Samothrace

Samothrace


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Samothrace (Samothrake) is a Greek island in the northern Aegean which was prominent from the Classical period as a member of the Delian League. Its greatest claim to fame was as a cult centre favoured by Macedon and visited by pilgrims from across the Aegean. Its name today is best known for the magnificent Hellenistic Nike sculpture, the Nike of Samothrace, excavated on the island in the 19th century CE, which is now on display in the Louvre, Paris.

Archaic & Classical Periods

Samothrace, a mountainous Aegean island with an area of 178 km², was first inhabited in the Neolithic period and then colonized by Greek settlers c. 700 BCE, probably from Samos. In literature, Samothrace appears in Homer's Iliad when Poseidon settles himself on the island's mountaintop to watch the spectacle of the Trojan War unfold. The city was ruled by five tribes who had Athena as their patron, and they minted their own coins. In the Persian Wars, we know that at least one ship fought on the side of the Persians (and sunk an Athenian ship) during the Battle of Salamis (480 BCE). Nevertheless, following Greek victory, Samothrace was a tribute-paying member of the Delian League, the alliance of Greek city-states led by Athens, from 478 to 404 BCE. In the same period the island controlled a territory (peraea) on the Thracian mainland where colonies were established. Following a brief period when the island fell under the control of Sparta, Samothrace attracted the interest of Macedon.

Hellenistic & Roman Periods

Samothrace's importance increased dramatically when it received the patronage of the royal house of Macedon, a status which continued through the Hellenistic period. The sanctuary on the island was probably dedicated to the Cabiri (or Kabitoi, perhaps Hermes and Hephaistos here) or the undefined deities known as the Great Gods (Theoi Megaloi, most prominent among them here was likely Axieros, later identified with Demeter). These gods were the focus of a mystery cult which was prevalent across the northern Aegean. According to Herodotus (Bk. 2.52) the cult had been introduced to the island by the Pelasgians centuries earlier.

The cult of the Great Gods on Samothrace was second only to the Eleusinian Mysteries in importance in the Greek world.

The cult was second only to the Eleusinian Mysteries in importance in the Greek world. Pilgrims came from afar to seek protection (especially from the sea), moral improvement, a long-life, and a better afterlife. As the name suggests the details of the ceremonies involved at Samothrace remain a mystery, but we do know that first-time initiates (mystai) did whatever they did blindfolded while those already initiated were known as epoptai or 'viewers'. Ceremonies were performed at night and involved dancing. We also know that there was no class, wealth, or nationality barrier to participating in the mysteries and both women and slaves were eligible too.

The Macedonians funded large building projects on the island and it grew to such importance that many Greek city-states sent ambassadors (theoroi) and some of these would remain as proxenoi or permanent residents who looked after the interests of their city at the site. During the Successor Wars following Alexander the Great's death the island switched hands between various Hellenistic rulers but continued to attract visitors to its sanctuary. In the Roman period Samothrace was made a free city giving it certain privileges regarding tax and political autonomy. Part of the Byzantine empire until 1204 CE, it then came under Genoa's rule and was fortified. From the 15th century CE Samothrace was ruled by the Ottomans.

Archaeological Remains

The sanctuary, located at the northern end of the island, was first systematically excavated in the 1930s CE by American archaeologists showing that it once covered 12.5 hectares. This revealed the remains of the largely 4th and 3rd-century BCE buildings and temples. The large temple dates to c. 340 BCE and once had a frieze of dancers, the shrine structure was likely where the mysteries were performed, and the Tholos of Arsinoe (288-281 BCE) was dedicated by Arsinoe, wife of Lysimachus, to the Great Gods. Completing the most important buildings to be seen today, there is a large propylon (monumental gate) dedicated by Ptolemy II Philadelphus in 285-281 BCE, a 3rd-century BCE stoa (colonnaded building), and a palace-like structure dating to the 1st century BCE.

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The Nike of Samothrace

However, it is an earlier discovery, made in the 19th century CE, which has brought Samothrace worldwide fame. This is the magnificent marble statue of Victory known as the Nike of Samothrace. The statue was dedicated by worshippers at the cult sanctuary following a naval victory. Dating to c. 190 BCE, the goddess has powerful wings spread and seems to have just landed on a ship's prow. She was set up above an artificial lake at the sanctuary for an even greater dramatic effect. The Nike, considered one of the masterpieces of Hellenistic sculpture, is now on permanent display in the Louvre museum in Paris, France.

Other finds at the site include pottery and stone monuments with Thracian inscriptions. Seals from the Minoan civilization suggest contact with Crete in the Middle Bronze Age. There are fragments of the temple frieze and finds from tombs such as coins and jewellery which are all on display at the site museum. Finally, a famous relief sculpture from the island, also now in the Louvre, depicts a procession of Agamemnon, a herald, and Epeios (maker of the Trojan Horse) who are identified by an inscription. 550 BCE, the scene is an unknown episode from the Trojan War and a reminder that our knowledge of Greek mythology is far from complete.


History of Samothrace

The island of Samothrace is found in the north-eastern Aegean, has an oval shape, an area of 178 km2, and has a distance of 32 (naval) miles from Alexandroupolis. Administratively it belongs to Evros Prefecture, in the Region of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace. The population of island numbers roughly 2500 residents, while it increases considerably during the summer. The morphological relief of the island is relatively multifarious, with flat, hilly and mountainous departments.

The mountain Saos forms the basic mountainous area of the island, with highest altitude of 1.611m (mountain top Feggari), constituting the third highest top of Aegean. According to Homer, Samothrace was the island from which Neptune (Poseidon) watched the fall of Troy. Researchers believe that the island was inhabited early, the precocious season of copper, from colonists from Thrace. It is believed that roughly in 700 b.C. Aeolians, speaking Greek, reached the island from Lesvos, settled and built the town Samothrace, an important town-state of antiquity.

The Greek settlers adopted the local religious creed of Great Gods, and built the impressive sanctuary of Great Gods, in the north-western foot of mountain Feggari. Later, this sanctuary became the main religious centre of the residents of Aeolia, Thrace and Macedonia.The religion of Ancient Gods was a mix of mysticism, idolatry of feminine deities of fertility and deities of Thrace’s hinterland.During the Byzantine period, during crusades, Samothrace was under Genoa’s control, that built many castles in the island.

The modern history of the island fits in with the history of Eastern Aegean, with the Ottoman domination lasting up to the beginning of the 20th century. The crowning antiquity discovered in the island is Niki of Samothrace, a statue dating back to 200 b.C. and represents victory.The statue was discovered in 1863 and today adorns the museum of Louvre, in Paris, in a prestigious place.The statue is made of marble and is thought that has been created as a monument for an important Greek naval martial victory.It is a female winged body that descended from the sky in the prow of a boat, while its feathers still flap and it looks as if it turns round its axis giving emphasis to the movement of the body.

Its feathers look like tearing its dress, which “is caressed” softly by the wind, showing off its strong body and its legs, while the drapery of its dress give emphasis in swirling movements. Niki of Samothrace is an unimpeachable sample of the sculptures of Hellenistic period. The name of its creator is unknown, but an engraving of the sculpture contains the word Rodios (from Rhodes), something that may imply the origin of the statue.


The Victory of Samothrace

The Victory of Samothrace is one of the most famous masterpiece in the Louvre. A majestic statue whose wings spread and the clothes swirling in the wind are superbly highlighted by the grand staircase. If fragments of this Victory are still missing today, probably disappeared forever, it looked even less proud when it was discovered in the 19th century.

French diplomat and archaeologist, Charles Champoiseau was on mission at the Consulate of Adrianople (today Edirne, Turkey) in 1862 when he decided to undertake archaeological excavations in Samothrace, Greek island in the Aegean Sea. He knows the Emperor Napoleon III passionate about archeology and history, and wanted to find him a gift among the ruins of the very ancient sanctuary of the Great Gods. Very quickly, on April 25, 1863, the workers made an exceptional discovery: different parts of a large female statue were found, as well as fragments of wings. We deduce that the discovery was that of a Victory, Greek deity responsible for crowning the victors of a battle.

The statue arrived in puzzle in Paris and, in 1866, after a first work of restoration, the main block of the body is exposed. Alone. As for the pedestal, Champoiseau had left it there, thinking that the gray marble blocks he had found was a tomb. It was in 1875 that these blocks were again examined, and it was discovered that they actually formed the prow of a ship serving as the base for the statue. A first test was carried out in the courtyard of the Louvre Museum in 1879. Then, a complete reconstruction of the monument was decided.

The belt area was reconstituted in plaster, the right part of the bust, original, resting on the body, the left part redone in plaster, the left wing, very fragile, consolidated by a metal frame, and finally the right wing reconstituted in plaster from that of the left. Only the head, arms and feet were not reproduced.

A magnificent restoration, which gives the monument an iconic character that one could not imagine today. What prowess is this victory!


Samothrace, Sanctuary of the Great Gods


Sanctuary of the Great Gods ( Enlarge)

Samothrace (also spelled as Samothraki) is a mountainous Greek island in the remote northern Aegean Sea. Eleven miles (17 kilometers) long and 69 square miles in size (178 square kilometers) it is best known for its central peak of Mt. Fengari (5285 feet, 1611 meters), an ancient temple called the Sanctuary of the Great Gods, and the famous state of the Goddess Nike. Similar to the oracle sites of Delphi and Dodona in mainland Greece, the Sanctuary of the Great Gods was the location of a mystery school that attracted worshippers from the entire Greek and Roman world for more than a thousand years. The identity and nature of the gods worshipped at Samothrace, however, remains somewhat enigmatic.

Ancient writers refer to them with the name of Kabeiroi, while in the epigraphic record they are simply called Gods or Great Gods. Their secret names were Axieros, Axiokersa, Axiokersos and Kadmilos, whom the Greeks identified, as early as the middle of the 4th century BC, with Demeter, Persephone, Hades and Hermes. Axieros was the central figure of a cult of the Great Mother, with characteristics similar to those of the Phrygian goddess Kybele, the Anatolian Great Mother, and the Trojan Mother Goddess of Mount Ida. The Greeks associated her equally with the fertility goddess Demeter. The Great Mother is the all-powerful mistress of the wild world of the mountains, venerated on sacred rocks where sacrifices and offerings were made to her. The Great Mother was often depicted on Samothracian coinage as a seated woman, with a lion at her side. Hecate, under the name of Zerynthia, and Aphrodite-Zerynthia, two other important nature goddesses, are equally venerated at Samothrace.

The sanctuary of the Great Gods was open to all who wished to worship, although access to those buildings consecrated to the mysteries was reserved for initiates. The rituals and ceremonies of the mysteries were presided over by a priestess, and often a prophetess called a Sybil, or Cybele. The most common rituals were probably similar to those at other Greek sanctuaries: prayer and supplications accompanied by sacrifices of domestic animals (sheep and pigs), as well as libations made to the chthonic earth deities in circular or rectangular stone pits. The initiate cherished the hope of good fortune, protection from the dangers of sea voyages and the promise of a happy afterlife.

The major annual festival, which drew pilgrims to the island from throughout the Greek world, probably took place in mid-July. It consisted of the presentation of a sacred play, which entailed a ritual wedding of Cadmos and Harmonia.


Sanctuary of the Great Gods ( Enlarge)

Archaeological excavations have revealed a picture of the Sanctuary and its development. There is evidence for cult activity since the 7th century BC, although the construction of monumental buildings began only in the 4th and was connected with the magnificence of the royal house of Macedon. It is reported that Phillip II first met Olympias, a princess from Epirus, later his wife and mother of Alexander the Great, on the occasion of their initiation at Samothrace. Alexander's successors continued the royal patronage of the Sanctuary, which attained its greatest splendor in the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC. The cult of the Great Gods and the initiation into their mysteries ceased in the late 4th century AD. It remained an important religious site throughout the Roman period before fading from history towards the end of Late Antiquity.

The most important artifact from the excavations was an eleven-foot tall statue of the winged goddess Nike found by the amateur French archaeologist Charles Champoiseau in 1863. Headless and armless, and currently displayed in the Louvre Museum in Paris, France, this masterpiece of Hellenistic sculpture gave its image to the Rolls Royce emblem and its name to the world's largest athletic shoe manufacturer.


Winged Nike of Samothrace



Ruins of Palaeopoli, above the ruins of the Sanctuary of the Great Gods ( Enlarge)

Chapel of Panagia Krimniotissa, Samothrace

Perched on a cliff 1020 feet (311 meters) above the beach of Pachia Ammos in southern Samothrace is the small chapel of the Holy Mary called Panagia Krimniotissa. According to legend, Christians fleeing persecution in Asia Minor during the Byzantine Iconoclastic period (730-843 AD) had thrown an icon of the Holy Mary in the Mediterranean Sea. This icon later washed ashore on the beach of Pachia Ammos where it was found by sailors. Placed in a cave (some sources say a beach-side chapel) to protect it, the icon disappeared and miraculously reappeared on a rock at the edge of the cliff high above the beach. Returned to the cave (or the beach-side chapel), each time the icon would disappear and then reappear on the cliff. Believing this to be a divine message, villagers built a new home for the icon on the cliff (Krimnos means cliff) where it is still venerated by pilgrims to this day. The chapel is likened to an eagle’s nest, due to the way it stands along on the rocks.


Chapel of Panagia Krimniotissa, Koitada ( Enlarge)



Chapel of Panagia Krimniotissa, Koitada ( Enlarge)



Chapel of Panagia Krimniotissa Icon, Koitada ( Enlarge)

Martin Gray is a cultural anthropologist, writer and photographer specializing in the study and documentation of pilgrimage places around the world. During a 38 year period he has visited more than 1500 sacred sites in 165 countries. The World Pilgrimage Guide web site is the most comprehensive source of information on this subject.

Samothrace - History

sam'-o-thras (Samothrake, "the Thracian Samos" the King James Version Samothracia, sam-o-thra'sha the island was formerly Dardania for change of name see Pausanias vii.4, 3 Strabo x.457, and for a full discussion Conze, Hauser and Benndorf, Neue Untersuchungen auf South, 1880): An island in the Aegean Sea, South of Thrace opposite the mouth of the Hebrus River, and Northwest of Troas. The island is mountainous, as the name indicates (see SAMOS), and towers above Imbros when viewed from the Trojan coast. The summit is about a mile high. It is mentioned in the Iliad (xiii.12) as the seat of Poseidon and referred to by Virgil Aeneid vii0.208.

The island was always famous for sanctity, and the seat of a cult of the Cabeiri, which Herodotus (ii.51) says was derived from the Pelasgian inhabitants (see also Aristophanes, Pax 277). The mysteries connected with the worship of these gods later rivaled the famous mysteries of Eleusis, and both Philip of Macedon and Olympias his wife were initiated here (Plut. Alex. 3).

Probably because of its sacred character the island did not figure to any extent in history, but in the expedition of Xerxes in 480 B.C., one ship at least of the Samothracian contingent is mentioned as conspicuous in the battle of Salamis.

The famous "Victory of Samothrace" (now in the Louvre) was set up here by Demetrius Poliorcetes circa 300 B.C., and was discovered in 1863. Since that time (1873-75), the Austrian government carried on extensive excavations (see Conze, Hauser and Benndorf, op. cit.).

In the New Testament the island is mentioned in Acts 16:11. From Troas, Paul made a straight run to Samothrace, and the next day sailed to NEAPOLIS (which see) on the Thracian coast, the port of PHILIPPI (which see). At the northern end of Samothrace was a town where the ship could anchor for the night, and on the return journey (Acts 20:6) a landing may have been made, but no details are given. Pliny characterizes the island as being most difficult for anchorage, but because of the hazards of sailing by night, the ancient navigators always anchored somewhere if possible.


KABEIROI

THE KABEIROI (Cabeiri) were twin gods (daimones) who presided over the orgiastic dances of the mysteries of Samothrake (Samothrace) which were held in honour of the goddesses Demeter, Persephone, and Hekate. They were famed metal-workers, dwarfish sons of the god Hephaistos (Hephaestus), who served their father at his Lemnian forge. Like their mother Kabeiro (Cabeiro) the pair were also sea-divinities who came to the aid of sailors in distress.

According to Clement the Kabeiroi were three in number, but two of the brothers committed an act of fratricide. The pair later recovered the phallus of Zagreus who had been dismembered by the Titan-gods and established it in the shrine of the Mysteries. In the Cabiri by Aeschylus, the two gods welcomed the Argonauts to their island and initiated them in a drunken orgy.

The Kabeiroi were closely identified with a number of other korybantic daimones including the Cretan Kouretes (Curetes), the Trojan Daktyloi (Dactyls), and the Phrygian Korybantes (Corybantes).
According to some the Samothrakain Kabeiroi were a larger group of deities which included not only the sons of Hephaistos but also several Korybantic sons of the god Apollon. Both groups were portrayed as shield-clashing, dancing warriors of the orgies. Kedalion (Cedalion), the Lemnian attendant of Hephaistos, was sometimes numbered amongst the Kabeiroi. The twin gods were also identified with the Dioskouroi (Dioscuri) especially in the myth of the Argonauts.


Searching for the True Origins of the Louvre’s Winged Victory.

For more than 2,000 years, the Winged Victory of Samothrace has been surrounded in mystery, and still she beguiles.

Winged Victory of Samothrace

Peter Rivera, Creative Commons

Ten million visitors a year gape at the majesty of Winged Victory of Samothrace in the Louvre, where she appears ready to take flight from her perch atop the Daru staircase. The eight-foot marble statue was installed in Paris shortly after its discovery on the remote Greek island of Samothrace in 1863 by French diplomat and amateur archaeologist Charles Champoiseau.

From a hillside overlook, Winged Victory originally presided over a temple complex to which pilgrims from across the region thronged between the fourth and second centuries BCE to undergo initiation in the secret rites of a mystery religious cult. The rites, being secret, remain so, but are thought to have involved blindfolds, torchlit processions, and bountiful libations.

Dating to ca. 190 BCE, the statue depicts the goddess Victory, or Nike, alighting on the prow of a warship. Although Winged Victory is widely believed to have been sculpted to commemorate a naval victory, neither the battle nor the sculptor has been determined.

The Winged Victory of Samopthrace graces the Louvre in Paris.

Brian Dewey, Creative Commons

Bonna Wescoat, an Emory University archaeologist who directs excavations at Samothrace, is trying, with NEH support, to resolve whether the Nike statue was enclosed or stood with her wings open to the Aegean winds. The difficulty, Wescoat explains, is in reconciling why the statue is so well preserved—suggesting it may have been sheltered—while its original setting is not. “Iconographically, that’s awkward because Nike is a flying figure,” says Wescoat. “If you put her behind columns, it’s like putting her in prison.”

Wescoat was part of an international team of archaeologists that advised the Louvre on its restoration of Winged Victory, in 2013, to mark the 150th anniversary of the statue’s discovery. At the time, Louvre researchers sought to recreate what the original may have looked like but were unable to model arms that matched the grace of the rest of the sculpture.

“I suspect it’s like the Sistine Chapel,” says Wescoat, referring to the frescoes’ appearance before restoration, “where you’re so used to one thing, you’re not going to like anything.”

Paula Wasley is a senior special affairs specialist at the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Funding information

Bonna Wescoat received NEH support to study the Sanctuary of the Gods in Samothrace, Greece, where the Winged Victory once soared.


What is the cheapest way to get to Samothraki from Athens?

If you rent a car or take the bus from Thessaloniki, then that is the cheapest way. The bus and car ferry via Thessaloniki costs from 65€ to 130€. It will take around 14 hours to be on Samothrace. It is best to land on Thessaloniki airport (if your airline supports that) and avoid going through Athens.

Is there a fastest way to get from Athens to Samothraki?

You can compare (depends on the season) flight tickets to get to Alexandroupoli airport and then take the ferry to Samothrace. That will save you lots of driving time but it may not be the cheapest way. The flight from Athens airport to Samothrace airport takes only 1 hour.

Which airlines fly to Alexandroupoli?

The Greek airlines of Olympic Air and Sky Express offer flights from Athens Airport to the airport of Alexandroupoli.

That is the spirit of this island, indeed. A fantastic island that is full of action!


Samothrace - History

In the Revised Version for Samothracia.

sam'-o-thras (Samothrake, "the Thracian Samos" the King James Version Samothracia, sam-o-thra'sha the island was formerly Dardania for change of name see Pausanias vii.4, 3 Strabo x.457, and for a full discussion Conze, Hauser and Benndorf, Neue Untersuchungen auf South, 1880): An island in the Aegean Sea, South of Thrace opposite the mouth of the Hebrus River, and Northwest of Troas. The island is mountainous, as the name indicates (see SAMOS), and towers above Imbros when viewed from the Trojan coast. The summit is about a mile high. It is mentioned in the Iliad (xiii.12) as the seat of Poseidon and referred to by Virgil Aeneid vii0.208.

The island was always famous for sanctity, and the seat of a cult of the Cabeiri, which Herodotus (ii.51) says was derived from the Pelasgian inhabitants (see also Aristophanes, Pax 277). The mysteries connected with the worship of these gods later rivaled the famous mysteries of Eleusis, and both Philip of Macedon and Olympias his wife were initiated here (Plut. Alex. 3).

Probably because of its sacred character the island did not figure to any extent in history, but in the expedition of Xerxes in 480 B.C., one ship at least of the Samothracian contingent is mentioned as conspicuous in the battle of Salamis.

The famous "Victory of Samothrace" (now in the Louvre) was set up here by Demetrius Poliorcetes circa 300 B.C., and was discovered in 1863. Since that time (1873-75), the Austrian government carried on extensive excavations (see Conze, Hauser and Benndorf, op. cit.).

In the New Testament the island is mentioned in Acts 16:11. From Troas, Paul made a straight run to Samothrace, and the next day sailed to NEAPOLIS (which see) on the Thracian coast, the port of PHILIPPI (which see). At the northern end of Samothrace was a town where the ship could anchor for the night, and on the return journey (Acts 20:6) a landing may have been made, but no details are given. Pliny characterizes the island as being most difficult for anchorage, but because of the hazards of sailing by night, the ancient navigators always anchored somewhere if possible.

Acts XVI
. (11) "Therefore, setting sail from Troas, we ran by a straight course to Samothrace,
and the next day to Neapolis (12) and thence to Philippi, which is the .
/. /mcgarvey/a commentary on acts of the apostles/acts xvi.htm

S. Theophanes
. to the cause of Icons marked him out as one of the earliest victims of Leo the Armenian,
who, after imprisoning him for two years, banished him to Samothrace. .
//christianbookshelf.org/neale/hymns of the eastern church/s theophanes.htm

Why Paul Went to Macedonia
. good news to them. So, setting sail from Troas, we ran straight to Samothrace,
and on the next day to Neapolis. From there we went .
/. /sherman/the childrens bible/why paul went to macedonia.htm

The Numerous Oracles
. [336] See D??llinger, i. 73, 164-70: the Cabiri were pre-Hellenic deities, worshipped
in many ancient sanctuaries, but principally in Samothrace and Lemnos. .
/. /select works and letters or athanasius/section 47 the numerous oracles.htm

It is Said that on a Recent Occasion Where the Letters of .
. We need not wonder if the books of know-nothings find plenty of readers. Footnotes:
[3028] A native of Samothrace who died at Cyprus bc 157. .
/. /14 it is said that.htm

The Trinitarian Controversy.
. In Phrygia it was introduced by Dardanus, who carried it from Samothrace.' In short,
'the Trinity was a leading principle in all ancient schools of philosophy .
/. /chapter vi the trinitarian controversy.htm

Neapolis (1 Occurrence)
. was the seaport of Philippi, and was the first point in Europe at which Paul and
his companions landed from Troas they had sailed direct to Samothrace, and on .
/n/neapolis.htm - 9k

Samos (1 Occurrence)
. Kerki (modern name) rising to a height of 4,700 ft., and it was due to this that
the island received its name (see above). See also SAMOTHRACE. .
/s/samos.htm - 9k

Voyage (5 Occurrences)
. Voyage (5 Occurrences). Acts 16:11 Setting sail therefore from Troas, we made a
straight course to Samothrace, and the day following to Neapolis (See RSV). .
/v/voyage.htm - 8k

Ne-ap'olis (1 Occurrence)
. Ne-ap'olis (1 Occurrence). Acts 16:11 Setting sail therefore from Troas, we made
a straight course to Samothrace, and the day following to Neapolis (See RSV). .
/n/ne-ap'olis.htm - 6k

Isle (15 Occurrences)
. Revelation 1:9), various islands are mentioned by name in connection with the voyages
of Paul, eg Cyprus, Crete, Lesbos, Samos, Samothrace, Chios, Melita .
/i/isle.htm - 15k

Island (16 Occurrences)
. Revelation 1:9), various islands are mentioned by name in connection with the voyages
of Paul, eg Cyprus, Crete, Lesbos, Samos, Samothrace, Chios, Melita .
/i/island.htm - 16k

Troas (6 Occurrences)
. Acts 16:11 Setting sail therefore from Troas, we made a straight course to Samothrace,
and the day following to Neapolis (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS .
/t/troas.htm - 11k

Direct (58 Occurrences)
. Acts 16:11 Setting sail therefore from Troas, we made a straight course to
Samothrace, and the day following to Neapolis (See RSV). .
/d/direct.htm - 24k

Accordingly (34 Occurrences)
. (WEY). Acts 16:11 Accordingly we put out to sea from Troas, and ran a straight
course to Samothrace. The next day we came to Neapolis, (WEY). .
/a/accordingly.htm - 17k

Acts 16:11
Setting sail therefore from Troas, we made a straight course to Samothrace , and the day following to Neapolis
(WEB WEY ASV BBE NAS NIV)


Sanctuary of the Great Gods

The sanctuary is located on the slopes of Mount Hagios Georgios and was built on three terraces cut into the mountain. The entrance is via a gate built by Ptolemy II of Egypt and this bridges a torrent that divides the site. A depression is all that remains of an altar where it is thought sacrifices were made, but there is no concrete evidence to support the theory.

A winding path leads to the main monuments in the complex and the Arsinoë Rotunda, a round structure that was used to greet ambassadors and kings, and possibly where more sacrifices were made . The largest building in the complex is the Temenos. This courtyard with a gateway (an ionic propylaeum) is adorned with the famous ‘dancers frieze’. Its exact role is unknown because of the many secretive traditions and practices.

The epopteion was situated on the second terrace and built in a most unusual and non-Greek design. This formed part of the temple and was the most important building of the cult. The facade is ornate but the large interior space contained an apse that was the sacred heart of the structure. It is located near a shrine possibly dedicate to the Greek goddess Hera .

Dating to the Roman era is the Anaktoron, where the mysteries and secret rituals of Samothrace were conducted. Several votive buildings, such as the Miletean Building, were constructed here as offering to the gods. To the east of the second terrace is a small Greek-style theatre and remains of a Byzantine-era fort have been found.


Hieron

The rituals likely continued in another great building hidden behind the hall, which has been named the Hieron. Once initiates rounded the corner, this building would come into view, with its deep porch of Doric columns and rich sculptural decoration. Within its interior, benches lined the walls, and lateral doors led to sequestered areas. The room ended in a great apse, a very rare feature in Greek architecture, and one that must have framed special rites, perhaps those culminating initiation.


Watch the video: THE ISLAND OF THE GREAT GODS - Samothrace, Greece