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Harpasa is located in Turkey
Shown within Turkey
Alternative nameArpaz
LocationAydın, Turkey
Founded6th century BC
PeriodsArkaik Roma Hellenistik
CulturesAncient Greek
Site notes
ConditionIn ruins

Harpasa (Ancient Greek: Ἅρπασα) was a city and bishopric in ancient Caria in Roman Asia Minor (Asian Turkey), which only remains a Latin Catholic titular see.


Little is known of the history of this town, situated on the east bank of the Harpasus, a tributary of the Mæander. It is mentioned by Ptolemy,[1] by Stephanus Byzantius,[2] by Hierocles,[3] and by Pliny the Elder.[4] According to Pliny, there was in the neighbourhood a rocking-stone which could be set in motion by a finger-touch, whereas the force of the whole body could not move it.

The Ancient Armenian village that resided in present-day Turkey hosts the ruined castle of Arpaz, in the district of Nazilli, nearly preserves the old name as does the Turkish form Harpaskale.


It was important enough in the late Roman province of Caria (civil Diocese of Asia) to become a bishopric, a suffragan of the archbishopric of Stauropolis , in the sway of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Harpasa appears in the lists of the Notitiae Episcopatuum until the 12th or 13th century.

Lequien's Oriens Christianus I, 907 mentions only four historically documented bishops :

Titular see[edit]

The diocese was nominally restored (twentieth century?) by the Catholic Church as Titular bishopric of Harpasa (Latin) / Arpassa (Curiate Italian) / Harpasen(us) (Latin).[5]

It is vacant since decades, having had the following incumbents, so far of the fitting Episcopal (lowest) rank, including an Eastern Catholic :



  1. ^ Ptolemy. The Geography. Vol. 5.2.19.
  2. ^ Stephanus of Byzantium. Ethnica. Vol. s.v Ἅρπασα.
  3. ^ Hierocles. Synecdemus. Vol. p. 688.
  4. ^ Pliny. Naturalis Historia. Vol. 5.29.
  5. ^ Annuario Pontificio 2013 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2013, ISBN 978-88-209-9070-1), p. 839

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainSmith, William, ed. (1854–1857). "Harpasa". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography. London: John Murray.

Sources and external links[edit]

Bibliography – ecclesiastical history
  • Pius Bonifacius Gams, Series episcoporum Ecclesiae Catholicae, Leipzig 1931, p. 447
  • Michel Lequien, Oriens christianus in quatuor Patriarchatus digestus, Paris 1740, vol. I, coll. 907–910
  • Vincenzo Ruggiari, A historical Addendum to the episcopal Lists of Caria, in Revue des études byzantines, 1996, Volume 54, No. 54, pp. 221–234 (nptably p. 233)

Coordinates: 37°48′21″N 28°20′53″E / 37.8058°N 28.3481°E / 37.8058; 28.3481