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On the road again: a Trajanic milestone and the road connections of Aptera, Crete.


A new Latin inscription found south of Aptera documents an Early Trajanic stage in the development of the Roman road network of western Crete. A reconsideration of Aptera and its hinterland provides the topographical context for this milestone, which apparently was found in situ. The text records direct imperial intervention and generosity. The mileage figure suggests the location of Aptera's port, and supports the theory that Cretan milestones indicated the distance to turning points in the road. This road system linked western Crete with the capital at Gortyn, after passing through the territories of Aptera, Lappa, and Eleutherna.


In 1985 Maria Andreadaki-Vlazaki, now the director of the 25th Ephoreia of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities in Chania, Crete, inspected a stone column located on a farm between the villages of Stylos and Mahairoi, south of Aptera (Figs. 1, 2:9). (1) She conducted this autopsy together with Konstantinos Gavrilakis, the archaeological guardian for Samonas in the community of Stylos. (2) Andreadaki-Vlazaki recognized the importance of the inscribed column, which remained in this isolated location for the next 16 years, as a milestone of Roman date--only the third thus far discovered on the island of Crete.


In 2001 Gavrilakis submitted a report to the ephoreia concerning this same stone, now relocated to the Community Center of Mahairoi. He suggested identifying the inscribed column with one cited by Konstantinos Dounakis in his study of the history of the Apokoronas Eparchy. (3) Dounakis had attributed the erection of this large, monolithic column to local gratitude for the patronage of a Roman general whose bust was said to have been set on top of it, and he reported the belief of older residents of Stylos ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.]) that their village received its name from the column ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.]). (4) Gavrilakis proposed that the "Stylos column" mentioned by Dounakis must be the one that he and Andreadaki-Vlazaki had found years earlier in the vicinity of Stylos and that the locals called the [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.].

We cannot be certain that the "Stylos column" is the same object as the milestone published here. (5) We do know that in the Venetian period a scion of the prominent Mousouros family stood at the place known as [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.], between Stylos and Mahairoi, and declared that he would build his [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.] (lookout) there. (6) The present milestone was, in fact, found in a location called [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.], which takes its name from this important family, owners of a large piece of land and present in the area of Stylos, Mahairoi, and Provarma since the 13th century. (7) Marino Cavalli (provveditore generale 1571-1573) refers to this family in the 16th century, a family brought to Crete from Constantinople after the island was liberated from the Arabs, and granted pieces of land "out of Rethymno." (8) Local tradition preserves the belief that the column protected travelers, like an ancient Hekataion. (9) Once again, we cannot be certain whether this [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.] is the same object as the milestone published here, or a third object from this area.

The milestone was found between Stylos and Mahairoi (Fig. 2:9), apparently in situ to judge from its location at a modern crossroads and the evidence for Roman roadwork and kalderimia nearby. Workmen and guardians at Aptera and the older members of their families remember the milestone being in this location for at least the past century, and purported to have been endowed with such potency that the residents of Stylos wished to move it to their village. In spite of the local tradition that a portrait bust once stood atop the column, examination of the stone has shown that there never was such a bust. (10)

Gavrilakis's report of 2001 prompted the ephoreia to send Katerina Tzanakaki to reinspect this inscribed column at the Community Center at Mahairoi. Although it was made of soft limestone, in a poor state of preservation, and exposed to the elements, she reported that it was nevertheless still recognizable as an object of interest, either an architectural member from a public building or a milestone. She measured the column, the lettering, and the monolithic base with its simple molding, and drew the visible lettering.

In 2002 the inscription was again examined in Mahairoi in order to confirm its identification as a milestone. It was possible to read considerably more of the lettering, even with a third of its text turned to the wall of the Community Center. Giorgios Mastrantonakis and Yannis Anitsakis, guards at the archaeological site of Aptera, moved the stone so that it was possible to read all but the last line of the inscription and obtain more accurate measurements of the column and its base. Yannis Tzifopoulos of the University of Crete, Rethymnon, later cleaned the stone, made squeezes, and took digital photographs. It was then that the last line of the inscription, containing the mileage figure, became visible. Two squeezes are now housed in the Workshop of Papyrology and Epigraphy at the University of Crete, Rethymnon, and in the offices of the 25th Ephoreia of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities in Chania.


Before we present the editio princeps of the milestone, it will be useful to establish the topographical context in which it was found. Milestones are especially helpful for estimating the extent of civic lands when they are reliably tied to their original positions and bear intelligible mileage figures. (11) When they record a distance but not a place name it is particularly important that the findspot be accurately recorded, as in this case. (12) The milestone may have been quarried nearby, from an outcrop within the area of Aptera, just west of the findspot and Mahairoi. (13)

We are now in a position to present a fresh image of Aptera and its hinterland, thanks to systematic excavations in the city itself since 1985, a recent survey of Geometric to Roman remains in the city's environs, and the publication of the present milestone. (14) In 2003 and 2004 the area was surveyed by a team from the 25th Ephoreia in order to establish the findspot of the milestone as well as to investigate evidence of Roman roadwork and kalderimia. The team used GPS technology to produce a composite map of the area (Fig. 2). (15)

Figure 3 reproduces the most recent archaeological plan of the city of Aptera, and shows the results of the ongoing excavation at the site. In the discussion that follows we pay particular attention to monuments of the 1st and 2nd centuries, (16) which are roughly contemporary with the new milestone, and to evidence for roads and gates in and around the civic center.


The public buildings of Aptera suggest a new construction phase in the 1st century and a renaissance before the Hadrianic period, to judge from the data thus far available. (17) Within the city walls two baths of 1st-2nd century date (Fig. 3:7, 8) attest to an active program of public works in the city, including the dedication of Bath I (Fig. 3:7) by a local patron. (18) Two vaulted cisterns (Fig. 3:1, 2), one gamma-shaped and the other tripartite, provided water to this pair of baths. (19) A peristyle villa constructed in the Augustan period and rebuilt in later times, including in the 2nd century, has been uncovered northwest of the theater (Fig. 3:12). (20)

Evidence for gates and roads is growing with each year of excavation. The ancient approach from the west and the main entrance to Aptera from the direction of Kydonia have now been located (Fig. 3:15; Fig. 4). (21) This road branches as it approaches the walls, one branch leading to the north--probably to the main gate of the city, still to be excavated--and the other to the south, toward a Hellenistic gate excavated in 2003 (Fig. 3:23; Fig. 5). The southwestern gate was later closed, perhaps during the civil wars of the Hellenistic period or in the Roman period. At the main entrance to the city, between the Hellenistic walls and the western approach, a heroon was constructed in the 1st or 2nd century, perhaps in the Trajanic period (Fig. 3:15). (22)


Southeast of the walls another Hellenistic-Roman entrance and traces of a road were revealed by the removal of vegetation in 2003 (Fig. 3:25; Figs. 6, 7). From the southeastern entrance of Aptera one can see the entire Pyktos River valley (Figs. 2, 8), from the point where the river empties into the sea inland to Stylos, Mahairoi, and the findspot of the milestone (Fig. 2:8-10), and beyond to the small pass east of Mahairoi, over which the road runs southeastward toward Lappa (Fig. 1). The eastern gate of the city (Fig. 3:26) still needs to be examined for traces of an associated road.


We are also in a position to present an up-to-date compilation of sites of the historical period in Aptera's hinterland (Fig. 2). In the discussion that follows we continue to pay particular attention to remains of the 1st and 2nd centuries and to ancient roadwork and kalderimia.

From the Archaic to Roman periods Aptera occupied a commanding location on a plateau 214 m above sea level, from which the city could control Souda Bay, the plain to the east, and the fertile river valley to the east and south. Aptera's position made the city an ideal commercial center in the Hellenistic and Roman periods, although in the Roman period it fell under Kydonian control, to judge from the minting of coinage by Kydonia as a free city. (23)

Aptera possessed a substantial hinterland, comprising the whole Apokoronas plain with its fertile river valley running from the foot of Mount Berekynthos (Fig. 8) to the sea. (24) In the Roman period one should distinguish between a city's "town zone," encompassing cemeteries together with peripheral and extramural buildings, all under civic control, and its countryside, characterized by private farms and estates. (25) Town zones are often clearly delimited by geographical features such as rivers. (26) The pre-Roman roads of Aptera converge just south of the natural boundary formed by the Pyktos River, which divides into two branches near Stylos, suggesting that this is the likely southern limit of the Roman city's town zone (Fig. 2). (27)

On the southern shore of Souda Bay stood Aptera's port, Kisamos. Kisamos has traditionally been located at modern Kalami, on the shore directly below the upland plateau of Aptera (Fig. 2:4). (28) A second candidate for the identification lies further east at Kyani Akti, just west of the mouth of the Pyktos River, where survey and rescue excavation have revealed a site with Hellenistic sherds and a Roman industrial complex (Fig. 2:3). (29) The most likely location, however, on the basis of geomorphology and the evidence of habitation from the Hellenistic to the Roman period, is Kera, which lies still further east, on the eastern side of the city's town zone (Fig. 2:14). (30) The mileage figure on the milestone (discussed below) further strengthens the case for Kera.

South of Aptera a Latin inscription of the 1st-2nd century built into the church of the Panayia Zerviotissa (or Monastira) mentions a temple, possibly in the same location as the church (Fig. 2:7). (31) This temple may have been an extramural sanctuary under the civic control of Aptera, in whose town zone it lay. (32) The findspot of the milestone lies still further south (Fig. 2:9), where one passes from the town zone of Aptera into the countryside.

Traces of roadways and the location of the milestone, combined with evidence for sites and indications of habitation, allow us to begin to perceive the network of communication that linked Aptera and its hinterland with other Cretan centers, especially Kydonia and Lappa, the two Cretan cities granted free status by Augustus. (33) Traces of a Hellenistic-Roman road appear to lead from Kydonia to the main, western entrance of Aptera (Fig. 3:15). The western roads of Aptera and its hinterland connected the city not only with Kydonia but with settlements to the west and south. Remains of an ancient road have been found near the church of the Panayia Zerviotissa, and possibly ancient kalderimia have been discovered near the findspot of the milestone.

As noted above, traces of a second Hellenistic-Roman road leading to and from Lappa have been found at the southeast entrance of Aptera (Fig. 3:25). Another section of ancient road is located southeast of Aptera, where the road follows the east bank of the Pyktos River (Fig. 2). This road must have been useful for communication with the settlements of the southeastern Pyktos valley and the city's port at Kisamos, and it connected with the main road to Hydramia (modern Dramia) and Lappa (Fig. 1).

A kalderimi of post-Roman date also snakes down from the Turkish castle near the eastern entrance of Aptera (Fig. 3:19, 21), apparently connecting the castle with the Itzedin fortress below at modern Kalami (Fig. 2:4). (34) In Roman times this northeastern approach to the city (Fig. 3:26; Fig. 9) would have been useful as a more direct route to and from the port of Kisamos.


Such municipally maintained streets would have been excluded from milestone and itinerary figures, which measured distances from meeting points other than in the center of a city. (35) Roman measurements were not taken from city center to city center but from some point beyond the main area of occupation. (36) The milestone published here appears to measure the distance from Apteran Kisamos (Fig. 2:14), where the Roman route took a distinct turn to the southwest, passing along the eastern side of Aptera's town zone toward the Pyktos River valley and the findspot of the milestone. It then proceeded southeast to the Graeco-Roman bridge at Vrysses (Fig. 2:15) and east to Amphimalla (Fig. 1).

The milestone was found south of Aptera, at a modern crossroads that may preserve the location of an ancient one (Fig. 2:9). It appears that the branch roads leading southeast and southwest from Aptera came together again at this spot. Yet another long section of old roadbed with kalderimi paving may follow the course of the Roman road southeastward from Stylos (Fig. 2:8) toward the location of the milestone. From Mahairoi (Fig. 2:10), where the milestone is currently located, one can see not only the southeast approach to Aptera but the whole Pyktos River valley, which the principal ancient road seems to have followed (Fig. 10).



Physical Description

Aptera inv. no. EP72 Figs. 11-13


The shaft and base have been carved from a single block of local whitish gray limestone. (37) The surface has been moderately finished except in the field of the inscription, which is more finely finished in preparation for letter cutting. A substantial portion of the stone has broken away at the lowermost right, just below what appears to be the last line of the inscription.

Total H. 1.75 m. Shaft: H. 1.59, Diam. 0.41 m. Base: L. 0.54, W. 0.57, H. 0.16 m. Field of inscription: H. 0.87, W. 0.725-0.750 m. Max. letter height 0.08-0.09 m (lines 1-3 and 8, respectively); in lines 4-7 the letters steadily decrease in height in increments of 0.005 m from 0.070 in line 4 to 0.055 in line 7. Lines 7-8 are almost exactly centered in the field of inscription. Letter forms are somewhat elongated and attenuated, slightly cursive, with apices. A horizontal line is drawn above the numeral III in line 5 and the numeral II in line 6. There are no punctuation marks. Although damaged in lines 1, 7, and 8, the letters have been deeply and carefully cut, and they are remarkably legible given the overall condition of the stone. Traces of orange-red color are visible in the letter channels. (38)


A.D. 99-100

Imp N[erv]a Traianus Caesar Aug. Germ. divi Nervae f. Pontif

5 max. trib. pot. III pater patriae cos. II dedit. V.I.

Epigraphical Commentary

Line 1: The letter strokes of M are faintly visible, as is the rounded portion of P. The vertical stroke and the lower part of the oblique stroke of N are visible. The bar of A is not visible.

Line 4: The vertical stroke of I is faintly visible between T and F.

Line 5: The oblique strokes of A are faintly visible at the end of the line.

Line 6: The vertical and rounded portions of P and the oblique strokes of A are faintly visible, as are the letters RIAE.

Line 7: Only the lower third of I is visible. Of T the vertical stroke and left half of the horizontal stroke survive.

Line 8: Although it does not appear in the photographs, VI is just visible to the naked eye.


The following discussion of the inscription is divided into three parts: (1) the name and titles of the emperor Trajan, which establish the date of the milestone; (2) the dedicatory verb; and (3) the mileage figure. In the discussion of imperial titulature and chronology, we compare the new milestone with the other two examples so far known from Roman Crete. The dedicatory verb allows us to set the milestone within the context of Trajanic and Hadrianic patronage in western Crete. The mileage figure, finally, provides new evidence for the route of the Roman road that ran between Lappa and Kydonia.

Imperial Titulature and Date

The first six lines of the text can be read as follows, with abbreviations expanded: Imp(erator) N[erv]a Traianus Caesar Aug(ustus) Germ(anicus) divi Nervae f(ilius) pontif(ex) max(imus) trib(unicia) pot(estate) III pater patriae co(n)s(ul) II. The imperial titulature is not that of Hadrian, whose name appears on the other two milestones known from Crete, but that of Trajan. (39) These elements of Trajanic titulature are attested, in the same order, throughout the Roman world. (40) The absence of the title Dacicus indicates an early date, before December 102. (41) A date during the emperor's third tribunicia potestas and his second consulate (lines 5-6) further narrows the chronological range to a period between December 10, 98 and January 1, 100. (42)

Two other Cretan inscriptions name Trajan without the title Dacicus, and so belong to a comparably early date. At the provincial capital of Gortyn (Fig. 1) a Latin inscription recording the restoration of the Odeion names Imp. Caesar divi Nervae f. Traianus Aug. Germ., in the nominative case. (43) At Kantanos, located in a narrow north-south transit corridor in western Crete, along the Roman route that passed from Polyrrhenian Kisamos to Lissos (Fig. 1), a Greek inscription recording an architectural dedication of unknown type names [[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.]], again in the nominative. (44)

The other elements of Trajan's titulature are also paralleled in these two inscriptions, where the emperor is styled p(ontifex) m(aximus) or [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.], depending on the language used. (45) The inscription from Gortyn refers to Trajan's fourth year of tribunician power, while the architectural dedication from Kantanos does not provide a number, only the phrase [[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.]]. (46) Dating as it does to the emperor's third year of tribunician power and his second consulate, this milestone from the town zone of Aptera is the earliest securely dated Trajanic inscription thus far discovered in Crete. (47)

The Verb "dedit" and Trajanic Patronage in Western Crete

As one of three Cretan inscriptions to name Trajan in the nominative, the milestone published here raises the possibility of direct imperial interest in the hinterland of Aptera, as at Gortyn and Kantanos. One cannot immediately conclude from the relatively rare use of the nominative case that such markers are a result of the personal generosity of the emperor rather than a product of local activity. (48) Nevertheless, the present milestone, which is one of only two Trajanic inscriptions in Crete to use Latin, the language of Roman officialdom, may suggest some degree of official action. (49)

These facts, combined with the use of the verb dedit, suggest that the city of Aptera itself is not likely to have been responsible for the erection of this milestone, nor to have contributed money for the construction of the associated Roman roadworks. (50) The absence of a governor's name is also consistent with the hypothesis of direct imperial intervention. (51) It appears quite likely that the emperor donated a station at the crossroads (or, less likely, a segment of the Roman road) out of unspecified funds, with the result that a milestone was subsequently erected just within Aptera's town zone. Despite such apparent imperial intervention, the milestone itself appears to be local in origin and outlook, to judge from the distance measured and the absence of a place name. (52)

Latin inscriptions are extremely rare at Aptera, and even those inscriptions that give the Roman names of Apterans regularly use Greek. (53) Apart from the milestone published here, Latin is used only one other time at Aptera, in an inscription preserved in the church of the Panayia Zerviotissa at Stylos (Fig. 2:7). (54) The choice of Latin, the language used for official and especially imperial initiatives, may suggest that at Stylos Trajan employed a proconsul as his agent, as he did early in his reign at Gortyn and Kantanos as well. (55) It has been tentatively suggested that the Stylos inscription named a Vespasianic proconsul, (56) but given the cumulative evidence for a renaissance in Aptera and its environs in the later 1st to 2nd century, a Domitianic or Trajanic date remains possible, despite the relative rarity of the proconsul's cognomen during this period. The reference in the Panayia Zerviotissa inscription to a temple allows us to speculate that the Roman road ran by an ancient temple there, on its way to the spot where the milestone was found. (57)

The milestone from Aptera can also be compared with the two other milestones thus far known from Roman Crete, both of which are Hadrianic in date. (58) The milestone from Rodopou in the territory of Polyrrhenia (IC II xi 6; for the location, see Fig. 1) is inscribed in Latin. The preserved lower portion of the milestone from Viran Episkopi in the territory of Eleutherna (SEG XXIII 581; for the location, see Fig. 1) is inscribed in Greek, although the original text could have been bilingual, to judge from the fact that lines 6-8 faithfully reproduce the Latin of the Rodopou inscription, with the exception of the word [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCI.] and the mileage figure. (59) The use of Greek, with or without Latin, may suggest that the Viran Episkopi milestone was later than the Rodopou milestone, (60) but it still names Hadrian in the nominative and specifies the sacred treasury of Diktynna as the source of funding.

The new milestone published here, with its choice of the Latin language, establishes Aptera as one of the places in the province of Creta-Cyrenae where Trajan or Trajanic proconsuls were active. No proconsul of Creta-Cyrenae is named on the milestone, although two who were active in the province at this time, C. Memmius in 98-99 and L. Elufrius Severus in 99-100, are known from other inscriptions. In an inscription of 98-99, Trajan is named in the nominative as the builder of the first public baths at Cyrene, through the agency of a C. M[emmius], who was in all likelihood proconsul. (61) In an inscription of 99-100, Trajan is again named in the nominative as the restorer of the Odeion at Gortyn, through the agency of the proconsul L. Elufrius Severus. (62) Finally, in 98-99 or 99-100, Trajan is named in the nominative in an inscription from Kantanos that records a dedication, either through the agency of a proconsul ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.]) or in the proconsulate of a man whose name is not preserved, but who has usually been identified as either Memmius or Severus. (63)

The new Trajanic milestone from the town zone of Aptera also places Crete on the map of provincial areas, in the Greek East as well as the Latin West, where Trajan engaged in road building or repair at an early date. Trajanic milestones are known from Spain and Asia Minor in 98; (64) from Spain and the Germanies in 98-99; (65) from the Germanies in 99; (66) from Spain in 99-100; (67) and from the Germanies, the Italian peninsula, Asia Minor, and Cyrenaica in 100. (68)

The letters visible in line 7 of the inscription here can be read as the verb dedit, even though no parallel has been found thus far among Roman milestones elsewhere in the Empire. In the Greek East, the verb is used in Latin inscriptions at Corinth and on Crete. The Corinthian example is a 1st-century honorary inscription. (69) The Cretan examples include two from Knossos: one an architectural inscription that may name Nerva rather than Claudius as the donor of the colony's basilica, and the other the lower part of a column that records a local magistrate's donation of funds for games. (70) A third Cretan inscription, from Gortyn, records the dedication of a crossroads repaired using the sacred funds of Diktynna in the reign of M. Aurelius and L. Verus. (71)

We can conclude from the text that the present milestone is indeed the result of the generosity of the emperor Trajan, 15 years or more before he undertook a significant role in the construction and funding of the road that connected western Crete with Gortyn. The subject of the verb is clearly the emperor Trajan, and no proconsul is named as his agent, as in the inscriptions discussed above from Cyrene, Gortyn, and Kantanos. (72) There is no indication of any other official--e.g., a procurator or equestrian official--who might have been in charge of the project, nor is it clear what the donation was, nor to what entity it was donated. (73)

The milestone presented here reveals for the first time Trajan's role in the development of a route that ultimately connected Gortyn with northwestern Crete (Fig. 1). (74) The date of the milestone, when compared with that of other developments on the island, suggests that the emperor was formalizing an old route, not creating a new one. (75) Milestones, coins, and honorary inscriptions dating to the 2nd century are to be found all along this developing road network, and the epigraphic evidence suggests that Trajan was continuing or implementing a Flavian project that was ultimately finished by Hadrian. (76)

Under Trajan, the environs of Aptera were part of this system. To the east, excavations at Eleutherna have brought to light a cylindrical base dedicated to Trajan between 102 and 116. (77) To the west, the Diktynnaion on Cape Tityros may also have been connected with this developing network, perhaps by a road branching off the main route. (78) Toward the end of Trajan's reign silver coinage minted by the Cretan Koinon in 115-117, with Diktynna on the reverse, corroborates Trajan's role in the construction and funding of this road. (79) As we have already noted, the emperor is also named in an architectural inscription at Kantanos, in the north-south corridor that linked Polyrrhenian Kisamos with Elyros and Lissos. (80)

In the reign of Trajan's successor, Hadrian, road construction was undertaken in the territories of Polyrrhenia and Eleutherna, now with funds provided by the sacred treasury of Diktynna. (81) The branch route that connected the Diktynnaion with the main road to Polyrrhenian Kisamos may have been Hadrianic in date, and built with funds from the treasury of Diktynna herself. (82) Neither of the Hadrianic milestones discussed above can be dated more closely than to the period between 119 and 138, but we have suggested that the choice of Latin as the language of the inscription might support an earlier date for the one from Rodopou, in the territory of Polyrrhenia, than for the one from Viran Episkopi, in the territory of Eleutherna. Other, more closely datable inscriptions erected in honor of Hadrian are to be found along the route of the road from Eleutherna and Lappa. (83) At Polyrrhenia Hadrian apparently restored a public building in or after 122-123. (84) South of Kantanos, a portion of the Hellenistic and Roman road that connected Hyrtakina and Elyros with Lissos has been discovered, a road whose width is comparable to that linking Polyrrhenia with the Diktynnaion. (85) While there is no evidence for the date of the Elyros-Lissos section of the Roman road, the comparison with the Polyrrhenia-Diktynnaion road might suggest a Hadrianic date for its continued use or systematization.

The Mileage Figure

The mileage figure of 6 Roman miles is inscribed in the last line of the text in letters 0.08 m in height, as one would expect on a miliarium. We should ask from which point this distance was measured, and what the location of the milestone can contribute to our knowledge of the route between Kydonia and Lappa. (86) Aptera, the city in whose town zone the milestone apparently stood, is only 5.07 km, or 3.43 Roman miles, from the findspot of the stone. A journey of 6 milia passuum (MP) from that spot would therefore take us further away, either toward the sea or inland. Mileage measurements would presumably have been taken from a point within Aptera's town zone to the next significant point or town zone, and rounded up or down to the nearest Roman mile. (87) Milestones ought to provide reliable evidence of an official itinerary and should be compared with documentary sources such as the tabula Peutingeriana, which records a route from Kydonia to Lappa via Apteran Kisamos (Fig. 1). (88) A summary of ancient and modern mileage figureures for the relevant segments of this route is presented in Table 1.

The earliest account we have of this land route is that of Strabo, who makes the distance from Kydonia to Aptera 80 stades (10.8 Roman miles, or 16 km), and the distance from Kydonia to Gortyn 800 stades (108.1 Roman miles, or 160 km). (89) Pendlebury suggested correcting the distance from Kydonia to Aptera to around 70 stades (9.46 Roman miles, or 14 km) and that from Kydonia to Gortyn to around 600 stades (81.1 Roman miles, or 120 km), along a route that passed through Rethymnon, Sybrita, and Apodoulou (Fig. 1). (90)

The Late Imperial tabula Peutingeriana illustrates the road network of Crete, one of four islands represented in detail because they had roads. (91) It is generally recognized that this schematic map is based on an itinerary from the Early Roman period. (92) Arnaud argues that the archetype of the tabula may have contained an Augustan to Early Julio-Claudian layer, a layer related to the voyages of Hadrian, and a Severan layer, with all three used as sources for the regions represented. (93) The map as we have it was first compiled in the 3rd century, between the death of Caracalla (217) and the foundation of Constantinople (324). (94) It may be that the source for the Cretan section of the map is of Severan rather than Hadrianic date, to judge from the absence of the Diktynnaion, which served as the source of funding for Roman road projects from Hadrian through Marcus Aurelius, as well as the discovery of inscriptions of Severan date at Eleutherna, Lappa, and Kantanos, and the fact that senatorial government was returned to the island under Commodus or Septimius Severus. (95)

The result of this compilation is a schematic version of the route that combines good information about the topographic structure of the road network--nodal points, rivers, and mountains--with much other data that are incorrect. (96) On the map Kydonia is represented by a three-tower symbol, indicative of its possession of one or more harbors. (97) Polyrrhenian Kisamos (modern Kastelli Kisamou), the provincial capital at Gortyn, and Hierapytna are represented with a two-tower symbol that has been interpreted either as a modest town with towers for defense or as a marker too vague to suggest any knowledge of the place. (98) Other Cretan towns are indicated by name only and the distances between them are noted. On the Cretan portion of the map there are no symbols representing temples or bath complexes, which might have been based on a particular knowledge of the island or on other, earlier representations. (99)

While the general topographical information preserved by the tabula Peutingeriana may be reliable, it is seriously deficient in recording accurate mileage figures. It gives the distance from Apteran Kisamos to Kydonia as Roman miles (11.84 km) and that from Apteran Kisamos to Lappa as 9 Roman miles (13.32 km). Attempts to use these figureures to plot the approximate route of the ancient roads have not been entirely successful. Pendlebury places Kisamos just below Aptera at Fort Itzedin, near Kalami (Fig. 2:4), and concludes that the distance of 9 Roman miles (13.32 km) from Kisamos to Lappa must be wrong, since the total distance from Kydonia to Lappa is at least 31 Roman miles (45.88 km). (100) Miller, the author of the most exhaustive analysis of the tabula Peutingeriana to date, interprets the first figure of 8 Roman miles as the distance from Kydonia to Aptera instead of to Apteran Kisamos, interpolates the distances from Aptera to the port at Kisamos and from Kisamos to Amphimalla, and then treats the second figureure of 9 Roman miles as the distance between Amphimalla and Lappa, for a total of 27 Roman miles (39.96 km). (101) Miller's route not only falls short of the actual distance between Kydonia and Lappa, but is somewhat tortured, as it requires the Roman road to go up to Aptera and back down to Kisamos before turning south again to Amphimalla.

This particular stretch of the Roman road, as laid out in the tabula Peutingeriana, is problematic. The ancient itinerary often overestimates distances, omits the names of road stations, extrapolates unknown distances from known distances, or shows only one main road and not the more complex network that would have served a region. (102) The 12th-century manuscript in which the map is preserved contains scribal errors and sometimes omits a mileage figure when the same number occurs just before or after it. (103) One cannot fail to notice that the Cretan portion of the tabula Peutingeriana contains a suspicious number of segments with lengths of 8 Roman miles or multiples of eight. (104)

Simply correcting the distances or interpolating unnamed stations is not sufficient to solve the problems, nor is it good methodology to force actual land routes to fit the tabula Peutingeriana. (105) Miller's attempt to do so required him to interpolate distances and stations between Aptera and Amphimalla, and also led him to suggest a route from Kisamos to Amphimalla that cuts across the foothills of the Hippokoronion range (modern Cape Drepanon). (106) It is best to take topography, ancient shorelines, river crossings, bridges, and crossroads into account and then to compare them with the ancient sources. (107)

New archaeological and topographical information enables us to trace the land route reflected, however schematically, in the tabula Peutingeriana. The mileage figure provided by the new milestone, the evidence of Roman road-building practices, bridges and river crossings in the Cretan landscape, the route taken by Robert Pashley in 1834, and an unpublished Latin inscription from Mousela Episkopis (Hydramia, modern Dramia) all combine to improve our knowledge of the segment of the Roman route between Kydonia and Lappa.

For the point from which the mileage figureure on the new milestone is measured, we suggest Aptera's port at Kisamos, explicitly placed between Kydonia and Lappa in the tabula Peutingeriana. The distance from the findspot of the inscription (Fig. 2:9) to Kera, the most likely location of Apteran Kisamos (Fig. 2:14), is 8.85 km or 5.98 Roman miles, a figure rounded up to the 6 milia passuum recorded on the milestone. As in Judaea, the Roman road network here connected a nodal junction inside Aptera's town zone with her port at Kisamos. (108)

Roman roads tended to follow preexisting routes, and road lists, which were derived from official itineraria based on milestones, put special emphasis on road junctions as well as main cities and intermediate villages. (109) In Roman Crete, as in Phoenicia, milestones give the distance to or from road junctions or nearby points along the way. (110) The civic center of Aptera, built on a commanding height overlooking Souda Bay and the Pyktos River valley, was not likely to be a Roman engineer's choice for a major road junction. (111) Instead, the principal Roman road followed the coast from Kydonia to Apteran Kisamos, while preexisting branch roads were used to reach the elevated civic center from the west, east, and south. As in Syria, the road followed the sea as closely as practicable, diverging only to avoid headlands or other difficult terrain. (112)

Further information about the course of the road between Kisamos and Lappa is provided by the Graeco-Roman bridge that crossed the Almyros River at Vrysses (Figs. 1, 2:15), 10.55 km or 7.13 Roman miles from the findspot of the milestone. (113) This bridge and others at Eleutherna and Knossos are rare and valuable evidence for Roman and pre-Roman routes of communication. (114) Defner notes that the bridge at Vrysses has Hellenic foundations, as it was originally built without mortar, and was reconstructed at a later date from the original materials with the addition of a mortar made of river sand and lime ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.]). (115) In 2002 a rescue excavation carried out at the bridge found that it was constructed in the Late Classical period and revealed a small section of Roman paving beside it. (116)

The presence of the new milestone between Stylos and Mahairoi requires that we trace a route from Lappa to Apteran Kisamos that passes not across the foothills of Hippokoronion but inland from it, through the heart of the modern Apokoronas plain. The route from Chania eastward followed by Pashley in 1834 appears to illustrate the most convenient way, ancient or modern, to proceed from ancient Kydonia to Aptera and Lappa (Fig. 1). (117) Pendlebury's account of the roads, rivers, and mountains of Crete refines that of Pashley and likewise suggests that from Kydonia one proceeded to Aptera, then well inland from Cape Drepanon to Vrysses, where the Graeco-Roman bridge crosses the Almyros River, and on to Amphimalla and along the shore to Lappa's port at Hydramia (modern Dramia). (118)

East of Chania, Pashley noted that the marshlands along Souda Bay were rendered passable by portions of an old paved road which he judged "doubtless Venetian." (119) Pendlebury noted the conspicuous absence of roads of certain Roman date, but indicated his willingness to believe that many of the paved kalderimia that are loosely called Venetian or Turkish roads are really relics of Roman occupation. (120) The paved way east of Chania led Pashley and his party up and over Mount Berekynthos (modern Malaxa), from whose summit he was able to survey the plain of Apokoronas, bounded on the south by the eastern foothills of the White Mountains (Fig. 1). (121) Descending from the Malaxa ridge, Pashley made his way to the monastery of Ayios Ioannis Theologos, located amid the ruins of Roman Aptera. (122) He subsequently descended the eastern slope of the Aptera plateau into the plain of Apokoronas, where he crossed the Pyktos River, a major tributary of which arises near the village of Stylos at the foot of the Leuka Montes. (123)

The head of one branch of the Pyktos lies in a pass through which the modern national road runs to pick up the headwaters of the Almyros river, which flows roughly eastward to meet the sea at Amphimalla, a port of Lappa in antiquity, lying west of the port at Hydramia (modern Dramia). From the Apokoronas plain, Pashley took this same route to reach the Graeco-Roman bridge that crosses the Almyros at modern Vrysses, then followed the river down to the coast at Amphimalla. (124) From Amphimalla he proceeded eastward along the coast, via a narrow plain, to Mouri on the eastern shore of Lake Kournas. (125) Rather than keep close to the shore, however, he then descended the brow of a little hill to the village of Episkopi, from which he visited Polis, which he identified as ancient Lappa. (126)

The Roman road, unlike Pashley's route, may well have followed the shore from Amphimalla to Hydramia, where a branch road led to Lappa while the main road continued along the coast to modern Stavromenos (Fig. 1). A new Latin inscription from Mousela Episkopis, with its mention of the aediles Gortyniorum, appears to be a piece of Severan evidence for continued attention to the transit and communications network of Roman Crete, along which Aptera, Lappa, and Eleutherna were critical stations. (127) The inscription was found on the east bank of the Mousela River in the vicinity of ancient Hydramia (modern Dramia), 10 km north of Lappa (Fig. 1).

To sum up: the new milestone from the southern town zone of Aptera is useful not only for confirming the route of the Roman road from Kydonia to Lappa, which led through the Apokoronas plain rather than over Hippokoronion, but also for suggesting the extent of the city's hinterland. (128) The milestone is located at a junction where two branch roads running south from Aptera meet, and it measures the distance from this crossroads to Aptera's port at Kisamos (modern Kera). Evidence of a 1st-2nd century renaissance at Aptera provides the context for this milestone and increases our understanding of the Roman development of the city and its hinterland, from the port at Kisamos to the head of the Pyktos River valley.


The new milestone published here is the earliest of the three milestones currently known from Crete, and the only one found in situ. It can now be set within the broader context of road construction and repair in eastern and central Crete, and the development of the western portion of a road system that linked the capital at Gortyn with Eleutherna, Aptera, and Polyrrhenia.

The Roman route that eventually linked western Crete with the provincial capital at Gortyn was most likely an "articulated" system, constructed in sections and not as one continuous network. Hadrian may have completed a project that had been in development since the Flavian period or even the middle of the 1st century. As in Asia Minor, segments of the road system that were constructed separately could be joined together at a communication center and "nodal point" from which other segments might lead in a number of directions. (129) In the case of Crete the nodal point was the capital at Gortyn, where roads from the west, north, and east converged. Such an articulated road system would not have been marked by a set of standardized milestones, and individual stones of local origin need not have conformed to any predetermined pattern. (130)

In eastern and central Crete, evidence for the Roman road networkhas been found in a number of places. A set of nine inscriptions that mention roadwork in the reign of Claudius has been found at Hierapytna. (131) Another Roman or Hellenistic road connected Olous with the island of Spinalonga, now called Kolokythia island. (132) It would have run through the urban center of Hellenistic and Roman Olous, which now lies below water but for a narrow causeway connecting the "island" with the mainland. (133)

Knossos and the Knossos-Gortyn corridor have been particularly productive. A Neronian inscription mentions road repair at Knossos itself, and a fragmentary stele that apparently delimited the boundary between Knossos and Arkades may contain a reference to several miliaria. (134) In 1993 stretches of the main cobbled road of the colony at Knossos were found during rescue excavations, along the modern road near the Villa Ariadne. (135) In 2001 a Roman roadway was excavated in the north section of the Little Palace, just south of Villa Ariadne. (136) A Late Imperial inscription from Knossos specifically mentions the cursus publicus, without indicating its location. (137) Two bridges of Roman or Graeco-Roman date spanned the Kairatos River on the eastern city limits and the Vlikhia on its southern limits. (138) The caravanserai south of Knossos may reflect the route taken by the Roman road as it departed for Gortyn. (139) Finally, at the other end of a Knossos-Gortyn route, traces of a road leading north from Gortyn toward Knossos via Aulon were found during a field survey. (140)

Over the course of the first two centuries of our era, Gortyn appears to have become the nodal point in a Roman route that ran to the west as well as to the north and east. (141) Distances along this articulated road may have been calculated in the form of measurements between principal turning points or junctions, as the road wound its way westward to the environs of modern Timbaki, north through the Sybrita corridor to the plain of Rhithymna, west to Amphimalla and modern Vrysses, north again through the Apokoronas plain, then westward along the coast from Kydonia past the base of Cape Tityros to Polyrrhenian Kisamos, where it turned south again to Kantanos and Lissos (Fig. 1). Despite the southern orientation of the island as a whole, reflected in its administrative unification with Cyrenae and the location of the provincial capital at Gortyn in the Mesara, the western portion of Crete's Roman road network has a markedly northern orientation, with the exception of the segment that connected Polyrrhenian Kisamos with Lissos via Kantanos, and then Lissos with an unnamed city on the south coast of Crete in the direction of Gortyn. Further archaeological investigation is needed in order to assess the significance of this geographical phenomenon.

We have already suggested that the new Trajanic milestone indicates the number of Roman miles between its findspot and Apteran Kisamos, where the road turned to run west along the north coast of the island to Kydonia and Polyrrhenian Kisamos. We should ask how the other two extant milestones compare. The stone found at Viran Episkopi in the territory of Eleutherna should measure the distance to another junction, where the road turned west along the north coast of the island to reach Rhithymna and Lappa. What remains on the lower portion of the stone are two vertical strokes and a damaged area that could contain one or two more. (142) These letters can be interpreted as a Latin numeral indicating a distance of 3-4 Roman miles, in spite of the fact that the preceding text is in Greek. (143) Viran Episkopi lies along a route from modern Perama to Eleutherna, 4 km (2.7 Roman miles) south of the modern road that runs inland from Stavromenos (Fig. 1). (144) Tzifopoulos has suggested that the mileage figure partially preserved on the stone represents the distance from a crossroads where the Roman route turned south toward Eleutherna. Measured in the other direction, however, it might give the distance to a road junction at or near Stavromenos. (145)

Similarly, the figure of 11 Roman miles preserved on the milestone from Rodopou may indicate the distance from a road junction at Polyrrhenian Kisamos, rather than from the Diktynnaion, as it has traditionally been assumed. There was, to be sure, a Roman road leading along the ridge of Cape Tityros to the Diktynnaion, although distances need not have been measured from there, since it may have been a branch road. (146) The main Roman road, on the other hand, followed the coast westward from Kydonia and cut across the base of Cape Tityros to reach Kisamos, which lay at a critical turning point in the route that led southward to Kantanos and Lissos. From Kisamos 11 milia passuum would bring one to the base of Cape Tityros, within 5 km of Rodopou, where the Hadrianic milestone sits in the garden of the church of Ayios Giorgios. (147) Plutarch mentions a [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.] at ancient Pergamos, which has been tentatively located at the foot of Cape Tityros (Fig. 1). (148) Pendlebury traced a route from Polyrrhenia to Kisamos and then eastward to Nopigia (ancient Mithymna?), across the base of Cape Tityros and then along the coastal shelf all the way to Kydonia. (149) New archaeological discoveries show that the port of Polyrrhenian Kisamos began to flourish at the end of the 1st century. (150) An amphora production facility was active there from the end of the 1st to the beginning of the 2nd century, and a Roman road passing through the town would have been highly useful in the transportation of heavy amphoras. (151)

Measuring the distance to a turning point in the road, either to the north or west of the milestone, appears to be the most economical explanation for the mileage figures inscribed on all three Cretan milestones. Such a system of calculation, from road junctions or nearby destinations, is also consistent with the notion of an articulated road system that developed during the late 1st and early 2nd centuries. The route preserved in the tabula Peutingeriana changed directions several times, from north-south to east-west in the environs of Eleutherna and Aptera, and from east-west to north-south at Kisamos in the territory of Polyrrhenia. In accordance with this pattern we might expect to find similar milestones in the area of modern Timbaki, where the road turned north on its way from Gortyn to Sybrita, and in the rugged terrain of Lissos, where the road turned east on its way to a final unnamed station. (152) Along the way there were other inland road stations too, which may have included (but were not limited to) those whose names are preserved in the tabula Peutingeriana: Gortyn and Sybrita, as well as Lappa, Kydonia, and Kantanos. (153)

The new milestone from the territory of ancient Aptera, here given its first publication, casts valuable light on the Cretan road system in the Roman period and attests to direct imperial involvement on the island during the reign of Trajan. It allows us to compare the differing roles of Trajan and Hadrian in the development of the road network of western Crete, improves our understanding of the principles that determined the placement of Roman milestones, and provides further evidence for the course of the ancient route between Kydonia and Lappa. Gortyn may have been the nodal point in this articulated road system, but in the western reaches of the island it was the cities along the route connecting Lappa with Aptera, Kydonia, and Polyrrhenian Kisamos, and from there with Kantanos and Lissos, that stood to gain most from the attentions of Trajan and Hadrian.

(1.) We would like to express our thanks to Maria Andreadaki-Vlazaki, who shared her knowledge of this inscription and called our attention to its significance. We owe a particular debt of gratitude to Yannis Z. Tzifopoulos of the Workshop of Papyrology and Epigraphy at the University of Crete, Rethymnon, who revisited the inscription to take additional squeezes and to check measurements and readings. Finally, we would like to express our sincere thanks to the anonymous Hesperia reviewers for their thoughtful and constructive comments.

(2.) For Samonas as part of the modern community of Stylos, see Spanakis n.d., p. 354; 1993, p. 635.

(3.) Dounakis 1967, 1968.

(4.) Dounakis 1967, p. 285.

(5.) Dounakis had gathered information from residents of Stylos and concluded that the original location of this column was a place called [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.], near the churches of Ayios Ioannis Theologos and Ayios Nikolaos at the edge of Stylos, along the public road that leads into the village. The column, which had fallen with the passage of time but remained in situ for a long time, was said to have given the location its name (Dounakis 1967, p. 285; see also Spanakis n.d., p. 354).

(6.) Dounakis 1967, p. 563.

(7.) Dounakis 1967, p. 521.

(8.) Steriotou 1992, vol. 1, p. 56.

(9.) See Tzifopoulos 2004, pp. 103-104, on the connection between Diktynna/Hekate and crossroads on Roman Crete.

(10.) Such reports seem to be comparable to the travelers' tales in which a milestone north of Roman Berytus was called the "Pedestal of the Dog" from its position within a square recess of a pedestal cut into bedrock; see Goodchild 1948-1949, pp. 107-108.

(11.) Rodwell 1975, p. 94.

(12.) Rodwell 1975, p. 96.

(13.) See Sedgley 1975, p. 1, for the significance of a quarry within the area of a city as evidence of its status and territorial extent; and Graf 1995, p. 250, for an outcrop that appears to have been a quarry near a concentration of milestones along the Via Nova Traiana in Arabia Petraea. Within the area of Aptera there were two different quarries for the local grayish limestone, as revealed by recent chemical analysis of stone from the Itzedin fortress. The analysis was performed by Noni Maravelaki, the chemical conservator of the 25th Ephoreia, at the Polytechnic School of Chania.

(14.) For the value of a new reconsideration of a region, see Mottas and Decourt 1997, p. 311, on Thessaly. Vanna Niniou-Kindeli has been the principle investigator in the archaeological exploration of Aptera and its environs during the past 20 years.

(15.) The team was composed of four members: Vanna Niniou-Kindeli; Katerina Tzanakaki; Chryssoula Lingeridou, the ephoreia's topographer; and Giorgios Mastrantonakis. Costas Koukoutzakis drafted Figs. 1 and 2, while Ariadne Gazi produced the final versions of all of the figures.

(16.) All dates are A.D. unless otherwise specified.

(17.) Niniou-Kindeli 2002; Niniou-Kindeli and Christodoulakos 2004, pp. 323-326.

(18.) Niniou-Kindeli 2002, pp. 256-257; Niniou-Kindeli and Christodoulakos 2004, pp. 329-334; Martinez Fernandez and Niniou-Kindeli 2002b.

(19.) Niniou-Kindeli 2002, pp. 252-256; Niniou-Kindeli and Christodoulakos 2004, pp. 319-323.

(20.) Niniou-Kindeli 1994-1996, pp. 210-211; 1999, pp. 167-173.

(21.) AR 2000-2001, p. 140, citing To [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.], p. 163; cf. [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.] 2, ser. 4 (1988), p. 280.

(22.) Martinez Fernandez and Niniou-Kindeli 2002a; Niniou-Kindeli 2002, pp. 257-258; Niniou-Kindeli and Christodoulakos 2004, pp. 313-314.

(23.) Niniou-Kindeli and Christodoulakos 2004, p. 313.

(24.) IC II iii, praef. geogr., p. 10; Guarducci 1936, p. 159.

(25.) Rodwell 1975, pp. 78, 98.

(26.) Rodwell 1975, p. 81.

(27.) Rodwell 1975, p. 93.

(28.) Pendlebury [1939] 1965, p. 21; Sanders 1982, p. 165; Talbert 2000, map 60. Hellenistic sherds have been found at Kalami, on a peninsula north of the Itzedin fortress, in layers revealed by the sea (25th Ephoreia archives).

(29.) The survey and rescue excavation were carried out in 2006 by personnel of the 25th Ephoreia of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities (25th Ephoreia archives).

(30.) This is the closest point east of the Pyktos River where evidence of ancient habitation (remains of buildings and cist graves) has been found. Despite several years of investigation, no archaeological evidence for Roman activity has been recovered at Kalyves, pace IC II iii, praef. geogr., p. 11; Spanakis n.d., p. 193; 1991, p. 343.

(31.) Costabile 2001.

(32.) Rodwell 1975, p. 98.

(33.) Cass. Dio 51.2.3.

(34.) ArchDelt 50, B2 (1995 [2000]), p. 734; Niniou-Kindeli 2002, p. 253.

(35.) Goodchild 1948-1949, pp. 104-106.

(36.) Rodwell 1975, p. 76.

(37.) Similar plain limestone columns with cubical bases are characteristic of the early milestones of Cyrenaica, dating to the first two centuries (Good-child 1950, p. 84).

(38.) Such coloration could simply be iron-oxide residue, to judge from Pashley's note that Mount Berekynthos (modern Malaxa), which rises west of the Pyktos valley, should have metallic veins, perhaps of iron (Pashley 1837, vol. 1, p. 58).

(39.) The Hadrianic milestones are IC II xi 6, from Rodopou, and SEG XXIII 581, from Viran Episkopi; see Tzifopoulos 2004, and further discussion below.

(40.) Sandys 1927, p. 242.

(41.) Bennett 1997, p. 96.

(42.) Sandys 1927, p. 242.

(43.) IC IV 331, dated 99-100.

(44.) IC II vi 2, dated 99-100 by M. Guarducci (see below, n. 46).

(45.) IC IV 331; IC II vi 2.

(46.) IC II vi 2. On the basis of the inscription from Gortyn citing Trajan's fourth tribunicia potestas, Guarducci restored the same number in the inscription from Kantanos. The new milestone, dated to the emperor's third tribunicia potestas, calls into question Guarducci's restoration, since the Kantanos inscription might just as well be contemporary with the one from Aptera.

(47.) Eck (1972-1973, pp. 248-249, n. 50) implies that the Kantanos inscription should be dated even earlier, to Trajan's first year, apparently on the basis of the absence of a numeral in the reference to tribunicia potestas. Trajan held tribunician power for the first time only for a brief period, from 27 October to 9 December 97 (Sandys 1927, p. 242).

(48.) The use of the nominative case is also rare in milestones along the via Egnatia in Macedonia; see Gounaropoulou and Hatzopoulos 1985, p. 73. For examples of the nominative in Trajanic milestones from Asia Minor, see French 1988, p. 80, no. 207 (dated to 100); French 1981, p. 54, no. 8(B) (dated to 114-115); French 1981, pp. 50-51, no. 2, and p. 52, no. 4 (both dated to 115-116).

(49.) See Baldwin Bowsky 2004 on the use of Latin and Greek at the Roman colony of Knossos.

(50.) Laing 1908, p. 20; Goodchild 1948-1949, pp. 114-115.

(51.) Isaac 1978, p. 56.

(52.) See Rodwell 1975, pp. 96-97.

(53.) AEpigr 1902, no. 181, is from Lappa, not Aptera, and is now published as IC II xvi 33. Apterans of the first and second centuries with Roman names include the following: [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.] (on an amphora at Pompeii: CIL IV 6438, 6439, 6443; Marangou-Lerat 1995, p. 134); [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.] (Martinez Fernandez and Niniou-Kindeli 2002b); [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.] (Martinez Fernandez and Niniou-Kindeli 2002a, pp. 271-272, no. 5); [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.] (IC II iii 31); and [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.] (IC II iii 45).

(54.) Costabile 2001.

(55.) Costabile 2001; cf. IC II vi 2 and IV 331, the latter at least dated 99-100.

(56.) Costabile 2001.

(57.) The temple was evidently dedicated to a deity whose name begins with the letter A, or else to the imperial cult (unless the A in the inscription belongs instead to a verb form).

(58.) IC II xi 6; SEG XXIII 581; photographs of both in Tzifopoulos 2004, pls. 1, 2. In addition to the two milestones from Crete itself, 10 other inscribed milestones have come to light in Cyrenaica, which formed the other half of the Roman province of Creta-Cyrenae (Goodchild 1950, p. 88). These include two bearing bilingual inscriptions of Vespasianic and Trajanic date (Goodchild 1950, pp. 86-87, nos. 5, 6); two with Latin inscriptions dated to the year 100, and thus contemporary with the milestone published here (Goodchild 1950, pp. 86-87 nos. 6, 7); and two belonging to the reign of Hadrian (Goodchild 1950, pp. 86-88, nos. 4, 8).

(59.) Tzifopoulos 2004.

(60.) Isaac 1978, p. 57.

(61.) AEpigr 1960, no. 198.

(62.) IC IV 331.

(63.) IC II vi 2. The name of the proconsul to be restored in this inscription has been much debated: see Guarducci in IC II vi 2; Eck 1972-1973, pp. 249-250; 1982, pp. 330-331, no. 209; Thomasson 1984, vol. 1, col. 365, nos. 35, 36; Remy 1999, p. 174, no. 35.

(64.) Southern Spain: Sillieres 1990, pp. 98-99, no. 37; p. 104, no. 44; pp. 117-118, no. 60; pp. 121-122, no. 65; pp. 122-123, no. 69; pp. 143-144, no. 85. Tarraconensis: Lostal Pros 1992, pp. 76-77, no. 73; pp. 80-83, nos. 77-79. Asia Minor: French 1988, p. 36, no. 88; p. 43, no. 107; pp. 45-46, nos. 114, 115; p. 47, no. 120; p. 49, nos. 125, 126; p. 56, nos. 143, 144; p. 59, no. 150; p. 68, no. 176.

(65.) Tarraconensis: Lostal Pros 1992, pp. 71-76, nos. 67-72, pp. 78-80, nos. 74-76. Germany: CIL XVII:2 574, 445, 485, 487, 502.

(66.) CIL XVII:2 141, 595.

(67.) Lostal Pros 1992, pp. 69-71, nos. 63-66.

(68.) Germanies: CIL XVII:2 649. Italian peninsula: Donati 1974, pp. 186-187, no. 25. Asia Minor: French 1988, p. 80, no. 207; pp. 206-207, no. 578. Cyrenaica: Goodchild 1950, p. 87, nos. 6, 7.

(69.) Corinth VIII.3, no. 153, line 13, of Tiberian date.

(70.) Nerva or Claudius: IC I vii 50; Sanders 1982, pp. 67-69. Local magistrate: IC I viii 51.

(71.) IC IV 333, with an inscription on the right margin that reads dedic. VI K. Mai Senecione cos., i.e., in 169.

(72.) AEpigr 1960, no. 198; IC IV 331; IC II vi 2.

(73.) See Isaac 1978, p. 57, concerning this question, raised when a milestone is set up on a special occasion, on the initiative of the central government. No Trajanic procurators are thus far attested in Crete. The libertus tabularius (M. Ulpius) Epictetus named at Phoinix might have been on his way elsewhere in Crete when he set up a dedication to Iupiter Sol Optimus Maximus, Trajan, and Serapis, between 102 and 114 (IC II xx 7).

(74.) Tzifopoulos 2004, p. 105.

(75.) Graf 1995, p. 264.

(76.) Baldwin Bowsky 2001, pp. 272-273.

(77.) Tzifopoulos, forthcoming, no. 11.

(78.) For routes branching off a main road in Thessaly, see Mottas and Decourt 1997, pp. 335, 337.

(79.) As suggested by Sideropoulos in Tzifopoulos 2004, p. 105, n. 46. Cf. LIMC III, 1986, pp. 391-393, pl. 282, no. 4, s.v. Diktynna (C. Boulotis). For the coin see Svoronos 1890, pp. 123-124, no. 4; IC II xi nummi 129-130. For this unusual group of coins combining a Latin obverse legend with a Greek reverse legend, see Walker 1977, pp. 65-66 and 108-109, where the suggestion is made that the obverse dies were probably engraved by an artist who worked at a mint in Arabia in 112-114, then moved to Crete when the Arabian mint closed. To Sideropoulos the quality of the coin suggests an origin in the imperial mint in Rome, rather than a provincial mint. Cf. Svoronos 1890, p. 344, no. 63, where the author notes that he is not sure whether this high-quality piece belongs to Crete.

(80.) IC II vi 2.

(81.) Tzifopoulos 2004.

(82.) IC II xi 6.

(83.) Eleutherna: Tzifopoulos, forthcoming, no. 12, dated 117-118. Lappa: IC II xvi 13, dated after 129.

(84.) IC II xxiii 66.

(85.) Niniou-Kindeli 1990, esp. p. 54, citing Welter and Jantzen 1951, p. 115, pl. 10.

(86.) Cf. Goodchild 1948-1949, p. 91, for the use of a mileage figure to fix the original position of a milestone.

(87.) Rodwell 1975, pp. 79, 98.

(88.) Goodchild 1948-1949, p. 92; cf. Fig. 1 here and the endmap in IC II. On the tabula Peutingeriana, see below.

(89.) Strabo 10.4.13 [C 479], cited in Pendlebury [1939] 1965, p. 20, and IC II iii, praef. geogr., p. 9.

(90.) Pendlebury [1939] 1965, pp. 20-21.

(91.) Prontera 2003, p. 9.

(92.) Graf 1995, p. 242.

(93.) Arnaud 1988, pp. 309-310.

(94.) Arnaud 1988, p. 310.

(95.) Eleutherna: IC II xii 29. Lappa: Tzifopoulos 2005. Kantanos: IC II vi 3. For the return of senatorial government to Crete, see Pautasso 1994-1995, esp. pp. 89-92. Geta was honored, in his capacity as provincial quaestor, at Gortyn (IC IV 302).

(96.) Brodersen 1995, p. 187.

(97.) Prontera 2003, p. 11.

(98.) For the first interpretation, see Prontera 2003, p. 11; for the second, see Arnaud 1988, p. 306.

(99.) Arnaud 1988, p. 306.

(100.) Pendlebury [1939] 1965, pp. 21-22.

(101.) Miller ([1916] 1964, p. 607) places Apteran Kisamos at Polikastron on Souda Bay. This toponym is unknown in the territory of Aptera, and is likely to be an error for Palaiokastron, the old name of Aptera itself. Miller's map ([1916] 1964, p. 610), in fact, locates Kisamos not on the southern shore of Souda Bay but somewhat inland, close to the site of Aptera.

(102.) For this assessment of the tabula Peutingeriana, see Mottas and Decourt 1997, pp. 315-316, 320.

(103.) E.g., V for X: Rodwell 1975, pp. 81, 89.

(104.) Miller [1916] 1964, pp. 607-610. 8 MP: Kydonia-Kisamos, Eleutherna-Sybrita. 16 MP: Lissos-Kantanos, Arkades-Lyttos, Lyttos-Chersonesos, Chersonesos-Knossos, Gortyn-Lasaia. 24 MP: Kantanos-Kisamos, Gortyn-Inatos. 32 MP: Gortyn-Sybrita, Eleutherna-Lappa, Kydonia-Kisamos, Inatos-Hierapytna.

(105.) For these recommendations, see Mottas and Decourt 1997, p. 316.

(106.) Miller [1916] 1964, pp. 608-610, map 197. The identification of Cape Drepanon as Hippokoronion is uncertain; cf. Talbert 2000, map 60.

(107.) Mottas and Decourt 1997, pp. 319-320.

(108.) See Roll and Ayalon 1986, p. 113.

(109.) Goodchild 1948-1949, pp. 99, 104-106; Mottas and Decourt 1997, p. 320.

(110.) Goodchild 1948-1949, pp. 98-99, 104, 114.

(111.) Cf. Goodchild 1948-1949, pp. 104-106.

(112.) Goodchild 1948-1949, p. 111. See also Roll and Ayalon 1986, p. 129, for examples of Roman roads moderating their descent by detouring around topographical obstacles.

(113.) See Spanakis n.d., p. 125; Sanders 1982, p. 168. Pendlebury ([1939] 1965, p. 350) lists the bridge under the name of Philippos, now one of the hamlets of modern Vrysses; cf. Spanakis 1993, pp. 792-793, s.v. [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.]

(114.) A detailed map of the eastern section of Eleutherna shows the two Hellenistic bridges, one northwest of the fork where the Halopota and Kyriaki streams divide, and another over the eastern stream, the Kyriaki (Themelis 2002, p. 12). In the territory of Knossos a Roman route passed over a Roman bridge spanning the Vlykhia River (Paton 1994, p. 146). See Pendlebury [1939] 1965, p. 12, for the significance of the occasional survival of a Hellenic bridge, especially west of Knossos and Herakleion; and cf. Mottas and Decourt 1997, p. 320, for the significance of bridges in Thessaly.

(115.) Defner n.d., pp. 21, 78.

(116.) The excavation was undertaken by the 25th Ephoreia, with results to be published in [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.].

(117.) Pashley 1837, vol. 1, pp. 28-88.

(118.) Pendlebury [1939] 1965, p. 13 and p. 8, map 2. With this route between the Pyktos and Almyros watersheds, cf. Roll and Ayalon 1986, p. 129, who note the pattern by which Roman roads crossed hills at their lowest and most convenient crossing points.

(119.) Pashley 1837, vol. 1, pp. 28-29.

(120.) Pendlebury [1939] 1965, p. 365; cf. Mottas and Decourt 1997, pp. 342, 346.

(121.) Pashley 1837, vol. 1, p. 31.

(122.) Pashley 1837, vol. 1, pp. 32-33.

(123.) Pashley 1837, vol. 1, pp. 61-62. The modern Stylos River, a tributary of the Pyktos, arises from copious springs near the village of Stylos; cf. Spanakis 1993, p. 743.

(124.) Pashley 1837, vol. 1, pp. 62, 68.

(125.) Pashley 1837, vol. 1, p. 71.

(126.) Pashley 1837, vol. 1, pp. 75, 83.

(127.) Tzifopoulos 2005. This inscription was seen by one of the authors (Baldwin Bowsky) in 1980, in the storeroom of the Rethymnon Museum, where the provenance was recorded. At the so-called church of Ayios Patapios, remains of a large building of Roman times have been unearthed during rescue excavations: [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.] 8, ser. 4 (2000-2001), pp. 279-283; ArchDelt 50, B'2 (1995 [2000]), p. 734, pp. 739-741.

(128.) Cf. Laing 1908, pp. 21-24.

(129.) Cf. French 1981, p. 13, on the so-called Pilgrim's Road from Constantinople to Jerusalem, with a communication center and nodal point at Ankara, from which sections of the road also led to Melitene and Satala.

(130.) See Mottas and Decourt 1997, p. 323; Rodwell 1975, pp. 96-97.

(131.) IC III iii 25-29; ArchDelt 50, B2 (1995 [2000]), pp. 755-756; to be published in full by Baldwin Bowsky.

(132.) Sanders 1982, p. 141.

(133.) Effenterre 1992.

(134.) Road repair at Knossos: Chaniotis and Preuss 1990, pp. 200-201, no. 17. The boundary stone with Arkades, dated before or shortly after 67 B.C. by Chaniotis (1996, pp. 376-380, no. 62), includes the phrase [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.] (i.e., a term appropriate to miliaria) as many as five times (IC I v 19B and Oliverio's fragment). See Mottas and Decourt 1997, p. 324. Arkades is, notably, one of the cities recorded by the tabula Peutingeriana, between Lyttos and Biannos, on the route that began in Gortyn and ended in Hierapytna.

(135.) Annual Report of the British School at Athens 1992-1993, p. 21.

(136.) Annual Report of the British School at Athens 2001-2002, p. 3.

(137.) Chaniotis and Preuss 1990, p. 193, no. 5, dated to 301.

(138.) Hood and Smyth 1981, p. 40, no. 81; p. 50, nos. 203-204; Paton 1994, p. 146.

(139.) Hood and Smyth 1981, pp. 55-56, no. 284; cf. Mottas and Decourt 1997, p. 334.

(140.) La Torre 1988-1989, pp. 280-285.

(141.) Miller [1916] 1964, p. 607.

(142.) Tzifopoulos 2004, pp. 96-97; Kirsten 1974, p. 83.

(143.) In the corpus of Roman milestones from the Greek East this combination of Greek text with Latin numbers appears to be unparalleled. See Tzifopoulos 2004, p. 96, n. 4, for analogous examples of Latin inscriptions with Greek numbers, and Isaac 1978, p. 57, for distances indicated either in Latin or in Greek or in both languages.

(144.) Perama to Eleutherna: Pendlebury [1939] 1965, p. 8, map 2, and p. 12. Stavromenos, with a Roman bath complex and extensive cemetery: ArchDelt 36, B'2 (1981 [1988]), pp. 403-404; 37, B'2 (1982 [1989]), p. 384; 44, B'2, (1989 [1995]), pp. 457-458; 45, B'2 (1990 [1995]), pp. 445-446; 47, B'2 (1992 [1997]), pp. 590-591; E. Gavrilaki (pers. comm.). For abbreviated notices, see AR 1993-1994, p. 84; 1994-1995, p. 72; 1996-1997, pp. 124-125; 1997-1998, p. 128; 1998-1999, p. 124.

(145.) A small Roman site lies 1.5 km east of Viran Episkopi, along the main road where it crosses a modern bridge over a stream (Hood, Warren, and Cadogan 1964, pp. 59-60, site 7).

(146.) Sanders (1982, p. 174) notes fragments of a bridge over the winter flood course that divides the temple from the rest of the site, and remains of a Roman road that twisted up out of the valley from the Diktynnaion to the south (cf. Gondicas 1988, p. 285; Weltzer and Jantzen 1951, p. 115, pl. 100). For Roman roads along mountain ridges in Judaea, see Roll and Ayalon 1986, pp. 113, 128; and for the notion of a branch road, see Mottas and Decourt 1997, pp. 334-335, 337.

(147.) IC II xi 6.

(148.) Plut. Lyc. 31.4; for the location, see Talbert 2000, map 60.

(149.) Pendlebury [1939] 1965, p. 8, map 2, and p. 14.

(150.) Marangou-Lerat 1995, pp. 36-39; cf. Martinez Fernandez and Markoulaki 2000, p. 105.

(151.) Marangou-Lerat 1995, pp. 36-39. For amphoras from Kantanos, along the Roman route south of Kisamos, see Marangou-Lerat 1995, p. 133, nos. P13, P14, and p. 146, no. P87. Kantanos lay at the head of the Kakodikianos River, which empties into the sea at Palaiochora, where another amphora production facility has been found; Marangou-Lerat 1995, pp. 58-60.

(152.) The unnamed station 30 Roman miles east of Lissos has been identified as Aradena by Guarducci and Miller: see IC II, endmap, and Miller [1916] 1964, pp. 608-610. Aradena is, notably, 3 km inland and upland from Phoinix, the only safe winter harbor on the south coast of the island.

(153.) The tabula Peutingeriana lists some but not all of the places where one might rest (mansiones) or change horses (mutationes), or other stops connected with the cursus publicus (Graf 1995, p. 242; Prontera 2003, p. 12). Stopping places should be ca. 12-18 Roman miles apart (Prontera 2003, p. 15). That the numerals on milestones represent station numbers rather than mileage figures (Kirsten 1974, p. 83, n. 14; Gounaropoulou and Hatzopoulos 1985, pp. 84-85) can be rejected; cf. Tzifopoulos 2004, p. 100, n. 19.


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Martha W. Baldwin Bowsky

University of the Pacific



Vanna Niniou-Kindeli

25th Ephoreia of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities


731 00 CHANIA


Segment of Route                      Strabo            Tab. Peut.

Kydonia to Aptera                    80 stades              --
                                      (16 km)

Kydonia to Apteran Kisamos              --                 8 MP
                                                        (11.84 km)

Apteran Kisamos to Lappa                --                 9 MP
                                                        (13.32 km)

Kydonia to Lappa                        --                 17 MP
                                                        (25.16 km)

Segment of Route                    Pendlebury            Miller

Kydonia to Aptera                    70 stades              --
                                      (14 km)

Kydonia to Apteran Kisamos             8 MP               12 MP *
                                    (11.84 km)          (17.76 km)

Apteran Kisamos to Lappa               23 MP             15 MP **
                                    (34.04 km)          (22.22 km)

Kydonia to Lappa                       31 MP               27 MP
                                    (45.88 km)          (39.96 km)

Segment of Route                 Modern Distances

Kydonia to Aptera                       --

Kydonia to Apteran Kisamos      15 MP (22.2 km)
                                (Chania to km)

Apteran Kisamos to Lappa        24 MP (35.5 km)
                                (Kera to km)

Kydonia to Lappa                39 MP (57.7 km)
                                (Chania to Lappa via Kera)

References: Strabo 10.4; Tab. Peut.: IC II x, praef. geogr., p. 105; IC
II xvi, praef. geogr., p. 191; Pendlebury [1939] 1965, pp. 20-23;
Miller [1916] 1964, pp. 608-610. Modern distances calculated by C.
Lingeridou of the 25th Ephoreia of Prehistoric and Classical
Antiquities, Chania.

* 8 MP (Kydonia to Aptera) + 4 MP (Aptera to Apteran Kisamos)

** 6 MP (Apteran Kisamos to Amphimalla) + 9 MP (Amphimalla to Lappa)
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