Stratonikeia Ruins Bodrum
LocationThe ancient city of Stratonikeia lies 7km west of Yatagan in the Mugla District and within the borders of the village of Eskihisar which is accessible from the Yatağan - Milas Highway.
HistoryThe city was established in the 3rd century BC after the Syrian King Seleukos I, gave his wife, Stratonike, to his son Antiokhos, who married her (she was his step-mother) and then established the city in her name. The traveller and writer Strabon wrote that the city was full of very beautiful buildings and from coins that have been excavated there it is understood they were minted in Stratonikeia from the date it gained independence from Rhodes in 167 BC, and continued until the Gallienus period (253-268 AD).
The Ruins TodayThe acropolis of the city is at the top of a mountain in the south which is surrounded by a wall. Ruins of a small temple constructed for the emperor can be seen below the highway on a terrace on the north slope of the mountain that has a theatre underneath. In the theatre you will see a cavea (subterranean cells in which wild animals were confined before fights) that is divided into 9 cunei (wedges) with scalae (stairs) and has a single diazoma (passage). Excavation works have exposed many parts of the stage structure.
There is a nymphaion between the two door entrances and behind the door an area with columns where a road can be seen and in the city centre is the bouleuterion, an important building where the city councillors would assemble. A door standing alone in the west of this building is the entrance to what is claimed to have been the Serapis Temple, although inscriptions found in the excavations here discount that fact. On the northern external wall of the bouleuterion is the price list of Emperor Diocletianus with an introduction referring to its application written in Latin and the seats in the lower part of the building have been partly protected. The gymnasium is to the west of the city and is where the young generation were educated intellectually and in physical sports and you can see tombs at the side of the ‘holy road’ in front of the entrance to the city. The holy road started at this entrance, passed through the necropolis and reached Hekate which was the holy area in Lagina. The necropolis area has disappeared and is today under a coal mine basin.
You will find the village of Eskihisar above this ancient city.
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