Ancient Theater in Turkey




Other names: Syllaion, Sylleion
Roman province: Pamphylia
Location: Asar, Serik county, Province Antalya
Capacity: ca. 2.200 spectators
Dimensions: ø cavea: 60 m
ø orchestra: unknown

The (Hellenistic) theatre of Sillyon was rebuilt in the 2nd and 3rd centuries A.D. under Roman rule. After an earthquake in 1969, the slope slipped and the stage fell to the ground. The adjacent Odeon disappeared completely.

The history of Sillyon:  

Little is known about Sillyon from history. However, the remains of the city document a millennia-long history.

Sillyon was probably founded about 3000 years ago. After the Trojan War, parts of the Greek army had become independent and established settlements all over the eastern Mediterranean, including the cities of Aspendos and Perge, which was within sight. According to a tradition, the legendary seer Mopsos was involved in the foundation of the city.

Sillyon was first mentioned in the writings of the geographer Skylax in the fourth century BC. Alexander the Great marched into Sillyon in 333 BC and stationed important troops there. Later, the city was massively expanded for defence purposes. In the eventful history of the city, it experienced flowering times again and again. Within sight of the sea and the nearby Perge, the city must have been of considerable strategic importance. Besides Aspendos, Perge and Attaleia (today Antalya) it belonged to the most important cities of Pamphylia. Finds indicate the beginning of coinage in the 3rd century BC.

Not much is known about the city from Roman times. In Byzantine times Sillyon became a bishop's seat. From the Seljuk period (1038-1194 A.D.) remains of buildings and a small mosque have been preserved on the plateau. The city was completely abandoned from the 13th to the 14th century AD and slowly decayed. The inhabitants migrated mainly to Perge and to the better fortified Attaleia (Antalya).

Until the 20th century, landslides have repeatedly caused parts of the city to fall off the steep Table Mountain, most recently the Odeon in 1969, the theatre's stage house, as well as the orchestra and several rows of seats.

Photos: @chim    
Translation aid:    
Source: Wikipedia and others