A City Dedicated To The Goddess Of Love: Afrodisyas

A City Dedicated To The Goddess Of Love: Afrodisyas

A City Dedicated To The Goddess Of Love: Afrodisyas

People are continually amazed by the ancient city of Aphrodisias, which continues to be enriched with new finds daily. In addition, the city’s works and the geography in which it is located continue to impress visitors. One of the most well-known figures in mythology is Aphrodite, and one of the reasons for her notoriety is that she is the goddess of love. Love is something that has kept people busy and exhausted for thousands of years, but it still manages to give them pleasure. According to Greek mythology, the goddess Aphrodite was born from the foam of the sea on the coast of Cyprus. Zeus, the supreme god, and Dione, the goddess of childbirth, were her parents. The legend of the “Three Graces” is perhaps the most well-known account of Aphrodite, and it is mentioned in a great number of mythological tales. 

Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite competed against one another in a beauty contest, and Aphrodite emerged victorious by bestowing the golden apple on Paris, the son of King Priam of Troy. Hera and Athena finished in second and third place, respectively. Throughout history, the goddess Aphrodite was honored with the construction of numerous temples and cities that bore her name. There is no doubt that Aphrodisias is the most well-known of these cities. The city is one of the most impressive sites in Anatolia, and it was built as a site for the goddess Aphrodite. The region, which is believed to have been inhabited for the first time approximately 7800 years ago, has always been a favorite of people due to the fertile lands that are found there.

The Byzantine historian Stephanus states that the city of Aphrodisias was originally known by the name Lelegonpolis. Ninova, after the Assyrian king Ninos, was the city’s name for a long time before it was renamed Megapolis in later eras. During the Roman occupation of the region, the city retained its Hellenistic name Aphrodisias.

Aphrodisias’s rise to fame and wealth during the Roman era can be attributed in large part to the sculpting academy that flourished there. Many ancient cities, ranging from Italy to Greece, made use of statues by artists from this school. The city’s monumental gate Tetrapylon, originally erected in the second century B.C. at the point where the road to the Temple of Aphrodite meets the city’s main road, has been lovingly restored and brought back to life. The Stadion, the city’s most impressive surviving building, is a fascinating architectural wonder. The ancient Afrosdisyas stadion was 262 meters in length and 59 meters in width, and it held 30,000 spectators.

Aphrodisias enjoyed the rare privilege of being one of the few cities granted permission by Rome to hold public celebrations and contests. Celebrations, athletic events, and races of all kinds took place here. The winners of the contests were awarded a laurel wreath and monetary prizes. But the real prize was the honor and recognition they would bring to their communities. The Ionic style was used to construct the Temple of Aphrodite, which dates back to the late Hellenistic period. Beginning in the 1st century BC, work on the temple was finally finished in 130 AD. The statue of Aphrodite is on display in the Aphrodisias Museum; it was originally kept in a restricted area of the temple that was accessible only to priests.

Though priests and nuns often worked side by side in other temples, in this case only priests—that is, men—served at the Temple of Aphrodite. Originally constructed in the 1st century BC, this theater seats 8,000 people and is still in excellent condition. The theater could seat about 20,000 people, so based on that number, the city’s population was probably between 20,000 and 25,000 at the time. The theater was erected by Caesar and Augustus’ freed slave Zoilos in honor of Aphrodite and the locals.

Houses and a small castle were constructed in the Byzantine Era using stones from the hill upon which the theater now leans. The city’s trash was dumped off at the theater. The Odeon, now a venue for concerts and council meetings, was formerly the site of oratory contests. The wooden roof dates back to the time the Odeon was first constructed in the second century AD when it could hold up to a thousand people. The ancient city of Aphrodisias, whose treasures are unearthed daily, never ceases to amaze visitors no matter the time of year.