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BUBON (Ibecik) Lycia, Turkey.

Some 22 km S of Kibyra, in the region called. Kabalis by Strabo, Kabalia by Pliny and Ptolemy. The earliest mention of the city is in an inscription found at Araxa, recording a war between that city and “Moagetes and the Bubonians” (JHS 68 [1948] 46ff; SEG 18.570); the date is uncertain, but may have been in the early part of the 2d c. B.C. By the early 1st c. B.C. Bubon was incorporated in a tetrapolis headed by Kibyra and including Balbura and Oinoanda. Later Kibyra was annexed to the province of Asia, the other three to the Lycian League (Strab. 631), of which Bubon thereafter continued to be a member.

Under the emperor Antoninus Pius handsome gifts of money were made to most of the Lycian cities by the millionaire Opramoas of Rhodiapolis (TAM II 905); Bubon was among the beneficiaries, though the sum allotted to her, 2000 denarii, is in fact the lowest of those recorded.

An inscription found recently in the theater at Bubon, at the time of writing still unpublished, contains a letter from the emperor Commodus praising the Bubonians for their zeal and courage in suppressing banditry, and confirming a decree of the Lycian League to raise Bubon to the rank of a city possessing three votes in the League assembly, that is to the highest rank.

The site was identified in 1842. The main part of the city stood on a hill of moderate height now known as Dikmen, ca. 1.6 km S of the village. Although several terraces with the prostrate remnants of public buildings, a small theater with 20 rows of seats remaining, and a fortification on the summit was reported in the mid 19th c., virtually nothing is now to be seen but isolated blocks and the hollow of the theater.

Just outside the village on the N, close above the road, is a rock-cut temple tomb, which appears to be of early date. The porch has two rather rough Ionic columns; the door jambs and the pediment are indicated in relief. The grave chamber is roughly arched and has a stone ledge round three sides. There is no inscription.

About one hour on foot to the E of Ibecik, the road to Dirmil and Balbura crosses a pass some 1200 m above sea level. Here is a fort built of dry rubble, at the foot of which, in the pass itself, is a good-sized building; in this is lying a large base carrying a dedication to the “very great god Ares” by four men of Bubon; the date is 3d c. A.D. A similar base lying close by has a similar inscription now largely destroyed. The pass evidently marks the territorial boundary between Bubon and Balbura.


T.A.B. Spratt & E. Forbes, Travels in Lycia (1847) I 264-65; G. E. Bean in BSA 51 (1956) 140.


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