Soli Pompeiopolis Ancient City

Soli Pompeiopolis Ancient City

The Greeks were amongst the first settlers in Soli Pompeiopolis Ancient City, originally from Rhodes. They founded a colony which they called Soli - and it soon grew to become one of Asia Minor's largest cities, with its own coins being minted during Persian rule.

Soli was first controlled by Athens, and then - the troops of Alexander the Great (during Hellenistic times). Under the Seleucid dynasty, Soli grew and prospered. Worth mentioning are Aratus, a poet who lived in Soli from 315-245 B.C., famous for his work Phaenomena; this book gave an introduction to constellation outlines among other important topics in astronomy. Little is known about the life of Chrysippus, the philosopher who wrote 1st century BC writings on Stoic philosophy and was most likely born in Soli.

Soli Pompeiopolis Ancient City

When the Seleucid state gradually lost its importance, the coast of Soli faced growing threats from Parthians and Arabs. Antioch (Antakya) requested help from King Tigranes I of Armenia in 83 BC to save Syria and this stretch of coast. After Tigranes made his operation successful, they plundered Soli when it was in ruins and relocated most inhabitants to Eastern Anatolia.

A general from the Roman Empire had helped revive the city with his arrival in 68 BC. Pompey used Soli as a naval base during his campaign against pirates near Cilicia and also after he had won, pardoned many of them and settled them in town. As a reward for these deeds, The city was named as "Pompeiopolis".

The seaport was significant in the development of Pompeiopolis and provided economic stability to its residents. At times of Persian invasion, the city's inhabitants successfully defended their settlement. The port remained as an important source of income for its citizens throughout Byzantium, providing them with governance and licensing of trade ships. During this time, it also became a bishopric.

However, nothing can stand the test of time - in 525 AD Pompeiopolis was completely destroyed by a powerful earthquake and never regained its former importance. In later times, these areas were dominated by the Umayyad Caliphate, Seljuk Sultanate of Rum, the crusaders, Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia, Ramanids and finally by the Ottoman Empire.

Not much is left from what was once an important port city, but fortunately 41 columns along the main road leading to the port are still standing. 33 of these columns still have their capitals and - on top of that - those standing on the southern side also have extra bases for statues of Roman emperors and local dignitaries which used to stand there before.