Stadium, Izmir

On the northern slope of the hill, there is a stadium in Izmir called an amphitheatre by the Romans. It is near the Halit Bey primary school which is on the road leading up to the western gate of the castle. In the northeast and south directions, there used to be residences rising behind one another around the stadium. The rows of seats in the southern and eastern parts of the stadium were built in keeping with the declivity of the hill.

As there was no declivity in the north, they had to build an arched substructure, the remains of which can still be seen. The seats of honor on the eastern end overlooked the splendid view of the sea.

Since the rows of stone seats were taken away to be used in other constructions at a later time, today there is nothing left of the stadium except the bare ground on which it stood.

During the reign of the Proconsol L. Statius Ouadratus, (154-155 A.D.), St. Policarp was martyed in this stadium. A little farther up the stadium, there is still a portion of the St. Policarp's Church which is a deserted mosque now. Very probably St. Policarp is buried here.


Though Aristides writes about several fine race courses which existed within and outside the city, we have no information as to their locations or characteristics.
 

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