A city, ca. 30 km W of Tirana, founded in 627 B.C. by Corinth and Kerkyra. The name Dyrrachion is found on coins; in the Roman period it was prevalent (changed to Dyrrachium). Since the modern city is built over the ancient town, it is primarily on the basis of inscriptions and occasional finds that some idea of its monuments has been formed.
Inscriptions offer evidence on the following monuments: an aqueduct constructed by Hadrian and restored by Alexander Severus (the inscription comes from Arapaj, a short distance from Durazzo: CIL III, 1-709); the Temple of Minerva; the Temple of Diana (CIL III, 1-602), which is perhaps the one mentioned by Appian (BCiv. 2.60); the equestrian statue of L. Titinius Sulpicianus (CIL III, 1-605); the library (CIL m, 1-67). The last inscription mentions that for the dedication of the library 24 gladiators fought in pairs. The conjecture that there was an amphitheater in the city is confirmed by a passage from the Vita di Skanderbeg by Marino Barlezio: amphitheatrum mira arte ingenioque constructum.
As a result of occasional discoveries, the following data are available: a 3d c. mosaic pavement with the representation of a female head found at a depth of 5 m (the head, surrounded by garlands of vegetables and flowers, brings to mind those painted on Apulian vases); remains of houses covered by other layers, the lowest of which, of the Greek era, was found at a depth of 5 m.
Columns with Corinthian capitals and marble facing, discovered on the nearby hillside at Stani, belong probably to the Temple of Minerva or to the Capitolium. The necropolis is E of the hills that stand above the city. The Stele of Lepidia Salvia, a sarcophagus (now at Istanbul) with a scene of the Caledonian boar hunt, and numerous Roman tombs were found in the necropolis. (P. C. SESTIERI) Wikidata ID: Q3567546
Info: Princeton Encyclopedia
(Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites, from Perseus Project)