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MYLASA (Milâs) Turkey.

One of the three inland Carian cities reckoned noteworthy by Strabo (658). The city was in existence in the 7th c. B.C. (Plut., Quaest. Graec. 45), and between 500 and 480 was ruled by the tyrants Oliatos and his brother Herakleides (Hdt. 5.37.121). In the Delian Confederacy Mylasa paid a tribute of one talent or rather less, and in the 4th c. was the seat of the Hekatomnid satraps, until Mausolos transferred his capital to Halikarnassos. In the 3d c. Mylasa was claimed first by the Ptolemies, then taken and declared free by Antiochos II. Friendly relations with Antigonos Doson and Philip V ended in 200 B.C., and Mylasa reverted to the Seleucid Antiochos III. When Caria was given to Rhodes after Magnesia in 189, Mylasa was exempted from payment of tribute. Rhodian control ended in 167 and Caria was left free. During the 2d c. Mylasa entered into sympolity with the smaller cities in the neighborhood as the dominant partner. In the 1st c. the city was led by two demagogues, Euthydemos and Hybreas; the latter offered resistance to Labienus in 40 B.C., and the city was sacked by the Parthians (Strab. 659-60). Prosperity was restored with the help of Augustus.

It has recently been suggested, with considerable probability, that the original seat of the Hekatomnid satraps was not at Milâs itself but on the hill of Peç;in some 5 km to the S, where there are remains of a temple which may be that of Zeus Karios mentioned by Herodotos (1.171) and Strabo (659).

Little remains at Milâs of the ancient city. The city wall has disappeared, though one of its gates survives intact. It is now called Baltali Kapi, and is a handsome arched gateway with broad-and-narrow masonry; the piers supporting the arch are decorated with a row of palmettes under a row of flutes. On the keystone of the arch on the outer side is a double axe in relief. This gate dates perhaps from the reconstruction of the city after the sack by Labienus, or it may be later. Subsequently an aqueduct was carried upon it.

In the middle of the town is one column and part of the foundation of a Corinthian temple. The column stands on a podium 3.5 m high, and has a panel for an inscription which seems never to have been written. The temenos is extensive; its E wall stands for 100 m and has 11 courses in regular ashlar. A fragmentary inscription indicates that the temple was dedicated to Zeus, probably Zeus Karios.

The temple of Zeus Osogos, which contained a spring of salt water, stood outside the city on the SW. Nothing remains of the temple itself, but a part of the temenos wall is standing, in massive polygonal style, up to 3 m high. Formerly a row of columns could be seen, belonging to a stoa of Roman date which ran around the temenos; in some cases they were inscribed to Zeus Osogos Zeus Zenoposeidon, but these too have now disappeared. A temple of Rome and Augustus, still standing in the 17th c., was described as of marble; it had six Ionic columns on the front with leaf moldings at top and bottom, and the dedication on the architrave.

The hollow of a theater is visible on a low hill NE of the city, outside the wall, but nothing of the building survives. On the same hill excavation has revealed remains of a shrine of Nemesis.

There are numerous tombs of Hellenistic and Roman date W of the city, one of which still stands complete at a spot called Gümüşkesen. It has two stories, with masonry and decoration similar to that of the Baltali Kapi and probably of similar date. The upper story carries an open colonnade, with partially fluted double half-columns and a square pilaster at each corner. The roof consists of five layers of blocks in pyramidal form, with each layer placed diagonally across the corners of the layer below; the underside is carved and was originally painted. The grave chamber is in the lower story, with four pillars supporting the floor of the upper one; in this floor is a small funnel-shaped hole, apparently for the pouring of libations.

On the Hidirlik hill W of the town is a separate fortification, compensating for the weak situation of the city on the plain (Strab. 659). The greater part of an oval enclosure, with a wall of rough and irregular ashlar 2.5 m thick, still stands up to 2.5 m high. No buildings are visible in the interior.

At Süleyman Kavaği, 3 km S of Milâs, is a handsome architectural rock tomb cut in the face of a hill looking E. The facade has two Doric half-columns between pilasters, with a false door surmounted by a pediment; below this, and separately entered, is the actual grave chamber, with stone benches on right and left, and a recess at the back. The suggestion has been made that this may be the tomb either of Hekatomnos, father of Mausolos, or of his father Hyssaldomos.


J. Spon & G. Wheler, Voyage d'Italie . . . I (1675) 275; R. Chandler, Travels in Asia Minor (1817; repr. 1971) 111-16; C. Fellows, Asia Minor (1839) 257-61; L. Robert, Études Anatoliennes (1937) 567-73; A. & T. Akarca, Milâs (1954, in Turkish), 76ff; A. Laumonier, Cultes Indigènes en Carie (1958) 39-140; J. M. Cook, BSA 56 (1961) 98-101 (Peçin); G. E. Bean, Turkey beyond the Maeander (1971) 3 1-44MI.


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    • Herodotus, Histories, 1.171
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