previous next

SEBASTE (Sivasli) Turkey.

One of the 12 important cities in Phrygia, 35 km S of Uşak (Temenothyrae). The site is at the foot of Mt. Bulkaz, in the plain of the Banaz çayi (the ancient Senaros river). Sebaste was one of the cities founded during the Romanization of Asia Minor. It lies midway between Acmonia (Ahat köy) on the Royal Road and Eumenia in the Maeander valley. Augustus founded the city in 20 B.C. at the suggestion of the oracle of Apollo, on the site of several earlier Anatolian settlements. Imperial coinage runs from the time of Augustus until after Gordian III. The main types are: obverse, head of Dionysos, Men, young Herakles; reverse, Zeus, Kybele, Perseus slaying Gorgo, Caracalla on horseback, and a river god. Inscriptions with the words polis, strategos, and agoranomos indicate the city's importance. In the Byzantine period it became a bishopric.

The remains include Early Bronze Age mounds not yet explored, and three Lydian tumuli (5th c. B.C.) with funerary chambers. One of them has marble masonry of high quality.

Roman remains are inscriptions (historical, funerary, votive), including one with the name of Sebaste reused in a Byzantine church wall; foundations of a Roman building under a Byzantine church; a marble votive statue of Zeus now in the Istanbul Archaeological Museum; many fragments of architraves, columns, capitals, sarcophagi, and Phrygian door-stelai scattered over the site.

There are also Byzantine buildings, especially of the 6th and 10th c. A.D.: a complex of churches, including the remains of two large basilicas and several chapels within a surrounding wall. Marble iconostases with colored glass inlays are in the Selçikler museum depot and the Uşak Museum.


W. M. Ramsay, Cities and Bishoprics of Phrygia II (1897) 5; Head, Hist. Num. 684; J. Keil & A. von Premerstein, Bericht uber eine zweite Reise in Lydien (1911) no. 265; G. Mendel, Catalogue des Sculptures . . . Istanbul Museum) III (1914) no. 813; Ruge, RE III A (1921) 209; D. Magie, Roman Rule in Asia Minor (1950) I, 472ff; II, 1334 n. 14; N. Firatli, CahArch 19 (1969) 151-66; id., TurkArkDerg 19, 2 (1970) 109-60; Ü. İzmirligil, TurkArkDerg 21, 1 (1974).


hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: