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SATALA (Sadak, Kelkit, Gümüşane) Armenia Minor, Turkey.

The site came into prominence when the Legio XV Apollinaris was placed there, probably by Trajan, to control the N sector of the E limes between the Euphrates and Trabzon (Trapezos). The legion was still there in the 4th c. A.D. (Not. Dig. or. 38.13). The city growing out of the civil settlement connected with the legionary camp is thought to have been founded in the 2d or 3d c. A.D. but the first evidence of it is provided by Basil in A.D. 372 (Ep. 102). From Theodosius (Nov. v.3, A.D. 441) it can be inferred that the territory was very extensive, reaching to the Euphrates and the border with Greater Armenia. In A.D. 530 the Persians were defeated before the walls of Satala (Procop. Bell. Pers. 1.15) and it was subsequently refortified by Justinian.

“It lies in a low lying plain and is dominated by many hills which tower around it” (Procop., De aed. 3.4). The massive roughly rectangular walls partly survive and surround the village of Sadak on the sloping floor of the Sadak çay valley, tributary of the Kelkit (Lycus) river. Within the walls only insignificant ruins stand out. The interior level stands high above the plain, squared stones abound and occasional inscriptions can be seen. To the S stand the meager remains of an aqueduct. On the hill to the W are traces of perhaps an earlier auxiliary fort.


F. & E. Cumont, Studia Pontica II (1906).


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