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Photographer's Note

I took this picture during the play called "Güldestan" "Rosegarden" performed by İzmir State Opera & Ballet Group last July at Aspendos in the Meditarranean city of Antalya - Türkiye.

** Title changed after I was reminded by Dear Anıl Tamer Yılmaz (Thrax) that the word Amphitheatre was incorrectly used ** Thanks

Aspendos, located beside the river Eurymedon (Köprüçay), is renowned throughout the world for its magnificent ancient amphitheatre.

According to Greek legend, the city was founded by Argive colonists who, under the leadership of the hero Mopsos, came to Pamphylia after the Trojan War. Aspendos was one of the first cities in the region to strike coinage under its own name. On these silver staters dated to the fifth and fourth century B.C., however, the name of the city is written es Estwediiys in the local script. A late eighth century B.C. bilingual inscription carved in both Hittite hieroglyphs and the Phoenician alphabet discovered in the 1947 excavation of Karatepe near Adana, states that Asitawada, the king of Danunum (Adana), founded a city called Azitawadda, a derivation of his own name, and that he was a member of the Muksas, or Mopsus, dynasty. The striking similarity between the names "Estwediiys" and "azitawaddi" suggests the possibility that Aspendos was the city this king founded.

Greek ASPENDOS, modern BELKIS, ancient city of Pamphylia, now in southwestern Turkey. It is noted for its Roman ruins. A wide range of coinage from the 5th century BC onward attests to the city's wealth. Aspendus was occupied by Alexander the Great in 333 BC and later passed from Pergamene to Roman rule in 133 BC. According to Cicero, it was plundered of many of its artistic treasures by the provincial governor Verres. The hilltop ruins of the city include a basilica, an agora, and some rock-cut tombs of Phrygian design. A huge theatre, one of the finest in the world, is carved out of the northeast flank of the hill. It was designed by the Roman architect Zeno in honour of the emperor Marcus Aurelius (reigned AD 161-180)

The present-day Belkiz was once situated on the banks of the River Eurymedon, now known as the Kopru Cay. In ancient times it was navigable; in fact, according to Strabo, the Persians anchored their ships there in 468 B.C., before the epic battle against the Delian Confederation.

It is commonly believed that Aspendos was founded by colonists from Argos. One thing is certain: right from the beginning of the 5th century, Aspendos and Side were the only two towns to mint coins. An important river trading port, it was occupied by Alexander the Great in 333 B.C. because it refused to pay tribute to the Macedonian king. It became an ally of Rome after the Battle of Sipylum in 190 B.C. and entered the Roman Empire.

Please follow this link for the full story of this magnificent place.

h_sedghi, MartaW, cengiz, Thrax, sufi, turkamerikali, koray has marked this note useful

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Additional Photos by Alaettin KI (DownUnder) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 213 W: 51 N: 245] (1177)
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