The Nicopolis is an excellent Greek archaeological site to visit. Octavian Augustus had the city of Nicopolis built and called it the city of victory. It was to commemorate his great victory over the fleet of Antony and Cleopatra. In the Battle of Actium (31 BC). This victory made him undisputed master of the Roman state.
Archaeological Site (“City of Victory”)
The Nicopolis foundations where not built to satisfy Octavian’s vanity over his victory. In fact, it was to secure stronger military control over the whole of the Greek world. Economically the region had been suffering during this period. So the population would enjoy its construction. The social situation would also improve due to the influx of the new migrants.
Great walls encompassed the city of Nicopolis, on a vast scale. To populate this city built in the middle of nowhere. Augustus moved the populations from towns throughout the region and even further afield. When you look at the remains of the city today. Remembered that this is the later version. Built under the Byzantine Emperor Justinian. It only occupies about one fifth the area of the original city.
Local authorities helped with building of the foundations. Hence, they supervise the construction, of many of the buildings and the walls. In Louros an aqueduct diverted water, to the population inside the walls. Not only this but other public buildings. Including an amazing stadium, a very large theatre, a fine gymnasium and odeum. On the site where Octavian watched over the great battle. He also built a monument and decorated it with the rams of the galleys. That where captured in the battle of Actium. Finally to celebrate his victory, he declared that there would be games in honour of Apollo Actius. He called them the Actian games.
The Nicopolis city prospered, towards the end of the 4th century AD. Then Alaric the Goth, attacked the city and destroyed it. Justinian, rebuilt what remains today. Abandoned when the Slavs pushed south and never revived. Its population moved to Navpaktos, which is North of Patras.
Early Christian Walls.
The Nicopolis early christian walls, are the best preserved examples of fortifications. The walls occupy an area of 180,000 square meters. Numerous towers reinforced the walls and defense system. Also, connecting Komaros harbour, on the Ionian sea, to the city’s western gate is a road. “Arapoporta” is the traditional name for the gate. Two large circular towers flank the entrance according Roman prototypes. The well-preserved gate, is still in good condition. It keeps all structural parts necessary to its functioning. The theatre, Augustus’ monument, the Baths, and the Odeum remain in good condition. The Stadium, and parts of the Aqueduct are still visible. Most noteworthy, there are some interesting Roman and Byzantine mosaics in the Basilica.
Recent work has cleaned up the Nicopolis site. Therefore, there is now a lot more to see. Including a museum open from 0900 to 1530 weekdays. The new archaeological museum of Nicopolis is near the city of Preveza. Which is only 1km away from the archaeological site of Nicopolis. The exhibition shows the Nicopolis evolution, which became both a major political and cultural centre. It also highlights that because of its position between Rome and Constantinople. Nicopolis city had a crucial role to play in the area. In the first gallery the focus is on the public sphere. Also, a historical evolution of the city from its foundation in 31 BC. Also presented here is the 10th century AD. While the second gallery illuminates aspects of every-day life in ancient Nicopolis.
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Make Preveza part of your itinerary, or visit other amazing places. While on your yacht charter holiday with Deep Blue Yachting and visit this amazing archaeological site. Please leave your comments, or I will be happy to answer any further questions for you. So please, leave them.