Kibyra or Cibyra (Greek: Κιβύρα), also referred to as Cibyra Magna, is an ancient city and an archaeological site in south-west Turkey, near the modern town of Gölhisar, in Burdur Province. It was the chief city of a district Cibyratis.


Strabo says, that the Cibyratae are called descendants of the Lydians, of those who once occupied the Cabalis, but afterwards of the neighbouring Pisidians, who settled here, and removed the town to another position in a strong place, which was about 100 stadia in circuit.[1]


It grew powerful under a good constitution, and the villages extended from Pisidia and the adjoining Milyas into Lycia, and to the Peraea of the Rhodians. When the three neighbouring towns of Bubon, Balubura, and Oenoanda were joined to it, this confederation was called Tetrapolis. Each town had one vote, but Cibyra had two votes; for Cibyra alone could muster 30,000 infantry and 2000 cavalry. It was always under tyrants, but the government was moderate.

The tetrapolis formed under the leadership of Kibyra during the 2nd century BC, was dissolved by the Roman general Lucius Licinius Murena in 83 BC, at the time of the First Mithridatic War. Balbura and Bubon were assigned to the Lycians. The conventus of Cibyra, however, still remained one of the greatest in Asia. The Cibyratae had four languages, the Pisidian, the Hellenic, the language of the Solymi and of the Lydians. It is also the place where, according to Strabo, the Lydian language was still being spoken among a multicultural population around his time (1st century BC), thus making Kibyra the last locality where the culture, by then extinct in Lydia proper according to extant accounts, is attested.[2] It was a peculiarity of Cibyra that the iron was easily cut with a chisel, or other sharp tool.[3][1]


Strabo does not fix the position of Cibyra precisely. After mentioning Antiochia on the Maeander as being in Caria, he says, to the south the great Cibyra, Sinda, and the Cabalis, as far as Taurus and Lycia. Ptolemy[4] places Cibyra in Great Phrygia, and assigns the three cities of Bubon, Balbura, and Oenoanda to the Cabalis of Lycia, which is consistent with Strabo.[1]

The place is identified by inscriptions on the spot. The ruins cover the brow of a hill between 300 and 400 feet above the level of the plain. The material for the buildings was gotten from the limestone in the neighbourhood; and many of them are in good condition. One of the chief buildings is a theatre, in fine preservation: the diameter is 266 feet. The seats command a view of the Cibyratic plain, and of the mountains towards the Milyas. On the platform near the theatre are the ruins of several large buildings supposed to be temples, some of the Doric and others of the Corinthian order. On a block there is an inscription, Καισαρεων Κιβυρατων ἡ βουλη και ὁ δημος, from which it appears that in the Roman period the city had also the name Caesarea. The name Καισαρεων appears on some of the coins of Cibyra. A large building about 100 yards from the theatre is supposed to have been an Odeum or music theatre. There are no traces of city walls.[1]

Kibyra Theatre 9919

Kibyra Theatre

Kibyra Theatre 9911 panorama

Kibyra Theatre from top

Kibyra Theatre 9896

Kibyra Theatre from stage part

Kibyra Temple 9963

Kibyra Temple

Kibyra Odeon 9922 panorama

Kibyra Odeon from the outside

Kibyra Odeon 9951

Kibyra Odeon inside

Medusa mosaic of Kibyra

Medusa mosaic of Kibyra

Kibyra Odeon Roman bath 9928

Kibyra Odeon Roman bath

Kibyra Odeon Roman bath 9931

Kibyra Odeon Roman bath

Kibyra Agora 9854

Kibyra Agora Frieze

Kibyra Roman bath 9970 panorama

Kibyra Roman bath


The stadium, 650 feet in length and 80 in breadth, is at the lower extremity of the ridge on which the city stands. The hill side was partly excavated to make room for it; and on the side formed out of the slope of the hill were ranged 21 rows of seats, which at the upper extremity of the stadium turned so as to make a theatre-like termination. This part of the stadium is very perfect, but the seats on the hill side are much displaced by the shrubs that have grown up between them. The seats overlook the plain of Cibyra. The seats on the side opposite to the hill were marble blocks placed on a low wall built along the edge of the terrace, formed by cutting the side of the hill. Near the entrance to the stadium a ridge runs eastward, crowned by a paved way, bordered on each side by sarcophagi and sepulchral monuments. At the entrance to this avenue of tombs was a massive triumphal arch of Doric architecture, now in ruins.[1]

Kibyra Stadium 9789

Kibyra Stadium end

Kibyra Stadium 9797

Kibyra Stadium General view

Kibyra Stadium 9811

Kibyra Stadium

Kibyra Stadium 9833

Kibyra Stadium from curved part

Kibyra Stadium 9849

Kibyra Stadium view high side


The elevation of the Cibyratic plain is estimated to be 3500 feet above the level of the sea. It produces corn. The sites of Balbura, Bubon, and Oenoanda, which is on the Xanthus, being now ascertained, we can form a tolerably correct idea of the extent of the Cibyratis. It comprised the highest part of the basin of the Xanthus, and all the upper and probably the middle part of the basin of the Indus, for Strabo describes the Cibyratis as reaching to the Rhodian Peraea. The great range of Cadmus (Baba Dagh), said to be 8000 feet high, bounded it on the west, and separated it from Caria. The upper part of the basin of the Indus consists of numerous small valleys, each of which has its little stream. Pliny's brief description[5] has been derived from good materials: the river Indus, which rises in the hills of the Cibyratae, receives sixty perennial rivers, and more than a hundred torrents.[1]


Cibyra is first mentioned by Livy[6] in his history of the operations of the consul Cn. Manlius, who approached it from the upper part of the Maeander and through Caria. He probably advanced upon it by the valley of Karaook, through which the present road leads from the Cibyratis to Laodicea on the Lycus. Manlius demanded and got from Moagetes, the tyrant of Cibyra, 100 talents and 10,000 medimni of wheat. Livy says that Moagetes had under him Syleum and Alimne, besides Cibyra. This Alimne may be identified with the remains of a large town on an island in the lake of Gule Hissar, which island is connected with the mainland by an ancient causeway. This lake lies in the angle between the Caulares and the river of Cibyra. The last tyrant of Cibyra, also named Moagetes, was the son of Pancrates[7] He was put down by L. Licinius Murena, probably in 84 BCE, when his territory was divided, and Cibyra was attached to Phrygia.[1]


Pliny states that twenty-five cities belonged to the Jurisdictio or Conventus of Cibyra; and he adds that the town of Cibyra belonged to Phrygia. This, like many other of the Roman political arrangements, was quite at variance with the physical divisions of the country. Laodicea on the Lycus was one of the chief cities of this Conventus. Under the Romans, Cibyra was a place of great trade, as it appears (Hor. Ep. i. 6. 33). Its position, however, does not seem very favourable for commerce, for it is neither on the sea nor on a great road. We may conclude, however, that the Roman negotiatores and mercatores found something to do here, and probably the grain of the valley of the Indus and the wool and iron of Cibyra might furnish articles of commerce. Iron ore is plentiful in the Cibyratis. We know nothing of any artists of Cibyra, except two, whom Cicero mentions (Verr. ii. 4. c. 13), who were more famed for their knavery than for artistic skill. Cibyra was much damaged by an earthquake, in the time of Tiberius, who recommended a Senatus Consultum to be enacted for relieving it from payment of taxes (tributum) for three years. In this passage of Tacitus (Ann. iv. 13), it is called civitas Cibyratica apud Asiam.[1]


Three Greek inscriptions from Cibyra are printed in the Appendix to Spratt's Lycia. All of them contain the name of the city, and all belong to the Roman period. One of them seems intended to record a statue, or some memorial set up in honour of Lucius Aelius, the adopted son of Hadrian, and it mentions his being in his second consulship dating the inscription to 137.[8][1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainSmith, William, ed. (1854–1857). "Cibyra". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography. London: John Murray.
  2. ^ N.P. Milner (1998). An Epigraphical Survey in the Kibyra-Olbasa Region conducted by A S Hall (Monograph). British Institute of Archaeology at Ankara.
  3. ^ see Groskurd's Note, Transl. Strab. vol. ii. p. 633, where he unnecessarily make a distinction between τορεύεσθαι and τορνεύεσθαι).
  4. ^ v. 3.
  5. ^ v. 28.
  6. ^ xxxviii. 14.
  7. ^ Polyb. xxx. 9.
  8. ^ Smith, W. (Ed.). (1870). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (Vol. 1, pp. 614-616).

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Coordinates: 37°09′36″N 29°29′21″E / 37.1601°N 29.4892°E

AD 17 Lydia earthquake

The AD 17 Lydia earthquake caused the destruction of at least twelve cities in the region of Lydia in the Roman province of Asia in Asia Minor. The earthquake was recorded by the Roman historians Tacitus and Pliny the Elder, and the Greek historians Strabo and Eusebius. Pliny called it "the greatest earthquake in human memory". The city of Sardis, the former capital of the Lydian Empire, was the most affected and never completely recovered from the destruction.


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 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 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.


The cistophorus (Ancient Greek: κιστοφόρος, kistophoros) was a coin of ancient Pergamum. It was introduced sometime in the years 175–160 BC at that city to provide the Attalid kingdom with a substitute for Seleucid coins and the tetradrachms of Philetairos. It was also used by a number of other cities that were under Attalid control. These cities included Alabanda and Kibyra. It continued to be minted and circulated down to the time of Hadrian, long after the kingdom was bequeathed to Rome. It owes its name to a figure, on the obverse, of the sacred chest (Latin: cista) of Dionysus.


Cotenna was a city in the Roman province of Pamphylia I in Asia Minor. It corresponds to modern Gödene, near Konya, Turkey.


Docimium, Docimia or Docimeium (Greek: Δοκίμια and Δοκίμειον) was an ancient city of Phrygia, Asia Minor where there were famous marble quarries.


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.

List of World Heritage Sites in Turkey (tentative list)

Below is the tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Turkey. (For the criteria see the Selection criteria)

List of ancient settlements in Turkey

Below is the list of ancient settlements in Turkey. There are innumerable ruins of ancient settlements spread all over the country. While some ruins date back to Neolithic times, most of them were settlements of Hittites, Phrygians, Lydians, Ionians, Urartians, and so on.

Ludus duodecim scriptorum

Ludus duodecim scriptorum, or XII scripta, was a board game popular during the time of the Roman Empire. The name translates as "game of twelve markings", probably referring to the three rows of 12 markings each found on most surviving boards. The game tabula is thought to be a descendant of this game, and both are similar to modern backgammon.It has been speculated that XII scripta is related to the Egyptian game senet, but some consider this doubtful because, with the exception of limited superficial similarities between the appearance of the boards, and the use of dice, there is no known evidence linking the games. Another factor casting doubt on this link is that the latest known classical senet board is over half of a millennium older than the earliest known XII scripta board.

Very little information about specific gameplay has survived. The game was played using three cubic dice, and each player had 15 pieces. A possible "beginners' board", having spaces marked with letters, has suggested a possible path for the movement of pieces.The earliest known mention of the game is in Ovid's Ars Amatoria (The Art of Love) (written between 1 BC and 8 AD). An ancient example of the game was excavated at the archaeological site of Kibyra in southern Turkey.

Lydian language

Lydian (𐤮𐤱𐤠𐤭𐤣𐤸𐤯𐤦𐤳 Śfardẽtis "[language] of Sardis") is an extinct Indo-European Anatolian language spoken in the region of Lydia, in western Anatolia (now in Turkey). The language is attested in graffiti and in coin legends from the late 8th century or the early 7th century to the 3rd century BC, but well-preserved inscriptions of significant length are so far limited to the 5th century and the 4th century BC, during the period of Persian domination. Thus, Lydian texts are effectively contemporaneous with those in Lycian.

Extant Lydian texts now number slightly over 100, all but a few having been found in or near Sardis, the Lydian capital, but fewer than 30 of the inscriptions consist of more than a few words or are reasonably complete. Most of the inscriptions are on stone and are sepulchral in content, but several are decrees of one sort or another, and some half-dozen texts seem to be in verse, with a stress-based meter and vowel assonance at the end of the line. Tomb inscriptions include many epitaphs, which typically begin with the words 𐤤𐤮 𐤥𐤠𐤫𐤠𐤮 eś wãnaś ("this grave"), as well as short graffiti.

Strabo mentions that around his time (1st century BC), the Lydian language was no longer spoken in Lydia proper but was still being spoken among the multicultural population of Kibyra (now Gölhisar) in southwestern Anatolia, by the descendants of the Lydian colonists, who had founded the city.


The Lydians (known as Sparda to the Achaemenids, Old Persian cuneiform 𐎿𐎱𐎼𐎭) were an Anatolian people living in Lydia, a region in western Anatolia, who spoke the distinctive Lydian language, an Indo-European language of the Anatolian group.

Questions raised regarding their origins, as defined by the language and reaching well into the 2nd millennium BC, continue to be debated by language historians and archeologists . A distinct Lydian culture lasted, in all probability, until at least shortly before the Common Era, having been attested the last time among extant records by Strabo in Kibyra in south-west Anatolia around his time (1st century BC).

The Lydian capital was at Sfard or Sardis. Their recorded history of statehood, which covers three dynasties traceable to the Late Bronze Age, reached the height of its power and achievements during the 7th and 6th centuries BC, a time which coincided with the demise of the power of neighboring Phrygia, which lay to the north-east of Lydia.

Lydian power came to an abrupt end with the fall of their capital in events subsequent to the Battle of Halys in 585 BC and defeat by Cyrus the Great in 546 BC.


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.

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.


Tetrapolis (Greek: Τετράπολις, meaning "four cities") may refer to:

Tetrapolis (Attica), a district comprising four cities in ancient Attica, Greece

Doric Tetrapolis, a group of four cities in ancient Doris, Greece

The Syrian tetrapolis of Antioch, Seleucia Pieria, Apamea, and Laodicea

Antioch by itself was also sometimes called Tetrapolis

Kibyran Tetrapolis in Lycia, see Kibyra


Trimilinda (Ancient Greek: Τριμιλίνδα) was a town of ancient Lycia, which per the Stadiasmus Patarensis was on a road from Balbura to Kibyra.Its site is unlocated.

Üçayaklı ruins

The Üçayaklı ruins are in Mersin Province, Turkey.

Black Sea
Central Anatolia
Eastern Anatolia


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