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SOLOI later POMPEIOPOLIS, Cilicia Campestris, Turkey.

A coastal city ca. 11 km W of Mersin on the river Mezetli. Founded by Argives and Rhodians from Lindos, and first mentioned by Xenophon, Soloi was fined 200 talents in 333 B.C. by Alexander for siding with Persia. Ravaged in the mid 70s B.C. by Tigranes of Armenia during the Mithridatic war, many inhabitants were deported to Tigranocerta; their city remained almost deserted until 67 B.C. when it was settled with ex-pirates by Pompey and renamed in his honor. That “solecisms” are derived from the atrocious Greek spoken in Soloi is perhaps untrue, for the poets Philemon and Aratus (quoted by St. Paul) at least were natives. As a bishopric Pompeiopolis was visited by Etheria, but succumbed to the Arabs in the 7th c.

There was more to be seen 150 years ago than today. The theater on the hill to the E has gone, but “the beautiful harbour, or basin, with parallel sides and circular ends” seen by Beaufort is still there, though silted up and robbed of its stone facing, leaving only the concrete core. Leading inland is a colonnaded street of which only 22 columns still stand to capital height, and inscribed brackets let into the shafts may have supported statues. One inscription at least, of the 320 m street (much of which was built in the 3d c.), is a fine solecism: “P. Aelius Hadrianus Traianus Decius.”


F. Beaufort, Karamania (1818) 259ff; Paribeni & Romanelli, MonAnt 23 (1915) 87-88; J. Keil & A. Wilhelm, JOAI 18 (1915) 55-58; P. Verzone, “Hieropolis Castabala, Tarso, Soli—Pompeiopolis, Kanytelleis,” Palladio 1 (1957) 54-68.


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