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Article

Aizanoi  

William E. Mierse

[Lat. Aizani]

Site of Hellenistic and Roman city, 54 km south-west of Kütahya in Turkey. Its remains comprise a Temple of Zeus, two agoras, a heroön, a macellum (market), a round structure with the Edict on Prices of Diocletian (ad 301) carved on its exterior walls, a stadium and theatre complex, a bath–gymnasium, bridges and quays. Most date to the 2nd century ad, the period of the city’s greatest prosperity. The theatre–stadium group and the Temple of Zeus were both built during the reign of Hadrian (reg ad 118–37).

The temple is particularly significant because of its excellent state of preservation and its combination of Greco-Anatolian and Roman architectural forms. Inscriptions on the exterior walls of the cella attest to the date of construction. They also record a gift of land to Zeus made by the Hellenistic rulers Attalos I Soter (reg 241–197 bc) and either Prusias I (...

Article

Iain Browning

[now Bilkis]

Site in southern Turkey of a Greek and Roman city that flourished c. 100 bcad 300. It is eight miles from the mouth of the River Köprüçay (anc. Eurymedon) in the region once known as Pamphylia. It was a Greek colony that claimed to have been founded by Argos, but was incorporated with all Pamphylia into the Lydian empire of Croesus (c. 560 bc), and was then lost by Croesus to Cyrus of Persia in 546 bc. Despite the Athenian general Kimon’s double victory over the Persians at the mouth of the Eurymedon (c. 468 bc), and its subsequent membership of the Athenian-dominated Delian League, Aspendos remained voluntarily under Persian control until taken by Alexander the Great (334/333 bc). Thereafter it changed hands several times, being held successively by Antigonos, the Ptolemies and the Seleucids until it was ceded to Rome in ...

Article

Dougga  

M’Hamed Fantar

[anc. Thugga.]

Site of one of the best-preserved Roman towns in Africa, built on a plateau overlooking the valley of Oued Khalled in north-western Tunisia. A fine collection of archaeological material has been found there. Dougga dates back to the earliest phase of Libyan antiquity and certainly belonged to the kingdom of Numidia long before the reign of Masinissa (d 148 bc); writing on the invasion of Agathalus at the end of the 4th century bc, Diodorus Siculus mentioned the king Ailymas, whose domain included the territory of ‘Tebagga’. During the Second Punic War between Rome and Carthage (218–201 bc), Dougga was under the Carthaginians, but it was won back by Masinissa and retained by his successors until the death of Juba I in 46 bc. Of the Numidian town there remain the megalithic wall (4th century bc), the dolmens and the Mausoleum of Atban, one of the finest Libyo-Punic ...

Article

Malcolm A. R. Colledge, Joseph Gutmann and Andrew R. Seager

[now Qal‛at as Sāliḩīyah.]

Site of a Hellenistic and Roman walled city in eastern Syria, on a plateau between two gorges on the west bank of the middle Euphrates. The name combines elements that are Semitic (Dura) and Macedonian Greek (Europos). Dura Europos was founded by the Seleucids in the late 4th century bc at the intersection of east–west caravan routes and the trade route along the Euphrates. It was later a frontier fortress of the Parthian empire and after its capture in ad 165 fulfilled the same role for the Roman empire. After the Sasanian siege in ad 256–7 the city was abandoned. The results of excavations by French and American archaeologists in the 1920s and 1930s threw light on the process of synthesis between Classical and indigenous populations and cultures in Syria-Palestine during Hellenistic and Imperial Roman times. The excavated remains include a synagogue (see §3) with an important cycle of biblical paintings and an Early Christian meeting-house (...

Article

Ephesos  

Thorsten Opper, M. Rautmann, Anton Bammer, Ulrike Muss and Mark Whittow

[Ephesus.]

Site of an important Classical city on the west coast of Turkey, c. 2 km south-west of modern Selçuk. It has been occupied since perhaps as early as the 10th century bc, and its Late Classical Temple of Artemis (Artemision), built on the site of an earlier temple from the Archaic period, was regarded as one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

M. Rautmann

According to Greek tradition, Ephesos was founded in the 10th century bc by Ionian settlers near the mouth of the River Cayster. From the mid-6th century bc it was ruled successively by the Lydians, Croesus of Lydia extending the unfortified city inland, and the Persians. It was conquered by Alexander the Great in 334 bc, and throughout antiquity Ephesos was an important trading centre, its prestige enhanced by the construction of the colossal Temple of Artemis (6th century bc, rebuilt 4th century bc) on the plain to the north-east of the city. In the early ...

Article

Ghirza  

R. J. A. Wilson

Site of Romanized Berber settlement on the banks of the Wadi Ghirza, 240 km south-east of Tripoli, Libya. The site consists of 38 buildings from the 4th and 5th centuries ad, some still preserved up to a height of 7 m. Half a dozen of them are in the form of impressive castle-like structures, two or three storeys high, with interior courts; this type of farm building, once thought to have had a quasi-military role, is typical of the Tripolitanian pre-desert area from the second half of the 2nd century ad onwards. Smaller houses are either single-roomed or have two or three rooms set end to end. One building is a Semitic-type temple probably dedicated to Baal, with an open court and rooms ranged around it. Cisterns, two wells and rubbish middens have also been identified, the last showing that barley, figs and many other crops were present. The settlement seems to have been occupied until the early 6th century ...

Article

Daria Ferrero De Bernardi and Kalinka Huber

[now Pamukkale]

Site in south-west Anatolia, Turkey. The town was built on a travertine terrace formed by sediments of hot mineral-rich springs, overlooking the Meander (Turk. Menderes) Valley. It was founded in the 2nd century bc by the Pergamene kings at an important strategic position; it became part of the Roman province of Asia in 133 bc, and during the Empire it was a prosperous trading centre. In the 4th and 5th centuries ad it was the seat of a bishop, and from the 6th century ad of a metropolitan. It gradually fell into decay and was probably abandoned with the coming of the Saljuqs (12th century). The city was first researched in 1898 by a German mission; since 1957 excavations have been directed by the Italians.

C. Humann and others: Altertümer von Hierapolis, Jahrbuch des Deutschen archäologischen Instituts [prev. pubd as Jb. Ksr. Dt. Archäol. Inst.], suppl. 4 (Berlin, 1898) E. Schneider-Equini...

Article

T. W. Potter

[now Annaba, Arab. al-‛Annāba; formerly Bône]

Site in Algeria that flourished from c. 200 bc to ad 430. It lies close to the Mediterranean coast on flat ground, nearly at sea-level, between two low hills. The town once possessed an excellent harbour as well as a fertile hinterland. It probably began as a Phoenician settlement, but the site has yielded few finds earlier than c. 200 bc and virtually no structures earlier than a great sea-wall of c. 40 bc. Hippo was a Numidian royal centre before being annexed by Rome in 46 bc. It developed in an unplanned way; having received municipal status under Augustus (reg 27 bcad 14), it was promoted to colonial status only in the 2nd century ad. However, extensive white marble quarries lay within its territory at Djebel Filfila, near Skikda, 80km to the west. These were almost certainly developed under Juba II, ruler at Iol Caesarea, 25 bc...

Article

Miletos  

Wolfgang Müller-Wiener

Site on the west coast of Turkey, near the mouth of the River Meander (now Bügük Menderes). The city flourished under the Greeks and the Romans from the 5th century bc to the 3rd century ad. A large Byzantine church was built there in the 6th century. Miletos was once a port but is now 9 km from the sea. German archaeologists have been excavating there since the late 19th century. Milesian architecture played a significant role in the development of ancient Greek architecture in general. It comprised three phases of varying importance.

Little is known of the first settlement, established near the Theatre Bay in the late 16th century bc, except that it consisted of largish but fairly simple dwellings. Towards the end of the 13th century bc it was fortified with a strong wall, mud-brick on stone foundations, 4.3 m high and reinforced by bastions; it enclosed an oval area measuring ...

Article

Olba  

Harry Brewster

[Diocaesarea; anc. Gk. Diokaisareia; now Uğura]

Site of the city of the priestly kings of Cilicia Tracheia (Rough Cilicia), Turkey, in mountainous country 22 km north-east of Seleucia. It is now a village with impressive Hellenistic and Roman remains. The local tribes became hellenized under the Seleucids and were ruled by a dynasty of potentates, the high priests of the sanctuary of Olban Zeus; according to Strabo, the priests traced their line back to Ajax (son of Teucer, the brother of the Homeric Ajax, who had settled in Rough Cilicia after founding Salamis in Cyprus). The Temple of Zeus is among the most interesting and conspicuous buildings of the Hellenistic period at Olba. It is of the Corinthian order, peripteral and hexastyle with 12 columns (h. 13 m) on its flanks. It was built in the first years of the 3rd century bc with funds donated by Seleukos Nikator (c. 358–281 bc) and is the earliest known ...

Article

Dominic Montserrat

[anc. Egyp. Per-Medjed; Copt. Pemdje; now el-Bahnasa]

Site on the Bahr Yusuf, 50 km north of el-Minya in Egypt. Little is known of the town in the Dynastic period (c. 2925–332 bc), when it was the capital of the 19th Upper Egyptian nome and played an important role in the mythology of Osiris. Its main importance is as a source of Roman-period (30 bcad 395) papyri, which were preserved by the dry climate, encaustic mummy portraits and Early Christian funerary sculpture.

The rubbish heaps of Oxyrhynchus were first excavated by Bernard Grenfell and Arthur Hunt in 1896, and they have since yielded over 10,000 papyri, the largest number from a single site. They provide unique examples of Roman book illustrations, including circus scenes and stories from mythology, as well as more ephemeral works such as preliminary sketches in wash for wall paintings and coloured designs for textiles (all now Oxford, Ashmolean). Papyrus rolls with fine manuscripts of literary texts attest the art of the calligrapher in Roman Egypt; some luxury books found at the site may have been produced in ...

Article

Palmyra  

Malcolm A. R. Colledge and Pascale Linant de Bellefonds

[Arab. Tadmor]

Site of an oasis city in Syria that flourished c. 60 bcad 273, for most of this period under Roman rule (see fig.). The oasis, bounded on the west by limestone hills and with a spring called Efqa (1a), attracted inhabitants from Stone and Bronze Age times (c. 2300–c. 2200 bc). The name Tadmor appears soon after 2000 bc. By c. 1110 bc (Semitic) Aramaeans were installed, who with more recently arrived (Semitic) Arabs comprised the main population in the Roman period. The Seleucids ruled the small community in the Hellenistic period, but they were ousted in 64/63 bc and Syria became a province of the expanding power of Rome. For decades the Romans apparently controlled only the coast, leaving the oasis dwellers semi-independent and profiting from trans-desert caravan routes between Mesopotamia and the Mediterranean. Perhaps under Augustus (reg 27 bc...

Article

Iain Browning, R. A. Tomlinson and Hans-Joachim Schalles

[Turk. Bergama]

Site of an ancient Greek city in Asia Minor (now Turkey), later part of the Roman Empire. Pergamon (Gr.: ‘fort’ or ‘stronghold’) occupies a steep-sided hill (h. 355 m) 110 km north of Smyrna and c. 15 km from the Aegean. It is flanked by two tributaries of the River Kaikos, the Selinos to the west and the Ketios to the east. Pergamon flourished especially under Attalid rule (282–133 bc).

Iain Browning

When Pergamon was visited by Xenophon in the early 4th century, it was merely the stronghold of a local dynast, and it continued as such during early Hellenistic times. In the partition of Alexander the Great’s empire by his ‘Successors’ (Diadochi), Lysimachos, one of Alexander’s bodyguard, received Pergamon as part of a province comprising Thrace and north-west Asia Minor. There he established a military stronghold in which he deposited his treasury, his portion of Alexander’s wealth. Before the battle of Ipsos (...

Article

Perge  

Harry Brewster

Site in Pamphylia, now southern Turkey. It was celebrated in Greek and Roman times for its worship of Artemis, in whose honour annual festivals were held. The deity was of Anatolian origin, but the city was a Greek foundation, according to legend dating back to the wave of Greek settlers led by Kalchas and Mopsos after the fall of Troy. An inscription found in the older gate of the city bears the names of these two mythical heroes. Perge spread and flourished at the foot of the acropolis on which the first settlement had been established but where only some Byzantine remains survive. No traces of the Temple of Artemis have been found, but the cult of the goddess brought about an accumulation of valuable offerings from the whole region; they were plundered by Verres in 79 bc. Practically nothing is known of the history of Perge until Alexander the Great, to whom it peacefully surrendered (...

Article

Petra  

Philip C. Hammond

[Semit. Reqem; Heb. Sela‛; Arab. Ḥiṣn Sal‛]

Site in the southern desert of Jordan, 262 km south of Amman and 133 km north of the Gulf of Aqaba, near the modern village of Wadi Musa. It is famous for its rock-cut monuments. The site, which may be that of the biblical Rock of Edom, was strategically located adjacent to the ‘King’s Highway’, the major north–south communication line between Aqaba and Amman, and protected on both east and west by parallel massifs of sandstone; it was supplied with perennial springs. As the capital of the ancient kingdom of Nabataea from c. 312 bc to ad 106, it was cited by Strabo, Pliny and other Classical writers under its Greek name Petra (Gk.: ‘rock’). In ad 106 it was incorporated into the Roman province of Arabia by the emperor Trajan (reg ad 98–117). It was destroyed by earthquake in ad 363; during the Byzantine period it was occupied by anchorites. In the 11th–12th centuries the Crusaders knew it as the Valley of Moses, following established Bedouin folklore; with the fall of Jerusalem in ...

Article

S. Cormack

[Aǧlasun]

Site in Pisidia, south-west Turkey, which flourished c. the 4th century bcc. the 4th century ad; it occupies a naturally defensible position some 1650 m above sea-level. It was the leading city of Pisidia at the time of Alexander the Great, who attempted to capture it, and throughout the Imperial period, when it was an ally of Rome and part of the province of Galatia, with territory extending some 45 km west. Its civic titles and abundant coinage proclaim its prosperity during the Imperial period.

The city axis is directed south–north, being almost level in the south yet rising steeply to the upper agora in the north. During the Hellenistic period the civic centre was situated on the upper ridge, where a Doric temple and bouleuterion (council chamber) are located (both 2nd century bc). A well-preserved frieze of dancing maidens came from a heroon (before 150 bc). The upper agora was laid out with porticos in the ...

Article

Seeia  

J. Dentzer-Feydy

[Seia; Arab Sī‛]

Site in southern Syria, 3 km south-west of Qanawat, known principally for its regional sanctuary, now very much decayed (late 1st century bc–2nd century ad). Built on the tip of a spur cut by erosion into the north-west flank of the Jabal al-‛Arab, at some distance from main population centres, Seeia stood in a high position overlooking the valley of Qanawat. Several routes, which met at the lower end of the sacred way, connected this isolated site to neighbouring localities, which suggest that the sanctuary was a place of pilgrimage, trade and general contact for the inhabitants of the surrounding agricultural areas and for nomadic herders. The valley still retains traces of agricultural management, numerous tombs in the form of barrows and towers and a small sanctuary where the routes meet at a crossroads.

The oldest known part of the sanctuary is the Temple of Baalshamin, supreme god of ancient Lebanon and the Syrian hinterland; this was built between ...

Article

Side  

Harry Brewster

Site on the Pamphylian coast of southern Turkey. The city was Greek and Roman; when Captain Francis Beaufort discovered it in 1811 the ruins were overgrown with vegetation, but remarkable remains have come to light as the result of clearing and excavation. Side was founded in the 7th century bc, according to Strabo (Geography XIV.iii.2) and Arrian (Campaigns of Alexander I.xxvi), by colonists from the Aeolian city of Kyme who forgot their own Greek language, presumably as a result of being absorbed by the local Anatolian people. After Alexander the Great’s conquest (c. 333 bc) the inhabitants of Side became entirely hellenized. Early in the 1st century bc they grew rich as the result of the slave trade, the city being the main harbour used by the Cilician pirates. When their power was crushed by Pompey in 67 bc, the prosperity of Side declined. The city flourished again, however, under the Roman peace, particularly in the 2nd century ...

Article

T. W. Potter

[Timgad]

Site of one of the most completely excavated Roman towns in North Africa (see fig.). It lies on the edge of a plain in Algeria, below the northern flanks of the Aures mountains, some 160 km from the Mediterranean coast. It stood at a nodal point in the road system: to the west lay the legionary fortress at Lambaesis, while to the east was the main route to Thevestis and Carthage. It was founded by Trajan in ad 100 as a colony for army veterans, the Colonia Marciana Traiana Thamugadi, and built by soldiers stationed at Lambaesis. Although its plan is overwhelmingly military, there is little doubt that Thamugadi was intended to be a town, not a military base. Its square shape comprises a grid of 111 blocks, each 20 sq. m; most were subdivided into properties for the individual settlers, while a good number were given over to public buildings....