Zoilos of Aphrodisias

APHRODISIAS

Zoilos of Aphrodisias

Zoilos is very well known man today by various inscriptions found in and around the ancient city of Aphrodisias. He gave many gifts to the city and his name displayed in several places. He was a slave and when he was freed, he became a local hero. When he died in 28 BC, a large monument to his honour in Aphrodisias was established by locals.

Zoilos was born in Aphrodisias in the 1st century BC. He was kidnapped and sold as a slave to Julius Caesar. He did spend much of his life away from Aphrodisias. He served two important Roman Leaders as slave. When Caesar died he became the slave of Octavian who eventually freed him.

He became a very wealthy man when he returned to Aphrodisas in 40 BC. He also became responsible for the planning of much of the civic centre of Aphrodisias and many of its early monumental projects. He adorned the city’s theatre with an elaborate scene building and his name was displayed in a dedicatory inscription over the entrance of theatre. He also donated a big portion of the funds for agora (marketplace) which has been excavated in Aphrodisias. He built the Temple of Aphrodite for the city. He was a real generous benefactor of his city and he left behind a legacy which has been recovered through the excavations.

Zoilos of Aphrodisias