Listed 4 sub titles with search on: Archaeological sites
for destination: "DODONI
Archaeological sites (4)
The Oracle of Dodona is the oldest oracle in the entire Hellenistic
world, constructed approximately 1000 B.C. As Hesiodus mentions, Zeus himself
claimed the Oracle as belonging to him. The Selloi comprised the priests and the
prophets of Dodona, at Zeus' service, who remained the divine authority over the
sacred area. The Goddes Gaea, upon appearing as Zeus' Deity, assumed another shape
and was renamed Dione. The Oracle of Dodona differed from the Delphi Oracle since
it provided prophecies derived by a different method. Pythia did not whisper prophecies;
with the breezing air and the soaring birds that would form nests within the sacred
oaktree's branches, the God's prophecies would be conveyed to the sacred oaktree.
Later on, the sounds made from beating a copper vessel that was placed on tripods,
assisted even more. Odysseus, Kreontas, even the God Dionysus, entrusted their
hopes to the swaying air.
The Athletic Games in honor of Naia Zeus took place annually upon
the sacred Dodona grounds. These Games included drama competitions, music competitions,
chariot games and wrestling.
During the period of King Pyrrus' reign, the Temple of Zeus was reconstructed.
In the 2nd century A.D., the Romans proceeded in causing great catastrophes and
set fire to the Dodona Temple. In 219 B.C., following the attack and looting of
the Dodona Temple by the Aetolians, a period of decline begins. The area was ravaged
once again, this time by the Mithradates and Thracians. Thus, at the end of the
4th century A.D., the final end to the Oracle's operation came as a result of
the dissemination and establishment of Christianity. The first excavations of
the sacred land of Dodona began in 1875 by Mr. K. Karapanos. Mr. S. Dakaris and
D. Evagelides, who continued these excavations during the periods 1929 - 1933
and 1950 - 1981. From 1981 onward, excavations are being executed under the auspice
of the Archaeology Service. Dodona's archaeological site is comprised
of the following monuments: The Temple of Zeus or Sacred House that was originally
located outdoors (near the Sacred Oaktree), the Vouleuterion, the Prytaneion (this
is where Zeus' priests lived), the Acropolis, the Stadium (this has not been completely
excavated) and the Theatre.
The Theatre of Dodona is one of the largest theatres in Greece (18.000
seats) and was built during the 3rd century B.C. It is comprised, as all ancient
theatres, of a koilon (spectators' seats), a stage, an orchestra whilst there
was also a Doric colonnade. There may possibly also have been a wooden construction
in front of the stage. Its walls extend 21 meters in height and are supported
by strong towers. Under Roman Rule, the structure was transformed into an arena
for animal fights. In the early 60s, the theatre was rebuilt and today comprises
a significant visitors' attraction point, which is used to perform theatrical
plays primarily during the summer months.
This text is cited May 2003 from the Hellenic Ministry of Foreign Affairs URL below.
Perseus Site Catalog
Periods: Geometric, Archaic, Classical, Hellenistic, Roman
Summary: The major sanctuary of Zeus in northern Greece.
Located S of Lake Pambotis at the foot of Mt. Tomaros,
ca. 20 km S of Ioannina, the sanctuary consisted originally of a sacred oak tree,
possibly enclosed by a ring of bronze tripods. It developed into a temenos that
included several temples, theater, stadium, and a number of stoas. Just above
the sanctuary is a refuge acropolis enclosed by fortification walls dating to
the 4th century B.C. In the temenos of the sanctuary is a bouleuterion where the
delegates of the Epirote League held council.
The sanctuary of Zeus at Dodona, already known in the Homeric
epics, was traditionally the home of the earliest oracle in Greece. Early to Late
Bronze Age finds have been excavated at the site, but the earliest archaeological
evidence for cult activity dates to the 8th century B.C. At this early date the
sanctuary consisted of a sacred oak tree (or grove) possibly surrounded by a ring
of bronze tripods. At the end of the 5th century B.C. or early in the 4th, the
first stone temple was constructed and the sacred oak was enclosed in a stone
peribolos wall. During the 4th century, the bouleuterion and 3 temples (probably
to Aphrodite, Dione, and Themis) were added, and a fortified refuge was constructed
above the sanctuary. Beginning with the rule of King Pyrrhos (297-272 B.C.), who
promoted the site as a pan-Hellenic sanctuary, Dodona developed a more monumental
character. In the 3rd century B.C. the temenos was enlarged and the theater, Temple
of Herakles, and stoas were added. In 232 B.C. Dodona became the center of the
newly formed Epirote League. The sanctuary was destroyed by the Aetolians in 219
B.C., but was immediately rebuilt by the League and Philip V with spoils taken
from the Aetolians. During the 3rd century a stadium with stone seats was also
added to the sanctuary. In 168 B.C. the site was destroyed by the Romans and only
slightly repaired before it was again ravaged in 88 B.C. by Mithradates and the
Thracians. Although the Naia Festivals and the activities of the oracle continued
into the 3rd century A.D., the sanctuary never recovered from the destruction
of 168 B.C. and was in a ruinous state already in the 1st century B.C. In the
time of Augustus the theater had been converted into an arena and, as at the sanctuary
of Artemis Orthia at Sparta, the religious function of the site seems to have
been reduced in the Roman period to its tourist appeal. In the 5th or 6th century
A.D. a Christian basilica was constructed on the site with reused ancient materials.
The Naia Festival (athletic and drama contests) was held every 4 years in honor
of Zeus. The earliest attendants were males, the selloi, but were later replaced
by priestesses. The oracular responses seemed to have been originally the oral
report on sounds caused by the rustling of leaves, cooing of doves, or the ringing
of metal tripods, but by the 6th century B.C. applications and occasionally the
oracle's responses were written on lead tablets.
Located and 1st excavated by C. Carapanos in 1875. Excavations
for the Greek Archaeological Service by D. Evangelidis 1929-32, 1935, 1952-59
and by S. Dakaris 1959-1974.
Donald R. Keller, ed.
This text is cited Jan 2003 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains 64 image(s), bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.
Rectangular building near the Prytaneion. As testified by inscriptions,
its foundation dates back to early 3rd century BC.
The building was restored for the first time in 219 BC after its initial
destruction during the invasion of the Aetolians, and for a second time after
the invasion of the Romans in 167 BC. Behind the colonnaded portico which formed
the facade, two entrances led directly to the auditorium. Its southern part was
occupied by seats, delegating the six ionic columns which supported the roof of
the auditorium to the northern half of the room. Narrow stairways at the sides
led to the upper tiers.
Today only the foundation, an interior column in the southwestern
part of the room, an altar and a statue base are preserved.
This text is cited March 2003 from the Foundation of the Hellenic World URL below.