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Was a Carian city, probably established in the 2nd cent. bc as the political centre of communities honouring a mother‐goddess, called Aphrodite perhaps from the 3rd cent. and later identified with Roman Venus. That identification encouraged a special relationship with Rome and with the family of Caesar; so Aphrodisias resisted Mithradates VI in 88 and the Liberators after Caesar's death, earning privileges which Rome conferred in 39. The wall‐circuit, c.3.5 km. (2.2 mi.) long and containing many inscribed blocks reused, a stadium, and columns have always been visible; excavation has now uncovered civic buildings and much sculpture—see next entry. Numerous inscriptions, including an ‘archive’ of official communications from Rome inscribed on a wall in the theatre, throw important light on Roman history, late antiquity, ancient entertainments, and the Jewish Diaspora.

Subjects: Architecture.

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