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The “Sarapeion” of Thessalonica MaikidouPoutrino, Dafni


The so-called Serapeum of Thessalonica was not dedicated only to Serapis, nor has this name survived through the ancient sources; the name Serapeum was given by the researchers who excavated the site in the early 20th century and has survived ever since. it consists of at least four buildings: a small temple with a rectangular plan, another small temple in antis or prostyle with a crypt, and some other auxiliary spaces. The large number of statues and inscriptions suggests that the sanctuary hosted the cult of the Isiac family but also other deities such as Aphrodite, Athena, Pan. All these artifacts are a result of many chronological phases. During its five centuries of use, buildings were constructed, and probably buildings were reused for a different purpose. The different forms of deities worshiped in the sanctuary bear evidence of a vivid cult that involved numerous people: locals, Egyptians, Roman negotiatores, etc. They also reflect a strong network of religious connectivity between Thessalonica and other sites in the Aegean such as Delos, but also between Thessalonica and inland sites, such as Stobi.

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