I'm a In approximately 547 BC when Side was under Lycian rule, the region was invaded by the Persians. Two centuries later, in 334 BC, Alexander the Great arrived and Side surrendered without a fight. Alexander set up his mint here.
After the death of Alexander, Side was ruled successively by the Ptolemations and Seleucids, later winning independence which continued after Pamphylia became part of the kingdom of Pergamum in 188 BC.
As well as being a wealthy sea port, Side was a centre of culture and scholarship. In 78 BC it became part of the Roman Empire, whilst still retaining an extensive degree of self-government. During this period it added the slave trade to its already considerable sources of wealth.
In the second half of the 3rd century attacks on Pamphlyia by the mountain peoples to the north weakened the city's economy and new walls were built to protect against these incursions.
Under the Byzantines Side enjoyed final burst of prosperity before a combination of earthquakes, piracy and Arab incursions eventually caused the city to be entirely abandoned in the 10th century. According to the Arab geographer Idrisi, writing in 1150, the people of Side migrated westwards at this stage to New Antalya.
Sitting on a peninsular, Side was once an important Roman city. The ruins of ancient Side, including an impressive amphitheatre and the Temple of Appollo(where it is said Mark Anthony proposed to Cleopatra), are scattered around the centre and the old Roman Baths now hosts a well-stocked local archaeological museum. During the summer the amphitheatre (which seats approximately 17,000 people) is opened for opera, Turkish cultural folklore shows amongst others. The views from the top are truly magnificent ranging from the beaches and Side town area to the historical Hellenistic defense walls. Take an end of day walk down
to the harbor and follow the road round to the left. There you will find the ruins of the ancient Roman city and if you sit and watch the sun set behind Apollo Temple you will recognize the scene as being one that has been used many times on postcards and in travel brochures.
The existing town dates back to the early 20th century when it was founded by Greek speaking Muslims exiles from Crete. Its harbor served as a port, entertaining slave markets and flourished as a centre for piracy before settling down to be a quiet fishing port until the recent arrival of tourism and is now home to a small number of excursion boats.
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