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date: 29 November 2020


  • Stephen Mitchell


Aspendus, a city in *Pamphylia whose inhabitants claimed kinship with the Argives (see hellenism; argos (1)). Linguistic evidence shows that most of the inhabitants were of Anatolian origin (see anatolian languages). The city issued coins in the 5th cent. bce which preserve its Anatolian name Estvediys, to be identified with the Asitawandas named on inscriptions of the second millennium bce from Karatepe. Although assessed as a member of the *Delian League, it preferred Persian rule, even resisting *Alexander (3) the Great. It was alternately under Ptolemaic and Seleucid rule until 189 bce, and later came under Roman control. Situated 13 km. (8 mi.) from the present mouth of the *Eurymedon, which was navigable as far as the city, it had an important harbour from which grain was exported. The remains include *market buildings and a council-house of the Hellenistic period, as well as many important Roman public buildings, above all the magnificently preserved *theatre and long stretches of *aqueduct.

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