Graffiti from the Southern Temenos in Pontic Olbia

in Ancient Civilizations from Scythia to Siberia
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The dedicatory graffiti from the excavations of the Southern Temenos in Olbia provide indisputable evidence for the existence in that district not just of an Aphrodite temenos but also of the existence at the same time as the earlier of her sanctuaries of one for the local Hero Angelos. Despite their fragmentary nature, it has been possible to divide up the graffiti into a number of separate groups and then analyse them accordingly. The largest number of graffiti relate to the early sanctuary of Aphrodite. Worthy of special attention is the graffito [Ἀφροδίτ]ης Δήμιης – “Aphrodite Demia (of the People)” similar to Aphrodite Pandemos well-known in the Hellenic world. Using the information from all available sources it is clear that in the city of the pre-Getic period there existed two sanctuaries of Aphrodite: in the Western Temenos for Aphrodite Urania and in the Southern Temenos for Aphrodite Demia (Pandemos).

Graffiti from the Southern Temenos in Pontic Olbia

in Ancient Civilizations from Scythia to Siberia

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References

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5

Rusyaeva 19926263; Krapivina 2006 196. We might also recall that in Sparta for instance Aphrodite had a similar epiclesis like Zeus’ “Olympic” or “Olympia” (Paus. iii 12 11; Simon 1998 204). Yet despite the existence of the epiclesis of Zeus widespread in the Hellenic world we shall not make so bold when there are no other sources available as to assume – given the state of preservation of what might be an epiclesis – that the goddess was called Olympia.

7

Krapivina 2006194; 2010 149 166.

8

See and compare Krapivina 2006189-190; 2010 149 166.

12

Vinogradov & Tokhtas’ev 199841note 48.

13

Bruchmann 1893.

15

Yaïlenko 198076-77; seg 30 905; Dubois 1996 121. This kylix is held in the permanent exhibition of the National Museum of the History of the Ukraine (Б5 – 1482 (5083)). It was completely re-assembled a second time by I. A. Kostyuk (see the article with bibliography Rusyaéva Kostyuk 2010 56-59 fig. 2). In the said article it was suggested that there was a link between this graffito and the Aphrodite sanctuary on the south-eastern elevation in Olbia.

23

Moleva 199793-106; 2002 103; see Molev 2010 157 No. 71 with a bibliography.

27

Rusyaeva 2010Nos. 138-140; Molev 2010 Nos. 171 187.

29

See for example: Tolstoï 1953No. 29. For an alternative reading see Rusyaeva 2010 147-148 182-183 with bibliography.

32

Hes.Theog. 176-206; Hom. Il. v 370.

35

Burkert 2004259. Cf. Simon 1998 218-219; Scholtz 2003 240-241; Demetriou 2010 81-86.

38

Rusyaeva 2006a26-27; Rusyaeva 2010 72-73 figs. 13 2; 23 1213.

39

Nazarov 2001; Krÿzhytskiï 2001.

42

Rusyaeva 2006a26. Aphrodite Urania daughter of Uranus God of the Heavens who had been born in the sea was always associated with sky and sea and in various places including Olbia she was given more concrete functions linked with the sea: in particular in Euploia Limenia and Pontia (Nilsson 1976 520-522; Demetrious 2010 67-89).

43

Rusyaeva 1992116-119; 2006a 22-23.

44

Krapivina 2006195fig. 3.

47

Burkert 2004259.

48

Krapivina 2006197-198; cf. Krapivina 2010 151.

52

Excavations led by R. I. Vetshtein 1955. See I. Olb 69; Beletskiï 1975 98-102; Rusyaeva 1992 104-105.

Figures

  • View in gallery
    Graffiti – dedications to Aphrodite. 1 — О-2000/Р-25/2732; 2 — О-2000/Р-25/2737; 3 — О-2000/Р-25/2197; 4 — О-2008/Р-25/1331; 5 — О-2008/Р-25/1332; 6 — О-2012/Р-25/635; 7 — О-2008/Р-25/3381; 8 — О-2008/Р-25/3263; 9 — О-2013/Р-25/404; 10 — О-2009/Р-25/54; 11 — О-2012/Р-25/1263; 12 — О-2009/Р-25/311; 13 — О-2012/Р-25/1296; 14 — О-2008/Р-25/3405.
  • View in gallery
    Graffiti – dedications to the Hero Angelos. 15 — О-2008/Р-25/3447; 16 — О-2007/Р-25/2975; 17 — О-2008/Р-25/198, 1353.
  • View in gallery
    Dedicatory graffiti without the name of a deity. 18 — О-2003/Р-25/1403; 19 — О-2008/Р-25/1152; 20 — О-2009/Р-25/2981; 21 — О-2007/Р-25/1959. Graffiti with magic content. 22 — О-2008/Р-25/3411; 23 — О-2008/Р-25/3412; 24 — О-2008/Р-25/3413; 25 — О-2008/Р-25/3415; 26 — О-2008/Р-25/3416; 27 — О-2008/Р-25/1167. Abbreviations of names. 28 — О-2008/Р-25/3410; 29 — О-2008/Р-25/3414; 30 — О-2008/Р-25/1302.

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