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Temple of Nemesis Discovered Under Ancient Theater in Mytilene, Greece

Source; greekreporter & Archaeological Institute of America 

An ancient Greek temple dedicated to the goddess Nemesis has been discovered in the ruins of an ancient theater in Mytilene, AMNA news agency reported on Thursday.

The remains of the temple were found in the south entry passage (párodos in Greek) of the theater, under a series of large limestone blocks.

According to experts who are conducting archaeological excavations in the area, the theater was completed in two different phases of construction, during the Hellenistic era (in the third century BC) and the Roman era (in the first century AD).

Its vast size leads the experts to believe that the theater had room for more than 10,000 spectators.

The temple itself dates to the first century AD and was identified by the existence of a stone altar, created for offerings, and a series of dedicatory inscriptions by priests and prominent personalities of the era.

Pavlos Triantafyllides, the leading excavator and head of the Lesvos Ephorate, noted that the temple’s location in the southern párodos was not arbitrary, since an arena for gladiator combat was built in the orchestra area of the theater during Roman times.

“As their contests had to conclude with the serving of justice and the awarding of victory to the best gladiator, the existence of a temple dedicated to Nemesis was obligatory,” Triantafyllides states.

The excavation is continuing, with the contribution of Italy’s University of Bari and its school of civil engineering.

Nemesis, to which the temple discovered was dedicated, was an ancient Greek goddess.

She was the goddess who exacted retribution against those who succumb to hubris, the sin described as extreme or foolish pride and dangerous overconfidence, which often occurs in combination with arrogance.

Her name is related to the Greek word ”némein,” which is means “to give what is due.”

  • “Nemesis,” by Alfred Rethel (L) – Wikipedia. The ancient theater of Mytilene (R) – Naftemporiki