The ruins of Stratoniceia at Eskihisar are somewhat scanty in proportion to the size of the city,
but what remains gives an impressive idea of the solidity and magnificence which they once possessed.
The acropolis hill lies to the south of the site, beyond the area shown on the plan Fig. 11; it is fortified with
a ring-wall round the summit. But the inhabited city lay on the flat ground to the north, and is now partially
occupied by the village of Eskihisar. Of the city wall F,F only insignificant ruins now remain; it was origin-ally
rather less than a mile in length. The main entrance was on the north at C; part of the arched gate is standing,
in massive broad-and-narrow masonry, and just inside it a single unfluted Corinthian column survives from the row
which originally stood there (P1. 19). At the north-east corner of the site are the ruins of a powerful fort, D,
overlooking a dip in the ground; it is solidly constructed of large squared blocks in regular courses, with some
mortar, but in places additions or repairs show a very inferior masonry with many reused blocks and even column-drums.
In the present village, and almost in the centre of the ancient city, is the most impressive building on the site,
the Sarapeum or temple of Sarapis, A, dating from the second or third century A.D. The outer walls are standing
to a fair height (Pl. 18), in the same broad-and-narrow masonry as the north gate, but the interior is filled with
earth and is now used as a garden. The north wall is covered, partly on the inside and wholly on the outside, with
inscriptions in Greek and Latin; one of these, at the east end of the inner face, is an ex-voto to Helios Zeus
Sarapis for salvation from war and foreign seas. Another records an oracle delivered by Zeus of Panamara; the Stratoniceians
had asked, apparently on the advice of Sarapis, whether the barbarians would attack the city in the current year;
the god reassures them. The occasion was evidenfly the invasion of the Goths in the middle of the third century
A.D. A third is a very curious document; it consists of twelve very faulty verses, each of which contains as many
letters as one of the months of the year, beginning with October; the number of days is written at the right in
Greek numerals. At the same time the initial letters of the lines form an acrostic giving the name of the writer,
Menippus. His purpose, as he explains, is to provide a mnemonic which may be useful to his less well educated fellow-citizens.
Ancient treasures in a corn field
Just to the west of this building, in a maize-field, stands a solitary gate, with uprights and
lintel. This was an entrance to the pen-bolus or precinct surrounding the temple, an enclosure over 100 yards (91'4
in.) square of which very little else survives. The gate carries no inscription.
To the west again lay the agora, or market-place, of Stratoniceia. Virtually all that now remains of it is a row
of marble blocks, bordering one of the village lanes. To the north of this, beyond the coffee-house, is a building
E of unknown purpose, comprising at present a long wall of large well-squared blocks, joined on the south side
by part of a curved wall. This arrangement does not conform to the plan of any normal building.
At the north-east corner of the site Trtmaux in 1874 saw a colonnade beside a street leading in the direction of
the city-gate. Something of this colonnade is said to survive, but the present writer has not seen it.
At the north foot of the acropolis hill, not shown on the plan, is the theatre, large and quite well preserved,
but badly overgrown and poorly maintained. The cavea, facing north in the manner approved by Vitruvius, is divided
by stairways into nine cunei; the single diazoma is now largely destroyed. The capacity is estimated as not less
than 10,000. The stage-building too, or at least its foundations, is probably in quite good preservation; but it
has not been excavated.
On the hillside above the theatre is a levelled area on which lie the ruins of a small temple in the Ionic order,
identified from an inscription as devoted to the cult of the Emperors.
Across the main road from the school is a small museum which is well worth a visit. It contains
mostly small pieces of Roman date, including epitaphs and several bearded heads from the angles of a sarcophagus;
among the former is the quaint tombstone of a young man (Pl. 20) erected by his parents and brothers. But the most
remarkable object is a Mycenaean stirrup-cup of buff with horizontal red stripes which is dated to the twelfth
or eleventh century B.C. All the exhibits were found locally.
The garden of the Stratonikeia museum
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