Aphrodisias is one of the oldest sacred sites in Turkey, dedicated first to the ancient Mother Goddess and later to the Greek goddess Aphrodite.
A fertility shrine in southwest Turkey is known as "Aphrodisias" by this time, indicating its dedication to the Greek goddess Aphrodite. The cult of Aphrodite at Aphrodisias is distinctive, reflecting the goddess' ancient origins and commonalities with other Anatolian deities (such as Artemis of Ephesus) while also bringing in familiar Greco-Roman motifs that make her universal.
Construction of the Temple of Aphrodite
Construction of the Temple of Aphrodite at Aphrodisias.
After defeating Mithridates VI, king of Pontus, the Roman dictator Sulla sends gifts to Aphrodisias to reward its unwavering loyalty to the the Romans during the conflict. The shrine city begins to prosper.
Octavian (later known as Augustus) grants Aphrodisias the privileges of autonomy and tax-free status, declaring it to be "the one city from all of Asia that I have selected to be my own."
Archaeological excavations begin at Aphrodisias, which gradually reveal a theater, odeon, basilica, market, houses, baths, monumental gateway, and sanctuary for worship of the Roman emperor.
- Aphrodisias New York University.