Stable URL: as PDF
Last Updated on 21 May 2019

Author: Nikolaos Giannakopoulos

CAPInv. 640: U-WAM-011


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


i. Association with unknown name U-WAM-011


i. Date(s) 131 / 132 AD


i. Source(s) I.Iznik 1206 (131 / 132 AD)
Online Resources I.Iznik 1206
i.a. Source type(s) Epigraphic source(s)
i.b. Document(s) typology & language/script Honorary inscription in Greek set up by the demos of Mossyneanon and Synlantenon for Okktaios (i.e. Oktavios).
i.c. Physical format(s) Pedimental stele with akroteria; above the inscription a laurel wreath.
ii. Source(s) provenance The inscription was found at Kizildere near Ugancilar in the area of Iznik.


ii. Leadership The title βεννάχης, bennaches (l. βεννάρχης, bennarches), attributed to Okktaios (ll. 9-10) may indicate leadership of a group of devotees to Zeus Bennios (see Şahin 1978; Drew-Bear and Naour 1991: 1956-1961 and 1987-1991; Schwabl 1999; Fernoux 2004: 347; Adak, Akyürek Şahin and Güneş 2008: 81-82).


i. Comments The inscription is dated to the 15th year of Hadrian’s principate.
Bennos is a term denoting a religious association. If the term bennaches ek progonon in our inscription corresponds to a leader of such an association, the latter was devoted to the cult of the fertility god Zeus Bennios (see Şahin 1978; Drew-Bear and Naour 1991: 1956-1961 and 1987-1991; Schwabl 1999; Adak, Akyürek Şahin and Güneş 2008: 81-82). In assuming the post of bennarches, Okktaios apparently carried on a family tradition. The honours and the title euergetes dia biou attributed to him by the demos of Mossyneanon and Synlantenon indicate that he was a prominent local figure.
iii. Bibliography Adak, M., Akyürek Şahin, N.E., and Güneş, M.Y. (2008), ‘Neue Inschriften im Museum von Bolu (Bithynion/Klaudiupolis)’, Gephyra 5: 73-120.
Drew-Bear, T. and Naour, C. (1990), 'Divinités de Phrygie', ANRW II.18.3: 1907-2044.
Fernoux, H.-L. (2004), Notables et elites des cités de Bithynie aux époques hellénistique et romaine (IIIe siècle av. J.-C. – IIIe siècle ap. J.-C.). Essai d’histoire sociale. Lyon.
Şahin, S. (1978), ‘Zeus Bennios’ in S. Şahin, E. Schwertheim, and J. Wagner (eds.), Studien zur Religion und Kultur Kleinasiens. Festschrift für Friedrich Karl Dörner zum 65. Geburtstag am 28. Februar 1976. 2 vols, Leiden: 771-790.
Schwabl, H. (1999), ‘Zum Kult des Zeus in Kleinasien (II). Der phrygische Zeus Bennios und Verwandtes’, AAntHung 39: 345-54.


i. Private association Possible
Note Bennarches may be associated with leadership of a bennos. However, this title alone does not necessarily prove the existence of an organized group (though the specification ek progonon points towards the direction of a sustained cult); it may simply refer to presidency over the cult or a festival (cf. BE 1970: no. 305).