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Galerie > Ancient World > Macedonia > Dium
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Dium in Macedonia, 238-244 AD., Gordian III., AE 27, Zeus.

Dium in Macedon, Gordian III., AE 27, 9,35 g., 238-244 AD.
Obv.: IMP C M ANT G - ORDIANUS , laureate, draped and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind.
Rev.: COL IVL D - IENSIS / D - D , Zeus standing left, holding patera and scepter.
AMNG - . cf. Moushmov 6199 .
W. Spemann, Königliche Museen zu Berlin, Beschreibung der antiken Münzen (1888), Band II, p. 79, no. 11 (Fox) .

Dium, today: Dion (Greek, Modern: Dio) is a municipality and village in the Prefecture of Pieria, Northern Greece, best known for its museum and archaeological site, situated near the southern frontier of the ancient Macedonian kingdom.
The Ancient city of Dion was a place of some importance, due to its location at the foot of Mount Olympus. Archaeological findings show that this was where Zeus was honored. It is located 15 km. SW of Katerini, 425 km to the North of Athens and 65 km to the North of Larissa.

Dion was founded by the thracian tribe of the Pierians about 700 BC. the city was conquered by the Macedonians in 7. Century BC. during the reign of the Macedonian King Perdikkas I.. The Macedonian king Archelaos I. (413 - 399 BC.) conducted olympic games for the first time in Dion. In honor of Archelaos the temple of the Zeus was built. Later Dion served as a military fortress of Philip II., father the Alexander of the Great. The city was protected by walls, had a close paved road system and public baths with a complicated system for the water supply.

The village owes its name to the important sanctuary dedicated to Zeus (Greek "Dias"), leader of the Twelve Gods who dwelt on Mount Olympus, as recorded by Hesiod. The ruins of the ancient city lie within its boundaries. Thyia, daughter of Deucalion, bore Zeus two sons, Magnes and Makedon, who dwelt in Pieria at the foot of Mount Olympus.
The first mention of Dion in history comes from Thucydides, who reports that it was the first city reached by the Spartan general Brasidas after crossing from Thessaly into Macedon on his way through the realm of his ally Perdiccas II during his expedition against the Athenian colonies of Thrace in 424 BC. According to Diodorus Siculus, it was Archelaus I who, at the end of the 5th century BC, gave the city and its sanctuary their subsequent importance by instituting a nine-day festival that included athletic and dramatic competitions in honor of Zeus and the Muses.

The site of ancient Dion was first identified by the famous English traveler William Martin Leake on December 21, 1806, in the ruins adjoining the village of Malathria. He published his discovery in the third volume of his Travels in Northern Greece in 1835. Léon Heuzey visited the site during his famous Macedonian archaeological mission of 1855 and again in 1861. Later, the epigraphist G. Oikonomos published the first series of inscriptions. Nevertheless, systematic archaeological exploration did not begin until 1928.
It has brought to light a fortified city, surrounded by cult areas, that was inhabitated continuously from the Classical period to Early Christian times. Buildings of various periods have been discovered in a series of different levels. Private residences, public buildings, shops, and a large number of workshops are erected in building blocks defined by the streets. On the south edge of the ancient city are the public baths (thermae), an imposing complex covering an area of over 4,000 square metres and dating from about A.D. 200.
In the east sector has been discovered the villa of Dionysos, which takes its name from the large mosaic depicting the god that covers the floor of the banqueting room. The sanctuaries of the gods, two theatres (one Greek and one Roman) and the stadium have been discovered outside the city walls. Amongst the gods worshipped at Dion, the most important was Olympian Zeus, after whom the city was named (the genitive of "Zeus" being Dios). In the god's precinct have been found stone stelae bearing inscriptions relating to treaties of alliance, the settlement of border disputes, parts of official decrees, etc. The sanctuary of Demeter, just outside the walls and the gate at the end of the main street of the city, is the earliest Macedonian sanctuary known to date. It had un uninterrupted life from the late 6th c. B.C. to the early 4th c. A.D. To the east of the sanctuary of Demeter has been discovered a sanctuary devoted to the cult of the Egyptian gods Sarapis, Isis and Anubis. There is a small temple of Aphrodite Hypolympidia (Aphrodite worshipped below Mount Olympos) in this same sanctuary.
The Hellenistic theatre of Dion, which lies outside the walls, was built in the reign of Philip V (221-179 B.C.). The Roman theatre, dating from the 2nd c. A.D., has been identified south-east of the Hellenistic structure. The cemetery of Dion extents mainly to the south and east of the city. The funerary monuments date from the 5th c. B.C. to the 5th c. A.D. During Early Christian times the city contracted and the central area was occupied by an Early Christian Basilica dating from the late 4th c. A.D. Dion appears to have been abandoned during the 5th c. A.D. as a result of natural disasters (earthquakes, floods), its inhabitants moving to safer areas in the foothills of Mount Olympos.

No coins exist of the Greek times and before the Roman Empire.
The first foundation of Colonia Diensis may have occurred in 43 or 42 BC. The colony was certainly (re)founded by Octavian in 30 BC (Pliny, NH IV, 35) and entitled Colonia Iulia Augusta Diensis. From Augustus to Gallienus a regular coinage with Latin inscriptions is known for the city.

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Name des Albums:Arminius / Dium
Schlüsselwörter:Macedonia / Colonia / Dium / Gordian / Zeus / Patera / Scepter
Dateigröße:118 KB
Hinzugefügt am:21. Januar 2008
Abmessungen:1280 x 611 Pixel
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