Perge Antique City - Antalya, April.2005

 

In the twelfth century BC, there was a large wave of Greek migration from northern Anatolia to the Mediterranean coast. Many settled in the area immediately east of the area of modern-day Antalya, which came to be known as Pamphylia, meaning "land of all tribes". Four great cities eventually rose to prominence in Pamphylia: Perge, Sillyon, Aspendos and Side.

Perge itself was founded in around 1000 BC and is nearly 20 kilometres inland. It was sited inland as a defensive measure in order to avoid the pirate bands that terrorized this stretch of the Mediterranean.

In 546 BC, the Achaemenid Persians defeated the local powers and gained control of the region. Two hundred years later, in 333 BC, the armies of Alexander the Great arrived in Perge during his war of conquest against the Persians. The citizens of Perge sent out guides to lead his army into the city.

Alexander's was followed by the diadoch empire of the Seleucids, under whom Perge's most celebrated ancient inhabitant, the mathematician Apollonius (c.262 BC – c.190 BC), lived and worked. Apollonius was a pupil of Archimedes and wrote a series of eight books describing a family of curves known as conic sections, comprising the circle, ellipse, parabola and hyperbola.

Roman rule began in 188 BC, and most of the surviving ruins today date from this period. After the collapse of the Roman Empire, Perge remained inhabited until Seljuk times, before being gradually abandoned.

 

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