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ALABANDA (Araphisar) Caria, Turkey.

About 11 km W of the present town of Çine. It was one of the three inland cities of Caria which Strabo considered noteworthy. According to Stephanos of Byzantium it was named by King Kar after his son Alabandos in consequence of a cavalry victory, for in Carian ala = horse and banda = victory. A god Alabandos is mentioned by Cicero (ND 3.50). Herodotos describes Alabanda in one case as in Caria, in the other as in Phrygia, but there is no doubt that the same city is meant. Stephanos' second city of Alabanda in Caria can never have existed.

Late in the 3d c. Alabanda was colonized by the Seleucids and took the name of “Antiocheia of the Chrysaorians” in honor of Antiochos III. Under this name it was recognized by the Amphictyonic Council as inviolable and sacred to Zeus Chrysaoreus and Apollo Isotimos. Despite this privilege the city and its territory was sacked soon afterwards by Philip V of Macedon in the course of his Caria:i expedition (201-197). Rhodian domination after Magnesia in 190 was hardly more than nominal, and about 170 the Alabandians obtained an alliance with Rome. They had already at that time built a Temple of Urbs Roma. After 129 B.C. Alabanda suffered like the rest in the province of Asia from the provincial maladministration, and by 51 B.C. was in debt to the Roman banker Cluvius. In 40 B.C. the city with its sanctuaries was harshly treated by Labienus for its resistance to him. Under the Empire Alabanda had the status of a conventus.

The site at Araphisar is said by Strabo (660) to lie under two adjoining hills in such a way as to resemble a pack-ass loaded with its panniers. The city wall runs over these hills and included also a large area of the plain. On the hills the wall is well preserved in places, but on the level ground it has virtually disappeared. The masonry is a slightly bossed ashlar with rubble filling. There are numerous towers, and half a dozen gates may be recognized by gaps in the wall.

Excavations in 1905 brought to light the foundations of two temples. The first of these is the Temple of Apollo Isotimos. It was Ionic, with a peristyle (8 x 13 columns), orientated NE-SW; the frieze showed a battle of Greeks and Amazons. At present hardly anything remains visible. The epithet Isotimos, peculiar to Apollo at Alabanda, is thought to mean “equal in honor (to Zeus Chrysaoreus).” In Imperial times the temple was rededicated to Apollo Isotimos and the Divine Emperors.

The second temple stood on the slope of the hill a little above the plain. It was Doric, with a peristyle (6 x 11 columns), and comprised a pronaos and a cella; the entrance was on the W. It is commonly called Temple of Artemis from a figurine of Artemis-Hekate found on the spot, but this evidence is obviously slender. The date is probably about 200 B.C. This building too has suffered much since the excavation.

Of the theater only the ends of the retaining wall of the cavea are standing, in elegant bossed ashlar, with an arched entrance on either side; the seats and stage building are gone. The cavea is large and comprises rather more than a semicircle. This building has not been excavated.

Outside the city wall on the N stands a single arch of an aqueduct, of the usual Roman type, but the upper part, including the water channel, is not preserved. The most conspicuous building on the plain is a rectangular structure in brown stone standing over 9 m in height; it is probably a council house. The S front contained four doors and a row of windows; in the interior a staircase on either side led up to the curved rows of seats. In the exterior of all four sides, especially on the S front, a horizontal row of square holes has been cut at some later date; their purpose is not clear. Close by are the ruins of another large building which has not been excavated; it is thought to have been a bath building. Between this and the council house is a broad open space, probably the agora. The excavators unearthed a colonnaded stoa surrounding it, with an entrance at the NW corner, but of this nothing is now visible. The street leading to the city on the E was lined by an extensive necropolis. The tombs are of sarcophagus type, with inscriptions frequently recording the trade or profession of the deceased.


Ethem Bey, “Fouilles d'Alabanda en Cane,” CRAI (1905) 443f; (1906) 407f; L. Robert, Études Anatoliennes (1937) 434-36; G. E. Bean, Anadolu Araştirmalari (1955) I 52-53; id., Turkey beyond the Maeander (1971) ch. 15MI.


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