Mastaura in Asia

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Mastaura in Asia was a small town that under the Roman Empire was incorporated into the province of Asia I.

It is to be distinguished from the town of Mastaura in Lycia.


Mastaura was situated in the north of Caria, at the foot of Mount Messogis, on the small river Chrysaoras, between Tralles and Tripolis.[1][2] Some sources speak of the town as originally belonging to Lydia, a kingdom into which Croesus (560-546 BC) briefly incorporated Caria.[3][4]

Pliny the Elder mentions the town as dependent on Ephesus as its provincial capital and thus as belonging in his time (1st century AD) to the Roman province of Asia.[5] The geographer Strabo mentions the town as being in the valley of the Maeander River.[6]

On 16 October 1836, William Hamilton visited the ruins, then overgrown with ilex trees, brush and brambles.[7]

The partially preserved theatre of Mastaura, whose cavea is now occupied by an olive grove, awaits excavation.[8][9]


Mastaura had the privilege of having a mint and some of its coins are extant.[1][4]


To Mastaura in Asia Lequien assigns four named bishops. Theodosius attended both the Council of Ephesus in 431 and the Robber Council of Ephesus in 449. His replacement Sabatius asked Bishop Hesperius of Pitanae to represent him at the Council of Chalcedon in 451. Theodorus took part in the Third Council of Constantinople in 680. Constantinus was one of the fathers of the Second Council of Nicaea in 787.[10] To these four adds a Baanes who was at the Photian Council of Constantinople (879), but it is unclear whether he was bishop of Mastaura in Asia or of Mastaura in Lycia.[11]

No longer a residential bishopric, Mastaura in Asia is today listed by the Catholic Church as a titular see.[12]