Coordinates: 38°52′N 30°45′E / 38.867°N 30.750°E / 38.867; 30.750
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Sarcophagus dated between 150 and 180 in Dokimeion marble

Docimium, Docimia or Docimeium (Greek: Δοκίμια and Δοκίμειον) was an ancient city of Phrygia, Asia Minor where there were famous marble quarries.[1] The exact site of Docimium was a matter of some dispute until recently; it is now fixed at the modern Turkish town İscehisar, in Afyonkarahisar Province.[2]


This city, as appears from its coins – which bear the epigraph Δημος or Ιερα Συνκλητος Δοκιμεων Μακεδονεν – where the inhabitants are called Macedonians, may have been founded by Antigonos Dokimos.[3][4] The city's name in Greek is Romanized as Dokimeion, Dokimia Kome, Dokimaion, and later Dokimion.

Strabo places Docimium somewhere about Synnada: he calls it a village, and says that there is there a quarry of Synnadic stone,[5] as the Romans call it, but the people of the country call it Docimites and Docimaea; the quarry at first yielded only small pieces of the stone, but owing to the later efforts of the Romans large columns of one piece are taken out, which in variety come near the Alabastrites, so that, though the transport to the sea of such weights is troublesome, still both columns and slabs were brought to Rome of wondrous size and beauty. The word Docimaea (Δοκιμαίαν) in this passage of Strabo appears to be corrupt. It should be either Δοκιμαῖον or Δοκιμέα. Strabo says that the plain of Synnada is about 60 stadia long, and beyond it is Docimium. The Catholic Encyclopedia infers from this that he supposed Docimium to be not far from the limit of the plain. The Table makes it 32 M. P. between Synnada and Docimium, and Docimium is on the road from Synnada to Dorylaeum; but the number is certainly erroneous.

Docimium was the most important marble quarry and workshop for sarcophagi until around the late third century when the production of the famous columnar sarcophagi ended.[6]

Episcopal see[edit]

Many Christian inscriptions have been found at this site, dating to the time after Constantine.

Docimium was a suffragan of Synnada in Phrygia Salutaris. Six or seven bishops are known, from 344 to 879 (Lequien, Oriens Christianus, I, 853); another bishop is mentioned in an inscription.[3] Docimium is included in the Catholic Church's list of titular sees.[7]

Docimeaen Marble[edit]

Pantheon, Rome. White Docimian marble is used on the floor and some of the columns such as the two protruding columns of the main apse. The white Docimian color on the floor is very dominant.

Historically marble from Docimium was generally referred to as "Docimeaen marble" or "Synnadic marble".[8] Docimian marble was highly admired and valued for its unique colors and fine grained quality by ancient people such as the Romans.[9] When the Romans took control over Docimian quarries, they were impressed by the beautiful color combinations of Docimian Pavonazzetto, which is a type of white marble with purple veins. These colours which streaked the white marble, taken from the city's holy mountain, were attributed to the drops of blood from the dying god Attis.[10] Emperors such as Augustus, Trajan and Hadrian made extensive use of Docimaean marble to many of their major building projects.[11][12] These include the Pantheon,[13][14] Trajan's Forum[15][16][17] and the Basilica Aemilia[18][19] (see the main article on Pavonazzo marble for a list of buildings including Docimaean marble).


  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainSmith, William, ed. (1854–1857). "Docimia". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography. London: John Murray.
  1. ^ Steph. B. s. v. Σύνναδα.
  2. ^ Richard Talbert, Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World, (ISBN 0-691-03169-X), Map 62 & notes.
  3. ^ a b  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainPétridès, Sophron (1909). "Docimium". In Herbermann, Charles (ed.). Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 5. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  4. ^ Smith raises doubt whether the coins are genuine.
  5. ^ Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Kara-Hissar" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 15 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 674.
  6. ^ Niewöhner, Philipp (2017). The Archaeology of Byzantine Anatolia From the End of Late Antiquity Until the Coming of the Turks. Oxford University Press. p. 41. ISBN 9780190610463. Retrieved 28 September 2023.
  7. ^ Annuario Pontificio 2013 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2013 ISBN 978-88-209-9070-1), p. 882
  8. ^ Strabo. Geography. "Book 9, chapter 5, section 16"
  9. ^ Donato Attanasio (2003). Ancient White Marbles. p. 154. ISBN 9788882652470.
  10. ^ Robin Lane Fox, Pagans and Christians, p41
  11. ^ Donato Attanasio (2003). Ancient White Marbles. p. 157. ISBN 9788882652470.
  12. ^ Strabo. Geography. Book 12, 8, 14
  13. ^ Anthony Grafton (2010). Classical Tradition, Harvard University. p. 842. ISBN 9780674035720.
  14. ^ William Lloyd Macdonald (2002). The Pantheon, Harvard University. p. 86. ISBN 9780674010192.
  15. ^ Gaynor Aaltonen (2008). The History of Architecture. ISBN 9781782127970.chapter, ROME: CROSSING CONTINENTS
  16. ^ James E. Packer (2001). The Forum of Trajan in Rome. University of California Press. p. 120. ISBN 9780520226739.
  17. ^ Ben Russell (2013). The Economics of Roman Stone Trade, Oxford University. OUP Oxford. p. 229. ISBN 9780199656394.
  18. ^ Max Schvoerer (1999). ASMOSIA 4, University of Bordeaux. Presses Univ de Bordeaux. p. 278. ISBN 9782867812446.
  19. ^ Gilbert J. Gorski (2015). The Roman Forum, Cambridge University. Cambridge University Press. p. 19. ISBN 9780521192446.

38°52′N 30°45′E / 38.867°N 30.750°E / 38.867; 30.750