Ancient stadiums in Turkey
Nysa ad Maeandrum




Other names: ./.
Roman province: Lydia
Location: Sultanhisar, Sultanhisar county, Province Aydın
Capacity: unknown
Dimensions: Length: unknown
Width: unknown

Only a few rows of seats, mostly overgrown with grass, have survived of the stadium. On the left side of the gorge there are the unearthed remains of an amphitheatre. According to the latest findings, however, the oval ground plan is a stadium. The stadium was built above the ravine, whose self-supporting construction unfortunately did not survive the times. There is some evidence that it collapsed during an earthquake and that the stones were later used to build houses in nearby Sultanhisar. On the right side of the gorge a few remains of the wall have been preserved.

The history of Nysa ad Maeandrum:  

The name of the town allegedly goes back to Nysa, an otherwise unknown wife of Antiochos I, or can rather be traced back to Nysa, the nurse of Dionysos. In ancient times, Nysa was regarded as one of the places where Dionysus was brought up. It is unclear whether the city was created by synoikismos (merging several villages into one city) of the place Athymbra with the two neighbouring places Athymbrada and Hydrela. Since the 3rd century B.C. it was selective. The name Nysa was used since the 2nd century BC.

In the imperial period Nysa was known as a centre of scholarship, the historian Strabon was educated here around 50 BC. The Stoic Apollonius and the homer philologist Menekrates came from Nysa. In late antiquity, Nysa was a bishop's seat in Eparchia Asia.

Nysa owes its prosperity in the imperial period to the sanctuary of Pluton and Kore in Acharaka, 4 km to the west, with its famous sulphur springs.

The urban area is divided into two by a stream gorge. The bridge of Nysa, a 100-metre-long superstructure of the deep stream gorge, which served as a substructure for the theatre forecourt and is regarded as the second longest of its kind in antiquity, is particularly worth mentioning in terms of archaeological remains.

In front of the late Hellenistic-Roman theatre, on the left side of the gorge, there are the still unexcavated remains of an amphitheatre. Only a few rows of seats, mostly overgrown with grass, have survived. According to the latest findings, however, the oval ground plan is a stadium.

In the 1960s, excavations of the theatre and the Bouleuterion were carried out by the museum of İzmir. From 1982-1988 the museum of Aydın extended the excavations in the theatre. A team from Ankara University has been digging and reconstructing various sites since 1990. The library has been excavated since 2002 by archaeologists from the University of Freiburg (Germany).

Remains of the supporting structure on the right side of the canyon  
Photos: @chim    
Translation aid:    
Source: Wikipedia and others