The ‘Temple State’ of Phrygian Pessinus in the Context of Seleucid, Attalid, Galatian and Roman Hegemonial Politics (3rd-1st Centuries BC)
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The affluent and exotic ‘temple state’ of Cybele rendered Pessinus the most famous Phrygian cult site in the Graeco-Roman world. No other Phrygian cult or location is mentioned as often in Classical literature, and, likewise, the epigraphic and material evidence for the Roman city stands out amongst its peers in Asia Minor. In contrast, the primary record that predates the 3rd century BC is absent or minimal. Based on this lack of evidence, a recent study has tried to demonstrate that Pessinus as a superregional sanctuary of the Great Mother should be understood as a creation by king Attalos I. The current article intends to specify the political relations of the priest elite of this newly created sanctuary with its neighbours, the Attalid kingdom to the west and the Galatian tribal states to the east and north, besides their connections with the court of the Seleucids and the Roman superpower respectively. The evidence for the mid- and late Hellenistic period continues to remain highly lacunose and controversial. But recent work on the political divisions and dynamic territorial changes among the Galatians suggests some modification to the currently prevailing view: Pessinus was not part of Galatia (however defined), but rather part of the Attalid kingdom, first from 207 BC to about 200/197, and then again from 188 BC until the dissolution of the kingdom (133/129 BC). Then it seems to have been controlled first by the Tektosages, a generation later by the Trokmoi and since the time of the Mithradatic Wars by the Tolistobogioi. Hence it developed into the urban centre of the Tolistobogioi under Augustus.
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Altay Coskun (2019). The ‘Temple State’ of Phrygian Pessinus in the Context of Seleucid, Attalid, Galatian and Roman Hegemonial Politics (3rd-1st Centuries BC). UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/19163