Termessos Ancient City
You will learn everything you wonder about the ancient city of Termessos in our article. Where is the ancient city of Termessos? How to get to Termessos Ancient City? Information about the ancient city of Termessos. The ancient city of Termessos.
It is located on the Korkuteli road, 30 kilometers northwest of Antalya. Due to its natural and historical riches, it is included in the National Park, which is named after the city.
The double “s” in Termessos provides linguistic evidence that the city was founded by Anatolian people. According to Strabon, Termessos residents, the people of Pisidia, called themselves Slymi. This name, which is also given to the mountain they live in, comes from Solymes, one of the Anatolian gods, which was identified with Zeus in the following years and caused the cult of the Zeus Solymes to rise here. Termessos coins usually have this god and are named after the coins.
This city is known for the first time in history by the siege of Alexander the Great. Arrianos, one of the ancient historians who first took care of this event and noted the strategic importance of Termessos, stated that the city could be defended even with a small unit due to the inconvenient natural obstacles surrounding the city. Alexander wanted to go to Phrygia from Pamphylia and according to Arrianos, the road to Phrygia was passing through Termessos. Indeed, it is still a matter of debate why Alexander chose to climb the so steep Yenice passage while there were lower and easier passages. It is also said that his enemies in Perge had sent Alexander the wrong way. Alexander spent a lot of effort and time crossing the passage closed by the Termessians and came back with this anger and surrounded the Termessos. Probably because he knew that he could not capture Termessos, Alexander did not attack, but instead he walked north and took his anger out of Sagalassos.
The historian Diodors recorded another unforgettable event in the history of Termessos in all its details. A.D. After Alexander’s death in 319, one of his generals, Antigonos Monophtalmos, declared himself the ruler of Asia Minor and was prepared to fight his rival Alcetas, whose main supporter is Pisidia. The forces of Antigonos Monophtalmos consisted of 40,000 infantry, 7,000 cavalry and also countless elephants. Alcetas and his friends, who could not overcome these superior forces, took refuge in Termessos. Termessians promised to help them. During this time, Antigonos came to the city and camped here, trying to return his enemy to him. For the sake of a foreign Macedonian, Termessos elders, who did not want their cities to be disastered, decided to return Alcetas, but the young Termessians wanted to keep their promises and refused to go out of it. The elderly sent a delegation to Antigonos to inform them about their intention to quit Alcetas. Alcetas, who learned that he would be imprisoned soon, preferred to die rather than being given to the enemy and killed himself. The elderly sent the body of Alcetas to Antigonos. Antigonos, who did all kinds of torment for the body for three days, then left Pisidia without leaving the body buried. The young people, who were angry with what happened, took back the body of Alcetas, buried in respect and erected a beautiful monument in his memory.
Termessos was not explicitly a port city, but its territory would extend along the Gulf of Attaleia (Antalya) in the southwest. Due to this connection of the city to the sea, the city was taken by the Ptolemy. It is very surprising that a city that resisted even during the strong times of Alexander 40 years ago accepted Egyptian rule.
An inscription found in the city of Araxa in Lycia gives important information about Termessos. According to this article, BC. In the 200s, Termessos was at war with the Union of Lycian cities for unknown reasons and BC. In 199, Termessos found himself again in a war with his neighbor Isinda, Pisidian. During this period BC We see that the Küçük Termessos colony was established next to the city in the 2nd century. Termessos had friendly relations with Pergamon King Attalos II, in order to better fight his former enemy Serge. II. Attalos also built a 2-storey stoa in Termessos in memory of this friendship.
Termessos was an ally of Rome, and thus independence was accepted by the Roman Senate in 71 BC; According to this law, the freedom and rights of Termessos are guaranteed. This independence continued for a long time, except for an alliance with the King of Galatia Amyntas (reigning 36-25 BC). The independence of Termessos is also documented with its coin named “Autonomous”.
Anyone who passes this road can see the old road called the “King Street” of the Termessos, as well as the famous Yenice Pass, with Hellenistic fortification walls, cisterns and many other ruins. With the contributions of the Termessos people, II. King Avenue, built in the 19th century, passes by the walls of the towering city and stretches to the center of the city in the form of a straight road. There are quite interesting inscriptions on the walls to the east of the city gate, containing divination with dice. Such magic, magic and superstition were common throughout the history of the Roman Empire. Most likely, the Termessians were very curious to predict the future. Such inscriptions are usually four to five lines long and contain numbers determined by dice, the name of the god is asked for the prophecy, and the content of the prophecy is given in the advice of that god.
The city of Termessos, where the official buildings are located, is located on the flat terrain just outside the inner walls. The most remarkable of these structures is the agora, which has very special architectural features. The ground of this building, which is an open-air market place, has risen on stone blocks and five large cisterns are carved in the northwest. The agora was surrounded on three sides by stoas. According to an inscription found in the two-story stoa, the stoa, King of Pergamon (reigned between 150-138 BC) II. It was given to Termessos by Attalos as proof of their friendship. The northeastern stoa was probably built by a wealthy Termessian named Osbaras by imitating the stolos of Attalos. The ruins in the northeast of the agora are thought to belong to the gymnasium, but it is difficult to understand this among the dense trees. The two-storey stoa consists of a courtyard surrounded by vaulted rooms. The exterior of the stoa is decorated with niches and other ornaments in the Doric order. This structure is M.S.I. marks the century.
There is a theater just east of the agora. The theater, which overlooks the landscape on the Pamphylia Plain, is undoubtedly the most eye-catching structure of the Termessos plain. This theater, which preserves the Hellenistic theater plan, displays the most prominent features of the Roman theater. Diazoma has eight rows above and sixteen below. The theater has a capacity of approximately 4000 – 5000 spectators. The wide arched entryway connects the cavea and the agora. Although the arch was made to the south parados later, the north paradosos were left uncovered as in the original.
Stage building M.S. It shows the characteristics of the second century. Behind this is only a long, narrow room. This is connected to the podium where the game is staged with five doors that cut the magnificently decorated facade. There are five small rooms under the stage where wild animals are kept before being fought. Like all other classical cities, there is an odeon about 100 meters from the theater. This building, which resembles a small theater, was built in BC. It can reach up to the century. The odeon, which has been well preserved up to the roof level, exhibits the best example of chipped stone masonry. While the lower floor was simple and separated by two doors, the upper floor was made of stone blocks decorated in Doric style and cut in a square shape. It is certain that the building had a roof in the original because it receives light through 11 large windows on the east and west walls. It is still uncertain how this 25-meter-long roof rests on the building. Today, it is not possible to evaluate the seating arrangement or seating capacity in the ruin, which is full of soil and rubble. Among the rubble, colored marble pieces were removed, suggesting that the interior walls could be decorated with mosaics.
Four of them were found in the area estimated to be sacred next to the odeon. The first of these temples lies directly behind the odeon and displays a truly magnificent masonry workmanship. It is claimed that this temple belongs to Zeus Solymeus, the real god of the city. Unfortunately, little remains left of the inner walls of the 5-meter-high temple.
The dimensions of the walls of the cella of this temple are 5.50 x 5.50 meters and are in the style of prostylos. According to an inscription on the entrance, which is still standing and completed, this temple was dedicated to Artemis and both the ruin and the cult statue inside it were built by a woman named Aurelia Armasta and her husband, using her own income. The statue of this woman’s uncle stands on a written floor on the other side of the entrance. Looking at its style, it can be said that the history of the temple dates back to the end of the 2nd century AD.
To the east of the Artemis temple are the remains of the Doric style temple. The temple, consisting of six or 11 columns on one side, is of peripteral type; If evaluated according to its dimensions, this temple should be the biggest temple of Termessos. It is understood from the reliefs and inscriptions that this temple was dedicated to Artemis.
Further on, on the terrace made of cut stones in the east, there are the remains of another small temple. The temple rises on a high podium, but to which god it is dedicated is not known today. Nevertheless, the entrance of this temple is to the right against the general rules of classical temple architecture, which indicates that the temple may belong to a demigod or hero. The history of this temple is M.S.III. It can go back to the beginning of the century.
The other two temples are located next to the Attalos Stoa in Corinthian order and are in the style of prostylos. These temples, which are still dedicated to the gods and goddesses, which are still unknown today, were found in A.D. or III. point to the 21st century. Among all the official and cult buildings in this large central area, one of the most interesting is in the form of a typical Roman house. An inscription can be seen on the Doric door opening on the west wall, which has reached a height of six meters. On this inscription, the owner of the house is praised as the founder of the city. Undoubtedly, this house was not the one who founded Termessos. Perhaps this was a reward to the landlord who provided exceptional services to the city. Such houses usually belonged to noble people and the rich. The main entrance opens to a hall leading to a second door, and this second door opens to the central courtyard or atrium. There is an impluvium or pool in the middle of the courtyard to hold rainwater. Atrium used to take an important place in such daily activities of the house and was also used as a guest reception room. Therefore, he was often decorated in a flashy way. Other rooms of the house are regularly arranged around the atrium. A street with large, shops-lined porticoes stretched across the city in the north-south direction. The spaces between the pillars are often filled with sculptures of successful athletes, many of whom belong to wrestlers. The written bases of these sculptures are still in place, and we can revive the old grandeur of this street by reading these writings.
There are large tombs in the south, west and north of the city, most of which are inside the city walls, with rock-cut tombstones, and one of them is thought to belong to Alcetas. Unfortunately, the tomb was looted by treasure hunters. A kind of cage was carved between the columns behind the kline inside the grave, and above that there was probably an ornamented frieze. The remaining part of the grave BC IV. Embellished by depictions of a horse-riding warrior who can be dated to the 16th century.
It is known how young the Termessians were affected by the tragic death of General Alcetas and made a magnificent grave for him, and historian Diodoros notes that Alcetas fought Antigonos on a horse. These overlapping events indicate that the grave actually belongs to Alcetas and that is the one depicted in the relief.
Hiding in the southwest of the city for centuries, the sarcophagus takes the person deep into the historical ceremony. The dead were put in these sarcophagi with their clothes, jewels and other accessories. The bodies of the poor were burned in plain stones, clay or wooden sarcophagi. History M.S.II. These sarcophagi dating back to the 16th century stand on high bases. On the other hand, in the rich family tombs, sarcophagi were placed inside the gaudy decorated structure prepared for the deceased, along with their lineage or those who were allowed to be buried next to it. Thus, the right to use was officially guaranteed. There may also be inscriptions calling out the anger of the gods to prevent the opening of their sarcophagi and scare the grave robbers. These inscriptions also indicate fines imposed on those who do not follow the rules. These fines ranging from 300 to 100,000 denar were usually paid to the city treasury on behalf of Zeus Solymeus and replaced legal provisions.