(Asar Köyü) Turkey.
City in Pamphylia 28 km E-NE of Antalya. Founded presumably by
the mixed migrants under Amphilochos, Mopsos, and
Kaichas after the Trojan War; a statue base bearing the
name of Mopsos was recently found on the site. The city
is mentioned by Pseudo-Skylax in the mid 4th c., and by
Ptolemy and Hierokles. Strabo (667
) records, between
Perge and Aspendos, a lofty city visible from Perge, 40
stades from the sea, which can be no other than Sillyon,
though the distance is underestimated by more than half.
When Alexander came to Pamphylia in 333 B.C. Sillyon
was the only place to resist him; it was held, says Arrian
(1.26), by a garrison of the native barbarians and foreign
mercenaries. Alexander's first improvised attack failed,
and he abandoned the idea of a second. Coinage begins
in the 3d c., giving the city's name as Selyviys. Pseudo-Skylax and Arrian give it as Syllion, but Sillyon is the
form used on the later coins. In Byzantine times Sillyon
was joined as a bishopric with Perge.
The city stood on and around a conspicuous flat-topped
hill some 210 m high. All sides of the hill are precipitous
except the W, and fortifications were needed only there.
Occupation seems to have been originally confined to the
flat hilltop, but later a wall was built on the SW slope
to extend the inhabited area. At the S end of this wall is
an entrance gate of the same type as at Perge and Side,
a horseshoe-shaped court flanked by towers in the wall.
At the N end of the wall is a tower still virtually complete, in two stories with six windows; from the upper
story doors opened onto the ramparts, and in the lower
story two other doors lead into and out of the city.
The original city gate, however, stood at the top of
the steep W slope, and was approached from N and S
by a ramp. The gate itself is poorly preserved, but the
ramp, especially on the S, is impressive. A road 5 m wide
leads obliquely up the hill, flanked on one side by the
face of the hill and on the other by a wall of regular
masonry supported by buttresses, with a number of windows; the date is Hellenistic. Of the N ramp a part of the stone paving remains near the top.
The theater stood at the edge of the cliff on the S, with
a smaller theater or odeion beside it on the E. The theater
is small, and was split by a great cleft in the rock; the
odeion was better preserved, but in 1969 a landslide carried away the lower part of the theater and all of the odeion; all that now remains is a few of the upper rows of seats in the theater.
A short distance to the E is a series of terraces, cut
in the rock and joined by steps, where there are ruins of
houses, partly rock-cut, partly of masonry. At the edge
of the cliff is a small temple of Hellenistic date, with
walls in handsome broad-and-narrow masonry; the S
wall, however, has disappeared over the precipice.
Some 50 m N of the theater is a group of buildings
which seem to have formed the city center; three of them
are comparatively well preserved. The most conspicuous
is a large Byzantine structure of unknown purpose; the
other two are Hellenistic. The larger of these is long and
narrow, evidently a public hall of some kind; its W wall
stands 6 m high and contains 10 windows. The smaller
building is remarkable for its elegantly decorated doorway, and particularly for the inscription carved on one of
the door-jambs. This is in the Pamphylian dialect of
Greek, 37 lines long, and the most important document
known in that dialect; little progress, however, has been
made in its interpretation. Other buildings on the plateau
include a small temple, badly preserved, a round tower,
and a large cistern. In the lower part of the city, close
to the later city gate, is a large building of uncertain
purpose, sometimes called a palace, and below this on
the W are the scanty ruins of a stadium.
Tombs are mostly on the low ground below the hill on
the W: plain rectangular graves cut in the surface of
large boulders apparently fallen from above, with steps
leading up to them, and in some cases holes for the pouring of libations. Inscriptions at Sillyon are unusually scarce.
K. Lanckoronski, Pamphylien
; G. E. Bean, Turkey's Southern Shore
; Pamphylian inscription; H. Collitz, Sammlung
d. griechischen Dialektinschriften
I (1884) 1266.
G. E. BEAN