previous next


PAMPHY´LIA (Παμφυλία), a country on the south coast of Asia Minor, bordering in the west on Lycia, in the north on Pisidia, and in the east on Cilicia. The country, consisting of only a narrow strip of coast, forms an arch round the bay, which is called after it the Pamphylius Sinus or the Pamphylium Mare. According to Pliny (5.26) the country was originally called Mopsopsia, from Mopsus, a leader of one of those bands of Greeks who after the Trojan War are said to have settled in Pamphylia, Cilicia, and Syria. (Strab. xiv. p.668; comp. Scylax, p. 39; Ptol. 5.5; Dionys. Per. 850, &c.; Pomp. Mela, 1.14; Stadiasm. Mar. Mag. § 194, &c.; Hierecl. p. 679, &c.) Pamphylia, according to Strabo, extended from Olbia to Ptolemais, a line measuring 640 stadia, or about 18 geographical miles: the breadth of the country, from the coast towards the interior, was nowhere above a few miles. In later times, however, the Romans applied the name Pamphylia in such a manner as to embrace Pisidia on both sides of Mount Taurus, which does not appear as a distinct province of the empire until the new division under Constantine was made. This accounts for the fact of Polybius (22.27) doubting whether Pamphylia (in the Roman sense) was one of the countries beyond or this side of Mount Taurus; for Pisidia, in its narrower sense, is unquestionably a country beyond Mount Taurus. (Comp. Strab. xii. p.570, xiv. p. 632, xv. p 685.) In this latter sense Pamphylia was separated from Lycia by Mount Climax, and from Cilicia by the river Melas, and accordingly embraced the districts called in modern times Tekke and the coast district of Itshil. But these limits were not always strictly observed; for Olbia and Perge are described by some writers as belonging to Lycia (Scylax, p. 39); while Ptolemais, beyond the Melas, which is generally regarded as belonging to Pamphylia, is assigned by some to Cilicia. The country of Pamphylia is, on the whole, very mountainous; for the ramifications of Mount Taurus rise in some parts on the coast itself, and in others at a distance of only a few miles from it. There is only one great promontory on the coast, viz. Leucotheum, or Leucolla. The principal rivers, all of which discharge their waters into the Pamphylian bay, are the CATARRHACTES, CESTRUS, EURYMEDON, and MELAS all of which are navigable. The coast district between the Cestrus and Eurymedon contains the lake Capria, which is of considerable extent.

The inhabitants of Pamphylia, Pamphyli, that is, a mixture of various races, consisted of aborigines mixed with Cilicians who had immigrated: to these were added bands of Greeks after the Trojan War, and later Greek colonies. (Strab. l.c.; Eustath. ad Dion. Per. 854; Hdt. 7.91, 8.68; Paus. 7.3.3; Appian, App. BC 2.71, 4.60; Liv. 44.14.) The Pamphylians (Pamphyli, Pamphylii, Eth. Πάμφυλος, Παμφύλιοι), accordingly, were in those parts what the Alemanni were in Germany, though the current traditions related that they were all descended from Pamphyle, a daughter of Rhacius and Manto (Steph. B. sub voce Παμφυλία). or from one Pamphylus (Eustath. ad Dion. Per. l.c.). Others again, though without good reason, derive the name from πᾶς and φύλλον, because the country was rich in wood. The Pamphylians never acquired any great power or political importance; they shared the fate of all the nations of Asia Minor, and in the war of Xerxes against the Greeks their naval contingent consisted of only 30 ships, while the Lycians furnished 50, and the Cilicians 100. (Hdt. 7.92.) After the Persian empire was broken to pieces by Alexander, the Pamphylians first became subject to Macedonia, and then to Syria. After the defeat of Antiochus the Great, they were annexed by the Romans to the kingdom of Pergamus (Plb. 22.27), and remained connected with it, until it was made over to the Romans. The Greek colonies, however, such as Aspendus and Side, remained independent republics even under the Persian dominion (Arrian, Arr. Anab. 1.25, foll.); but we have no information at all about their political constitutions. In their manners and social habits, the Pamphylians strongly resembled the Cilicians (Strab. xii. p.570, xiv. p. 670), and took part with them in their piratical proceedings; their maritime towns were in fact the great marts where the spoils of the Cilician pirates were disposed of. (Strab. xiv. p.664.) Navigation seems to have been their principal occupation, as is evident from the coins of several of their towns. Their language was probably a mixture of Greek and some barbarous dialects, which could scarcely be recognised as a dialect of the Greek. (Arrian, Anab. i. 26.) But their coins bear evidence of an intimate acquaintance with the gymnastic and agonistic arts, and with the gods of the Hellenes, among whom Zeus, Artemis, and Dionysus are often represented. The more important towns of Pamphylia were Lyrnas or Lyrnessus, Tenedus, Olbia, Corycus, Aspendus, Perge, Syllium, Side, Cibyra, Ptolemais, &c. (Comp. Sestini, Descript. Num. Vet. p. 388, foll.; Eckhel, Doctr. Num. 1.3, pp. 6, 14, &c.)


hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: