APOLLON DELPHINION (Miletus)


The famous delphinion is situated to the east of stoa of Miletus. Delphis means dolphin in ancient Greek. This clever mammal of the seas was accepted by the people of Miletus as the symbol of god protecting sailors and their ships in heavy seas and thunderstorms.

In fact the first temple was built in the archaic times, on the other hand the existing one was initially built during the Hellenistic period and later renovated in the Roman period. It was surrounded by stoas on three sides. Delphinion was located inside a holy square named as "temenos". This temenos was a 50 x 60 metres large open area surrounded by the walls. There were three gates to the complex, all on the west. A monumental entrance was added to the temenos during the Roman period.

The stoa was in Doric style in Hellenistic period, but converted to Corinth style in the following Roman time.

A fixed altar, a round structure, three base stones and four pieces of removable altar are found in the site. The square shaped foundation, which is right in front of you as you enter the yard from the west direction, belongs to the altar of the temenos.

Various findings indicate that the altar was built in the second half of 6th century B.C. The removable altars belong to the archaic periods. One of them was devoted to goddess Hekate.

There is a round foundation found in the middle of the complex which is thought to be a heroon, in other words a monumental building devoted to the heroes of the city in antiquity.



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