A good copy of Diocletian's well-known Edict on Prices and Wages exists at Stratonikeia. This impressive site barely rates a mention in the guide books, which means it is little visited and so easy to walk round. The Turkish village of Eskihisar occupies part of the site, but after an earthquake in 1957, most of the inhabitants moved out and there is now just a small café and gift shop and some interesting old houses.

According to Strabo, Stratonikeia was founded by the Seleucid king Antiochus I Soter (281-261 BC), who named it after his wife Stratonice. Historians consider this date as too early, and it may have been founded by Antiochus II Theos, or Antiochus III the Great.

The city was founded on the site of an old Carian town, Idrias, anciently called Chrysaoris, said to be the first town founded by the Lycians. Later it passed under the control of the Achaemenid Empire.

Under the succeeding Seleucid kings, according to Strabo, Stratonikeia was adorned with many splendid and costly buildings, but in the 3rd century BC was ceded to the Rhodians.

In 167 BC Stratonikeia and the whole of Caria was declared free by the Roman Republic. From this point starts the city's independent coinage, which was to last until the times of the emperor Gallienus (253-268).

Around 88 BC, Mithridates VI of Pontus (120-63 BC), resided for some time at Stratonikeia.

Diocletian's Edict on Prices and Wages, issued in early 301, was his attempt to control the inflation of the period. His Edict attempted to define maximum prices and maximum wages. Transgressors were threatened with exile or death. Copies were sent to cities all over the Empire where they were translated into the local language and inscribed on walls or panels. (There is a very legible fragment from Halicarnassus in St Peter's Castle at nearby Bodrum.) Here at Stratonikeia the Edict is carved directly into the walls of the Odeion (dating from 200 A.D. and formerly identified as the Serapeum) and is in Greek. An Odeion (or Odeon) is normally a small intimate theatre, and this is on the rear of the back wall. The inscription is in Greek, badly translated from Latin. The Edict doesn't cover all the wall, and is incomplete, although a fair amount of the Edict is present. There are many other inscriptions on the wall (and also the other side of the wall), such as the one asking Sarapis for advice on whether the Goths would attack.

The rear wall of the Odeion where the Edict of Dioclectian is written.

Close up of part of the Edict.

A different, neater, inscription.

The other side of the wall - the inside of the Odeion.

The recently excavated Agora (market) with the city's north gate at the end.

Closer view of the North gate.

The Theatre. The wavy row of seats is typical of earthquake damage.

The impressively huge gymnasium. The Turkish village is in the background.

Part of Diocletian's Edict on Prices and Wages at St. Peter's Castle,Bodrum,orginally from Halicarnassus.