212 DE NOVIS LIBRIS IUDICIA J. L. BENSON, Ancient Leros (Greek, Roman and Byzantine Monographs, 3). Durham (North Carolina), Duke University, 1963. XII, 58 p. 16 pl. Pr. D. 2.50. Very little is known of ancient Leros. The account by Pherekydes, the only extensive one that seems to have existed, is lost and the island is only incidentally mentioned by other authors. In modem times a few inscriptions have come to light and some surveying has been done, but no excavations have taken place. Mr. Benson's study provides the base for all future work, either for a more detailed survey of the whole island or a thorough exploration of a particular site. It contains a detailed description of the survey-trip made by the author in ig6i, two sections on ancient literary references and inscriptions, and a sane summary of the ancient history of the island. It is concluded by some appendices, in which, among other things, surface sherds are desciibed and illustrated; a note on Milesian fabric has been added. From its countless interesting observations some may be selected here. There is some evidence for the presence of Achaeans in the remains of a wall of Cyclopean type at Xerokampos, but not a single Bronze Age sherd is reported from the island. Habitation is attested by surface sherds at Ayia Marina from the early seventh century onwards. Other sites begin to yield evidence in the fourth century. For the Hellenistic period an Asklepieion is postulated not far from Ayia Marina as a dependency of the one in Kos. In the village some tombs of this period seem to have been found and plundered and others may still be hidden under later remains. Hellenistic sherds are surprisingly rare. Fragments of Roman pottery were found at the three major sites, but the existing walls are all late, either Late Roman or Byzantine. Theie is much evidence for the existence of churches from the fourth century onwards. The value of this study is sometimes slightly impaired by the fact that the reader is not always given all information he needs. For example, how should one know what happened in zo87 and who was Osios Christodoulos ? Why have not all twelve inscriptions, listed in Part 2, been printed, while all ancient literary testimonia are given in full, with translation, in Part 3 ? In the first chapter the absence of a reasonable map makes itself painfully felt. This may be due to pardonable cautiousness of NATO officials, but even so pl. 2, dating from 18c?8, might have been amply sufficient, had it been printed on a larger scale. As it is presented now, details and names can scarcely be made out and it lacks indication of the North. But these are minor points, and we may be grateful to the author for this useful introduction to the archaeology and history of Leros. AMSTERDAM-O., Weesperzijde 33 J. M. HEMELRIJK
Mnemosyne – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1966
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