Associations in the Greco-Roman World (AGRW)

An expanding collection of inscriptions, papyri, and other sources in translation (run by Philip A. Harland)

Dedication of a Prayer-house to the Unconquered God Asbameus (undated) Amastris - Pontus

Amastris (Pontus, Asia Minor — Pleiades map), Undated
Kalinka, JÖAI 28 (1933) 61 (no. 8) (Beibl.) + L. Robert, RA (1936) 237 (for line 4) = Christian Marek, Stadt, Ära und Territorium in Pontus-Bithynia und Nord-Galatia (Istanbuler Forschungen 39; Tübingen: Ernst Wasmuth Verlag, 1993) 165 (no. 27; following Kalinka and unaware of Robert's reading) = PHI 265426 = AGRW ID# 13788


Altar of marble, now lost (104 x 21 x 15.5 cm; letter height: 3 cm). This seems to be a clear case where the term "prayer-house" (proseuchē) is used in a non-Judean context. Other "pagan" uses of the term in the Black Sea area can be found at Gorgippia (IBosp 1123 [41 CE, a prayer-house association with Theos Hypsistos) and Olbia (IPontEux 176 [II-III CE], involving a dedication of a prayer-house by archons; cf. IG IV,2 1.106.27-29, from Epidaurus [IV BCE]). No association that met in this prayer-house in Amastris is mentioned, however. The god here named by the epithet Asbameus is likely Zeus. In his Life of Apollonios, Philostratos refers to a natural spring near Tyana (called Asbamaion) in Cappadocia which was associated with Zeus and the making of oaths.

Having made a vow and attained success, I, Aurelius Protoktetos, have dedicated this as a thanksgiving to the unconquered god Asbameus and to the supreme prayer–house (proseuchē).

Translation by: Harland

θεῷ ǀ ἀνεικήτῳ ǀ Ἀσβαμεῖ κα[ὶ] ǀ τ̣ῇ κυρίᾳ προσǀευχῇ εὐξάǀμενος καὶ ǀ ἐπιτυχὼν ǀ ἀνέθηκα Αὐǀρήλιος Πρωǀǀτόκτητος, ǀ εὐχαριστήǀ[ρι]ο[ν].

Item added: June 25, 2013
Item modified: December 3, 2015
ID number: 13788
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