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Exploring the Ruins of Aspendos & Perge

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Communications Coordinator
Jul 9, 2013


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Culture, History

Exploring the Ruins of Aspendos & Perge

With some structures dating back as far as 1000 BC, the ruins of Perge and Aspendos are two of the most ancient sites nestled along the coast near Antalya. And, as important centers on the outskirts of the Roman Empire (St. Paul even delivered a sermon in Perge), these sites are of interest to archaeologists worldwide. Constructed with intricate decorations and built for extraordinary acoustics, the theater of Aspendos once hosted grand attractions that held over 7,000 people. Even today, because of how remarkably well preserved the site is, plays and operas are still conducted here, and Professor Paul Muldoon's writing class followed in this proud tradition with a small reading from Aristophanes' play “Birds.”

The Roman Amphitheater at Aspendos was built in the 2nd Century AD during the reign of Marcus Aurelius.
Cengiz Bostan, our Turkish guide for the day, explains the historical background of the amphitheater.
Lisa Johnston climbs the steps where the audience would have sat in the ruined theater of Aspendos.
Interport Lecturer Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill, an acclaimed Irish poet, speaks to students about the literary traditions of the Greeks and Romans.
Semester at Sea students read Aristophanes' “Birds” in the ruined amphitheater of Aspendos.
Jessi Davis, a Psychology major at the University of Virginia, takes part in a reading of “Birds” in the amphitheater of Aspendos.
Mingyu Wang, a student at the University of Virginia, was another actor in the reading.
Semester at Sea students explore the baths in the Perge ruins.
Students walk through the ancient ruins of Perge. In 46 AD, St. Paul traveled to Perge to deliver a Sermon.
The ruins in Perge have intricately carved marble reliefs and ornaments, many of them still well-preserved and on display.
The remnants of the historical site are a huge attraction for archaeologists, amateur and professional alike.
Interport Lecturer Josh White, a professor of medieval and early modern Mediterranean history, takes in the sights in Perge.
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