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Diocaesarea-UzuncaburÁ


The temple of Tyche. Photo Marco Prins. Olba (Ὤλβα): Seleucid city in Rough Cilicia, southern Turkey; its Roman name was Diocaesarea (Διοκαισάρεια), and its modern name is UzuncaburÁ.

The first photo shows the temple of Tyche, or Fortune. During the reign of Vespasian or his son Domitian(i.e., between 69 and 96), this shrine was given as a present to the city by a man and a woman named Oppius and Kyria, his wife. The cult may be older, though, because this deity was venerated in all cities founded by Seleucus. Here is a satellite photo. It was at the western end of the Colonnaded Street, the main road of Diocaesarea.

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Northeastern city gate. Photo Marco Prins.
Just north of the temple of Tyche was the northwestern city gate, which is shown on the second photo. An inscription states that it was erected during the reign of the emperor Arcadius (395-408). It is about 32 meter wide and 12 meter high; the width of the wall is just over one meter. Still, it may have served as a real fortification, because this was the age of the Isaurians, inhabitants of the mountains of Cilicia, who were a permanent threat to the Roman interests in this part of Anatolia. A satellite photo can be seen here.

Monumental arch. Photo Marco Prins.
The third photo shows the monumental arch at the beginning of a colonnaded street, which leafd from this arch (in the center of the city) to the temple of Tyche. The consoles once carried statues. The street is about 250 meter long. Straight, monumental main streets are typical of Seleucid city foundations; they can also been found in Syrian cities like Apamea, Chalcis, Cyrrhus, Dura Europos, and Damascus.

Nymphaeum (fountain house). Photo Marco Prins. Close to the Monumental Arch are the remains of a nymphaeum (fountain house), which are seen on the fourth photo. The statues that once adorned it, are now missing. The aquaduct, which is about tweny kilometer long, is still functioning and serves a number of villages in the neighborhood.
Theater. Photo Marco Prins. The Roman theater, shown on the fifth photo, was, according to an inscription, built during the reign of the emperors Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus, i.e. between 161 and 169. Some 2500 people could find a seat, and you can find your satellite photo here.
The largest tower of the fortifications of Diocaesarea. Photo Marco Prins. The largest tower of the fortifications of Diocaesarea, built in the second half of the third century BCE. The inhabitants were very proud of this building: it can be seen on coins. It is still the most remarkable monument in the neighborhood and the modern town, UzuncaburÁ, is called after it ("tall tower"). It is at the highest point of the city, which may have been the citadel. A satellite photo is here.
Mausoleum near Diocaesarea. Photo Jona Lendering. The last photo shows a mausoleum near Diocaesarea, seen from a distance. It is about sixteen meter high. There were more tombs along the road between Diocaesarea and the sea at Demircili. © Jona Lendering for
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Revision: 20 Dec. 2008
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