Ancient written sources

Overview of texts Excerpts

Overview of texts




Author and text: Diodorus Siculus, Library of History
Listed cities: Aphrodisias
Time of origin: between 60 and 30 BC (the events described in the excerpt took place in 315 BC)

19.64.5–7: While all this was taking place, Polycleitus, who had been sent by Seleucus (Seleukos I Nikator) from Cyprus, sailed into Cenchreae, but when he heard of Alexander’s change in allegiance (Alexander, son of Polyperchon) and saw that there was no hostile force in existence, he sailed from Pamphylia. He sailed along the coast from Pamphylia to Aphrodisias in Cilicia; and, hearing that Theodotus, the admiral of Antigonus (Antigonus I Monophthalmus), was sailing from Patara in Lycia in Rhodian ships with Carian crews, and that Perilaüs was accompanying him with an army on land, thus securing the safety of the fleet on its voyage, he outgeneralled both of them. Disembarking his soldiers, he concealed them in a suitable place where it was necessary for the enemy to pass, and he himself sailed near with all his ships, taking cover behind a promontory while awaiting the coming of the enemy. The army was first to fall into the ambush; Perilaüs was captured, some of the rest fell while fighting, and others were taken prisoners. When the Rhodian ships tried to go to the aid of their own forces, Polycleitus sailed up suddenly with his fleet drawn up for battle and easily routed the disorganized enemy. The result was that all the ships were captured and a considerable number of the men also, among them Theodotus himself, who was wounded and a few days later died.

Author and text: Flavius Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews
Listed cities: Kelenderis
Time of origin: c. 93–4 AD

17.5.1: This letter Antipater met with in Cilicia; but had received an account of Pheroras’s death before at Tarentum. This last news affected him deeply; not out of any affection for Pheroras, but because he was dead without having murdered his father, which he had promised him to do. And when he was at Celenderis in Cilicia, he began to deliberate with himself about his sailing home, as being much grieved with the ejection of his mother.

Author and text: Flavius Josephus, The Wars of the Jews
Listed cities: Kelenderis
Time of origin: c. 75 AD

1.31.3: However, he (Antipater) had before received a letter, which contained an account of the death of Pheroras, at Tarentum, and made great lamentations at it; for which some commended him, as being for his own uncle; though probably this confusion arose on account of his having thereby failed in his plot [on his father’s life]; and his tears were more for the loss of him that was to have been subservient therein, than for [an uncle] Pheroras: moreover, a sort of fear came upon him as to his designs, lest the poison should have been discovered. However, when he was in Cilicia, he received the forementioned epistle from his father, and made great haste accordingly. But when he had sailed to Celenderis, a suspicion came into his mind relating to his mother’s misfortunes; as if his soul foreboded some mischief to itself.

Author and text: Aelius Herodianus, Herodiani Technici Reliquiae
Listed cities: Kelenderis
Time of origin: 2nd century AD

Vol. 2, 925.2–7 (for technical reasons, the text is presented here without diacritics; the characters “ϲ” and “C” are used for the lunate sigma): Τιϲ. ουδεν εΙϲ ιϲ ληγον ϲυνεϲταλμενον μονοϲυλλαβει, παντα δε εκτεινεται, ωϲ το λιϲ, κιϲ, ριϲ, ιϲ, ενθεν και η ινοϲ γενικη. ϲημειωδεϲ αρα το τιϲ ϲυϲτελλον το ι. το Ιϲ επι ποταμου κειμενον παρ Ηροδοτω εκτεινομενον εχει το ι. ουτω και Cκυμνοϲ εν τω ι τηϲ Αϲιαϲ περιπλω παρεθετο «Eχεται Κελενδεριϲ πολιϲ Cαμιων, και ιερον παρα τη πολει Ηρηϲ και αλϲοϲ Ιϲ ποταμοϲ παρα θαλαϲϲαν εξειϲιν».

Author and text: Inscriptiones Graecae: Athenian decree on Delian League tribute assessment and list of tributes
Listed cities: Kelenderis
Time of origin: 425/4 BC

IG I3 71.146: two talents, Kelenderis

Author and text: Livy, History of Rome since the Foundation
Listed cities: Anemourion, Aphrodisias
Time of origin: between 1 and 17 AD

33.20: At this time Antiochus was pushing the siege of Coracesium with his works; for, after he had possession of Zephyrium, Solae, Aphrodisias, and Corycus; and doubling Anemurium, another promontory of Cilicia, had taken Selinus; when all these, and the other fortresses on that coast, had, either through fear or inclination, submitted without resistance, Coracesium shut its gates, and gave him a delay which he did not expect.

Author and text: Pliny the Elder, Natural History
Listed cities: Anemourion, Aphrodisias (Venus), Holmoi, Kelenderis
Time of origin: c. 77 AD

5.22 (transl. by John Bostock and H. T. Riley): But let us now return to the coast of Syria, joining up to which is Cilicia. We here find the river Diaphanes, Mount Crocodilus, the Gates of Mount Amanus, the rivers Androcus, Pinarus, and Lycus, the Gulf of Issos, and the town of that name; then Alexandria, the river Chlorus, the free town of Ægæ, the river Pyramus, the Gates of Cilicia, the towns of Mallos and Magarsos, and, in the interior, Tarsus. We then come to the Aleian Plains, the town of Cassipolis, Mopsos, a free town on the river Pyramus, Thynos, Zephyrium, and Anchiale. Next to these are the rivers Saros and Cydnus, the latter of which, at some distance from the sea, runs through the free city of Tarsus, the region of Celenderitis with a town of similar name, the place where Nymphæum stood, Soli of Cilicia, now called Pompeiopolis, Adana, Cibyra, Pinare, Pedalie, Ale, Selinus, Arsinoë, Iotape, Doron, and, near the sea, Corycos, there being a town, port, and cave all of the same name. Passing these, we come to the river Calycadnus, the Promontory of Sarpedon, the towns of Holmœ and Myle, and the Promontory and town of Venus, at a short distance from the island of Cyprus. On the mainland there are the towns of Myanda, Anemurium, and Coracesium, and the river Melas, the ancient boundary of Cilicia. In the interior the places more especially worthy of mention are Anazarbus, now called Cæsarea, Augusta, Castabala, Epiphania, formerly called Œniandos, Eleusa, Iconium, Seleucia upon the river Calycadnus, surnamed Tracheotis, a city removed from the sea-shore, where it had the name of Holmia. Besides those already mentioned, there are in the interior the rivers Liparis, Bombos, Paradisus, and Mount Imbarus.

5.22 (transl. by H. Rackham): But let us return to the coast of Syria, adjoining which is Cilicia. Here are the river Diaphanes, Mount Crocodile, the Gates of Mount Alma-Dagh, the rivers Androcus, Pinarus and Lycus, the Gulf of Issos, the town of Issos, likewise Alexandria, the river Chlorus, the free town of Aegaeae, the river Pyramus, the Gates of Cilicia, the towns of Mallos and Magirsos and in the interior Tarsus, the Aleian Plains, the towns of Casyponis, Mopsos (a free town on the river Pyramus), Tyros, Zephyrium and Anchfale; and the rivers Saros and Cydnos, the latter cutting through the free city of Tarsus at a great distance from the sea; the district of Celenderitis with its town, the place Nymphaeum, Soloi of Cilicia now Pompeiopolis, Adana, Cibyra, Pinare, Pedalie, Ale, Selinus, Arsinoe, Iotape, Dorion, and on the coast Corycos, there being a town and harbour and cave of the same name. Then the river Calycadnus, Cape Sarpedon, the towns of Holmoe and Myle, and the promontory and town of Venus, a short distance from which lies the island of Cyprus. On the mainland are the towns of Mysanda, Anemurium and Coracesium and the river Melas, the former boundary of Cilicia. Places worthy of mention in the interior are Anazarbeni (the present Caesarea), Augusta, Castabala, Epiphania (previously called Oeniandos), Eleusa, Iconium, and beyond the river Calycadnus Selencia, called Seleucia Tracheotis, a city moved from the seashore, where it used to be called Hermia. Besides these there are in the interior the rivers Liparis, Bombos and Paradisus, and Mount Imbarus.

5.23 (transl. by J. Bostock and H. T. Riley): All the geographers have mentioned Pamphylia as joining up to Cilicia, without taking any notice of the people of Isauria. Its cities are, in the interior, Isaura, Clibanus, and Lalasis; it runs down towards the sea by the side of Anemurium already mentioned. In a similar manner also, all who have treated of this subject have been ignorant of the existence of the nation of the Homonades bordering upon Isauria, and their town of Homona in the interior. There are forty-four other fortresses, which lie concealed amid rugged crags and valleys.

5.23 (transl. by H. Rackham): All the authorities have made Pamphylia join on to Cilicia, overlooking the people of Isauria. The inland towns of Isauria are Isaura, Clibanus and Lalasis; it runs down to the sea over against Anemurium above mentioned. Similarly all who have written on the same subject have ignored the tribe of the Omanades bordering on Isauria, whose town of Omana is in the interior. There are 44 other fortresses lying hidden among rugged valleys.

5.35 (transl. by J. Bostock and H. T. Riley): The Pamphylian Sea contains some islands of little note. The Cilician, besides four others of very considerable size, has Cyprus, which lies opposite to the shores of Cilicia and Syria, running east and west; in former times it was the seat of nine kingdoms. […] It is distant from Anemurium in Cilicia fifty miles; the sea which runs between the two shores being called the Channel of Cilicia.

5.35 (transl. by H. Rackham): The Pampliylian Sea contains some islands of no note. The Cilician Sea has five of considerable size, among them Cyprus, which lies east and west off the coasts of Cilicia and Syria; it was formerly the seat of nine kingdoms. […] It is 50 miles from Anemurius in Cilicia; the sea lying between is called the Cilician Aulon.

Author and text: Pomponius Mela, De chorographia
Listed cities: Anemourion, Kelenderis, Nagidos
Time of origin: c. 43 AD

1.77: Next, there are two promontories: Sarpedon, once the boundary of the kingdom of Sarpedon, and Anemurium, which separates Cilicia from Pamphylia. Between them lie Celenderis and Nagidos, colonies of the Samians, but Celenderis is the one nearer to Sarpedon.

Author and text: Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca (Library)
Listed cities: Kelenderis
Time of origin: 1st – 3rd century AD

3.14.3: Herse had by Hermes a son Cephalus, whom Dawn loved and carried off, and consorting with him in Syria bore a son Tithonus, who had a son Phaethon, who had a son Astynous, who had a son Sandocus, who passed from Syria to Cilicia and founded a city Celenderis, and having married Pharnace, daughter of Megassares, king of Hyria, begat Cinyras. This Cinyras in Cyprus, whither he had come with some people, founded Paphos; and having there married Metharme, daughter of Pygmalion, king of Cyprus, he begat Oxyporus and Adonis, and besides them daughters, Orsedice, Laogore, and Braesia. These by reason of the wrath of Aphrodite cohabited with foreigners, and ended their life in Egypt.

Author and text: Pseudo-Skylax, Periplous
Listed cities: Anemourion, Aphrodisias, Holmoi, Kelenderis, Nagidos
Time of origin: about 330s BC

102 (transl. by Graham Shipley): And after Pamphylia is Kilikia (Cilicia), a community, and in it the following cities: Selinous; Charadrous, a city with a harbour; Anemourion, a cape with a city; Nagidos, a city: and it has an island. And towards Setos are the harbours Poseideion; Salon; Myous; Kelenderis, a city with the harbour of Aphrodisios and another harbour; Holmoi, a Hellenic city having [a harbour]; Sarpedon, a deserted city with a river; Soloi, a Hellenic city; Zephyrion, a city; the river Pyramos and the city of Mallos, to which the voyage upstream is along the river; the trading-town of Amane with a harbour; Myriandos Phoinikōn (of the Phoenicians); and Thapsakos, a river. Coastal voyage of Kilikia from the bounds of Pamphylia as far as the Thapsakos river: three days and nights, two. And out of Sinope in the Pontos, through the mainland and Kilikia to Soloi, the road from sea to sea is of days, 5.

102 (transl. by Brady Kiesling): After Pamphylia is Kilikia (Cilicia), a nation, with the following cities: Selinous; Charadrous, a city with a harbor; Anemourion, a cape with a city; Nagidos, a city: and it has an island. Towards Setos are the harbors Poseideion; Salon; Myous; Kelenderis, a city with the harbor of Aphrodisios and another harbor; Holmoi, a Hellenic city having [a harbor]; Sarpedon, a deserted city and a river; Soloi, a Hellenic city; Zephyrion, a city; the river Pyramos and the city of Mallos, to which the voyage upstream is along the river; the trading-town of Adane with a harbor; Myriandos Phoinikon; and Thapsakos, a river. The coastal voyage along Kilikia from the border of Pamphylia as far as the Thapsakos river is three days and two nights. From Sinope in the Pontos, across the mainland and Cilicia to Soloi, the road from sea to sea is five days.

Author and text: Shapur I, Res Gestae Inscription
Listed cities: Anemourion, Kelenderis
Time of origin: c. 262 AD

11–15 (transl. by R. N. Frye): And Syria, Cilicia and Cappadocia we burned, ruined and pillaged. In that campaign we conquered of the Roman Empire the town of Samosata, Alexandria on the Issus, Katabolos, Aegaea, Mopsuestia, Mallos, Adana, Tarsus, Augustinia, Zephyrion, Sebaste, Korykos, Anazarba (Agrippas), Kastabala, Neronias, Flavias, Nicopolis, Epiphaneia, Kelenderis, Anemurion, Sehnus, Mzdu (Myonpolis), Antioch, Seleucia, Dometiopolis, Tyana, Caesarea (Meiakariri), Komana, Kybistra, Sebasteia, Birtha, Rakundia, Laranda, leonium, altogether all these cities with their surroundings.

11–15 (transl. by B. Kiesling): And the nations of Syria, Cilicia and Cappadocia we burned, devastated, captured, and occupied. In that campaign we conquered from the Roman nation Samosata city and territory, Alexandria on the Issus city and territory, Katabolos city and territory, Aegaea city and territory, Mopsuestia city and territory, Mallos city and territory, Adana city and territory, Tarsus city and territory, Zephyris city and territory, Sebaste city and territory, Korykos city and territory, Agrippas city and territory, Kastabala city and territory, Neronias city and territory, Flavias city and territory, Nikopolis city and territory, Epiphania city and territory, Kelenderis city and territory, Anemouris city and territory, Selinous city and territory, Myon city and territory, Antiochia city and territory, Seleukia city and territory, Dometios city and territory, Tyana city and territory, Meiakarire city and territory, Komana city and territory, Kybistra city and territory, Sebastia city and territory, Birtha city and territory, Rakoundia city and territory, Laranda city and territory, Iconis city and territory, altogether 36 cities with their territory.

Author and text: Stephanus of Byzantium, Ethnica
Listed cities: Aphrodisias, Holmoi, Nagidos
Time of origin: 6th century AD

Vol. I, A.558: Aphrodisias, Stadt in Kilikien, von welcher Alexander Polyhistor in seiner Schrift Über Kilikien sagt, Zopyros, der auch ihre Geschichte verfasst habe, erkläre, die Stadt sei nach Aphrodite benannt. Das zweite [befindet sich] auf der Iberischen Halbinsel bei den Kelten. Das dritte ist eine Insel, das frühere Erytheia, zwischen der iberischen Küste und Gadeira. Das vierte [befindet sich] auf Knidos, das fünfte zwischen Lydien und Karien. Das sechste ist eine Insel [vor der Küste] Libyens bei Kyrene, das siebte ist eine lakonische Stadt, eine von den hundert. Das achte ist eine Küstenstadt in Skythien, für die Seeräuberei gut gelegen. Das neunte [liegt] in Äthiopien, das zehnte auf Zypern. Es gibt auch zwei winzige Inseln, Libyen vorgelagert. Es gibt zudem [ein Aphrodisias] im Gebiet von Alexandreia. Das Ethnikon [lautet in allen Fällen] Aphrodisieer.

Aphrodisias, City in Cilicia, of which Alexander Polyhistor says in his work About Cilicia, Zopyros, who also wrote its story, explains that the city is named after Aphrodite. The second [is] on the Iberian Peninsula with the Celts. The third is an island, formerly Erytheia, between the Iberian coast and Gadeira. The fourth [is] on Knidos, the fifth between Lydia and Caria. The sixth is an island [off the coast] of Libya near Cyrene; the seventh is a laconic city, one of the hundred. The eighth is a coastal town in Scythia, well located for piracy. The ninth is in Ethiopia, the tenth in Cyprus. There are also two tiny islands off the coast of Libya. There is also [an Aphrodisias] in the Alexandreia area. The ethnicon [is in all cases] Aphrodiseians.

Vol. III, N.3: Nagidos, Stadt [an der Küste] zwischen Kilikien und Pamphylien. Hekataios [erwähnt sie] in der Asia: „Danach aber [folgt] die Stadt Nagidos, nach dem Steuermann Nagis [benannt], sowie die Insel Nagidussa“. Nagidos wurde [die Stadt] genannt, weil Nagis sie gegründet hatte. Der Bürger [heisst] Nagideer.

Nagidos, city [on the coast] between Cilicia and Pamphylia. Hekataios [mentions it] in Asia: „After that, the city of Nagidos [follows], named after the helmsman Nagis, and the island of Nagidussa“. Nagidos was named because Nagis founded it. The citizen [is] Nagideians.

Vol. III, O.47: Holmoi, Stadt in Kilikia Tracheia, „wo früher die heutigen Seleukeer wohnten“. Das Ethnikon [lautet] Holmeer, [gebildet] wie Tarseer.

Holmoi, City in Kilikia Tracheia, „where the Seleukeians of today lived in the past”. The ethnicon [is] Holmeians, [formed] like the Tarseians.

Author and text: anonymous, Stadiasmus Maris Magni
Listed cities: Anemourion, Aphrodisias, Holmoi, Kelenderis
Time of origin: 2nd half of the 3rd century AD

179–181: From the Sarpedonian Promontory to Seleukeia 120 stades. And likewise to Holmoi, 120 stades. From Holmoi to the promontory and town called Mylai stadia 40.

184–9: From Philaia (Palaia) to the island of Pityoussa 130 stades {30}. The distance from Pityoussa to the peninsula near Mylai 20 stades {80}. From the tip of Pityoussa to Aphrodisias 45 stades. From Aphrodisias, keeping Pityoussa on the left, to the tower located on the promontory called Zephyrium 40 stades. From the Sarpedonian promontory to Aphrodisias the sailing is 120 stades {180}. Aphrodisias lies closest to the Achaian shore on Cyprus, keeping the stern pointed toward the Bear (north), 500 stades. From Aphrodisias to the place [or river] Kephisos, [or Melas] 35 stades. From the river Melas to the Kraunoi promontory 40 stades. From Kraunoi to Pisourgia, keeping Krambousa on the left, 45 stades. From Aphrodisias to Pisourgia 120 stades.

191–2: From Berenike to Kelenderis 50 stades. From Kelenderis to Mandane 100 stades.

196–8: From Rhygmanoi to Anemourion 50 stades. From Anemourion to the closest part of Cyprus, the Krommyon promontory 300 stades. From Anemourion to Platanos 350 stades.

233: From the Chelidoniai to Marion and Cape Akamas of Cyprus, toward the sunrise, with a very favorable west wind, 1800 stades; and from Anemourion to the Chelidonian islands 1007 stades.

308: From Anemourion in Kilikia to Akamas on Cyprus is 700 stadia. From Akamas, keeping Cyprus on the right, to Arsinoe on Cyprus is 70? stades. […] From Karpaseia to Akra 100 stades. From there we cross to Anemourion. The whole circumnavigation of Cyprus is 3250 stades.

Author and text: Strabo, Geography
Listed cities: Anemourion, Holmoi, Kelenderis, Nagidos
Time of origin: between 7 and 24 AD

14.5.3–4: Then to Anemurium, a promontory, where the mainland approaches closest to Cyprus, in the direction of the promontory of Crommyus, the passage across being three hundred and fifty stadia. Now the coasting-voyage along Cilicia from the borders of Pamphylia to Anemurium is eight hundred and twenty stadia, whereas the rest, as far as Soli, is about five hundred stadia. On this latter one comes to Nagidus, the first city after Anemurium; then to Arsinoê, which has a landing-place; then to a place called Melania, and to Celenderis, a city with a harbour. Some writers, among whom is Artemidorus, make Celenderis, not Coracesium, the beginning of Cilicia. […] Then one comes to Holmi, where the present Seleuceians formerly lived; but when Seleuceia on the Calycadnus was founded, they migrated there; for immediately on doubling the shore, which forms a promontory called Sarpedon, one comes to the outlet of the Calycadnus. Near the Calycadnus is also Zephyrium, likewise a promontory. The river affords a voyage inland to Seleuceia, a city which is well-peopled and stands far aloof from the Cilician and Pamphylian usages.

14.6.3: I have said somewhere that opposite to Anemurium, a cape of Cilicia Tracheia, is the promontory of the Cyprians, I mean the promontory of Crommyus, at a distance of three hundred and fifty stadia. Thence forthwith, keeping the island on the right and the mainland on the left, the voyage to the Cleides lies in a straight line towards the north-east, a distance of seven hundred stadia. In the interval is the city Lapathus, with a mooring-place and dockyards; it was founded by Laconians and Praxander, and opposite it lies Nagidus.

16.2.33: Artemidorus says that the distance to Pelusium from Orthosia is three thousand six hundred and fifty stadia, including the sinuosities of the gulfs; and from Melaenae, or Melaniae, in Cilicia, near Celenderis, to the common boundaries of Cilicia and Syria, one thousand nine hundred; and thence to the Orontes River, five hundred and twenty; and then to Orthosia one thousand one hundred and thirty.

Author and text: Tacitus, Annals
Listed cities: Anemourion, Kelenderis
Time of origin: early 2nd century AD (the events described in the excerpt took place in 52 AD)

12.55: Not long afterwards, the tribes of barbarous Cilicians known as the Cietae, who had caused trouble on many previous occasions, who were encamped in their rugged hills and led by Troxobor, descended to the townships and the coast and dared to use force against farmers and townsmen, and even more often merchants and ships’ captains, The city of Anemurium was besieged, and a cavalry troop sent to its relief from Syria, led by the prefect Curtius Severus, was routed, because the rough ground in the vicinity, suited to fighting on foot, did not allow effective cavalry engagement. Eventually King Antiochus IV of Commagene, the coastline being his responsibility, by cajoling the masses and deceiving their leader, scattered the barbarian forces and, after executing Troxobor and a few of the leading chieftains, pardoned the rest.

12.80: Nor did Piso, even though his project was turning out badly, fail to take the safest course in the circumstances, by occupying a strongly defended fortress in Cilicia, named Celenderis. For, adding the deserters, the recruits recently intercepted, and his own and Plancina’s servants to the Cilician auxiliaries sent by the minor kings, he had organised them in legionary strength.


14 July 2021 – 18 June 2023