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TERMESSUS (Τερμησσός, Τερμησός, Τερμεσός, Τερμισσός, Τελμισσός: Eth. Τερμησσεύς), a town of Pisidia, celebrated for its natural strength no less: than for its artificial fortifications, was situated on a height of Mount Taurus, at the entrance of the defiles which are traversed by the river Catarrhactes, and formed the means of communication between Pisidia, Pamphylia, and Lycia. (Strab. xiii. p.630, xiv. p. 666; Ptol. 5.5.6, 8.17.34; Plb. 22.18; Steph. B. sub voce Dion. Per. 859.) A peak of the mountain rising above the acropolis bore the name of Solymus; and the inhabitants of the town itself were, as Strabo says, called Solymi. They were certainly not Greeks, for Arrian (1.27) distinctly calls them Pisidians and barbarians. Their town stood on a lofty height, precipitous on all sides; and the road running close. by the place was very difficult, passing through a narrow gorge, which could be defended by a small force. Alexander the Great succeeded indeed in forcing his way through it, but despairing of the possibility of taking Termessus, he continued his march. Strabo (xiv. p.666) therefore seems to be mistaken in stating that Alexander conquered the place. The consul Manlius, after relieving Isionda, passed along the same road. (Liv. 38.15.) The town of Termessus continued to exist down to a late period, when it was the see of a Christian bishop, who also had the administration of two neighbouring places, Jovia and Eudocia. (Hierocl. p. 680.) The site of ancient Termessus has not been difficult to discover by modern travellers, and considerable remains still exist at Karabunar Kiui, at the foot of the height on which the ancient fortress was situated. (Leake, Asia Minor, pp. 133--135.) As to the coins of Termessus, which come down as far as the reign of the emperor Severus, see Sestini, p. 96. On some of these coins we read μειζόνων in addition to the name of the Termessians, a circumstance which confirms the [p. 2.1132]statement of Stephanus B. that there was another town of the same name in Pisidia, which was called Lesser Termessus (Τερμησσός μικρά.)



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  • Cross-references from this page (2):
    • Polybius, Histories, 22.18
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 38, 15
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