Apollonia (Greek: Απολλωνία) in Cyrenaica (modern Libya) was founded by Greek colonists and became a significant commercial centre in the southern Mediterranean. It served as the harbour of Cyrene, 20 km (12 mi) to the southwest. The city is the birthplace of the Greek geographer and mathematician Eratosthenes.
Apollonia was one of the five towns of the Libyan Pentapolis. The early foundation levels of the city of Apollonia are below sea level due to submergence in earthquakes, while the upper strata of the later Byzantine Christian periods are several meters above sea level, built on the accumulated deposits of previous periods. The existence of buildings in the sea was noted by Beechey (1827), with some rough drawings, and Goodchild (1950s) and Laronde also published archaeological surveys of the site. In 1958 and 1959 Nicholas Flemming, then an undergraduate at Cambridge University, led teams of undergraduates trained in scuba diving and underwater surveying to map the large sector of the city beneath the sea. The results of this work were published, complete with maps and diagrams of underwater buildings in the references cited below. Carlo Beltrame and colleagues have recently made an underwater photographic survey of some of the buildings.
The ruins of Apollonia are sited by the modern town of Susa, and the Apollonia (Susa) Museum houses many artifacts found on the ancient site. The Crete earthquake and tsunami of 21 July 365 AD apparently caused extensive damage to the city and harbor.
Apollonia is particularly known for its ruins of three churches (out of 5 originally standing) dating from the Byzantine period.
The Palace was last used as the Byzantine Duke's Palace and contains over 100 rooms. The previous use was as a Roman military commander's house.
The well-preserved Greek theatre stands by the sea outside the old city walls.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press
- Beechey, F.W. 1827. Proceedings of an Expedition to Explore the North African coast. John Murray, London.
- Flemming, N.C. 1959. Underwater adventure in Apollonia. Geographical Magazine, v. 31, pp. 497-508.
- Flemming, N.C. 1971. Cities in the Sea. Doubleday, New York, 222 pp; New English Library, London, 222pp.
- Flemming, N.C. and Webb, C.O, 1986. Tectonic and eustatic coastal changes during the last 10,000 years derived from archaeological data. Zeitschrift für Geomorphologie. December, Suppl - Bd62, p.1 29.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Apollonia, Libya.|
|This Libya location article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.|