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Ancient Greek Inscription Found in Bulgaria’s Roman Baths

Ancient Greek Inscription Bulgaria
The Greek text gives precise information that the baths were built in the middle of the 2nd century. Credit: BHT. Bulgarian National Television

An ancient Greek inscription was recently discovered by archeologists in the resort town of Hisarya, Southern Bulgaria which reveals who ruled the finances of the province of Thrace.

The marble slab, is dedicated to the Emperor Antonius Pius and Marcus Aurelius, and was found in the Roman baths of the city. It is believed to be 1,900 years old.

The text gives precise information that the baths were built in the middle of the 2nd century and the finances of the province of Thrace were managed by Volusius Severus.

“The inscription is intact, 1.3 x 70 cm in size. When we talk about an imperial cult, it means that it was placed in a cult place. The room in which it was found is a deep pool, a huge amount of marble, cipher slabs and certainly this room was sacred,” Mitko Madjarov, the Director of the Archaeological Museum at Hisarya said, according to Bulgarian National Television BHT.

Ancient Greek inscription found at the spa capital of Thrace

After the site was declared an imperial possession, construction began on the Roman Baths, which then became the spa capital of the province of Thrace and the Balkans. Even today the resort is visited by over 200,000 tourists mainly for its healing mineral springs, BHT reports.

According to Madjarov, the valuable artifact is a prerequisite for new discoveries in the Roman Baths: “A few years ago, we found a male foot of a solid statue, and it is very likely that we will find this statue here as well – whether it will be of an emperor or of the God of Health, future excavations will tell.”

The marble slab is now on display in a special place in the Archaeological Museum and can be seen by tourists and visitors to the resort.

Hisarya, or Diocletianopolis in Roman times, was founded by the Roman emperor Diocletian because of its unique and numerous hot mineral springs.

The ancient Romans were well aware of the healing power of the mineral springs, which is why not only Roman thermal baths but also sanctuaries of their healing gods were built nearby at that time.

The Roman baths in Hisarya are one of the few preserved authentic Roman baths in Europe.

The baths were probably built in the second half of the 3rd century, and their original construction, together with the nymphaeum (sanctuary of the nymphs), dates from the middle of the 2nd century.

They were discovered in 1935.

Related: Discovery of Greek Inscription Reveals Home of Saint Peter

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