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Apameia (Apamea)

Apameia, also known as Kibotos or Kelainai (Celaenae) in the past, is an ancient Phrygian city in Anatolia located near Dinar district of Afyonkarahisar province today. Some people say that Celaenae was a separate site, not Apameia, but it was near and that the inhabitants of Celaenae founded Apameia and moved here.

The city was founded in the 3rd century BC by the Seleucid king Antiochus who gave his mother's name to the city. But historic evidences prove that the city existed since the 6th century BC under alternative names, such as Kibotos. Strabo mentiones that Apameia was an important commercial city in the Aegean region like Ephesus because it was located on the main trade routes connecting East to the Aegean ports. The Marsyas river used to start from Apameia and flow through the city and then joined the Meander river, todays Menderes river, which runs all the way to the Aegean Sea. According to the myth, it's also said that the Satyr Marsyas was skinned and hanged by the god Apollo in Apameia because he dared to compete in a music contest against the god.

The city was called as Pameia Kibotos during the Roman period and was run as an administrative region (conventus) by the Roman Governor of Asia Minor, it became a prosperous town. After the 3rd century AD it lost its importance as a military or commercial center during the Byzantine period. The Seljuks captured the city in the 11th century and then the Ottomans in the 13th century. The city, like many others in Turkey, was struck by several earthquakes throughout the centuries. Due to these earthquakes and when the trade routes were diverted, Apameia was declined, abandoned, and finally ruined.

A great number of bronze coins from the late Hellenistic period were found during the excavations, showing Marsyas with his flute and the river Meander on them. Other coins minted by Apameia had figures of Orga, Obrimos and Therma rivers on them. Some coins from the 3rd century AD even include figures of the Noah's Ark which makes historians beleive that there was a heavy influence by a Jewish community here during that period. All these coins can be seen today at the museum in Afyon city.

There are few remains that can be seen today from ancient Apameia, such as parts of a stadium and Hellenistic theater, many Greco-Roman inscriptions, ruins of a Christian church on a hilltop, and a semi-circular construction next to the highway today.

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