Ancient Places

"The ancient city of Patara"

History

Possessing a natural harbour, Patara was said to have been founded by Patarus, a son of Apollo.[1] It was situated at a distance of 60 stadia to the southeast of the mouth of the river Xanthos.[2] Patara was noted in antiquity for its temple and oracle of Apollo, second only to that of Delphi.[citation needed] The god is often mentioned with the surname Patareus.[3] Herodotus[4] says that the oracle of Apollo was delivered by a priestess only during a certain period of the year; and from Servius[5] we learn that this period was the six winter months. It seems certain that Patara received Dorian settlers from Crete; and the worship of Apollo was certainly Dorian. Ancient writers mentioned Patara as one of the principal cities of Lycia.[6] It was Lycia’s primary seaport, and a leading city of the Lycian League, having 3 votes, the maximum.
The city, with the rest of Lycia, surrendered to Alexander the Great in 333 BC. During the Wars of the Diadochi, it was occupied in turn by Antigonus and Demetrius, before finally falling to the Ptolemies. Strabo informs us that Ptolemy Philadelphus of Egypt, who enlarged the city, gave it the name of Arsinoe (Arsinoë) after Arsinoe II of Egypt, his wife and sister, but it continued to be called by its ancient name, Patara. Antiochus III captured Patara in 196 BC. The Rhodians occupied the city, and as a Roman ally, the city with the rest of Lycia was granted its freedom in 167 BC. In 88 BC, the city suffered siege by Mithridates IV, king of Pontus and was captured by Brutus and Cassius, during their campaign against Mark Antony and Augustus. It was spared the massacres that were inflicted on nearby Xanthos. Patara was formally annexed by the Roman Empire in 43 AD and attached to Pamphylia.

"The ancient city of Xanthos"

History

Patara Beach is one of the largest and most beautiful beaches near the ancient Lycian city of Patara in Turkey, on the coast of the Turkish Riviera.
The 18 kilometres (11 mi)-long Patara Beach is the longest in its region and sometimes reaches a width of 200–300 metres. The beach has soft sand and shallow sea. It is one of the places that sea turtles leave their eggs. Because of this, the beach is under protection. At its easternmost point there is a rocky outcrop looking over a spectacular rocky cove. The single road approach to the beach features ancient sites of archeological interest.

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