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TRALLES (Aydin formerly Güzelhisar) Turkey.

City in Caria (or Ionia or Lydia), founded according to tradition by a mixed company of Argives and barbarian Tralleis from Thrace (Strab. 649). In 400 B.C. the Spartan Thibron attempted to take it from the Persians, but was defeated by the strength of the place (Diod. 14.36). Taken by force by Antigonos in 313 (Diod. 19.75), the city later came under the Seleucids and took the name Seleuceia; this is confirmed by the coins, but Pliny's statement (HN 5.108) that it was also called Antiocheia is unsupported and generally regarded as a mistake. Other names which Tralles is alleged to have borne in early times are Euantheia (Plin. loc.cit.), Polyantheia, Erymna, and Charax (Steph. Byz.). After Magnesia Tralles passed to Eumenes and remained Pergamene until 133 B.C., even supporting Aristonikos against the Romans. At the time of the first Mithridatic war the city was under the tyranny of the sons of Kratippos (Strab. loc.cir.), who were apparently responsible for the slaughter of the Roman residents. In 26 B.C. Tralles suffered from a severe earthquake, and in gratitude for Augustus' help in restoration took the name of Caesareia; by the end of the 1st c., however, this name had fallen into disuse. Despite the great wealth of the citizens as recorded by Strabo, Tralles was refused the privilege of building a temple to Tiberius on the ground that she lacked sufficient resources. The abundant Imperial coinage continues down to the time of Gallienus. Later Tralles, as a bishopric, ranked second after Hypaipa under the metropolitan of Ephesos.

The site is accurately described by Strabo (648) as on a plateau, well defended all round, with a steep acropolis. The hill is now occupied by the army, and visitors require a military escort. Little is left of the remains visible in the 19th and early 20th c., a theater, stadium, agora, and gymnasium, but the finds are in the Istanbul museum, and include a fine marble statue of a young athlete of the time of Augustus.

All that is now standing is a part of the gymnasium, comprising three high arches of mixed masonry of stone and brick, with much mortar; this has been dated to the 3d c. A.D. It is called Üç Göz and is conspicuous from the road and railway, looking from a distance very like a triumphal arch. The theater faced S at the foot of the acropolis, which rises from the N end of the plateau. It was interesting chiefly because it had a T-shaped underground passage from the stage building to the middle of the orchestra, but this has been obliterated. All that now survives is an arched entrance at the level of the upper diazoma and a fragment of the retaining wall of the cavea.


K. Humann & W. Dörpfeld, AthMitt 18 (1893) 395ff; G. E. Bean, Turkey beyond the Maeander (1971) 208-11.


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