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 Drangiana/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, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria in Margiana (Merv, Turkmenistan) - 326 Alexandria Nicaea (on the Hydaspes, India) - 326 Alexandria Bucephala (on the Hydaspes, India) - 325 Alexandria Sogdia - 325 Alexandria Rambacia (Bela, Pakistan) - 325 Alexandria Oreitide - 325 Alexandria in Opiene (confluence of Indus & Acesines, India) - 325 Alexandria on the Indus - 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)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Herakleia in Latmos by A. Peschlow-Bindokat

Herakleia am Latmos by Anneliese Peschlow-Bindokat (ISBN 9758293729) is the rarest and most complete archeological guide you can find, not only about Herakleia itself but also about the much older settlement of Latmos, the entire mountainous area and the place of both cities in the history of Caria. Unfortunately for the English reader, this book is available only in Turkish and German but that should not keep you from investigating.

For those who are not familiar with Herakleia, it will be useful to place it geographically. Today's visitor will find the remains among the town of Kapikiri at the eastern edge of Bafa Lake, off the beaten path from better known sites like Priene, Miletus and Didyma. When the first settlers arrived at Latmos around 1000 BC it had full access to the sea in the depth of a wide gulf, which today has been entirely silted up with the alluvia carried along by the Meander River. Eventually, Herakleia was settled as capital city of Caria right next to Latmos.

I find the history of Caria a very complex and complicated one but this guide really covers every single aspect of it. After pinpointing the area geographically, attention is given to the Latmos Mountains and its first settlers who created intriguing prehistoric wall paintings, followed by the Hittite occupation and finally the foundation of the Carian city of Latmos. Herakleia on the other hand was founded around 300 BC and the author takes us through the remains of this Hellenistic city, its necropolis and its widespread network of access roads. Herakleia was above all a sanctuary for the Carian gods. The history would not be complete without mentioning the traces of Byzantine and Ottoman occupation, and follow the trail of time all the way to modern settlements.

Surprisingly, through these overall gneiss rock formations runs is a wide vein of marble which was quarried for the construction of the famous Temple of Artemis in Ephesos. Miletus owned its own quarry and there are still column drums lying around that never made it to the famous oracle Temple of Apollo in Didyma.

A final chapter is dedicated to the daring or intrepid visitor, providing a list of several tours through the larger area, including detailed maps and full descriptions.

Overall, the book is richly illustrated with plenty of clear photographs, drawings of reconstructions and location maps; the front and back flaps can be unfolded into extremely useful maps of Caria and the Latmos Mountains area. I don't think anyone is left with questions after reading this book!

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