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RHODIAPOLIS

RHODIAPOLIS ANCIENT CITY

Antalya ProvinceTurkey / ANATOLIA

 

Rhodiapolis was a city in ancient Lycia. Today it is located on a hill northwest of the modern town Kumluca in Antalya Province, Turkey.

Rhodiapolis stands out as a successfully planned, very compact Roman city in limited and difficult terrain with a uniquely intricate and packed layout of buildings without leaving empty space other than the streets. On the sloping terrain, terraces needed for urban fabric were formed mostly by cisterns, a clever solution that satisfied water demand while also creating flat areas for construction

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Building Complex

History

It is called Rhodia by Ptolemy (V, 3) and Stephanus Byzantius; Rhodiapolis on its coins and inscriptions; Rhodiopolis by Pliny the Elder, who locates it in the mountains to the north of Corydalla. The city was considered to have been founded by colonists from Rhodes; the name Rhodiapolis means Rhodian City in English.

Rhodiapolis was a relatively small city in the Lycian League with only one vote, but did have the right to mint coins. Hellenistic finds in excavations belonging to monuments and particularly inscriptions and coins are definitive but comparatively few suggesting that the settlement at that time was small compared with the later Roman settlement. Due to the compact city area, most older buildings were overbuilt by later Roman ones and the theatre’s cavea is the sole remaining monument that dates to the late Hellenistic period.

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In the Roman period the city became famous for being the home of the rich philanthropist Opramoas. A monument was constructed in his memory close to the city's theatre. On the monument's walls is the longest inscription in Lycia, commemorating his benefactions and the numerous honors bestowed on him. According to these, Opramoas donated approximately 500,000 denarii to 28 cities in Lycia to repair the damage caused by an earthquake between 140 and 143 AD. He also funded the construction of two temples at Rhodiapolis. Heraclitus was another famous resident, known for his oratory and knowledge of medicine.

According to inscriptions the city was a centre for the cult of Athena Polias during the Hellenistic and Roman period

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Inscriptıons on Ophramosses' monumental Tomb

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One of pictures of a heavily restored mausoleum for the most famous figure of the city, Op

Ophramosses' monumental Tomb, before & during the restoration.

Opramoas was an important civic benefactor in the 2nd century CE. He is the best known ancient euergete. He was a magnate from the small Lycian town of Rhodiapolis . His activities are recorded in extensive Greek inscriptions on the walls of his mausoleum at Rhodiapolis.

"...apart from his gifts of games and a mass of civic buildings, we have recently found him offering to pay for the primary schooling of all the citizen-children at Xanthus, boys and girls alike"..."he gave funds for burial to people in need and paid the dowries of poor families' daughters"

He is mentioned in the French author Marguerite Yourcenar's novel Memoirs of Hadrian.

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