Cilicia Campestris, Turkey.
Some 19 km E of Adana and sited at a most important
crossing of the Ceyhan (Pyramos) where the foothills of
the Jebel-i-Nur most nearly approach the river. Two km
NE it is dominated by the limestone outcrop crowned
today by the 12th c. castle known as Yilan Kale, a fortress of the Little Armenian kingdom.
Its legendary founder Mopsos, whose wanderings in
Cilicia and Syria are an early feature of Greek mythology, appears in the literary sources and may have been
a historic figure. Mopsukrene, near the Cilician Gates,
adds substance to the legend. The city was in Persian
hands until Alexander's time, and was later renamed
Seleucea on the Pyramos for Seleucus IV Epiphanes. It
was issuing semiautonomous coinage by the 2d c. B.C.,
and in 67 B.C. adopted a new era to celebrate Pompey's
conquest of the Cilician pirates and their resettlement in
such established cities as Mopsuestia. It joined in the
intercity rivalry of Roman Cilicia, styling itself “free”
and the center of “holy, ecumenical games,” as well as
“Hadriane” in honor of the emperor. Captured by the
Parthians in 260, it later became a Christian bishopric,
the see of the famous Theodore, declared a heretic after
the Council of Chalcedon (451).
A magnificent Roman bridge, a theater, stadium, and
colonnaded street still exist, while W of the city mound
is a huge basilican church with mosaics (5th c?).
1.296; Callinus apud
N. Hammond, CAH
II 23-24; R. D. Barnett, “Mopsus,”
73 (1953) 140-43; B. V. Head, Hist. Num
ed. 1911) 721, 725; D. Magie, Roman Rule in Asia
(1950) 273, 620.