THE HONORIFIC ARCH FOR ORNIMYTHOS OF LIMYRA

The honorific arch for Ornimythos of Limyra is the monument of a prominent citizen of Limyra that was possibly constructed during his time as leading politician of this polis and one of the key representatives of the Lycian League.

The foundation of the honorary arch for Ornimythos as well as some building elements to the south of the Ptolemaion are preserved in situ.  Furthermore, more than 30 architectural elements exist that have been assigned to the arch and permit a reconstruction. The monument is dated to the very early imperial period.

Architecture of the arch


The single arched honorary gate was built in two stories. In the lower story, the two bases of the archway are created as three, bundled, fluted semi-columns with Corinthian capitals and the outside consisted of simple pillars also in the Corinthian order. The entablature of the lower story included a central broken pediment on which an arch with double fascia with the honorary inscription for Ornimythos rested. The framing pillar on the outer side of the upper story was executed in the Corinthian order. Capitals and pillars of the outer narrow side were worked on all sides so that the monument must have been free standing. The top edge was marked by a horizontal geison. As also commonly found on other honorific arches, the upper edge of the geison blocks contain incisions that indicate that bases for honorary statues or something similar were set up. The total height can be reconstructed to have been 10 m. The minimal width of the monument is particularly remarkable and in the area of the lower trefoil columns only measured 1.25 m.

Project aims


A precise and detailed reconstruction of the honorific arch is the basis for its architectural and historical classification. This is of particular interest in connection with the cultural and social historical interpretation of the building: Ornimythos was likely a proponent of the ›romanization‹ of Lycia and its reorganization as a Roman province by the Emperor Claudius in 43 CE.