(Fethiye, formerly Makri) Lycia, Turkey.
Its origin is uncertain; although five inscriptions in the Lycian language and script have been found there, the city was not always, especially in early times,
reckoned a part of Lycia. In the Athenian tribute lists in
the 5th c., Telmessos and the Lycians are listed separately; in the mid 4th c. the Lycians under their dynast
Perikles fought against the Telmessians and apparently
brought them into Lycia, for pseudo-Skylax reckons Telmessos as Lycian. After Magnesia in 189 B.C. by the treaty of Apamea, Telmessos was given neither to Eumenes nor, with the rest of Lycia, to the Rhodians.
It remained in the hands of a certain Ptolemy son of
Lysimachos, who had received it as a gift from Ptolemy
III in 240 B.C. After 168 B.C., on the other hand, it is
clear from the coins that Telmessos was a normal member of the Lycian League, and remained so thereafter.
In 334 B.C. the city submitted peaceably to Alexander
by agreement; not long afterwards, however, his officer
Nearchos the Cretan was obliged to capture the city
from a certain Antipatrides, which he did by means of
a stratagem (Polyaenus, Strat
. 5.35). In the Lycian
League, Telmessos was not among the six cities of the
first or three-vote class; under the Empire, however, it
had the rank of metropolis of Lycia. In Byzantine times
its bishop ranked second under the metropolitan of Myra.
The name seems to have been changed for a while to
Anastasiupolis, and from the 9th c. to Makri. Coins were
perhaps struck at Telmessos under the dynasts in the
5th c.; the later coinage is not abundant, and ceases
altogether under the Empire.
There is some evidence that divination was practiced
at Telmessos (Suidas s.v.), but most of the numerous
references to Telmessian seers relate rather to the Carian
city of the same name.
The surviving monuments are today confined to the
tombs. The acropolis hill, steep and rocky, carries only
a mediaeval castle, and of the two theaters, one of which
was described by Spratt in 1842 as “very perfect,” nothing now remains. The tombs are numerous and of various ages; two in particular are remarkable. The first of these is cut in the hillside just outside the town on the
E, and is identified by its inscription as the tomb of one
Amyntas; it has the form of an Ionic temple with pediment and acroteria. Other similar tombs are to be seen close by. The second, which stands in the town, is a superb example of a Lycian sarcophagus, ornamented
with reliefs on the crest and sides of the lid.
C. Fellows, Asia Minor
T.A.B. Spratt & E. Forbes, Travels in Lycia
(1847) I 2-4;
E. Petersen & F. von Luschan, Reisen in Lykien
II.1 (1920) 1-3.
G. E. BEAN