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3rd Century Roman Tomb of Pamphylia

3rd Century Roman Tomb of Pamphylia
3rd Century Roman sarcophagus of Pamphylia at Archaeology Museum of Konya.

3rd Century Roman Tomb of Pamphylia
3rd Century Roman Tomb of Pamphylia, originally uploaded by voyageAnatolia.

In ancient geography, Pamphylia was the region in the south of Asia Minor, between Lycia and Cilicia, extending from the Mediterranean to Mount Taurus (modern day Antalya province, Side, Turkey). It was bounded on the north by Pisidia and was therefore a country of small extent, having a coast-line of only about 75 miles with a breadth of about 30 miles. Under the Roman administration the term Pamphylia was extended so as to include Pisidia and the whole tract up to the frontiers of Phrygia and Lycaonia, and in this wider sense it is employed by Ptolemy.

Portrait of an ancient Pamphylian

There can be little doubt that the Pamphylians and Pisidians were the same people, combined with the greater fertility of their territory, had become more civilized than their neighbours in the interior. But the distinction between the two seems to have been established at an early period. Herodotus, who does not mention the Pisidians, enumerates the Pamphylians among the nations of Asia Minor, while Ephorus mentions them both, correctly including the one among the nations on the coast, the other among those of the interior. The early Pamphylians, like the Lycians, had an alphabet of their own, partly Greek, partly "Asianic," which a few inscriptions on marble and coins preserve. The legend related by Herodotus and Strabo, which ascribed the origin of the Pamphylians to a colony led into their country by Amphilochus and Calchas after the Trojan War, is merely a characteristic myth. Probably the Pamphylians were of Asiatic origin and mixed ethnicity.

The region of Pamphylia first enters history in Hittite documents. In a treaty between the Hittite Great King Tudhaliya IV and his vassal, the king of Tarhuntassa, we read of the city "Parha" (Perge), and the "Kastaraya River" (Classical Kestros River, Turkish Aksu Çayı).

The first historical mention of "Pamphylians" is among the group of nations subdued by the Mermnad kings of Lydia; they afterwards passed in succession under the dominion of the Persian and Hellenistic monarchs. After the defeat of Antiochus III in 190 BC they were included among the provinces annexed by the Romans to the dominions of Eumenes of Pergamum; but somewhat later they joined with the Pisidians and Cilicians in piratical ravages, and Side became the chief centre and slave mart of these freebooters. Pamphylia was for a short time included in the dominions of Amyntas, king of Galatia, but after his death lapsed into a district of a Roman province. The Pamphilians became largely hellenized in Roman times, and have left magnificent memorials of their civilization at Perga, Aspendos and Side.

Famous Pamphylians

Diodorus of Aspendos Pythagorean philosopher (4th c.BC)
Apollonius of Perga astronomer, mathematician (ca. 262 BC–ca. 190 BC)
Artemidorus of Perga proxenos in Oropos (ca. 240-180 BC)
Aetos (son of Apollonius) from Aspendos ,Ptolemaic commander,founder of Arsinoe (Cilicia)(~238 BC)
Mnaseas (son of Artemon) from Side (sculptor) end 3rd BC
Orestas (son of Erymneus) from Aspendos proxenos in Dreros (Crete) (end 3rd-beg. 2nd BC)
Thymilus of Aspendos, stadion race Olympics 176 BC
Apollonios (son of Koiranos) proxenos in Lappa (Crete)(1st half 2nd BC)
Asclepiades (son of Myron) from Perga physician honoured by the demos of Seleucia (Pamphylia)
Menodora (daughter of Megacles) from Sillyon magistrate and benefactor (ca.2th c. AD)
Apollonius of Aspendos poet (2nd/early 3rd c. AD)
Saint Matrona of Perge (late 5th, early 6th c.AD)

Archaeological sites

Eurymedon Bridge, a Roman bridge which was reconstructed by the Seljuks and follows a zigzag course over the river. Information source:

3rd Century Roman Tomb of Pamphylia

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