Sites Visited: Ancient Thessaloniki (Roman Forum, Acropolis, Rotunda, White Tower, Arch of Galerius, Galerius’ palatial complex), Churches (Agios Dimitrios, Agia Sofia, and the Church of Acheiropoietos), Thessaloniki Archaeological Museum,
Leaders: Tim and Saphfire
Another bright and early day in Thessaloniki. Today was devoted to a walking tour of the city, starting with a stop at the Roman Forum and a discussion of the tumultuous history of the city, which began as a series of scattered settlements that were consolidated by the Macedonian king Cassander in the late 4th century. After poking around the substructure of the forum and its adjoining museum, we bounced between several Byzantine Churches and made our way up to the top of the city’s acropolis, where we took a group shot overlooking the city and the water. From there we hiked downhill to several more Roman sites from the period of the Tetrarchy – first a mysterious, largely unexplained rotunda, and then the Arch of Galerius and Galerius’ sprawling palatial complex.
We split off into small groups for lunch before reconvening at the White Tower along the water and spending the afternoon in the city’s primary archaeological museum. The highlight of this museum was its collection of Macedonian treasures, including the famous Derveni Krater, a huge bronze vessel adorned with incredibly detailed depictions of the god Dionysus, his wedding to Ariadne, and other allusions to his worship. After stopping by the White Tower again to get a good view of the whole city, we went home, wrote up responses to an assignment on the Derveni Krater, and held another discourse for the evening.
Saphfire and Tim