Published On: Sun, May 5th, 2019

Zeugma, an ancient Roman town in Gaziantep and the eyes of the gipsy girl

ZEUGMA Ancient City is located on the banks of the Euphrates River within the boundaries of BELKIS Village in Nizip District of Gaziantep (south east of Turkey).

Zeugma Ancient City, founded on an area of ​​approximately 20 thousand acres has secured its importance during the whole history due to its location at the shallowest part of Euphrates and its strategic importance as a military and commercial zone.

The city was founded by Selevkos Nikator, one of the generals of Alexander the Great and named Selevkos Euphrates (combination of his name and the river Euphrates) in 300 BC.

Later, the city entered under Roman rule in the first century BC. The name of the city was also changed with this new domination and it became ZEUGMA as known all over the world, meaning bridge (gate).

As a garrison of the Roman army was deployed here causing trade activities to develop fast, the population of the city reached 80 thousand and beautiful houses were built such as villas overlooking the Euphrates. At the time, ZEUGMA was one of the largest cities in the world, larger than Pompeii and Londinum (London) but smaller than Alexandria (Alexandria) and Athens (Athena).

It is known that significant construction activities were carried out in Zeugma during the reign of Seleucus Nikator in the Hellenistic period. A temple for THYKE, the “goddess of destiny” was built at the Acropolis in the city. This temple is still under the earth. The ancient city of Zeugma was one of the cities of Rome, which had printed its own city coins. THYKE temple was placed on one side of the coins and the Roman Eagle motif, which symbolizes strength was printed on the other side.




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