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Last Updated on 21 May 2019

Author: Nikolaos Giannakopoulos

CAPInv. 125: naukleroi


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


i. Full name (original language) ναύκληροι (TAM IV.1 22, l. 4)
ii. Full name (transliterated) naukleroi


i. Date(s) 69 - iii AD


ii. Name elements


i. Source(s) TAM IV.1 22 (69-79 AD)
TAM IV.1 33 (?)
Note On TAM IV.1 22 see also:
On TAM IV.1 33 see also:
BE 1974: no. 572
Online Resources TAM IV.1 22 and AGRW ID# 13308
TAM IV.1 33 and AGRW ID# 13310
i.a. Source type(s) Epigraphic source(s)
i.b. Document(s) typology & language/script TAM IV.1 22 is a dedication in Greek of the association, perhaps in collaboration with the proconsul of Bithynia.
TAM IV.I 33 is a Greek honorary inscription for the high-priest P. Aelius Timotheos. J. and L. Robert (BE 1974: no. 572) have restored the name of the honouring party in l. 2 as follows: [οἱ ἐν τῶι] πρεσβυτέρωι οἴκ[ωι ναύκληροι] ([hoi en toi] presbyteroi oik[oi naukleroi]).
ii. Source(s) provenance Both TAM IV.1 22 and TAM IV.1 33 were found in Izmit (Nikomedeia).


ii. References to buildings/objects [τέ]με[ν]ος, [te]me[n]os
ο[ἶ]κος ναυκλη[ρικός], o[i]kos naukle[rikos], dedicated to Vespasian (TAM IV.1 22, l. 2)
πρεσβύτερος οἶκ[ος], presbyteros oik[os] (ΤΑΜ IV.1 33, l. 2 as restored by J. and L. Robert in BE 1974: no. 572).


ii. Leadership The high-priest P. Aelius Timotheos is honoured as [πρ]οστάς αὐτῶν, [pr]ostas auton (TAM IV.1 33, l. 8) in an inscription possibly – but not certainly – emanating from [οἱ ἐν τῶι] πρεσβυτέρωι οἴκ[ωι ναύκληροι] ([hoi en toi] presbyteroi oik[oi naukleroi]) (TAM IV.1 33, l.2 with BE 1974: no. 572). If this restoration is accepted, the term prostas may refer to the leader of the group. See also below under fields X.iii: Honours and XI.i: Local Interaction.


ii. Realty As TAM IV.1 22 suggests, the association seems to have been in possession of a sacred precinct (τέμενος, temenos) and a common building (οἶκος ναυκληρικός, oikos nauklerikos) perhaps serving as meeting hall (see also BE 1976: no. 160; cf. Fernoux 2004: 262 and 390-1).
On the πρεσβύτερος οἶκ[ος], presbyteros oik[os], mentioned in ΤΑΜ IV.1 33, l. 2 as restored by J. and L. Robert (BE 1974: no. 572), see below under field XII.i: Comments.


iii. Age Adults
Note The restoration of the honouring group in TAM IV.1 33, l. 2 as [οἱ ἐν τῶι] πρεσβυτέρωι οἴκ[ωι ναύκληροι], [hoi en toi] presbyteroi oik[oi naukleroi], if accepted (BE 1974: no. 572), raises the possibility of an official subdivision of the Nikomedeian naukleroi in groups of elders and adults. See below under field XII.i: Comments.


iii. Worship The dedication of a temenos to Vespasian, undoubtedly a public expression of respect (cf. Fernoux 2004: 203), was perhaps linked with some kind of cultic activity addressed to the emperor on the part of the association but again, no specific information can be deduced.
On other evidence regarding a possible connection between the Nikomedeian naukleroi and the imperial cult, see below under fields X.iv: Honours and XI.i: Local Interaction.
Deities worshipped Emperor?
iv. Honours/Other activities The restoration of the honouring group in TAM IV.1 33, l. 2 as [οἱ ἐν τῶι] πρεσβυτέρωι οἴκ[ωι ναύκληροι], [hoi en toi] presbyteroi oik[oi naukleroi], if accepted (BE 1974: no. 572), shows that the Nikomedeian naukleroi honoured the high-priest P. Aelius Timotheos. The fragmentary state of the stone does not allow us to form a clear picture on the honorand: It appears that he had held important posts both in the city and in the Bithynian koinon (TAM IV.1 33, ll. 4-6: δ[ὶς ἄρξαντα τ]ῆς πόλεως τὴν μεγί[στην ἀρχὴ]ν καὶ δὶς τοῦ κοινοβο[υλίου], d[is arxanta t]es poleos ten megi[sten arche]n kai dis tou koinobo[uliou]). Fernoux (2004: 352-356 and 359) thinks that the honorand occupied the posts of archon twice in Nikomedeia and that of bithyniarches, while he also served as high-priest for the province (cf. also Bekker-Nielsen 2008: 85 and 104 who thinks that the expression arxanta ten megisten archen tou koinobouliou denotes either a different post from the bithyniarchia or the senior position of P. Aelius Timotheos among his fellow bithyniarchai). The final phrase [πρ]οστάντα αὐτῶν, [pr]ostanta auton (TAM IV.1 33, l. 8) may indicate some sort of patronage or leadership provided to the honouring group.


i. Local interaction TAM IV.1 33, if indeed related to the Nikomedeian naukleroi, suggests solid bonds and close relations with the high-priest P. Aelius Timotheos, who perhaps functioned as a patron or a leader of the association (see above under field X.iv: Honours). Since the dedication of a temenos to Vespasian (TAM IV.1 22) clearly indicates the naukleroi’s publicly expressed devotion to the imperial institution, the imperial cult served by the high-priest may have constituted the framework for the fostering of these bonds.
ii. Interaction abroad The proposed restorations of TAM IV.1 22, ll. 4-6 (Μάρ[κ]ου Πλανκίου Ο[ὐάρου] | [ἀνθυπάτου κατασκευ]ασθῆ[ν]αι [ἀ]πο[φ]ηναμένου, Κα ––– | ––––– ος ἀνθύπατος καδιέρωσε, Mar[k]ou Plankiou O[uarou anthypatou kataskeu]asthe[n]ai [a]po[ph]enamenou, Ka –––––––– os anthypatos kadierose) if accepted indicate that the dedication of the naukleroi was approved by the proconsul Marcus Plancius Varus (on the latter’s career see Eck 1970: 231 n. 506; Halfmann 1979: 104-5; Madsen 2009: 62); moreover, one of his successors, whose term of office presumably witnessed the completion of the works, functioned as co-dedicator. If this reconstruction of the events surrounding the dedication of the temenos and the oikos is correct, one has to suppose the existence of a formal contact between the association and at least two Roman provincial governors, perhaps in the form of embassies sent by the association and letters sent in response by the governor(s).


i. Comments Individual Nikomedeian naukleroi are well attested both in the city itself (TAM IV.1 110, 127, 195, 197, 297 and 304; Robert 1978: 422-3; BE 1983: no. 424) and abroad (see Robert 1939: 171; Robert 1978: 423-4; Vélissaropoulos 1980: 55 n. 241). The Nikomedeian naukleros Telesphoros was also member of the local council (TAM IV.1 304).
Restoring the honouring party in TAM IV.1 33, l. 2 as [οἱ ἐν τῶι] πρεσβυτέρωι οἴκ[ωι ναύκληροι] ([hoi en toi] presbyteroi oik[oi naukleroi]), J. and L. Robert distinguished between a ‘groupement plus ancien’ and ‘un autre plus récent’ (BE 1974: no. 572). This may lead to the conclusion that there were in fact two associations of Nikomedeian naukleroi, i.e. a presbyteros oikos established before a neos oikos or a neoteros oikos (see also Robert 1978: 424); But what was then the relation between these two oikoi functioning in the 2nd or the 3rd century AD (the date is suggested by the nomen gentis of the honorand of TAM IV.I 33) and the naukleroi who dedicated an oikos nauklerikos to Vespasian in TAM IV.1 22? Are we to identify this latter oikos with the presbyteros oikos mentioned in Aelius Timotheos’ inscription? Or are we to understand that a single association of naukleroi attested under Vespasian was later split in two? Robert's suggestion does not clarify this point.
However, another interpretation is possible: The term [οἱ ἐν τῶι] πρεσβυτέρωι οἴκ[ωι ναύκληροι], [hoi en toi] presbyteroi oik[oi naukleroi], may denote an internal subdivision of a single association, formed on the basis of age and possessing a separate meeting hall (presbyteros oikos). This subdivision of elder naukleroi would be then entitled to assume independent action as the honours awarded to P. Aelius Timotheos indicate. In any case the restoration [ναύκληροι], [naukleroi], in TAM IV.1 33, which depends solely on the mention of an oikos, though probable, is not entirely certain.

The construction of an οἶκος, oikos, by the naukleroi raises the possibility of financial contributions imposed on the members of the association.
Although there is no direct reference to a common treasury, its existence may be deduced from the decision of the association to construct a common building (oikos).
The existence of an oikos nauklerikos suggests meetings and collective events organized by the association (see Robert 1969: 12-13; Velissaropulos 1980: 105-106) but no specific information can be deduced.
ii. Poland concordance Poland E* 76 (TAM IV.1 22)
iii. Bibliography Bekker-Nielsen, T. (2008), Urban Life and Roman Politics in Roman Bithynia: The Small World of Dio Chrysostom. Aarhus.
Eck, W. (1970), Senatoren von Vespasian bis Hadrian. Prosopographische Untersuchungen mit Einschluss der Jahres- und Provinzialfasten der Staathalter. München.
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.
Halfmann, H. (1979), Die Senatoren aus dem östlichen Teil des Imperium Romanum bis zum Ende des 2. Jh. n. Chr. Göttingen.
Madsen, J.M. (2009), Eager to be Roman: Greek response to Roman Rule in Pontus and Bithynia. London.
Robert, L. (1939), ‘Hellenica’, RPh 13: 97-217.
Robert, L. (1969), ‘Deux décrets d’une association à Athènes’, AEph: 7-14.
Robert, L. (1978), ‘Documents d’Asie Mineure’, BCH 102.1: 395-543.
Vélissaropoulos, J. (1980), Les nauclères grecs. Recherches sur les institutions maritimes en Grèce et dans l’Orient hellénisé. Genève, Paris.


i. Private association Certain
Note The use of the term naukleroi and the existence of common property in the form of a temenos and an oikos indicate that it was a private association.