Magnesia Ancient City
Magnesia Ancient City
The ancient city of Magnesia is located on the Ortaklar-Soke highway, 4 km from Ortaklar. According to the legend, the city was founded by Magnets from Thessaly. However, the location of the first Magnesia, founded by Magnets, who came to Anatolia on the prophecy and guidance of Apollo, is unknown. Diodorus writes that the Athenian Thibron defended the city against the Persian danger and the epidemics caused by the constant change of the river bed and the floods of Menderes. Most probably, instead of founding a new city, Thibron took the inhabitants of the city of Magnesia to Leukophyr, at the foot of the mountain Thorax (Silver), at the foot of today's Magnesia, and protected them there. For this reason, it would be correct to consider today's Magnesia as a foundation from later times.
New Magnesia was a walled city with an area of about 1300x1100 m2 and a grid system of streets and roads. The reputation of Magnesia in our time goes back to the architect Hermogenes, whose designs and applications reach the present day. Hermogenes was the first architect to determine the Pseudodypteros temple plan and the types of temples according to the distances between columns. Vitruvius also says that Hermogenes' main work is the Temple of Leucophryne at Magnesia. Hermogenes built this temple in the Hellenistic period on the ruins of the first temple from the Archaic period. The temple has 8x5 columns in Ionic order and is 67,5x40 m in size. It is the fourth largest temple in Anatolia in the Hellenistic period.
During the excavations in the sanctuary of Artemis in 1994-2001, a ceremonial area with a marble floor was uncovered between the altar and the Agora in front of the temple. The ceremonial area is covered with reliefs of the gods up to 3 meters tall, and in front of it are sacrificial rings. On the floor blocks that border the two sides of the area are topos inscriptions indicating the locations of the associations or groups participating in the ceremonies. Parts of the stoa surrounding the sanctuary have been excavated. One of the other important structures of Magnesia is the Agora, which today has disappeared under a mile. The Agora is entered through a sacred door from the Sanctuary of Artemis. The Propylon has been completely uncovered. The Agora, with its 26,000 m2 area and 414 columns, was one of the largest bazaars of the time. During the excavations of 1989-2001, it was found that the building in Magnesia, which in ancient studies was attributed to the Byzantine period, was the "Basar basilica" of the Roman period, in which the headings depicted with reliefs describing the adventure of the dog-legged Scylla, which we know from Homer's "Odysseia", were used.
While it was used for religious ceremonies, the Theatron, a building unfinished due to landslides, took its place among the important structures of Magnesia, together with the Latrina (public toilet) for 32 people. Among the other structures, some of which can be seen today in Magnesia, are the Baths, the Odeon, the Stadium, a replica of the Faustina Baths in Miletus, the Gymnasium, a sports-oriented training center, and the Roman Temple, the Byzantine wall and the 5th century cross-planned Circassian Musa Mosque.
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