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AEZANI (Çavdarhisar) Phrygia, Turkey.

The 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. 12.576). 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 inscription ΕΖΕΑΝΙΤΩΝ. 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 Archéol. (1850) pls. 1-35; id. & S. Reinach, Voyage Archéol. (1888) 142ff; A. Körte, “Das Alter des Zeus-tempels in Aizanoi,” Festschrift für O. Benndorf (1898) 209-14; M. Schede, Untersuchungen am Tempel in Aezani (1930) 227-31; R. Naumann, “Das Heiligtum der Meter Steunene bei Aezani,” IstMitt 17 (1967) 218-47; id. & F. Naumann, “Der Rundbau in Aezani,” IstMitt 10 (1973); H. Weber, “Der Zeus-Tempel von Aezani—ein panhellenisches Heiligtum der Kaiserzeit,” AM 84 (1969) 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.


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