Crowning one of the highest peaks of the Eastern Taurus mountain range in south-east Turkey

Crowning one of the highest peaks of the Eastern Taurus mountain range in south-east Turkey, Nemrut Dağ is the Hierotheseion (temple-tomb and house of the gods) built by the late Hellenistic King Antiochos I of Commagene (69-34 B.C.) as a monument to himself.

The Hierotheseion of Antiochus I is one of the most ambitious constructions of the Hellenistic period possesses a highly developed technology that was used to build colossal statues and orthostats. Imagine the sculptors of the time whose makings survived till date and has no equals even today. Some places on Earth that beguile humanity with their majestic and mystic aura, Nemrut,a UNESCO Heritage site could be counted as one. The gigantic statues of Gods commissioned by king Antiochus I of Commagene for his own tomb makes it a world wonder.

King Antiochus I, ruler of Commagene from 70 BC to 36BC, was a most unusual king. He claimed descent from Greek conqueror Alexander the Great on his mother’s side, and from the Persian King Darius the Great on his father’s side, thus combining the west and the east. But what was particularly salient about this king was his unerring pride and his over-extended ego. Antiochus I claimed he had a special relationship with the gods and instituted a royal cult in the Greek form of the religion Zoroastrianism with the clear intention of being worshipped as a god after his death.

Mount Nemrut ( Nemrut Dagi in Turkish) is a monumental site belonging to the Kingdom of Commagene, a small, independent Armenian kingdom that was formed in 162 B.C. This was a period during which the once mighty Seleucid Empire was beginning to disintegrate, allowing certain areas of its empire to break free from the centralized control of the Seleucids. Located in the eastern Taurus mountain range in southern Turkey, near the town of Adiyaman, Mount Nemrut is home to an ancient complex built by the fourth, and arguably the most famous, king of Commagene, Antiochus I Theos (the ‘God King’).

The mausoleum of Antiochus I (69–34 B.C.), who reigned over Commagene, a kingdom founded north of Syria and the Euphrates after the breakup of Alexander's empire is one of the most ambitious constructions of the Hellenistic period. The syncretism of its pantheon, and the lineage of its kings, which can be traced back through two sets of legends, Greek and Persian, is evidence of the dual origin of this kingdom's culture.

The mausoleum of Antiochus I (69–34 B.C.), who reigned over Commagene, a kingdom founded north of Syria and the Euphrates after the breakup of Alexander's empire, is one of the most ambitious constructions of the Hellenistic period. The syncretism of its pantheon, and the lineage of its kings, which can be traced back through two sets of legends, Greek and Persian, is evidence of the dual origin of this kingdom's culture.

 




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