Saturday, September 5, 2020

Miletus: City Center Pt.3

Photos by Jack A. Waldron

Continuing my exploration of Miletus, which I conducted from the Theater counter-clockwise around the site, I leave the Serapeum to investigate the center of the Hellenistic/Roman city, beginning at the Central Square (illustrated below).
In the illustration below, the very large white building in the upper right is the Bouleuterion.  Fronting the Bouleuterion compound is a propylon gate that sits on the Central Square.  At the head of the square on the right (south), is the monumental Market Gate, while next to it sits the great Nympheaum/Fountain, which is facing the Bouleuterion directly across the Central Square.
Before moving on to the remains of the Bouleuterion, here is an historical recap of Miletus.
Pictured below, I am standing at the Roman Altar facing the Bouleuterion.  Some blocks of the front wall sit in situ between myself and the upside down U-shaped rows of seating in the distance.  In the upper right-hand portion of the photo, you can see the back of the Theater and Byzantine Fortress meeting the blue sky.  The courtyard of the Bouleuterion measured 32 meter wide by 35 meters deep, and was surrounded by a Doric colonnaded portico.
The maximum capacity of the building was about 1500, with 18 rows of seating seperated into three kerkides/cunel by two staircases.  
The Bouleutarion is a Hellenistic structure, built between 175-163 BCE, however, a later Roman addition was to the center of the courtyard, where an altar dedicated to Augustus for worship of the imperial cult was built.  In the top illustration below, the view drawn here is of the orchestra and speakers podium, as seen from the upper central seating area.
In the lower illustration above, beyond the Bouleuterion, you can see a long row of columns in the distance, which is the western portico of the South Agora: the Serapeum is located just the side (outside) this section of the South Agora portico.
The two standing marble blocks pictured above sit in situ, and formed part of the front wall of the Bouleuterion building.  Besides the front wall, the stone tile flooring can still be seen, and with the cavea rising in the back, it is easy to reconstruct the building in one's mind.
As you can see from the elaborately sculpted ceiling section pictured above, and what may be a section of door frame pictured below, the Bouleuterion was truly a magnificently ornamented structure, and it had to be, as it was constructed in the name of the Syrian king, Antiochos IV Epiphanes.
Though the Bouleuterion was constructed in the name of the Syrian king, the funding actually came from two Milesian brothers, Timarchus and Heracleides, as is inscribed on the architrave over the entrance.
As can be seen in the photo above, the marble used in the construction of the Bouleuterion was of the highest quality, which till this day retains its beauty.
Pictured above, the orchestra and cavea as seen from just outside the front wall of the building, while below, the illustration view is in the opposite direction from the analemma.
Spinning around from the Bouleuterion to face across the Central Square (pictured below), you can see the great Nympheaum in the right of the photo, and on the left in the photo, the steps and colonnade of a roofed portico known as the Sacred Way.  
The monumental Market Gate that leads us to the South Agora is out of the photo to the right.  The Market Gate and Nympheaum were taken to Berlin, Germany, and both have been reconstructed and stand on display at the Pergamon Museum.  The illustration below is drawn from the exact same view point, only, in my photo above the Market Gate is out of the frame to the right/south.
Turning to the right, or south (pictured below) you can see a wall that was built by the Byzantines during the 7C CE, and basically follows the Agora wall to the Market Gate, which was incorporated into it.  Beyond this wall you can see the bases of a colonnade running into the distance, which formed the western portico of the South Agora.
Following this wall east, or to the left in the photo above, brings us to what remains of the monumental Market Gate, which is located in the lower left-hand corner of the illustration below, leading to the South Agora.
The 2C CE Market Gate, which was 30 meters wide and 16 metres wide, was probably built during the time of Roman Emperor Hadrian's rule, and replaced an earlier gate that may have dated from the 3C BCE, and that was simpler in design.  I cannot show you my photo of the Roman Market Gate, because I have yet to visit the Pergamon Museum in Berlin.
If you take the crepidoma and stylobate of the gate (pictured above), and apply them to the site display of the Market Gate pictured below, you can get an idea of just how beautiful and magnificent this gate was, as it once stood on its original footings.
As you can see, the Market Gate was two stories tall with niches on the top level that had statues depicting the emperors of Rome battling the barbarians they had faced.  In the illustration below, you can see two lines of citizens pacing through the two doors of the Market Gate.  The Bouleuterion is located to the right (west) of these lines, and the great Nympheaum is to the left (east).
The Corinthian columned Nymphaeum originally had two stories, with a central third story being added during the 3C CE, which probably displayed statues of the Roman Imperial Cult.  The lower story displayed statues of the water related gods, and nymphs, which were also functional spouts that filled the pools.  On the second story were statues of the Olympian gods.
Standing more than 20 meter high, the fountain had protruding wings on either side of two separate pools. It is believed that the facade of the fountain was designed based on the elaborately decorated Theater skene, and further, that if you picture the Library of Ephesus, you can get an idea of its beauty.  Separated, ordered, and stacked against each other, ancient architects were no less ambitious in their pursuit to reflect `the beautiful' in their works, than any architect of today, and there is proof enough of that in ancient cities around the world.
The illustration below is looking from a southwest view point to the northeast.  In the lower right quarter of the illustration you can can see the large empty space of the South Agora with its portico around the perimeter.  The large white building just outside the South Agora is the Bouleuterion with its propylon gate off to its right on the Central Square facing the Nymphaeum directly across the square.
From the Central Square moving north you can see a long white colonnade, which is known as the Ionoc Stoa.  The Ionic Stoa was constructed during the middle part of the 1C CE under the reign of Roman Emperor Claudius, and modified under Emperor Trajan in the late 1C to early 2C CE.  The stoa is around 100 meters in length, and about 14 meters in depth.
There are six steps up to the stoa from the paved open space in front, which as you can see in the photo below, is prone to flooding, which must have also been a problem during ancient times.  This open space was part of the Processional Way, that begins at the Delphinium, which is dedicated to Apollo, and which ends approximately 16 km away at the sanctuary of Apollo at Didyma.
This elevation protected the many shops and their customers from such inundations, while the roofed portico with its 35 fluted columns protected them from the intense sun rays.  Further, the stadium like steps would have been used sitting and relaxing, for festivals, and of course to observe the procession from the Delphinium to the sanctuary of Apollo.
Directly across the paved open space is the smaller North Agora (in the right of the illustration below, which dates to the 5-4C BCE, and that also saw alterations during the Hellenistic and Roman periods.  The Ionic Stoa can be seen across from the North Agora on the opposite side of the Processional Way.  Behind the Ionic Stoa is the Hellenistic Gymnasium, which I failed to explore do to time constraints.
Continuing north on the Processional Way (toward the center of the illustration above) brings us to the Delphinium of Apollo, which is where the Processional Way begins.  In the illustration above, sacrificial smoke rises from the altar to Apollo (red dot within the large green square on the city plan below).
The outline of the Delphinium of Apollo is easy to follow in the photo below, but unfortunately, the blocks of its perimeter wall have been quarried, and the columns of its portico repurposed, or worse, burnt for lime.  In the photo below, you can see the column bases lined up down the left side and then turning the corner across the shot.  The wall further out from the bases toward the bottom of the frame and off to the extreme left is the perimeter wall.
The illustration below is drawn from the same corner as the photo above was taken, and from nearly the same angle.  The temenos of the Delphinium measured 50 meters wide and 60 meters deep.  It is the oldest sanctuary at Miletus dedicated to Apollo, and it is connected to the oldest of Greek myths that relate the god with dolphins.

Inscriptions on blocks of marble, dedicatory bases, columns, architraves, stele and more, tell the stories of what we find, and build a background of the lives of the ancients, as well as of our own history.  When George Bean examined the Delphinium, he reported more than 200 inscriptions in and around the site.  Below are some of those inscriptions, but also if you look closely at the top block, you can see what appears to be a swimming dolphin, and the head of Apollo?

As on the walls within the sanctuary at Delphi in ancient Greece, here too dedicatory inscriptions were written in the hope that Apollo would favor those who had them inscribed.  Pictured above and below are some of these beautifully detailed inscriptions that once adorned the well built marble sections of the sanctuary.  The large block at the bottom of this stack has a quite lengthy inscription filling its full face.

In the relief pictured below (on display at the Miletus Archaeological Museum), you can see the three-footed Delphic Tripod in the left of the sculpture, which is most closely related to Apollo, and the Delphic Oracle.  Next to the tripod is a laurel tree, as it was placed on the tripod when the oracle was not seated on it, but perhaps in the case of the Delphinium at Miletus, they burned laurel in the tripod.  Finally, a seated Apollo holds court over the proceedings, and passes judgement over mortal lives.


In the far distance of the photo below, Humei Tepe/Hill can be seen with the Humei Tepe Baths standing at her foot.  I did not explore these baths this time around, but will upon my return.  In the foreground of the photo, we see the Large Lion Harbor Monument, aka the Lion Harbor Hellenistic Heroon.  The harbor itself is now gone, the victim of centuries of silting, but would have met land just off to the left of this photo.

The row of columns on the stepped crepidoma in the left of photo below once supported the roofed entrance to a basilica type building dating to the Roman period 3-4C CE.  Some suspect that it may have been a synagogue, it often referred to as the Lion Harbor Stoa, though, an inscription on one of the columns states that Apollo Helios commanded the construction of an altar to Poseidon.  The circular Hellenistic Heroon can be seen in the right of the photo, and the harbors edge was once just the other side of this monument.

Dating of the Hellenistic Heroon puts its construction period between the early to middle 1C BCE.  Through historical records we can guess with regard to whom or for what it was erected, but we can't be certain.  One possibility is that it was dedicated to 

The three-stepped Hellenistic Heroon is believed to have once reached a height of around 18 meters, with four levels depicting a victory at sea.  Fragments recovered from the monument suggest, there was a tripod built on a monumental scale, that rose high atop lions, with lower level reliefs of tritons and dolphins at the bows of sailing ships.

Dating of the Hellenistic Heroon puts its construction period between the early to middle 1C BCE.  Through historical records we can guess with regard to whom or for what it was erected, but we can't be certain.  One possibility is that it was dedicated to the victory of the Milesian fleet led by a naval hero named Hegemon over pirates around 100 BCE.  Another possibility is a naval victory over the Pontic fleet of Marcus Varius during the Mithridatic War III in 73 BCE.  Yet another possibility is the Roman success of ridding the Eastern Mediterranean section of Asia Minor of pirates by general Pompeius in 63 BCE.

Though we may never know the true reason for the erection of the Lion Harbor Heroon, we do know that it was re-dedicated to Octavian Augustus for his victory at Actium in 31 BCE.  The photo below was taken during my first visit to Miletus in 2005.  Here, we are walking from Miletus to Didyma, but we did eventually hitch a ride the rest of the way.

*All photos and content property of Jack A. Waldron (photos may not be used without written permission)

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Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Miletus: Faustina, Serapis and the Sun God Pt.2

Photos by Jack A. Waldron

Continuing on from the Stadium, which is where the previous post, 'Miletus: Bay of Grande Monuments Pt.1, ended, it is easy to access the massive Baths of Faustina, that are a very short distance across the Palaestra from the Stadium.  
Pictured below, is the Apodyterium of the Baths of Faustina.  The baths of Faustina were built between 161-180 CE, and were funded from the purse of Faustina herself.  The Apodyterium was the main entry with access to both the Palaetstra and the Baths, which consisted of cubicles for changing and storing ones clothes while the exercised and/or bathed, or both.
In an unfortunate accident in the Taurus mountains of Cappadocia in 175 CE, just 30 km south of Tyana in a military camp named Halala, the matron of the baths at Miletus died in the company of her husband, Marcus Aurelius.  Halala was soon declared a town by the Emperor, and was given the name, Faustinopolis.   Pictured above and below is the south entrance to the Apodyterium, and as you can see, this was and remains a monumental structure.  Looking through the entrance to the north, you can see the Theater rising in the distance, however, in ancient times this room would have been covered by a tall vaulted arched roof.
In the plan below, I began my exploration at the entrance just outside the '5' at the top right corner, which is where the photos above were taken from.  I first walked through the Apodyterium to the main entrance (number '1' on the plan), which is where the Hall of Muses is located.
The Hall of Muses, the large square room seen in the left of the photo below, would have displayed statues of various figures, perhaps those of Hadrian, Faustina, and other Romans of the highest stature. 
To strike a more classical theme, the Hall of Muses might have put on display statues of Hygeia, Aphrodite, Apollo or Zeus: all this in order to create an environment that reflected the desired atmosphere.
An atmosphere of health may have been conjured up when a baths patron viewed a statue of Hygeia, the goddess of health.  A statue of Aphrodite displaying the sensual beauty we may desire to possess, certainly may have motivated a few baths patrons to take care of their bodies.
A Hall of Muses of a private Hellenistic or Roman villa may have had statues of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, in order to create an environment of philosophy, letters and academics.
In the right of the illustration below, the colonnade of the Palaestra/Gymnasium, is viewed from the same vantage point as in the photo shown above, where the bases of the colonnade can still be seen.  At the opposite corner of the Palaestra (from the one pictured here), is where the Palaestra meets the Stadium.  An inscription on the entablature of the Palaestra propylon entrance states that both the Stadium and the Palaestra were financed by Eumenes II of Pergamon during the middle of the 2C BCE. The large square room at the left forefront of the illustration is the Hall of Muses, which is separated from the Apodyterium just beyond by a grande arched entrance.
A long rectangular Corinthian capital that once sat atop one of the entrance columns pictured in both the right and left of the photo above can be seen on the ground in the center left of the photo below.
Numerous inscriptions on benches, columns and dedicatory bases can be found within the bath complex.  Pictured below, this long inscription, known as the 'Makarios Inscription', can be seen on the long rectangular Corinthian column discussed above.
The 'Makarios Inscription' translates in the following:
"In good fortune; [text missing] Makarios, ravaging, warded off battle with killers and, as he increased his renown greatly in the cities, he built a new bath in return for his Asiarchy."
"In good fortune; this is the mighty ornament of Makarios in this place, which he built for his native city in willing gratitude for its nurture; in return for his Asiarchy, he finished an esteemed reputation for the city with the generosities of his wife, Eucharia."  
"In good fortune; Makarios, the second steward of labors, restored the Bath of Faustina to its ancient beauty.  Tatianos, the judge, found an end of the work when he summoned the fire-wedded nymphs.  He gave an ornament to the city: all are relieved from their toils as they were Faustina's by name but now our city will call you Makarios', because he was unstinting with his property and, with a proud spirit, he scraped off old age and made you new again."
Reserved bench perhaps?  
Some of these may be honorary dedications to the various families that provided funds to help in the construction of the baths.
Pictured below, we have the entrance to the Caldarium rooms, or hot rooms, synonomus with caldron, that which facilitates the heating of something, in this case, the human body.  There are no less than five separate Caldarium rooms in the Baths of Faustina.
Only the bare bones of the structure remain today, yet still impressive in size and scope.  The walls once had purposed spaces within them that carried and circulated the heat in order to create steady temperature anywhere within the room, including the raised floor.
Furthermore, as can be seen by the fine decorative building members pictured below, the structure would have offered a similar grandness when compared to the countless neoclassical structures that are admired around the world, from Tokyo to Wall Street, Berlin to Buenos Aires.
Pictured below, you are now looking at the spectacular remains of this nearly two-thousand year old structure, and more specifically the Caldarium, with walls that still stand to around 15 meters in height.
The Caldarium rooms are large, extensive and act as a maze of sorts as you twist and turn your way through the complex (pictured above and below).
Eventually, you will find your way to the Frigidarium, where a large swimming pool greets those enter.
Lion sculptures that once adorned an ornately decorated fountain remain in situ, and at the head of the pool, Meaender, the river god (pictured below, on display at the Miletus Archaeological Museum), reclines over a once flowing spring of water.
Can you picture the patrons enjoying their reprieve from the hot summer sun just outside the bath walls, while nearby in the Apodyterium their slaves wait, guarding the clothes, scandals and what not of their masters?
After my visit to the Baths of Faustina, my next stop was the Roman Heroon III, which can be found on the city plan below, not far from the baths.
Here is a short history of Miletus, and after that, we head to the Roman Heroon III, the largest mausoleum in the city.  In the future, I hope to explore the Necropolis of Miletus, which is quite distant from the city center.




The structure known as the Roman Heroon III was built during the 3C CE, and is located between the Baths of Faustina and the Bouleutarion.  In the illustration below, the Roman Heroon III can be seen in the lower left hand corner of the picture, surrounded on all four sides by a portico.
In both the illustration above, and the photo below, the Roman Heroon III is view from the same vantage point.  The Roman Heroon III took the form of a temple in antis, and like most dedicated shrines to heroes, the collective identity of the city was strengthened through its existence (pictured below).

The Serapeion is located off the southwest side of the South Agora, not far from the Roman Heroon III and the Baths of Faustina.  The Temple of Serapis dedecated to Zeus-Serapis is dated to 3C BCE as part of the Graeco-Egyptian cult that expanded under the policies of Ptolemy I Soter.
Pictured above with the Theater and Byzantine Fortress once again rising in the distance, the Temple of Serapis is described as a basilica type structure serving the interests of the believers of Serapis, including the Egyptian traders and merchants who had close ties with, Egypt, Alexandria, and the Ptolemaic kings.
The structure was fronted with a tetra style portico of marble supported by four columns, while inside there were two aisles on either side of a main nave that was supported by two rows of ionic columns running the length of the building.
You can see the back of the portico pediment in the middle right of the photo above, near its original position on the building.  The columns standing in this photo, and row of column bases four meters or so to the left in the photo, formed the two rows and the three aisles of the basilica structure.  Pictured below, the front of the pediment of the marble portico sits near the position where it would have when the structure was erect.
I find it interesting that, when the term basilica is used, the image that comes to mind most often is that of a church building, and the duties performed through it.  However, here we have a Hellenistic basilica structure that served its believers and organized functions for the greater polis as an extension of the governing or ruling body, and a fine example of the many societal constructs inherited from this and previous periods.
As for this particular structure, and focusing on the pediment and the chosen decorative relief at its center, images of the lighthouse of Alexandria, or the colossal statue pharos of Rhodes come to mind; for it is Helios, the god of the sun and sight, that directs the merchant marine safely into the bays of the ancient world.  Now defaced, we can clearly see the aureole crown of the sun god, yet another image borrowed by believers of a later age.  Further, the robe of the relief is clearly pronounced, and this was probably on purpose, because the mythical handsome beardless sun god was usually draped with a robe dyed of the royal purple.

*All photos and content property of Jack A. Waldron (photos may not be used without written permission)

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