Aperlae (or Aperlæ) (Ancient Greek: Ἄπερλαι, romanized: Aperlai) was a city on the southern coast of ancient Lycia and former bishopric, now a Latin Catholic titular see. It did not play any significant role in history or politics, yet its lifespan of 1,300 years is worth note. Harsh terrain made it difficult to survive, but like other towns along the coast, it thrived on the production of Tyrian dye.
The town's position is fixed by the Stadiasmus 60 stadia west of Somena, and 64 stadia west of Andriace. Leake (Asia Minor, p. 188) supposes Somena to be the Simena of Pliny (v. 27). Aperlae, which is written in the text of Claudius Ptolemy Aperrae, and in Pliny Apyrae, is proved to be a genuine name by an inscription found by Cockerell, at the head of Hassar bay, with the ethnic name Ἀπερλειτων on it. But there are also coins of Gordian with the ethnic name Ἀπερραιτων. The confusion between the "l" and the "r" in the name of a small place is nothing remarkable.
Aperlae is situated near a bay and had harsh conditions all around. The sea in this region was unreliable in a storm and the bay offered near no protection from weather. It was directly between the mountains and the coast, the city's fortifications didn't encompass the arable terraced part of the mountains. There were no reliable sources of fresh water, but numerous cisterns located around the town indicated a heavy reliance on rain water. Aperlae was near a faultline leading to the seaside district of Aperlae sinking due to slow slumping over time. The most defining feature of the Aperlae landscape was the vast amount of Murex snail shells. There were two distinct parts of town where they were dumped covering altogether 1,600 square meters (at an unknown depth until the Turkish government allows archeologists to dig), they were discovered in the mortar and concrete of the buildings of the city, and they were found in large quantities dumped into the ocean.
Aperlae was founded sometime between the late 4th and early 3rd century BCE and sustained a long lifespan of about 1,300 years until the end of the 7th century AD.
When the Byzantine Empire went to pieces and the political powers began to deteriorate, security of the coast failed and Aperlae was abandoned due to the threat of pirate raids and Arab corsairs. Though with the evidence of some late repairs on a church suggest that there was possibly a small settlement of squattors or stragglers after it was left, Aperlae was never rebuilt and resettled.
The economy was built around the production of Tyrian dye, a deep and costly purple which is gleaned from the hypobroncial gland of the Murex trunculus (which has been reclassified as Hexaplex trunculus), said to have cost 20 times its weight in gold. Experiments conducted in 1909 concluded that it would take 12,000 snails to produce 1.4 grams or 0.05 oz. Three ceramic lined vats found in the sunken district are suggested to have been holding tanks for the live snails until there were enough to be processed. Evidence of the presence of other mollusks in these piles indicates that the Murex were collected using nets and not by hand.
Though there was a rudimentary harbor with a jetty but not a breakwater, it is evident from the opulence presented by the city that there were more than enough resources to make one if they wanted. The city boasted four churches, a great number of tombstones and good fortifications which indicate an affluence of that time.
Since it was in the Roman province of Lycia, the bishopric of Aperlae was a suffragan of the metropolitan see of Myra, the province's capital, and was among the most important of the suffragan sees, being mentioned in fifth place in the Notitiae Episcopatuum of Pseudo-Epiphanius, composed under Byzantine Emperor Heraclius in about 640. No name of any of its bishops was identified by Lequien in his Oriens christianus in quatuor Patriarchatus digestus.
It is vacant since decades, having had only the following incumbents, both of the lowest (episcopal) rank :
Carter, R.S.. "The Submerged Seaport of Aperlae." International Journal of Nautical Archeology 7(1978): 177-85. Print.
Hohlfelder, Robert L.; Vann, Robert L. "Cabotage at Aperlae in Ancient Lycia." International Journal of Nautical Archeology 29(2000): 126-135. Print.
Hohlfelder, Robert L.; Vann, Robert L. "Uncovering the Maritime Secrets of Aperlae, a Coastal Settlement of Ancient Lycia." Near Eastern Archeology 61(1998): 26-37. Print.
Apollonia (Ancient Greek: Ἀπολλωνία) was a city in ancient Lycia. Its ruins are located near Kiliçli (Sıçak), a small village in the Kaş district of Antalya Province, Turkey.Ariassus
Ariassus or Ariassos (Ancient Greek: Άριασσός) was a town in Pisidia, Asia Minor built on a steep hillside about 50 kilometres inland from Attaleia (modern Antalya).Caloe
Caloe was a town in the Roman province of Asia. It is mentioned as Kaloe or Keloue in 3rd-century inscriptions, as Kalose in Hierocles's Synecdemos (660), and as Kalloe, Kaloe, and Kolone in Parthey's Notitiæ episcopatuum, in which it figures from the 6th to the 12fth or 13th century.Cestrus
Cestrus was a city in the Roman province of Isauria, in Asia Minor. Its placing within Isauria is given by Hierocles, Georgius Cyprius, and Parthey's (Notitiae episcopatuum). While recognizing what the ancient sources said, Lequien supposed that the town, whose site has not been identified, took its name from the River Cestros and was thus in Pamphylia. Following Lequien's hypothesis, the 19th-century annual publication Gerarchia cattolica identified the town with "Ak-Sou", which Sophrone Pétridès called an odd mistake, since this is the name of the River Cestros, not of a city.Cotenna
Cotenna was a city in the Roman province of Pamphylia I in Asia Minor. It corresponds to modern Gödene, near Konya, Turkey.Cyaneae
Cyaneae (Ancient Greek: Κυανέαι; also spelt Kyaneai or Cyanae) was a town of ancient Lycia, or perhaps three towns known collectively by the name, on what is now the southern coast of Turkey. William Martin Leake says that its remains were discovered west of Andriaca. The place, which is at the head of Port Tristomo, was determined by an inscription. Leake observes that in some copies of Pliny it is written Cyane; in Hierocles and the Notitiae Episcopatuum it is Cyaneae. To Spratt and Forbes, Cyaneae appeared to be a city ranking in importance with Phellus and Candyba, but in a better state of preservation. No longer a residential bishopric, Cyanae is today listed by the Catholic Church as a titular see.Docimium
Docimium, Docimia or Docimeium (Greek: Δοκίμια and Δοκίμειον) was an ancient city of Phrygia, Asia Minor where there were famous marble quarries.Drizipara
Drizipara (or Druzipara, Drousipara. Drusipara) now Karıştıran (Büyükkarıştıran) in Lüleburgaz district was a city and a residential episcopal see in the Roman province of Europa in the civil diocese of Thrace. It is now a titular see of the Catholic Church.Ferdinando Baldelli
Ferdinando Baldelli (September 26, 1886 – September 20, 1963) was an Italian Catholic bishop. He was President of the Pontificia Commissione di Assistenza (1944–1959) and President of Caritas (charity) Internationalis (1951–1962).Isinda (Lycia)
Isinda (Ancient Greek: Ἴσινδα) was a town of ancient Lycia. Isinda formed a political union (Sympoliteia) with three neighboring cities Aperlae (which was the union's seat), Apollonia and Simena.Its site is located near Belenli, Asiatic Turkey. The city was located on a hill above Belenli, where remains of a city wall and other buildings are preserved, as well as some Lycian pillars and rock tombs.Kekova
Kekova, also named Caravola (Greek: Dolichiste), is a small Turkish island near Demre (Demre is the Lycian town of Myra) district of Antalya province which faces the villages of Kaleköy (ancient Simena) and Üçağız (ancient Teimioussa). Kekova has an area of 4.5 km2 (2 sq mi) and is uninhabited.Korkuteli
Korkuteli is a district of Antalya Province in the Mediterranean region of Turkey, 56 km (35 mi) north-west of the city of Antalya. It was previously called Istanoz or StenezLyrbe
Lyrbe (spelled Lyrba in the 1910 Catholic Encyclopedia; Ancient Greek: Λύρβη) was a city and episcopal see in the Roman province of Pamphylia Prima and is now a titular see.Phellus
Phellus (Ancient Greek: Φέλλος, Turkish: Phellos) is an town of ancient Lycia, now situated on the mountainous outskirts of the small town of Kaş in the Antalya Province of Turkey. The city was first referenced as early as 7 BC by Greek geographer and philosopher Strabo in Book XII of his Geographica (which detailed settlements in the Anatolia region), alongside the port town of Antiphellus; which served as the settlement's main trade front.
Its exact location, particularly in regard to Antiphellus, was misinterpreted for many years. Strabo incorrectly designates both settlements as inland towns, closer to each other than is actually evident today. Additionally, upon its rediscovery in 1840 by Sir Charles Fellows, the settlement was located near the village of Saaret, west-northwest of Antiphellus. Verifying research into its location in ancient text proved difficult for Fellows, with illegible Greek inscriptions providing the sole written source at the site. However, Thomas Abel Brimage Spratt details in his 1847 work Travels in Lycia that validation is provided in the words of Pliny the Elder, who places Phellus north of Habessus (Antiphellus' pre-Hellenic name).Rhodiapolis
Rhodiapolis (Ancient Greek: Ῥοδιάπολις), also known as Rhodia (Ῥοδία) and Rhodiopolis (Ῥοδιόπολις), was a city in ancient Lycia. Today it is located on a hill northwest of the modern town Kumluca in Antalya Province, Turkey.Simena
Simena (Ancient Greek: Σίμηνα) was a town on the coast of ancient Lycia, 60 stadia from Aperlae. The Stadiasmus Maris Magni calls the town Somena (Σόμηνα).Its site is located near Kaleköy, Asiatic Turkey.Stratonicea (Lydia)
Stratonicea – (Greek: Στρατoνικεια, or Στρατονίκεια) also transliterated as Stratoniceia and Stratonikeia, earlier Indi, and later for a time Hadrianapolis – was an ancient city in the valley of the Caicus river, between Germe and Acrasus, in Lydia, Anatolia; its site is currently near the village of Siledik, in the district of Kırkağaç, Manisa Province, in the Aegean Region of Turkey.Tyana
Tyana (Ancient Greek: Τύανα; Hittite Tuwanuwa) was an ancient city in the Anatolian region of Cappadocia, in modern Kemerhisar, Niğde Province, Central Anatolia, Turkey. It was the capital of a Luwian-speaking Neo-Hittite kingdom in the 1st millennium BC.Üçayaklı ruins
The Üçayaklı ruins are in Mersin Province, Turkey.