World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Epidamnus

Article Id: WHEBN0000391093
Reproduction Date:

Title: Epidamnus  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Dorians, Corfu, 620s BC, 215 BC, 229 BC, 435 BC, First Macedonian War, Timeline of Albanian history to 1993, Olympia, Greece, History of Greece
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Epidamnus

The ancient Greek[1] city of Epidamnus or Epidamnos (Ἐπίδαμνος) (Strabo Geography vi.316), later the Roman Dyrrachium (modern Durrës, Albania, ca. 30 km W of Tirana) was founded in 627 BCE[2] in Illyria by a group of colonists from Corinth and Corcyra (modern Corfu).[3] Aristotle's Politics several times draws for examples on the internal government of Epidamnos, which was run as a tight oligarchy that appointed a ruling magistrate; tradesmen and craftsmen were excluded from power, until internal strife produced a more democratic government. The exiled oligarchs appealed to Corcyra while the democrats enlisted the help of Corinth, initiating a struggle between the two mother cities described by Thucydides as a cause of the Peloponnesian War. Individual trading with the local Illyrians was forbidden at Epidamnos: all traffic was through the authorized city agent or poletes. In the fourth century BCE the city-state was part of the kingdoms of Cassander and Pyrrhus. The general vicinity of Epidamus was called Epidamnia.[4]

Dyrrhachium

In 229 BCE, when the Romans seized the city the "-damnos" part of the name was inauspicious to Latin ears, and its name, as it was refounded, became Dyrrhachium. Pausanias (6.x.8) says "the modern Roman city is not the ancient one, being at a short distance from it. The modern city is called Dyrrhachium from its founder." The name Dyrrachion is found on coins of the fifth century BCE; in the Roman period Dyrrachium was more common. However, the city maintained a semi-autonomy and was turned into a Roman colony.

Dyrrachium was the landing place for Roman passengers crossing the Ionian Sea from Brundisium, which made it a fairly busy way-station. Here commenced the Via Egnatia, the Roman military road to Thessalonica that connected Roman Illyria with Macedonia and Thrace. The city itself was part of Macedonia, more specifically Epirus Nova. In 48 BCE Pompey was based at Dyrrachium and beat off an attack by Julius Caesar (see Battle of Dyrrhachium). In 345 BCE the city was levelled by an earthquake and rebuilt on its old foundations. In the 4th century CE, Dyrrachium was made the capital of the Roman province of Epirus nova.

The name "Epidamnos" was still used by the Byzantines, as for example in the 13th-century Synopsis Chronike, referring to contemporary events.[5]

Roman remains

The modern city of Durrës is built directly over the ancient site, so it is primarily on the basis of inscriptions and serendipitous finds that some idea of its monuments has been formed. Inscriptions offer evidence on the following Roman monuments: an aqueduct constructed by Hadrian and restored by Alexander Severus bears a dedicatory inscription at Arapaj, a short distance from Durazzo: (Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum III, 1-709); the Roman temple of Minerva; the Temple of Diana (CIL III, 1-602), which is perhaps the one mentioned by Appian (BCiv. 2.60); the equestrian statue of L. Titinius Sulpicianus (CIL III, 1-605); the library (CIL m, 1-67). The last inscription mentions that for the dedication of the library 24 gladiators fought in pairs. The conjecture that there was an amphitheater in the city is confirmed by a passage from the fifteenth-century Vita di Skanderbeg by Marin Barleti: "amphitheatrum mira arte ingenioque constructum".

As a result of occasional discoveries, the following data are available: a 3rd-century mosaic pavement with a female head surrounded by garlands of vegetables and flowers, which brings to mind those painted on Apulian vases; remains of houses covered by other layers, the lowest of which, of the Greek era, was found at a depth of 5 m.

Columns with Corinthian capitals and sections of finished marble revetment, discovered on the nearby hillside at Stani, belong probably to the Temple of Minerva or to the Capitolium. In the necropolis east of the hills that stand above the city have been found a stele of Lepidia Salvia, a sarcophagus with a scene of the Calydonian Boar hunt (now at Istanbul), and numerous Roman tombs.

Classical sources not mentioned in the text: Strabo 5.283; 6.316,323,327; Ptolemy 3.12; Dio Cassius. 41.49; Pomponius Mela 2.56; Pliny Natural History 3.145; 4.36; 6.217; 14.30; 19.144; 32.18. CIL refers to the series of published inscriptions Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum.

See also

References

External links

  • Perseus site: several sources, including William Smith, ed., Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854)
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 



Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.