Item: i28602 Authentic Ancient Coin of. Greek city of Tarsus in Cilicia Datames, Persian Satrap of Cilicia and Cappadocia, 369-361 B. Silver Stater 23mm, 10.55gm. Reference: SNGLev 83; SNGFr 292, BMC 35; SNG Cop 300, SNGvA Certification: NGC Ancients. Ch AU Strike: 4/5 Surface: 3/5 4277593-001 BALTRZ (= Baaltars) in Aramaic to left, Baaltars seated right, torso facing, holding eagle-tipped scepter in right hand, grain ear & grape-bunch in left; thymiaterion to right; all within crenellated wall.TDNM (= Datames) in Aramaic in the center, Ana, nude, facing Datames; both have their right arms raised; between them, thymiaterion; all within pelleted square border within linear border. Is a historical city in south-central Turkey, 20 km inland from Mediterranean Sea. It is part of Adana-Mersin Metropolitan Area, fourth largest metropolitan area in Turkey with a population of 2.75 million.
Tarsus is an administrative district in Mersin Province and lies in the core of Çukurova, a geographical, economical and cultural region. With a history going back over 9,000 years Tarsus has long been an important stop for traders, a focal point of many civilisations including the Ancient Romans when Tarsus was capital of the province of Cilicia, scene of the first meeting between Mark Antony and Cleopatra and birthplace of Saint Paul. Excavation of the mound of. Reveals that the prehistorical development of Tarsus reaches back to the Neolithic Period and continues unbroken through Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Ages.The settlement was located at the crossing of several important trade routes, linking Anatolia to Syria and beyond. Because the ruins are covered by the modern city, archaeology has barely touched the ancient city. The city may have been of Semitic origin; it is mentioned as Tarsisi in the campaigns of Esarhaddon, as well as several times in the records of Shalmaneser I and Sennacherib.
A Greek legend connects it with the memory of Sardanapalus (Ashurbanipal), still preserved in the Dunuk-Tach, called'tomb of Sardanapalus', a monument of unknown origin. Stephanus of Byzantium quotes Athenodorus of Tarsus as relating another legend.
Anchiale, daughter of Iapetus, founded Anchiale (a city near Tarsus): her son was Cydnus, who gave his name to the river at Tarsus: the son of Cydnus was Parthenius, from whom the city was called Parthenia: afterwards the name was changed to Tarsus. Much of this legend of the foundation of Tarsus, however, appeared in the Roman era, and none of it is reliable. The geographer Strabo states that Tarsus was founded by people from Argos who were exploring this coast. Another legend states that the winged horse Pegasus was lost and landed here, hurting his foot, and thus the city was named.
The sole of the foot. Other candidates for legendary founder of the city include the hero Perseus and Triptolemus son of the earth-goddess Demeter, doubtless because the countryside around Tarsus is excellent farmland. Later the coinage of Tarsus bore the image of Hercules, due to yet another tale in which the hero was held prisoner here by the local god Sandon. Tarsus has been suggested as a possible identification of the biblical Tarshish, where the prophet Jonah wanted to flee, but Tartessos in Spain is a more likely identification for this.Early antiquity, Greece and Persia. In historical times, the city was first ruled by the Hittites, followed by Assyria, and then the Persian Empire. Tarsus was the seat of a Persian satrapy from 400 BC onward.
Indeed, Xenophon records that in 401 BC, when Cyrus the Younger marched against Babylon, the city was governed by King Syennesis in the name of the Persian monarch. Alexander the Great passed through with his armies in 333 BC and nearly met his death here after a bath in the Cydnus. By this time Tarsus was already largely influenced by Greek language and culture, and as part of the Seleucid Empire it became more and more hellenized.Strabo praises the cultural level of Tarsus in this period with its philosophers, poets and linguists. The schools of Tarsus rivaled Athens and Alexandria. 2 Maccabees (4:30) records its revolt in about 171 BC against Antiochus IV Epiphanes, who had renamed the town Antiochia on the Cydnus. In his time the library of Tarsus held 200,000 books, including a huge collection of scientific works. The name didn't last, however, due to the confusion of so many cities named Antioch.
Pompey subjected Tarsus to Rome, and it became capital of the Roman province of Cilicia, the metropolis where the governor resided. In 66 BC, the inhabitants received Roman citizenship. To flatter Julius Caesar, for a time it took the name Juliopolis. It was also here that Cleopatra and Mark Antony met and was the scene of the celebrated feasts they gave during the construction of their fleet (41 BC). When the province of Cilicia was divided, Tarsus remained the civil and religious metropolis of Cilicia Prima, and was a grand city with palaces, marketplaces, roads and bridges, baths, fountains and waterworks, a gymnasium on the banks of the Cydnus, and a stadium.Tarsus was later eclipsed by nearby Adana, but remained important as a port and shipyard. From here Barnabas retrieved him to help with the work in Syrian Antioch (Acts 11:25). Already by this time a Christian community probably existed, although the first recorded bishop, Helenus, dates only from the third century; Helenus visited Antioch several times in connection with the dispute concerning Paul of Samosata. Later bishops of Tarsus included Lupus, present at the Council of Ancyra in 314; Theodorus, at the Council of Nicaea in 325; Helladius, who was condemned at the Council of Ephesus and who appealed to the bishop of Rome in 433; above all the celebrated exegete Diodorus, teacher of Theodore of Mopsuestia and consequently one of the fathers of Nestorianism. From the sixth century the metropolitan see of Tarsus had seven suffragan bishoprics. The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople archdiocese is again mentioned in the tenth century. , and has existed down to the present day, part of the Patriarchate of Antioch.
Owing to the importance of Tarsus, many martyrs were put to death here, among them being Saint Pelagia, Saint Boniface, Saint Marinus, Saint Diomedes, Saint Quiricus and Saint Julitta. At about the end of the tenth century, the Armenians established a diocese of their rite, which still exists; Saint Nerses of Lambroun was its most distinguished representative in the twelfth century. A cave in Tarsus is one of a number of places claiming to be the location of the legend of the Seven Sleepers, common to Christianity and Islam.
The Tarsus region was annexed by the Forces of Rashidun Caliphate under the command of Khalid ibn Walid in 637. Tarsus was on the edge of the de facto border with the Byzantine empire in this period of the Taurus Mountains range separating the Armeniac and Anatolic themes from Cilicia, Syria and northern Iraq. Tarsus was near the strategically important Cilician Gates which passed through the Taurus Mountains as well as access to the Mediterranean Sea which was used for both land and naval operations further in the Byzantine territory. While the region was lost by the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius in 637, it is unclear when the city was permanently occupied by the Arabs as sources indicate the city was garrisoned and retaken multiple times until the 9th century. According to the Arabic geographer Ibn Hawqal and the accounts of Arab historian Abu Amr Al-Tarsusi, Tarsus was a stronghold of Muslim forces with thousands of volunteers from across the Islamic world coming to fight in jihad against the Byzantine Empire.
The city was a base of operations for the regular summer raids. Into Byzantine lands through the Cilician Gates when the mountain snows had melted and passage was possible. Later the city was used in defense of the frontier in response to a resurgent Byzantine empire in the mid-10th century. The area was retaken by the Seljuk Turks, recaptured in 1097 during the Crusades and then disputed between Latins, Greeks, and Armenians of the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia (Kingdom of Lesser Armenia); these last became definitively masters until about 1360, when it was captured by the Ramazanoglu Turks. Finally, the area was brought under the control of the Ottomans by Selim I in 1517.In the Middle Ages Tarsus was renowned throughout the Middle East; a number of Arab writers praised it as a beautiful and well-defended city, its walls being in two layers with five gates and earthworks outside, surrounded by rich farmland, watered by the river and the lake. By 1671 the traveller Evliya Çelebi records. "A city on the plain, an hour from the sea, surrounded by strong walls two-storeys high, moated on all sides, with three distinct neighbourhoods inside the walls". Despite its excellent defences, Tarsus was captured from the Ottomans in 1832 by the Mamluks of Ibrahim Pasha of Egypt, son of Muhammad Ali, and for 8 years remained in the hands of the Egyptians, who began growing cotton on the surrounding plain. Upon the return of the Ottomans this cotton drove a substantial growth in the economy of the area, due to increased world demand for the crop during shortages caused by the U.
A new road was built to the port in Mersin and the city of Tarsus grew and thrived. Still today many large houses in the city stand as reminders of the wealth generated during this period. However after being a port for 3,000 years, by the end of the 19th century neglect resulted in Tarsus no longer having access to the sea, and the delta became a swamp.At this point Tarsus was a typical Ottoman city with communities of Muslim Turks, Christian Greeks and Armenians. At the founding of the Turkish Republic in the 1920s the swamp was drained and the River Berdan was dammed to build Turkey's first hydro-electric power station. Irrigation, roadworks and a railway brought the economy of Tarsus back to life, with new factories, particularly producing textiles.
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