Hadrianopolis (Epirus)

Hadrianopolis is a Roman city lying in the region of ancient Epirus (in what is now 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 AD 125 – on the site of an earlier Hellenistic settlement.

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

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.

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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 diameter.
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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Euromos

Euromos was an ancient city located near in the province of Caria. It is first mentioned in the 5th century BC when it was known as Kyromos. The city was subdued by nearby Mylasa during the reign of King Mausolus of Halicarnassus in the 4th century BC but regained some autonomy during the Roman rule. Its ruins are located approximately 4 km southeast of Selimiye and 12 km northwest of Milas in the Muğla Province of Turkey.

Coordinates: 37° 22′ 27″ N, 27° 40′ 31″ E

Euromos

Euromos stood on flat ground which did not provide a natural defence so the city was protected by thick walls of ashlar masonry with towers at intervals. On the western slope of the hill, are the remains of a small theatre facing west. Only a few rows of seats and some fragments of the stage building have been preserved. But the most striking monument is the Temple of Zeus Lepsinos just outside the city wall, one of the best-preserved temples in Asia Minor.

The temple was built during the reign of Emperor Hadrian in the 2nd century AD on the site of an earlier Carian temple (the temenos itself dates back to as early as the 6th century BC). However, the temple was never entirely completed (some of the standing columns were never fluted), probably due to the economic crisis that hit the ancient city 1,800 years ago. Wealthy citizens stepped forward with financial support and had their names engraved on plaques on some of the columns, but this support was insufficient. An inscription says that a physician named Menecrates donated five of the 32 columns of this temple while another inscription mentions that a magistrate named Leo Quintus donated another seven.

Recent excavations have brought to light the remains of an altar and a decree of Hellenistic date revealing that the temple was dedicated to Zeus Lepsynos and was not the first temple erected to him at Euromos.

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Temple of Zeus Lepsynus, built on the site of an earlier Carian temple, 2nd century AD (probably during the reign of the emperor Hadrian), Euromos, Turkey
The Temple of Zeus Lepsynos had a peristyle of 11 by 6 columns in the Corinthian order, 16 of which are standing complete with architrave.
Not all the columns were fluted so the construction of the temple was probably never completed.
Twelve columns have inscriptions indicating the donor who paid for their execution.
Inscription on a flutted columns of the Temple of Zeus Lepsynus.
Carving of a labrys (double-bitted axe), Zeus’ symbol, flanked by two ears.

The Temple of Zeus Lepsynus.

The Theatre of Euromos.

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