The Odeion

You are now standing in front of the Roman Odeion which, among other things, was intended for the presentation of musical performances. Visible begind it are the Troy VI fortification – walls and a pillar which belongs to a large house, the ,,Pillar House,” of the Troy VI period. Behind you are the ruins of a partially excavated bath which was constructed during the Roman empire. The Odeion, the bath and the nearby Bouleuterion lie at the edge of the agora, the market-place, where the public life of the city was focused. The Odeion has a semi-circular orchestra, with a scene (stage-building) in which stood an over-lifesize cuirassed statue of the Emperor Hadrian (CE 117 – 138). The orchestra is bordered by a wall of lime-stone slabs above which rise tiers of seats constructed of large limestone blocks and divided by aisles into wedge-shaped sections.

 

The Bouleuterion

To your right, about seventy meters away, you can see the Bouleuterion (council-chamber) of Greek and Roman Ilion. One part of the building lies over the Troy VI fortification-wall. The interior was enclosed on all four sides by a wall so that the council could conduct its business in private.

 

 

Historical Background of Greek and Roman Illion

According to prevailing scholarly opinion, Greek colonist settled the area around Illion during the eighth century BCE (Troia VIII). The fame of Ilion’s legendary past was so great that well-know historical figures such as the Persian king Xerxes (480 BCE) and the Macedonian king Alexander the Great (334 BCE) visited Ilion and its surroundings, and offered sacrifices to its principal goddess Athena and to the Homeric heroes. Recognition of this sort led in time to a comprehensive program of rebuilding at Ilion, embracing both sacred and rebuilding at Ilion, embracing both sacred and secular structures. In 85 BCE the site was destroyed by the rebellious Roman commander Fimbria. Nevertheless in the succeeding period (Troy IX), thanks to the patronage of the Roman emperors and especially of Augustus, Ilion experienced a real revival. Members of the Imperial family, who frequently visited the site, laid the foundation for a new cultural development. Extensive building projects were introduced, including the reconstruction of the temple of Athena. The lower town was laid out in rectangular blocks (insuale). The Romans had a particular interest in Troy, tracing their ancestry back to the Trojan hero Aeneas.According to post-Homeric legend, Aeneas not only survived the Trojan War but also fled to Italy. As a result, the Romans viewed Aeneas as their progenitor and believed Ilion to be the “mother-city” of Rome. This belief is documented on coins which portray the flight of Aeneas and his family.