Xanthus, Pillar of Kherei


Xanthus: town in western Lycia; its original name was Arňna, its modern name is Kınık.

Pillar of Kherei

Pillar of Kherei

The Pillar of Kherei (which is also known as the Inscribed Pillar, the Xanthus Obelisk, and the Harpagus Monument) dates back to the last quarter of the fifth century BCE. It contains several inscriptions in Greek, Lycian, and a language known as Milyan (which is known from only one other inscription, found in Antiphellus). The two last-mentioned languages are not well-understood but belong to the Luwian branch of the Indo-European family.

The Greek text is an epigram of twelve lines, which informs us that a Lycian prince named Kerei was the son of a Harpagus and a successful wrestler, the conqueror of several towns, and a valiant warrior. There are several reliefs, which are now in the Archaeological Museum of Istanbul.

The other texts add up to more than 250 lines, but because these languages are still poorly understood, the details are incomprehensible.