Akdeniz Üniversitesi


solbosSP 3a
solbosSP 5a





Source: F. Onur, Patara Yol Anıtı / «The Monument of Roads» at Patara, in: H. Işık - E. Dündar (edd.), Lukka'dan Likya'ya: Sarpedon ve Aziz Nikolaos'un Ülkesi/From Lukka to Lycia: The Country of Sarpedon and St. Nicholas, Yapı Kredi Yayınları Anadolu Uygarlıkları Serisi 5, İstanbul 2016, pp. 570-577.

Due to an act of arson in 1993 a fire broke out at the ancient city of Patara, the aftermath of which revealed many inscribed blocks which were understood to belong to a very important monument. The result of research on those blocks showed that the structure, to which these blocks belonged, was a colossal monument dedicated to the Emperor Claudius in 46 A.D. by the Lycians (Şahin 1994; Işık – İşkan – Çevik 2001; Şahin – Adak 2004; Şahin – Adak 2007; Şahin 2014). Three sides of the monument are inscribed, the front face contains the dedication to Claudius, while a list of roads is presented on the other sides at the right and the left of the dedication. The monument and especially its road list are defined as being an itinerarium (Işık 1994: 254), miliarium (Işık – İşkan – Çevik 2001), stadiasmus (Şahin – Adak 2007; Şahin 2014) and a tabellarium (Salway 2007: 195-196) in various publications. These definitions have been employed to accord with the impression provided by the inscription’s contents, function and architecture, since within the texts on this monument there is no record of the name of the monument itself.

In the dedicatory inscription on the front face (A), the Lycians are described as “Rome-loving and Ceaser-loving faithful allies” recording that Claudius had ended the civil strife that had continued for some while, and had rescued them from “mutiny, lawlessness and banditry” and restored “concord, equality before the law and ancestral laws”. Further, it is emphasized that Claudius had entrusted the administration of state to the “councillors chosen from amongst the noblest men” having retrieved it from the “undiscriminating multitude”. A similar choosing of councillors is also indicated in an inscription from Gagai dating from the same period (French 1999/2000; Marksteiner – Wörrle 2002, 562-563; Şahin – Adak 2007, 43; Şahin 2014, 49). This monument at Patara was erected through the agency of Quintus Veranius, the first Roman Governor of the Roman province of Lycia, which was organized as a Roman province by him in 43 A.D. This governor, who was quite experienced in military affairs, was commissioned by Claudius to bring the Lycian civil strife to an end and to organize the country as a Roman province and he remained in this office for five years. The Lycians earlier thanked Claudius for “the peace” he brought and for “the construction of the roads” on the Claudian monument found on Bonda Hill between Myra and Limyra, which was erected shortly before the monument at Patara (Marksteiner – Wörrle 2002). The civil strife in Lycia was also mentioned by Suetonius who described it as, “deadly intestine feuds” (Claud. 25.3) and by Cassius Dio who stated, “they had revolted and slain some Romans” (60.17,3). If the dedication recorded on front face had been found without the inscription on the side blocks, we would never know that a road list was recorded on the faces either side of the dedicatory inscription, as the dedicatory inscription provided no indication or information concerning the road list or road construction. For these reasons, it is thought that the dedicatory inscription on the front face and the road list on other sides might not be contemporary, the road list might not have been part of the initial plan but may have been inscribed slightly later (Salway 2007: 195).


Τιβερίωι Κλαυδίωι Δρούσου υἱῶι Καίσαρι Σεβαστῶι Γερμανικῶι, ἀρχιερεῖ μεγίστωι, δημαρχικῆς ἐξουσίας τὸ πέμπτον, αὐτοκράτορι τὸ ἑνδέκατον, πατρὶ πατρίδος, ὑπάτωι τὸ τέταρτον ἀποδεδειγμένωι, σωτῆρι τοῦ ἑαυτῶν ἔθνους, Λκιοι φιλορώμαιοι καὶ φιλο­καίσαρες πιστοὶ σύμμαχοι ἀπαλλαγέντες στάσεως καὶ ἀνομίας καί λῃστειῶν διὰ τὴν θείαν αὐτοῦ πρόνοιαν, ἀπειληφότες δὲ ὁμόνοιαν καὶ τὴν ἴσην δικαιοδοσίαν καὶ τοὺς πατρίους νόμους, τῆς πολειτείας τοῖς ἐξ ἀρίστων ἐπιλελεγμένοις βουλευταῖς ἀπὸ τοῦ ἀκρίτου πλήθους πιστευθείσης, δι’ ὃ τῆς πατρίδος ὑπ’ αὐτοῦ ἐπεκρατήθησαν διὰ Κοΐντου Οὐηρα­νίου πρεσβευτοῦ καὶ ἀντιστρατήγου Τιβερίου Κλαυδίου Καίσαρος Σεβαστοῦ.

To Tiberius Claudius, son of Drusus, Caesar Augustus Germanicus, pontifex maximus, trib. pot. V, imp. XI, p. p., cos. IV design(atus), the savior of their nation, the Lycians, Rome- and Caesar-loving, faithful, allied, freed from faction, lawlessness and brigandage though his divine foresight, having recovered concord, the fair administration of justice and the ancestral laws, since the conduct of state has been entrusted to councillors drawn from among best people, being retrieved from the incompetent majority and by this means they (Lycians) were given the possession of the homeland by him (Claudius) through Quintus Veranius, legatus propraetore of Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus.

The section concerning the roads starts in side B (the left side while looking towards front face). On top of this side, the inscription reads “Tiberius Claudius … made roads throughout all Lycia by the agency of Quintus Veranius, his own legatus propraetor, the length of which (roads) is written below” before the road list begins. This list then starts with the road from Patara to Xanthos and its length. The information concerning each road is given in a standard form: “from the settlement A to the settlement B (via the settlement C) x stadia”.


Τιβέριος Κλαύδιος Δρούσου υἱὸς Καῖσαρ Σεβαστὸς Γερμανικὸς ὁ τῆς οἰκουμένης Αὐτοκράτωρ ὁδοὺς καθ’ ὅλην Λυκίαν ἐποίησεν διὰ τὴν Κοΐντου Οὐηρανίου τοῦ ἰδίου πρεσβευτοῦ ἀντι­στρατήγου ὑπηρεσίαν ὧν ἐστιν μέτρον τὸ ὑπογεγραμμένον·

Tiberius Claudius, son of Drusus, Caesar Augustus Germanicus, the emperor of the world, made roads throughout all Lycia by the agency of Q. Veranius, his own legatus propraetore, of which (roads) the distance is written below: (Translation: Jones 2001, 164).

.... (continues with the road list)....

The distances given, except for five examples, are those between adjacent settlements. The five exceptions record the towns between the origin and destination settlement. These distances record the measurement between the town-zones, contrary to the idea (Şahin 2014: 25 ve 123) that the measurement was not always between town-zones of settlements, but sometimes the distances recorded are from/to the mansiones that would be aligned with the settlements on the main roads (for instance, on the roads between Phellos – Kyaneai – Myra).  For the roads that did not enter into the settlement, but which passed through its territory, the settlement is prepositioned by διά (through; over). To provide an example, the road information “ἀπὸ Κορυδ[ά]λλων διὰ Ῥοδίας πόλεως [κ]αὶ Μαδαμυσσ[οῦ] εἰς Ἀκαλισσ[ὸ]ν στάδια ϙϛʹ” (side C, l. 24-25) can be translated as “(the road) from Korydalla to Akalissos passing through (the territories of) Rhodiapolis and Madamyssos: 96 stadia”, which is to be understood as recording that: the road leaving the town-zone (or city gate) of Korydalla led to the town-zone (or city gate) of Akalissos, not passing through the settlements of Rhodiapolis and Madamyssos themselves but passing through their territories. Thus it is quite probable that the settlements recorded on the monument were independent (Tietz 2003: 276 fn. 207; 292; Schuler 2007: 77; Schuler 2010: 81 fn. 79). The roads are listed independent from each other, disregarding a plan for “itinera” (routes). For example, the first parts which record the roads from Patara to Xanthos, from Xanthos to Sidyma, from Sidyma to a place, the name of which did not survive (possibly Kalabatia), returns to Xanthos, from where the list gives the roads to Pinara and Tlos. Then, the list records the roads from Xanthos to Neisa, from there to Khoma, to the direction of Mylias, right after that, the list returns to western Lycia and records the roads from Pinara to Telemessos and Tlos. Further, following the many roads recorded in central and eastern Lycia, and just after the road of Pygela – Korydalla, the list records the roads of Patara – Phellos – Kyaneai – Myra and then the other roads in eastern Lycia. At the very end following the road from Korykos to Phaselis, there appears the lines recording Kibyra, Laodikeia and Asia. That some of the roads are not recorded, e.g. the roads around the Kasaba Plain, the connection between Mylias and Kabalis, and some urban connections such as Lesei and Idebessos, tends to limit the possible routes of travel (cf. İşkan, in: Işık – İşkan – Çevik 2001, 30; Şahin 2014, 23). The height of the monument was a minimum of 7 m and height of the individual letters of the lines of the inscription, are 9 cm at most, but are usually ca. 5-6 cm, does not seem practical in terms of reading these routes on this monument to either determine travel plans or to comprehend the logic of the roads provided by the inscription. Consequently the roads recorded on this monument are not “itinera” (“routes”). But indirectly it may be possible to produce routes from this list. The Pataran Monument of the Roads is not the same as, or similar to traditional Roman itineraries, such as the textual records of the Itinerarium Antonini, Itinerarium Burdigalense or the Milliarium Aureum in Rome and the Milion in Constantinople. Further, there is no known parallel to the monument at Patara. Therefore, the road list on the monument points to a road construction/measuring program, the details of which are not well known, during the Roman quelling of the civil disturbances, “mutiny, lawlessness and banditry” and annexation of the region, and to a plan of recording these roads on this monument, rather than it serving as a guide to Lycian travel (Salway 2007: 195). Thus this list presents its reader with an inventory of the roads constructed and/or measured together with the Roman provincialization of Lycia, and it also reflects the message that the security problems, in particular mutiny, lawlessness and brigandage as is recorded on the front face, as occurring in both the cities and the rural areas were solved for the whole country, and the Roman “peace”, and at the same time that the sovereignty of the Romans covered all of Lycian territory.     

It is also a matter of debate if the roads recorded in the list were actually constructed. Scholars thought that Claudius did not construct these roads but made the extant Lycian roads a part of cursus publicus through measuring them, so Roman power was symbolized, and that the use of the words “ὁδοὺς ... ἐποίησεν” (“made … roads”) should not necessarily be taken as meaning road construction, that only measuring the roads would be sufficient to emphasize Roman sovereignty over the region and, consequently, not all the roads recorded were new constructions (Biagi 2008: 306-307; Rousset 2013: 68-70; Polla – Rinner 2009: 85-86). It does not seem reasonable, or possible to complete the construction of each of these roads within a period of three years throughout the whole country between 43 A.D., when Lycia was annexed by Rome, and 46 A.D., when this monument was erected (Lebreton 2010: 67-74). The verb ποιέω (“I make”) of the object word ὁδοί (“roads”) seem to present a general meaning. However, within the frame of the work done, there was also road construction, as can be deduced from the word κατεσκεύασται (“it has been constructed”) between Idebessos and Kitanaura in side C, l. 5. In the inscription on the Claudian Monument on Bonda Hill there is similarly recorded, “κατασκευὴ τῶν ὁδῶν” (“construction of roads”). Even though the measurements of each road are given with precision, these distances do not reflect the actual work of construction, because the roads listed, in many places extend over parts of the same course on the ground. For example, there are roads to Tlos, which had the most road connections in number, from Ksanthos, Pinara, Telmessos and Kadyanda. But these roads are not entirely independent of each other nor do they follow totally different courses, and they should have joined somewhere before the Ksanthos River, then lead to Tlos via a single road (Şahin 2014: 25; see Rinner 2009a for the intersections in the Xanthos Valley and also Rinner 2009b: 226-227 and Map VIII.6). Further, it is remarkable that not a single milestone from Lycia dating from Claudian rule has been found.

The road list records three regional names in Lycia. These are: Mylias in north, that is today around the county of Elmalı; Mnarike in the east which is ca.10 km west of the county of Kemer and Oktapolis in west which seems to have reached ca. 20 km north to Göcek. The list also records some cities and their regional affiliations. It lists Onobara as the easternmost settlement of Lycia, and from there a road is given to Attaleia in Pamphylia, which at that time was a part of the province of Galatia (Brandt 1992: 98; Özdizbay 2008: 861; Şahin – Adak 2007: 85-93; Onur 2008: 65; Şahin 2014: 84-93). While it presents Kibyra of Asia as the last station, it also records some activity between Kibyra and Laodikeia, which cannot be clearly defined due to the illegibility of the relevant section of the inscription. Though Kaunos is recorded as the last city in the west, some scholars considered Kaunos to be a city of Lycia, since it was not given with an affiliation (Marek 2006: 101, 188-189; Takmer 2007; Marek 2011; Adak – Wilson 2012: 13-14). But none of the documents presented in this debate, except for the customs inscription of Andriake, the parts of which concerning Kaunos are important for this discussion, but of which only a preliminary report has been published (Takmer 2007) and the monument of roads at Patara, are not dated to pre-Claudian period and are insufficient to prove that Kaunos was in the province of Lycia during the reign of Claudius. Such reasons have led some other scholars to consider Kaunos as being a city beyond the borders of Lycia (Şahin – Adak 2007: 93 and 291; Şahin 2013a; Şahin 2014: 423).

The absence of some harbours or ports has also been an issue of concern and some proposals concerning this are presented. According to one idea, it was due to the military priority of these roads, which were not constructed for economic, social and civic reasons and so these roads did not lead to harbours unless the topography forced the case (Şahin 2014: 25; cf. İşkan in: Işık – İşkan – Çevik 2001: 47). Another opinion is that access to the harbours was more convenient for maritime access and this list focused on land roads not maritime routes (Mittenhuber 2009b: 62; also see Polla – Rinner 2009: 85-88). A different approach suggests these places were not included as they did not possess polis status at that time (Schuler 2010: 81 fn. 79). At least five harbour settlements are recorded in the list: Telmessos, Patara, Gagai, Korykos and Phaselis. Kalabatia might be a sixth (İşkan in: Işık – İşkan – Çevik 2001: 32; Şahin 2014: 137-141). But the road list in general never gives a road between two points within the same territory, or even probably from a place in the territory of a settlement to another settlement. Therefore, the reason for the absence of some harbours in this list may perhaps be because they are within the territories of other settlements named in the list and the roads were already given to the cities, to which these harbour settlements belonged.

‘The Monument of the Roads’ at Patara is, with the features mentioned above and other particulars unmentioned in this brief paper, unique, in terms of its dedicatory inscription on its front face and road list on other faces, and it has been a very important discovery in the history of epigraphy. It is an essential reference source, not only in terms of the history and ancient geography of Lycia and of the course of the relationships of the Lycians with Rome, but also in exhibiting Roman policies of imperialism and power, and also for our understanding of the system of Roman provincial organization. In field surveys that we have conducted from 2004 onwards, these roads and all kinds of evidence related to their courses through the Lycian landscape has and is being investigated and important results have been obtained from this research (Şahin 2008; Şahin 2009; Takmer 2010; Şahin 2010a; Şahin 2010b; Şahin 2011; Onur – Alkan 2011; Uzunoğlu – Taşdelen 2011; Alkan 2011a; Alkan 2011b; Şahin 2013a; Şahin 2013b; Takmer – Oktan 2013; Onur – Oktan 2013; Takmer – Alkan 2013; Uzunoğlu – Taşdelen 2013).


Adak, M. – M. Wilson 2012: “Das Vespasiansmonument von Döşeme und die Gründung der Doppelprovinz Lycia et Pamphylia”, Gephyra 9: 1-40.

Alkan, M. 2011a: “A Re-examination of the Sarcophagus Inscription at Turant Asarı”, MJH I/1: 33-41; 2011b:Parerga to the Stadiasmus Patarensis (8): On the named Places in the journeys of Sacrifice recorded in the Vita of Saint Nicholas of Holy SionGephyra 8: 99-124.

Biagi, S. 2008: “Le stadiasmos de Patara et la définition de l'espace romain dans la nouvelle province de Lycie-Pamphylie”, Res Antiquae 5: 299-307.

Brandt, H. 1992: Gesellschaft und Wirtschaft Pamphyliens und Pisidiens im Altertum, Bonn.

Corsten, T. 2007: “Kibyra und Lykien”, C. Schuler (ed.), Griechische Epigraphik in Lykien. Eine Zwischenblanz (Akten des int. Kolloquiums, München, 24-26. Februar, Vienna: 175-181.

French, D. 1999/2000: “Inscriptions of Southern Lycia”, Adalya 4: 173-180

Işık, F. 1994: “Patara 1993”, KST 16/2: 253-282.

Işık, F. – H. İşkan – N. Çevik 2001: Miliarium Lyciae. Pa­tara Yol Kılavuz Anıtı / Das Wegweisermonu­ment von Patara (Lykia IV 1998/1999), İstanbul.

Lebreton, S. 2010:Les géomètres de Quintus Veranius. À propos du stadiasmos de Patara”, Dialogues d'histoire ancienne 36/2: 61-116.

Marek, C. 2006: Die Inschriften von Kaunos. München; 2011 “Kaunos und Lykien”, Adalya 14: 57-60.

Marksteiner, T. – M. Wörrle 2002: “Ein Altar für Kaiser Claudius auf dem Bonda”, Chiron 32: 545-564.

Mittenhuber, F. 2009: “Literarischer und geographischer Kontext”, G. Graßhoff – F. Mittenhuber (eds.), Untersuchungen zum Stadiasmos von Patara: Modellierung und Analyse eines antiken geographischen Streckennetzes, Bern: 27-62

Onur, F. 2008:Two Procuratorian Inscriptions from Perge”, Gephyra 5: 53-66; 2015: "Parerga to the Stadiasmus Patarensis (15): The Road Network around Kasaba Plain", Gephyra 12: 89-109.

Onur, F. – M. Alkan 2011:Parerga to the Stadiasmus Patarensis (6): Route 54 (Patara – Phellos) and New Inscriptions.” Gephyra 8: 64-80.

Onur, F. – M. Oktan 2013:Parerga to the Stadiasmus Patarensis (12): The routes 56-57 (Phellos - Kyaneai - Myra)”, Gephyra 10: 94-105.

Özdizbay, A. 2008:Pamphylia – Perge Tarihi ve Roma İmparatorluk Dönemi Öncesi Perge’nin Gelişimi: Güncel Araştırmalar Işığında Genel bir Değerlendirme”, İ. Delemen – S. Çokay-Kepçe – A. Özdizbay – Ö. Turak (eds.), Euergetes. Prof. Dr. Haluk Abbasoğlu’na 65. Yaş Armağanı, İstanbul: 839-872.

Polla, S. – E. Rinner 2009: “Der Stadiasmos und das lykische Strassennetz”, G. Graßhoff – F. Mittenhuber (eds.), Untersuchungen zum Stadiasmos von Patara: Modellierung und Analyse eines antiken geographischen Streckennetzes, Bern: 63-88.

Rinner, E. 2009a: “Implizite Informationen des Stadiasmos zur Kreuzungssituation im Xanthostal” G. Graßhoff –F. Mittenhuber (eds.), Untersuchungen zum Stadiasmos von Patara: Modellierung und Analyse eines antiken geographischen Streckennetzes, Bern: 167-207; 2009b: “Die Wiedergabe eines Strassennetzes in der Inschrift des Stadiasmos”, G. Graßhoff – F. Mittenhuber (eds.), Untersuchungen zum Stadiasmos von Patara: Modellierung und Analyse eines antiken geographischen Streckennetzes, Bern: 209-251.

Rousset, D. 2013:Le stadiasme de Patara et la géographie historique de la Lycie: itinéraires et routes, localités et cités” P. Brun – L. Cavalier – K. Konuk – F. Prost (eds.), Euploia. La Lycie et la Carie antiques. Actes du colloque de Bordeaux 5, 6, 7 novembre 2009, Bordeaux: 63-75.

Salway, B. 2007:The perception and description of space in Roman itineraries”, M. Rathmann (ed.), Wahrnehmung und Erfassung geographischer Räume in der Antike, Mainz am Rhein: 181-209.

Schuler, C. 2007: “Ein Vertrag zwischen Rom und den Lykiern aus Tyberissos”, C. Schuler (ed.), Griechische Epigraphik in Lykien. Eine Zwischenblanz (Akten des int. Kolloquiums, München, 24-26. Februar, Vienna: 51-79; 2010: “Priester πρὸ πόλεως in Lykien: Eine neue Inschrift aus dem Territorium von Patara”, ZPE 173: 69-86.

Şahin, S. 1994:Ein Vorbericht über den Stadiasmus Provinciae Lyciae in Patara”, Lykia 1:130-135; 2008:Zwei Holzfäller und der Wald in der Kartapis bei Neisa”, Gephyra 4: 37-46; 2009:Parerga zum Stadiasmus Patarensis (1). Überlegungen zur Strecke 3 von Sidyma nach KalabatiaGephyra 6: 101-112; 2010a:Parerga zum Stadiasmus Patarensis (3): Die Inschrift von Köybaşı in Zentrallykien”, Gephyra 7: 137-152; 2010b:Parerga zum Stadiasmus Patarensis (4): Mikron Oros Akarassos in Milyas”, Gephyra 7: 153-159; 2011: “Parerga zum Stadiasmus Patarensis (5): STR 59 und Daseia von Bonda”, Gephyra 8: 55-63; 2013a:Parerga zum Stadiasmus Patarensis (9): Kaunisch-lykische Frage”, Gephyra 10: 32-37; 2013b:Parerga zum Stadiasmus Patarensis (10): Teimarchi aus ArneaiGephyra 10: 38-49; 2014: Stadiasmus Patarensis. Itinera Romana Provinciae Lyciae, İstanbul.

Şahin, S. – M. Adak 2004:Stadiasmus Patarensis. Ein zweiter Vorbericht über das claudische Straßenbauprogramm in Lykien”, R. Frei-Stolba (ed.), Siedlung und Verkehr im römischen Reich. Römerstraßen zwischen Herrschaftssicherung und Landschaftsprägung. Akten des Internationalen Kolloqui­ums zu Ehren von Heinz E. Herzig, Bern 27-30.06.2001, Bern: 227-277; 2007: Stadiasmus Patarensis. Itinera Romana Provinciae Lyciae, İstanbul.

Takmer, B. 2007:Lex Portorii Provinciae Lyciae. Ein Vorbericht über die Zollinschrift aus Andriake aus ne­ro­ni­scher Zeit”, Gephyra 4:165-188; 2010:Stadiasmus Patarensis için Parerga (2): Sidyma I. Yeni Yazıtlarla birlikte Yerleşim TarihçesiGephyra 7:95-136.

Takmer, B. – M. Alkan 2013:Parerga to the Stadiasmus Patarensis (13): The road system in the mountainous area of Alacadağ in central LyciaGephyra 10: 106-20.

Takmer, B. – M. Oktan 2013:Parerga zum Stadiasmus Patarensis (11): Die Lykische Stadt NeisaGephyra 10: 50-93.

Tietz, W. 2003: Der Golf von Fethiye, Bonn.

Uzunoğlu, H. – E. Taşdelen 2011:Parerga to the Stadiasmus Patarensis (7): New inscriptions from the territory of Phellos”, Gephyra 8: 81-98; 2013:Parerga to the Stadiasmus Patarensis (14): Die Strecken 35 (Arykanda - Arneai) und 37 (Arykanda - Lesei-)Gephyra 10:121-31.

Page Summary: ADKAM | The Pataran Monument (of the Roads)