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Last Updated on 03 Mar 2017

Author: Maria-Gabriella Parissaki

CAPInv. 638: Bakcheion Asianon


i. Geographical area Thrace
ii. Region Propontic Thrace
iii. Site Perinthos


i. Full name (original language) Βακχεῖον Ἀσιανῶν (I.Perinthos 56, l. 12)
ii. Full name (transliterated) Bakcheion Asianon


i. Date(s) 196 - 198 AD


ii. Name elements
Ethnic:The term Ἀσιανοί, Asianoi, is usually interpreted as indicating immigrants from Asia Minor, this being understood as referring either to the region in its wider geographical sense (thus Sayar in I.Perinthos p. 237, no. 206) or, more strictly, to the Roman province (thus Nigdelis 2006: 138, no. 116 and idem 2010: 21, no. 50, followed by GRA I 87). Jaccottet II no. 53 suggested that the term could have had a religious and not an ethnic/geographical connotation. But it should be noted that the Roman province of Thrace, as indicated by onomastic studies, witnessed, after Trajan's urbanisation programme, an important influx of immigrants from Asia Minor who settled mostly in the two main cities of the province (Perinthos and Philippopolis) or in the new foundations of inland Thrace (such as Nicopolis ad Istrum), see Mihailov 1976 and Tacheva-Hitova 1976; for this immigration wave, see also Nigdelis 2006, who questions Jaccottet's intepretation. In this particular case, personal names are of Greek or Roman origin, though of Panhellenic distribution, thus not allowing connections with any particular region; but the dedicator of our stele could have been of Egyptian descent, as indicated by his patronymic Ὧρος Horos, probably deriving from the Egyptian god Horus, see also GRA I 87
iii. Descriptive terms Βακχεῖον, Bakcheion
Note Bakcheion: I.Perinthos 56, l. 12


i. Source(s) I.Perinthos 56 (196 - 198 AD)
Note See also: Jaccottet II no. 37; GRA I 87; AGRW 64
Online Resources I.Perinthos 56 and AGRW ID 2597
i.a. Source type(s) Epigraphic source(s)
i.b. Document(s) typology & language/script Dedication in Greek of Marcus son of Horos to the Bakcheion of Asianoi, in honour of the emperor Septimius Severus, his heir, the royal household, the sacred Senate and the demos of Perinthos.
i.c. Physical format(s) Cyriacus of Ancona, who saw the stone in 1444, gave no description of it. But the term τελαμών, telamon, used in l. 10 to describe the offering, occurs in inscriptions of the Black sea and the Propontis region to denote the stele, see Robert 1949: 33-4.
ii. Source(s) provenance Perinthos. The inscription was seen by Cyriacus of Ancona in 1444, built into the city walls. No recorded autopsy since then; present whereabouts unknown.


ii. References to buildings/objects The stone bearing the inscription and referred to as a τελαμών, telamon, in the text (see above section V.i.c) is the only known object related to the bakcheion.


iv. Officials ἀρχιμύστης, archimystes (ll. 16-17)
ἱερεύς, hiereus (ll. 17-18).
The ἱερομνήμων, hieromnemon, preceding the two officials mentioned above and separated by them with a καί, kai, most probably held a civic position, see I.Perinthos, p. 237.
Eponymous officials ἀρχιμυστοῦντος Μαξίμου τοῦ Κλαυδίου, archimystountos Maximou tou Klaudiou (ll. 16-17)
ἱερατεύοντος Εὐτύχους Ἐπικτήτου, hierateuontos Eutychous Epiktetou (ll. 17-18)


ii. Gender Men
Note On the basis of the three names mentioned in the text, though the presence of women should not be excluded.
iv. Status See above (IV.ii) for the possible ethnic origin of the members. The three persons named in the text were not Roman citizens, since they followed the Greek onomastic formula (though in one case with an imperial nomen as a patronymic).


i. Local interaction The demos of Perinthos named among the honoured.
ii. Interaction abroad The emperor Septimius Severus, his heir, the royal household and the sacred Senate were named among the honoured.


i. Comments The date is based on the emperor's titles (Arabicus and Adiabenicus, but not Parthicus Maximus), Caracalla's mention as Caesar and the name of Statilius Barbarus, the governor of Thrace for AD 195-198; for the governor's tenure, see Stein 1920: 41-4, Boteva 1998: 133 and Thomasson 1984: I 170, n. 45.
This is one of the four cult associations of Ἀσιανοί, Asianoi, known up to this date from the Roman provinces of Thracia and Moesia Inferior, see also Dionysopolis (CAPInv. 1152), Nicopolis ad Istrum (CAPInv. 705) and Municipium Montanensium (IGBulg II 480). Those are designated either as a σπεῖρα, speira, or as a βακχεῖον, bakcheion; for neighbouring Macedonia, see CAPInv. 515 and for an association from Napoca in Dacia, CIL III 870.
Seure suggested tentatively that a very fragmentary inscription from Panidon mentioning a thiasos may have referred to this Bakcheion of Asianoi; for this text see CAPInv. 792.
ii. Poland concordance Poland B 69
iii. Bibliography Bodnar, E.W., and Mitchell, Ch. (1976), Cyriacus of Ancona’s Journeys in the Propontis and the northern Aegean 1444-1445. Philadelphia: 22, no Ι.3.
Boteva, D. (1988), ‘Die Statthalter der römischen Provinz Thracia unter Septimius Severus und Caracalla (Probleme der Datierung)’, in U. Peter (ed.), Stephanos nomismatikos. Edith Schönert-Geiss zum 65. Geburtstag. Berlin: 131-8.
Jaccottet, Fr. (2003), Choisir Dionysos: Les associations dionysiaques ou la face cachée du dionysisme. 2 vols. Zürich: 76-7, no. 37.
Kloppenborg, J.S., and Ascough, R.S. (2011), Greco-Roman Associations: Texts, Translations and Commentary, vol. I: Attica, Central Greece, Macedonia, Thrace. Berlin, New York: 392-5, no. 87.
Mihailov, G. (1976), ‘Population et onomastique d'Asie Mineure en Thrace’, Pulpudeva 2: 68-80.
Nigdelis, P.M. (2010), ‘Voluntary Associations in Roman Thessalonike: in Search of Identity and Support in a Cosmopolitan Society’, in L. Nasrallah, Ch. Bakirtzis and S. Friesen (eds.), From Roman to Early Christian Thessalonike: Studies in Religion and Archaeology. Cambridge Mass., London: 13-47.
Robert, L. (1949), ‘Inscriptions de la région de Yalova en Bithynie’, Hellenica 7: 33-4.
Stein, A. (1920), Römische Reichsbeamte der Provinz Thracia. Sarajevo: 41-4.
Tacheva-Hitova, M. (1976), ‘Population et Onomastique d'Asie Mineure en Mésie Inférieure’, Pulpudeva 2: 81-8.
Thomasson, B.E. (1984), Laterculi Praesidum. Götenborg.


i. Private association Certain
Note The terminology used suggests a private association.