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ISAURA (τὰ Ἴσαυρα: Eth. Ἰσαυρεύς), the capital of Isauria, situated in the south-west of the country; it was a wealthy, populous, and well-fortified city at the foot of Mount Taurus. Of its earlier history nothing is known; but we learn from Diodorus (18.22) that when it was besieged by Perdiccas, and the inhabitants were no longer able to hold out, they set fire to the city, and destroyed themselves with all they possessed. Large quantities of molten gold were found afterwards by the Macedonians among the ashes and ruins. The town was rebuilt, but was destroyed a second time by the Roman, Servilius Isauricus, and thenceforth it remained a heap of ruins. Strabo (xii. p.568) states that the place was ceded by the Romans to Amyntas of Galatia, who built out of the ruins of the ancient city a new one in the neighbourhood, which he surrounded with a wall; but he did not live to complete the work. In the third century of our aera Isaura was the residence of the rival emperor Trebellianus (Trebell. Poll. XXX. Tyran. 25); but in the time of Ammianus Marcellinus (14.8) nearly all traces of its former magnificence had vanished. At a later period it is still mentioned, under the name Isauropolis, as a town in the province of Lycaonia. (Hierocl. p. 675; Concil. Chalced. p. 673; comp. Strab. xiv. p.665; Ptol. 5.4.12; Steph. B. sub voce Plin. Nat. 5.27.) Of Old Isaura no ruins appear to be found, though D'Anville and others have identified it with the modern Bei Sheher; they also believe that Seïdi Sheher occupies the site of New Isaura, while some travellers regard Serki Serai as the representative of New Isaura; but Hamilton (Researches, vol. ii. pp. 330, foll.) has given good reasons for thinking that certain ruins, among which are the remains of al triumphal arch of the emperor Hadrian and a gateway,.on a hill near the village of Olou Bounar mark the site of New Isaura. The walls of the city can still be traced all around the place. The Isaurians were a people of robbers, and the site of their city was particularly favourable to such a mode of life. [ISAURIA]


hide References (3 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (3):
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 5.27
    • Ammianus Marcellinus, Rerum Gestarum, 14.8
    • Diodorus, Historical Library, 18.22
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