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MYRA

MYRA (τὰ Μύρα or Μύρων: Eth. Μυρεύς), one of the most important towns of Lycia, situated on the river Andracus, partly on a hill and partly on the slope of it, at a distance of 20 stadia from the sea. (Strab. xiv. p.666; Steph. B. sub voce Plin. Nat. 32.8; Ptol. 5.6.3, 8.17.23.) The small town of Andriaca formed its port. It is remarkable in history as the place where the apostle Paul landed (Acts, 25.5); and in later times the importance of the place was recognised in the fact that the emperor Theodosius II. raised it to the rank of the capital of all Lycia (Hierocl. p. 684.) The town still exists, and bears its ancient name Myra, though the Turks call it Dembre, and is remarkable for its fine remains of antiquity. Leake (Asia Minor, p. 183) mentions the ruins of a theatre 355 feet in diameter, [p. 2.388]several public buildings, and numerous inscribed sepulchres, some of which have inscriptions in the Lycian characters. But the place and its splendid ruins have since been minutely described by Sir C. Fellows (Discov. in Lycia, p. 196, &c.), and in Texier's work (Description de l'Asie Mineure), where the ruins are figured in 22 plates. The theatre at Myra, says Sir Charles, is among the largest and the best built in Asia Minor: much of its fine corridor and corniced proscenium remains. The number of tombs cut in the rock is not large, but they are generally very spacious, and consist of several chambers communicating with one another. Their external ornaments are enriched by sculptured statues in the rocks around; but they are mostly without inscriptions (see the plate of one in Sir C. Fellows' Discov. facing p. 198, and numerous others in a plate facing p. 200). On the whole, the ruins of Myra are among the most beautiful in Lycia. (Comp. Spratt and Forbes, Travels in Lycia, vol. i. p. 131, &c.)

[L.S]

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