Carved on the bottom molding of one of the columns of the Temple of Artemis in Sardis is an inscription that declares: “My torus and my foundation block are carved from a single block of stone. … Of all the columns I am the first to rise.” In addition, the base is fashioned as a victory wreath. The torus—decorated by horizontal laurel leaves gathered by a fluttering ribbon—and a bronze medallion glorify the column as the winner of a competition. In A Victor’s Message: The Talking Column of the Temple of Artemis at Sardis, Fikret K. Yegül analyzes this phenomenon of competitive and celebratory inscriptions and decorative carvings, in particular the message and metaphor voiced by the victorious column of Sardis, to illustrate a wide web of cultural relationships connecting the city to its proud past and auspicious future. The transformation of an architectural element into a victory wreath, which was probably influenced by the base of Trajan’s Column in Rome, is unique in Asia Minor. Equally rare, perhaps even unique, is a column speaking in the first-person singular, using an archaizing mode and message, particularly appreciated in the memory-inspired urban culture of Asia Minor during the Second Sophistic.

Carved on the bottom molding of a column of the east colonnade (the fourth column from north) of the Temple of Artemis at Sardis is an inscription in Greek verse that declares: “My torus and my foundation block are carved from a single block of stone, furnished not by people but given by the ‘house’ [of the temple] …” and continues, with unabashed pride, “of all the columns [‘stones’] I am the first to rise” (Figures 1, 2, 3, 4, 5).1 The unusual location of the inscription on the bottom fillet, circumscribing the Ionic shaft (rather than more typically carved on the shaft), recalls the inscription surrounding the bottom of some of the columns of the archaic Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, famous gifts by Sardis’s own King Croesus. The better-preserved and more fully finished east end of the Sardis temple elucidates the architectural setting for the column that bears the inscription. The message, placed conveniently close to eye level and easily readable (the inscription was probably colored in red), starts in the southeast quadrant of the base and requires circumnavigation of the thick shaft clockwise to disclose its meaning—a movement that would also have shown the temple to best advantage, revealing its impressive forest of columns and ornate bases, its elegant fluted shafts raised on tall, rustic pedestals, and its newly created monumental doorway rising atop a flight of stairs (Figures 6, 7, 8).2

Figure 1

Temple of Artemis and Church M (lower left), Sardis, from the east (author’s photo).

Figure 1

Temple of Artemis and Church M (lower left), Sardis, from the east (author’s photo).

Figure 2

Temple of Artemis, Sardis, east colonnade, from the north (author’s photo).

Figure 2

Temple of Artemis, Sardis, east colonnade, from the north (author’s photo).

Figure 3

Base of column 4 (with inscription and torus with ribbon), from the west (author’s photo).

Figure 3

Base of column 4 (with inscription and torus with ribbon), from the west (author’s photo).

Figure 4

Temple of Artemis, Sardis, inscription on base of column 4, detail (letters enhanced) from beginning to end counterclockwise around the column (created by Güzden Varinlioğlu, UCLA Experimental Technologies Center, copyright UC Regents).

Figure 4

Temple of Artemis, Sardis, inscription on base of column 4, detail (letters enhanced) from beginning to end counterclockwise around the column (created by Güzden Varinlioğlu, UCLA Experimental Technologies Center, copyright UC Regents).

Figure 5

Temple of Artemis, Sardis, column 4 inscription, transcribed text (from William Hepburn Buckler and David Moore Robinson, Greek and Latin Inscriptions. Sardis VII.1 [Leyden: E. J. Brill, 1932], fig. 168).

Figure 5

Temple of Artemis, Sardis, column 4 inscription, transcribed text (from William Hepburn Buckler and David Moore Robinson, Greek and Latin Inscriptions. Sardis VII.1 [Leyden: E. J. Brill, 1932], fig. 168).

Figure 6

Temple of Artemis, Sardis, columns 4 (front), 5, 6, 7, 8, from the northwest (author’s photo).

Figure 6

Temple of Artemis, Sardis, columns 4 (front), 5, 6, 7, 8, from the northwest (author’s photo).

Figure 7

Columns 12 (front) and 11 (with pedestal bases), from the northeast (author’s photo).

Figure 7

Columns 12 (front) and 11 (with pedestal bases), from the northeast (author’s photo).

Figure 8

Base of column 12, detail, from the north (author’s photo).

Figure 8

Base of column 12, detail, from the north (author’s photo).

The competitive and celebratory nature of this statement is confirmed by the fact that the first drum of the column shaft and the base are indeed monolithic, and the torus of the Asiatic Ionic base is fashioned as a wreath.3 In the center, facing west, or inside, loose ends of a ribbon are gathered into a broad band, fluttering to right and left (see Figure 3). Pointed, overlapping laurel leaves, horizontally arranged but unfinished (except for one single leaf), encircle the torus to right and left, and converge in the middle of the opposite, east (outer) side. At this location are eight radiating cuttings in a circle (of which six are preserved), apparently marking the position of an eight-point metal or gilt ornament, perhaps a medallion (Figure 9). The entire torus, in effect, is a victory wreath, complete with ribbons, glorifying the column as the winner of a competition. Although not named in the inscription, the ultimate projection of the victory to the goddess must have been apparent, as were the fiscal honor due to the “house” of Artemis for successfully procuring the funds (or the marble) necessary for the construction of this monumental column. The Sardis column was as much an honorific monument declaring its singular achievement as it was a structural element, one of the eight columns carrying entablature and defining the east end of the temple. By analyzing the precedents of this column and its setting in Sardis, this article aims to highlight the civic significance of the column’s message in the broader context of language and monumental communication (“speaking object”) in antiquity.

Figure 9

Base of column 4, detail of center markings for the “medallion,” from the east (author’s photo).

Figure 9

Base of column 4, detail of center markings for the “medallion,” from the east (author’s photo).

Wreaths in Antiquity

Wreaths and garlands were important symbols in Greek and Roman religion, cult, and art, whose use and meaning were later adopted by the Christian world. In private and public usage, wreaths accompanied dedicatory, sacrificial, funerary, and athletic inscriptions.4 The wreath crown was a perfect offering, where symbol and reality were inextricably combined: it honored the deity (or hero) that received it as well as the suppliant who carved and presented it; thus it was a symbol that conflated the religious, the secular, and the artistic in a seamless unity. Perhaps the most widespread and potent symbolism expressed by the wreath, especially the laurel wreath, the corona laurea, was its association with victory in abstract and religious sense as well as in its Roman and Christian adaptations.5 In the great majority of commemorative representations, the wreath is worn by the victor or hero, or it appears next to or encircling the name of an honoree and hangs down vertically from a surface as a symbol of achievement (Figure 10). An unusual example is a late third-century CE relief in the Selçuk Museum featuring a large laurel wreath flanked by Artemis and Serapis celebrating a peace agreement between Ephesus and Alexandria in which the unimpressive appearance of the divine figures augments the significance of the central symbol (Figure 11).6 The choice of the laurel wreath, one of the most popular motifs among other types—such as olive, oak, vine, and ivy—merits further clarification (Figure 12). The specific embodiment of the virtues of civic achievement and peace in the laurel leaf goes back to its association with Apollo and the Pythian Games.7 In Roman practice, the laurel typically accompanied, in addition to victory and triumph, ludi, happy arrivals, purification, and lustratio.8 In military context, a crown of laurel leaves (corona laurea) was a common symbol of gallantry; it accompanied military and civic awards and was frequently used as decoration on tombstones.9 A distinctive form of these awards was the corona triumphales, the victorious general’s or emperor’s crown of actual laurel leaves granted by the Senate to be worn at the triumphal ceremony.10 In select examples, the actual crown, the corona aurea, was made of gold leaves, as it is commonly shown in Roman art. The victory symbolism of the laurel wreath or crown was strengthened and made more honorific by the addition of lemnisci, the ribbons binding the leaves. The motif of Nike holding a laurel wreath with two ribbons fluttering below—as the ribbons are depicted on the Sardis base—is typical in Roman sculpture and on coins. While the details and distinctions that identify the corona laurea as a victory symbol might escape modern viewers—as it evidently did for nearly a century in the case of the Sardis column wreath—people in antiquity “looked with care at these symbolic objects interpreting the significance of every detail.”11

Figure 10

Stele honoring Lanthes by Mylasa and Alabanda (names of the cities inscribed in wreaths), Assos, ca. 166 CE (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, S. 1133; drawn by author after Merkelbach).

Figure 10

Stele honoring Lanthes by Mylasa and Alabanda (names of the cities inscribed in wreaths), Assos, ca. 166 CE (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, S. 1133; drawn by author after Merkelbach).

Figure 11

Artemis and Serapis relief, Ephesus, third century CE (Selçuk Arkeoloji Müzesi, inv. 457; author’s photo).

Figure 11

Artemis and Serapis relief, Ephesus, third century CE (Selçuk Arkeoloji Müzesi, inv. 457; author’s photo).

Figure 12

Roman civic and military crowns and wreaths (drawn by author after V. A. Maxfield).

Figure 12

Roman civic and military crowns and wreaths (drawn by author after V. A. Maxfield).

The association of wreaths with altars and temples was unremarkable in antiquity. Particularly for religious days, festivals, and anniversaries, temples were bedecked with garlands and wreath crowns made of fresh, aromatic leaves, flowers, pinecones, or olive branches, held together with ribbons, as sacred offerings to the godhead as well as decorative elements of purely elegant visual enrichment. Sculptural representations of such ornaments in temple architecture lent permanence to these ceremonies. With the exception of the occasional use of a garland frieze, or a wreath filling the tympanum of a pediment, such sculptural forms are rare, or rarely preserved; but when they are extant, as in the Sardis example, they are laden with particular significance.12

A separate and distinctive tradition dating from the late Republic was the gold laurel crown (aurum coronarium) that was sent to victors by conquered cities and peoples. Depictions of these special crowns are preserved on reliefs representing triumphal processions, as in the small frieze of the Arch of Trajan in Benevento.13 A similar triumphal scene on an undated relief (probably late Augustan) from the Farnese Collection of the Naples Archaeological Museum shows the golden crown as a huge laurel wreath carried on a ferculum by four bearers (Figure 13).14 In both of these scenes, the bolster-like crown sits on the hefty square bed of the ferculum, creating the impression of a plinth-torus combination seen sideways. In both examples, there is a clear emphasis on the mass and weight of the gold object. Massiveness and the extraordinary effort needed to deal with the heavy weight were important. In the well-known relief panel from the Arch of Titus in Rome depicting the sacred objects from the temple in Jerusalem, weight is stressed by the eight (instead of the usual four needed to carry a ferculum) bearers it took to carry the gold objects, each bearer with a shoulder cushion, bent forward under the weight.15 This probably was also a carefully and subtly calculated message inspiring the Sardis column inscription that accosted the visitor with the information that its base and the torus were made “from a single stone.” The language was clearly intended to emphasize the skill it took to create an architectural element of exceptional weight.

Figure 13

Triumphal procession with aurum coronarium (on stretcher), Augustan period (courtesy of Ministero dei Beni Culturali d’Italia. Soprintendenza per I Beni Archeologici di Napoli e Pompei. Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Naples, Farnese Collection, inv. 6722/7516).

Figure 13

Triumphal procession with aurum coronarium (on stretcher), Augustan period (courtesy of Ministero dei Beni Culturali d’Italia. Soprintendenza per I Beni Archeologici di Napoli e Pompei. Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Naples, Farnese Collection, inv. 6722/7516).

Transforming a symbol into architecture, or rather transforming a major architectural element into a symbol—namely, the base of a column into a wreath, complete with fluttering ribbons and a medallion “pinned” on it—is indeed a rare and special creation.16 The decoration of column or wall bases by a horizontal band of laurel leaves, or other popular decorative motifs (lesbian cymation, guilloche, oak leaves), on the other hand, is not rare or remarkable. An early and distinctive example from classical Greece is none other than the columns of the north porch of the Erectheion on the Athenian Acropolis, whose upper tori display basket-weave or guilloche patterns. The earliest architectural use of the horizontal laurel band in Asia Minor is from the anta bases of the Hellenistic Temple of Apollo at Didyma (Figure 14), and the near contemporary wall base of the theater at Miletus, ca. 300–250 BCE.17 In both, the upper torus of the Attic Ionic bases displays horizontal laurel leaves, while the lower torus employs the guilloche. The column bases of the Temple of Artemis in Magnesia (ca. 140–100 BCE) are also among early applications of laurel ornament.18 Interestingly, the use of true laurel leaves among the many preserved column bases of the Sardis temple, applied horizontally (column 4) and vertically (column 5) on either side of the long building axis, belong to the Roman Imperial period (see Figure 6). The only columns from the original, Hellenistic phase of the building, hence contemporary with Didyma, are the two inner columns of the prostyle porch (columns 11 and 12) that were re-erected during the Roman era on tall, rustic pedestals (see Figures 7, 8).19 The upper tori of their Asian Ionic bases display superbly modeled straight vertical leaves with rounded tips, perhaps a variation of the pointy-leaved laurel.20

Figure 14

Temple of Apollo, Didyma, southeast anta base (author’s photo).

Figure 14

Temple of Apollo, Didyma, southeast anta base (author’s photo).

Although the use of the laurel leaf and other ornamental motifs on column bases is not uncommon in Roman Asia Minor, it is apparent that the intention behind the choice of the pattern was primarily decorative and not symbolic.21 During the Imperial period in Rome and the West, too, bases decorated with flamboyant combinations of classical ornamental motifs, including the laurel, were nothing special.22 As these examples indicate, in none of the laurel-ornamented bases from late Hellenistic and Roman Asia Minor was the torus fashioned specially as a victory wreath with a specific allusion to the theme victory. Thus, none could have served as a specific model for the Sardis column in architectural form or metaphorical content.

The Column of Trajan in Rome and Its Followers

The closest and the earliest example that could have served as a model is the most important victory column of antiquity: the Column of Trajan commemorating Trajan’s Dacian victories, in the Forum of Trajan in Rome.23 The gigantic torus (4.80 meter diameter, 0.82 meter height), set directly on the square plinth, is decorated by delicately modeled horizontal laurel leaves with pointed tips, and enhanced by stylized berries of the laurus nobilis plant (Figures 15, 16); an elegant lemnisci spiraling around the wreath establishes an unequivocal “reference to the victorious campaign depicted on the shaft.”24 Completed in 113 CE, the freestanding column, embellished by the famous spiral frieze commemorating the Dacian Wars and the forum it was a part of, were the creations of Apollodorus of Damascus, Trajan’s architect. Filippo Coarelli’s comprehensive monograph, while considering the fusion of the triumphal and funerary aspects of the column, and providing a detailed description of its base, limits its observation that the column “rested on a circular torus representing a laurel wreath.”25 However, Coarelli returns to the triumph theme by emphasizing the importance of the extensive leveling of the land occupied by the forum complex—and proudly declared by the base inscription—as a massive engineering triumph.26 The physical and quantifiable magnitude of the operation recalls the achievement declared by the Sardis column.27 Thus, the assessment of the Sardis column as “victor” is firmly anchored in the unique kinship between it and the quintessential victory column of the Roman world.

Figure 15

Giuliano da Sangallo, drawing of pedestal and base of the Column of Trajan, Rome, 1465 (Biblioteca Apostolico Vaticano, Rome, Codice Vaticano Barberiano Latino, 4424).

Figure 15

Giuliano da Sangallo, drawing of pedestal and base of the Column of Trajan, Rome, 1465 (Biblioteca Apostolico Vaticano, Rome, Codice Vaticano Barberiano Latino, 4424).

Figure 16

Base of the Column of Trajan, Rome, detail of torus ornament (author’s photo).

Figure 16

Base of the Column of Trajan, Rome, detail of torus ornament (author’s photo).

The influence of the column that constituted the visual and programmatic focus of Rome’s foremost imperial forum may explain the future popularity of the “spiral column” type firmly established by the Column of Marcus Aurelius in Rome.28 Closely following Trajan’s Column, it displays a base torus also fashioned as a victory wreath with horizontal laurel leaves gathered by a spiraling band. The spark set by these two prestigious monuments of old Rome was kindled in New Rome by the Column of Theodosius, dedicated in 393 CE, which rose in the middle of Forum Tauri, whose design was inspired by Trajan’s Forum.29 This was followed in 421 CE by the better-preserved Column of Arcadius. It presents close imitation of Roman models—the tall shaft with its spiraling relief rising on a torus decorated with horizontal laurel leaves on a square plinth with victory garlands and corner eagles (Figures 17, 18).30 However, the introduction of the laurel wreath as an architectural element connected with a column base in Constantinople actually came much earlier. Dedicated in 330 CE, in celebration of Constantine’s victorious assumption of the city, and the establishment of the new eastern capital, the Column of Constantine (now the Çemberli Taş) rose some 50 meters in the center of a colonnaded oval forum and carried a statue of the emperor as Apollo-Helios.31 Diverging from the norm, the column was composed of eight smoothly polished porphyry drums separated by nine laurel leaf bolsters, giving it a powerful, banded appearance (Figure 19).32 Leaping over its many other historical applications, it is a tribute to the longevity of the classical tradition and knowledge of its esoteric variations—at least, among the cognoscenti of late nineteenth-century America—that the granite column erected in 1903 to honor the Third Maryland Infantry and Latrobe’s Battery at Battlefield Park, Chattanooga, Tennessee, features a bronze laurel wreath halfway up its shaft.33 Closer to our time is the extensive iconographic use of the laurel victory wreath bound by ribbons in the decoration of the handsome Mausoleum Monument on the Janiculum Hill in Rome in 1941 honoring the fallen in the nineteenth-century defense of the city (Mausoleo Ossario Gianicolense). Examples include cast-iron bases for lampposts with laurel wreath tori.

Figure 17

Column of Arcadius, Constantinople, reconstruction study (from C. Gurlitt, “Antikedenkmalsäulen in C’pel,” Der Baumeister 7 [1909], 55–56).

Figure 17

Column of Arcadius, Constantinople, reconstruction study (from C. Gurlitt, “Antikedenkmalsäulen in C’pel,” Der Baumeister 7 [1909], 55–56).

Figure 18

Françoise-Louis Cassas, drawing of base of the Column of Arcadius, Constantinople, 1784 (from J. B. L. G. S. d’Agincourt, Recueil de fragments de sculpture antique, en terre cuite [Paris, 1814], plate XI, fig. 3).

Figure 18

Françoise-Louis Cassas, drawing of base of the Column of Arcadius, Constantinople, 1784 (from J. B. L. G. S. d’Agincourt, Recueil de fragments de sculpture antique, en terre cuite [Paris, 1814], plate XI, fig. 3).

Figure 19

Column of Constantine, Constantinople/Istanbul, hand-tinted postcard, 1900 (author’s photo).

Figure 19

Column of Constantine, Constantinople/Istanbul, hand-tinted postcard, 1900 (author’s photo).

If Apollodorus’s column in Rome is indeed the first shaping of a torus as a laurel wreath that formed an integral part of the column’s architecture and bore the message of victory, the inventive nature of its design and its striking similarity to the column encourages comparison and invites questions of typological and chronological relationship between the two. It is logical to propose that the Sardis column followed the unique iconographical lead provided by the illustrious model in Rome simply because there is no other earlier example of this type it could rather have followed. The knowledge and admiration for this remarkable column and its magnificent setting would not have gone unnoticed in Sardis since Trajan’s Column was an exceptionally prestigious monument and since starting from the early second century onward, the exchange of artistic ideas and craftsmanship in marble ornament between the capital and Asia Minor was not uncommon.34 This relationship is supported by the strong epigraphic, literary, and architectural concerns for a mid-second-century date (with a particularly Hadrianic bias, see below) for the Roman rebuilding of the temple’s peristasis featuring this column as the “first” among its cohort of columns.

The Inscription and Its Setting

The inscription on the fillet of the Sardis column is a reliable witness to the commencement of a major rebuilding activity at the temple, but it cannot provide a firm date for the rebuilding. Based on letterforms and style, epigraphists specializing in Anatolian inscriptions suggest a broad date in the first or second century CE. However, the balance of opinion among many specialists (such as Peter Franke, Georg Petzl, Hasan Malay, Clive Foss, and Angelos Chaniotis) led by the late Peter Herrmann, noting textual content and the literary nature of the inscription, favors the Trajanic-Hadrianic period.35 Recently, Chaniotis expressed a clear preference for a mid-second century, possibly Hadrianic date, noting not only paleographic but also textual and literary consideration.36 Our century-long efforts to read and interpret the verse inscription in order to provide a strict chronology and to place it in the sequential development of history should be balanced by an approach that takes broader and longer views of history. Thus, the Sardis column inscription commemorates not just one particular important occasion in the construction sequence of the temple, but in doing so unearths its entire history and communal memory. It records the remembrance of an event embedded in the city’s distant past: a winner is celebrated both in relation to its specific victory at a specific time (“being the first to rise” among the other column contenders), but also, as all victors deserve, in reference to all time. Or, paraphrasing John C. Barrett, it is an inscription “not so much a record of history as the means of creating history.”37 Likewise, in a study focusing on the epigraphy of Hellenistic Asia Minor, John Ma emphasized the physical and monumental nature of inscriptions as objects intended “to be read or at least gazed at,” and some to be placed in the reconstructed “context of performance.”38

The inscription that glorifies the erection of the first column of the peristasis, among many others presumably still under construction, was undoubtedly part of the Roman rebuilding of the temple aimed to make it into a pseudodipteros by adding columns around the cella; the cella and its in antis porch columns apparently were all that had been accomplished during the Hellenistic original phase, ca. 300–280 BCE.39 The rebuilding, besides its futile efforts to complete the peristasis, seems to have included the division of the cella into two equal chambers, ostensibly to include the imperial cult. The discovery inside and near the cella of numerous complete or fragmentary colossal heads identified as the members of the Antonine family strengthens the hypothesis for the dual use of the temple by Artemis (west cella) and the Imperial cult (east cella), at least by the Antonine period or possibly earlier (Figures 20, 21).40 This major rebuilding phase, featuring a new east door of what is widely believed to be late Hadrianic date, was probably the event celebrated by the talking column.41 Subsequently, centuries of Roman effort in building remained unfulfilled and the peristatis never finished. By the middle or the end of the fourth century, Christian efforts to purify and take over the temple culminated in the building of a small church (Church M) on the southeast corner of the building (see Figure 1).42 Even in its unfinished state, the Temple of the Sardian of Artemis strikes us as uniquely beautiful and serene, under the shadow of the Lydian acropolis and within the embrace of the mighty Tmolos range (Figure 22).43

Figure 20

Temple of Artemis, Sardis, plan of the Roman phase as finished, ca. 140 CE, partially restored (drawing and reconstruction by author, courtesy of the Archaeological Exploration of Sardis).

Figure 20

Temple of Artemis, Sardis, plan of the Roman phase as finished, ca. 140 CE, partially restored (drawing and reconstruction by author, courtesy of the Archaeological Exploration of Sardis).

Figure 21

Temple of Artemis, Sardis, partial digital reconstruction of the Roman phase, from the east (model by Robert Pellegrini, created at the UCLA Experimental Technologies Center, © UC Regents).

Figure 21

Temple of Artemis, Sardis, partial digital reconstruction of the Roman phase, from the east (model by Robert Pellegrini, created at the UCLA Experimental Technologies Center, © UC Regents).

Figure 22

Temple of Artemis, the Acropolis, and Tmolos Mountains, Sardis (author’s photo).

Figure 22

Temple of Artemis, the Acropolis, and Tmolos Mountains, Sardis (author’s photo).

Columns That Talk

If buildings could speak, it would be easy to imagine that their columns would be the first to do so. Columns, after all, symbolize strength and probity, and they were widely anthropomorphized in ancient and modern Mediterranean societies.44 In classical Greece and modern Anatolia, columns are the sons and husbands of a house, as Clytemnestra in Aeschylus’s Agamemnon called her husband “the well-grounded pillar that holds my roof”;45 and in Euripides’s Iphigenia, Iphigenia, awaiting sacrifice, dreamt the collapse of the columns that held her father’s palace at Argos, where “one column alone was left … and from its capital/head golden hair seemed to grow, and spoke in human voice.” Awaking and weeping, Iphigenia knew that the dream portended the death of Orestes, “for sons are the pillars of a house.”46 Talking columns were often set up as landmark monuments to mark the importance of a place or the memory of an event, such as the column on the Isthmus of Corinth, raised by the defeated Ionians, who after their expulsion got possession of Megaris in Attica. Facing north, in the direction of Megaris, the column declared, “This is not the Peloponnesus, but Ionia,” and on the opposite side, “This is the Peloponnesus, not Ionia”—an example that might have inspired Hadrian’s voice on the two sides of his beautiful arch in Athens.47 The Pillar of Oinomaos, located at Olympia, was a monument to the memory of the ancient house of Oinomaos (a legendary Bronze Age king of Pisa) as well as the sole structural remnant from a building destroyed by Zeus. Held together by bands and protected by a roof when Pausanias saw it, the venerable column spoke to the passerby through an archaizing elegiac inscription: “Stranger, I am a remnant of a famous house / I who once was a pillar in the house of Oinomaos.”48

Apart from these literary and quasi-mythical monuments with speaking messages, columns, or their bases, across the Mediterranean occasionally carry inscriptions that import information, or record dedications with the names of their donors and benefactors. But there is a difference between a column (or any stone monument) that speaks as objet parlant, a voice from the past, and one bearing an inscription that records a factual message or conveys a dedication.49 The crucial question here is the emergence of a voice from the column, or any other prominent architectural element directly, in the first person, not through it as third-person reportage or on behalf of a third party.50 The type of column that displays an inscription—typically, but not exclusively, carved on a plaque on its shaft—that declares and honors the donor, is the norm. In Sardis, there are two short lines in Lydian inscribed on one of the companion columns of the Temple of Artemis. The inscription is carved on the apophyge below the fluting of the south pedestal column of the projecting prostyle in the east porch (column 12)—one of the two believed to belong to the original Hellenistic temple recomposed in the Roman rebuilding (Figure 23; also see Figures 7, 8).51 According to Roberto Gusmani, the inscription reads: “Manes (son of) Bakivas (nephew of) Manes to Artemis.” Cautiously dated in the early third century BCE, when the use of Lydian language must have been rare, this terse dedication to the goddess from someone who probably belonged to a civic tribe of distant Lydian origin represents the city’s fond reflection of its past, when one great empire had succumbed and the other not yet emerged.52 Some 120 km south of Sardis, at least twelve or fourteen standing columns of the Carian Temple of Zeus at Euromos carry plaques with rather formulaic inscriptions displaying the names and titles of donors (Figure 24).53 In faraway Palmyra, the column-rich caravan city, many of the columns, with their characteristic brackets, not only support a statue of the local benefactor, but an inscription recording his munificence.54 In Caesarea Maritima, and the rest of Palestine too, columns bearing extravagantly worded dedications to local officials, donors, and emperors were not uncommon.55

Figure 23

Temple of Artemis, Sardis, Bakivas inscription on the apophyge of column base 12, north side (from W. H. Buckler, Lydian Inscriptions, Sardis VI.2 [Leyden, 1924], no. 21).

Figure 23

Temple of Artemis, Sardis, Bakivas inscription on the apophyge of column base 12, north side (from W. H. Buckler, Lydian Inscriptions, Sardis VI.2 [Leyden, 1924], no. 21).

Figure 24

Temple of Zeus, Euromos, donor’s inscription on a column, from the west (author’s photo).

Figure 24

Temple of Zeus, Euromos, donor’s inscription on a column, from the west (author’s photo).

Even when we include all categories of inscriptions from the classical and early Christian periods across Asia Minor and the Roman East, those that record the speech of an architectural element in the nominative appear surprisingly infrequently, and a real “speaking column,” nonexistent. Frank Rumscheid’s informative study of more than sixty columnar donor inscriptions from western Asia Minor lists only one using the “Ich-Form,” that is, the Sardis column.56 Among the 1,500 or so inscriptions included in the ten volumes of the Inschriften griechischer Städte aus Kleinasien, between 1970 and 1980 are no more than a score in which some material object (but no columns) speaks in the first person, and these are funerary dedications. This rich, multivolume, multiauthor collection is not the only publication on Anatolian epigraphy of the Greco-Roman era, but it is relevant and represents a significant sample. A similar survey of the nineteen years between 1976 and 1995 of the Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum, a wider sampling, likewise produces no instance of an object speaking in the first person during the Roman Imperial era, except for funerary monuments. In the majority of these funerary texts and epigrams, the deceased person accosts the passerby and informs him or her about life and death in a thought-provoking, moralistic manner.57 A remarkable example of the latter is the “talking column” of Seikilos from Tralles, which laments the transience of life in song form, complete with musical notations; it is broadly dated to the first century CE.58 Another is the haunting message translated by Sencer Şahin of the funerary epigram of Melannipos, the brave gladiator from Tarsus, which serves as an illustration: “No longer do I hear the sound of the copper trumpet, nor the sweet, seductive twitter of the flutes spur me on to war games. Herakles, they say, overcame twelve contests; I too, won twelve, but died fighting the thirteenth.”59 Architectural in context, the lintel of the main door to the Basilica of Saint Theodore in Gerasa, a fifth-century church that replaced a pagan temple, spoke in the first person from its lofty position: “I have been made at once an amazement and marvel to those passing by, for the entire shabbiness of the past has been cleansed [and] instead of the former eyesore [of the replaced pagan temple] now all the grace of God has surrounded me.”60

The Archaism of the Sardis Column

At the other end of the geographical and chronological scale, the speaking object appears with regular popularity during the Archaic period in Greece and Asia Minor.61 In Mario Burzachechi’s rich survey of speaking objects, which covers the span from the early seventh century BCE to the late Roman period, the nonfunerary oggetti parlanti fall into the sixth century BCE, and there are no architectural elements in the entire collection (like the Sardis column), that speak. An important category of archaic speaking objects are the inscribed vases, or the so-called kalos inscriptions, many with terse declarations such as “so-and-so made me,” or “I am beautiful” adorning the vases. There are, of course, significant differences between the speech of a dainty cup intended to be held at a symposium and an 18-meter tall column that spoke in a thunderous voice. Kalos inscriptions are, for the most part, simple declarations, even when they address wide audiences and focus on certain admired or adored parties compared to an objet parlant like the Sardis column, which records, informs, and asserts itself in the architectural context of others like itself, other stones, other columns.62 Reflecting archaic oral traditions where an inscription is mainly heard by being read aloud, the ancient reader lent his or her voice to the inscription. As pointed out by Jesper Svenbro, the participation of the reader was essential to give voice to the inscribed word.63 Furthermore, just like a speaking vase, which prompts further action and provides an occasion for performance involving other participants and symposiasts, the speaking column, too, could be perceived as a performance object in the wider cultural and historical background of Sardis. Not only did the column announce its achievement, it also prompted response as one “reader/hearer” told another what he or she knew or remembered about the construction of this column, other columns, and the whole of the temple.64 This kind of parallelism of process and performance between the column and the pot involving “reading aloud” and hearing the Greek language, which Slater called an “impresario of performance,” may also be indicative of the strong sense of archaism that lurks behind our Imperial era column.65 The Sardis column set in motion a “performance” involving the reader’s mental and intellectual response to the inscription as well as his or her physical response by going around the column and spelling out the words, a response that combined visual and kinetic processes in a mock ritual. The shaping of the column’s torus as a wreath in stone was, in a sense, making permanent the original ritual and confirming the old and new Imperial gods, the temple, and the city.

These considerations are also true for the speaking kourai of the seventh and sixth centuries BCE, such as the Mantiklos Apollo (whose invocation of the “far-shooting Lord of the Silver Bow” is scratched on his sinewy thigh), which often carry talking inscriptions significant not only in just giving the name of the donor, following a conventional formula, but speaking in the first person. But Mantiklos’s voice is a prayer, not a civic declaration, as is true for the Sardis column. More relevant in content and in linguistic structure is the monumental kouros from Delos dedicated to Apollo by the Naxians.66 The 9-meter-high marble colossus, set on a thirty-two-ton monolithic square base, declares, “I am of the same stone, statue and base” (ID 4) (Figure 25). Unlike the “torus and base” of the Sardis column, the Naxian Apollo and its base are not truly made from one stone as a seamless, material entity; they are separate stones, the upright statue tenoned into its base. While the meaning of the “same stone” must include the logical expectation that the statue and its base are from the same valued Naxian marble, even from the same quarry bed—emphasizing its aesthetic exceptionalism—the linguistic ambiguity of the archaic message recalls the material and structural exceptionalism of this faux monolithism (“same stone, statue and base”) defined by such a colossal statue and its base. It elicits pride and admiration.67 In the light of the broader view afforded by this example from archaic Delos, one wonders if the “same stone” concept of the Sardis column and its base, too (besides connoting technical skill in extracting the marble and surmounting its heaviness), connote aesthetic pride in achieving an all-marble temple and an all-marble peristasis, products of one fairly distant, valued, local quarry.68

Figure 25

Base of the colossal statue of Apollo in Delos with inscription (ID 4), early sixth century BCE (photo courtesy of Christos Sideris; for full documentation of the base see also http://poinikastas.csad.ox.ac.uk/4DLink3/4DACTION/LSAGwebDisplayInscription?searchTerm=AI&searchType=browse&searchField=region& returnList=0&sequence=0&thisListPosition=11).

Figure 25

Base of the colossal statue of Apollo in Delos with inscription (ID 4), early sixth century BCE (photo courtesy of Christos Sideris; for full documentation of the base see also http://poinikastas.csad.ox.ac.uk/4DLink3/4DACTION/LSAGwebDisplayInscription?searchTerm=AI&searchType=browse&searchField=region& returnList=0&sequence=0&thisListPosition=11).

Conceptually and linguistically, the allusion to monolithic construction in marble from the “same stone—same quarry” both in archaic Greece and imperial Sardis is remarkable and intriguing. Even as a product of formulaic thinking, the parallelism could not have been wholly accidental. The Sardis column, some 700 years after the Delian kouros, seems to represent a deliberate attempt at recalling the distant past on the part of the Roman builders of the pseudodipteros, a characteristic in keeping with the archaism in the design of the original structure.69 Even the unusual placement of its inscription, encircling the base molding (rather than the usual tablet on the shaft), harks back to inscriptions recording the gift of King Croesus encircling the base of the columns of the archaic Artemision of Ephesus.70 As underlined by Tueller, whether large sculpture or small votive objects, the speaking object in the first person was the “explicit preference” of the Archaic period, such use tapering off through the Hellenistic and classical periods and coming almost to a complete stop in the Roman Imperial era; therefore, when used, it was intended deliberately to evoke the memory of the past.71 Chaniotis, first clarifying that the Sardis text is “archaizing in content, not in letter forms,” described it as displaying an “archaizing ‘couleur,’ or ‘literary flavor’ which would fit well a Hadrianic/Antonine date.”72 Indeed, the “archaism” redolent in our column inscription probably reflected a general allusion to the past that lent an air of cogency to the present—and hence merged the efforts of the Roman builders of the present with those of a redeemed Hellenistic past—rather than a specific historical reference to the Archaic era. Just as the short inscription of Bakivalis on column 12 harked back to the fragrance of the city’s own vague Lydian past, such exercises in archaism, though not unknown in earlier Roman periods—expressed in a learned and nostalgic language targeting esoteric sources—appear to be typical of the Hadrianic period.73

Hadrian’s well-known, sometimes tiresome, interlocutions demanding antiquarian correctness in linguistic and judiciary matters were not isolated manifestations of his and his learned circle’s interest in a kind of showcase archaism. It was part of his larger thirst for and curiosity in reengaging the past in order to enhance the present.74 Rooted in and nourished by the Second Sophistic movement, the Hadrianic-Antonine era was also a time when the materialistic and rhetorical underpinning of urban culture was at its most visible in Sardis and the cities of Asia Minor. Just as the brilliant rhetors of the Second Sophistic set the tone for the dominant Greco-Roman culture of Asian cities, the “archaizing” declamation of the rising Sardis column (like a real-life rhetor) alluded to the gloss of the legitimizing past and proclaimed the rise of the city under its Roman patrons. Ewen L. Bowie isolates the Hadrianic period as the literary focus of the Second Sophistic in the Greek East as the emperor’s broad cultural and ethnic vision gave the Sophists an “antiquarian bias” and the perfect opportunity to rekindle the past in language and content. It was not the “superficial literary style of archaisms” that shaped urban culture but the wider context of the past—the need to look back and connect—that suffused literature and the language of inscriptions, a phenomenon that reached its zenith under Hadrian.75 The archaizing language and allusions of the Sardis column might not have been anything other than what Andrew J. Stevenson, in discussing the Roman world of antiquarianism, called quaint and even an entertaining “appetite for learning (and) trivia.”76 But that is only a part of the story. Another part, in equal measure, seems to be the desire to connect the temple (i.e., the original Hellenistic structure with its retro-design and its later Roman rebuilding) to their common past in the archaic world of Ionia and to use a form of speech reminiscent of that world. And unlike the “trivia” that characterized much of Roman antiquarianism in literature, the allusions of the Sardis column were learned references to serious aspects of the city’s distinguished archaic/Lydian past, not to titillate and entertain, but to inspire awe and reflection. Such a desire for reflection, unification, and self-identification, equally valid for the Latin West as well as the Greek East, came to its fullest expression under Hadrian and in the history-rich cities of Asia.77

After centuries of near inactivity, the completion of the first gigantic column of the pseudodipteros must have been considered a victory worthy of celebration with a proud declaration and a flutter of ribbons, no less than Trajan’s Column, which in celebrating a military victory, also punctuated a moment in the completion of a magnificent public space. With this act, the long gap in the construction process was finally closed, rejoining the new temple, if not in fact, in memory, with the great temples of Ionia. Early Ionian philosophers, such as Anaximander, had perceived in the structural order and rational design of such monumental architecture the models and metaphors for their understanding of the universe. Raising a monumental column (its massive shaft etched in concentric rings of anathyrosis around the central dowel hole) was not simply serving a structural expedient, but fulfilling a historical paradigm privileging a special architectural view of cosmic stability worthy of celebration.78

A Modest Declaration of Civic Pride

It is worth noting that bucking the widely ranging tradition, the Sardis column declined to give the name of any private donor, making a point to inform us that it was paid for by the temple funds, or the “house” of the temple (οίκείωων λίθων) itself.79 This is an absence that emphasizes the achievement of the first column of the imperial project by its studious modesty. The directness of the column’s language, even in its pride, can be contrasted with the typically bombastic exaggeration of many inscriptions that record building reconstruction or restoration projects from the Imperial era. In their formulaic, overwrought “grand language,” building inscriptions seek immediate visibility to maximize the scope and effect of their publicly charged claims.80 The work that was started at Sardis to complete the peripteros of a gigantic temple with the addition of some sixty columns was indeed grand and ambitious—and as an independent building project might have deserved a bit of boasting. Raising a column of a size that had few equals in the classical world was definitely a technical and financial accomplishment worth celebrating; and as a proper rebuilding, not just a restoration, the occasion would justly deserve a grandiloquent inscription.81 That none was made, except for a discreetly displayed declaration that did not mention Artemis by name, but honored her by implication because she provided the funds, may be meaningful. Unlike the geopolitical realities and needs of the Western empire, Asia Minor, with its subtle political traditions, where the Roman state, by and large, tried to be invisible, there was room to emphasize modesty—or perhaps, false modesty. In this special celebration of the raising of the first column the Greco-Roman community of Sardis may have purposefully stayed away from epigraphic boasts about its temple-building efforts because it might not have perceived, or wished to perceive, this work as an undertaking to be honored separately from the historically charged original Hellenistic building, itself harking back to even earlier times. Any rebuilding of the temple of Sardian Artemis, whose cult was anchored in the city’s venerable Lydian past, was bound to be seen, in essence, as a continuation of the original building, thus an archaizing activity in both form and spirit. A bland and inflated claim of the importance of the new work and of the important persons who paid for it, phrased in clichés, would have been disrespectful of this unique past. One could, of course, also state that there was little need to declare Rome’s power and position—it was all too plain to see for anyone who walked into the presence of the colossal imperial images in the newly fashioned and dimly lit eastern cella.

Revelations of the Sardis Column outside the Temple of the Christian God

It is intriguing that at the intersection of pagan and Christian values, which shaped Anatolia’s diverse ethnic and cultural makeup during late antiquity, the historical identity of Sardis, as revealed through the strong and loquacious metaphor of columns (or their worrisome absence) emerges one more time. I am aware of the inclusion of the Sardis column as “victor” in the complex and elusive discourse on Christian symbolisms, and significations may appear exaggerated and recondite; however, in my concluding narrative I would like to explore the inclusive, open-ended, and lateral associations of art and art history between objects and ideas rather than the linear thinking typical of quasi-scientific disciplines—thus hoping to provoke further discussion. I trust that column symbolisms linking pagan Sardis to the emerging Christian words and values of the Hermus Valley and beyond are meaningful and worthy of our curiosity.

In Revelation, John promised the deserving Philadelphians that those who overcame would be made “a pillar in the Temple of my God,” and upon this pillar-column would be inscribed the name of God, the City of God (Jerusalem), and Christ’s own name.82 The Philadelphians, close neighbors of Sardis, were given the assurance of a strong column that “would never leave the temple” and allow it to collapse (recalling Iphigenia’s worries and wailing about the collapse of the columns that held her father’s roof). On the other hand, John’s promise to Sardians is more ambiguous and troubling. He informed them that the names of a few “that did not defile their garments” and overcame would be inscribed in the “Book of Life”—no sturdy, inscribed column promised here—introducing the possibility that what is written could be erased.83 The ambivalence and tenuousness of the promise to Sardis are probably rooted in the pagan image of the city as a sinful community, infamous for its pride and love of pleasure, where there were only a few who were worthy to walk in white.84 In real life it was these besmirched Sardians who had built an actual, magnificent temple and had adorned it with magnificent, sturdy columns, one of which was our glorious, naughty, self-reliant, victorious, talking column. And in the conquering world of Christianity, here were not the metaphorical columns of the Temple of God but this real pagan temple, Artemis’s own, and its mighty crowned and wreathed columns that held its roof, which eventually collapsed and fell into ruins, and was replaced, almost directly upon its foundations, as Tertullian would have been pleased to see, by a Christian church (see Figure 1).85

One must wonder how much of the layered message and meaning of the talking, victorious column of Sardis was intelligible to a random visitor to the newly finished Roman temple. Much, probably, depended on who the random visitor was. An educated person could be expected to absorb its nuances, recall its hidden references, and perhaps know something of its sources. But even an ordinary citizen, steeped in the frequently employed political and historical language of his or her day, could appreciate the message, and feel some sense of its “archaizing” tone and couleur, if not fully untangle its intellectual and esoteric topoi. Artemis’s column, in its monologue, one imagines, is essentially silent. In silence, it bides its time and finds its voice only when someone walks by, reads aloud, or simply traces the carved words by fingertip, and hence is drawn into a dialogue of responsive choices—only then are the column and its audience engaged, and the architecture speaks, and the relationship between the object and the observer attains the immediacy of life. But the power of communication in architecture is not limited to those that project their thoughts through inscriptions—good architecture, even without inscribed words, is not mute. For an informed visitor, then as now, walking among the ruins of the temple and the church at Sardis, the appeal of an architecture eager to communicate in human speech would have been poignant and precious. Viewed in the larger context of a world expanding in time and place, where columns and pillars, lintels and architraves, arches and domes invite us to hear their voices and share their intimacy, there is magic: whether it be the hirsute pillar in Iphigenia’s ancestral home, or the righteous lintel from the Basilica of Saint Theodore in Gerasa, or the rotating, light-filled cupolas of the Alhambra in Spain, reciting Koranic verses, or the victorious column of Sardis rising under the shadow of the Lydian acropolis and within the embrace of the Tmolos, objects that gain the power of speech revel in making themselves heard (or read), even to audiences who gain little by this discourse.86

Notes

1.

ή σ[π]εĩρα χώ [-]ιξαĩος εĩς έστιν λίθος. πρώτος δέ πάντων. έξ ολων άνίσταμαι. ου δημοτευκτων. άλλ άπ οίκείων λίθων [with restorations by William Hepburn Buckler and David Moore Robinson]. See Buckler and Robinson, Greek and Latin Inscriptions. Sardis VII.1 (Leyden: E.J. Brill, 1932), 143–44, no 181; Howard Crosby Butler, The Excavations. Sardis I.1 (Leyden: E.J. Brill, 1922), 110–11. In Buckler and Robinson’s reading οΐκείων λίθων- oikeion lithon, mentioned twice, was translated as “given by friends,” signifying private donors. According to an alternative reading by Angelos Chaniotis, the column was “almost certainly given by the temple and not by an individual … given by the ‘house’ of the (temple)”; i.e., the stone was furnished by temple funds, possibly alluding that the quarry was owned by the temple, not an uncommon occurrence, especially in the second century CE. Supporting this reading, see also Frank Rumscheid, “Von Wachsen antiker Säulenwälder. Zu Projecktierung und Finanzierung antiker Bauten in Westkleinasien und anderswo,” Jahrbuch des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts 114 (1999), 31–32. The difficulty of the text due to the subtleties of the poetic form, rich in allusions, merits a more up-to-date study and interpretation of this inscription by an epigraphist.

2.

I would like to extend my thanks and gratitude to Angelos Chaniotis and R. R. R. Smith for sharing with me their specialized knowledge and insight concerning the nature and implications of the “talking” inscription of Sardis in its broad linguistic, historical, and cultural context. My special thanks also to Diane Favro for her input and support; she oversaw UCLA’s ETC team, which generated the digital re-creations of the inscription and 3-D images of the base.

3.

Butler, Excavations, 57–63, 113–15. The tori and the spinas (but not the plinths) of all eight columns of the east colonnade bases are carved from single blocks. The monolithic construction of the bottom drum of the shaft, torus, and spina of column 4 weighs about 12 tons; the similar monolithic construction of column 7, though not celebrated by an inscription, is even heavier, about 15 tons.

4.

For an extensive treatise on the use of the wreath in classical antiquity and, more controversially, in Christianity, see Karl Baus, Der Kranz in Antike und Christentum (Bonn: Peter Hanstein Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1940; repr., 1965), esp. 2–36. The widespread use and rich symbolism of the wreath and the crown were well known to Tertullian, an early Christian theologian who lived at the height of the empire (ca. 200). However, he renounced them as extravagant signs of worldly power and pomp, which represented only false hopes and shameful glories (De corono militis, 13).

5.

Dragana Rogić, “Wreath—Its Use and Meaning in Ancient Visual Culture,” Religion and Tolerance (Journal of the Center for Empirical Researches on Religion) 10, no. 18 (July–Dec. 2012), 341–52. As commented on by Christian Hünemörder: “In early Christian art, laurel wreaths were adopted with the chi-rho as a victory sign on sarcophagi. … The laurel also appears frequently on the botanical ornamentations of Gothic cathedrals.” Hünemörder, “Laurel,” in Brill’s New Pauly, ed. Hubert Cancik and Helmuth Schneider (http://www.encquran.brill.nl/entries/brills-new-pauly/laurel-e709860) [accessed 30 Aug. 2013].

6.

Selçuk Archaeological Museum, inv. no. 457; Josef Keil, “Denkmäler des Serapis in Ephesos,”Archäologischer Anzeiger 91 (1954), 221, no. 7, fig. 3.

7.

For the laurel Delphica in decorating “written messages of victory” and peace, see Cato, Agr. 8.2, 133.2; Pliny NH 15.133. For Rome’s historical and mythical relationship with the laurel branch and the Delphic oracle of Apollo, see Pliny NH 15.134–36, 2.146.

8.

Attilio De Marchi, Culto Privato di Roma Antica (Milan: Editore Libraio della Real Casa, 1896), 142; J. S. Reid, “Human Sacrifice at Rome and Notes on Roman Religion,” Journal of Roman Studies 2 (1912), 45–47; see also Livy 23.11.5, 27.37.13, 40.37.3, 43.13.8 and Gellius 6.4.5.

9.

On the military origins and use of wreaths and crowns, their history, types, and prestige, see Valerie Maxfield, The Military Decorations of the Roman Army (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1981), 67–96, fig. 6, plates 1–9. The military symbolism of the laurel wreath is poetically expressed in Cicero’s famous quotation: “Let arms yield to the toga, and the laurel of warriors to the tongue of the orator” (In Pisonem 29.72–30.75 and Phil. 11.8.20); though orators, too, wished to be and occasionally were honored by the laurel wreath.

10.

Pliny NH 15.5.3; Rogić, “Wreath—Its Use and Meaning,” 343.

11.

Timothy Peter Wiseman, “Monuments and the Roman Annalists,” in Past Perspectives: Studies in Greek and Roman Historical Writing, ed. I. S. Moxon, J. D. Smart, and A. J. Woodman (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986), 93–94. See also Despina Evyenidou and Alexandra Douma, Nike—Victoria on Coins and Medals (Athens: Hellenic Ministry of Culture, Numismatic Museum, 2004).

12.

Baus, Der Kranz in Antike, 23–28.

13.

Although the use of gold laurel wreaths occurred from ca. 200 BCE onward, their commanding presence as symbols of victory, rather than of taxing and subservience to the enemy, is more common during the empire. Cicero mentions a law passed by Julius Caesar in 59 BCE that necessitated a triumph decree before the collection of aurum coronarium: Pis. 37.90. See also Ida Östernberg, Staging the World: Spoils, Captives, and Representations in the Roman Triumphal Procession (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009), 115–23, esp. 121n616; for the scene of the golden crown carried on a ferculum from the frieze of the Arch of Trajan in Beneventum, see 120, fig. 11.

14.

Eugenio La Rocca, “Rilievo con processione trionfale,” in Trionfi romani, ed. E. La Rocca and Stefano Tortorella (Milan: Electra, 2008), 122–23; Östenberg, Staging the World, 119–21.

15.

Östenberg, Staging the World, 115–16; Michael Pfanner, Der Titusbogen (Mainz: Philip von Zabern, 1983), 51–53, 72, plates 54–55, 60–61. For the literary confirmation of the value and significance of heaviness implied in the Arch of Titus scene, see Josephus, BJ 7.161.2.

16.

One good example of the use of a medallion or rosette is on a bronze-silver “cavalry sports helmet” of early Imperial date from the grave of a chieftain in Vize, Turkey. The embossed crown of oak leaves (corona civica) is connected in the front by a small rosette. Maxfield, Military Decorations, 73, plate 3a; Henry Russell Robinson, The Armour of Imperial Rome (London: Arms and Armour Press, 1975), 118–19.

17.

For a good survey of decorative bases from Asia Minor, see Ahmet Oğuz Alp, “Helenistik-Roma Dönemi Anadolu Mimarlığında Bezemeli Kaideler,” Anadolu/Anatolia 34 (2008), 21–32, figs. 1–25. See also Stefan Pülz, “Zur Bauornamentik des Zeustempels von Euromos,” Istanbuler Mitteilungen 39 (1989), 451–53; Stefan Pülz, Untersuchungen zur kaiserzeitlichen Bauornamentik von Didyma, Istanbuler Mitteilungen Beiheft 35 (Tübingen: Ernst Wasmuth, 1989), 80–81.

18.

Frank Rumscheid, Untersuchungen zur kleinasiatischen Bauornamentik des Hellenismus (Mainz: Philip von Zabern, 1994), 203–4, plates 78.7–8, 83.6; Orhan Bingöl, Magnesia on the Meander: An Archaeological Guide (Istanbul: Homer Kitabevi, 2007), 52–73, esp. 62.

19.

The botanical distinction between a true laurel leaf with sharp, pointed leaves and their soft, rounded, stylized variants is not indicated in Alp’s otherwise very useful collection of column base decorations. In the case of the Temple of Artemis at Sardis, his study is flawed by following Gottfried Gruben’s and George M. A. Hanfmann’s attribution of a “Hellenistic phase” to the temple that, according to our current study, appears unwarranted. Contrary to Hanfmann, who believed that the “pseudo-dipteral plan had been invented prior to Hermogenes,” and that Roman reconstruction began “immediately after the earthquake of A.D. 17 and continued … under Antoninus Pius,” we believe that all the peristyle columns of the unfinished temple belong to a major, probably mid-second-century CE rebuilding. Gottfried Gruben, “Beobachtungen zum Artemis-Tempel von Sardes,” Archäologischer Anzeiger 76 (1961), 155–96; George M. A. Hanfmann and Jane Waldbaum, A Survey of Sardis and the Major Monuments Outside the City Walls. Archaeological Exploration of Sardis, Report 1 (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1975), 75. For the recent tentative building history of the Temple of Artemis at Sardis, see Fikret Kutlu Yegül, “Sardeis Artemis Tapınağı–The Temple of Artemis at Sardis,” in Lidyalılar ve Dünyaları: The Lydians and their World, ed. Nicholas D. Cahill (Istanbul: Yapı ve Kredi Yayınları, 2010), 363–88; Fikret Kutlu Yegül, “The Temple of Artemis at Sardis,” in Dipteros und Pseudodipteros: Bauhistorische und Archäologische Forschungen, ed. Thekla Schulz (Byzas 12 [2012]), 95–112. See also Thomas Howe, “The Toichobate Curve of the Artemis Temple at Sardis and the End of the Hellenistic Traditions of Temple Design,” in Appearance and Essence: Refinements of Classical Architecture; Curvature, ed. Lothar Hasselberger (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1999), 199–210. Final monograph on this temple by Fikret K.Yegül (forthcoming).

20.

This interesting variant of the bay leaf is also used on the lower torus of a small Imperial cult pseudodipteros dated to the second half of the first century CE, dubbed as the Vadi B temple. Here the soft upright leaves appear to be closely modeled after the Hellenistic column bases of the previously mentioned east pronaos porch of the Temple of Artemis. Christopher Ratté, Thomas Howe, and Clive Foss, “The Early Imperial Pseudodipteral Temple at Sardis,” American Journal of Archaeology 90 (1986), 45–68. They were probably simply an artistic variation of the laurus nobilis, or the laurus Delphica common in Greco-Roman usage. In Peter Hadland Davis’s Flora of Turkey, vol. 7, the shape of the leaves of laurus nobilis from the western and southern coast of Turkey is described as “narrowly oblong-lanceolate to broadly ovate.” In their botanic guide to the Mediterranean, Polunin and Huxley describe them as “elliptical to lance-shaped … [and] used as a symbol for victory in crowns and garlands of honor.” They recall the modern use of the laurel wreaths worn by scholars and poets “as baccalaureate … when receiving academic honors.” A less common variety of the plant with ovate leaves (found in southern Anatolia) is known as the “cherry laurel” (prunus laurocerasus rotundifolia). Peter Hadland Davis, Flora of Turkey and the Aegean Islands (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1982), 7:534–35; Oleg Polunin and Anthony Huxley, Flowers of the Mediterranean (London: Chatto and Windus, 1965), 73–74, fig. 31.

21.

For later examples of decorative bases from Asia Minor, see Alp, “Helenistik-Roma Dönemi Anadolu Mimarlığında Bezemeli Kaideler,” 26–28.

22.

As the large collection of classical ornament from Rome by sixteenth-century architects and draftsmen indicates, that bases were decorated with flamboyant combinations of ornamental motifs, including laurel leaves gathered by ribbons, was not remarkable. See the catalogue of the exhibition Variety, Archeology, and Ornament: Renaissance Architectural Prints from Column to Cornice at the University of Virginia Art Museum. Michael Waters and Cammy Brothers, eds., Variety, Archeology, and Ornament: Renaissance Architectural Prints from Column to Cornice (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Art Museum, 2011).

23.

Although there is no shortage of literature on the Column of Trajan, the shaping of the base torus as a victory wreath is entirely ignored or acknowledged only in a passing sentence. See, for example, Sonia Maffei, “Forum Traiani: Columna,” in Lexicon Topographicum Urbis Romae, II, ed. Eva Margareta Steinby (Rome: Edizioni Quasar, 1995), 356–59, with extensive bibliography; Salvatore Settis, La Colonne Trajane: Invention, Composition, Disposition,” Annales Économies, Sociétés, Civilisations 40 (1985), 1151–94; Ernst Nash, Pictorial Dictionary of Ancient Rome (London: A. Zwemmer, 1961), 1:283–86; Samuel Ball Platner and Thomas Ashby, A Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1926), 242–43; Eugenio La Rocca, La figura di Traiano fra storia e mito (Rome: Commune di Roma, 1999), 35–43.

24.

James E. Packer, The Forum of Trajan in Rome: A Study of Monuments in Brief (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001), 75.

25.

Filippo Coarelli, The Column of Trajan (Rome: Editore Colombo, 2000), 21–27, esp. 26.

26.

Coarelli, Column of Trajan, 3–10. For the base inscription: CIL, VI, 960; Cass. Dio 68.16.3.

27.

For an illuminating study on the perception of Roman engineering projects as victorious and triumphant achievements, see Diane Favro, “Arch Triumphs of Roman Engineering,” in The Roman Triumphal Arch, ed. Alina Payne (forthcoming).

28.

Giovanni Becatti, La Colonna coclide istoriata (Rome: L’Erma di Breitschneider, 1960), 47–55; Cyril Mango, Byzantine Architecture (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1976), 49.

29.

Wolfgang Müller-Wiener, Bildlexikon zur Topographie İstanbuls (Tübingen: Ernst Wasmuth, 1977), 258–61; Coarelli, Column of Trajan, 16–17; Becatti, Colonna coclide, 83–104.

30.

Müller-Wiener, Bildlexikon, 250–53, figs. 283, 285–86; Giulio Giglioli, La Colonna di Arkadia a Constantinopoli: MemAccArchLett e Belle Arti di Napoli, vol. 2 (Naples: Hamberg, 1952); Becatti, Colonna coclide, 151–264, plates 56a, 57a, 58a–b, 72; Yves Christie, “La Colonne d’Arkadius, Saint-Pudentienne, L’Arc d’Eginhard et le Portail de Ripoli,” Cahiers archéologiques 21 (1971), 31–42; Cornelius Gurlitt, “Antikedenkmälsäulen in C’pel,” Der Baumeister 7 (1909), 55–66; Cornelius Gurlitt, Antikedenkmälsäulen in Konstantinopel (Munich: Georg D. W. Calwey, 1910).

31.

Müller-Wiener, Bildlexikon, 255–57, figs. 288–89; Becatti, Colonna coclide, 84–88, plate 62d; Ernest Mamboury, “Les fouilles byzantines à Istanbul,” Byzantion 11 (1936), 252, 266–67; Gilbert Dagron, “Naissance d’une Capitale: Constantinople et ses institutions de 330 à 451,” Bibliothèque Byzantine—Études 7 (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1974), 36–39.

32.

The banded laurel wreath was used in separating the large relief panels of the Tetrapylon of Galerius in Thesaloníke, not a column but a massive victory monument with a similar “banded appearance.”

33.

John Lamb, “The 3rd Maryland Infantry, U.S.A. & Latrobe’s Battery, C.S.A. Monument,” http://www.2ndmdinfantryus.org/3md.html (accessed 3 June 2012).

34.

Both the marble and the artisans who worked on the Temple of Venus and Roma in Rome were probably from Asia Minor. No doubt architectural ideas traveled in both directions. Donald Emrys Strong, “Late Hadrianic Architectural Ornament in Rome,” Papers of the British School at Rome 21 (1953), 131–33; John B. Ward-Perkins, Roman Imperial Architecture (New York: Penguin, 1981), 123; Volker Michael Strocka, “Wechselwirkungen des stadtrömischen und kleinasienischen Architektur unter Trajan und Hadrian,” Istanbuler Mitteilungen 38 (1988), 291–307.

35.

I have compiled the evidence outlining the epigraphic underpinnings of the evaluation and dating of thıs important inscription (ıncluding the relevant expert opinions), which will be published in separate venues.

36.

Angelos Chaniotis to Fikret Yegül, 6 Nov. 2011 and 13 Aug. 2012.

37.

Barrett’s evocative study on reading and interpreting inscriptions challenges the archaeological approach aimed at determining narrow dates and narrow events with a broader, contextual one where the long-term historical and architectural setting of an inscription is underscored. John C. Barrett, “Chronologies of Remembrance: The Interpretations of Some Roman Inscriptions,” World Archaeology 25, no. 2 (1993), 238, 236–41. On the role of communal memory and experience in the interpretation and dating of inscriptions, see also James Fentress and Chris Wickham, Social Memory (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992).

38.

John Ma, “The Epigraphy of Hellenistic Asia Minor: A Survey of Recent Research (1992–1999),” American Journal of Archaeology 104 (2000), 103.

39.

Especially in the larger and mostly unfinished classical temples of western Asia Minor, the cella, roofed and housing the cult image, had to be completed for the building to function properly as a temple. Work on the peripheral columns often came much later and progressed at a slower pace; some like the Temple of Apollo at Didyma, or the Temple of Artemis at Sardis, were never finished. Emphasizing the distinct and independent nature of the planning and financing of these two entities, naos and peristasis, see Rumscheid, “Von Wachsen antiker Säulenwälder,” 19–21, 60–62.

40.

George M. A. Hanfmann and Nancy H. Ramage, Sculpture from Sardis: Finds through 1975 (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1978), nos. 79, 88, 102–5, 251–52.

41.

On the dating of the door-jamb ornament to the Hadrianic period, see Lutgarde Vanderput, Architectural Decoration in Roman Asia Minor. Sagalassos: A Case Study. Studies in Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology, vol. 1 (Leuven: Brepols Publishers, 1997); Pülz, Bauornamentik von Didyma, 74–77; Musa Kadıoğlu, Die Scaenefrons des Theaters von Nysa am Meander. Forschungen in Nysa am Meander, vol. 1 (Mainz: Philip von Zabern, 2006), nos. 240, 309, 489, 508; Strong, “Hadrianic Ornament,” 118–51.

42.

A comprehensive publication of the Temple of Artemis by the author is in preparation. For recent, preliminary studies on the architecture of the building and its construction history, see Yegül, “Temple of Artemis,” 95–112; Yegül, “Sardeis Artemis Tapınağı–Temple of Artemis,” 363–88; Howe, “The Toichobate Curvature,” 199–210. See also Gruben, “Beobachtungen zum Artemis-Tempel,” 155–96.

43.

On the geographical and ecological setting of Sardis and the Temple of Artemis, see Hanfmann and Waldbaum, A Survey of Sardis, 17–28, 74–87; George M. A. Hanfmann, Sardis from the Prehistoric to Roman Times (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1983), 1–4; Butler, Sardis II.1, 2–4.

44.

John Onions, Bearers of Meaning (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1988), esp. 8–11, 41–58; Onions, “The Strength of Columns and Weakness of Theory,” in The Art of Interpreting, ed. Susan C. Scott. Papers in Art History from the Pennsylvania State University, 9 (University Park: Penn State University Press, 1995), 31–39; Joseph Rykwert, The Dancing Column: On Order in Architecture (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1996), 170–90.

45.

Aesch. Ag, 897.

46.

Eur. IT, lines 47–57. See also Pindar, Odes, 1.81–82. Ancient literature is rich with allusions that equate the strength of columns with community virtues such as Peace, Security, and Happiness. Horace represents civic virtue on columns as stantem columnam neu populous frequens (Carmen Seculares 1.35.13–14). See also Philo, Exodus 1.21: “Good men are the pillars of whole communities, for they support cities and governments as if they [support] great houses.”

47.

Strabo, Geographies 9.1.6–7.

48.

Pausanias 50.20.7. See also Eric Brulotte, “The ‘Pillar of Oinomaos’ and the Location of the Stadium I at Olympia,” American Journal of Archaeology 98 (1994), 53–64; Emily Townsend Vermeule, “Götterkult,” Archaeologia Homerica 3, no. 5 (1974), 157.

49.

On the nature of objet parlant and the dynamics between the written word (inscriptions) and voice, see Michael A. Tueller, Look Who’s Talking: Innovations in Voice and Identity in Hellenistic Epigram (Leuven: Peeters, 2008), 141–54, esp. 141–42. Of particular interest is Tueller’s observation of the essential dichotomy between the written word (“mere letters”) and the speaking stone—that the stone can have a voice, but unlike real speech, cannot listen and converse with the passerby; it gives the same “answer” every time to everyone.

50.

On the mixed identity of the speaking object and its audience, see Neil W. Slater, “The Vase as Ventriloquist: Kalos-Inscriptions and the Culture of Fame,” in Signs of Orality: The Oral Tradition and Its Influence in the Greek and Roman World, ed. E. Anne MacKay (Leiden: Brill Publishers, 1999), 143–61, esp. 154–55. Archaic and classical epigrams sometimes show this ambiguity of the text speaking as “I,” or as “I about someone else.” We observe that in the Sardis column inscription, the subject and the object of the narration are conflated. See Tueller, Look Who’s Talking, 5–6; Mieke Bal, Narratology: Introduction to the Theory of Narrative, 2nd ed. (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1997), 22.

51.

Butler, Excavations, 106–7; William Hepburn Buckler, Lydian Inscriptions. Sardis VI.2 (Leyden: E. J. Brill, 1924), 39–40, no. 21, plate IX; Roberto Gusmani, Lydisches Wörterbuch (Heidelberg: Carl Winter Universitätsverlag, 1964), 259, no. 21.

52.

There is a second fragment of Lydian text with one complete word carved on the astragal of one of the temple columns found outside the temple in 1978 (srkastulis, perhaps denoting the name of the column donor). See Roberto Gusmani, “Note d’Antroponomastica Lidia,” Incontri Linguistici 6 (1980/81), 21–27; Crawford Hallock Greenewalt Jr., Eugene L. Sterud, and Daniel F. Belknap, “The Sardis Campaign of 1978,” Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 245 (1982), 24–25, fig. 26.

53.

These inscriptions can be grouped under the names of three different donors. See Malcolm Errington, “Inscriptions von Euromos,” Epigraphica Anatolica 21 (1993), 15–31; Mükerrem Anabolu, Euromos Ayaklı Tapinağı (İstanbul: İstanbul Teknik Üniversitesi, 1964); George Bean, “Euromos,” in Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites, ed. Richard Stillwell and William Lloyd MacDonald (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1976), 320–21; Pülz, “Zur Bauornamentik,” 451–53; Rumscheid, “Von Wachsen antiker Säulenwälder,” 32–35.

54.

Of particular interest are inscriptions from the Temple of Ba’alshamin and its courtyards, one of which records Hadrian’s visit to the city in 129 CE. Iain Browning, Palmyra (Park Ridge, N.J.: Noyes Press, 1979), 163–67.

55.

Barbara Burrell, “Two Inscribed Columns from Caesarea Maritima,” Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 99 (1993), 287–95; Mordechai Gichon and Benfamin H. Isaac, “A Flavian Inscription from Jerusalem,” Israel Exploration Journal 24 (1974), 117–23.

56.

Rumscheid, “Von Wachsen antiker Säulenwälder,” 19–63, for the Sardis column, 31–32.

57.

There is a concentration of these among the antiquarian epigrams from Troy, such as this one honoring Hector, late Roman in date: “I am the defender of my fatherland … and fought against the Greeks.” Peter Frisch, Die Inschriften von Ilion: Inschriften griechischer Städte aus Kleinasien, vol. 3 (Bonn: Habelt, 1975), 234–36, no. 142; see also nos. 141, 145, and 176. Even in these funerary epigrams there is a subtle difference between the direct speaking of the stone as a person in the nominative, as opposed to the “third voice,” which speaks to the passerby through the stone (typically, “welcome, traveler! [such and such] lies here, who died … ,” etc.). On the ambiguity of the speech of the object parlant see also notes 49 and 61. For a few examples of the latter, see Sencer Şahin, Katalog der antiken Inschriften des Museums von Iznik-Nikaia: Inshcriften griechischer Städte aus Kleinasien 9–10 (Bonn: Habelt, 1978–79), 101, no. 2; 130, no. 11; 129, no. 10. For a larger survey of epigraphical sources and publications from Asia Minor (“from the land of [indiscriminately] chattering stones,” as the author picturesquely paraphrases from Boulanger), see Ma, “Epigraphy of Hellenistic Asia Minor,” 95.

58.

“I, the stone, am the image. Seikilos placed me here as a lasting testimony to memories yet not forgotten.” Reinhold Merkelbach and Josef Stauber, Steinepigramme aus dem griechischen Osten, vol. 1 (Stuttgard: B. G. Teubner, 1998), 207, no. 02/02/07. My thanks for bringing this exceptional monument to my attention goes to Georg Petzl.

59.

Şahin, Inschriften von Inzik-Nikaia, 182a, no. 277 (author’s translation).

60.

Charles Bradford Welles, “The Inscriptions,” in Gerasa, ed. Carl H. Kraeling (New Haven, Conn.: American Schools of Oriental Research, 1938), no. 299, plate CXXIX. For comparable inscriptions in the fast-changing early Christian topography of Gerasa see also Jason Moralee, “The Stones of St. Theodore: Disfiguring the Pagan Past in Christian Gerasa,” Journal of Early Christian Studies 14, no. 2 (2006), 183–215, esp. 192–94. See also the lintel inscription from a Christian bath in Il-Anderun, Syria, which speaks with the voice of the donor and the victorious Christ, in Louis Robert, “Épigrammes relatives a gouverneurs,” Hellenica 4 (1948), 80. It may be apt to compare these to the contemporary fifth-century CE inscription from the “Marble Court” of the bath-gymnasium complex in Sardis, where the same boisterous and jaunty spirit is summoned, as the ornate hall speaks in the first person to announce a late antique redecoration. See Clive Foss, “Appendix: Inscriptions Related to the Complex,” in Fikret K. Yegül, The Bath-Gymnasium Complex at Sardis, Archaeological Exploration of Sardis, Report 3 (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1986), 171–72, no. 8.

61.

Mario Burzachechi, “Oggetti parlanti nelle epigrafi greche,” Epigraphica 24, no. 4 (1962), 3–54. Burzachechi’s catalogue-like selection surveyıng over one hundred examples with little attempt for analyses is still useful for its statistical presentation of the “first-person” speaking object, although, as the author admits, a portion of the examples with formulaic epigrams are “contaminated” by the ambiguous presence of the third-person dedicating and reporting.

62.

Slater, “The Vase as Ventriloquist,” 143–61; Henry Immerwahr, Attic Script (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990).

63.

On reading Greek as “represented speech,” see Slater, “The Vase as Ventriloquist,” 154–57; and Jesper Svenbro, Phrasikleia: An Anthology of Reading Ancient Greek (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1993), esp. 46, 62. Furthermore, as pointed out by Tueller, some early Archaic period epigrams demonstrate how giving voice to an inscription (otherwise voiceless) by spelling out the sounds with the lips was regarded as a marvel of reading technology. An interesting example illustrating this process is an epigram attributed to Sappho: “Children, although I am voiceless, I speak if someone asks” (AP 6.269); Tueller, Look Who’s Talking, 150–51; see also note 49.

64.

For a collection of papers exploring the evocative theme of speech and the dynamics of ritual in architectural settings, see Angelos Chaniotis, “Introduction,” in Ritual Dynamics in the Ancient Mediterranean: Agency, Emotion, Gender, Representation, ed. A. Chaniotis (Stuttgart: F. Steiner, 2011), 9–19. See, in the same publication, Fritz Graf, “Ritual Restoration and Innovation in the Greek Cities of the Roman Imperium,” 105–16; and Françoise Letoublon, “Speech and Gesture in Ritual: The Ritual of Supplication and Prayer in Homer,” 291–99; see also Baus, Der Kranz, 24–25.

65.

Slater, “The Vase as Ventriloquist,” 156–57.

66.

John Boardman, Greek Sculpture: The Archaic Period (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991), fig. 60; Philippe Bruneau and Jean Ducat, Guide de Délos: Site et monuments (Paris: De Boccard, 1983), 119–23, 125–30; Paul Courbin, L’Oikos des Naxiens. Exploration Archeologique de Délos 33 (Paris: De Boccard, 1980); John Griffiths Pedley, Greek Sculptures of the Archaic Period: The Island Workshops (Mainz: Philip von Zabern, 1976), 21–22; A. Hermary, P. Jockey, and François Queyrel, Sculptures déliennes: École Française d’Athènes (Paris: De Boccard, 1996), 28–31; but esp. Patricia A. Butz, “The Naxian Colossus at Delos: ‘Same Stone,’ ” Asmosia 7, École Française d’Athènes. Bulletin de Correspondence Hellénique. Supplément 53 (2009), 77–86.

67.

As noted by Bruneau and Butz, the ambiguity of the language as a literary device in ID 4 reflects the polysemantism not unfamiliar in references to Apollo, the oracular god whose fondness for ambiguity and double entendre was characteristic. For analysis of the linguistic complexity of Delos ID 4, see Butz, “Naxian Colossus,” 78–82; Philippe Bruneau, “Un idée de plus sur l’inscription archaïque de la base de Colosse,” Bulletin de Correspondance Hellénique 112 (1988), 577–82. See also Margherita Guarducci, “L’inscrizione arcaica dell’Apollo dei Nasii a Delo,” Epigraphica 4, no. 3 (1942), 155–57; and Pietro Pucci, “Inscriptions archaïques sur les statues des dieux,” Le saviors de l’écriture: En Grèc ancienne. Cahiers de Philologie 14 (1988), 480–97. For a full photographic documentation of the base, see Christos Sideris, http://poinikastas.csad.ox.ac.uk/4DLink3/ 4DACTION/LSAGwebDisplayInscription?searchTerm=AI&searchType=browse&searchField=region&returnList=0&sequence=0&thisListPosition=11(accessed 30 Sept. 2013).

68.

The white marble of the temple (lucid, medium-grained with light gray streaks) likely came from ancient quarries known locally as “Mağara Deresi,” located some 4 km south in one of the deep gorges of the Tmolos. Scientific and petrographic analyses are pending. Hanfmann, A Survey of Sardis, 17, 21; Christopher Ratté, Lydian Architecture: Ashlar Masonry Structures. Archaeological Exploration of Sardis, Report 5 (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2011), 18–20; 127–32.

69.

The overall dimension of the temple is 44.58 m by 97.60 m, with an exceptionally elongated cella, 23.0 m by 67.52 m (a ratio of about 1:3), which represents an archaic, or archaizing, characteristic. So does the complex contraction of the east (and west) end colonnades, where the interaxial spacing increases progressively from the corners to the center. It appears that the original temple was influenced by the colossal archaic Ionic dipteroi, such as the Heraion of Samos and the Artemision of Ephesus. Yegül, “Sardeis Artemis Tapınağı–Temple of Artemis,” 368–70; Yegül, “The Temple of Artemis at Sardis,” 98–100.

70.

William Bell Dinsmoor, Architecture of Ancient Greece (1950; repr., London: B. T. Batsford, 1973), 127–29, fig. 48; Rumscheid, “Von Wachsen antiker Säulenwälder,” 28–31, fig. 5; Christoph Borker and Reinhold Merkelbach, Die Inschriften von Ephesos V, Österreichisches Archäologisches Institut (Bonn: Habelt, 1980), 38–40, no. 1518; Edward Lee Hicks, British Museum Catalogue: Greek Inscriptions, vol. 3 (London: British Museum, 1890), no. 518.

71.

Tueller, Look Who’s Talking, 24–27; see also Burzachechi, “Oggetti parlanti,” 43–44. A collection of 238 inscriptions from the bases of honorary statues in Delphi dating from the sixth century BCE to the fourth century CE reveal that “precise designations of the dedicated objects are rare, as are the object parlants.” See summary by Angelos Chaniotis, Henri W. Pleket, Ronald Stroud, and Johan Strubbe, “Delphi: Dedicatory Formulas,” in Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum 45, no. 464 (1995 [accessed 5 July 2013]); for the full publication, see Anne Jacquemin, “Ordre des termes des dédicaces Delphiques,” Annali di archeologia e storia antica 2 (1995), 141–57.

72.

Emphasis added. Chaniotis, in an unpublished article of the so-called Lindian Anagraphe (dedications in the Sanctuary of Athena Lindos), identified a dedication by one Daidalos as the only objet parlant (no. 27: Δαίδαλος έδωκε ξείνıόν με Κακάλαı), which he described as “a feature of Archaic dedications” and unequivocally stated, “This is an Archaizing feature.” Angelos Chaniotis to Fikret Yegül, 4 July 2013. For allowing me to refer to his unpublished study and quote from it, I am grateful to my colleague, whose knowledge of the vast epigraphic material is the basis for his insights.

73.

The learned historicism of the Sardis column based on the redemption and emulation of the past for the consumption of the present recalls the distant epigraphic allusions of the Arch of Hadrian in Athens in its mannered display of (admittedly more specific) erudition that would have pleased the philhellene emperor.

74.

On Hadrian’s personality, SHA Hadr. I.5; XIV, 8–11; XV, 10; Aur.Vic. Caes. XIV, 2. See also Jerome Jordan Pollitt, The Art of Rome, c. 753 B.C.–A.D. 337 (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1966), 166–67; Albino Garzetti, From Tiberius to the Antonines: A History of the Roman Empire, A.D. 14–192 (London: Methuen, 1974), 424–35. On the second-century quest for antiquarian and intellectual archaisms, especially encouraged by Hadrian, see Barry Baldwin, Studies in Aulus Gellius (Lawrence, Kans.: Coronado Press, 1975), 55–56; Leofranc Holford-Strevens, “Gellius, Aulus,” in Oxford Classical Dictionary, ed. Simon Hornblower and Anthony Spawforth (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996), 627–28. On Hadrian’s tendency to rhetorical and architectural archaisms in the context of his villa in Tivoli, see Guy Métraux, “Hadrian and the Provinces: Memory and Experience in Architecture and Rhetoric” (forthcoming).

75.

Ewen L. Bowie, “Greeks in Their Past in the Second Sophistic,” in Studies in Ancient Society, ed. Moses Finley (London: Routledge and Kegan, 1974), 166–206. As the author notes, it was not the “superficial literary style of archaism” that shaped urban culture but the wider cultural context of the past—the need to look back and connect—that suffused the literature and language of inscriptions, a phenomenon that reached its zenith under Hadrian. See also Glen Bowersock, Greek Sophists in the Roman World (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1969).

76.

Andrew J. Stevenson, “Gellius and the Roman Antiquarian Tradition,” in The Worlds of Aulus Gellius, ed. L. Holford-Strevens and A. Vardi (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004), 118–55, esp. 152.

77.

Stevenson, “Gellius,” 155. See also Leofranc Holford-Strevens, Aulus Gellius: An Antonine Scholar and His Achievement (Oxford: Oxford University Press 2003), 354–63.

78.

Robert Hahn, Anaximander and the Architects: The Contribution of Egyptian and Greek Architectural Technologies in the Origins of Greek Philosophy (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2001). On the column metaphor in Anaximander’s philosophy, see Dirk L. Couprie, “The Visualization of Anaximander’s Astronomy,” Apeiron 28, no. 3 (1995), 159–81.

79.

Although our “talking column” makes it a point of pride to inform us, at least by allusion, that it was paid by “temple funds,” because of the very high costs of erecting a column, some of the other columns of the Roman pseudodipteros were probably paid for by leading individuals. See Claude Eilers, Roman Patrons of Greek Cities (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002), 84–143; Rumscheid, “Von Wachsen antiker Säulenwälder,” 55–61. For the western Anatolian tradition of donating building columns by local aristocracy, see Greenewalt, Sterud, and Belknap, “Sardis Campaign 1978,” no. 23.

80.

Edmund Thomas and Christian Witschel, “Construction Reconstruction: Claim and Reality of Roman Religious Inscriptions from the Latin West,” Papers of the British School in Rome 60 (1992), 135–77. Although the authors selected their examples from the West, the substance of their argument as a political and economic phenomenon can form the basis of a similar consideration for Asia Minor and the eastern provinces.

81.

For facts and figures on the cost and effort of raising one of the peripheral columns of the Temple of Apollo at Didyma that could be usefully compared to the Temple of Artemis at Sardis, which could have bankrupted the city’s and the temple’s funds and taken some sixty to eighty years to complete, see Bingöl, Mimaride Tas, 150–62, esp. 161–62; Gottfried Gruben, Griechische Tempel und Heiligtümer (Munich: Hirmer Verlag, 2001), 5, no. 406; Walter Voigtlander, Der jungste Apollontempel von Didyma. Istanbuler Mitteilungen Beiheft 14 (Berlin: Philip von Zabern, 1975), 74–82, 92–102.

82.

Rev. 3:7–13.

83.

Rev. 3:5–6. For the rich and widely ranging connotations of Christ’s message in Revelation, especially the meaning of “being made a pillar (column),” based on Christian and pagan usage and the meaning of being an “inscribed column,” see Robert M. Royalty Jr., “Etched or Sketched? Inscriptions and Erasures in Messages to Sardis and Philadelphians (Rev. 3.1–13),” Journal for the Study of the New Testament 27, no. 4 (2005), 447–63; and Austin M. Farrer, The Revelation of St. John the Divine: Commentary on the English Text (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1964). For further linguistic elucidation and commentary on these passages, see Robert Henry Charles, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Revelation of St. John (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1920), 77–92; Davie E. Aune, Revelation 1–5. World Biblical Commentary 52 (Dallas: World Books, 1997), 214–29.

84.

Rev. 3:5; Herodotus, Hist. 1.94–96. John Griffiths Pedley, Sardis in the Age of Croesus (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1968), 24, 38, 131–36.

85.

“Blessed are they that mourn, not those who are crowned”: Tertullian, De corona militis, 13.

86.

These are what Oleg Grabar interpreted to be “iconographic” and topical inscriptions in verse, “chosen to emphasize some special purpose … [and] put in such a form as to imply that the building is speaking and explaining its purpose.” Oleg Grabar, The Alhambra (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1978), 100–103, 140–48, esp. 101–2.