Stratonikeia/Lagina

One way distance 96,5 km in about 2 hours

A most recommendable excursion for one day is the Seleucid town of Stratonikeia, founded in the third century B.C.

You get to the less known excavation site in the area of the nearly abandoned village of Eskihisar after passing Bodrum and Milas. The streets on your way are good and mainly four-lane roads. After completion of the extension from Milas to Yatagan you will get there in 1 1/2 hours (may be 2012).

From there you will reach Lagina after 15 minutes. Lagina is an antique sanctuary belonging to Stratonikeia. You take the road from Stratonikeia to Yatagan. Shortly before the town you find a turning to the left (signpostet) to Lagina.

Especially fascinating is the extensive location and the mingling with the almost completely deserted Ottoman village of Eskihisar. The old, partly renovated mosque at the entrance of Eskihisar, built on Roman foundations and the many pomegranate trees are most conspicuous.

Take your time! Many things you will only discover when strolling around in gardens and courtyards!

The Buleuterion

 

was the meeting hall for the council of the town in the southern States of the antique Greece. Sit down on the venerable steps. Perhaps somebody will listen when you give advice to the many interesting stones with inscriptions on the left side! These inscriptions are the price edicts of Diocletian, the most extensive explanation of wages and prices of the Roman Empire. They were made to finish the inflation of the 3rd century A.C.  But this edict failed, as often today in politics, and increased black economy.

The theatre

is situated offside, formerly built outside the residential area. There was room for about 10.000 spectators. It is still in relatively good condition. Recently classic concerts took place. It is really a peaceful and great place.

If you have good shoes and you feel up to climbing up the theatre you`ll find on the plateau (not visible from underneath) above the theatre the foundation of a temple with relics of columns. It is supposed to be from the time of Roman emperors and was used to worship them.

The Gymnasion

It`s an area of 105 x 180 m. It was a splendid training camp for athletes equipped with white marble. A large part of the exterior walls is still preserved, many parts of the building worth seeing may enable archaeologists to reconstruct parts of it.

The Nymphaion

The sanctuary of the nymphs is situated in the north of the town. The gateway beside was the main entrance to the town. The whole area in the interior is most impressive. You can imagine the splendid appearance of the town in former times.

A tomb

In about 50 m distance to the north door you can find an extremely well preserved chamber tomb, probably of the time of Hadrian. It is not signposted, but anyway worth seeing and easy to find after having passed the main door.

The village of Eskihisar

Take a walk through the widely extended village with enchanting pomegranate trees. The details will not escape your attention.

The ancient Ottoman houses as well as the antique elements there fascinate the visitors.

The history of the town

is significant. It was founded by the Seleucid king Antiochos I. in the 3rd. century B.C. His wife Stratonike gave her name to the town.It is said that the town came under the power of Rhodos about 240 B.C. and was conquered by the Macedonians even before 200 B.C. for some years.

The king Antiochos III. overtook the power in 197 B.C. and returned the town to Rhodos. In 167 B.C. the Romans declared Stratonikeia a free town. For a short time it was under the rule of the kingdom of Pontos. Stratonikeia remained however during the whole time of the Province Asia a free town. Under the reign of the Emperor Augustus the town belonged to the "civitates foederatae " of the Province of Asia.

The sanctuary Lagina was declared  "unhurtable " as well. During the late Antiquity it became the bishop`s seat.

Stratonikea was a mint, too. There are found a lot of coins made in Stratonikea, especially in the roman period.

 

Here you see the front side of a coin of the Emperor Trajan (98-117 A.C.) bronze 2cm Caria Stratonicea

TRAIANON CE AY NEPBAN

Revers: God Zeus sitting on the throne to left; CTPATONEI IΝΔΕΙC

Hemidrachm, Stratonikeia, 166 B. C., 16mm;

left side: Head of God Zeus; right: Eagle with opened wings; CTPA, APICTEAC

Lagina

Lagina was the religious centre whereas Stratonikeia was the political and civil centre. A "holy " road (procession road) connected the two in Antiquity.

You can find it as described above near the municipality of Turgut.

Lagina possessed a most important sanctuary of the godess Hekate, the godess of crossroads, crossing points and thresholds as well as the guardian of the gateway between the worlds. She is the godess of magic, of the oracle and of spook. It would be of great interest to rest there for a night...........

The temple of Hekate (Hekateion) can be discerned at least in the foundations with partly preserved columns. At the time of Strabon between 63 B.C. and 23 A.C. it was of extreme importance beyond the region. The inscriptions had been fixed there. One reports the award of "asylie " (declaration of immunity) to the sanctuary by the Roman Empire. Another one tells about a plebiscite.

The temple has been erected in 2 phases of construction, one in the last third of the 2nd century B.C., the other one in 80 B.C.

History

Lagina was probably a location of worship of Kybele.

Later on Kybele was transformed to Hekate. There is nothing special known about the early ancient time, however. In 88 B.C. Lagina tried in vain to fight back the army of Mithradares IV.

Sulla rewarded Lagina especially by promising the "immunity " of the temple. But this didn`t prevent Labenius, a Roman general, to raid the temple....

Octavian renewed the  "immunity " and rendered compensation.