Hist. 4.85), in turn, states that the Romans have granted freedom to the city ‘recently’, which seems to relate to the fraternal war between Mithradates VIII and Kotys I around AD 45. There is only one source that conveys insights into the city’s history during the Roman civil war, the honorary decree for C. Iulius Satyrus, which mentions his embassy to Rome in 46 BC (IOSPE I2 691). Rostovtzeff established the former common opinion that Satyros had requested and been granted the city’s freedom. In contrast, Makarov suggests that Satyros undertook the embassy as a citizen of Herakleia Pontike. If accepted, his mission would not affect the status of Chersonesos. But a close reading of the fragmentary inscription requires us to regard him as a Chersonesitan, and also to understand his embassy as conducted for Chersonesos. The timing seems to imply that he offered Caesar military support for Mithradates of Pergamon, who had been sent to fight the usurper Asandros in 47 BC. When Satyros returned to Chersonesos, the defeat of Asandros and, with this, the grant of privileges for Chersonesos still seemed to be very likely. But the failure of Mithradates later in 46 BC, combined with Caesar’s death (44 BC), brought the city soon back under Bosporan rule. There it remained until the times of Claudius. It will further be argued in an appendix that the mention of πάτριον Χερσονησίταις ἐλευθερίαν in another fragmentary inscription (IOSPE I2 355) relates to the times prior to the rule of Mithradates Eupator.
1) ALTAY COŞKUN: Kastor von Phanagoreia, Präfekt des Mithradates und Freund der Römer (Castor of Phanagorea, Praefect of Mithridates and Friend of the Romans). In: Nikolai Povalahev (ed.): Phanagoreia und darüber hinaus ... – Festschrift für Vladimir Kuznetsov, Göttingen 2014, 131-138.
Suda s.v. Kastor (FGrH 250 T 1) conflates the names of four homonymous individuals: the Tektosagen tetrarch Kastor Tarkondarios and his son, an orator from Marseille and a military commander hailing from Rhodes. Combined with the evidence provided by Appian (Mithr. 107f.; cf. Oros. 6.5.2), important stages in the Rhodian’s biography and the history of Phanagoreia can be reconstructed. When Mithradates VI Eupator was losing control of the Bosporan Kingdom in 64/63 BC, Kastor of Rhodes played an active role in organizing a revolt of his troops against the royal family in Phanagoreia. Pompey rewarded his service to Rome with the title Philorhomaios (amicus populi Romani). This also reflects his independent rule over Phanagoreia until Pharnakes II managed to bring back the city under Mithradatic control around 55 BC (App. Mithr. 120). The tombstone of Hypsikrates (i.e. Eupator’s preferred concubine Hypsikrateia) that was recently discovered in Phanagoreia certainly predates the revolt, which she in all likelihood did not live to see.
D. Studies in the Historical Geography and Mytho-History of Ancient Kolchis
9) ALTAY COŞKUN: Kolchis on the Margins of Empires. (planned)
Some branches of the Greek mythical tradition extend the influence of King Aïetes all over the Black Sea, but we know surprisingly little about the rule over historical Kolchis from the Bronze Age to the middle of the Hellenistic period. Occasional claims that Darius incorporated the country into the Achaemenid Kingdom or that it later formed part of the Seleukid Kingdom cannot be substantiated on the basis of the evidence currently available. Strabon may thus be right to picture a kind of confederation of local rulers (skeptouchoi) at times united under a king and at most others probably not. One might think that, with the take-over of Kolchis by Mithradates VI Eupator of Pontos (ca. 120–63 BC), the situation becomes clearer. But the more details are mentioned in our literary sources, the more questions arise. Of particular interest is the revolt of the Kolchians after the First Mithradatic War (89–85 BC), which resulted in the appointment of Eupator’s (short-lived) son Mithradates as vice king. When Eupator fled through Kolchis in 66 BC, he did not seem to have had a safe basis to rest before reaching Dioskourias in the north. Pompey, too, was met with resistance, but at least managed to establish Aristarchos as a regent for a short while. That he was refused the royal title might imply that the king of Pontos – then the Galatian Deiotaros Philorhomaios – had a supervisory function. At least, soon after King Polemon I took over in Pontos, he also established control over (parts of?) Kolchis, a role that he seems to have bequeathed to his widow Pythodoris and grandson Polemon II. Supervision was then passed on to the Roman governor of Pontos Polemoniacus or of Greater Kappadokia. In this capacity, Arrian inspected the Roman garrisons at Apsaros, Phasis and Sebastopolis in AD 132. At the same time, his report makes clear that Roman direct control did not go further inland, where the various tribes were ruled by kings friendly to Rome. A similar constellation still seemed to be in place during the 6th century, with the exception that the Sasanids where rivalling Roman (Byzantine) supremacy. Strong local autonomy under a Kolchian king, an external hegemon or even both at the same time thus seems to have been the standard pattern of rule over ancient Kolchis.
8) ALTAY COŞKUN: The Cults of Leukothea and Phrixos and Some Hidden Chapters of Greek Colonial History in the Black Sea Region. (in preparation)
Strabon (11.2.17) attests a very peculiar cult for Kolchis: a sanctuary of Leukothea allegedly founded by Phrixos, and possibly even connected with an oracle of the latter. I have argued in recent studies that our only source gives no indication of a Caucasian, Armenian or Iranian re-interpretation of the cult, so that we should regard Leukothea as divinized Ino, the former stepmother of Phrixos. The tension between these two mythical individuals is only a seeming one, since Ino’s role as the evil stepmother was not invented before the third quarter of the 5th century. It had not yet been known when Ino was transformed into a maritime goddess, a protrectress of sailors in need. In the present chapter, I shall suggest that sanctuaries for Leukothea are likely to be indicative of colonial activities of the Phokaians (until 540 BC). The tradition of Phrixos as the founder of the cult may reveal that the Leukotheion and perhaps also an adjacent Greek settlement got under control of the Milesians (in the mid-6th century) or, perhaps more likely of the Sinopeans (around 400 BC). After the disintegration of Athenian thalassocracy around 413/405 BC, Sinope established itself as the leading political and economic force in the south-eastern Black Sea littoral, including the area of Bathys Limen (Batumi), where the Leukotheion was most likely located.
7) ALTAY COŞKUN: Dioskourias-Aia and Four Aiai on the Phasis in the Multiple Argonautic Land- and Riverscapes of Kolchis: Glimpses of Greek Colonial History and Mythography (in preparation)
Already Homer and Hesiod knew of the Argo ‘sung by all’ by the end of the 8th century BC, but it took until the 5th century before the Greeks largely agreed on the location of Aia in Kolchis. This was the seat of the kingdom of Aïetes as well as the destination of Phrixos’ flight on the golden-fleeced ram. When it comes to identifying this mythical city, most scholars pick Kytaïs, modern Kutaisi on the middle Rioni / Rheon in Georgia. Apollonios Rhodios and Prokopios indeed seem to confirm this choice, but there is a much broader and heterogeneous literary tradition which cannot be reconciled with Kutaisi. There were at least three other candidates along the lower course of the Rioni / Phasis which at some point rivaled for the status as successor to the royal city of Aïetes: Vani / Sourion, another Aia in the Senaki area and Phasis near modern Poti. But it was probably Dioskourias on the north-eastern coast of the Euxine to lay the first claim to this prestigious title. It appears to have been the first that was effectively surrounded by a Hippos and a Kyaneos, which became defining rivers also for other candidates. In the later tradition, the Phasis, Glaukos and Lykos could take similar roles, which resulted in complicated cases of homonymy and polyonymy. The present study tries to explore how mythography and geography mutually influenced each other over several centuries.
6) ALTAY COŞKUN: When Was Aia Located in Kolchis? Notes on the Development of the Argonautic Tradition from Homer to ‘Eumelos’ (8th-4th Centuries BC) (in preparation)
Scholarship is divided as to when Greek poets agreed on locating Aia in Kolchis. This was the kingdom of Aïetes, the destination of Phrixos and the place where Jason and the Argonauts recovered the Golden Fleece. Several aspects of the myth were already known to Homer, Hesiod and Mimnermos (8th–7th centuries BC), but these do not spell out the whereabouts of Aia. Whether they potentially knew of its location in Kolchis depends on our interpretation of the younger evidence. Material remains point to the mid-6th century for the beginning of Greek settlement in the area, and uncontroversial literary attestations date as late as the 5th with Simonides and Pindar. Most relevant is therefore the reconstruction of the biobibliography of the Korinthian poet Eumelos. A late but diverse and persistent ancient tradition dates him to the mid-8th century. Recent philological studies have, however, demonstrated that none of his verses can be earlier than the 7th century and that the only work for which a precise historical context can be identified belongs to the 360s. There is hence no plausible reason to date his Korinthiaka prior to the 5th century, and a contextualization in the 4th century may even be more plausible.
5) ALTAY COŞKUN: Searching for the Sanctuary of Leukothea in Kolchis (ms. completed in May 2019, forthcoming in a volume on Ancient Black Sea Studies, ca. 2020)
Strabon of Amaseia mentions a sanctuary of Leukothea, together with an Oracle of Phrixos, in the Moschike somewhere in Kolchis (11.2.17 and 18 [498 and 499C]). O. Lordkipanidze (1972; 2000; cf. Tsetskhladze 1998; Radt 2008) suggested a location in modern Vani at the confluence of the Sulori and Rioni (Phasis) Rivers. In contrast, D. Braund (1994; cf. Roller 2018) proposed an area much farther to the east in the Lesser Caucasus (Moschian Mountains), slightly north of Borjomi, in the valley of the upper Mtkvari River (Kyros). Both identifications are difficult to accept. First, Ino, wife of the Theban King Athamas and stepmother of Phrixos, called Leukothea after her apotheosis, was a sea goddess. As such, her cult was widespread along the northern coast of the Mediterranean. Its only attested branch in the Black Sea region should therefore not be sought in the hinterland or far-away mountains. Second, Strabon’s indications do not point to a location east of (the mouth of) the Phasis, but rather south of it, where the westernmost foothills of the Lesser Caucasus reach the open sea. Third, we are now in a position to contextualize Strabon’s historical references in detail: most importantly, the sack of the sanctuary by Pharnakes II occurred after his defeat at Zela in Pontos by Caesar and before his final battle against Asandros near Pantikapaion. Since both battles occurred within no more than a month, Pharnakes had no time to march through the Kolchian hinterland, let alone to lay siege to its massive fortifications, when sailing back to Pantikapaion in August 47 BC. As a result, the Leukotheion most likely stood out as a landmark, visible from afar for sailors on their way from Trapezus to Phasis. The Mtsvane Kontskhi (‘Green Cape’), which is now covered by the Batumi Botanical Garden, might have been an ideal location.
4) ALTAY COŞKUN: Dioskourias in the Recess of the Black Sea. (Re-) Locating Greek & Roman Cities along the Northern Coast of Kolchis (Gyenos, Dioskourias, Sebastopolis, Pityous and Herakleion) (ms completed in May 2019)
The reconstruction of ancient land- and riverscapes faces several difficulties, most of all changing riverbeds and coastlines, not to mention the thick layers of sediment covering most ancient sites. Phasis City is yet unlocated, but rightly expected somewhere near the mouth of the Phasis / Rioni River. Common opinion further identifies Greek Dioskourias and Roman Sebastopolis with modern Sukhumi. While this may be compatible with isolated pieces of the evidence, it renders the bulk of our ancient accounts aporetic. A systematic re-evaluation of our sources shows that, despite some inaccuracies, ancient geographic authors had a more consistent view of the Kolchian coast than hitherto admitted. In particular, the reliability of Arrian’s Periplous Pontou Euxeinou and the Tabula Peutingeriana has so far been underrated. The present study also draws on Strabo (Eratosthenes), Pliny and Claudius Ptolemy, besides the invaluable support of Google Maps / Earth. My search for Dioskourias did not lead me to Sukhumi, but to the Hippos / Tskhenistskali and Mochos / Anthemous / Mokvi Rivers in the bay of Ochamchire in north-western Georgia. This is where scholars have previously situated Gyenos. But for the latter we should rather look somewhere along the lower course of the Kyaneos / Okumi River, for Roman Sebastopolis at the Kodori Delta south-east of the Sukhumi Airport, for Graeco-Roman Pityous at the estuary of the Khipsta River, and only for its Byzantine refoundation at Pitsunda by the Korax / Bzipi River. At least, the plausibility of the traditional location of Caucasian Herakleion on Cape Adler conforms to the ancient literary tradition.
3) ALTAY COŞKUN: Ino-Leukothea, Athamas and Phrixos: a Theban Family Drama Retold and Repainted in Hundreds of Versions. (Ms. completed in March 2019)
Strabon of Amaseia attests a Kolchian sanctuary of Leukothea and names Phrixos as its founder (Geogr. 11.2.17 [498C]). The singular combination of the (second?) wife and the son of the Theban King Athamas is puzzling. Ino’s jealousy is believed to have induced the plan of Phrixos’ sacrifice, which he escaped on the back of the golden-fleeced ram. Ino herself became the victim of Athamas’ god-inspired madness, but was transformed into the maritime goddess Leukothea. But Ino was not always the evil stepmother. The myth seems to originate from a fertility rite, and its earliest narrative must have focused on the agency of Athamas, whose frency victimized various members of his family. The misogynistic attitude of Athenian tragedians introduced various evil stepmothers in the mid-5th century (Pherekydes, BNJ 3 F 98 = Scholia (BDEGQ) on Pindar, 4.288a), a role which was tested also on Ino about a generation later (Hdt. 7.197.1). As both the literary tradition and red-figure paintings of Italian vases show, this younger version never became the mainstream in antiquity. Removing the bias against Ino from our perception may open our eyes for many nuances and ambiguities in the textual and iconographic representation of the myth, especially in Italian red-figure vases and Valerius Flaccus’ Argonautica.
2) ALTAY COŞKUN: Akampsis, Boas, Apsaros, Petra, Sebastopolis: Rivers and Forts on the Southern Littoral of Kolchis. (Forthcoming in a FS in 2019/20)
In his Periplous Pontou Euxeinou (ca. AD 132), Arrian describes the Roman fortresses on the estuaries of the Akampsis (Tchorokhi) and the Phasis (Rioni). There are various hints that Fort Apsaros (Gonio) by the Apsaros / Akampsis had been used as a stronghold by other rulers before, such as Mithradates VI Eupator (ca. 100 BC). Arrian mentions no other garrison or settlement along the south-Kolchian coast. Pseudo-Skylax, Strabon, Pliny, Ptolemy and Prokopios convey a similar impression, with two exceptions. Ptolemy attests a Sebastopolis just north of the Apsorros / Apsaros / Akampsis, which scholars tend to ignore. More likely, however, Polemon I (37–9/8 BC) founded it there, before relocating it further north, about 30 miles north-west from Dioskourias. Petra figures as the most important stronghold in Kolchis / Lazika during Justinian’s Persian War (AD 540s). Common opinion identifies it with Tsikhisdziri, but this is barely compatible with the details provided by Prokopios. Although he occasionally confuses the Phasis with the Boas / Akampsis, his narrative suggests locating Petra on the southern bank of the Phasis estuary. It can thus be seen as a successor to the 2nd-century Roman fortress. At some point, it was extended to receive the population of the submerged city of Phasis. The study is preceded by a discussion of the the names and identities of the rivers in the area, especially the Akampsis / Boas / Lykos, Apsaros / Apsorros / Glaukos as well as the Leiston and Rhis.
1) ALTAY COŞKUN: Phasian Confusion. Notes on Kolchian, Armenian and Pontic River Names in Myth, History and Geography (Forthcoming in the journal Phasis, ca. 2019)
Due to its close link with the legendary kingdom of Aia, where the Argonauts found the Golden Fleece, the Kolchian Phasis is one of the most illustrious rivers in world literature. It is, at the same time, surrounded by several controversies, ancient as well as modern. The present paper will argue that it was first pictured as part of the mythical landscape around 500 BC. It will further try to disentangle some of the intricate views on the river’s course and relation to other waters: mythical narratives, colonial ideologies, reports of explorers and geographical speculation led to a heterogeneous, in part fancy tradition, as is best exemplified by the Phasis / Tanaïs / Don, which was fathomed with a second outlet into the Baltic Sea. This notwithstanding, the concept of the Kolchian Phasis was quite sober. Eratosthenes, Strabon and the mainstream literary tradition identified it with the modern Rioni only as far as Rhodopolis / Geguti, whence its middle course equals the Kvirila river to Sarapana / Shoropani; its upper course, now the Barimela, connected it with its Armenian source. The knowledge that Herodotos and Xenophon had of the Phasis / Rioni and of the Araxes / Phasis / Aras was limited but not confused. Prokopios, however, describes the Boas / Akampsis as the upper course of the Phasis / Kvirila / Rioni in book 2, but later corrects this view in book 8. His error stands in a broader tradition that ignored the Akampsis, possibly due to confusion with multiple rivers called Lykoi in the Argonautic and geographical literature. This insight will allow us to demystify Apollonios Rhodios’ verses on the Phasis, Lykos and Araxes, and to appreciate the minor rivers of the riverscape of Aia: the Hippos, Kyaneos, Glaukos and Lykos, whose systematic study remains a desideratum.
E. Collaborative Book Projects on Ancient Black Sea History
3) ALTAY COŞKUN (ed.): In the Shadow of Mithradates VI Eupator: the Bosporan Kingdom & Rome in a Watershed Period (110 BC to AD 69). Planned for 2022.
Chapters have been committed by ALEXANDRU AVRAM, LUIS BALLESTEROS PASTOR, DAVID BRAUND, ALTAY COŞKUN, ASKOLD IVANTCHIK, IGOR MAKAROV, VALENTINA MORDVINTSEVA, GERMAIN PAYEN, UDO SCHLOTZHAUER, VLADIMIR STOLBA, DENIS ZHURALEV.
2) ALTAY COŞKUN (ed.): Studies in the Mithradatic Dynasty, Historical Geography and Ethnic Constructs around the Black Sea Littoral. Methodological Advances and Interdisciplinary Perspectives. With the editorial assistance of Joanna Porucznik & Germain Payen. In preparation for Historia Geographica (series editors: Eckhard Olshausen & Vera Sauer, Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, ca. 2020).
ALTAY COŞKUN: Introduction
Heinz Heinen und die Bosporanischen Könige
HEINZ HEINEN (†): Vom Tode des Mithradates des Großen bis zum Tode des Augustus (63 v.Chr.–14 n.Chr.) (Stand: 1997)
HEINZ HEINEN (†): Die Münzprägung des Aspurgos und seiner Vorgänger (8 v.Chr.?–37/38 n.Chr.) (Stand: 1997)
ALTAY COŞKUN: Bibliographische Nachträge
Further Studies in the Dynasties of the Bosporan Kingdom and Pontos
MADALINA DANA: The Bosporan Kings and the Greek Features of Their Culture in Pontus and the Mediterranean
LUIS BALLESTEROS PASTOR: The Return of the King: Pharnaces II and the Achaemenid Tradition
ALTAY COŞKUN & GAIUS STERN: Dynamis in Rome? Revisiting the South Frieze of the Ara Pacis Augustae
GERMAIN PAYEN: The Aspurgian Dynasty and the End of Mithradatism
Studies in Historical Geography
ADRIAN DUMITRU: Usque ad Tanaïm. The Construction of the Roman-Seleukid Boundary in the Treaty of Apameia
GERMAIN PAYEN: Les suites de la paix d’Apamée en mer Noire
ALTAY COŞKUN: Searching for the Sanctuary of Leukothea in Kolchis
ANCA DAN: Hellenistic and Roman Sites in the Bosporan Kingdom: the Testimony of the Roman Itineraria
Studies in Ancient and Modern Ethnicity Constructs
MARTA OLLER GUZMÁN: Facing the Greeks: Impact of the Greeks among Local Populations in Ancient Colonization
ALEXANDER PODOSSINOV: Der Topos des ‘Edlen Skythen’: eine diachronische Perspektive
JOANNA PORUCZNIK: Cult and Funerary Practices in Olbia and Its Chora: a Methodological Approach to the Study of Cultural Identity in Urban and Rural Communities
PHIL HARLAND: ‘The Most Ignorant People of All’ – Pontic Peoples and Ancient Ethnic Hierarchies
VALENTINA MORDVINTSEVA: ‘Iraner’ und ‘Sarmaten’ in der Weltsicht Michael Rostovtzeffs
Ramifications of Cultural Change in Late Antiquity
HUGH ELTON: Agriculture and Climate Change in Late Roman Pontus
DAN RUSCU: Christianity and Urban Changes in Late Roman Scythia Minor
1) VICTOR COJOCARU, ALTAY COŞKUN & MADALINA DANA (eds.): Interconnectivity in the Mediterranean and Pontic World during the Hellenistic and Roman Periods. The Proceedings of the International Symposium organized by the Iaşi Branch of the Romanian Academy, the Museum of National History and Archaeology Constanţa, the Research Project ‘Amici Populi Romani’ (Trier – Waterloo ON) and the Cultural Complex ‘Callatis‘ Mangalia (Constanţa, July 8-12, 2013), Cluj-Napoca: MEGA Publishing House, Dec. 2014. 708 pp.
Notes on Contributors
ALTAY COŞKUN: Interconnectivity – In honorem & in memoriam Heinz Heinen (1941-2013)
With a Complete Bibliography of His Scholarly Publications
VICTOR COJOCARU: Die Beziehungen der nordpontischen Griechen zu den außerpontischen Regionen und Dynastien, einschließlich der römischen Hegemonialmacht: Historiographische Übersicht
Pontica & Micro-Asiatica
ALEXANDRU AVRAM: La mer Noire et la Méditerranée: quelques aspects concernant la mobilité des personnes
MĂDĂLINA DANA: D’Héraclée à Trapézonte: cités pontiques ou micrasiatiques?
BÜLENT ÖZTÜRK: Some Observations on Tianoi Abroad and the External Relations of Tieion / Tios (Eastern Bithynia)
ADRIAN ROBU: Byzance et Chalcédoine à l’époque hellénistique: entre alliances et rivalités
THIBAUT CASTELLI: L’interconnexion des réseaux économiques: les échanges entre le nord-ouest du Pont-Euxin et Rhodes à l’époque hellénistique
SERGEJ UŞAKOV – SERGEJ BOČAROV: Chersonesos Taurike und die Ägäis im 5.-3. Jahrhundert v. Chr.: Neue archäologische Fundkomplexe
FLORINA PANAIT BÎRZESCU: Wandering Cult Images between the Aegean and the Black Sea Cities in Hellenistic and Roman Times: from Dionysos Kathegemon to Dionysos Karpophoros
IULIAN BÎRZESCU: Some Remarks on Hellenistic Terracotta Offerings in the Western Pontic Sanctuaries
COSTEL CHIRIAC – LUCIAN MUNTEANU: Trade Connections between Asia Minor and the West Pontic Area in the 4th Century CE. Some Sphragistic Considerations
Seleucidica & Mithridatica
DAVID ENGELS: „Je veux être calife à la place du calife“? Überlegungen zur Funktion der Titel „Großkönig“ und „König der Könige“ vom 3. zum 1. Jh. v. Chr.
MUSTAFA H. SAYAR: Lysimacheia. Eine hellenistische Hauptstadt zwischen zwei Kontinenten und zwei Meeren: Ein Ort der Interkonnektivität
GLENN R. BUGH: Mithridates the Great and the Freedom of the Greeks
MARIE-ASTRID BUELENS: A Matter of Names: King Mithridates VI and the Oracle of Hystaspes
MARIA BĂRBULESCU– LIVIA BUZOIANU: L’espace ouest-pontique sous l’empereur Tibère à la lumière d’un décret inédit découvert en Dobroudja
DAVID BRAUND: Nero’s Amber-Expedition in Context: Connectivity between the Baltic, Black Sea, Adriatic and India from Herodotus to the Roman Empire
FLORIAN MATEI-POPESCU: The Horothesia of Dionysopolis and the Integration of the Western Pontic Greek Cities in the Roman Empire
LIGIA RUSCU: Becoming Roman? Shifting Identities in the Western Pontic Greek Cities
IOAN PISO: Le siège du gouverneur de Mésie inférieure
MARTA OLLER GUZMÁN: Recherches sur la prosopographie des magistrats d’Olbia du Pont d'après les inscriptions pour Achille Pontarchès
COSTEL CHIRIAC – SEVER-PETRU BOŢAN: Roman Glass Vessels in the West Pontic Area (1st-3rd Centuries CE). General Remarks
GIORGIO RIZZO: Pontus and Rome: Trade in the Imperial Period
FEDERICO RUSSO: The Function of the Trojan Myth in Early Roman Expansionism in Greece and Asia Minor
HALE GÜNEY: The Economic Activities of Roman Nicomedia and Connectivity between the Propontic and the Pontic World
MICHAEL A. SPEIDEL: Connecting Cappadocia. The Contribution of the Roman Imperial Army
FILIZ DÖNMEZ-ÖZTÜRK (†): Erste Ergebnisse der epigraphischen Feldforschungen in Bithynien (Göynük und Mudurnu)