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PHASE´LIS (Φασηλίς: Eth. Φασηλίτης), a maritime town of Lycia, on the Pamphylian gulf, whence some say that it was a town of Pamphylia (Plin. Nat. 5.36; Steph. B. sub voce s v.; Dionys. Per. 855; Stadiasm. Mar. Mag. § 205); but Strabo (xiv. p.667) distinctly informs us that Phaselis belonged to Lycia, and that Olbia was the first Pamphylian town on the coast. The town was a Dorian colony (Hdt. 2.178), situated on a headland, and conspicuous to those sailing from Cilicia to Rhodes. (Liv. 37.23; Cic. in Verr. 2.4) Behind it rose a mountain of the same name, probably the same which is elsewhere called τὰ Σόλυμα (Stadiasm. Mar. Mag. § 204; Strab. xiv. p.666); and in its vicinity there was a lake and a mountain-pass leading between Mount Climax and the seacoast into Pamphylia. Phaselis had three harbours, and rose to a high degree of prosperity, though it did not belong to the political confederacy of the other Lycian towns, but formed an independent state by itself. It is mentioned by Thucydides (2.69, comp. 8.88, 89; Plb. 30.9) as a place of some importance to the commerce of the Athenians with Phoenicia and Cilicia. At a later period, having become the haunt of the pirates, it was attacked and taken by Servilius Isauricus. (Cic. in Verr. 4.1. 0; Eutrop. 6.3; Flor. 3.6.) Although it was restored after this disaster, yet it never recovered its ancient prosperity; and Lucan (8.249, &c.) describes it as nearly deserted when visited by Pompeyin his flight from Pharsalus. According to Athenaeus (xiv. p. 688) the town was celebrated for the manufacture of rose-perfume, and Nicander (ap. Athen. p. 683) praised its roses. It was the common opinion among the ancients that the phaseli (φάσηλοι), a kind of light sailing boats, were invented at Phaselis, whence all the coins of the town show the image of such a boat. Pausanias (3.3.6) reports that the spear of Achilles was exhibited in the temple of Athena at Phaselis. In Hierocles (p. 683) the name of the place is corrupted into Phasydes; and the Acts of Councils show it to have been the see of a bishop. It may also be remarked that Phaselis was the birthplace of Theodectes, a tragic poet and rhetorician of some note. (Steph. B. sub voce comp. Scylax, p. 39; Ptol. 5.3.3, 5.2; Eckhel, Doctr. Num. iii. p. 6.) There are still considerable remains of the ancient Phaselis. The lake in its vicinity, says Beaufort (Karamania, p. 56), is now a mere swamp, occupying the middle of the isthmus, and was probably the source of those baneful exhalations which, according to Livy and Cicero, rendered Phaselis so unhealthy. The principal port was formed by a stone pier, at the western side of the isthmus; it projected about 200 yards into the sea, by which it has been entirely overthrown. The theatre is scooped out of the hill, and fronting it are the remains of several large buildings. There are also numerous sarcophagi, some of them of the whitest marble, and of very neat workmanship. The modern name of Phaselis is Tekrova. (Comp. Fellows, Asia Minor, p. 211, foil.; Leake, Asia Minor, p. 190.)



hide References (9 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (9):
    • Herodotus, Histories, 2.178
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 3.3.6
    • Thucydides, Histories, 2.69
    • Polybius, Histories, 30.9
    • Cicero, Against Verres, 2.4
    • Lucan, Civil War, 8.249
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 5.36
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 37, 23
    • Athenaeus, of Naucratis, Deipnosophistae, 15
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