Knidos

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Coordinates: 36°41′09″N 27°22′30″E / 36.68583°N 27.375°E / 36.68583; 27.375

Knidos or Cnidus (pronounced /ˈnaɪdəs/) (Greek: Κνίδος [knidos]) was an ancient Greek city of Caria, part of the Dorian Hexapolis. It was situated on the Datça peninsula, which forms the southern side of the Sinus Ceramicus, now known as Gulf of Gökova. By the fourth century BC, Knidos was located at the site of modern Tekir, opposite Triopion Island. But earlier, it was probably at the site of modern Datça (at the half-way point of the peninsula).[1]

It was built partly on the mainland and partly on the Island of Triopion or Cape Krio. The debate about it being an island or cape is caused by the fact that in ancient times it was connected to the mainland by a causeway and bridge. Today the connection is formed by a narrow sandy isthmus. By means of the causeway the channel between island and mainland was formed into two harbours, of which the larger, or southern, was further enclosed by two strongly-built moles that are still in good part entire.

The extreme length of the city was little less than a mile, and the whole intramural area is still thickly strewn with architectural remains. The walls, both of the island and on the mainland, can be traced throughout their whole circuit; and in many places, especially round the acropolis, at the northeast corner of the city, they are remarkably perfect. The first Western knowledge of the site was due to the mission of the Dilettante Society in 1812, and the excavations executed by C. T. Newton in 1857-1858.

The agora, the theatre, an odeum, a temple of Dionysus, a temple of the Muses, a temple of Aphrodite and a great number of minor buildings have been identified, and the general plan of the city has been very clearly made out. The most famous statue by Praxiteles, the Aphrodite of Knidos, was made for Cnidus. It has perished, but late copies exist, of which the most faithful is in the Vatican Museums.

In a temple enclosure Newton discovered a fine seated statue of Demeter, which he sent back to the British Museum, and about three miles south-east of the city he came upon the ruins of a splendid tomb, and a colossal figure of a lion carved out of one block of Pentelic marble, ten feet in length and six in height, which has been supposed to commemorate the great naval victory, the Battle of Cnidus in which Conon defeated the Lacedaemonians in 394 BC.

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