Find it

Termessos

Güllük Dağı National Park is 33km north of Antalya; Termossos is 9km from the park entrance up a winding mountain lane. The final kilometre has to be made on foot. The park is open during the day, and closes in bad weather.


“We followed Alexander’s footsteps north from Antalya to Termessos,” writes Brian Sewell in Cornucopia 2, “a city that he briefly and unsuccessfully besieged, impatient to move on.” It is easy to see why the Macedonian empire-builder gave it a miss. Lying 1,000 feet up in the Taurus mountains, the Psidian city has sometimes been described a “Turkey’s Machu Pichu”. Though it seems magnificently impregnable and remote, it was strategically important, straddling a trade route, and it prospered, with a population reaching 150,000. The ruins of its mass of buildings are spread over the stony mountainsides and can take the best part of a day to explore. Temples, stoas, a gymnasium and odeon all lie within the walls, and at its summit is a Hellenistic theatre, a glorious eagle’s nest and one of the highest in antiquity. Termossos is protected within Güllük Dağı (Rose Mountain) National Park, and wild roses are just some of the wonderful flora of the area, which is rich in wildlife that includes wild goats and fallow deer.


Cornucopia 2

The Road to Godhead

By Brian Sewell (1931–2015)


The invasion of Asia Minor by Alexander the Great in 334 BC was an act of filial piety. Suspected of complicity in the murder of his father, Philip of Macedon, he put into action Philip’s plan for a great crusade that would free the Greek cities of the Diaspora from Persian rule, return their temples to the Greek pantheon, and avenge the Persian invasion of mainland Greece under Xerxes.

The political and military endeavour became not only a process of imperial expansion ever east towards China, the Oriental Ocean and the far end of the world, but for Alexander himself a metamorphosis from man to god.The invasion of Asia Minor by Alexander the Great in 334 BC was an act of filial piety. Suspected of complicity in the murder of his father, Philip of Macedon, he put into action Philip’s plan for a great crusade that would free the Greek cities of the Diaspora from Persian rule, return their temples to the Greek pantheon, and avenge the Persian invasion of mainland Greece under Xerxes.

The political and military endeavour became not only a process of imperial expansion ever east towards China, the Oriental Ocean and the far end of the world, but for Alexander himself a metamorphosis from man to god. It was in Aegean Turkey that the seeds of his conviction in his personal divinity were sown; by the time he reached the Temple of Siwa in the Libyan desert three years later, the conversion was complete, for there he exchanged his human father for the mystical paternity of Zeus Ammon, becoming the demi-god to whom medieval myth attributed flight on the wings of gryphons, and descent beneath the sea in a diving-bell of glass.

Alexander subdued Aegean Turkey at a leisurely pace, even wintering at length in Phaselis, securing the souther coast as far as Side in the early months of 333 BC. Then, a year after crossing the Hellespont, in a bout of furious activity he marched north into the heartland of Anatolia to divide the Persian satrapies and form alliances with local chieftains…

More Reading
Buy the latest issue
Or, browse the back issues here
Issue 57, May 2018 Black Sea Miracle
£ 12.00



If you like this, don't miss..