Sunday 27 January 2013

Antiochene Nymphaion

I knew that I wanted to build a nymphaion, a public fountain house, for my Antiochene suburb but I didn't know exactly how I was going to represent it. Then I found a great little article by Rick Bonnie and Julian Richard (2012) discussing two first century BC/AD nymphaiai from Magdala on the Sea of Galilee (Israel), birth place of Mary Magdalene, and Sagalassos in Pisidia (Turkey). The pictures below have been lifted from their article without permission; I hold no copyright over them.

Remains of the  nymphaion at Magdala
Plan of the nympaion at Magdala
Reconstructed remains of the nymphaion at Sagalassos
Plan of the nymphaion at Sagalassos

Both nymphaiai were built to resemble a pi-shaped stoa, the standard civic space/shopping mall of the ancient Greek world. Seeing the style of them, the date, the geographic spread (the the south and to the northwest of Antioch respectively), I figured that they might just be the template I was looking for. Conveniently, they both also fit within a 10x10 metre footprint which converts perfectly into my programme of 10x10cm buildings.

Sitting down with a pen, ruler, hobby knife, a bucket of glue and assorted balsa wood pieces this weekend, I managed to make my own miniature hommage of a fountain house - slightly closer to the Magdala example than Sagalassos and slightly larger than both. Still, not a bad effort for my first public building. The nymph statue is a Xyston Seleukid priestess from the Seleukos I personality pack.

The nymphaion within its urban setting (... on the shelf)


  1. Moving forward really well with your fascinating project.The nymphaion is a great addition to the townscape.

  2. It looks very sutible within your growing town. Thumbs up!