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Listed 8 sub titles with search on: Information about the place  for wider area of: "PREVEZA Municipality EPIRUS" .

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Greek & Roman Geography (ed. William Smith)


NIKOPOLIS (Archaeological site) EPIRUS
  A city of Epeirus, erected by Augustus, in commemoration of the victory of Actium, B.C. 31. It was situated near the entrance of the Ambraciot gulf, on the promontory of Epeirus, which is immediately opposite that of Actium in Acarnania. The extremity of the Epeirot promontory is now occupied by the town of Prevesa; and Nicopolis lay 3 miles to the N. of this town, on a low isthmus separating the Ionian sea from the Ambraciot gulf. It was upon this isthmus that Augustus was encamped before the battle of Actium. His own tent was pitched upon a height immediately above the isthmus, from whence he could see both the outer sea towards Paxi, and the Ambraciot gulf, as well as the parts towards Nicopolis. He fortified the camp, and connected it by walls with the outer port, called Comarus. (Dion Cass. 1. 12.) After the battle he surrounded with stones the place where his own tent had been pitched, adorned it with naval trophies, and built within the enclosure a sanctuary of Neptune open to the sky. (Dion Cass. li. 12.) But, according to Suetonius (Aug. 18), he dedicated this place to Neptune and Mars. The city was peopled by inhabitants taken from Ambracia, Anactorium, Thyrium, Argos Amphilochicum, and Calydon. (Dion Cass. li. 1; Suet. Aug. 12; Strab. vii. pp. 324, 325; Paus. v. 23. § 3, vii. 18. § 8, x. 38. § 4.) Augustus instituted at Nicopolis a quinquennial festival, called Actia, in commemoration of his victory. This festival was sacred to Apollo, and was celebrated with music and gymnastic games, horse-racing and sea-fights. It was probably the revival of an old festival, since there was an ancient temple of Apollo on the promontory of Actium, which is mentioned by Thucydides (i. 29), and was enlarged by Augustus. The festival was declared by Augustus to be a sacred contest, by which it was made equal to the four great Grecian games; it was placed under the superintendence of the Lacedaemonians. (Dion Cass., Suet., Strab., II. cc.) Augustus caused Nicopolis to be admitted into the Amphictyonic council (Paus. x. 38. § 3), and made it a Roman colony. (Plin. iv. 1. s. 2; Tac. Ann. v. 10.) A Christian church appears to have been founded at Nicopolis by the Apostle Paul, since he dates his letter to Titus from Nicopolis of Macedonia, which was most probably the colony of Augustus, and not the town in Thrace, as some have supposed. Nicopolis continued to be the chief city in Western Greece for a long time, but it had already fallen into decay in the reign of Julian, since we find that this emperor restored both the city and the games. (Mamertin. Julian. 9.) At the beginning of the fifth century it was plundered by the Goths. (Procop. B. Goth. iv. 22.) It was again restored by Justinian (de Aedif. iv. 2), and was still in the sixth century the capital of Epeirus. (Hierocl. p. 651, ed. WesseL) In the middle ages Nicopolis sunk into insignificance, and the town of Prevesa, built at the extremity of the promontory, at length absorbed all its inhabitants, and was doubtless, as in similar cases, chiefly constructed out of the ruins of the ancient city.
  The ruins of Nicopolis are still very considerable. They stretch across the narrowest part of the isthmus already described. Strabo (vii. p. 324) erroneously describes the isthmus as 60 stadia in breadth; but the broadest part, from the southeastern extremity of the lagoon called Mazoma to Mytika, is only three miles; while the narrowest part is less than half that distance, since the eastern half of the isthmus is occupied by the lagoon of Mazoma. This lagoon is separated from the Ambraciot gulf only by a narrow thread of land, which is a mile long, and has openings, where the fish are caught in great numbers, as they enter the lagoon in the winter and quit it in the summer. This illustrates the statement of an ancient geographer, that fish was so plentiful at Nicopolis as to be almost disgusting. (Geogr. Graec. Min. vol. iii. p. 13, ed. Hudson.) Nicopolis had two harbours, of which Strabo (vii. p. 324) says that the nearer and smaller was called Comarus (Komaros), while the further, and larger, and better one, was near the mouth of the gulf, distant about 12 stadia from Nicopolis. It would appear, that Strabo conceived both the ports to have been on the western coast outside the gulf; but it is evident from the nature of the western coast that this cannot have been the case. Moreover, Dion Cassius (1. 12) calls Comarus the outer port; and there can be little doubt that the second harbour, intended by Strabo, was the port of Vaty within the gulf, the distance of which from Nicopolis corresponds to the 12 stadia of Strabo, and where there are some Roman ruins a little within and on the eastern shore of the creek. The port of Comarus was doubtless at Mytika, but the name of Gomaro is now given to the wide bay north of Mytika.
  The ruins of Nicopolis are now called Paleoprevesa. On approaching them from Prevesa, the traveller first comes to some small arched buildings of brick, which were probably sepulchres, beyond which are the remains of a strong wall, probably the southern enclosure of the city. Near the southwestern extremity of the lagoon Mazoma, is the Paleokastron or castle. It is an irregular pentagonal enclosure, surrounded with walls and with square towers at intervals, about 25 feet in height. On the western side, the walls are most perfect, and here too is the principal gate. The extent of the enclosure is about a quarter of a mile. The variety of marble fragments and even the remains of inscriptions of the time of the Roman Empire, inserted in the masonry, prove the whole to have been a repair, though perhaps upon the site of the original acropolis, and restored so as to have been sufficiently large to receive the diminished population of the place. It may have been, as Leake conjectures, the work of Justinian, who restored Nicopolis.
  Three hundred yards westward of the Paleokastron are the remains of a small theatre but little dilapidated. Col. Leake says that it appears to be about 200 feet in diameter; but Lieut, Wolfe describes it as only 60 feet in diameter. Being built upon level ground, the back or highest part is entirely supported upon an arched corridor. Between this theatre and the shore, are the ruins of a quadrangular building of brick, which was perhaps a palace, as it has numerous apartments, with many niches in the walls for statues, and some remains of a stone pavement. It stands just within an aqueduct, supported upon arches, which entered Nicopolis on the north, and was 30 miles in length. Considerable remains of it are met with in different parts of Epeirus.
  Farther north, at the foot of a range of hills, are the remains of the great theatre, which is the most conspicuous object among the ruins. It is one of the best preserved Roman theatres in existence. The total diameter is about 300 feet. The scene is 120 feet long, and 30 in depth. There are 27 rows of seats in three divisions. From the back of the theatre rises the hill of Mikhalitzi, which was undoubtedly the site of the tent of Augustus before the battle of Actium. Close to the theatre are the ruins of the stadium, which was circular at both ends, unlike all the other stadia of Greece, but similar to several in Asia Minor, which have been constructed or repaired by the Romans. Below the stadium are some ruins, which are perhaps those of the gymnasium, since we know from Strabo (vii. p. 325) that the gymnasium was near the stadium.

This text is from: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD). Cited June 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities


   (Nikopolis). A city at the southwestern extremity of Epirus, on the point of land which forms the north entrance to the Gulf of Ambracia, opposite to Actium. It was built by Augustus in memory of the victory (nike) of Actium, and was peopled from Ambracia, Anactorium, and other neighbouring cities, and also with settlers from Aetolia. There were cities of the same name in Moesia Inferior, Armenia Minor, Cilicia, Lower Egypt (now Kars), and Thrace.

This text is cited Oct 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks

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The Catholic Encyclopedia


  A titular see and metropolis in ancient Epirus. Augustus founded the city (B. C. 31) on a promontory in the Gulf of Ambracia, in commemoration of his victory over Anthony and Cleopatra at Actium. At Nicopolis the emperor instituted the famous quinquennial Actian games in honor of Apollo.
  The city was peopled chiefly by settlers from the neighboring municipia, of which it was the head. St. Paul intended going there and it is possible that even then it numbered some Christians among its population. Laid waste by the Goths at the beginning of the fifth century, restored by Justinian, in the sixth century it was still the capital of Epirus. The province of ancient Epirus, of which Nicopolis was the metropolis, constituted a portion of the western patriarchate, directly subject to the jurisdiction of the pope; but, about 732, Leo the Isaurian incorporated it into the Patriarcate of Constantinople. The last known bishop was Anastasius, who attended the Ecumenical Council in 787, and soon afterwards, owing to the decadence into which Nicopolis fell, the metropolitan see was transferred to Naupactus.
  Quite extensive ruins of Nicopolis are found three miles to the north of Prevesa and are called Palaio-Prevesa.

S. Vailhe, ed.
Transcribed by: Joseph E. O'Connor
This extract is cited June 2003 from The Catholic Encyclopedia, New Advent online edition URL below.

The Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites


  On the peninsula opposite Aktion and separating the Ionian Sea from the Gulf of Arta. The city was founded by the emperor Augustus after 31 B.C. on the site occupied by his army during the Battle of Aktion. In addition to serving as a monument to this victory, Nikopolis was a synoecism of older cities (Strab. 10.2.2; Paus. 5.23.3) providing an administrative center to replace the Aitolian and Akarnanian Leagues. It was, from the beginning, a free city, minted its own coinage and was the site of games in honor of Apollo Aktios. In A.D. 94, the Stoic philosopher Epiktetos established his philosophic school in the city after being forced to leave Rome. In the Christian period, Nikopolis served as the metropolitan seat of W Epeiros. The city was damaged by earthquake in A.D. 375 and probably by the inroads of Goths, Huns, and Vandals in the century which followed. The emperor Justinian had the fortifications of the city rebuilt in A.D. 550. The 10th century witnessed the gradual decline of the city with the influx of Bulgars into the area. Eventually its inhabitants drifted away to nearby Prevesa.
  According to Strabo (7.7.6), the city had two harbors and a temenos sacred to Apollo in the suburbs. The temenos contained a sacred grove, a stadium, and a gymnasium. The stadium is visible in the area N of the city, as are a large theater and a bath structure. North of the sanctuary area is a hill (modern Michalitzi) where Augustus is said to have established his field headquarters during the battle. After his victory the site was consecrated, according to Strabo and Dio Cassius (51.1.3), to Apollo, according to Suetonius (Aug. 18), to Neptune and Mars. Excavations carried out by Greek archaeologists uncovered remains of a large structure of uncertain form, and fragments of a Latin inscription referring to Neptune.
  The city proper is enclosed by a polygonal circuit of walls, presumably those of Justinian. Inside the walls are a large peristyle building identified as some sort of public building or administrative palace, and three Early Christian basilicas. Basilicas A (second quarter of the 6th c. A.D.) and B (5th c.) are of the tripartite transept variety. To the W of Basilica A, especially noted for its figural mosaic pavements, is another peristyle complex known as the episcopal palace. Basilica C, located to the N near the circuit wall, is triple-apsed and dated to the period after Justinian.
  In the region W of the circuit walls are an odeion, a stretch of aqueduct with associated reservoirs and bath, and many brick-vaulted tombs and single burials. An apsidal building, also containing several graves, has been identified as a church dedicated to the Holy Apostles. The area S of Nikopolis contains an amphitheater, more tombs and graves, and a second, probably Augustan, stretch of wall. A third transept basilica (D, dated late 5th-early 6th c. A.D.), similar to Basilica A, has been excavated here as well as the mediaeval church of the Resurrection and part of a 5th c. villa. A fourth transept basilica, similar to those in Nikopolis, has been partially excavated 4 km SE of the city, outside modern Prevesa (mid- to third quarter of the 6th c.). Museum on site.

A. Weis, ed.
This text is from: The Princeton encyclopedia of classical sites, Princeton University Press 1976. Cited Nov 2002 from Perseus Project URL below, which contains 13 image(s), bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.

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