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Institute of Asian and Oriental Studies URPP Asia and Europe (2006–2017)

Eparchie and Koinon in Asia Minor from the End of the Roman Republic to the Third Century AD

Responsible for the doctoral project: Dr. Marco Vitale (doctoral thesis 2010)
Funded by: URPP Asia and Europe
Project duration: March 2006 – February 2009
Tutor: Prof. Dr. Christian Marek
Research field: Entangled Histories



Tyche (Schicksalsgöttin) mit Mauerkrone. Personifikation der Stadt Smyrna (heutiges Izmir)



In the period between the organization of the first Roman province in Asia Minor and Diocletian's reform of the Empire's provincial structure, the whole territory of Asia Minor appears as a multitude of geographical terms. According to evidence from inscriptions, one territory or many of them together – known as Provinciae (Latin) and Eparchiai (Greek) respectively – are attributed to Roman governors. The same territories also occur in the career inscriptions of financial officials (procurators), albeit in a different composition. Are these geographical terms territorially conceivable? The combined reading of literary, epigraphic and numismatic sources suggests that these Eparchiai result from the annexation of local dynasties into the Roman provincial territory. The current state of our analysis shows that by the time of the establishment of these Eparchiai at the very latest, most of them coincide territorially with local systems of self-administration as leagues of cities (Koinon). An analytically adequate appraisal of these Eparchiai, which has been missing in the research carried out so far, can be traced from a territorially comprehensive perspective: the systematic examination of all Anatolian regions, from the point of view of administrative geography, contributes to the identification of territorial correlations between the Roman administration and the local self-government.