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Architecture in Antiquity

Town-planning in Antiquity
Fortifications in Antiquity
Palaces and theatres in Antiquity
Public buildings in Antiquity
Sanctuaries in Antiquity
Houses in Antiquity
Graves in Antiquity

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Town-plan of Olynthos
The Classical city of Olynthos was laid out according to the Hippodamian system, 452-348 BC, Olynthos.

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Macedonia, which was already densely populated in the Neolithic period, acquired cities with an organized town-plan only in the 4th century BC. Ancient cities (e.g. Aigai) were developed and new ones founded as part of the Macedonian kings' projects to improve the administrative, economic and military organization of the state which was henceforth to take an energetic part in Greek politics.

Systematic town-planning was instituted by Philip II and elaborated by Alexander III and the Successors with the founding of cities bearing their names (Philippi, Alexandria, Kassandreia, Thessalonike, Demetrias). In cities built in the plain (Olynthos, Pella, Amphipolis) the Hippodameian system was applied.


Town-plan of Olynthos
452-348 BC

The administrative, religious and commercial centers were situated in separate quarters of the city among blocks of private houses (except in Dion where the religious center was outside the city walls). The carefully planned layout of the buildings and complicated water-supply systems ensured comfortable living conditions, and the health and unobstructed movement of the inhabitants.

When cities were built on hills (Aiane, Petres) the main streets ran round the elevation almost parallel to each other, with narrower lanes linking these main arteries (free system). The strong walls of the cities made the best use of the lie of the terrain, and offered protection from the frequent attacks by various tribes of the North.

In Roman times the cities were reorganized in large-scale town-plans which adorned them with new market-places, theaters, baths etc. (e.g. Philippi, Thessalonike, Beroia).

See Also
Travelling - Ancient Pella
Ancient Veroia
Aiane
Ancient Thessalonike
Olynthos
Amphipolis
Ancient Philippi


Macedonian Heritage
Content courtesy Ekdotike Athenon S.A.