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Onchesmos

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Onchesmos (Saranda) is the name of the ancient town derived from Anchises, the Trojan warrior whose mythological union with the goddess Aphrodite resulted in a son named Aeneas. Aeneas, along with his father and his son, Ascanius, escaped the sacking of Troy, and journeyed throughout the Mediterranean. Dionysos of Halicarnassus calls Onchesmos the Harbor of Anchises, and the Byzantine historian, Procopius, mentions that Anchises died at Onchesmos. During the 6th century CE, the town’s name changed to HagiaSaranda or “Forty Saints”. The circumstances of this name change are unclear, but might be related to the construction of a great basilica overlooking the modern city of Saranda. Various monuments and archaeological finds of the city have been excavated. Among the more impressive finds are the ruins of a synagogue, a portion of a Roman imperial archway, and the ruins of a late antiquity house. Also noteworthy are an apsidal building, a cemetery, and an elaborate mosaic widely known as the Dolphin Pavement.
 

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