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by Archaeology Newsroom

The town-planning development of Byzantine Patras

Patras, a multiethnic, thriving town during the reign of Augustus, becomes the melting pot of various and heteroclite beliefs in which Greek pagan ideas coexist with cults of the East and with the Jewish and Christian religions. In this town, with its deeply rooted Greco-Roman tradition, the transition from idololatry to Christianism — at least for a large segment of its society — proceeded very slowly.The epigram referring to Vasilios Oxylidis, a nobleman and lord of Patras is more than indicative. By evaluating the recent archaeological finds in combination with historical sources, we reach the conclusion that the town-plan of the ancient Greek, Roman and Early Christian town has remained unchanged preserving steadily typical landmarks such as the acropolis,the seaport with its installations, markets, main streets, temples, aqueduct, public baths. These centres of the inhabited area reveal the lifestyle that truly reflects the relationship between Church and State, as well as that between the various social classes in combination with the everyday life, production and commerce taking place in the town.

When the Byzantine Empire started once again to gain in power and glamour, after the wars, catastrophes and barbaric invasions of the seventh and eighth centuries AD, the town of Patras also followed suit