"Alexander the Great and Termessus" Antalya Off The Beaten Path Tip by budapest8
Antalya Off The Beaten Path: 72 reviews and 122 photos
Termessus entered history during the winter of 333 BC when Alexander the Great was in the region. Having swept through Lycia, Alexander entered Pamphylia by the coastal route and mastered its cities of Perge, Aspendus and Side. Alexander then proceeded inland to Phrygia by a path that led through a narrow, difficult pass controlled by Termessus. Arrian (1.27) represents this as "the route to Phrygia," but there were others. We can only speculate whether (as Freya Stark suggested) his Pamphylian sources steered him in the direction of their fearsome neighbors or whether the plan was Alexander's.
Alexander's actions at Termessus are recounted in Arrian (1.27-28). Arrian describes the defile through which Alexander's army had to move, with steep sides "like gates" allowing even a small force to close it. Sure enough the Termessians turned out in a body to stop him. Seeing this, Alexander ordered his men to pitch camp, anticipating, as Arrian says, that the sight of this action would cause the bulk of the Termessian force to retire to the city until morning. When things turned out just as Alexander had suspected, he threw a team of archers, javelin men and light infantry against the Termessian positions, sending its defenders back to the city. Alexander passed the narrows and encamped threateningly close to the city itself.
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