This book deals with the urban life of Western Turkey as reflected in the magnificent surviving remains (town planning, services, architecture and sculpture) from the Greek and Roman periods, together with an account of the changes wrought upon those remains in the Byzantine and Islamic periods - changes which have often affected what survives and how it does so. Each chapter is thematic, dealing with ^Itypes^i of building and the various parts of the urban setting - streets and walls, theatres, water supply, stadia and so on. The first chapter sets the scene, and the penultimate one indicates what happened to the remains from the end of the Roman Empire onwards.
Some emphasis is given to recent excavations in Turkey (those of the last 20 years), which have turned up a lot of material which is not only beautiful, but also important for our better understanding of ancient civilization. Accordingly, the book also contains some general site plans where these are necessary for a full understanding of the text. However, because of the increasing pace of excavation in Turkey, readers visiting the sites and wishing to avoid puzzlement are advised to arm themselves with site-plans which are as up-to-date as possible if they require a comprehensive understanding of the site. Because the book pays attention to excavated sites (that is, to the more exciting and even photogenic ones!), it is certainly unbalanced in the relative amounts of detail and dating it can give: some sites have not been dug at all, others a long time ago or in only a restricted fashion, so the most comprehensive treatments come from those sites which have been the most worked on - such as Pergamum, Ephesus, Sardis or Xanthos.
This book is a handbook rather than a guidebook - that is, it is something that the would-be traveller might consult for an up-to-date overall picture of Western Turkey and its remains. It is not intended in any sense as a guidebook. That is to say, although I have thought it useful to include a few general allusions to travel conditions, because these can affect both the survival of the monuments and their impact upon the traveller, this book is neither a comprehensive account of all Greek and Roman cities in Western Turkey, nor does it deal (except incidentally, or where remains are noticed) with those towns that any traveller must encounter en route.
While there is little need, given the different boundaries of the Greek, Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine worlds, to underline the arbitrariness of my geographical limits from an historical perspective, there is a clear logic in the geography itself. I have omitted all islands off the Turkish coast, including Cyprus; I have gone no further East than Adana and (with the exception of Constantinople) no further North than Kyzikos; and the majority of sites discussed are within easy reach of the coast. Indeed, taking as a rule of thumb Akurgal's map (Akurgal 1985, endpapers), no fewer than 80 of the 86 major classical sites marked are on or close to the coast; five of the remainder (Hierapolis, Sardis, Aphrodisias, Laodikeia and Nysa) are within two hours' drive, and the only "odd man out" is Aizanoi - far inland, and arguably offering the best preserved Roman temple of them all. Throughout the book, I have often used the term "Turkey" for shorthand convenience when referring to the land-mass of the present-day Turkish state; it would have been more correct, but also infinitely more confusing, to name each area according to the period in time under discussion. Spelling can also be confusing: generally, I have followed Akurgal.
I do not believe that a gazetteer of sites is necessary for Turkey, as there already exist some excellent guide books giving that kind of information, as well as a plentiful supply of leaflets from the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism: McDonagh has written an excellent Blue Guide to Western Turkey, and he is also preparing one to Eastern Turkey. Western Turkey is already more often visited than Syria, and destined to become yet more accessible both to tour-groups and individuals as the hotel infrastructure is further strengthened - although it follows (both fortunately and unfortunately) that good-quality hotel accommodation is only available near the better-known sites, and that these are not necessarily the most interesting.
There is a particular attraction in visiting sites which few people know; and it is certainly the case that some of the more popular sites are visited because they are easy to get to, rather than because they are necessarily superior to the rest. Again, as any present-day reader of prewar or early postwar guidebooks, or of George Bean's books from the 1960s and 1970s may determine, the quality of many of the roads in Turkey has also greatly improved. Many of the sites along the south coast were once approached only by track or by boat, whereas today there are tarmacadam roads. But hurry: some little-known sites such as Patara are in areas of tourist development. And people may become less charmed by travellers tramping through their back garden in search of Hellenistic podia and temple superstructures (as at Herakleia under Latmos). Nevertheless, there are still sites accessible only to four-wheel drives or, indeed, on foot after a walk of some hours.
To mitigate the selectivity which must be a feature of a book which treats in about 50,000 words well over one thousand years and only a few of the many Greek and Roman cities in Turkey, the only panacea available is a good bibliography. This is at the end of the book, in alphabetical order; it is given a structure, as it were, by the few individual references to it in the course of the text of the separate chapters. Each of these, in brackets, takes the briefest possible form, in Harvard notation (Surname, Date; or Surname, Date, Page Number). If you don't require further information, ignore any bracketed references. At the end of each chapter is a brief guide to further reading on the subjects treated, with comments where necessary, in the same Surname & Date notation except that, in order to save space, references to periodical articles are not repeated in the bibliography. Note that many of the works noted are not exclusively about Turkey: but then, one could not expect to understand Greek temples or Roman villas without ranging widely over the Mediterranean.
I must also underline the fact that this book has no pretensions to be a full treatment of its (very general) theme: that would be impossible. (One might remember, for comparison, that Hanfmann's general survey of Sardis (1975) lists over 165 works, while his Sardis from Prehistoric to Roman Times of 1983 lists over 350 works on Sardis, followed by an even longer "general bibliography"). Nor do I give chapter and verse for every statement I make. Nevertheless, reference to the works I do cite will enable the reader to fill out considerably any bibliography, on a wide range of topics which might be of interest. That is, using the bibliography and perhaps the few in-text references, the interested reader should be able to fill out details, and pursue avenues I have not the space to discuss. There is also at the end of each chapter a short bibliographical commentary section, entitled bibliographical notes, and giving a few comments on works of general or specific interest on the material dealt with in that chapter.
As for the languages of the publications cited: it would be impossible to restrict citations to works in English without omitting a lot of the best material. The French and Italians have done some excavating on Turkish soil, but the Germans and Austrians a great deal: thus many of the best and most detailed maps, plans and reconstructions are to be found in German-language material. As for the publication date of the works cited: I have preferred the most recent material, not only because it should be up-to-date, but also because all responsible publications will include all the main scholarly books and articles on the sites they treat. I have generally omitted excavation reports, as taking up unnecessary space in a book of this nature.
The subject-matter of this book is approached thematically. That is, the story of the creation and change of the Greek and Roman monuments of Western Turkey is approached by ^Itype^i, rather than viewed either through ^Itime^i or by each individual ^Iplace^i, guidebook-wise. Beginning with a general introduction, the book goes on to summarise the history of the archaeology of Turkey, and of European interest in her antiquities, from the Renaissance through to the present day, because what we see today, what the archaeologists have uncovered, and what has already been removed to the museums of the world are all in part influenced by attitudes developed over the centuries. A chapter is then devoted to the Greek and Roman concern for splendid architecture which governs the complexion of so many cities, because it is this attitude which built the marvels we can still admire. The book then proceeds to deal in separate chapters with town planning, walls and streets, with public services such as aqueducts, with civic structures for work, business and leisure, with religious monuments, and then with funerary art and architecture.
It concludes with chapters on the decline and renewal of ancient civilization under the Byzantine Empire and Islam; for not to understand something of what happened to the monuments after the classical period would be to miss an important part of their biography. The survey of the cities themselves is therefore sandwiched between sections on the history of archaeology, and on the bleak periods of decline, both of which condition the ways in which we view the past, and both underlining just how much urban life has changed through time. For if we are indeed interested in the biography of these cities and the civilization they supported, then we must examine closely how the sites we visit have been affected by decline as much as by prosperity.
Although the subject of this book and its photographs is Turkey, it would be foolish for various reasons not to make comparative references to other Greek and Roman settlements around the Mediterranean basin, especially those close to the mainland such as Rhodes or Samos. After all, the Greeks were no more confined to the land of modern Greece than were the Romans to Italy. What got built in Athens and Rome also got built, with entertaining variations, in other lands. The spread of Greek and Roman culture is briefly reviewed in the ^IIntroduction^i, but I must emphasize here that we can learn a lot about building history in Turkey from excavations elsewhere, and ^Ivice^i ^Iversa^i. What is more, it seems likely that readers attracted to the cities of Turkey and hence, perhaps, to this book will also be familiar, or recognize the need to be so, with cities and structures built elsewhere by these same civilizations.
Context is all, and for the ancient world it is certainly a wide-ranging one; so that the visitor familiar with - say - Haidra or Old Corinth will the more easily understand Aphrodisias or Olbia. The reader might therefore wish to bear in mind the strong Roman presence not only in the Middle East (such as Syria and Jordan) but also in North Africa (from Morocco and Algeria to Tunisia and Libya) - countries which, like Turkey, have similarly magnificent sets of antique monuments, and which should be visited as the political situation permits. Indeed the Middle East and North Africa, like
Turkey, also represent a golden opportunity for research and study, for only ^Ioutside^i centres further West do ancient monuments survive almost untouched by later waves of population. It is to be hoped that travellers who begin their excursions further East than Italy or Greece, invigorated by what they find in Turkey, may eventually pursue the remains of classical civilization on the Eastern and Southern shores of the Mediterranean.
proceed to Introduction...
From here you may also go to The Introduction, Archaeology in Turkey, Building for Splendour, Town Planning, Roads, Water Supply, Aqueducts, Harbours, The Architecture of Work & Leisure, Religion: Temples & Special Sanctuaries, Funerary Art & Architecture, Decline & Renewal, The Conclusion, The Bibliography, or The Table of Contents