Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Uggeri Map

Giovanni Uggeri, born 1939, is (was?) an academic at the University of Rome with a specialty in ancient topography. He is (was?) the editor of the Italian language Journal of Ancient Topography. I use the is/was idiom as all emails to his Rome university website bounce back even though he was shown as still running courses last year at the Rome university.

Back in 1998 he wrote an extensive article for his journal on the topography of ancient Antioch. This article was stumbled upon by some convoluted search technique but I have not seen it cited in any work on Antioch, despite the fact that it has several novel concepts contained within.
The map is shown below (click to enlarge). The ways in which it differs from Wilber (which is shown again at the bottom of this posting) are many. I shall note a few of the most notable here:
  • in the southern wall, Uggeri shows both the Golden Gate (Porta Aurea) and the Rhodion Gate, which I have recently discussed elsewhere.
  • he shows the Mese Pyle (Middle Gate) above the Forum of Valens. In his text he refers to this as leading up the valley of the Parmenios as an alternative route to Apamea.
  • he shows a "tower" on the Colonnaded Street a few blocks northeast of the Forum of Valens
  • he shows the course of the silted up branch of the Orontes running along the new Theodosian Wall rather than arching away as Wilber does
  • he shows another silted up course of the river running through the middle of the Island cutting off the Hippodrome, palace and temple from other parts of the Island. Where he came up with this idea is not mentioned in the text of his article.
  • he adds an extra bridge to the Island. This bridge heads off the Island to the north crossing the main branch of the Orontes. On the far side it connects with the road to Alexandria ad Issum. The bridge is aligned with the right side of the Hippodrome (and thus coincides with Poccardi's thoughts) and aligns also with the Dog Gate and its bridge in connecting with the main part of the city. This seems to make sense but I have seen no evidence for it in any text and neither is there any archeological evidence for it.
  • he clearly shows the Bridge Gate under its alternative name of the Porta Philonauta, in line with the evidence from Malalas.
  • he sites the "emporio" or river port at the mouth of the Phyrminos. This port become virtually redundant when the river became unnavigable in early Roman days.
  • he aligns the theatre with the ceremonial crossing avenue that ran at 90 degrees to the Colonnaded Street. This would have created an urban vista consistent with Spano's thought that the outward facing wall of the flat side of the theatre (the scenae frons) doubled as a vast ornamental Nymphaeum
  • he shows two "vasca", basically water reservoirs, while Wilber shows only one
  • he places the acropolis way above the Charonion
  • he shows the Agora by the river bank within the old Seleucid City
  • he aligns the amphitheatre with the rondpoint that Lassus discovered under the Habib el-Najjar mosque
  • he fleshes out the street pattern on the main part of the city much more fully
  • he omits all the other bridges to and from the Island, besides those two aligned with the Hippodrome
  • he fudges the positioning of the bridge (the Tauriana?) which may have led twoards the the Kaoussie Church
Love it or hate it, the Uggeri map is a thought-provoking challenge to the Wilber plan that had already been debunked in part (where it relates to the Island) by Poccardi.


Anonymous said...

This map and Casana's map are the only ones so far that I've been able to make conform to google earth's image of Antakya. I'm also glad to have some confimation that the little stone colored lines I've been assuming were walls were, in fact, walls, as they follow perfectly Uggeri's map of the Theodosian walls the in the south and east.
One question, though: what's Mount Orocasias? I thought the three main mountains of Antioch were (north to south) Stauris, Silpius, and Iopolis. "Mountain" can of course be something of a subjective distinction, but I don't remember reading anything about a Mount Oracasias before.

Antiochian said...

Thanks for the comments.

Iopolis wasn't a mountain. It was a settlement (possibly predating the Seleucid city) and it was on the slopes of the mountain. The village (?) was where the temple of Zeus Bottias was located. Iopolis has moved around across the whole site of the city in various maps and writings I have encountered.

Mt Staurin (Mountain of the Cross)was the Christianised renaming of Mt Cassius. The "mountains" are just perceived different manifestations of the same ridge. There are really two "mountains" with the Parmenios gorge separating them. Orocasias in Uggeri's map is just the summit of one of them, where the citadel was built.

How is your 3D model going? anyway I can help?