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SAGALASSUS Σαγαλασσός: Eth. Σαγαλασσεύς or Σαγαλασσμνός), an important town and fortress near the north-western frontier of Pisidia, or, as Strabo (xii. p.569) less correctly states, of Isauria, while Ptolemy (5.3.6) erroneously mentions it among the towns of Lycia. (Comp. Steph. B. sub voce Alexander the Great took the town by assault, having previously defeated its brave Pisidian inhabitants, who met the aggressor drawn up on a hill outside their town. (Arrian, Arr. Anab. 1.28.) Livy (38.15), in his account of the expedition of On. Manlius, describes Sagalassus as situated in a fertile plain, abounding in every species of producé; he likewise characterises its inhabitants as the bravest of the Pisidians, and the town itself as most strongly fortified. Manlius did not take it, but by ravaging its territory compelled the Sagalassians to come to terms, to pay a contribution of 50 talents, 20,000 medimni of wheat, and the same quantity of barley. Strabo states that it was one of the chief towns of Pisidia, and that after passing under the dominion of Amyntas, tetrarch of Lycaonia and Galatia, it became part of the Roman province. He adds that it was only one day's march from Apamea, whereas we learn from Arrian that Alexander was five days on the road between the two towns; but the detention of the latter was not occasioned by the length of the road but by other circumstances, so that Strabo's account is not opposed to that of Arrian. (Comp. Plb. 22.19; Plin. Nat. 5.24.) The town is mentioned also by Hierocles (p. 693), in the Ecclesiastical Notices, and the Acts of Councils, from which it appears to have been an episcopal see.

The traveller Lucas (Trois Voyages, i. p. 181, and Second Voyage, 1.100.34) was the first that reported the existence of extensive ruins at a place called Aglasoun, and the resemblance of the name led him to identify these ruins with the site of the ancient Sagalassus. This conjecture has since been fully confirmed by Arundell (A Visit to the Seven Churches, p. 132, foil.), who describes these ruins as situated on the long terrace of a lofty mountain, rising above the village of Aglasoun, and consisting chiefly of massy walls, heaps of sculptured stones, and innumerable sepulchral vaults in the almost perpendicular side of the mountain. A little lower down the terrace are considerable remains of a large building, and a large paved oblong area, full of fluted columns, pedestals, &c., about 240 feet long; a portico nearly 300 feet long and 27 wide; and beyond this some magnificent remains either of a temple or a gymnasium. Above these rises a steep hill with a few remains on the top, which was probably the acropolis. There is also a large theatre in a fine state of preservation. Inscriptions with the words Σαγαλασσέων πόλις leave no doubt as to these noble ruins belonging to the ancient town of Sagalassus. (Comp. Hamilton, Researches, vol. i. p. 486, foll.; Fellows, Asia Minor, p. 164, foll.)


hide References (4 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (4):
    • Polybius, Histories, 22.19
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 5.24
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 38, 15
    • Arrian, Anabasis, 1.28
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