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Dick Osseman | all galleries >> Aizanoi > Aizanoi june 2008 2188.jpg
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Aizanoi june 2008 2188.jpg

Aizanoi june 2008 2188.jpg

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The temple dedicated to Zeus (Jupiter) stands on a hill that had dated back to early Anatolian ages, however the top had been flattened to hold the temple. Lots of ceramic vessels from the Early Bronze Age (2800-2500 BC) were found immediately under the level of the temple court. Building of the temple started in the second quarter of the second century AD. The temple owned a huge area of soil, tenants of which had to pay a lease to the temple to finance its built. They refused for a long period to contribute, finally Emperor Hadrian order them to pay. Correspondence concerning this matter was so important it was hewn in stone in the pronaos part of the temple. Other inscriptions along the templeís sides refer to a M. Apuleius Eurykles, who represented the city during a Panhellion organized by the same emperor. On top of these the «avdar later made rough inscriptions of horsemen and such, which I saw but did not consider important enough to take many pictures. How one can be wrong.
The temple is technically a pseudodipteros, which seems to mean: the distance between the (8 by 15) columns surrounding the inner part is half the distance between either and the nearest wall of the interior. Unique in Roman architecture in Anatolia is the (huge: 53 times 35 metres) arched cellar under all parts (cella, opisthodom and pronaos) of the inner temple. One thought earlier this may have been a room for the cult of Cybil (Meter Steunene), but the guide I used states later research contradicts this opinion. The cellar was probably either for some oracle or a storage space for the fruits from the templeís considerable possessions. In front of the temple, formerly part of the acroterion , stands a big bust of a female. It seems to have been her that led to the conclusion the temple was dedicated to both Zeus and Cybil.
One has to imagine that at one time the temple was surrounded by a big colonnaded courtyard, that connected with two other courtyards, one of them the agora (market). Little of it remained, I donít have pictures from it.

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