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'The first city of Asia and three times neokoros' titles and the struggle for prestige between the cities of the province of Asia

dc.creatorVujčić, Nemanja
dc.description.abstractRad se bavi problemom društvene i ideološke uloge zvaničnih titula koje su nosili najveći gradovi rimske provincije Azije (Efes, Pergam, Smirna, Milet i drugi) između I i III veka n.e. Titule koji su gradovi koristili u zvaničnom kontekstu (javna dokumenta i legende na gradskom novcu) su mogle biti i posledica i pokretač sporova između vodećih gradova, pogotovu zvanje 'neokora' (neochoeroz), blisko vezano sa carskim kultom. Sukobi nastali na osnovu titularnih pretenzija su povremeno dobijali takve razmere da je bila neophodna i intervencija samog cara. Rivalitet između gradova kroz borbu oko zvanja može se pratiti od Avgustovog vremena do pozne antike. Ova istorijska pojava je rano izazvala interesovanje moderne nauke ali uprkos tome, njeno tumačenje je i danas
dc.description.abstractFormal titles, which can be seen in the official documents and on the coins of the Asian cities, are one of the novelties of the early Empire - they are not encountered during Classical or Hellenistic times. Their appearance and development was tied with the spread of the Roman imperial cult in Asia Minor, a process that begins in the early years of the rule of Augustus. A formal city-title - there is some informal usage of earlier date - appears first in connection with the building of the first temple of the Augusti (the Sebastoi in Greek) in Ephesus (circa 90 AD); from this occasion there are twelve dedications, originating from the various provincial cities, in which Ephesus is addressed as 'the neokoros (temple warden) city'. In the last decade of the 1st century AD, citizens of Ephesus began to refer to their city in the public context as 'the first city of Asia and neokoros'. Gradually, the official titles were accepted by nearly all of the provincial cities and they become a usual component of the most public documents. In the early years, the title 'neokoros' was the most esteemed part of any title and, together with the attributes 'the first city' or 'the first metropolis' the cause for intense and, at times, bitter rivalry between three major urban centers of the province: Ephesus, Smyrna and Pergamon. At least at one occasion (in 140 AD) the direct intervention of the emperor himself was necessary to keep the conflicting cities in line. During the 2nd and 3rd centuries there was a development of various city titles throughout the province of Asia and beyond. Once exclusive for those cities that possessed a monumental temple dedicated solely to the Augusti, the title of 'neokoros' was taken over by many other cites, some of them having little (or none whatsoever) real justification for it. Especially after the time of Caracalla, the 'neokoros' became one of the many purely decorative attributes that were contained in the titles. But there were many other components of by now long and elaborate, city-titles. Through these titles the cities expressed their size ('the largest city of'), status ('free', 'having the right of asylum' etc), predominance over their neighbors ('metropolis of') loyalty towards the emperors ('emperor-loving') and the place they had in the common Greek (pseudo-)historical tradition. This gradual increase of the city-titles also led to the appearance of many purely decorative and meaningless attributes, used especially by the less prominent cities. This interesting socio-historical phenomenon was and, in a sense, still is an object of the most diverse opinions and interpretations. A typical opinion is that the city-titles and the intense rivalry that was sometimes caused by them were signs of an empty civic vanity, consequence of the decline of the public consciousness and the city life in general. Some of the more objective interpretations were brought forward in the last quarter of 20th century. But the single most important moment was the publication of the ground-breaking work of Simon Price (Rituals and Power. The Roman Imperial Cult in Asia Minor) in 1984. Price explained the phenomenon of the Roman Imperial cult and the title of 'neokoros' from the standpoint of an anthropologist and a student of the religious practice. Using the conclusions of Price, Stephen Friesen forwarded a thorough explanation of the titles phenomenon, seen as a conscious attempt by the people of Roman Asia Minor to create a full-scale hierarchy of cities. It was a hierarchy that didn't exist in earlier times but was allegedly necessary in the new conditions of the early Roman Empire. Another explanation, however, can be attempted, this time from the standpoint of the local communities themselves. Local identity was obviously a powerful force behind the actions of the citizens of any given city in the province of Asia. It was no historical necessity but the outcome of one specific moment that the citizens of Ephesus begin to use a formal title. But once it did happen, other cities were naturally inclined to emulate it. The titles were modeled to suit the local identity, the view citizens had of themselves and their city. Thus, they necessarily encouraged local boasting and inter-city rivalries and at times prompted the direct intervention from Rome. In spite of these side-effects, the city-titles and rivalries should primarily be seen as a sign of the still healthy and vibrant public life in the cities of Asia Minor during the first three centuries of the Empire.en
dc.publisherMatica srpska - Odeljenje za književnost i jezik, Novi Sad
dc.sourceZbornik Matice srpske za klasične studije
dc.subjectRimsko carstvosr
dc.subjectMala Azijasr
dc.subjectkult carevasr
dc.subjectgradske titulesr
dc.titlePrvi grad Azije i trostruki neokor - titule i borba za prestiž između gradova provincije Azijesr
dc.title'The first city of Asia and three times neokoros' titles and the struggle for prestige between the cities of the province of Asiaen
dc.citation.other(12): 151-166

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