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PAUTALIA (Kyustendil) W Bulgaria.

The principal habitation site at Pautalia goes back to the Thracian period and it was probably the capital of the Dentheleti. It is situated on the Strymon river, ca. 69 km SW of Sofia, in a valley rich in cereal grains and mineral springs.

In the Thracian age it became a Roman center (civitas Ulpia); in the time of Hadrian it received the title of Aelia. The center was an important crossroads, linked with the Aegean Sea across the Strymon, and with Serdica and Philippopolis. The acropolis is on the hill called Hissarlâk, and the inhabited area extends between this hill and the river. Only recently the fortifications of the city on the N, E, and W sides have been brought to light. From the first observation of these it seems possible to date them to the second half of the 2d c. A.D. During successive centuries the fortifications underwent a number of modifications until the Byzantine period. A secure date for the restoration of at least a part of the fortifications is found in an ancient source (Procop. De aed. 4.1.31), which places it in the age of Justinian. The latest excavation has also brought to light stretches of ancient roads crossed by cloacae in brick. Also recently found on the acropolis were stretches of fortifications provided with towers and posterns.

Among the major monuments of the city and of the acropolis are the temples of Zeus and Hera, and of Aesculapius, important because of the mineral waters. Other major monuments include the bath buildings and a gymnasium. All of these are mentioned in inscriptions or on the coins from the local mint.

The center was renowned for the number of its copies of major works of Greek art, as, for example, the Diskobolos of Naukidas, the statue of Hermes, or that of Dionysos and Pan.

Besides the large center of Pautalia, there were in the neighborhood numerous small unfortified settlements in which the cult of Aesculapius was predominant. These centers formed, very probably, the proasteion mentioned in the inscriptions found in the area around Pautalia.


C. Jirecek, Archäologisch-Epigraphische Mitteilungen 10 (1886) 68; J. Iwanov, Severna Makedonija (1906); L. Ruzicka, “Zwei Statuen des Praxiteles auf Münzen von Ulpia Pautalia,” Strena Buliciana (1924) 667ff; C. Patsch, “Beiträge zur Völkerkunde von Südosteuropa,” 5 Sitz-Ber. Akad. Wien 214, 1 (1932); D. P. Dimitrov, “Za ukrepenite wili i rezidencii u trakite w predistoričeskata epocha,” Studia in honorem Acad. D. Decev (1958) 683ff; C. M. Danoff, RE, Suppl. IX (1962) 800-824; T. Ivanov, Bul. d'Archéologie sud-est européenne (Association Internationale d'Études du Sud-East Européen, Commission d'Archéologie 2; 1971) 44.


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