Side (Pamphylia) 52 Side - Σίδη

Σίδη - Side, Classical to Roman polis, Side in Pamphylia (SW Turkey)
Hits: 52
Works: 26
Latitude: 36.768000
Longitude: 31.391000
Confidence: High

Greek name: Σίδη
Place ID: 368314PSid
Time period: CHR
Region: Pamphylia
Country: Turkey
Mod: Side

- Travelogues
- Pleiades

Search for inscriptions mentioning Side (Σιδη...) in the PHI Epigraphy database.

Modern Description: City in Pamphylia 6 km SW of Manavgat, the chief port on the coast until supplanted by Attaleia. According to Strabo (667) and Arrian (1.26) Side was colonized from Aiolian Kyme, presumably in the 7th or 6th c. B.C., and Arrian adds that on landing the colonists forgot their Greek and began to speak a barbarous tongue peculiar to themselves. This is evidently the language, unknown elsewhere, which appears on coins and in three inscriptions found locally, but is not yet satisfactorily deciphered. It is no doubt the original language of Pamphylia, which survived at Side when the other cities were speaking a form of Greek introduced by the colonists under Mopsos and others after the Trojan War. Of an earlier Side nothing is known except that Eusebios places its foundation in 1405 B.C.
Side submitted peaceably to Alexander in 333 B.C. and accepted a garrison from him (Arr. l.c.). Relations with neighboring Aspendos were not good, and in 219 B.C., when the Aspendians contributed 4000 men to Garsyeris' force, the Sidetans refused to make any contribution (Polyb. 5.73). In 190 B.C. an indecisive sea battle was fought off Side between the Rhodians and Antiochos III. The Cilician pirates, powerful during the 2d c., used Side as a base and as a market for their prisoners until their suppression by Pompey in 67 B.C. For the first three centuries of the Roman Empire Side continued prosperous, but it declined in the 4th c. largely because of the inroads of barbarians from Isauria, and the size of the city was reduced. In the 5th c. the original area was reoccupied, but with the Arab invasions of the 7th c. the final decline began.
The harbor, on which the city's prosperity mainly depended, was almost entirely artificial; half the basin is now sanded up, though the mole still stands, with an entrance passage less than 10 m wide. The harbor was notorious for both the difficulty of entering and the constant necessity of dredging; the expression 'a harbor of Side'; became proverbial for a task that needed to be done again and again.
The city wall is thought to date from the 2d c. B.C., though the part along the S shore is much later. The E side is the best preserved, but its S end is buried by the drifting sand that has covered the SE corner of the site. The outer face of the wall, in regular ashlar masonry, carries a decorative cornice molding and has towers at unequal intervals; the inner side is in three stories. The lowest of these serves merely to raise the upper parts from the ground; the middle story consists of a series of casemates, and the top story, only partly preserved, was simply a parapet with windows. Each story was set back from the one below, so as to provide two passages for the defenders.
There are two gates in this part of the wall. The main gate, towards the N end, has a plan similar to the main gates of Sillyon and Perge, for example, a horseshoe-shaped court flanked by towers. In Imperial times it was adorned with niches, statues, and pillars; many fragments of these have been found, but almost nothing of the building itself survives above ground. The present road passes through this gate.
The second gate is near the S end. It was buried under sand, but excavation has revealed a plan different from that of the N gate. A row of reliefs representing pieces of armor, almost certainly spoils taken from an enemy, was found on a terrace above the gate; these are now in the museum.
In Roman times an aqueduct 32 km long brought water to the city from the N; in some places the channel was cut in the rock, in others it was carried on high arches, some of which still stand. It entered the city a little N of the main gate. Just outside this gate is a large nymphaeum, evidently fed from the aqueduct; it has the familiar form of a water basin enclosed by a high back wall, with projecting wings on either side. The decoration was rich. Both aqueduct and nymphaeum probably date from the 2d c. A.D., and the nymphaeum was restored about the middle of the 3d c. How the city was supplied with water in earlier times is not clear; the natural sources on the site are scanty and of poor quality.
Inside the main gate the present road follows the line of an ancient colonnaded street towards the theater; a second similar street ran S from the gate, but this has not been cleared and soon disappears under the sand. Before reaching the theater the street passes on the right (N) a bath, now a museum, and on the left the entrance to the agora. The bath, probably of the 5th c. A.D., has the usual features--;frigidarium, tepidarium, caldarium, sudatorium--;with a small circular bathing pool adjoining; it was fed from the aqueduct, which ends close by.
Of the agora and its surrounding buildings only the foundations remain. It was some 100 m square and enclosed by a stoa backed by shops; it was entered from the street by a monumental gateway. In its W corner is a latrine, a semicircular vaulted passage, with a water channel below the seats. Near the center of the agora stood a round building of the 2d c. A.D., very probably a temple of Tyche. Only the core of the podium remains in place, with a flight of steps in front; above this was a circular chamber surrounded by 12 Corinthian columns. The ceiling was adorned with the signs of the zodiac, and above this was a roof in the form of a 12-sided pyramid. Surprisingly, no statue bases have been found in the agora.
When the size of the city was reduced in the 4th c. a wall was built across the narrow neck of the peninsula immediately W of the agora; the colonnaded street passes through it just N of the theater. At this point there stood in Roman times a high arched gateway which became the main city gate; the arch was blocked with masonry and a smaller gate inserted in it. The arch still stands, but the smaller gate has recently been removed.
Close to the gate is the monument of Vespasian, but this is not in its original position. It was erected elsewhere in the city in honor of Vespasian and Titus; the fragmentary inscription gives the date 74. After the building of the 4th c. wall it was put in its present place and converted into a fountain house; it has two water basins in front and a pipe in the central niche where the statue of Vespasian originally stood. Projecting wings enclose the basins on either side.
The theater, apart from the stage building, is remarkably well preserved, probably dating from the 2d c. A.D. and replacing an earlier Hellenistic theater. It is among the largest known. Its position takes advantage of the slight rise in the ground W of the agora, but this sufficed only for the lower half of the building; the upper part is freestanding. This upper part is surrounded by two concentric corridors, the outer one with vaulted roof supported on massive piers; the openings between these lead either to the inner corridor or to covered chambers of uncertain purpose. The inner corridor opens to the diazoma. The cavea contains 29 rows of seats below the diazoma, divided by 12 stairways into 11 cunei; above the diazoma there were probably another 29 rows, but a few are lost at the top; here the number of stairways is doubled. The upper seats were accessible not from the diazoma but by staircases in the outer walls. The stage building still stands at the back to a height of some 23 m, but its decorated facade is ruined. The bottom story comprises nine rooms, five of which open through to the agora behind; the proscenium projects about 6 m. The scaenae frons is in two stories, the lower carrying a long frieze with reliefs now unrecognizable, but apparently of mythological scenes. The richness of the decoration is evident from the architectural blocks now lying in the orchestra. In the later Roman age a wall 2 m high was erected around the orchestra for wild beast shows and similar exhibitions. In the 5th c., during the city's revived prosperity, the fabric of the outer corridor, which had apparently suffered from earthquakes, was extensively repaired. When the 4th c. wall was built the back of the stage building became in effect a part of it, and the openings to the agora were blocked.
Between the theater and the colonnaded street are the scanty remains of a small temple. Only a part of the podium is visible, but this indicates that the cella was pseudoperipteral. It has been thought that this may be a temple of Dionysos, but there is no actual evidence apart from its proximity to the theater. It is dated by the excavators to the 1st c. B.C.
To the SE of the theater, just outside the 4th c. wall, is a complex which has been identified as a gymnasium. The palaestra is an open court over 60 m square, surrounded by a stoa now destroyed; on its E side is a building comprising three rooms. That on the N has not been excavated; that on the S may have been a library; the principal room, richly decorated, was in the middle. Its front was open, separated from the palaestra by a row of six columns; on the other sides niches and projecting bases alternated; they were two stories high and held statues. The bases also supported columns and an entablature. Many of the statues have been recovered; they are mostly copies of Greek works representing deities and athletes, and are now in the museum, except for a statue of Nemesis which has been left in the SE corner.
The central niche, however, was occupied by a statue of a Roman emperor; this seems to have been Antoninus Pius, but the face has been altered to that of another emperor, possibly Gordian III. The building as a whole dates apparently from the 2d c. A.D. It is not certain, however, that it is in fact a gymnasium, though no other building has been found at Side which can be so identified. There is no visible provision for a supply of water, still less any bathing establishment, and the usual lecture rooms and rooms for the athletes are lacking. Possibly therefore we should recognize a second agora.
At the S end of the city the outstanding buildings were the two temples which stood side by side on a platform overlooking the sea and harbor. In form, though not in size, they are virtually identical, dating probably from the late 2d c. A.D. In each case the order is Corinthian, with 11 columns by 6, and each comprises a pronaos and cella but no opisthodomos. Hardly more than the foundations survives in place, but numerous architectural members have been recovered. Even without definite evidence there can be little doubt that these were the temples of Athena and Apollo, the principal deities of the city; and this is to some extent confirmed by a series of 3d c. inscriptions relating to a Landing Festival of Athena and Apollo, with which the position of the temples by the harbor would accord. At some time during the 5th or 6th c. a large basilica was erected just E of the two temples, which must have been in ruins by that time, since the forecourt of the basilica occupied the ground on which they stood. The N temple was then entirely removed, but the S one seems to have survived somewhat longer, as the building of the forecourt was not completed on that side. The basilica, still largely preserved, was of the usual form, with three aisles and apsis containing a synthronon; a smaller building attached to it on the S appears to have been a martyrium.
The main colonnaded street, running SW from the theater among the houses of the modern village, ended near the shore a little E of the basilica. Here stood a small temple. On a podium 2 m high, approached by a flight of steps, was a semicircular chamber facing W, with a platform in front which carried a row of six columns with entablature; little more than the podium now survives. The temple has been tentatively attributed, without much evidence, to Men.
The necropolis lay E of the city, extending from the N shore to the S, an area now cultivated, so that the tombs have suffered greatly. Several sarcophagi have been unearthed and installed in the museum, but many others--;built tombs, altars, and cippi--;have been removed or destroyed. The most impressive is a fine mausoleum still standing in large part some 400 m W of the city close to the shore. It is in temple form, on a high podium surrounded by a courtyard, with a much larger courtyard in front extending to the shore. The date is thought to be around A.D. 300, and the richness of the decoration is remarkable. (G. E. BEAN)
Wikidata ID: Q152405
Trismegistos Geo: 2133
Manto: 8195145

Info: Princeton Encyclopedia

(Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites, from Perseus Project)

Author, Title Text Type Date Full Category Language
Author, Title Text Type Date Full Category Language

Quick Contact 👋

Get in Touch with Us

Thank You for Contact Us! Our Team will contact you asap on your email Address.


Go to Text