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Epitaph of the agrophylax Synekdemos

Filiz Dönmez-Öztürk


In 2002, during the field survey conducted under the auspices of the “TÜBA Cultural Inventory Project of the cities of Denizli-Aydın”, the survey team directed by Prof. Dr. Neşe Atik discovered a carved rock tomb at the ancient site of Ancin, located at the site of Karıncalıkaya in Soğukoluk, a village of the Çine district of Aydın. On the lower part of the carved rock, there is an inscription of 3 lines, which can be translated as “Greetings from the agrophylax Synekdemos”. The importance of this inscription derives from the mention of the office of agrophylax. As well as the offices of orophylax, diogmites and neaniskos, all of whom were responsible for the security of rural areas from the Hellenistic period onwards, the offices of eirenarches and paraphylax (with their roots in the Roman period) have also been attested in Asia Minor. However, the office of agrophylax, who was probably responsible for the safety of cultivated village lands, has not previously been attested in Asia Minor.


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