Smintheion near Chryse

June 29, 2011

What to do when mice are eating your crops? As Johannes Nollé explains in “Boars, bears, and bugs: farming in Asia Minor and the protection of men, animals, and crops” (In S. Mitchell and C. Katsari, eds. (2005) Patterns in the Economy of Roman Asia Minor: 59):

Since ancient farmers in Asia Minor did not have as effective a poison as strychnine, all they could do was seek refuge in praying to Apollo Smintheus, the tutelary god against mice. He was worshipped throughout the whole North-West of Asia Minor; and the centre of the cult was the Smintheion near the small town of Chryse in the Troad (now called Gülpinar), which later belonged to the territory of Alexandreia Troas.

The site is relatively small and is in desperate need of explanatory signs but it’s certainly worth a visit (even more so, I bet,  if the museum were open but apparently that’s only the case in July & August).

Remains of the temple

Storks do apparently eat rodents...

 

Some sort of sacred way lined with dedicatory statue bases?

No idea... A cistern?

 

Fragment of a Greek inscription

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Alexandria Troas

June 29, 2011

On the coast south of Troy, Alexandria Troas was once a big deal. Now it’s just a scattering of ruins. Admission: free.

Fallen columns and entablature

Entablature bits

Signage was at a minimum at Alexandria Troas. I'm guessing this was some sort of cistern...

Fragments

On the road

According to Lonely Planet, Alexandria Troas once boasted the largest Roman baths in Anatolia. It's not hard to believe.

Baths of Herodes Atticus. Do not climb!