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8/50.- Miletus, Greco-Roman theater

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Famed for its commercial and maritime power, its scholars and philosophers, Miletus was the oldest of the Ionian cities. It had more than ten colonies in the Marmara and Black Sea, and its trade extended as far as Egypt. Miletus is also renowned as the first city to which the principles of modern town-planning were applied. The gridplan introduced by Hippodamos was later to form the basis of town-planning in all Roman cities. As a learning center Miletus was made famous by names like Thales, Anaximenes and Anaximander, and provided the classical world with an alphabet widely accepted. Miletus follows the fate of most Ionian cities passing from Greek and Lydian hands to Persians, Alexander the Great, Seleucids Romans, Byzantines, Seljuk Turks. In situ one can still admire the theater dating originally from the 4th century BC (pictured here) which is one of the best preserved theaters in Anatolia. From the Roman period are the baths of Faustina as well as the walls from the times of Emperor Justinian. There is also a Serapeum, temple of Serapis from the 3rd century AD, the agora, the gate leading to the city center.

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