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| Laodikeia |
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|Description ||Syria Street in Laodicea|
This is what's left of Syria Street, the main street of the ancient city of Laodicea. Laodicea is a very ancient center that was originally known as Diospolis of Phygria, but following the conquest of Phygria and the other Eastern empires by Alexander the Great, the city passed down through the line of Alexander's generals to Antiochus II Theos (261-253 BC), who renamed the city in honor of his wife Laodice, and laid it out on a classic Greek grid system.
It was taken over by the King of Pergamon in 188 BC and then came under Roman rule when the last King of Pergamon, Atalus III, left the whole of his empire to the Senate and People of Rome. Laodicea prospered under Roman rule and was made the capital of its province.
Laodicea was unlucky with earthquakes. Among the really big ones were the great quake of 27 BC (during the reign of Emperor Agustus), the one in 47 AD during the reign of Emperor Cladius, the one in 60 AD during the reign of the notorious Emperor Nero that essentially flattened the whole city, another big one sometime during Emperor Antonius Pius's reign (138 - 161 AD), a monster in the late 3rd century during the reign of Diocletianus, another major quake sometime during the reign of Emperor Valens, and the mother-of-all-quakes that razed the city in 494 AD. Nearly all the survivors left after the devastating quake of 494, but a few stuck around until sometime between 602 and 610 AD when yet another monster quake hit. That was the last straw; the last inhabitants moved out and started cities at Denizli, Kaleici and Hisarkoy. The street plan and major buildings emerging from excavations primarily date from reconstruction done after the big quakes during the reign of Antonius Pius. The early Christian/Byzantine remains date to the final period of the city between 474 AD and the early 7th century.
Site in Turkey
Creative Commons image by Ken and Nyetta
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