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ZEPHYRION (Mersin) Ciicia Campestris, Turkey.

About 48 km W of Adana towards the end of the alluvial plain where the mountains of the Taurus range begin closely to approach the Mediterranean. The city's history is elusive, though archaeology suggests a very ancient settlement including, in its pre-Islamic phase, an unbroken pottery sequence from Mycenaean to archaic Greek times. Literary evidence is scanty, though Zephyrion seems to have changed hands frequently in the Hellenistic period, from Seleucid to Ptolemaic, and then back to Seleucid control. A short period of semi-autonomy ended with Pompey's Cilician settlement, and like Mopsuestia and Alexandria ad Issum the city chose 67 B.C. as the opening of a new era. It was apparently a relatively small and unimportant city, but was nevertheless a bishopric under the Metropolitan of Tarsus in the Christian period. Its modern successor is capital of the Mersin vilayet, and except at Soğuksu Tepe, N of the town, no excavation has been undertaken. Some ancient building material found in reuse was probably taken from the ruins of Soli-Pompeiopolis some 11 km to the W. Until recently these were housed in Mersin, but are now in the Museum of Adana.


Skylax, Periplus 102; Livy 33.20.

B. V. Head, Hist. Num. (2d ed. 1911) 724; J. Garstang, Prehistoric Mersin (1953) 253-59.


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