The Stadiasmus Patarensis is maybe better known as the Miliarium Lyciae, a Roman milestone that was found, as the name indicates, at Patara in ancient Lycia.
The monument has the shape of a pillar and it is of particular interest because it provides a roadmap of Lycia, listing no less than 63 roads with the distances between the fifty cities mentioned. Interestingly, one-third of these 63 roads have been uncovered so far; another five roads were located during excavations in eastern Lycia and ten more in central Lycia. At present, archaeologists are investigating western Lycia near Fethiye and Seydikemer and so far six more roads were found.
There is still a lot of work to be carried out and researchers hope that eventually, they’ll be able to map the entire transportation infrastructure of Lycia, together with its administrative system in Roman times.
Loose blocks of this Stadiasmus Patarensis were discovered in 1994 and when they were put together it resulted into a seven-meter high monument carrying Greek inscriptions on three sides. The central face contains a dedication from 46 AD to Emperor Claudius and the side faces show an official list of roads built by Quintus Veranius, the first Roman governor of the province of Lycia. Since the main face with the emperor’s dedication does not refer in any way to the roadmaps, it is thought that the side panels were inscribed at a slightly later date.
Its initial purpose was to show the power of the Romans in Lycia and Patara as its capital was the right place to erect this monument. The inscription on the central panel describes the Lycians as loving Rome and Caesar, having restored “concord, equality before the law and ancestral laws’.
The above clip shows the reconstructed pillar from all sides and a fully restored view of the inscription. This precious milestone can be seen in the gardens of the Museum of Antalya.