(Aydin formerly Güzelhisar) Turkey.
City in Caria (or Ionia or Lydia), founded according
to tradition by a mixed company of Argives and barbarian Tralleis from Thrace (Strab. 649). In 400 B.C.
the Spartan Thibron attempted to take it from the Persians, but was defeated by the strength of the place
). Taken by force by Antigonos in 313
), the city later came under the Seleucids
and took the name Seleuceia; this is confirmed by the
coins, but Pliny's statement (HN
5.108) that it was also
called Antiocheia is unsupported and generally regarded
as a mistake. Other names which Tralles is alleged to have
borne in early times are Euantheia (Plin. loc.cit
.), Polyantheia, Erymna, and Charax (Steph. Byz.). After Magnesia Tralles passed to Eumenes and remained Pergamene until 133 B.C., even supporting Aristonikos against
the Romans. At the time of the first Mithridatic war the
city was under the tyranny of the sons of Kratippos
.), who were apparently responsible for the
slaughter of the Roman residents. In 26 B.C. Tralles suffered from a severe earthquake, and in gratitude for Augustus' help in restoration took the name of Caesareia; by the end of the 1st c., however, this name had fallen
into disuse. Despite the great wealth of the citizens as
recorded by Strabo, Tralles was refused the privilege of
building a temple to Tiberius on the ground that she
lacked sufficient resources. The abundant Imperial coinage continues down to the time of Gallienus. Later Tralles, as a bishopric, ranked second after Hypaipa
under the metropolitan of Ephesos.
The site is accurately described by Strabo (648
) as on
a plateau, well defended all round, with a steep acropolis. The hill is now occupied by the army, and visitors
require a military escort. Little is left of the remains
visible in the 19th and early 20th c., a theater, stadium,
agora, and gymnasium, but the finds are in the Istanbul
museum, and include a fine marble statue of a young
athlete of the time of Augustus.
All that is now standing is a part of the gymnasium,
comprising three high arches of mixed masonry of stone
and brick, with much mortar; this has been dated to the
3d c. A.D. It is called Üç Göz and is conspicuous from
the road and railway, looking from a distance very like
a triumphal arch. The theater faced S at the foot of the
acropolis, which rises from the N end of the plateau.
It was interesting chiefly because it had a T-shaped underground passage from the stage building to the middle of the orchestra, but this has been obliterated. All that now survives is an arched entrance at the level of the
upper diazoma and a fragment of the retaining wall of the cavea.
K. Humann & W. Dörpfeld, AthMitt
18 (1893) 395ff; G. E. Bean, Turkey beyond the Maeander
G. E. BEAN