Page 41

the scene or stage (3), the raised rectangular area opposite the koilon with three entrances and square niches for statues. Behind the scene was the backstage area with a mosaic floor with geometric motifs, a space later used for burials. In the heart of the Roman Gortys Praitorio is the seat of the Roman governor of Crete. The praitorio is constructed in the first century AD, but was significantly modified during the next eight centuries. In the same site there are the ruins of Roman baths or Thermae that were a large bathhouse complex with many secondary areas, exercise rooms and Vespasianae (public latrines). The baths are made up of three rooms: the calidarium (hot bath) the tepidarium (warm room) the frigidarium (cold bath) Near the Temple of the Pythian Apollo is the Temple of the Egyptian gods: Isis, Serapis and Hermes Anubis. Egyptian deities were particularly popular in the Hellenistic period (4th-1st century BC), when the temple was built. This is the only temple in Crete dedicated to Egyptian gods. Behind the Roman theater, carved on large stone slabs, are inscriptions to the laws of Gortys, in Doric dialect The Law Code of Gortys is carved on the Great Inscription in twelve columns. The Law Code was originally set in the circular wall of a public building used as a Voulefterion or Ekklesiasterion, the meeting-place for the citizens' assembly. In the 1st century BC a new building was erected on the site of the Bouleuterion and the Laws were set in its wall again. The Great Inscription is written in voustrophedon ("ox-plough turn") writing, running right to left in the first line and left to right in the next, and so on. It resembles the way an ox turns when ploughing a field, whence its name. The Great Inscription is composed of 12 columns or deltoi (whence its Greek name Dodecadeltos), with a total of 630-640 lines, of which 605 are preserved. The Law Code of Gortys treats matters of civil law, with no clauses on criminal or commercial law. The laws are strikingly liberal and progressive. They are not simply the laws of a Cretan city-state; they form the oldest Greek law code and are therefore considered the greatest contribution of

41

Final study of CulMe-WeOnCT project  
Advertisement