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Selge

Selge was an important Psidian city located at the southern side of Taurus Mountains and within Koprulu Canyon National Park to the east of Antalya province. The ancient site is hardly reachable in an area well protected by the cliffs and valleys, at approximately 1000 meters above the sea level. To get to the site, you should take Antalya - Alanya highway and turn left after 5 km from Aspendos, then drive another 55 km in a forested area towards the mountains.

We don't know much about the history of Selge. According to Strabo, the founder of the city is Calchas, a mythical soothsayer in the Trojan War, during the 2nd millennium B.C. Then Lacedaemonians (Spartans) settled in this area. Afterwards, people came here with the colonisation of Rhodes as well.

Selge was an old enemy of Termessos and they allied with Alexander the Great who besieged that city in the 4th century B.C. Selge was in continuous fight with their neighbors due to the aggressive nature of the inhabitants of Pisidia and they always remained independent.

With the establishment of Galatian kingdom in 25 B.C. Selge lost its independence only for a short period, but then had good relations under the Roman rule and preserved their independence until the collapse of the Roman Empire.

When Byzantine emperor Theodosius settled in the 4th century A.D. the Goths in Phrygia, these rebelled against the Empire and attacked and destroyed many cities in Anatolia. The Goths attacked to Selge as well in 399 A.D, but they couldn't capture it.

Selge was built on three hills and surrounded by a city wall, which had several entrance gates and defense towers. The first structure you can see at Selge is the 2nd century Greco-Roman theater which had a capacity of 9.000 people. There are also several inscriptions around the ancient site, temples dedicated to Zeus and Artemis, cisterns, state buildings, streets, nymphaeum (monumental fountain), baths, agora (market place), basilica, etc. Most of these are dated from the Roman period around 2nd century A.D. No excavations have been carried out yet at the site.

Selge was the first Psidian city to mint coins in this region, this was around 5th century B.C. during the Persian rule of Asia Minor. They had silver coins which were very similar to the coins of Aspendos; on both sides of these coins there were wrestlers. They continued to mint their own coins until 3rd century A.D. which shows us their economical wealth.

Strabo mentions about natural beauties of the city, its large fruit gardens, fertile valleys and forests. Main income of the city was from the production of olives, herbal medications, and wine.

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