Alexandria's founded by Alexander

Alexandria's founded by Alexander the Great (by year BC): 334 Alexandria in Troia (Turkey) - 333 Alexandria at Issus/Alexandrette (Iskenderun, Turkey) - 332 Alexandria of Caria/by the Latmos (Alinda, Turkey) - 331 Alexandria Mygdoniae - 331 Alexandria (Egypt) - 330 Alexandria in Areia (Herat, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria of the Prophthasia/in Dragiana/Phrada (Farah, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria in Arachosia (Kandahar, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria in Caucasus (Begram, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria of the Paropanisades (Ghazni, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria Eschate or Ultima (Khodjend, Tajikistan) - 329 Alexandria on the Oxus (Ai-Khanoum OR Termez, Afghanistan) - 328 Alexandria in Margiana (Merv, Turkmenistan) - 326 Alexandria Nicaea (on the Hydaspes, India) - 326 Alexandria Bucephala (on the Hydaspes, India) - 325 Alexandria Sogdia - 325 Alexandria Oreitide - 325 Alexandria in Opiene / Alexandria on the Indus (confluence of Indus & Acesines, India) - 325 Alexandria Rambacia (Bela, Pakistan) - 325 Alexandria Xylinepolis (Patala, India) - 325 Alexandria in Carminia (Gulashkird, Iran) - 324 Alexandria-on-the-Tigris/Antiochia-in-Susiana/Charax (Spasinou Charax on the Tigris, Iraq) - ?Alexandria of Carmahle? (Kahnu)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Loryma, a Rhodian fortress, a source of inspiration - Caria 5

I must admit that fortresses are not my forte, but they are always helpful to picture the kind of strongholds Alexander the Great had to take, even if that didn’t happen exactly right here.

Approaching the fortress of Loryma from the sea is a most impressive experience and you don’t have to be a general to realize its strategic location, due north of Rhodes. I definitely need some historical background here for I admit that I’m not at all familiar with what happened in and around the island of Rhodes.

Homer tells us that the Dorians migrated to Asia, settling mainly on the Island of Rhodes where they created the cities of Lindus, Ialysus, and Camirus which were part of the Dorian hexapolis. These cities remained independent until 408 BC when some sort of Rhodian state emerged and the city of Rhodes was founded. From the very beginning the individual cities possessed territory on the mainland, and obviously, the Loryma peninsula was close-by. Although the people on the mainland were governed by Rhodes, they never became Rhodian citizens. About the end of the 2nd century BC, the Romans gave all of Lycia and Caria to the Rhodians whose control lasted until the 2nd century AD – making up the so-called Rhodian Peraea. The rocky and steep Loryma Peninsula lies at its very heart.

The well-preserved fortress that comes into view is crowning the southern end of the narrow headland, sheltering the deep bay behind it. George Bean in his precious book “Turkey beyond the Maeander” describes the fort as an elongated enclosure of approximately 320 meters long and 27 meters wide, with a wall that was about 2.5 meters wide counting nine square towers at regular intervals and a round tower at each end. The climb up to today’s ruins is not a difficult one and I’m truly impressed by the sheer width of the walls still standing up to one meter and the size of the construction blocks that reach lengths of more than five meters in some places. Five small gates gave access to the interior and halfway there also is an outlet for water. Since no remains of housing have been found, it is generally agreed that the structure was pure military. There is, however, a partly rock-cut cistern close to each round tower, an indispensable asset for any fortification. Some speculate that the fragmentary ruins on the north hill may have been the residential quarters of Loryma.

From atop the peninsula, it is absolutely clear that the harbour of Loryma was well protected under all weather conditions. As far as we know, it was used by the Athenians during the Peloponnesian War in 395 BC, and again in 305 BC by Demetrios-Poliorketes, son of Antigonus-the-One-Eyed (one of Alexander’s generals), when he set out on his unsuccessful conquest of Rhodes. Exciting to be in a place where so much history has been written!

Click on the Label Caria 2012 to read the full story
[Click here to see all the pictures of Loryma]

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