Frontinus Gate in Hierapolis, Phrygia

Frontinus Gate in Hierapolis, Phrygia

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Due to a lack of either a titulus honorarius or sepulcralis, there is no outline of Frontinus' life, the names of his parents, or of his wife. Some details can be inferred from chance mentions: He is thought to be of Narbonese origins, and originally of the equestrian class. [1] From the nomenclature of the name of Publius Calvisius Ruso Julius Frontinus (consul c. 84), it is likely Frontinus had a sister, who was the other's mother. [2] Frontinus had at least one daughter, the wife of Quintus Sosius Senecio (cos. 99, II 107) and mother of Sosia Polla. [3]

In AD 70, Frontinus participated in the suppression of the Rhineland revolt, and later recorded that he received the surrender of 70,000 Lingones. [4] Between that date and being appointed governor of Britain to succeed Quintus Petillius Cerialis a few years later, Frontinus was appointed suffect consul. While governor of Britain, he subjugated the Silures of South Wales and is thought to have likewise campaigned against the Brigantes. [5] He was succeeded by Gnaeus Julius Agricola, the father-in-law of the famous historian Tacitus, in 77. Birley believes it "is fair to speculate" that Frontinus was with Domitian during the German campaign of 83. An inscription at Hieropolis in Phrygia, as well as a number of coins of Smyrna, attests that he was proconsul of Asia in AD 86. [5]

In 97, he was appointed curator aquarum (supervisor of the aqueducts) by the emperor Nerva, an office only conferred upon persons of very high standing. In this capacity, he followed another distinguished Roman statesman, Agrippa, the friend, ally and son-in-law of Augustus, who organised in 34 BC a campaign of public repairs and improvements, including renovation of the aqueduct Aqua Marcia and an extension of its pipes to cover more of the city.

The following year Frontinus held a second consulship as suffect in February, with Trajan as his colleague, and two years later he was made consul ordinarius with Trajan. Birley notes, "This exceptional honour underlines the high regard in which he [Frontinus] was held, and suggests, further, that Trajan had a debt to repay." [6] He was also a member of the College of Augurs. [6] He died in 103 or 104, a date based on Pliny the Younger writing to his friends that he was elected to the college of augurs to fill the vacancy Frontinus' death had created. [6]

Aqueducts of Rome Edit

Frontinus's chief work is De aquaeductu, in two books, an official report to the emperor on the state of the aqueducts of Rome. It presents a history and description of the water-supply of Rome, including the laws relating to its use and maintenance. He provides the history, sizes and discharge rates of all of the nine aqueducts of Rome at the time at which he was writing at the turn of the 1st century AD: the Aqua Marcia, Aqua Appia, Aqua Alsietina, Aqua Tepula, Anio Vetus, Anio Novus, Aqua Virgo, Aqua Claudia and Aqua Augusta. Frontinus describes the quality of water delivered by each, mainly depending on their source, be it river, lake, or spring.

Fraud and theft Edit

One of the first jobs he undertook when he was appointed water commissioner was to prepare maps of the system so that he could assess their condition before undertaking their maintenance. He says that many had been neglected and were not working at their full capacity. He was especially concerned by diversion of the supply by unscrupulous farmers and tradesmen, among many others. They would insert pipes into the channel of the aqueducts to tap the supply. He, therefore, made a meticulous survey of the intake and the supply of each line, and then investigated the discrepancies. Lead pipe stamps bearing the name of the owner were also used to prevent such water theft. He was well aware of the seminal work De Architectura by Vitruvius, which mentions aqueduct construction and maintenance published in the previous century Frontinus refers to the possible influence of Vitruvius on the plumbers. [7]

Distribution system Edit

Distribution of the water depended in a complex way on its height entering the city, the quality of the water, and its rate of discharge. Thus, poor-quality water would be sent for irrigation, gardens, or flushing, while only the best would be reserved for drinking water. Intermediate-quality water would be used for the many baths and fountains. However, Frontinus criticized the practice of mixing supplies from different sources, and one of his first decisions was to separate the waters from each system.

Maintenance Edit

He was very concerned by leaks in the system, especially those in the underground conduits, which were difficult to locate and mend, a problem still faced by water engineers today. The aqueducts above ground needed care to ensure that the masonry was kept in good condition, especially those running on arched superstructures. It was, he said, essential to keep trees at a distance so that their roots would not damage the structures. He reviewed the existing law governing the state aqueducts, as well as the need for enforcement of those statutes.

Military tactics Edit

Frontinus also wrote a theoretical treatise on military science, which is lost. His extant work on military matters, the Stratagems (Latin: Strategemata), is a collection of examples of military stratagems from Greek and Roman history, for the use of generals. He draws on his own experience as a general in Germania under Domitian, but similarities between the anecdotes he records and versions of other Roman authors like Valerius Maximus and Livy suggest that he drew mainly on literary sources. The authenticity of the fourth book has been challenged. [8] One example he gives of control of river water during a siege reads:

Lucius Metellus, when fighting in Hither Spain, diverted the course of a river and directed it from a higher level against the camp of the enemy, which was located on low ground. Then, when the enemy were in a panic from the sudden flood, he had them slain by men whom he had stationed in ambush for this very purpose.

De aquaeductu Edit

  • The standard edition of the Latin text of Frontinus' major work, with extensive commentary in English, is now R.H. Rodgers, Frontinus: De aquaeductu urbis Romae (Cambridge University Press, 2004).
  • Rodgers has published his English translation online [1]
  • An English translation by Charles E. Bennet, edited by Mary B. McElwain, has been published in the Loeb Classical Library. [9]
  • A translation by Herschel is useful for his commentary on the engineering aspects of the De aquaeductu.

Other works Edit

  • The latest edition of the Stratagems is by R. I. Ireland (Teubner, 1990 ISBN3-322-00746-4) (in Latin) English translation in Loeb Classical Library (translated by Charles Bennet and edited by Mary B. McElwain), 1925. 9780674991927
  • Extracts from a treatise on land surveying ascribed to Frontinus are preserved in B. Campbell (2000), The Writings of the Roman Land Surveyors: Introduction, Text, Translation and Commentary, London. , translated by Charles E. BENNETT (1858 - 1921), available on Librivox as an audiobook.

He appears as a fictionalised character in the Marcus Didius Falco novels The Silver Pigs, Shadows in Bronze, Three Hands in the Fountain, and The Jupiter Myth. He also appears as a character in The Centurions novels Barbarian Princess and The Emperor's Games.


Though the exact age of the site is currently unknown, the nearby city of Hierapolis was founded around the year 190 BC by the King of Pergamum, Eumenes II. [4]

The site is built on top of a cave which emits toxic gases, hence its use as a ritual passage to the underworld. Ritual animal sacrifices were common at the site. Animals would be thrown into the cave and pulled back out with ropes that had been tied to them. Archaeologists noted that the fumes emitted from the cavern still maintain their deadly properties as they recorded passing birds, attracted by the warm air, suffocated after breathing the toxic fumes. [4]

The Ploutonion was described by several ancient writers including Strabo, [6] Cassius Dio and Damascius [ citation needed ] . It is a small cave, just large enough for one person to enter through a fenced entrance, beyond which stairs go down, and from which emerges suffocating carbon dioxide gas caused by underground geologic activity. Behind the 3 square metres (32 sq ft) roofed chamber is a deep cleft in the rock, through which fast-flowing hot water passes, releasing a sharp-smelling gas. [4] [7] Because the gas was lethal, it was thought that the gas was sent by Pluto, god of the underworld. [ citation needed ]

During the early years of the town, the castrated priests of Cybele known as the Galli descended into the Ploutonion, crawled over the floor to pockets of oxygen or held their breath. Carbon dioxide is heavier than air and so tends to settle in hollows. They then came up to show that they were immune to the gas. People believed a miracle had happened and that therefore the priests were infused with superior powers and had divine protection. [ citation needed ] [6] [8]

An enclosed area of 2,000 square metres (22,000 sq ft) stood in front of the entrance. [ citation needed ] It was covered by a thick layer of suffocating gas, killing everyone who dared to enter this area. The priests sold birds and other animals to the visitors, so that they could try out how deadly this enclosed area was. Visitors could (for a fee) ask questions of the oracle of Pluto. This provided a considerable source of income for the temple. The entrance to the Ploutonion was closed off during the Christian times. [4]

The ancient historian Strabo described the gate as follows:

Any animal that passes inside meets instant death. I threw in sparrows and they immediately breathed their last and fell. [6]

Destruction Edit

Archaeological evidence suggests that the site was fully functional until the 4th century AD, but remained a place of sporadic visitation by visitors for the next two centuries. The temple was destroyed in the 6th century AD by earthquakes.

3. Theater

The theater at Hierapolis is believed to have been constructed during the time of Roman emperor Hadrian, who lived between 76 CE and 138 CE. This is one of the oldest open theaters whose remains are preserved to some extent. In fact, the full 300-foot-long façade still stands despite centuries having passed since its construction. An earthquake during the 7 th century caused significant damage to the theater. At its peak, the auditorium could seat about 15,000 people. The theater has several statues and reliefs of gods and goddesses like Apollo, Diana, and Dionysus.

The theatre: interior

There is a gallery round the theatre, above which there are twenty-five seats, and I suppose that there were as many below it tho' the ground is so much risen, that there are but few to be seen at present: The theatre is not entirely hollowed into the hill and there are two entrances from the gallery on each side near the front to the arches on which the seats are built, and from one of them on each side, there is a descent down to one of the doors in the front and there are seven descents down the seats from the top, as described in some other theatres. Pococke
Hierapolis was hit by several earthquakes after it had been reconstructed by the Romans and eventually in 1334 a major earthquake led to the abandonment of the site. Some of the Roman buildings and in particular the theatre withstood the vibrations of the ground due to the vaulted passages upon which the rest of the construction was erected.

Significant structures Hierapolis_section_6

The Main Street and the gates Hierapolis_section_7

The Hellenistic city was built on a grid with streets running parallel or perpendicular to the main thoroughfare. Hierapolis_sentence_74

This main street ran from north to south close to a cliff with the travertine terraces. Hierapolis_sentence_75

It was about 1,500 metres (4,900 ft) long and 13.5 metres (44 ft) wide and was bordered on both sides by an arcade. Hierapolis_sentence_76

At both ends of the main street, there was a monumental gate flanked by square towers built of massive blocks of stone. Hierapolis_sentence_77

The side streets were about 3 metres (9.8 ft) wide. Hierapolis_sentence_78

Another gate, the Domitian Gate, was close to the northern city gate. Hierapolis_sentence_79

This triumphal arch flanked by circular towers consists of three arches and was built by the proconsul Julius Frontinus (84–86). Hierapolis_sentence_80

The town was repeatedly rebuilt following major earthquakes and improved prior to various imperial visits to the healing springs. Hierapolis_sentence_81

In addition, Septimius Severus had a number of new buildings constructed in Hierapolis in gratitude for his secretary Antipater, a native of Hierapolis who also tutored the emperor's two sons. Hierapolis_sentence_82

Frontinus Gate Hierapolis_section_8

This is the monumental entrance to the Roman city and leads onto the large plateia, 14 m wide, which crosses the whole settlement, exiting a gate at the opposite side, to connect with the road that goes to Laodicea on the Lykos and then Colossae. Hierapolis_sentence_83

It is worth admiring the well preserved structure with three openings, in carefully squared travertine blocks, with elegant arches decorated with a simple cornice moulding, flanked by two round towers that recall Hellenistic city Gates such as that of the Pamphilian city of Perge, near Antalya. Hierapolis_sentence_84

North Byzantine Gate Hierapolis_section_9

The north gate forms part of a fortification system built at Hierapolis in Theodosian times (late 4th century) and is its monumental entrance, matched by a symmetrical gate to the south of the city. Hierapolis_sentence_85

Built of reused material from the demolition of the Agora, it is flanked by two square towers, as in other nearby cities such as Blaundus. Hierapolis_sentence_86

Four large marble brackets with heads of lions, of panther and of a Gorgon were found collapsed in front of the gate. Hierapolis_sentence_87

They are quite expressive and, whilst belonging to antique buildings, were evidently reused as apotropaic elements on the two sides of the gate so as to ward off evil influence. Hierapolis_sentence_88

Theatre Hierapolis_section_10

The Theatre was probably constructed under the reign of Hadrian after the earthquake of 60 AD. Hierapolis_sentence_89

The facade is 300 feet (91 m) long, the full extent of which remains standing. Hierapolis_sentence_90

In the cavea there are 50 rows of seats divided into seven parts by eight intermediate stairways. Hierapolis_sentence_91

The diazoma, which divided the cavea into two, was entered by two vaulted passages (the vomitoria). Hierapolis_sentence_92

There is an Imperial loge at the middle of the cavea and a 6-foot-high (1.83 m) wall surrounding the orchestra. Hierapolis_sentence_93

During the reign of Septimius Severus at the beginning of the 3rd century, the old scaenae frons was replaced by a new, more monumental one, organized on three storeys and flanked by two imposing side entry buildings. Hierapolis_sentence_94

Sculptural reliefs, displaying mythological subjects, were placed on the different storeys, while dedicatory inscriptions ran along the entablatures. Hierapolis_sentence_95

The transformation was outstanding due to the size of the structures, the high quality of workmanship and materials employed. Hierapolis_sentence_96

The auditorium was rebuilt as well, substituting the ancient limestone seats with others in marble, and realizing a high podium on the orchestra in order to adapt the building to the organization of venationes and gladiator schools. Hierapolis_sentence_97

An earthquake in Hierapolis in the 7th century caused the collapse of the entire building as well as the ultimate abandonment of the city. Hierapolis_sentence_98

Since the 18th century, the monument's striking ruins have become a recurrent theme in European travellers’ descriptions and engravings. Hierapolis_sentence_99

Septimius Severus is portrayed in a relief together with his wife Julia Domna, his two sons Caracalla and Geta, and the god Jupiter. Hierapolis_sentence_100

In AD 352, the orchestra was probably transformed into an arena for aquatic shows, which had become fashionable. Hierapolis_sentence_101

The stage, which is 12 ft (3.7 m) high, had five doors and six niches. Hierapolis_sentence_102

In front of these there were ten marble columns, decorated with alternate rectilinear and curved segments. Hierapolis_sentence_103

The wall behind the scene was decorated with three rows of columns one behind another. Hierapolis_sentence_104

The columns on the front row do not have grooves and stood on octagonal bases. Hierapolis_sentence_105

The auditorium consisted of stacked seating with a capacity of 15,000 and was bisected by the main aisle. Hierapolis_sentence_106

It featured an imperial box. Hierapolis_sentence_107

The lower part originally had twenty rows and the upper part twenty five, but only thirty rows altogether have survived. Hierapolis_sentence_108

The auditorium is segmented into nine aisles by means of eight vertical passageways with steps. Hierapolis_sentence_109

The proscenium consisted of two stories with ornately decorated niches to the sides. Hierapolis_sentence_110

Several statues, reliefs (including depictions of Apollo, Dionysus, and Diana), and decorative elements have been excavated by the Italian archaeological team and can be seen in the local museum. Hierapolis_sentence_111

The theatre has been the object of important restorations between 2004 and 2014. Hierapolis_sentence_112

Temple of Apollo Hierapolis_section_11

A temple was raised to Apollo Lairbenos, the town's principal god during the late Hellenistic period. Hierapolis_sentence_113

This Apollo was linked to the ancient Anatolian sun god Lairbenos and the god of oracles Kareios. Hierapolis_sentence_114

The site also included temples or shrines to Cybele, Artemis, Pluto, and Poseidon. Hierapolis_sentence_115

Now only the foundations of the Hellenistic temple remain. Hierapolis_sentence_116

The temple stood within a peribolos (15 by 20 metres (49 by 66 ft)) in Doric style. Hierapolis_sentence_117

The structures of the temple are later, though the presence of two Ionic capitals in the Museum (see under Museum), as well as of a Corinthian capital of the 1st century AD and other architectural fragments lead archaeologists to suppose the existence of an earlier temple on the site. Hierapolis_sentence_118

The temple, which has a marble staircase, lies within a sacred area, about 70 metres (230 ft) long. Hierapolis_sentence_119

It was surrounded by an enclosure wall (temenos). Hierapolis_sentence_120

The back of the temple was built against the hill, the peribolos was surrounded on the remaining southern, western and northern sides, by a marble portico, which has been partially excavated. Hierapolis_sentence_121

This portico has pilasters bearing fluted Doric semi-columns supporting capitals that are decorated below with a row of astragali and beads and which, on the decorated below with a row of astragali and beads and which, on the echinus, bear a series of ovolos. Hierapolis_sentence_122

The new temple was reconstructed in the 3rd century in Roman fashion, recycling the stone blocks from the older temple. Hierapolis_sentence_123

The reconstruction had a smaller area and now only its marble floor remains. Hierapolis_sentence_124

The temple of Apollo was deliberately built over an active fault. Hierapolis_sentence_125

This fault was called the Plutonion. Hierapolis_sentence_126

It was the oldest religious centre of the native community, the place where Apollo met with Cibele. Hierapolis_sentence_127

It was said that only the priest of the Great Mother could enter the cave without being overpowered by the noxious underground fumes. Hierapolis_sentence_128

Temples dedicated to Apollo were often built over geologically active sites, including his most famous, the temple at Delphi. Hierapolis_sentence_129

When the Christian faith was granted official primacy in the 4th century, this temple underwent a number of desecrations. Hierapolis_sentence_130

Part of the peribolos was also dismantled to make room for a large Nympheum. Hierapolis_sentence_131

Ploutonion Hierapolis_section_12

Main article: Ploutonion at Hierapolis Hierapolis_sentence_132

Next to this temple and within the sacred area is the oldest local sanctuary, Pluto's Gate, a ploutonion (Ancient Greek: Πλουτώνειον) or plutonium, which here means a shrine to the Greek god Pluto. Hierapolis_sentence_133

This plutonion was described by several ancient writers, including Strabo, Cassius Dio, and Damascius. Hierapolis_sentence_134

It is a small cave just large enough for one person to enter through a fenced entrance, beyond which stairs go down and from which emerges suffocating carbon dioxide gas caused by subterranean geologic activity. Hierapolis_sentence_135

Behind the 3 square metres (32 sq ft) roofed chamber is a deep cleft in the rock, through which fast-flowing hot water passes while releasing a sharp-smelling gas. Hierapolis_sentence_136

During the early years of the town, castrated priests of Cybele descended into the plutonion, crawling over the floor to pockets of oxygen or holding their breath. Hierapolis_sentence_137

Carbon dioxide is heavier than air and so tends to settle in hollows. Hierapolis_sentence_138

The priests would then come up to show that they were miraculously immune to the gas and infused with divine protection. Hierapolis_sentence_139

An enclosed area of 2,000 square metres (22,000 sq ft) stood in front of the entrance. Hierapolis_sentence_140

It was covered by a thick layer of suffocating gas, killing anyone who dared to enter it. Hierapolis_sentence_141

The priests sold birds and other animals to the visitors, so that they could try out how deadly this enclosed area was. Hierapolis_sentence_142

Visitors could (for a fee) ask questions of Pluto's oracle. Hierapolis_sentence_143

This provided a considerable source of income for the temple. Hierapolis_sentence_144

The entrance to the plutonion was walled off during the Christian times and has just been recently unearthed. Hierapolis_sentence_145

Nymphaeum Hierapolis_section_13

The Nymphaeum is located inside the sacred area in front of the Apollo temple. Hierapolis_sentence_146

It dates from the 2nd century AD. Hierapolis_sentence_147

It was a shrine of the nymphs, a monumental fountain distributing water to the houses of the city via an ingenious network of pipes. Hierapolis_sentence_148

The Nymphaeum was repaired in the 5th century during the Byzantine era. Hierapolis_sentence_149

A retaining wall was built with elements from the peribolos of the Apollonian temple. Hierapolis_sentence_150

By doing so, the early Christians cut off the view of the pagan temple. Hierapolis_sentence_151

The Byzantine gate was constructed in the 6th century. Hierapolis_sentence_152

Now only the back wall and the two side walls remain. Hierapolis_sentence_153

The walls and the niches in the walls were decorated with statues. Hierapolis_sentence_154

The Italian archaeological team has excavated two statues of priestesses, which are now on display at the local museum. Hierapolis_sentence_155

The Nymphaeum has a U-shaped plan and sits on the continuation of the main colonnaded road. Hierapolis_sentence_156

The stone pavement columns and other architectural remains mark a great part of the colonnaded road which ran through the city in a north-south direction. Hierapolis_sentence_157

It has statues and shops around it, underneath which passed canals. Hierapolis_sentence_158

The road had a base covered with stone blocks, now under the pool of the Private Administration. Hierapolis_sentence_159

There are two huge doors which were constructed at the end of the 1st century AD and left outside the city walls. Hierapolis_sentence_160

Necropolis Hierapolis_section_14

Beyond the city walls and meadow, following the main colonnaded road and passing the outer baths (thermae extra muros), an extensive necropolis extends for over 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) on both sides of the old road to Phrygian Tripolis and Sardis. Hierapolis_sentence_161

The other goes south from Laodikya to Closae. Hierapolis_sentence_162

The necropolis extends from the northern to the eastern and southern sections of the old city. Hierapolis_sentence_163

Most of the tombs have been excavated. Hierapolis_sentence_164

This necropolis is one of the best preserved in Turkey. Hierapolis_sentence_165

Most of about the 1,200 tombs were constructed with local varieties of limestone, though marble has been used, as well. Hierapolis_sentence_166

Most tombs date from the late Hellenic period, but there are also a considerable number from the Roman and early Christian periods. Hierapolis_sentence_167

People who came for medical treatment to Hierapolis in ancient times and the native people of the city buried their dead in tombs of several types according to their traditions and socio-economic status. Hierapolis_sentence_168

The tombs and funeral monuments can be divided into four types: Hierapolis_sentence_169

  1. Simple graves for common people Hierapolis_item_0_0 , some raised on a substructure and others hollowed out from the rock. Many are covered with a double-pitched roof. Most are constructed in marble and are decorated with reliefs and epitaphs showing the names and professions of the deceased and extolling their good deeds. These epitaphs have revealed much about the population. Most, however, have been plundered over the years. Hierapolis_item_0_1
  2. Circular tumuli, sometimes hard to discern. These mounds each have a narrow passageway leading to a vaulted chamber inside. Hierapolis_item_0_2
  3. Larger family graves, sometimes monumental and resembling small temples. Hierapolis_item_0_3

Northern Necropolis Hierapolis_section_15

The monuments are situated in the large area, together with many travertine lahids, inscribed with Soros suffixes written in Greek (some over 2,000 years old) generally in the epigraphs on lahids. Hierapolis_sentence_170

There are many architectural grave monuments in Hierapolis and they show different architectural techniques. Hierapolis_sentence_171

The oldest graves are of the Hellenistic Period (1st and 2nd centuries BC), and are Tumulus graves, which are located on the east side of the foothill. Hierapolis_sentence_172

The stone is cut properly limited to the drum cylinder which bonds the top of the burial chamber. Hierapolis_sentence_173

The grave room is accessible from the corridor dramos. Hierapolis_sentence_174

These tombs belonged to rich families. Hierapolis_sentence_175

Poor families' tombs were carved into the rock and are simple. Hierapolis_sentence_176

On the north side of the city, the graves made as the 2nd and the 3rd, are generally surrounded by walls and they have gardens decorated with flowers and trees (especially cypress). Hierapolis_sentence_177

Grave monuments which are completely made of travertine, show different types like simple lahids, and home kind graves which has two or more lahids on it. Hierapolis_sentence_178

On the sarcophagus that holds the lahid, there is an inscription written in Greek (bomas, "altar"). Hierapolis_sentence_179

"Bomas" was used as symbol which stresses that with the connection of a dead body of a person in high position, his or her remembrance will be exalted. Hierapolis_sentence_180

These monuments have the same functions with heroon. Hierapolis_sentence_181

(The grave monuments made for celebrating are for the heroes' and important persons’ who are believed to become gods after they die.) Hierapolis_sentence_182

Sawmill Hierapolis_section_16

Main article: Hierapolis sawmill Hierapolis_sentence_183

A raised relief on the Sarcophagus of a certain Marcus Aurelius Ammianos, a local miller, depicts the earliest known machine to incorporate a crank and connecting rod. Hierapolis_sentence_184

On the pediment a waterwheel fed by a mill race is shown powering via a gear train two frame saws cutting rectangular blocks by the way of connecting rods and, through mechanical necessity, cranks (see diagram). Hierapolis_sentence_185

The accompanying inscription is in Greek. Hierapolis_sentence_186

In June 2014 the sarcophagus was stored at the Hierapolis Museum and not displayed. Hierapolis_sentence_187

Southern Necropolis Hierapolis_section_17

On the right side, fascinating signs of the earthquake can be seen. Hierapolis_sentence_188

Large travertine area is completely demolished. Hierapolis_sentence_189

The rectangle and hallow graves, which may be simpler and older than the necropolis, attracts attention. Hierapolis_sentence_190

While digging, experts in Denizli Museum, found a grave with long inscriptions. Hierapolis_sentence_191

Close to it, Epigraphic marble blocks had been founded which are dated to the Early Hellenistic Period. Hierapolis_sentence_192

On the North side of the area, digging works are going on. Hierapolis_sentence_193

On the hillside, Byzantine ramparts, on the grave builds, marble lahids had been founded. Hierapolis_sentence_194

This lahids are staying on a stone base. Hierapolis_sentence_195

The roof that built with cob brick is covered with tiles. Hierapolis_sentence_196

This was a new style in this period, and inside the grave it is decorated with coloured wall paintings. Hierapolis_sentence_197

On the way to Laodikeia and Colossae is another grave related to the Necropolis. Hierapolis_sentence_198

This is the grave of Tiberius Cladius Talamos, whose name was written in the long epigraph, and it attracts attention due to the resemblance of its facade to a home. Hierapolis_sentence_199

Martyrium Hierapolis_section_18

The St. Hierapolis_sentence_200 Philip Martyrium stands on top of the hill outside the northeastern section of the city walls. Hierapolis_sentence_201

It dates from the 5th century. Hierapolis_sentence_202

It was said that Philip was buried in the center of the building and, though his tomb has recently been unearthed, the exact location has not yet been verified. Hierapolis_sentence_203

The Martyrium burned down at the end of the 5th or early 6th century, as attested by fire marks on the columns. Hierapolis_sentence_204

Philip is said to have been martyred in Hierapolis by being crucified upside-down or by being hung upside down by his ankles from a tree. Hierapolis_sentence_205

The martyrium is usually taken to have been named after the Christian apostle Philip, but from early times there has been some dispute as to the actual identity of "Philip of Hierapolis". Hierapolis_sentence_206

This confusion started with a report by Polycrates of Ephesus in his Eusebius's Ecclesiastical History and in his controversial letter written to Victor of Rome towards the end of the 2nd century. Hierapolis_sentence_207

In the letter, he reports that the graves of Philip "of the twelve apostles", and of his two aged virgin daughters were in (the Phrygian) Hierapolis a third daughter, "who had lived in the Holy Ghost", was buried at Ephesus. Hierapolis_sentence_208

With this may be compared the testimony of Clement of Alexandria, who incidentally speaks of "Philip the Apostle" as having begotten children and as having given daughters in marriage. Hierapolis_sentence_209

On the other hand, Proclus, one of the interlocutors in the "Dialogue of Caius", a writing of somewhat later date than the letter of Polycrates, mentions "four prophetesses, the daughters of Philip at Hierapolis in Asia, whose tomb and that of their father are to be seen there", where the mention of the daughters prophesying identifies the person meant with the Philip of Acts. Hierapolis_sentence_210

Early traditions say this Philip was martyred by hanging in Phrygia. Hierapolis_sentence_211

and was also known as "Philip the Apostle". Hierapolis_sentence_212

The reasons for setting aside the evangelist identification, and for holding that the Philip who lived at Hierapolis was the Apostle are stated by Lightfoot, Colossians (2). Hierapolis_sentence_213

Fresh confirmation of his view was afforded by the discovery of an inscription at Hierapolis, showing that the church there was dedicated to the memory "of the holy and glorious apostle and theologian Philip. Hierapolis_sentence_214

"Early traditions say this Philip was martyred by hanging in Phrygia. Hierapolis_sentence_215

and was also known as "Philip the Apostle". Hierapolis_sentence_216

The martyrium had a special design, probably executed by an architect of a Byzantine emperor. Hierapolis_sentence_217

It has a central octagonal structure with a diameter of 20 metres (66 ft) under a wooden dome which is covered with lead tiles. Hierapolis_sentence_218

This is surrounded with eight rectangular rooms, each accessible via three arches. Hierapolis_sentence_219

Four were used as entrances to the church, the other four as chapels. Hierapolis_sentence_220

The space between the eight rooms was filled with heptagonal chapels with a triangular apse. Hierapolis_sentence_221

The dome above the apse was decorated with mosaics. Hierapolis_sentence_222

The whole structure was surrounded by an arcade with marble columns. Hierapolis_sentence_223

All the walls were covered with marble panels. Hierapolis_sentence_224

In 2011, it was announced that Philip's gravesite may have been discovered about 40 metres (130 ft) from the Martyrium. Hierapolis_sentence_225

Antique Pool Hierapolis_section_19

Especially in the period of the Roman Empire, Hierapolis and its site were a health center. Hierapolis_sentence_226

In those years, thousands of people used to come to the baths, of which there are more than fifteen, and they found their remedy in those baths. Hierapolis_sentence_227

Today's Antique Pool was shaped by the earthquake which happened in the 7th century AD. Hierapolis_sentence_228

The marble portico with Ionic arrangement fell into the spring during that earthquake. Hierapolis_sentence_229

Cleopatra's Pool Hierapolis_section_20

The water in the thermal pool is 36–57 °C, pH value is 5.8 and radon value is 1480 pCi/l. Hierapolis_sentence_230

The spa water contains bicarbonate, sulphate and carbon dioxide, as well as iron and radioactive combination. Hierapolis_sentence_231

The water in this spring is suitable for taking showers and drinking cures, 2430 MG/liter melt metal value. Hierapolis_sentence_232

The Baths Hierapolis_section_21

Another set of baths was constructed outside the north gate at the beginning of the 3rd century AD. Hierapolis_sentence_233

This building was converted into a church in the early Christian era (c. 5th century). Hierapolis_sentence_234

It is apparent that the building had stuccoed, vaulted ceilings and that the halls were decorated with marble slabs. Hierapolis_sentence_235

Hierapolis Ancient City

Hierapolis Ancient City, is about 20 km north of Denizli. It is called a Holy City in Archeological literature because there were many temples and religious buildings in Hierapolis. The ancient city is situated between several historical areas. According to the ancient geographers, Strabon and Ptolemaios, Hierapolis was very close to Laodicea and Tripolis which was in Kario’s Border. That’s why it was a Phrygian City. There is no information about Hierapolis history before the Hellenistic Era, but we know there was a city there before then. It’s called Hierapolis because of its Mother goddess Cult.

Information about Hierapolis is limited. It is known that the king of Pergamum, Eumenes II, founded the city in 190 BC. It was named Hierapolis after the Amazon’s Queen Hiera, the wife of Telephos, the founder of Pergamum. (Pergamum is also called Pergamon or Pergamos).

The Hierapolis relief and the mills at Ephesos and at Gerasa

  • 10 Breast wheels are thought to have been invented as a compromise between overshot and undershot whe (. )
  • 11 Gerasa: 6 th c. AD, Seigne 2002, p. 16, Ephesos: 6 th or early 7 th c. AD, Schiøler 2005, p. 34. Wika (. )

13 In the Hierapolis relief the waterwheel appears to be applied as a breast wheel, the sloping chute pointing to the wheel at half height10. Two blocs are sawn simultaneously, by two span-saws, the saw blades fitted into vertical frames. Such frames may accommodate two or more parallel saw blades. Thus, from the Hierapolis relief, a reconstruction of the stone saw mills at Ephesos and at Gerasa11, with crank wheels or cranks and connecting rods, and with vertical saw frames, appears realistic.

14 According to Ritti, the relief and the inscription must be dated to the 2 nd half or end of the 3 rd c. AC, preceding the attested Ausonius poem on the marble saw mills at the Ruwer (371 AD) a hundred years, and three centuries before the mills at Ephesos and at Gerasa. Ritti states that the inscription tells us that M. Aurelius Ammanius is referred to as an ingenious and inventive man (δαιδάλεος), not just a labourer or an official, a man who maybe invented this type of stone saw or introduced some new element to the saw mechanism.

15 The Hierapolis relief shows us beyond doubt that vertical saw frames have been applied for water-powered stone saws, and, of great importance, that the crank wheel /crank was known in the 3 rd c. AD. There are, however, remarkable differences between the situation at Ephesos and Gerasa and the one depicted on the Hierapolis relief. At Gerasa and apparently also at Ephesos, the shaft of the water wheel is short, not much longer than needed for the wheel itself and the two bearings on either side of the wheel. In the Hierapolis relief the water wheel’s shaft is extended, long enough to accommodate a smaller, toothed wheel that serves as a driver for a third wheel, to the shaft of which the crank wheels are mounted. This gear train reminds of the machinery of vertical water mills applied for driving millstones, the Vitruvian mill, where a vertical cogwheel is mounted onto the shaft of the water wheel, driving a horizontal wheel to which the rotating millstone is fixed. The cogwheel and the horizontal wheel were usually accommodated in a separate space into which the shaft of the water wheel extended, the shaft’s total length usually being between 2.9 and 3.6 m.

Fig. 5. Stone-saw in the grinding mill in Schwerin (Schweriner Schleifmühle) (photo P. Schmidt)

16 Furthermore, in the Hierapolis relief the saw frames and the stone blocs that are sawn are positioned to the left and to the right from the gear train. This contrasts the situation at Ephesos/ Gerasa, where the blocs are positioned next to each other on one side of the water wheel. The arrangement at Ephesos/Gerasa, the water wheel being positioned next to the wall with the headrace, does not allow an alternative set-up. Maybe it was the artist’s impression, in the Hierapolis relief, to depict the saws and the stone blocs on either side of the driving wheel, but the configuration with the gear train no doubt allows the positioning of the saws in the relief. It may have been the merit of M. Aurelios Ammianos that he changed the combination of vertical cogwheel and horizontal wheel into a gear train with two vertical wheels for the purpose of driving some non-rotational machinery. He may actually have used an existing water mill to experiment, as the only thing he had to do was to replace the horizontal wheel of this gear train by a vertical one and position it below the cogwheel, adding crank wheels, connecting rods and span-saws. This would explain the long shaft of the water wheel and the two extra wheels in the Hierapolis relief.

17 By the gear train that Ammianos applied for driving his saws, energy is inevitably lost by friction. One may envisage that, at a later stage, the gear train was abolished to the favour of crank wheels mounted directly onto the water wheel’s shaft, thus simplifying the design, reducing the length of the shaft, and enhancing efficiency of the mill. This would lead to the mill configurations known from Ephesos and Gerasa. One may only speculate that Ammianos was the inventor of the crank or crank wheel, to convert a rotational movement into a linear one, and, that he also was the inventor of the water-powered stone saw. It would have been a revolutionary and tremendous invention. The Hierapolis relief shows us that, whatever the case may be, Ammianos, and the Romans, knew and applied this technique, in his time, the second half of the3 rd c. AD.

Snapshot: Hierapolis

UNESCO-listed Hierapolis is located in south-eastern Turkey, next to the famous calcified waterfall Pamukkale. Hierapolis means ‘Holy City’ in ancient Greek, and indeed it was the focal point for the worship of Pluto, God of the underworld. Since ancient times the Greco-Roman city has been revered for its hot springs whose steam and gases inspired prophetic visions in Pluto’s priests. It has even been speculated that the Door to Hell can be found in Hierapolis’ gas-filled fissures.

An Ancient Roman column at Hierapolis.

Hierapolis was founded in the 7th century BC and it soon became a thermal spa and healing centre. In the 2nd century AD, it was ceded to Rome and was toppled by a disastrous earthquake one in a series of many to come. Reconstruction of the town in the Roman style cemented Hierapolis’ importance in the Roman Empire it was renowned for arts, philosophy and healing. The large and prosperous population was supplemented by many illustrious visitors, including the Stoic philosopher Epictetus, and the biblical figure Philip.

Start your exploration at the Archaeology Museum, which is housed in the one-time Roman Bath. Here you will find archaeological treasures from surrounding towns and Hierapolis itself which include devotional items and depictions of the Greek gods. Your next stop should be the theatre. Look down into the beautifully preserved stage, which can be observed from the lower levels of seating. The three-story backdrop, or scaenae frons, is immense and decorated with reliefs portraying mythological figures. The surrounding seating had a capacity of up to fifteen thousand spectators who gathered to watch battling gladiators, aquatic shows and plays.

Tourists visit the Amphitheatre in Hierapolis.

The Temple of Apollo is perhaps the most fascinating relic on the site. It was built over an active fault called the Plutonion, issuing a toxic carbon dioxide gas which would asphyxiate anyone nearby. Only priests could safely descend into the shrine and relay petitioners’ questions to the Oracle. Later, Christians built a huge drinking water fountain called the Nymphaeum in front of the Temple to block off the pagan site from view.

A brief walk through the stone-paved streets will reveal a typical grid-based Roman city. The main street is capped with two monumental gates. To the north, the Byzantine Gate bolstered the 4th-century fortifications with two quadrangular towers and apotropaic elements to ward off evil. The arched travertine Frontinus Gate in the south acted as the entrance to the heart of the city. Residents would pass through the gate into the colonnaded Frontinus Street and head towards the ancient Agora, one of the largest uncovered marketplaces discovered so far.

The ancient Frontinus Gate heading towards Agora, or the ancient market.

If you’re feeling energised, pass beyond the city walls through the southern gate towards the Necropolis. This ancient cemetery is one of the best-preserved in all of Turkey, with twelve hundred tombs dating back as far as the Hellenic period. Here, residents and patients from the thermal spa were buried according to their socio-economic status and cultural traditions.

Tourist walking at the necropolis or cemetery of Hierapolis.

Don’t forget to take a soak at the Sacred Pool, a thermal hot spring filled with fallen marble columns. It’s not only a chance to get up and close with the antiquities, but you may even find relief in the hallowed waters like the visitors of old.

Watch the video: Scientists unravel the mystery of the Roman gate to hell


  1. Amhold

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  2. Yasuo

    You hit the mark. It seems to me a good thought. I agree with you.

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