: Eth. Ἀφροδισιεύς
, Eth. Aphrodisiensis
) an ancient town of Caria, situated at Ghera
south of Antiocheia on the Maeander, as is proved by inscriptions which have been copied by several travellers. Drawings of the remains of Aphrodisias have been made by the order of the Dilettanti Society.
There are the remains of an Ionic temple of Aphrodite, the goddess from whom the place took the name of Aphrodisias; fifteen of the white marble columns are still standing. A Greek inscription on a tablet records the donation of one of the columns to Aphrodite and the demus. Fellows (Lycia,
p. 32) has described the remains of Aphrodisias, and given a view of the temple.
The route of Fellows was from Antiocheia on the Maeander up the valley of the Mosynus, which appears to be the ancient name of the stream that joins the Maeander at Antiocheia; and Aphrodisias lies to the east of the head of the valley in which the Mosynus rises, and at a considerable elevation.
Stephanus (s. v. Μεγαλόπολις
), says that it was first a city of the Leleges, and, on account of its magnitude, was called Megalopolis; and it was also called Ninoe, from Ninus (see also s. v. Νινόη
),--a confused bit of history, and useful for nothing except to show that it was probably a city of old foundation. Strabo (p. 576) assigns it to the division of Phrygia; but in Pliny (5.29
) it is a Carian city, and a free city (Aphrodisienses liberi) in the Roman sense of that period.
In the time of Tiberius, when there was an inquiry about the right of asyla, which was claimed and exercised by many Greek cities, the Aphrodisienses relied on a decree of the dictator Caesar for their services to his party, and on a recent decree of Augustus. (Tac. Ann. 3.62.
) Sherard, in 1705 or 1716, copied an inscription at Aphrodisias, which he communicated to Chishull, who published it in his Antiquitates Asiaticae.
This Greek inscription is a Consultum of the Roman senate, which confirms the privileges granted by the Dictator and the Triumviri to the Aphrodisienses. The Consultum is also printed in Oberlin‘s Tacituss,
and elsewhere. This Consultum gives freedom to the demus of the Plaraseis and the Aphrodisieis.
It also declares the temenos of the goddess Aphrodite in the city of the Plaraseis and the Aphrodisieis to have the same rights as the temple of the Ephesia at Ephesus; and the temenos was declared to be an asylum. Plarasa then, also a city of Caria, and Aphrodisias were in some kind of alliance and intimate relation.
There are coins of Plarasa; and “coins with a legend of both names are also not very uncommon.” (Leake.)
|COIN OF APHRODISIAS IN CARIA.|
A city of Cilicia. Stephanus (s. v. Ἀφροδισιάς
) quotes Alexander Polyhistor, who quotes Zopyrus as an authority for this place, being so called from Aphrodite, a fact which we might assume. The Stadiasmus states that Aphrodisias is nearest to Cyprus, and 500 stadia north of Aulion, the NE. extremity of Cyprus.
It is mentioned by Diodorus (19.61
); and by Livy (33.20
) with Coracesium, Soli, and other places on this coast.
It seems from Pliny (5.27
, who calls it “Oppidum Veneris” ) and other authorities (it is not mentioned by Strabo) to have been situated between Celenderes and Sarpedon.
It was on or near a promontory also called Aphrodisias.
The site is not certain. Leake supposes that the cape near the Papadula rocks was the promontory Aphrodisias, and that some vestiges of the town may be found near the harbour behind the cape. (See also Beaufort's Karamania,
A promontory on the SW. coast of Caria (Mela, 1.16; Plin. Nat. 5.28
), between the gulfs of Schoenus and Thymnias.
The modern name is not mentioned by Hamilton, who passed round it (Researches,
vol. ii. p. 72).
It has sometimes been confounded with the Cynos Sema of Strabo, which is Cape Volpo. [G.L