Aphrodisias: What’s Love Got to Do With It?

I thought about just leaving this picture as my entire blogpost, but then I thought better of it.

Today we went to the ancient small city of Aphrodisias. I say small because it only had about 10,000-15,000 persons as opposed to Ephesus population being 250,000 at its height. What the ancient city lacked in population was more than made up for in the amount of ruins were left for us to take in. The group spent a good four hours at the sight, but I could have easily spent at least four more were it not for needing to go get lunch.

There was the Sebastion of Aphrodite, a building three stories tall that told stories of ancient Greek Mythology in reliefs, but also had reliefs of different emperors in their imperial gloriousness, and also personifications of different conquered lands. All of these reliefs were on the second and third stories of the structure so as one entered the building, one’s eyes were drawn upward and the knowledge was implicitly passed to you through art form. What’s even crazier is that the reliefs were thought to be “sloppy” in comparison to other sculptures during that time. Here are some pictures of the Sebastion itself and then some of the reliefs.

(Sebastion from the East)
(Nero and the nation of Armenia personified)
As you can see from the above relief, the people of Aphrodisias did not think highly of the Armenians. One has to believe that part of this was the Aphordisians appealing to the Romans and its Emperors by showing them as being powerful and the other nations weak. 
Another impressive structure, of which there are many, would be the stadium. Apparently, it is one of the best preserved or excavated ruins when it comes to stadiums. It was truly impressive to see in person. It seated 30,000 people, or twice the amount of the population of the town. One would have to think they held some sweet parties. 
I know it’s a big picture, but it doesn’t even do the thing justice. That thing was absolutely massive ,and it looked like an old Soldier Field. 
It was another fascinating day, and I’m slowly starting to realize that this trip is less and less likely to let me down. The food is great, the people are wonderful, my co-travellers friends already, and the sites amazing. Whoever you are, I wish you could be here to experience it with me!
(last picture of the day in Laodocia)

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