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Last Updated on 23 Mar 2017

Author: Benedikt Eckhardt

CAPInv. 646: U-NEA-021


i. Geographical area The Near East and Beyond
ii. Region Syria
iii. Site Antiochia


i. Association with unknown name U-NEA-021


i. Date(s) 73 / 74 AD


i. Source(s) SEG 35: 1483 (AD 73/4)
Online Resources SEG 35: 1483
i.a. Source type(s) Epigraphic source(s)
i.b. Document(s) typology & language/script Greek building inscriptions
i.c. Physical format(s) Two limestone stelae
ii. Source(s) provenance Found at the west bank of the Orontes


ii. References to buildings/objects διῶρυξ γναφικός, dioryx gnaphikos, "fullers' canal" (ll. A8-9)


i. Local interaction The inscriptions contain lists of Antiochian plintheia (insulae; blocks) that participated in the building of the fullers' canal. They were certainly not the only inscriptions. Feissel 1985: 93 calculates - on the basis of the measures of the canal and the workload of the plintheia given in the inscriptions - that approximately 200 plintheia of Antioch participated in the project (in total, there may have been 1400 plintheia in the city). The building of the canal obviously involved a significant part of the population.


iii. Bibliography Feissel, D. (1985), ‘Deux listes de quartiers d’Antioche astreints au creusement d’un canal (73-74 après J.-C.)’, Syria 62: 77-103.
Pleket, H. (2008), ‘Berufsvereine im kaiserzeitlichen Kleinasien: Geselligkeit oder Zünfte?’, in P. Mauritsch et al. (eds.), Antike Lebenswelten. Konstanz - Wandel - Wirkungsmacht. Festschrift für Ingomar Weiler zum 70. Geburtstag, Wiesbaden: 533-44.
Robert, L. (1951), ‘Contribution à la topographie de villes de l’Asie Mineure méridionale’, CRAI 1951: 254-9, esp. 255-6.
Van Nijf, O. (1997), The Civic World of Professional Associations in the Roman East. Amsterdam: 89-91.


i. Private association Discarded
Note The canal of the fullers is referred to as a striking example for the interaction – and overlap of interests – between cities and professional associations by van Nijf 1997: 89-91 and Pleket 2008: 538. But it should be noted that the text does not provide information about the organization of the fullers and that the canal is designated as dioryx gnaphikos, with the use of an adjective rather than a collective name for the fullers. Evidence from other cities suggests that fullers were often united in professional associations, but there is no evidence from Antioch for such associations. The building project is presented in the inscriptions as a civic enterprise for civic needs, with participation of civic subdivisions. If the fullers were in any way a private association, the building inscriptions do their best to obscure this fact. A reasonable understanding of the inscriptions is presented by Feissel 1985: 89: it was in the interest of the city to create a specific, somewhat remote area for a malodorant industry that would otherwise have been spread throughout the city. This civic measure does not presuppose organization of labour (but could perhaps promote it).