Angelos Chaniotis

PART OF THE MIX. By the late fifth century C.E., Christians, supported by Byzantine emperors, dominated Aphrodisias and had even rebuilt the ancient temple of Aphrodite as a Christian basilica. Within a hundred years, the city, no longer comfortable with its close association with the pagan goddess of love, was renamed Stavropolis, the City of the Cross. Until that time, Christians, though segmented by their own dogmatic quarrels, were simply part of the everyday make-up of this cosmopolitan city of Asia Minor. And like the Jews and Hellenists living around them, Christians carved their own graffiti into Aphrodisias’s marble monuments, including these simple drawings of Byzantine crosses found near the gate of one of the city’s markets.