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HIERAPOLIS (Pamukkale) Turkey.

Town in Phrygia, 18 km N-NE of Denizli. Founded during the Hellenistic period, probably by the Pergamene kings, and most likely by Eumenes II; the earliest inscription found there is a decree in honor of his mother Apollonis. The earliest coins, down to the time of Augustus, give the city's name as Hieropolis, which suggests that the site was previously occupied by a temple village. Stephanos Byzantios, although he quotes the name as Hierapolis, explains it by the many temples in the city. A derivation from Hiera or Hiero, wife of Telephos, has been suggested, but this idea was evidently not current in antiquity.

Hierapolis has virtually no history, apart from a series of earthquakes and visits from the emperors. The worst earthquake occurred under Nero in A.D. 60, and seems to have necessitated extensive rebuilding. Christianity was introduced early, and the apostle Philip ended his life at Hierapolis, where his martyrium has recently been rediscovered. Coinage extends from the 2d c. B.C. to the emperor Philip, though alliance coins continue a little later.

The white cliffs of Pamukkale (Cotton castle), like petrified cascades, have long been famous. They were and are being formed by heavily lime-charged streamlets issuing from a hot pool fed from the hill above. The city lies on the plateau above the cliffs, and stood in large part not on soil but on the calcareous mass deposited by the streams. Its cardinal feature is a straight street over a mile long, running N-S through the center. At either end stood a monumental three-arched gateway flanked by round towers; that on the N is still well preserved, and is dated by its dedication to Domitian in A.D. 84-85. These gates stood some 150 m outside the city wall, in which was a second, simpler gate. The wall itself surrounds the city except on the side of the cliffs; it is low and of indifferent masonry, no earlier than the Christian era. The original city was apparently protected only by its sanctity.

The great baths, close to the edge of the cliffs, stand almost to their original height. In front is an open courtyard flanked on each side by a chamber entered through a row of six pilasters; behind this is a complex of a dozen rooms, with arches up to 16 m in span, and an even larger central arch. Identification of the individual rooms is hindered by the stonelike floor deposited since antiquity. In many places the walls show the holes for fixing the marble veneer, and traces of stucco are visible on the arches. The hot pool, commonly called the sacred pool, has a temperature somewhat under blood heat. In it lie numerous ancient blocks and column drums. The streamlets issuing from it deposit their lime as they go, forming self-built channels 0.3 m or more wide which change their position from time to time. Along the N part of the main street they have formed walls up to 2 m high.

Up the slope E of the pool is the Temple of Apollo, newly excavated. In its present form it is no earlier than the 3d c. A.D., but it appears to have replaced an earlier building. The SW front, approached by a flight of steps, stands on a podium about 2 m high; the back part rests on a shelf of rock. It contains a pronaos and cella, and had a row of columns, probably six, on the front only.

Adjoining the temple on the SE is the Plutoneion, which constituted the city's chief claim to fame. It was described by Strabo (629-30) as an orifice in a ridge of the hillside, in front of which was a fenced enclosure filled with thick mist immediately fatal to any who entered except the eunuchs of Kybele. The Plutoneion was mentioned and described later by numerous ancient writers, in particular Dio Cassius (68.27), who observed that an auditorium had been erected around it, and Damascius ap. Photius (Bibl. 344f), who recorded a visit by a certain doctor Asclepiodotus about A.D. 500; he mentioned the hot stream inside the cavern and located it under the Temple of Apollo. There is, in fact, immediately below the sidewall of the temple in a shelf of the hillside, a roofed chamber 3 m square, at the back of which is a deep cleft in the rock filled with a fast-flowing stream of hot water heavily charged with a sharp-smelling gas. In front is a paved court, from which the gas emerges in several places through cracks in the floor. The mist mentioned by Strabo is not observable now. The gas was kept out of the temple itself by allowing it to escape through gaps left between the blocks of the sidewalls.

Just N of the temple is a large nymphaion, of familiar form, with a back wall and two wings enclosing a water basin, and a flight of steps in front. Five semicircular recesses in the walls are surmounted by rectangular niches; in the central niche is a pipe-hole. The walls were decorated with moldings, statues, and reliefs.

Higher up the slope to the E is the theater. This is large for the size of the city, reflecting the large numbers of visitors to the warm baths and the Plutoneion. The cavea, ca. 100 m wide, is well preserved, with some 50 rows of seats, one diazoma, a semicircular Royal Box, and a vomitorium on either side. The stage building is also standing in large part; it had three rows of columns one above another, and was adomed with statues and a Dionysiac frieze, but most of the decoration has fallen. The stage itself was rather less than 4 m high. The orchestra, some 20 m in diameter and surrounded by a wall ca. 2 m high, is being cleared of the mass of fallen masonry. The building as a whole is of Graeco-Roman type, dating from the Roman period; some vestiges of an earlier Hellenistic theater may be observed in a hollow of the hill N of the city.

Farther up the hill to the NE is a rectangular walled reservoir, and beyond this again is the newly excavated and elaborate martyrium of St. Philip. This is a square building, approached from the SE by a broad flight of steps; it has an octagonal central chamber containing the semicircular synthronos; from this six other chambers open off, and round the exterior are rows of smaller chambers entered from the outside. The apostle's tomb has not been discovered. The building is supposed to have been used for commemorative services on the saint's feast day; it dates from the early 5th c. A.D.

The necropolis, containing well over 1000 tombs, has two main groups, one on the hillside beyond the city wall on the E, the other lining the street outside the city on the N. The earliest are of tumulus type, with a circular wall at the base, a cone of earth above surmounted by a phallos stone, and the burial chamber in the interior with its own door; some also have a door in the semicircular wall. There are some house tombs, but most of the tombs are simply sarcophagi, set in many cases on a solid substructure; there are also a few large built tombs. The tomb of Flavius Zeuxis stands W of the N monumental gate; the inscription records that Zeuxis had made 72 voyages round Cape Malea to Italy.


R. Chandler, Travels in Asia Minor (1817; repr. 1971) 186-92; C. Fellows, Asia Minor (1839) 283-85; C. Humann et al., Altertümer von Hierapolis (1898)MI; excavation reports, Annuario (1961-); G. E. Bean, Turkey beyond the Maeander (1971) 232-46.


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