Ruins Of Cnidus

The ruins of the ancient Dorian city are of considerable Importance as are those of other early occupations along the length of the promontory. In Cnidus, the remains of the two ports can be seen on either side of the causeway; the larger harbor is on the east, the smaller on the west. Openings on the seawall were cut out in the western one so that boats could be brought out of the water. The quays and breakwaters were made of large blocks, probably during the time of Alexander. Above the eastern harbor are the remains of a group of structures. These include two theaters, the two temples dedicated to Dionysus and Demeter, and many other houses and buildings. The city fortifications enclose the center and lead to the Acropolis of Cnidus. These walls, in good condition, are equipped with gates and towers along their length. They date from the Helienistic period. Above the eastern harbor Is the ruined agora. Much of the building material has since been removed from the ancient site, but the ruins of Cnidus, as a whole, are very impressive.

Outside the city, in the ravine centering on two medieval fort jesses, lies the necropolis of Cnidus. Near here Is a fourth century tomb, similar to that of King Mausoius of Halicarnassus. It was originally topped by a massive marble statue of a lion, but this has since been removed to the London Museum. Further out on the road leading to Cemeskoy is found a stone Hellenistic bridge, some sixty-five yards long. Renewed excavations at Cnidus, started in 1967, after a long period of  archaeological   Inactivity,  has  revealed much more of the ancient city. These digs   are under   the  direction of Long Island University of New York, headed by Professor Iris Love. The Americon team of archaelogists uncovered a building on the highest slope of the city in 1969 that some people believe was once the site of the temple that heid Praxiteles famous statue of Aphrodite. This was conjectured from Pliny the Elder’s statement that the statue stood in a shrine which could be viewed from every direction. It is thought that the statue was kept in Cnidus until the fifth century A.D. when It was taken to Constantinople by the Byzantine Emperor Theodosius. In   the Byzantine  capital it  was   reported to have been destroyed by a  fire which swept through  the  city also destroying many valuable volumes of the imperial library. History has it that the King of Blthynia once offered the authorities at Cnidus to obliterate a large debt owed to him by the city If they would relinquish the statue to him. The king was refused flatly by the people of Cnidus.

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