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A Geographical Note on the Xanthos Stele

A Geographical Note on the Xanthos Stele
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   J AMES  B URGIN A GEOGRAPHICAL NOTE ON THE XANTHOS STELEThe Lycian language of the Xanthos Stele has received much atten-tion in recent years. One passage that has been especially examined is the last twenty lines or so of the stele’s side A. 1  This passage’s transparent structure and abundance of personal and geographi-cal names known from Classical sources has made it an ideal entry point into deciphering the difficult language of the Stele. This paper will examine one of these names of uncertain srcin and propose a new solution relating it to a secured name from the geography of the Classical world.This paper will consider the passage coming from lines 53–55 of TL 44a, presented below:TL 44a 2 53 mukale : tew \  t[e] : sãma= 54 ti : trbbet  \   : tura   ssi : z   ãna terñ : es- 55 e : humr   ã : tebãna terñ : hãtahe This passage has been translated by Diether Schürr as “An der Mykale, die in Sicht von Samos (liegt), verstärkte er (den Ort) Tura x ssi, zu bekämpfen das Heer, den Amorges, niederzuwerfen das Heer herrlich (?).” 3  The place name of the island of Samos and the personal name of Amorges, a rebellious Persian satrap, is secure. Schürr goes on to suggest that the unsecured name tura   ssi  is prob-ably an epichoric name for the town of Anaia, which is mentioned in Thucydides III 19 and IV 75 as being on the mainland in close proximity to the island of Samos. 4  In these passages of Thucydides, 1  See for example Melchert 2002 and Schürr 2009. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Profs. Theo van den Hout and Craig Melchert for their helpful comments on earlier drafts of this paper. Any mistakes in this paper are, however, my own. 2  For the latest transcription of this text, see Borchhardt et al. 1999. 3  Schürr 2009, p. 174. 4  Schürr 2009, p. 169.Kadmos Bd. 49, S. 181–186© W ALTER   DE  G RUYTER  2010ISSN 0022-7498 DOI 10.1515/KADMOS.2010.011 Brought to you by | University of ChicagoAuthenticatedDownload Date | 8 28 15 1:49 AM  182  James Burgin the people of Anaia are described as exiles from the island, bent on harassing the remaining inhabitants of Samos. The idea is that the author of the Xanthos Stele, Xer \ i, is strategically supporting the Anaians in his larger campaigns against the Ionians of Caria. With this in mind Schürr reads the verb trbb-  in line 54 of TL 44a as “strengthen, reinforce (‘verstärken’)”. However, this meaning is not uncontested. Neumann’s Glossar des Lykischen (GdL) offers a survey of the scholarly opinions on the lemma, and outlines at least three possible semantic ranges for this word, each championed by a different scholar. 5  Of these, this paper is inclined to agree with the interpretation proposed by Melchert (though the paper’s argument does not depend on it; Schürr’s reading of “fortify” being also quite possible in the passage’s context), who in his Lycian dictionary trans-lates trbb- as “oppose, resist(?)” and connects it with the following entry trbbe/i  “opponent, enemy”.If one looks in the vicinity of Samos and Mykale for names similar to tura   ssi , a possibility immediately presents itself. Across a narrow valley north of Mt. Mykale is found the auspiciously named Mt. Tho-rax (modern Gürü ÷  Da ‘ : see fig. 1 at the end of this paper for a map of the area). 6  One can cite at least two places in ancient Greek literature where Mt. Thorax is attested. In Strabo’s Ge ' graphiká XIV 1, 11 p. 636 C. he writes of a city Magnhs¤a ≤ prÚw Maiãndrƒ , “Magnesia on the Maiandros”, which lies on a plain to the northeast of Mt. Thorax. Diodorus Siculus adds in his Bibliotheca Historiographica in XIV 36 that a certain Spartan commander Thibron captured this city from Tissaphernes in the conflicts of 399 BC, which fell in the period immediately following the events of the Satrap Rebellion commemorated in the Xanthos Stele. He moved the unwalled city of Magnesia with its inhabitants to the flanks of the nearby Mt. Thorax. Though these two Greek sources both come from the 1 st  century AD, it is highly likely they accurately record the name of the Mt. Thorax contemporary to the events they describe. Evidence for this comes from a recently published coin hoard from this time period and found in this area of Anatolia, including coins from the above mentioned Magnesia on the Maiandros. 7  The coins of this hoard are examples minted by the local Greek city-states, and all date from around 400 5  Namely Schürr: ‘to support/fortify’, (subst.) ‘alliance’; Meriggi: ‘to substitute’, (subst.) ‘a (ritual) substitute’; Melchert: ‘to oppose, resist’, (subst.) ‘opposition, enemy’. 6  Image taken from Plate 61 of the Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World (Princeton, 2000). 7  Konuk 2009. Brought to you by | University of ChicagoAuthenticatedDownload Date | 8 28 15 1:49 AM    A Geographical Note on the Xanthos Stele   183BC. There are six coins of a previously unknown type, one of which was found on Mt. Thorax/Gürü ÷  Da ‘  itself, which have on their obverse the head of Apollo and on their reverse an image of a cui-rass breastplate (Greek y≈raj ) between the letters M and A. With the letters standing for Magnesia, the y≈raj  image is interpreted as a visual pun on the city’s location on the slope of Mt. Thorax. 8  This, coupled with the passages from Strabo and Diodorus Siculus, strongly suggests that a word sounding like y≈raj  was the name of the mount as pronounced by local inhabitants around 400 BC, near when the author of the Xanthos Stele claimed to be campaigning in its vicinity. It is of course quite possible that this Mt. Thorax gave its name to the town of Anaia in the local language, or vice versa.Thus this paper presents the following reading of lines 53–55:“At Mykale, in sight of Samos, he trbb ’ed the army at Mt. Thorax in order to fight, and to destroy Amorges and (his) army hãtahe .” 9 Reading trbb-  with Melchert yields: “he opposed his army to (i.e. set it up opposite of) Mt. Thorax in order to fight”. Going with Schürr’s interpretation would read instead: “he fortified (i.e. entrenched or similar) his army at Mt. Thorax in order to fight”. Either interpreta-tion makes sense militarily, as by taking up position at Mykale in the vicinity of Mt. Thorax, the Lycian commander Xer \ i would control the pass between the mountains, and with it one of the main routes down the coast of Caria.There is one other attestation of Lycian tura   ssi , or at least a derivative of this word, in the Lycian corpus. 10  It appears on the same stele in TL 44c,47 as tura   ssali  (the -li- suffix giving it the adjectival sense ‘of or related to t. ’). Unfortunately, side C of the Xanthos Stele is written in a less well-attested dialect of Lycian, known as Lycian B or Milyan, which makes producing any running translation an extremely tentative proposition. Thus the following lines are pre-sented without an attempted translation:TL 44c46. ñte ne puketi :   bide- 47. wñni : ula   adi : zr \  t  \  ni : seb \  nari : kupriti : tura   ss- 8  See p. 5 of Konuk 2009 for his elaboration of this interpretation. 9  Translation here greatly improved by Melchert, pers. comm., who suggests that the first army ( terñ ) be that of the Lycians, and the second that of Amorges. 10  Neumann’s GdL also gives tura   [s]se  in 29,15 as an attestation, but since Schürr 2001, this has been read as tuwa    (: se) , the 1 st  person sing. preterite of tuwe-  ‘to place’. Brought to you by | University of ChicagoAuthenticatedDownload Date | 8 28 15 1:49 AM  184  James Burgin 48. ali : na : tri timlu mawate : wa   sadi : wizttasppazñ : 49. \  kebei   ustite umrggazñ : klleimedi : sbirt  \  The phrase tura   ssali : na { : } tri  (emending away the second word-divider, and thus reading natri  as one word) is translated by Schürr as “der Thyrxier Apollon”. 11  The reading of natri  as Apollo has been secure since the equation of the name Natrbbijemi  with ÉApollÒdo-tow  in N 320. 12  As for tura   ssali , Arkwright already in 1891 noted the existence of an Apollo YurjeÊw , associated with the Lycian town of Kyaneai. 13  Previous translators have logically tried to connect the tura   ssali natri  of TL 44c with this Apollo YurjeÊw  of the Greek tradition. But, given the numismatic evidence just presented, where the town of Magnesia on the Maiandros visually described itself with a bust of Apollo on one side of its coins, and a thorax on the other, it is more likely that the tura   ssali natri  of TL 44c is the local Apollo of Mt. Thorax, under which the proud author of the Xanthos Stele had recently won his victory. 14  Whether this “Thoraxian” Apollo can be equated with Apollo YurjeÊw  remains to be seen. 15 The sound changes between Greek y≈raj  and Lycian tura   ssi  are not unfeasible. Greek theta is rendered as t   in Lycian elsewhere in words like the names Yersikl∞w  = Terssi   le  and ÉAyhnagÒraw  = T  \  negure . Lycian u  typically glosses a Greek omicron or upsilon, but can represent an omega (like Sarphd≈n  = Zrppedun ). Finally, Lycian   ss  was equivalent to a Greek xi (like Kalliãnaj  = Xelijãna   ssa ). As for whether tura   ssi  was the srcinal, native name (probably Car- 11  Schürr 1998, p. 156, and again Schürr 2009, p. 171. 12  It should be noted that natri  was probably a Lycian descriptive epithet of Apollo, meaning something like ‘hero’ (see Neumann, GdL under natri ). 13  Arkwright apud   Imbert 1891, p. 113, drawing on the information in 2 nd  century BC geographer Pausanias VII 21, 13 ( Kuane«n d¢ t«n prÚw Luk¤& plhsia¤tata xrhstÆrion ÉApÒllvnÒw §sti Yurj°vw ) .  Zgusta 1984 is inclined to agree with this interpretation, positing a place name Yurja  which is to be sought in the vicinity of Kyaneai (§ 354). 14  Indeed, in the following line one finds \  kebei   ustite umrggazñ : klleimedi : sbirt  \   (TL 44c,49), which reads something like “when he (Xer \ i)   ust  ’ed the sbirt  \   of Amorges with klleima ” (translation after Schürr 1998, p. 156). This is hardly a satisfying translation, but it does reemphasize the connection between tura   ssili natri  and the stele author’s battle with Amorges. 15  Schürr 2009, p. 171 attempts to reconcile Pausanius, who locates Apollo Thyrxeus in Kyaneai, with his proposed identification of Anaia = tura   ssi , by suggesting that Xer \ i, the author of the stele and ethnarch at Kyaneai, resettled his local cult of Apollo at Anaia in the aftermath of the battle of Mykale. It is also possible that the reverse is true, and he instead brought the “Thoraxian” Apollo back with him, perhaps as booty, in commemoration of his victory. Brought to you by | University of ChicagoAuthenticatedDownload Date | 8 28 15 1:49 AM    A Geographical Note on the Xanthos Stele   185ian, or possibly Lydian) for the mountain which the Greeks heard as their y≈raj , or whether it was a Lycian approximation of the Greek word, it cannot easily be determined. While most of the area was settled by Ionian colonists, who would have written “thorax (Attic y≈raj )” as Ionic y≈rhj , the town of Magnesia on the Maiandros was of Aeolian stock, and would have written “thorax” as Aeolian yÒrraj . 16  If the Xanthos Stele is indeed recording a Greek word, extracting it from the Aeolian dialect would be preferable, as the eta of the Ionic spelling would usually be glossed by Lycian e , and Lycian u  for the omicron of the Aeolian spelling, instead of omega, is much better attested. However, given the awkward semantics of Greek y≈raj  ‘chest, torso’ in the context of describing a mountain, it is rather more likely that the Greek name for the mountain is a folk etymology of a native Anatolian name.Thus we see that lines 53–55 of TL 44a of the Xanthos Stele are a precise description of where Xer \ i placed his army before his battle with Amorges. One might expect a similar level of detail in the text of the Stele. If this is so, it raises questions of what the Stele was meant for and how it was used; it must have been more than just a propaganda piece dealing in generalities. The level of detail found in lines 53–55 show that future research on the Xanthos stele must be attentive to the possibility of other instances of precise language. This paper thus reemphasizes how far there is to go before an exact translation of the Stele can be produced, but it also suggests a hope that there is much more information that can be extracted from the monument’s close relation with realia. Fig. 1 (from Plate 61 of the Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World, modified to emphasize locations of Mts. Mykale and Thorax) 16  See y≈raj  in Liddell–Scott–Jones Greek-English Lexicon (9 th  ed.). Brought to you by | University of ChicagoAuthenticatedDownload Date | 8 28 15 1:49 AM
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