023 - Fig1

PHRC023 : Dedication to Attalos I, Pergamon - Mysia (240-100 BC) Dedication

This rectangular altar of Attalos I is one of the two found among the Byzantine structures that were built within the ruins of the ‘House with the Podiensaal’, a luxury peristyle house erected in the mid-2nd century and later used, with several changes, until the end of Antiquity. While theses specimens are per se not different from the other altars of the the cult of Attalos I Soter in Pergamon, their find spot is particularly intriguing as it could testify to the survival of the cult of this king after the end of the dynasty, when the house was in use.

Images:
Photo 1: Photo of the altar, from Radt 1989, p. 204-205, photo 2
Photo 2: Plan of the House with the 'Podiensaal' (Late Hellenistic period); photo based on Schwarzer (2008), p. 49, photo 8, modified for Caneva 2020



Current location

Archaeological Museum of Bergama

Support

Object Type: Altar
Fragment of a rectangular altar. The upper cornice has been hammered for reuse as construction material.
Material: Andesite
Dimensions:
Height: 51 cm
Width: 39,5 cm
Depth: 22 cm

Layout

Text written on three lines.
The text is in line with the average quality of the small altars of the Attalid cult. The letters are all of the same height. Their shapes point to a period between the late 3rd cent. and the first half of the 2nd: A with straight bar, Σ with parallel horizontal hastae, no apices.

History

Date: Between 230 and 100 BC
Justification: Lettering and archaeological context
Provenance: Reused in a Byzantine room above the Deposit 4 of the 'House with the Podiensaal'.

Bibliography

Text constituted from: AvP XV 4, S21, publishing the same text as Radt 1989, p. 204-205, no. 2 (SEG XL 1134b), but with more information about the stone and context.

Other editions:

See also: Caneva 2020.

Images: Radt 1989, p. 204-205, photo 2.

Further bibliography: for the location, history and plan of the house, see Schwarzer 2008.

Online record: PHI

Edition



Βασιλε[ῖ]
Ἀττάλ[ωι]
Σωτῆρι


Translation


(S. Caneva)
To King Attalos Soter

Traduzione


(S. Caneva)
Al re Attalo Soter

Commentary

This rectangular altar is one of the two (cf. PHRC024) found on the site of the ‘House with the Podiensaal’, a luxury peristyle house erected in the mid-Hellenistic period in the residential area on the south-western slope of the Pergamon hill. See Schwarzer 2008, p. 1-2, 45-54, 88-89, for the Hellenistic architectural phases of this building, which remained in use until the end of Antiquity: phase I, from the mid-2nd cent. BC; phase II, probably from the early 1st cent. (for the Augustan phase, see commentary to PHRC025).

More precisely, the stone was reused in a Byzantine room above the deposit no. 4, located at the SW corner of the house. The find spot raises several problems concerning the period of dedication and use of the altar. Since the house was probably erected towards the end of the monarchic period (or even afterwards, see Schwarzer 2008, p. 44-45), two hypotheses are possible. The first is that the altar was used in a period preceding the erection of the peristyle house, perhaps during the reign of Attalos I or of his sons, and was already employed as building material at the time when the house was built (Schwarzer 2008, p. 237). Otherwise, the altar may have been used for the domestic cult of the people living in the house. It this case, it might have found its place in the so-called ‘cult room’ at the NE corner of the building (cf. Schwarzer 2008, p. 51, 81). It would therefore testify to the survival of the cult of Attalos I even after the end of the dynasty (on this point, see also PHRC021).

On the hypothesis that the house hosted the meetings of the Boukoloi of Dionynos as early as the mid-second century, see commentary to PHRC025.

Author:
Stefano Caneva, on 29.03.2019
Revisions:
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Travocial - Social Travel & Storytelling Practicalities of Hellenistic Ruler Cults
Marie Curie PISCOPIA project no. PISC14IGRU, University of Padova (2015-2017)
FNRS project no. 98368 (2017-2020)
Stefano Caneva
ste.caneva@gmail.com
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The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Commission, Seventh Framework Programme, under Grant Agreement n° 600376 (2015-2017), and from the Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique (FNRS), Belgium (2017-2020).
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