or Eth. Σόλιος
), an important town on the coast of Cilicia, between the mouths of the rivers Lamus and Pyramus, from each of which its distance was about 500 stadia. (Strab. xiv. p.675
; Stadiasm. Mar. May.
§ 170, &c.)
The town was founded by Argives joined by Lindians from Rhodes. (Strab. xiv. p.671
; Pomp. Mela, 1.13; Liv. 37.56
It is first mentioned in history by Xenophon (Xen. Anab. 1.2.24
) as a maritime town of Cilicia; it rose to such opulence that Alexander the Great could fine its citizens for their attachment to Persia with 200 talents. (Arrian, Arr. Anab. 2.5.5
; Curt. 3.17
.) During the Mithridatic War the town of Soli was taken and destroyed by Tigranes, king of Armenia, who probably transplanted most of its inhabitants to Tigranocerta. (D. C. 36.20
; Plut. Pomp. 28
; Strab. xi. p.532
But the place was revived by Pompey, who peopled it with some of those pirates who had fallen into his hands, and changed its name into Pompeiupolis. (Πομπηϊούπολις,
Plut. l.c.; Strab. xiv. p.671
; Appian, App. Mith. 105
; Ptol. 5.8.4
; Plin. Nat. 5.22
; Steph. B. sub voce Tac. Ann. 2.58
; Hierocl. p. 704.) Soli was the birthplace of Chrysippus the philosopher, and of two distinguished poets, Philemon and Aratus, the latter of whom was believed to be buried on a hill near the town. The Greek inhabitants of Soli are reported to have spoken a very corrupt Greek in consequence of their intercourse with the natives of Cilicia, and hence to have given rise to the term solecism (σολοικισμός
), which has found its way into all the languages of Europe; other traditions, however, connect the origin of this term with the town of Soli, in Cyprus. (D. L. 1.2.4
; Eustath. ad Dion. Per.
875; Suid. s. v. Σόλοι
) The locality and the remains of this ancient city have been described by Beaufort (Karamania,
p. 261, foil.). “The first object that presented itself to us on landing,” says he, “was a beautiful harbour or basin, with parallel sides and circular ends; it is entirely artificial, being formed with surrounding walls or moles, which are 50 feet in thickness and 7 in height. Opposite to the entrance of the harbour a portico rises from the surrounding quay, and opens to a double row of 200 columns, which, crossing the town, communicates with the principal gate towards the country. Of the 200 columns no more than 42 are now standing; the remainder lie on the spot where they fell, intermixed with a vast assemblage of other ruined buildings which were connected with the colonnade.
The theatre is almost entirely destroyed.
The city walls, strengthened by numerous towers, entirely surrounded the town. Detached ruins, tombs, and sarcophagi were found scattered to some distance from the walls, on the outside of the town, and it is evident that the whole country was once occupied by a numerous and industrious people.” The natives now call the place Mezetlu.
(Comp. Leake, Asia Minor,
p. 213, foll.)
The little river which passed through Soli was called Liparis, from the oily nature
|COIN OF SOLI.|
of its waters. (Vitr. 8.3
; Antig. Caryst. 150; Plin. l.c.
) Pliny (31.2
) mentions bituminous. springs in the vicinity, which are reported by Beaufort to exist at Bikhardy,
about six hours' walk to the north-east of Mezetlu.