Sea of Marmara
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Side was founded by Greek settlers from Cyme in Aeolis, a region of western Anatolia. This most likely occurred in the seventh century BC. Possessing a good harbor for small-craft boats, Side's natural geography made it one of the most important places in Pamphylia and one of the most important trade centers in the region. Another object found in the excavations at Side, a basalt column base from the seventh century BC. and attributable to the Neo-Hittites, provides further evidence of the site's early history. Alexander the Great occupied Side without a struggle in 333 BC. Alexander left only a single garrison behind to occupy the city. This occupation, in turn, introduced the people of Side to Hellenistic culture, which flourished from the fourth to the first century BC. After Alexander's death, Side fell under the control of one of Alexander's generals, Ptolemy I Soter, who declared himself king of Egypt in 305 BC. The Ptolemaic dynasty controlled Side until it was captured by the Seleucid Empire in the second century BC. Yet, despite these occupations, Side managed to preserve some autonomy, grew prosperous, and became an important cultural center. In 190 BC a fleet from the Greek island city-state of Rhodes, supported by Rome and Pergamum, defeated the Seleucid King Antiochus the Great's fleet, which was under the command of the fugitive Carthaginian general Hannibal. The defeat of Hannibal and Antiochus the Great meant that Side freed itself from the overlordship of the Seleucid Empire. The Treaty of Apamea (188 BC) forced Antiochus to abandon all European territories and to cede all of Asia Minor north of the Taurus Mountains to Pergamum. However, the dominion of Pergamum only reached de facto as far as Perga, leaving Eastern Pamphylia in a state of uncertain freedom. In the first century BC, Side reached a peak when the Cilician pirates established their chief naval base and a center for their slave-trade. The Roman consul Servilius Vatia defeated these brigands in 78 BC and later the Roman general Pompey in 67 BC, bringing Side under the control of Rome and beginning its second period of ascendancy, when it established and maintained a good working relationship with the Roman Empire. Emperor Augustus reformed the state administration and placed Pamphylia and Side in the Roman province of Galatia in 25 BC, after the short reign of Amyntas of Galatia between 36 and 25 BC. Side began another prosperous period as a commercial center in Asia Minor through its trade in olive oil. Its population grew to 60,000 inhabitants. This period would last well into the third century. Side also established itself as a slave-trading center in the Mediterranean. Its large commercial fleet engaged in acts of piracy, while wealthy merchants paid for such tributes as public works, monuments, and competitions as well as the games and gladiator fights. Most of the extant ruins at Side date from this period of prosperity. Side began a steady decline from the fourth century on. Even defensive walls could not stop successive invasions of highlanders from the Taurus Mountains. During the fifth and sixth centuries, Side experienced a revival, and became the seat of the Bishopric of Eastern Pamphylia. Arab fleets, nevertheless, raided and burned Side during the seventh century, contributing to its decline. The combination of earthquakes, Christian zealots and Arab raids, left the site abandoned by the 10th century, its citizens having emigrated to nearby Antalya. In the twelfth century, Side temporarily established itself once more as a large city. An inscription found on the site of the former ancient city shows a considerable Jewish population in early Byzantine times. However, Side was abandoned again after being sacked. Its population moved to Antalya, and Side became known as Eski Adalia ("Old Antalya") and was buried.
Identifier: 126, Last Accessed: 2017-07-26 12:56:22
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Last Modified: Fri Jul 29 2016 09:10:20.