Stable URL: as PDF
Last Updated on 09 Jul 2019

Author: Nikolaos Giannakopoulos

CAPInv. 652: geitniasis


i. Geographical area Western Asia Minor
ii. Region Bithynia
iii. Site Prusias ad Hypium


i. Full name (original language) γειτνίασις (I.Prusias 63, ll. 6-7)
ii. Full name (transliterated) geitniasis


i. Date(s) ii AD


iii. Descriptive terms γειτνίασις, geitniasis
Note geitniasis: I.Prusias 63, ll. 6-7; I.Prusias 64, ll. 3-4; I.Prusias 168


i. Source(s) I.Prusias 63 (ii AD)
I.Prusias 64
I.Prusias 168
Note See also:
Dörner 1952: 19 (only I.Prusias 63-64)
BE 1953: no. 193, p. 176 (only I.Prusias 63-64)
Online Resources I.Prusias 63
I.Prusias 64
I.Prusias 168
AGRW ID# 13339
i.a. Source type(s) Epigraphic source(s)
i.b. Document(s) typology & language/script I.Prusias 63-64 are dedications made by the geitniasis to Zeus Soter.
I.Prusias 168 mentions only the name [g]eit[nia]sis and may be of similar character as I.Prusias 63-64.
All the sources are in Greek.
i.c. Physical format(s) I.Prusias 63: Marble block decorated with garlands (an altar according to Dörner 1952: 19; cf. BE 1953: no. 193, p. 173).
I.Prusias 64: Base.
I.Prusias 168: Base.
ii. Source(s) provenance The inscriptions were found at Prusias ad Hypium.


iii. Worship The geitniasis made two dedications to Zeus Soter, the first one on behalf of the polis (I.Prusias 63-64).
Deities worshipped Zeus Soter


i. Local interaction On the interaction between the geitniasis and the polis, see below under field XIII.i: Evaluation.


i. Comments Dörner (1952: 19) dated I.Prusias 63 to the 2nd century AD based on the form of the letters.
The finding spot of the inscriptions indicates that the term geitniasis here refers to an urban neighbourhood association (on such associations see Poland 1909: 85; cf. Van Nijf 1997: 181-182 with further bibliography; Pont 2013). Our geitniasis's particular devotion to Zeus Soter has been interpreted as a possible indication that the neighbourhood hosted a temple of that deity (see Ameling in I.Prusias 63, p. 64-65). In this respect, the geitniasis possibly functioned as a neighbourhood group heavily engaged in cultic activities (cf. Fernoux 2004: 517).
iii. Bibliography Dörner, F.K. (1952), Bericht über eine Reise in Bithynien. Wien.
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.
Poland, F. (1909), Geschichte des griechischen Vereinswesens. Leipzig.
Pont, A.-V. (2013), ‘Les groupes de voisinage dans les villes d’Asie Mineure occidentale à l’époque impériale’ in P. Fröhlich and P. Hamon (eds.), Groupes et associations dans les cités grecques (IIIe siècle av. J.-C. – IIe siècle apr. J.-C.), Genève: 129-56.
Van Nijf, O. (1997), The Civic World of Professional Associations in the Roman East. Amsterdam.


i. Private association Possible
Note There is a debate among scholars as to whether such neighborhood associations were privately organised groups or officially recognized subdivisions of the urban population (see Van Nijf 1997: 181-2 and Pont 2013). Nothing in these three inscriptions may be considered as a decisive argument in favour of either of these two theses. The fact that the first dedication was made on behalf of the polis is perhaps an indication of official status but it may be equally interpreted as an attempt of a private association to claim a distinguished position in the public sphere by presenting itself as a party mediating between the city and one of its important gods.