Stratonicea (Caria)

Stratonicea was an inland city built on a plain near the sources of the river Marsyas. Today, the ruins of the ancient city are located in the abandoned village of Eskihisar, 28 km east of Milas. They lie among crumbling houses and deserted cottages which give travellers a feeling of mystery and enchantment.

Coordinates: 37° 18′ 53″ N, 28° 3′ 57″ E

Stratonicea

Stratonicea, which has been inhabited uninterruptedly for over 3,500 years, is considered as one of the world’s largest marble cities and is listed on Unesco’s tentative World Heritage Site list. Excavations are still ongoing around the site, exposing more and more of the forgotten city. This year’s excavations have unearthed many Byzantine-era tombs.

Stratonicea was founded on the site of an old Carian town by the Seleucid king Antiochos I in the 3rd century BC. It was named in honour of his former stepmother and later wife Stratonice, a Syrian princess. Stratonicea was a thriving city during the period of the Seleucids, who, according to Strabo, adorned it with luxurious buildings. Later, the city was ceded to the Rhodians and in 200 BC it came under the control of the Macedon’s king Philip V for a short period of time. It was recovered by the Rhodians in 197 BC, keeping it until 167 BC when with the whole of Caria was declared free by the Roman Senate.

The key monuments visible to the modern visitor include a large theatre fitting 10,000 spectators, a temple of Augustus, a colonnaded street lined by mosaics, a bouleuterion (council chamber) with multiple Roman inscriptions (including a copy of Diocletian’s Price Edict of 301 AD), and an enormous Hellenistic gymnasium. The gymnasium was built in the second quarter of the 2nd century BC to the west end of the city and was richly decorated in the Corinthian order. The total length of the building is estimated to 180 meters, making it the largest known gymnasium in antiquity.

In the territory of Stratonicea there were three important sanctuaries: Zeus Chrysaoreus, Hecate at Lagina, to the north of the city and Zeus Panamareus. A Sacred Way led to the sanctuary of Hecate, beginning from the northern gate of Stratonicea’s walls through the necropolis.

The first scientific excavations at the site began in 1977 under the direction of Prof. Dr. Yusuf Boysal. Since 2008, researches, excavations and restoration works have been carried out by Prof. Dr. Bilal Söğüt from the Pamukkale University. Stratonicea was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2015.

PORTFOLIO

The Gymnasium was built in the second quarter of the 2ndcentury BC to the west end of the city in a small distance from the fortification wall.
The Gymnasium was built in the second quarter of the 2nd century BC to the west end of the city in a small distance from the fortification wall.
The total length of the Gymnasium is estimated to be 267 m. Hence it is the largest known gymnasium from antiquity.
The total length of the Gymnasium is estimated to be 267 m. Hence it is the largest known gymnasium from antiquity.
The ruins of the Ephebeion (where the Ephebes would receive instruction on Greek culture) of the impressive Gymnasium, built in the second quarter of the 2nd century BC to the west end of the city, Stratonicea Caria, Turkey
The ruins of the Ephebeion where the Ephebes would receive instruction on Greek culture. It was part of the Gymnasium.
The ruins of the impressive Gymnasium, built in the second quarter of the 2nd century BC to the west end of the city, Stratonicea Caria, Turkey
The ruins of the impressive Gymnasium. The 105 metre wide and 267 metre long complex served both as a sports centre and a classroom, where history and philosophy classes were given in the past.
The Late Hellenistic Bouleuterion, built around 130 BC, Stratonicea Caria, Turkey
The Bouleuterion, located at the center of the city. Based on the architectural elements and decoration, the building can be dated back to the second half of the 1st century BC.
The Late Hellenistic Bouleuterion with four lower rows of seats are still preserved.
The Late Hellenistic Bouleuterion with four lower rows of seats are still preserved.
The Late Hellenistic Bouleuterion, built around 130 BC, Stratonicea Caria, Turkey
The Late Hellenistic Bouleuterion.
On the exterior façade of the Bouleuterion provides one of the fullest versions of the long Prices Edict of Diocletian. The Latin inscription showed the price list of merchandises and services in Stratonicea in 301 AD. Hence, the sales in the city remained under control and inflation was prevented. This inscription is the best preserved example in Asia Minor and the only one carved on a wall of a bouleuterion.
The interior façade of the Bouleuterion with, inscribed in Greek, a calendar which was made by Menippos, a native of Stratonikeia and according to Cicero one of the most distinguished orators of his time.
The remains of the Propylaea, a monumental gateway.
The remains of the Propylaea, a monumental gateway.
The remains of the Propylaea, a monumental gateway.
The remains of the Propylaea, a monumental gateway.
The ruins of Stratonicea among the buildings of the old village of Eskihisar.
The ruins of Stratonicea among the buildings of the old village of Eskihisar.
The ruins of the Stoa at the edge of the Agora, Stratonicea.
The ruins of the Stoa at the edge of the Agora.
The ruins of Stratonicea.
The ruins of Stratonicea.
The peripteral temple built in the Ionic order, it is situated on the upper terrace and was probably dedicated to the Roman Emperor (possibly Augustus), early imperial period, Stratonicea, Caria, Turkey
The peripteral temple built in the Ionic order. It is situated on the upper terrace and was probably dedicated to the Roman Emperor (possibly Augustus).
The peripteral temple built in the Ionic order, it is situated on the upper terrace and was probably dedicated to the Roman Emperor (possibly Augustus), early imperial period, Stratonicea, Caria, Turkey
The Temple of Augustus.
The Temple of Augustus.
The Temple of Augustus.
The theatre, erected in the Hellenistic period in the north slope of the south hill, its capacity was approximately 10,000 spectators, Caria, Turkey
The theatre was erected in the Hellenistic period in the north slope of the south hill. Its capacity was approximately 10,000 spectators.
The ruins of the scene (scaenae frons) of the Theatre.
The ruins of the scene (scaenae frons) of the Hellenistic Theatre.
A carved Thyrsus which formed part of the decoration of the scene in the Hellenistic Theatre, the thyrsus, associated with Dionysus, god of the Theatre.
A carved Thyrsus which formed part of the decoration of the scene in the Hellenistic Theatre, the thyrsus, associated with Dionysus, god of the Theatre.

Links:

One thought on “Stratonicea (Caria)

  1. Pingback: Lagina – following hadrian photography

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s