Hadrianopolis (Epirus)

Hadrianopolis is a Roman city lying in the region of ancient Epirus (now in modern-day Albania, south of Gjirokastra) originally inhabited by the Greek tribe of the Chaonians. The city was founded by the emperor Hadrian – who visited the area in 125 AD – on the site of an earlier Hellenistic settlement.

Coordinates: 40° 22′ 37″ N, 19° 41′ 59″ E

Hadrianopolis

Hadrianopolis 2In the 1970s a landslide revealed the remains of an ancient theatre in the Drinos Valley, near the village of Sofratikë. Ancient sources mentioned a city built during the reign of Hadrian called Hadrianopolis and located between Apollonia and Nicopolis according to the Tabula Peutingeriana. It was not until 2002 when subsequent excavations and geophysical research were carried out that archaeologists realised they had uncovered Hadrianopolis.

The city occupied a square area ca. 400m x 400m in size (about 16 hectares) and was planned following a regular grid pattern with streets crossing each other at right angles. The most prominent archaeological remains excavated so far are the Roman theatre and a large public building which included a bath complex with hot and cold rooms.

Hadrianopolis enjoyed continuous habitation until at least the end of the 5th century AD. During the 6th century AD the Byzantine emperor Justinian I fortified several outposts throughout the region and is known to have re-founded Hadrianopolis as Justinianopolis.

PORTFOLIO

The Roman theatre built during the reign of Hadrian.
The Roman theatre built during the reign of Hadrian.
The stage of the Hadrianic theatre, it constisted of a low rostrum (pulpitum) behind which rose the stage wall (scenae frons).
The cavea of the Hadrianic theatre measuring 58m in diametre.
The stage (scenae frons) of the Hadrianic theatre.
The stage of the Hadrianic theatre. It consisted of a 26m long rostrum (pulpitum) behind which rose the stage wall (scenae frons).
The Hadrianic theatre had 24 rows of seats made of limestone blocks, seating about 3500-4000 spectators.
The Hadrianic theatre had 24 rows of seats made of limestone blocks, seating about 3500-4000 spectators.
The supporting wall of the Roman theatre built during the reign of Hadrian.
The supporting wall of the Hadrianic theatre.
The remains of a large public building in front of the Hadrianic theatre consisting of a complex of rooms arranged around a courtyard.
Part of the foundations of a Hellenistic monument in front of the Hadrianic theatre and remains of a large public building consisting of a complex of rooms arranged around a courtyard.
Two of the rooms of the large public building in front of the Hadrianic theatre preserve traces of a hypocaust. They were hot rooms of a Roman bath complex.
Two of the rooms of the large public building in front of the Hadrianic theatre preserve traces of a hypocaust. They were hot rooms of a Roman bath complex.

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