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ARSAMEIA (Eski Kâhta) Turkey.

About 59 km SE of Malatyn in ancient Commagene (the area between the Taurus range and the Euphrates) on the river Nymphaios (the Kâhta Çay). Founded by a certain Arsames, an ancestor of a Seleucid king, Arsameia was by the 1st c. B.C. a fortified city containing a royal palace. It was here that Antiochos I of Commagene built a tomb and a cult center (hierotheseion) for his father, king Mithridates Kallinikos, about the middle of the 1st c. B.C.; this is attested by a remarkable rock-cut inscription. Above the inscription is a large and well-preserved relief, recently re-erected, showing king Mithridates shaking hands with Herakles (the Persian Artagnes); the style is provincial Greek. About 2 km SW of the town is a Roman bridge erected in honor of the Septimian house by four Commagene cities (ca. A.D. 200). The bridge was marked by four columns, two at each end, symbolizing the emperor, Julia Domna, Caracalla, and Geta; one is missing and may have been dismantled after Geta's murder. Farther on, beside the Nymphaios, is a tumulus that served as the burial place of Commagene queens and princesses. There three Ionic columns carry statues of animals (a lion, an eagle, and a bull), and these works may be contemporary with Antiochos' own hierotheseion, the celebrated remains of which are nearby upon Nemrud Dağ.


F. K. Dörner, “Die Entdeckung von Arsameia am Nymphenflus . . . ,” Neue Deutsche Ausgrabungen im Mittelmeergebiet und im vorderen Orient (1959) 71-88MPI; id. et al., Arsameia am Nymphaios (1963)PI; E. Akurgal, Ancient Civilizations and Ruins of Turkey (3d ed. 1973) 347f.


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