I have put online several photos of Syracuse, as an addition to an earlier article on the history of the capital of ancient Sicily. You will find something about the Euryaleus fort and the monuments of the isle of Ortygia: the Temple of Athena (now the Cathedral), the Temple of Apollo (photo), the Arethusa Well, and one photo of the pavement of an ancient street. On the mainland: the Greek theater (where Aeschylus‘ Persians was staged for the first time), the Roman amphitheater, and the altar where Hiero II sacrificed no less than 450 bulls on one, bloody day. There’s also a page on the notorious quarries, where 7,000 Athenians were once held captive (more…). The section with ancient texts on Syracuse is now also finished.
OK, it’s a poetic cliché to say that the Mediterranean Sea is made of azure, but sometimes it happens to be true – for example, when I visited the remains of the Byzantine fort Boreum in January 2008. The photo shows the remains of an ancient pier in the southern harbor of the stronghold, which was (according to Procopius, Buildings, 6.2.12) built by Justinian. The site has not been excavated, but a wall with a moat, a pier, a tunnel, rock chambers, and a bastion can still be seen.
I have put online a history of Syracuse. The story of the famous Athenian siege of the capital of Sicily was already online; more photos will follow as soon as I find some time. The photo shows the quarry in which the Athenians were held captured.
LacusCurtius‘ Bill Thayer continues with the discourses of Dio Chrysostom; he has now put online oration 17 (On covetousness), 64 (On fortune, a.k.a. 63), 75 (On law), 76 (On custom), and a dialog 77-78 (On envy).
Meanwhile, I used the first day of the year to write a piece on the battle of Corupedium, in which Seleucus Nicator overcame Lysimachus, and I made an article on the ancestors of Septimius Severus, who are known from several inscriptions from Lepcis Magna. Most of them are now also online, although three inscriptions still need a translation. Speaking of Severus, today’s photo is a bust of the African emperor, which can be seen in the National Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki – a delightful place with a great collection.
I am continuing to upload pictures of Lepcis Magna, like the frieze of the little cargo ship to the right, which can be seen in the Macellum. The photos of the Severan Basilica, which is mentioned in every book on ancient architecture, are now also available. The building is, in my view, a bit overestimated, but some of the columns are indeed splendid. Still: you shouldn’t go to Libya to see the Severan buildings of Lepcis. The Limes Tripolitanus is far more interesting.