Places near Vergina
Neither it was, nor it is fair to the most excellent man to create anything else but beaty. Plato, Timaeus, 30a
The palace, the theater and the neighboring sanctuaries are components of Philip II (359-336 BC) great building program aimed to reforming and upgrading Aigai, the royal metropolis of Macedon, thus providing the ideological matrix for the cities of Hellenistic Ecumene. With the monumental temple-like propylon, the impressive two storey porticoes, the great peristyle around which are organized the banquenting halls, the sanctuary of Herakles Patroos (Herakles the ancestral God), the library/archive and the smaller western peristyle for auxiliary uses (baths etc.), the royal edifice of Aigai wass not housing the kings family and private life, but the necessary structures for exercising the royal multilevel public authority.
The palace of Aigai, the biggest building of classical Greece, a clear-shaped and functional but also monumental and imposing edifice, is characterized by the luxury of materials, the ingenuity and the perfection of execution, the unexpected achievements of technology detected at all levels. The geometric clerity of its form combined with the joy of detail makes up a whole which has an unsurpassed calmness and harmony. Everything here is subjected to the "charm of the measure" and linked to each other by the pythagorean logos φ, the "golden ratio".
With 16 Doric Coloumns on each side, the archetypal great peristyle of Aigai, covering an area of 4000 sqm, accomodated at least 8000 people and could served as the place for the assembly of the Macedonians. Thus the "political agora" of a democratic city becomes a "court" and the greek word aule, "court", becomes synonymous with the concept of reign. Next to the theater, the place of intellectual katharsis of the citizens and focus point of the public space, the palace of Aigai surprizes us with its "democratic structure" which lacks of any exceptions and elevations that generally characterized royal architecture outside Macedon. In the banqueting halls (andrones), in the stoas, in the peristyle, the king of the Macedon stands always at the same level as his companions (hetairoi), next to and among them, first citizen, enlightened ruler and not tyrant.