Photos provided by Yannis Avramides

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Oinoanda was built on the top of a high mountain in the ancient province of Lycia, which is now modern southwest Turkey.   Toward the end of his life, the second-century AD philosopher Diogenes presented to his city a large inscribed limestone wall conspicuously located in an open area generally referred to as the "Esplanade."  The inscription proclaimed the wisdom of Epicurus, who had lived five centuries earlier.  This unique text, rediscovered in the late nineteenth century, has attracted many modern readers.

Unlike most ancient cities, a great part of Oinoanda wasn't buried under the soil.  The steep terrain of its locale makes it impractical to remove the inscribed blocks away from the city  so perhaps the entire inscription is still there.   The wall itself, however, has long been demolished.  Its blocks were used for building houses, paving streets, etc.  most probably during the early Christian era.  They were discovered one by one.


Oinoanda's Location

Fragment 9

Fragment 12

Yannis, friend Katerina, and
Fragment 19, text:
"...we ought to make statues
 of the gods genial and
smiling, so that we may
smile back at them rather
 than be afraid of them".

Fragment 70 and its
reproduction by M.F. Smith.

City Walls


Tombs at the edge of the city

This theater is on the
highest spot of the city.


View of the
surrounding landscape