Firstly, it must be noted that the inscription was not found in the monumental centre of a urban settlement but, rather, in the isolated territory surrounding the village of Ovaçik. These remote lands in southern Turkey reach above 1000 metres high and dominate the mountain passes between northern Lycia, Pisidia, and the Mediterranean. Here, remains of an ancient fortress and a village still exist (see Mitchell, “Native rebellion”), the stones of which have sometimes been extracted by local villagers for modern constructions. Even if our block was discovered in such a reused context, it can be related closely to other slates that were still located in-situ. This additional evidence facilitates the provision of a temporal framework for the episode. As sometimes happens with this kind of texts, our honorific inscription does not include explicit references to dates or even local eponymous magistrates. The only chronological mark is inferred from the fact that Kiliortes acted as high-priest (ἀρχιερεύς/archiereus)of one Augustus (= Σεβαστός/Sebastos) and two Caesars (l. 5) while these were still alive. Such co-regencies became increasingly popular between the high and late Roman imperial periods, particularly after the Tetrarchy; but this sequence most likely refers to the reign of Carus, Carinus and Numerian between 283 and 284 CE. This date is supported by the appearance in the honorific text of Kiliortes’s father, Mar. Aur. Hermaios. Among the related documents aforementioned, we have a long acclamation mostly dedicated to this Hermaios. In a dramatic tone, the local population aimed to keep Hermaios in their territory because he performed many benefactions for them and, especially, he had become a λῃστοδειώκτης/lêstodeiôktês (“brigand-chaser”) contributing to the peace (ὑπὲρ τῆς εἰρήνης/hyper tês eirênês). The analogous references to peace appearing in both the father’s and son’s inscriptions must therefore derive from similar episodes of danger which they fought to curb. Indeed, the intervention of Hermaios and Kiliortes in issues pertaining to local security is confirmed by additional letters sent by Roman authorities to them. For example, Kiliortes was contacted by the tribune Valerius Euethios after the latter was informed about the incursion of a band of brigands (σύστημα τῶν λῃστῶν/systêma tôn lêstôn) in the territory of Termessos (SEG 41.1390a; cf. Zimmermann, “Probus, Carus und die Räuber”). In the case of Hermaios, the dux M. Aur. Ursius sent him a letter requesting to pick a group of young men (νεανίσκοι/neaniskoi) and bring them to the city of Cremna (SEG 51.1813 I.A.i). This last geographical remark is fundamental for shedding even more light on the context of this group of inscriptions.
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