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Last Updated on 09 Jul 2019

Author: Nikolaos Giannakopoulos

CAPInv. 164: chalkeis


i. Geographical area Western Asia Minor
ii. Region Bithynia
iii. Site Nikaia


i. Full name (original language) χαλκεῖς (I.Iznik 73, l. 6)
ii. Full name (transliterated) chalkeis


i. Date(s) s. i - ii AD


ii. Name elements


i. Source(s) I.Iznik 73 (i-ii AD)
Note See also:
Dittmann-Schöne Ι.8.1

For the new reading of ll. 4-5 see M. Adak on the inscriptions of Nikaia (Marek&Adak 2016).
Online Resources I.Iznik 73
AGRW ID# 13298
i.a. Source type(s) Epigraphic source(s)
i.b. Document(s) typology & language/script Honorary inscription in Greek set up by the association for its benefactor T. Flavius.
i.c. Physical format(s) Round basis probably supporting a statue of the honorand.
ii. Source(s) provenance The inscription was found in the church of Dormition of Mary in Iznik.


iv. Honours/Other activities The chalkeis honoured their ‘own’ benefactor (ἑαυτῶν εὐεργέτης, heauton euergetes, ll. 6-7) T. Flavius, probably by erecting a statue. The honorand was a prominent figure who held important posts in Nikaia, being censor and gymnasiarches (not asiarches; see the new reading of ll. 4-5 by M. Adak in his forthcoming book on the inscriptions of Nikaia). He was also high-priest of the imperial cult either in Nikaia or, as Fernoux (2004: 203 and 353-4; cf. Bekker-Nielsen 2008: 84) holds, in the province of Bithynia. T. Flavius is also styled as dikaios proegoros, (on proegoros see Robert 1950: 8-14; Schaefer 1957; Fernoux 2004: 305-6 and 339 discusses the Bithynian evidence). Van Nijf (1997: 96) thinks that this term refers exclusively to the chalkeis whose legal interests T. Flavius defended. Dittmann-Schöne (2010: 55-6 and 127, no. I.8.1) shares the same view and refers to other honorific inscriptions set up by associations which highlight the honorands' legal services and excellence (TAM V.2 933, TAM V.2 1002 and Tyche 12 (1997): 114 from Thyateira; SEG 27: 947 and SEG 26: 1457 from Tarsos). However, it should be noted that the function of proegoros in our inscription, as well as the various legal services and expertise mentioned in all the other inscriptions referred to by Dittmann-Schöne, are not explicitly associated exclusively with the honouring(s) association(s), but presented as a distinction added to the overall careers of the honorands. Hence, if, as it is probable, the honours awarded to T. Flavius by the chalkeis were related not to other unrecorded services but to some kind of legal aid provided by the benefactor, the latter may have acted so in his capacity as Nikaia’s proegoros, representing a civic association before the Roman authorities.


i. Local interaction The honours awarded to T. Flavius combined with the title euergetes attributed to him by the association of coppersmiths indicate ongoing contacts and solid bonds between the two parties. Whether the benefactions offered by T. Flavius were related to the offices he held, perhaps as part of collective generosities to the whole city, or to his legal expertise, as Van Nijf (1997: 96) and Dittmann-Schöne (2010: 55-6 and 126-7 no. I.8.1) suggested, is unknown. On the other hand, these benefactions may have involved liberalities offered in an entirely private context. In any case, the patronage of a local professional association, as suggested by the title euergetes, was undoubtedly a suitable means for increasing a local politician’s social and political influence (cf. Van Nijf 1997: 117-28 and Zimmermann 2002: 105-7).


i. Comments The cost of the erection of the honorific monument for T. Flavius may have been covered either from ad hoc contributions of the members or from money drawn from a common treasury.
iii. Bibliography Bekker-Nielsen, T. (2008), Urban Life and Roman Politics in Roman Bithynia: The Small World of Dio Chrysostom. Aarhus.
Dittmann-Schöne, I. (2010), Die Berufsvereine in den Städten des kaiserzeitlichen Kleinasiens. 2nd. ed. Regensburg.
Fernoux, H.-L. (2004), Notables et élites des cites de Bithynie aux époques hellénistique et romaine (IIIe siècle av. J.-C. – IIIe siècle ap. J.-C.). Essai d’histoire sociale. Lyon.
Marek, Christian and Adak, Mustafa 2016. Epigraphische Forschungen in Bithynien, Paphlagonien, Galatien und Pontos, Philia Supplements Vol 2, Istanbul.
Robert, L., and Robert, J. (1950), Hellenica. Recueil d'épigraphie, de numismatique et d'antiquités grecques. 9 vols. Paris.
Schaefer, H. (1950), ‘προήγορος’, RE XXIII.1: cols. 104-7.
Van Nijf, O. (1997), The Civic World of Professional Associations in the Roman East. Amsterdam.
Zimmermann, C. (2002), Handwerkervereine im griechischen Osten des Imperium Romanum. Mainz.


i. Private association Certain
Note The use of the professional name chalkeis to identify the body awarding the honours to T. Flavius confirms that it was a private association.