Forum and Odeon

 

In the 2nd Century the forum of Philippopolis was completely reconstructed, with marble and in the lavish Corinthian architectural styleIn the 2nd Century the forum of Philippopolis was completely reconstructed, with marble and in the lavish Corinthian architectural style

Several years later, the milestone and four pediments that once had the names of Maximinus Thrax and Verus were laid in the foundations of a bridge over the Maritsa River. Archaeologists discovered them in 1988, and the faint traces of the names of Maximinus Thrax and his son reappeared, bringing their story back to life.

The pediments were found far from the forum, but at least one of them stood there. The forum, or the agora, was the main trading, religious and public thoroughfare in any ancient city. Philippopolis was not an exception. People gathered there to sell and buy, to pray to the official city deity, to chat, gossip and meet friends and foes, and to keep with the latest news by reading the official announcements carved on stone plates and placed where everyone could see. The statues of the emperors were also there, to remind the populace that the their ruler was ever present in their lives.

The forum of Philippopolis had been the centre of city life decades before the annexation of Thrace. Evidence suggests that is was laid out together with net of orthogonal streets after the Hellenistic fashion as early as the beginning of the 1st Century AD. It was used as a market thoroughfare where merchants and people from the city and the region gathered to exchange Thracian grain, wood and honey for fine pottery and bronze vessels brought as far as Italy.