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 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)

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Roman “Villa of Alexandros” in Northern Greece

No, the villa did not belong to Alexander the Great, but to his namesake who lived in Amyntaio near Florina.

With a total of 96 rooms, this majestic villa whose construction started in the 2nd century AD is one of the largest and most luxurious ever found in the area. The inscriptions with the names of Alexandros and Memmia refer to the successive owners who occupied the premises in the middle of the 3rd century AD. The town of Amyntaio, which covered 25 hectares, flourished around that time since it was strategically situated along the ancient Via Egnatia.

The owners are thought to be wealthy Roman officials with a pronounced preference for everything Greek. The numerous floor mosaics cover an area of some 360 m2 and have much to tell about Greek mythology. The mosaics of the Europa Hall are the best preserved and include scenes like the Abduction of Europa, the Abduction of Dione, Pan with the Nymphs, and Apollo on a Griffin.

The co-called Nereids Hall is with its 90m2 the largest room and served as a reception hall for the guests. They must have been impressed by the elaborate mosaics arranged around a central fountain picturing sea nymphs seated on sea horses, cupids riding dolphins, a number of fishing scenes among birds and fish, and framed with the personification of the four seasons in the corners. This room also featured statues of the gods that did not survive in the best condition but are still recognizable as Hermes, Athena and Poseidon. The remains indicate that these statues were of exceptional quality for Roman copies of Greek originals made in Attica.

A number of smaller items were also recovered from this room, such as statuettes, bronze and silver jewelry and fragments of clay, bone and glass objects.

Another room has been labelled as the Beast Warrior Hall after the floor mosaic showing a male figure being attacked by a lion. It is thought that the subject could refer to an actual fight that celebrated the emperor.

Excavations are still ongoing since only one third of the complex has been exposed so far. Work will continue this summer and hopes are high to make more fascinating discoveries.

[Picture Credit: Thessaloniki Ephorate of Antiquities]

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