(Çavdarhisar) Phrygia, Turkey.
district of Aezani
, today called Örencik Ovasi, is located
on the upper course of the Rhyndakos (Çavdarhisar
Suyu), 54 km SW of Kütahya, in Azanitis (Strab.
). It was captured by Eumenes II from Prusias I
of Bithynia in 184 B.C. and attached to the kingdom of
Pergamon; from 133 B.C. it belonged to Rome.
The oldest pottery finds of Late Hellenistic and Early
Roman times come from the Holy of Holies of the
Meter Steunene (Kybele) 3.5 km W of the town, on
the Penkalas (Paus. 8.4.3
; 10.32.3), the upper course of
the Rhyndakos. Coins from the 1st c. B.C. bear the
. The important ruins of the
Roman city, visible today, belong for the most part to
the 2d c. A.D. It was a bishop's seat in the Christian period, with a church built into a Temple of Zeus. Later it
was expanded as a fort by the Tartar race of the Çavdar,
and from that derives its present name.
The Roman city had no fortifications. It extended on
both sides of the river, whose deep channel was contained between high embankments of large ashlar blocks.
From bank to bank there originally stretched four bridges
of ashlar, of which two are still in use. The five barrel
vaults of one of these increase in width and height toward the center.
On the left bank of the river lie the agora, with a
small market temple, a second, Doric agora, the precinct
of the Temple of Zeus, baths with a gymnasium, a stadium, and a theater. On the right bank are the tholos of
a macellum and the ruins of two temples. Sprawling
necropoleis with sarcophagi and portal-shaped tombstones lie on the slopes surrounding the town.
With its 16 columns still standing, the Temple of Zeus
is the best-preserved Ionic temple in Asia Minor. It
towers high above the surrounding area, being set on
a high, vaulted platform, with double-aisled porticos
around the edge. These porticos enclosed a courtyard of
112 x 130 m. In the center, the temple stood on a podium 2.86 m high, approached by stairways of 11 and 7
steps. One climbed directly up to the temple precinct
from the agora through an imposing propylon with 27
steps, by which a characteristic impressiveness, usual in
imperial architecture, was achieved. Between the propylon and the temple and on an axis with them lay an
altar for burnt sacrifices.
The temple itself was pseudodipteral, with 8 Ionic columns on the ends and 15 on the flanks. The columns
were farther apart at the center than at the ends, in the
ratio of 4:4:5:6. The cella had 4 columns in front of
the pronaos, in the manner of a prostyle, and 2, with
composite capitals, in antis in the opisthodomos. Between
the cella and the opisthodomos a staircase was inserted.
The general plan is similar to the Hellenistic type created
by Hermogenes in Magnesia, which was also used for
the Temple of Augustus in Ancyra. The cella walls have
the unusual attribute of an inscription zone, framed with
meander band and molding over an orthostat socle. The
inscriptions concern a lawsuit over the possession of the
temple, from which the date of the building may be set
in the time of Hadrian, between A.D. 125 and 145, and
honorary decrees from the year A.D. 157 for M. Ulpius
Apuleius Eurykles, a famous citizen of Aezani
. An interesting enrichment of the architecture is provided by small vases in relief in the upper zones of the column flutes, below the Ionic capitals.
The excavated remains of the large central akroterion
of the gable show a bust of Zeus on the E and on the
W a female bust, perhaps to be identified as Kybele. It
may be conjectured that an impressive vault located
under the temple, of the same dimensions as its inner
structure and accessible from the opisthodomos in the
W via the stairs mentioned above, was dedicated to the
goddess. This is also suggested by the dedicatory inscription of a priest “of Zeus and Kybele.” From here, the
Spring processions may have led to the Holy of Holies
of the Meter Steunene.
On the right bank of the river, near the upper of the
surviving Roman bridges, there were revealed in 1971
the remains of a round structure 14 m in diameter. The
socle of this building, consisting of a base, lower molding, orthostates, and cornice, formed a platform reached
by two 10-stepped stairways, on which apparently rested
a tholos with 16 columns and conical roof. This evidently
formed the central building of a macellum, and probably
housed a fountain. Subsequently there was added to the
orthostates a copy of the Price Edict promulgated by
Diocletian in 302. Of the original 12 whole and 4 half-orthostates there survive 8 whole and one half, densely
inscribed with Edict lists. They have been set up in
their original places.
C. Texier, Description de l'Asie Mineure
(1839) I 95-127, III pls. 23-49; P. Le Bas, Voyage
. (1850) pls. 1-35; id. & S. Reinach, Voyage
. (1888) 142ff; A. Körte, “Das Alter des Zeus-tempels in Aizanoi,” Festschrift für O. Benndorf
209-14; M. Schede, Untersuchungen am Tempel in
(1930) 227-31; R. Naumann, “Das Heiligtum der
Meter Steunene bei Aezani
17 (1967) 218-47;
id. & F. Naumann, “Der Rundbau in Aezani
(1973); H. Weber, “Der Zeus-Tempel von Aezani
panhellenisches Heiligtum der Kaiserzeit,” AM
182; E. Akurgal, Ancient Civilizations and Ruins of Turkey
(2d ed. 1970) 267-70PI
; U. Laffi, “I Terreni del tempio
di Zeus ad Aizanoi,” Athenaeum
NS 49 (1971) 3-53.