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Nemrut Dagi

World Heritage Site of statues and reliefs on Mount Nemrut in Kommagene built 62 BC. The site is in Anatolia but at the time would have been in Northern Syria. Site built by and dedicated to King Antiochus. Mix of Persian and Greek styles. Reliefs showing his purported ancestry, statues depicted syncretisms of Greek, Armenian and Iranian gods, and texts in Greek (not local Aramaic) giving instruction on how to worship him after his death. One panel shows a Zodiac lion with the star arrangement on the day of construction, which another shows Antiochus shaking hands with the gods and being welcomed as one of them.



Ancient Armenian kingdom 163 BC – 72 AD on the Euphrates. A successor state of the Seleuclid Empire. Small kingdom with limited Roman influence. Travellers blocked by Taurus mountains had to pass through the capital city Samosata or the city at Zeugma.



The top of the mountain was removed and turned to gravel, which was used to line the West and East flat terraces which house the statues, stelaes and plaques, and was then returned to cover the top of the tumulus. Mount Nemrud is not the highest but is the most visible for miles around and from many angles.


Similar Hierothesions

A mausoleum very similar to Nemrud Dagi dedicated to Antiochus father, Mithridates I Callinicus was built by Antiochus at Arsameia on Nymphaios. Antiochus's son Mithridates II built a similar hierothesion at Karakas for his mother and sister.


Antiochus I Theos

Born 86 BC, rule 70-38 BC. Half Armenian, half Greek king. Claimed descent from Darius I of Persia, Orontes of Armenia and Alexander the Great. Nimrud Dagi is thought to be his tomb but his body has never been found. A loyal Roman ally, particularly supportive of Cicero and Pompey.



Initially discovered by German construction workers at the end of the 19th century but mix of influences and difficulty in reaching the site made it too confusing and it was ignored until American Theresa Goell excavated in the 1950s. Her work was published posthumously in 1990s. She argued for a local perspective - not Perian or Greek but it's own thing, Anatolian, Kommagenean.



Tell/Huyuk capital city of Kommagene. An important city in the Roman era. In the 1970s a dam was built in the Euphrates which flooded large portions of the ancient city, same with Zeugma. Both underwent some rescue archaeology - the material culture found by Wimet Ozguc meant academics finally began taking this region seriously.



Greek speaking people spreading Greek customs, languages, styles and ideas.



the conscious adoption of what the concept of 'Greekness' had come to mean over time, by all kinds of actors who had little or nothing to do with Greece or the Greeks.



Argument that Antiochus was trying to appease the elite who were largely Persian due to previous Persian occupation. Different to Persianism which is 'Doing Persian' in the same vein as 'Hellenism' is 'Doing Greek'