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7/50.- Priene, Temple of Athena

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The third day in Izmir we bought a full day excursion to Priene, Miletus, Didyma. The first city to visit is Priene which lies about 128 km away from Izmir. Associated with the name of Hippodamos, the city is the oldest example of the grid type of town planning. One of the most active ports of the Ionian Confedereation, Priene was founded by Carians, its oldest remains dating from the 6th century BC when it came under Persian rule. Persians destroyed the city and a new city was built in 350 BC. In the 4th century Alexander the Great dedicated a Temple of Athena (pictured here) in Priene, from which five columns survive as a fine example of Ionian architecture. After passing into the hands of Gauls, then of Seleucids, Priene became part of the Roman province of Asia Minor .It was sacked by Mithridates in the first century BC but regained its splendor under Emperor Augustus, whose cult was performed in Temple of Athena and in the Stoa. In Byzantine times it was the seat of a bishop, but fell into oblivion in the 14th century when it was captured by the Turks.

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