Where is the ancient city of Leodikya? History and Story

The history and story of the ancient city of leodikya
Photo: wikipedia

Laodikeia was one of the cities of Anatolia in the 1st century BC. The ancient city of Laodikeia, located 6 km north of the city of Denizli, was established at a very convenient point geographically and south of the Lykos river. The name of the city is mentioned in ancient sources as “Laodikeia on the shore of Lykos”. According to other ancient sources, the city was founded between 261-263 BC. It was founded by Antiokhos and the city was named after Laodike, the wife of Antiochus.


It is believed that the great works of art in the city belong to the 1st century BC. The Romans also paid special attention to Laodikeia and made it the center of the Concentus of Kıbyra (Gölhisar-Horzum) [citation needed]. In the time of Emperor Caracalla, a series of quality coins were printed in Laodikeia. Many monumental buildings were built in the city with the contribution of the people of Laodikeia. The presence of one of Little Asia's 7 famous churches in this city shows how important Christianity is here. A huge earthquake that occurred in 60 AD destroyed the city.

According to Strabon, Leodikya raised a kind of sheep, whose raven was famous for the softness of the black wool. The author also explains that these animals provide great income for Leodians. The city has also developed a well-known textile industry. A type of fabric called “Laodicean” is mentioned in the Diocletian edict. The tunics, known as "Trimita" in Leodikya, were so famous that the city was called "Trimitaria". The excavations in Leodikya were carried out by the researchers of the Quebec Laval University of Canada between 1961-1963 under the direction of Jean des Gagniers and a very interesting fountain structure was completely revealed. These successful works have been published with a section that covers very good studies, especially on the fountain structure.

Great Theater

It was built in the Roman building style in accordance with the Greek theater type land on the northeast side of the ancient city. His scene is completely destroyed and his cavea and orchestra are in a very solid condition. It is about 20.000 people.

Small Theater

It is located 300 meters northwest of the big theater. It was built in Roman style in accordance with the land in the Greek theater type. Her scene is completely destroyed and there are also disruptions in her cavea and orchestra. It is large enough to accommodate approximately 15.000 people.

Stadium

It lies in the east-west direction in the southwest of the city. The gymnasium was built in a way to form a gymnastic integrity with the additional structures. The stadium, built in 79 AD, is 350 meters long and 60 meters wide. The building, built in the form of amphitheater, has 24 rows of steps. Most of it has been destroyed. An inscription was found by the gymnasium Proconsul Gargilius Antioius built in the 2nd century AD and dedicated to the emperor Hadrianus and his wife Sabina.

Monumental Fountain

It is located at the corner of the main street and the intermediate street of the city. It is a Roman period structure. It has a pool with two fronts and niches. It was repaired in Byzantine times.

The monumental fountain was excavated by French archaeologists on behalf of the University of Canada Québec between 1961-1963. Çeşme is on the corner of Syria Avenue and the street that cuts this southwest in the direction of the stadium. It consists of a square pool at the corner and two niche pools, one of which surrounds the north and the other facing west. The water brought to the fountain by pipes from the second main distribution terminal was collected in two tanks. Çeşme was made in honor of the visit of the Roman Emperor Caracalla (211-217 AD) to Laodikeia in 215 AD, and then underwent four repair phases one after another. The most recent repair was made at the beginning of the 5th century AD. Later, the fountain structure was transformed into a baptistery. The railing walls of the pool are decorated with reliefs that describe mythological issues, such as Theseus killing Minatauros, Zeus kidnapping Ganimedes. Architectural parts such as architrave, architrave-frieze blocks, cantilevered geison, postamented Attic Ion bases, torsion grooved column pieces, embossed ceiling cassettes are common in the area where the fountain structure is located. It is possible to see the construction stages of the fountain in these architectural reliefs.

Parliament building

It is located on the north side of the stadium. Some rows of seats can be seen in the destroyed building. The building, which was built in the 2nd century AD, is made of travertine and marble blocks adjacent to the South Agora at the front. On the surface of the building, it is possible to see architectural pieces such as capitals, columns, postaments, architrave-frieze blocks, ranke decorated blocks, console geison made of marble. There is also a round building on the east side of the Parliament Building, which could be a Prythaneion. It is possible to see architectural fragments of this building, such as postament, curved architrave-frieze blocks, geison.

Temple A

The foundations of a temple with its courtyard are located on the north side of the Main Street with Column reaching the Syrian Gate. The rectangular temple temenos (sacred courtyard) is entered from the street with columns. The postments around the courtyard belong to the porticoes that flank the temple sanctuary. To the north of the sacred courtyard is the temple, whose facade faces south. Probably the only foundation of the temple with a prostylos plan remained. On the façade, superstructural elements such as postamented Attic-Ion column bases made of marble, twisted and grooved column pieces, embossed architrave and geison are observed. In the Corinthian order seen in the same area, the column head and corner head pieces show that the building was in Corinthian order. The majority of the architectural blocks of the temple were moved to be used in other buildings near the end of the 4th century AD. Some of the related blocks were unearthed during the Syrian Street excavations.

We learn from the written documents that during the Emperor Commodus (180-192 AD) and Caracalla (211-217 AD), Laodikeia was given the title of "Laodikewn Newkorwn", "Laodikeon Neokoron - Temple Protector". In the researches carried out so far, the ideas we have supported regarding the fact that this structure described above could be Sebasteion were put forward. Existing architectural ruins end of 2nd century AD-3. It can be dated per century.

Great Church

It was built adjacent to the street south of the colonnaded street. Only some of the carrier sections have survived. It is to the west of the main entrance.


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