Xanthos, located within the borders of Kınık district 55 kilometers from Fethiye, is assumed to be founded in the 8th century BC according to old records. According to the story of Herodotus, the father of history, the Lycians participated in the Trojan war under the command of Sarpedon, and it is assumed that the foundation of Xanthos dates back to 1200 BC.
Xanthos River, now known as Eşen, was named Xanhtos because it was founded on the banks of the stream. The name of Xanthos in the Lycian language is called ARNNA. It is referred to as "yellow" in Turkish literally. It is the largest of the neighboring Lycian troops and the people with the most warrior identity. A graffiti was written in the 9th century that reveals these warrior identities is as follows; “Walk around calmly in the middle of the noise, remember that there is peace in tranquility. Try to be friendly with everyone, unless it is explicitly required to behave otherwise. Let the best response you can give when evil is done to you is to forget. Forgive and forget. But do not surrender to anyone. Be sincere; Speak unhurriedly, briefly, and clearly. Listen to others too. Listen even when they are stupid and ignorant because everyone in the world has a story. Try to enjoy not only your plans but also your successes. Take care of your job, no matter how small, it is your pillar in life. If you choose a job you love, you won't be tired and worked even for a moment in your life. You will love your job so much that your achievements will strengthen your body and heart, and you will start a brand new life with what you have given. As you are and as you look. Do not pretend like you love when you do not. Make recommendations to the environment but to dominate. If you judge people, not the time to love them. Do not bend your nose to love, it is a lush garden in the middle of the desert. Remember that every plant needs constant care to be a worthy gardener for that garden. Prefer loss to immoral gain. The pain of the former lasts a moment, the other's remorse lasts a lifetime. Some ideals are so valuable that even being defeated on that road counts as a victory. The greatest legacy you will leave in this world is honesty. Do not be angry with the passing of the years, deliver the youthful things to the past with a smile. Don't let the things you can't do prevent what you can do. When you can't change the direction of the wind, adjust your sails to the wind. Because the world does not care about the storms you encounter, but whether you bring the ship to the harbor or not. Even though you may turn to rebellion from time to time, remember that it is impossible to judge the universe. So be at peace with yourself, even while fighting. Do you remember when you were born? Everyone was laughing with joy as you cried. Spend such a life that everybody cries when you die, you smile happily. Be patient, loving, virtuous. Ultimately, you are all your wealth. Try to see that despite all its filth and treachery, the world is still the only beautiful place for human beings. Xanthos. ”
This inscription, from which many people from every world will learn many lessons even today, is truly extraordinary. Let me talk about who the Xanthosites fought a little bit. The people of Xanthos, who resisted to the end with their small armies of 5-6 thousand people, against the Persian army consisting of hundreds of thousands of soldiers in the 5th-6th century BC, were defeated despite their endless resistance. Even if the city falls, since they cannot live as prisoners, they confine their women, children, and treasures to the castle and burn them. Only 80 people escaped from this war. After the withdrawal of the Persian army, 80 people who managed to escape come back to the city and return to their former days as a result of the good relations established with Athens. In this campaign, the people of Xanthos, who tried to resist the Persian army during the campaign of Alexander the Great, could not succeed. In the 3rd century BC, after the Ptolemies, the Egyptian dynasty had to accept the sovereignty of the Syrian king Antiochus III, like many Lycian cities. Xanthos, the capital city of the Lycian Union in the 2nd century BC, was destroyed by the Roman Brutus this time but was then rebuilt with the efforts of the emperor Mark Antonius. In the 1st century BC, Xanthos under Roman rule was built in the name of Emperor Vespasianus, and many buildings that survive today belong to this period.
Later, under Byzantine rule, Xanthos, the episcopal center, gained many structures during this period as well. Arab raids caused the city to be abandoned. In 1838, Charles Fellows took away many reliefs and works of sculpture from the city, which was rediscovered. Unfortunately, these artifacts are exhibited in the British Museum in London.
If I need to give information about the architecture in the city, the walls of the acropolis on both sides of Xanthos consist of smooth stone blocks made in the Hellenistic period. To the north of the Lycian acropolis is the Roman theater. The deep orchestra pit of the Xanthos theater is typical of the late Roman period gladiator fights. The detailed structure of the first floor has reached today with the front decorations of the high stage building of this theater. There are 16 rows of seats and 12 stairways on the first level of the two-level Xanthos theater. Although four rows have survived in the second level, the late East Roman wall built diagonally over the second level shows that many seating rows in this section were destroyed. Although it is difficult to determine its real capacity due to the important deficiency in the second level of the theater, its current state is approximately 3,000 people. The most interesting remains of Xanthos are the family of the dead and the Roman era agora on the rectangular pedestal to the west of the theater. In the northeast corner of the agora rises a monumental tomb, very similar to the Harpy Monument, with an inscription written in Lycian and Greek languages on its solid rectangular body. The inscription on the body of the monument is the longest inscription in Lycian language found to date and describes the adventures of the prince from Xanthos named Kherei. It is possible to see many rock tombs and pedestal tombs side by side in the Roman acropolis. All except the bases of the Lion Tomb, Payava and Merehi sarcophagi on the southern skirts of this area are exhibited in the British Museum.
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