What was Scythian about the “Scythian Diana” at Nemi? Pia ...
1 What was Scythian about the Scythian Diana at Nemi? Pia Guldager Bilde, January 2004 The main aim of this paper is to ask, when and why Diana Nemorensis in her Central Italian sanctuary by Lake Nemi was conceived of as the Scythian Artemis/Diana1 and why her cult was thought to originate in the land of the Taurians.2 Introduction The Sanctuary of Diana Nemorensis, that is Diana of the Sacred Grove, is situated by Lake Nemi in the Alban Hills, just 25 km southeast of Rome. It was one of Italys most important sanctuaries - and certainly one of the largest and richest. Strabon provides us with the longest and most precise description of it preserved from antiquity (5.3.12): ...to the left of the way as you go up from Aricia, lies the Artemisium, which they call Nemus. The temple of the Arician [Artemis], they say, is a copy of the Tauropolos. And in fact a barbaric, and Scythian, element predominates in the sacred usages, for the people set up as priest merely a run-away slave who has slain with his own hand the man previously consecrated to that office; accordingly the priest is always armed with a sword, looking around for the attacks, and ready to defend himself (translation: H.L. Jones). We shall return to the sanctuary at Nemi and its cult later. But first: who was Strabons Tauropolos, and why did he describe the cult in the Sanctuary of Diana by Lake Nemi as having barbaric and Scythian elements? From Parthenos to Tauropolos 1Ov. Met. 14.331; Strab. 5.3.12; Luc. Bell. Civ. 3.86; Solin. 2.10-11; Pseudoacron Hor. Carm. 1.7.10. 2Serv. Verg. Aen., 6.136; 7.764; Solin. 2.10-11; Pseudoacron Hor. Carm. 1.7.10. 2 There can be no doubt that Strabon based his particular combination of the elements barbarian, Scythian, Tauropolos, human sacrifice and Diana (Artemis) on Euripides play Iphigenia in Tauris (IT) written in 412 BC or slightly earlier. As is well known this play describes how Iphigenia administered the sinister cult of a Taurian goddess on the southern shore of the Crimea. Euripides description of the Taurian deity and her cult in turn drew on Herodotos story of the Taurian Parthenos (4.103) created a few decennia earlier, in the third quarter of the 5th century BC (or on a source common to both of them). Euripides elaborated on Herodotos (or his sources) providing new facets to the story, first of all an interpretatio graeca of the deity: she is now furnished with the name of a Greek goddess (Artemis), though the reference to her being called Parthenos (v. 1230, as in Herodotos) is also given. But also the way the human sacrifice is described is more in line with Greek sacrificial practice than is Herodotos description. In IT the victim is first sprinkled with water and then stabbed with a sword, not, as in Herodotos, struck on the head with a club. But of particular importance to our discussion of the later reception of the deity are the two new epithets for her, tauropolos and elaphochthonos, which do not occur in Herodotos. The closing lines of IT reveal Euripides main aim with his play: to explain the rites in the Sanctuary of Artemis at Halai Araphnides3 that included a symbolic human offering. Euripides plays frequently ended with an aetiological myth. At Halai Araphnides, probably modern Loutsa in Attica, there was a famous temple dedicated to (Artemis) Tauropolos, which is also known from inscriptions.4 Euripides must have been inspired by Herodotos (or his sources) description of the foreign, savage goddess in the Taurian lands by the name of Parthenos, which allowed him to relocate the origin of the rite of a (symbolic) human sacrifice at Halai to the marginal area of Greek civilisation: the barbarian milieu of the distant, northern shores of the Black Sea, and at the same time to provide an explanation for the epiklesis Tauropolos of the Halai Artemis. The point of view of the two authors evidently differs: whereas Herodotos operated within a general Greek discourse Euripides provided the description of a complete outsider. He had never visited the Black Sea, but more importantly, he operated within 3Also Rives 1995. 4Kotzias 1925-1926, 168-177; Stauropoullos 1932, 30-32; Papadimitriou 1956, 87-89; 1957, 45-47; Knell 1983, 39-43; inscriptions: see also SEG XXXIV, 103. 3 a specific Athenian discourse. With the explanation that Taur-polos meant worshipped by the Taurians, Euripides created a false etymology, as he thereby suggested that the root -polos is passive. The root is active, and tauro-plos signifies a person handling or taming bulls in a real context, e.g. agricultural, or in a symbolic context, e.g. in cult or ritual.5 This handling of a bull must have played a certain role in the ritual makeup of the Halai sanctuary. We do unfortunately not possess any evidence of this. But it is significant that in two further sanctuaries of Tauropolos closely connected with Halai, Brauron6 and Amphipolis,7 Tauropolos was with certainty depicted as a bull-handler riding side-saddle on a bull, frequently with a torch in her hand. The cult of the Tauropolos, frequently as an epithet of Artemis but also in one case of Hekate, is known from other sources, inscriptions and literary texts.8 Considering the fact that with the exception of Euripides mentioning the Taurian goddess Tauropolos, in the Crimea there is no evidence that either the Taurian deity, or the later Greek Parthenos were ever celebrated as Tauropolos, and none of them were ever depicted as a bull-handler. The connection between the various Tauropoloi is therefore still to be studied. It seems most likely that we are dealing with two separate phenomena: 5I am grateful to G. Hinge for providing me with the reading of the word Tauropolos. Oppermann (1934, 35) reached the same conclusion with different arguments. Braund has recently combined the two poles, suggesting that Tauropolos means Mistress of the Taurians (Braund, forthcoming). Though the suggestion is interesting, we have absolutely no evidence that the Chersonesean deity was ever locally worshipped under the name of Tauropolos. This epithet is applied to her from the outside, and it remained extraneous to her cult. 6Terracotta reliefs, c. 500 BC; see Kahil 1984, 674, nos. 700-701. 7Kahil 1984, 674, no. 703. This was the dominant reverse type of civic bronze coins minted in Amphipolis between Augustus and Commodus (Lorber 1990, 13); cf. SNG American Numismatic Society 7 (Macedonia I), 1987, nos. 150-154, 195 and numerous coins in-between. The identification is ascertained by frequent inscriptions on the coins naming her Tauropolos. 8The only general study of Tauropolos is Hans Oppermanns short article in the RE from 1934 (33-38). Tauropolos has not yet been included in LIMC. Note that Oppermann erroneously refers to Aricia as a place, where Tauropolos was venerated. The cult place was, in fact, the sanctuary by Lake Nemi, which was administered by Aricia, but not within the limits of that town. Since the appearance of Oppermann 1934, the inscriptions have become noticeably much more numerous. This makes a modern, updated study of the Tauropolos a desideratum. See Guldager Bilde 2003, 166-168. 4 (a) an actual cult of a bull-handling female deity (Tauro-plos) originating in Halai and (perhaps) spreading with the Macedonians through Amphipolis, to the Hellenised East as far as Ikaros in the Arabian Gulf. The knowledge of this cult is mainly based on epigraphical evidence, the majority of which is documented in the 4th-2nd centuries BC.9 Though interesting, this deity need not concern us here. (b) cult(?) of a female deity worshipped by the Taurians, (Taur-polos), based on the false etymology created by Euripides. The notion of this cult was spread throughout the ancient world and especially promoted in Strabons writings10 as a literary topos of long-standing popularity. The locations of the cult are mentioned exclusively in literary sources, predominantly Roman, first of all in connection with aetiological explanations of local bloody rites. The vehicle is the presence of the cult image removed by Orestes from the Taurian sanctuary. With the exception of what is probably the oldest location celebrating the cult of Tauropolos (Halai Araphnides), there is no overlapping between the two above- mentioned groups. Parthenos as elaphochthonos The second novelty in Euripides IT is the epithet elaphochthonos, deer-killing. This epithet is extremely uncommon. It is exclusively found in Iphigenia in Tauris and in one later source, Apollonius Dyscolus Grammaticus from the 2nd century AD.11 Similarly, other terms for the deer, such as elaphos, or the young deer, ellos, combined with a suffix denoting killing, either -phonos, -ctonos, or -bolos are equally unusual, and they are found exclusively as epithets for Artemis.12Nebroctonos=ellophonos: Schol. Kallimachos, Hymn to Artemis 190. Elaphebolos 9Guldager Bilde 2003, fig. 2. 10Guldager Bilde 2003, fig. 1. 11De Adverbiis part 2 1.1, 189, l. 8. 12Elaphoctonos: Euripides, IT 1113; Apollonius Dyscolus Grammaticus, De Adverbiis part 2 1.1, 189, l. 8. Elaphebolos: Homeric Hymn to Artemis 27.2; Anakreon fragm. 3.1; Soph. Trach. l. 214; Nonnos, Dionysiaca 44.198; Apollonius Dyscolus Grammaticus De Adverbiis part 2 1.1, 189, l. 8. Also the festival Elaphebola in the town of Hyampolis in Phocis was celebrated in honour of Artemis. Nothing is known about the festival with the exception that a certain kind of cakes, elaphoi, probably in the shape of stags, were offered to the goddess (Ath. 15, p. 646 e). 5 seems to be the main one of these deer-killing epithets, found as early as in the Homeric Hymn to Artemis and in Anakreon.13 The rarity of the term deer-killer in ancient literature is equally matched by an almost complete paucity of depictions of a deer-killing deity. Some of the depictions of a female deer-killer have been collected in the Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae by L. Kahil in her 1984 article on Artemis, others may be added.14 Considering the extreme rarity, it is striking that not only was the Taurian goddess mentioned as elaphochthonos, but also that the later great goddess of western Crimea, the Chersonesean Parthenos,15 was portrayed repeatedly as deer-killer on coins minted in the city. On coins from the late 4th century BC, continuing basically unaltered but for brief intervals right up to the latest issues of the city in the mid-3rd century AD we see Parthenos pushing her right knee into the back of the deer forcing it down and at the same time with the right hand thrusting a spear into its neck.16 The same scene is repeated on a handsome, but fragmentary, marble relief found in Chersonesos in 1911, now in the Archaeological Museum of Sevastopol probably dating to the late Classical or Hellenistic period.17 Ellophonos: Kallimachos Hymn to Artemis 190 (Britomaris) and commentary in Etymologicum genuinum; Papyri magica Preisendanz 4, 2722 (Artemis Hekate); Etymologicum magnum, Kallierges 331, 55 (Artemis). Nebros, also signifying deer, combined with a killing-suffix, is used predominantly in connection with males: Nebrophonos: Antoninus Liberalis Myth., Metamorphoseon synagoge 20.6 (Apollon); Nonnos, Dionysiaca 13.115 (Odysseus); 25.225 (Herakles); 44.198 (Dionysos). 13See preceding note. 14Additional examples are discussed in Guldager Bilde 2003. 15Basic literature on the Chersonesean Parthenos is E. Diehls article from 1949 in the RE and the recent monograph Rusjaeva & Rusjaeva 1999. Parthenos is also briefly mentioned in Koukouli-Chrysanthaki 1997. 16Stolba 1989, 62-63. The date is now further confirmed by the stratigraphy of Panskoe I, U6, see Gilevi 2002, 248-249. 17Inv. 22226; Ivanova et al. 1976, no. 94, fig. 55. The relief has been interpreted mistakenly as Mithras killing the Bull, and has, accordingly, been dated (probably wrongly, but I have not had the opportunity to see the relief) to the Roman period. The person kneeling on the back of the animal, far too slender to represent a bull, has bare legs, and is not, as Mithras invariably does, wearing trousers. There can, therefore, be no doubt that Parthenos as elaphochthonos is intended. 6 The connection between Herodotos and Euripides Taurian goddess on the one hand and the Chersonesean Parthenos on the other has long been debated.18 There can hardly be any doubt that the Chersoneseans regarded Parthenos as a goddess in her own right, as demonstrated by local inscriptions and coins. Chersonesean coins are the most reliable sources of Parthenos iconography, as expressions of state cult institutions,19 and from these we can easily deduce, why Euripides reinterpreted Parthenos as Artemis, as her iconography, at least from the 4th century BC, coincided with that of the Greek goddess. It is difficult to imagine that the Greek settlers of Chersonesos did not incorporate elements into their own state cult of a powerful local deity of the land recently settled, just as they did, for example, in Ephesos, Perge or Aphrodisias.20 However, phenomenologically speaking Parthenos shared many of the characteristics also revealed by Artemis, which is why outsiders (Euripides, later authors, and modern researchers) have readily identified Parthenos as Artemis. The coincidence of the rare epithet elaphochthonos mentioned by Euripides concerning the Taurian Parthenos and the consistent iconographical representation of a deer-killing goddess in the Chersonesean coins cannot be fortuitous. Whether deer-killing was a particular element in the cult of the Taurian deity, which then inspired Euripides, or whether it was rather an element, which the Chersoneseans took up precisely because it was described by Euripides as an element of an older (local) cult, is unknown. But as the Chersonesean coins with the deer-killing goddess are no older than late 4th century BC, the last-mentioned interpretation is certainly a possibility. Diana Nemorensis and the sanctuarys Scythian cult But what, then, of the connection to Nemi? What was Scythian about the Diana at Nemi? Roman authors unanimously described the cult of Diana by Lake Nemi as cruel, immitis21 or non 18Zograf 1922 and Diehl 1949, 1965-1967 with earlier literature; see also D. Braund, forthcoming. 19Anochin 1980; Stolba 1996. 20It should not be overlooked that our earliest written source for the cult of Parthenos, Herodotos, also provides us with the insight that the Taurians may have been subjected to so much Greek influence by his day as to reinterpret their own deity in Greek terms as Iphigenia! On the Hellenisation of the Tauroi and the cultural cross-fertilisation between the Chersoneseans and the Taurians, see eglov 1988; Braund, forthcoming. 21Sil. Pun. 8.367 7 mitis22, and her altar was with an euphemistical expression easy to placate, placabilis ara Dianae, by implication needed to be placated.23 As mentioned above, the cruelty was frequently explained through the myth placing the origin of the cult in the land of the Taurians.24 Strabon, as the only author, mentions the same epiklesis to the Nemi Artemis as did Euripides to the Taurian goddess, namely Tauropolos.25 With Euripides IT, the image from the Taurian Sanctuary had become an image that wandered throughout the eastern Mediterranean regions.26 The sanctuary by Lake Nemi is the only certain instance, where the image came to the West.27 Diana Nemorensis was a goddess of many faces. Her main epiklesis was Trivia,28 literally of the crossroads, also frequently used for Hekate, referring to one of her more sinister sides as a deity of the Underworld. She was depicted as a huntress in a long or a short dress with a bow, a spear or a torch, but she is never seen engaged in actual killing.29 She was a goddess of healing powers and perhaps also of oracles. Phenomenologically speaking, accordingly, the similarity to the Taurian goddess is on a very general level. Why then Scythian? The two earliest sources of the concept of Diana Nemorensis being of Scythian origins are more or less contemporary. Ovid in his Metamorphoses 14.331 calls her the Scythian Diana in her forest kingdom, quaeque colunt Scytiae regnum nemorale Dianae.30 Far more elaborate is Strabon as already quoted above. He explicitly gives the reason for calling the Sanctuary of 22Valerius Flaccus Argonautica 2.305. 23Verg. Aen. 7.764. 24 The alternative, calling her Mycenaean, that is pre-historic, as an explanation of the cults cruelty, is offered by Lucanius (Bell. Civ., 6.74-75). 25Strab. 5.3.12. 26Graf 1979; Guldager Bilde 2003. 27Perhaps the image was also thought to have been brought to Rhegion as Artemis Phakelitis: see J. Schmidt, Phakelitis, RE XIX, 1937, 1609; Graf 1979, note 4 with references, but the sources are late and inconclusive. 28It is perhaps worth noticing that Ovidius in Ex Ponto 3.2.71 describes the Taurian goddess with the same vocabulary as Diana Nemorensis: inmitis Trivia (see also n. 21-22 concerning Diana Nemorensis as immitis/non mitis). 29Guldager Bilde 2000, 102-104; Guldager Bilde & Moltesen 2002. 30From his exile in Tomis, Ovidius also later returned to the myth on Iphigenia and the Taurian goddess: Tristia 4.61-85 and Ex Ponto 3.2.43-96. 8 Diana barbarian and Scythian as being due to the practice of a ritualised human sacrifice, namely the duel between the reigning priest, the Rex Nemorensis and his challenger. How much did he actually know about the sanctuary by Lake Nemi? and was he the original author of the aition explaining the duel between the Rex Nemorensis and his challenger with the sanctuarys Taurian origin? Strabon stayed several years in Rome under Caesar and Augustus, and was well acquainted with the court circles. Lake Nemi with the Sanctuary of Diana and the villa of Caesar was a significant area frequented by the Roman elite in those years,31 so it is difficult to imagine that Strabon did not visit this place. Also, his detailed description contains several topographical details that must have been based on personal acquaintance with the area (5.3.12 continued): The temple is in a sacred grove, and in front of it is a lake which resembles an open sea, and round about in a circle lies an unbroken and very high mountain-brow, which encloses both the temple and the water in a place that is hollow and deep. You can see the springs, it is true, from which the lake is fed (one of them is Egeria, as it is called after a certain deity), but the outflows of the lake itself are not apparent, though they are pointed out to you at a distance outside the hollow, where they rise to the surface. Near these places is also Mount Albanus, which rises considerably above the Artemisium and the mountain-brows around it, though they too are high and rather steep (translation: H.L. Jones).32 The sanctuary was administered by the nearby town of Aricia. Since the excavations in the late 19th century, it has been certain that the so-called Arician Sanctuary of Diana was situated by Lake Nemi.33 Aricia was the home town of Augustus mother, Atia, and her family: the Atii and later Augustus himself were deeply involved in the sanctuary.34 It is therefore hardly likely, that 31Guldager Bilde, forthcoming. 32The description could have been made standing on the southern rim of the crater lake, where all the features mentioned are visible. The outflows mentioned is the Lake Nemi emissary. It was constructed around 300 BC according to new Nordic investigations, and made in order to keep a constant water level in the lake (Ucelli 1950, 45-56). 33Summary in Guldager Bilde 2000, 94-96. 34Guldager Bilde, forthcoming. 9 it was in the Augustan age that the notion of the sanctuarys cult as barbaric and Scythian was established. Even though we have no earlier sources than Ovidius or Strabon, this myth must be older. The question is, then, how much older? Caesar, who possessed a palatial villa in Dianas sacred wood by Lake Nemi,35 was favourably disposed not only to the local cult at Nemi, but also to Chersonesos. In 46 BC, he recognised Chersonesos freedom.36 Identifying the Nemi cult as barbaric and Scythian would hardly have occurred under his rule either. I would accordingly suggest that the date is at least pre-Caesarian. The Sanctuary of Diana by Lake Nemi37 might have been very old indeed - at least, the ritualised human sacrifice reflected in the duel between the Rex Nemorensis and his challenger might well have had very ancient roots. However, the oldest literary and archaeological sources for cult activity in the sanctuary are no older than ca. 500 BC. The sanctuary was founded as an open-air sanctuary by clearing a sacred space, the lucus, in the woods. It is not until ca. 300 BC that the earliest temple was built. However, its main period of flourishing was in the late Republican period, in the late 2nd century BC, when the sanctuary was completely rebuilt on a grand scale in Hellenistic style on vast artificial terraces and with immense porticoes and probably a new temple. The sanctuary was a place of worship until it was destroyed by a natural catastrophe in the second half of the 2nd century AD. To me, the most obvious time to establish the aition for the ritual killing of the Rex Nemorensis, would be the late Republican period, when activities in the sanctuary were booming and architecture and sculpture were demonstrably under thorough Hellenistic influence. But how well was the myth of the Taurian goddess and her Greek successor, the Chersonesean Parthenos, known in Italy by this time? And can the date of the myths transmission be determined more accurately? 35Cic. Att. 6.1.25; Suet. Iul. 46. The villa is probably to be identified with the palatial structure recently excavated by the Nordic Institutes in Rome in the locality S. Maria by the southwestern shore of the lake (1998-2002), see Guldager Bilde, forthcoming. 36Plin. NH 4.85. 37Overview over the sanctuarys architecture and cult: Sacred Grove 1997. 10 Late Hellenistic representations of a deer-killing goddess The myth of Iphigenia in Tauris had enjoyed a certain popularity in Italy in contrast to mainland Greece.38 It was illustrated on South Italian vases of the 4th century BC and on Etruscan urns of the 3rd and 2nd century BC.39 These monuments show no fixed iconography of the Taurian goddess. In the 2nd century BC the Roman playwright Pacuvius produced his own version of Euripides play in Rome with significant success,40 so there is no doubt that in Italy the myth complex surrounding Iphigenia and Orestes in Tauris was well known at least as early as the 4th century BC. Around 100 BC three or four iconographically identical statue groups of a deer-killing female deity were created. Two of these were found in Delos,41 and one was found in Rome.42 One further representation can probably be identified in a badly known and little discussed statue segment in Toledo Museum of Art, Ohio.43 This piece was bought in Rome in 1914 by Henry Goldmann from a Roman art dealer by the name of Alfredo Barsanti. Around 1900, the presence of late Hellenistic art for sale in Rome was rare. In the Sanctuary of Diana by Lake Nemi, an extraordinarily large number of pieces of late Hellenistic sculpture have been found.44 Barsanti sold several objects from that sanctuary to the University Museum in Philadelphia in the late 19th century and possibly in the beginning of the 20th century.45 The possibility cannot be excluded that the Barsanti statue came from Nemi, though this cannot be proved. If that was not the case, it most probably came from Rome itself as did the group from the horti Tauriani. 38Kahil 1990. 39Kahil 1990; Krauskopf 1990. 40Cic. Amic. 24. 41Quartiere du thetre, House III S: Exploration archologique Dlos VIII. Paris 1922, 222, fig. 98; Kahil 1984 no. 402; Sanctuary complex on the Mount Kynthos: Exploration archologique Dlos XI. Paris 1928, 127, fig. 28; Kahil 1984 no. 403. 42Esquiline Hill in via del Principe Umberto, where the Horti Tauriani belonging to Statilius Taurus(!) were situated: Museo capitolino, Palazzo dei conservatori, inv. 320: Stuart Jones 1926, 95-96, pl. 34.12; Mustili 1939, 136, pl. 85. 43Inv. 1937.5. Guldager Bilde 2003, 172-173, fig. 6, note 49 with references. 44Guldager Bilde & Moltesen 2002. 45Guldager Bilde & Moltesen 2002, 10. 11 Representations of Tauropolos as elaphochthonos - the role of Mithridates VI? The deer-killing is found on a few rare eastern Mediterranean coins as well.46 None of them are earlier than the late Hellenistic period, and, accordingly, contemporary with or slightly later than the marble sculptures. As it was established above, the term elaphochchthonos as well as the depiction of a deer-killing female deity are so rare that it is difficult not to connect the sculpture groups and the Chersonesean coins. The very eccentricity of the iconography showing an act of actual killing, could have been decisive for the choice of iconography for the Tauropolos in addition to the Crimean origin of both myth and image. Accordingly, it is likely that in the late Hellenistic and Roman period, the iconography of the wandering image of the Taurian goddess, the Taur-polos in the Euripidean sense, may have been understood in terms of the deer-killing deity known from Taurian Chersonesos. Where did this reinterpretation take place? Delos, the melting-pot of the oikumene, where two statues of a deer-killing deity were found, is one possibility. However, the earliest coin produced outside of Chersonesos depicting a deer-killing deity may point to a different location for the transmission. In Lydian Hierakome, later called Hierokaisareia , two coin types have been established with a deer-killing female deity: (a) Obv. Bearded head with Persian cap turned right Rev. Deer-killing female in short dress turned right. Monogram IEP.47 Date: (early) 1st century BC?48 (b) Obv. Bust of Artemis with bow and quiver on her back turned right. Rev. Deer-killing female in short dress turned right. Inscription HIEROKAISAREON.49 Whereas type (b) is firmly ascribed to Hierokaisareia due to its reverse inscription, type (a) has been attributed to various locations with names starting with the syllable Hier-.50 Only one 46Guldager Bilde 2003, 173-175. 47SNG Copenhagen (Lydia), 1947, no. 172; Imhoof-Blumer 1883, 354, no. 23a, pl. H.7; Imhoof-Blumer 1897, 6-7, pl. I.3; Imhoof-Blumer 1901-1902, 447. 48Imhoof-Blumer (1897, 6) suggests a date in the 1st century BC or (1897, 10-11) in the period of Augustus or earlier. 49Imhoof-Blumer 1897, 13, pl. I.9; Catalogue of Greek Coins in the British Museum (Lydia), 1901, 102, no. 3. 50Imhoof-Blumer 1883, 354; Imhoof-Blumer 1901-1902, 447. The issue was finally settled by Imhoof-Blumer himself (1897, 5-11). However, much confusion still exists in the scientific literature; see Robert 1964, 47-51, 12 additional coin type provides us with the same monogram, namely, coins with a bust of Artemis on the obverse, occasionally inscribed with the name of Persike and with the forepart of a kneeling stag and the monogram on the reverse.51 The male head wearing a Persian cap of type (a) is related to representations on anonymous Pontic obols dating to the time of Mithridates VI.52 However, in contrast to the clean-shaven youth on the Pontic obols, the coin from Hierakome-Hierokaisareia represents a male with a beard. In both cases, however, the male with the Persian cap may allude to the cults Persian priesthood. With some probability, the coin from Hierakome-Hierokaisareia can be dated to the time of Mithridates VI. The inscriptions on the coins from Hierakome-Hierokaisareia offer an identification of the deer-killing goddess, namely, as the Persian Artemis, Artemis or Thea Persike. Stone inscriptions reveal that Persike was worshipped in Hierakome-Hierokaisareia,53 where a Persian or Persianised cult prevailed, as vividly described by Pausanias (5.27.5). It is tempting to accept Imhoof-Blumers identification of the above-mentioned male with a Persian cap on the obverse of the coin type (a) of Hierakome as that of a Persian priest.54 In connection with identifying the deer-killing goddess on the coins of Hierakome-Hierokaisareia as (Artemis) Persike, a passage by Pausanias concerning the rival myths of possession of the Taurian image, should briefly be mentioned: And yet, right down to the present day, the fame of the Tauric goddess has remained so high that the Cappadocians dwelling on the Euxine claim that the image is among them, a like claim being made by those Lydians also who have a sanctuary of Artemis Anaeitis which discusses this further. 51Imhoof-Blumer 1883, 353-354, no. 23; Imhoof-Blumer 1887, 5-6, pl. 1.2 (with the inscription PERSIKE); Imhoof-Blumer 1901-1902, 447 (with the correct attribution). SNG Copenhagen (Lydia), 1947, no. 170-171; SNG Deutschland (v. Aulock, Lydien), 1963, no. 2951 (with the inscription PERSIKE). An anonymous single bronze coin with the head of Apollo carries the same monogram. It has been ascribed to Hierakome too (Imhoof-Blumer 1897, 11). 52Golenko 1969, 130-154. 53TAM V, Asia Minor, nos. 1244-1245 and 1396. The find spot of 1396 is uncertain but is probably in a village near Hierakome; see Welles 1966, 2, 273-276. The inscription is dated to the late Hellenistic period, 138 BC or later. See also Tac. Ann. 3.62.1 (Diana Persica). 54Imhoof-Blumer 1897, 10-11; Imhoof-Blumer 1901-1902, 447. 13 (3.16.8. Translation: G. P. Gould (ed.)). With Artemis Anaitis and Artemis Persike the same deity is intended, a Persianised hypostasis of Artemis.55 It is more than likely that Hierakome-Hierakaisareia, the main sanctuary of Persike, is to be identified with the Lydian locality mentioned by Pausanias as housing the image of the Taurian goddess, whereas the first location must refer to Komana Pontike. In both instances, the goddess was seemingly synonymous with Tauropolos, as her image was claimed to be venerated in both places. The idea of shaping the image of the movable Taurian image in accordance with the Chersonesean deer-killing Parthenos may have sprung up in the Persian milieu of the Pontic Kingdom. Komana Pontike, was a significant religious site in that kingdom.56 The main deity worshiped in Komana was Ma. She was occasionally regarded as Artemis Anaitis. It may well be that the cults Persian elements were introduced during Mithridates VIs reign, but regrettably, not much is known about the cult. However, it should not be overlooked that at the time when the statue groups and perhaps the earliest coins were made, Chersonesos was firmly situated within the orbit of Mithridates Pontic Kingdom.57 The connection between Ma and Parthenos is also known later from the northern Black Sea region, as these two goddesses together are noted as the divine overseers of the act of manumitting a slave (CIRB 74; findspot and -time unknown, previously in the museum in Ker, now in the British Museum; second half of the 2nd century AD). The Mithridatic Wars celebrated in the Sanctuary of Diana Nemorensis The Mithridatic link is not without interest for the relationship to the Sanctuary of Diana Nemorensis. The Roman victories over Mithridates VI in the 3rd Mithridatic War were celebrated in the sanctuary by the Roman generals with several major monuments. One was a 55Brosius (1998) thoroughly discusses the relationship between the Persian Artemises and the actual Persian Anahita, concluding that Anahita is not a Hellenised Persian goddess, but rather that the Persian Artemises signal the Persianisation of a Greek deity. 56Saprykin 1996, 248-266. 57E.g. IOSPE 12 352. 14 bronze statue erected on a tall, highly elaborated column.58 Its bilingual inscription in Greek and Latin tells us that it was donated by the Mysians living in the areas of Abbaitis and Phrygian Epiktetos to the Roman legatus and pro praetor C. Sallvius C. f. Naso, because he had saved them during the war against Mithridates. Sallvius Naso is not known from any other historical sources. His deed probably took place in an early phase of the war, in 74 or 73 BC,59 when the Romans won a decisive battle at Apollonia apud Rhyndacum situated within the lands of the donors. The second is an epistyle made of Travertine limestone.60 The inscription celebrates the erection of a building by a [...]Licinius L. f. and a C. Voconius C. f. Unfortunately the inscription has since been lost. However, the use of Travertine for building purposes and the spelling Leicinius both point to a date in the late Republican period. The Voconii was a local family from Aricia. We only know of one historical moment when a L. Licinius and a Voconius appear in the same context, namely at the beginning of the 3rd Mithridatic War, when a certain Voconius, whose first name is unfortunately not known, was an officer under L. Licinius (L. f.) Lucullus in Asia Minor.61 Voconius presence in the 3rd Mithridatic War immediately followed the Battle of Apollonia mentioned above. After one part of Mithridates army was defeated by the Romans at Apollonia, the remaining part of the army fled to Kyzikos. Soon this part of the army was also defeated.62 Lucullus then sent a certain Voconius after Mithridates, so that he would escape no further than Nikomedia in Bithynia.63 However, Voconius was busy being initiated into the mysteries at Samothrace, which is why Mithridates got past him and the Roman army.64 But by 58Found in 1866, now in Castello Ruspoli, Nemi. The column with base and capital is 1.86 m high. CIL XIV, 2218; Magie 1975 2.1208, n. 15; Broughton 1952, 105; 106-107; 113; ILLRP no. 372; Tuchelt 1979, 49-51; 194; pl. 10-11. 59Broughton 1952, 105-107; 113 Tuchelt 1979, 49; 194. 60Epistyle of Travertine, found between 1866 and 1885, present whereabouts unknown; CIL I2, 1434 = CIL XIV, 2222. 61 Plut. Luc. 13.1. F. Coarelli has reached the same conclusion (Coarelli 1987, 178-179). 62 Plut. Luc. 11.6. 63 Plut. Luc. 13.1. 64 Plut. Luc. 13.2. 15 the help of Artemis of Priapos, however, Mithridates navy was destroyed in a storm, and, according to Plutarch only Mithridates himself escaped.65 There were, thus, good reasons for the victorious officers on their return to Italy to celebrate Artemis-Diana with handsome votives in one of her principal Italian sanctuaries. Also later in the 3rd Mithridatic War Artemis played a decisive role: in 69 BC, Lucullus marched against Armenia, where Mithridates was in hiding. Upon crossing the Euphrates swollen with winter rain, the river parted before the Roman troops as the Red Sea had for Moses.66 At the opposite side of the river, Lucullus received a favourable sign.67 Oxen sacred to Artemis Persike, the deity whom the barbarians at that side of the river venerate most highly were grazing there.68 One of the oxen freely consented to be sacrificed.69 This was to become the preamble for Lucullus great victory at Tigranokerta.70 Even though the line of reconstruction may be considered thin, it nevertheless is a possibility that the notion of the Tauropolos as an explanation of the still savage cult in the Sanctuary of Diana Nemorensis was established in the wake of the 3rd Mithridatic War. It would push the creation of the aition beyond not only the period of Strabon and Caesar, but it would also explain this as the result of the Roman troops meeting this strange Artemis conceived of as Tauropolos and Persike in the Pontic milieu, a deity which in turn iconographically by the time of Mithridates VI may have been reformulated along the lines of the original Taur-polos, the Chersonesean deer-killer, Parthenos. Summing up (a) As already Strabon noted, the Sanctuary of Diana Nemorensis was called Scythian because of the custom of a ritualised human sacrifice. (b) Strabon probably knew the Sanctuary of Diana Nemorensis at first hand. It is hardly likely that he is the creator of the aition of the cult being a copy of the Tauropolos though he (and his 65 Plut. Luc. 13.4. 66 Plut. Luc. 24.4-5. 67 Plut. Luc. 24.6. 68 Plut. Luc. 24.6. 69 Plut. Luc. 24.6-7. 16 contemporary Ovid) are the first to formulate this. (c) The creation of the visual representation of the travelling Taurian image, the Taur-polos in Euripidean sense, probably occurred around 100 BC modelled upon the image of the later Taurian goddess, Chersonesean Parthenos. The link between Euripides description of Tauropolos as elaphochthonos and the representations through three quarters of a millennium in Chersonesos of a deer-killing deity, which is otherwise extremely rare, is decisive. (d) This iconographical (re)interpretation may have been created in the Pontic Kingdom of Mithridates VI. (e) The Romans could have encountered the representations of a deer-killing deity in either Chersonesos, Delos or in the Pontic Kingdom. 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