Excavators have found beneath the ancient theater of Mytilini, the Temple of Nemesis on the northeast island of Lesvos. What remains of the temple was found under large limestone blocks in the south entry passage to the theater.
The Theater of Mytilini dates to the 1st Century AD, but the new discovery seems to be from the heyday of Roman gladiatorial games. According to leading excavator Pavlos Triantafyllidis, an arena for gladiator duels was built in the orchestra during Roman times, so the newly discovered temple would have been obligatory.
For those unfamiliar, Nemesis was the Greek goddess of retribution and revenge, the patroness of gladiatorial contests. She was a punishing deity who sought to balance life for the gods and mortals. The name “Nemesis” comes from the Greek word “némein,” which is means “to give what is due.” The Theater of Mytilini could hold about 10,000 spectators eager to discover the decision of the goddess in the games.
The excavations will continue, with the contribution of Italy’s University of Bari and its school of civil engineering leading the way.