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Telmessus

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Telmessus

This article is about Telmessos in Lycia (modern Fethiye), not to be confused with Telmessos in Caria.
Paintings of Telmessos by Luigi Mayer

Telmessos or Telmessus (Ancient Greek: Τελμησσός), later Anastasiopolis, then Makri or Macre, was the largest city in Lycia, near the Carian border, and is sometimes confused with Telmessos in Caria. The well-protected harbor of Telmessos is separated from the Gulf of Telmessos by an island.

The modern town of Fethiye is located on its site.

History

Telmessos (or incorrectly Telmissis) was a flourishing city west of Lycia, on the Gulf of Fethiye. It was famed for its school of diviners, consulted among others by the Lydian king Croesus, prior to declaring war against Cyrus, and by Alexander the Great, when he came to the town after the siege of Halicarnassus.

Telmessos was a member of the Delian League in the 5th century BC. It was taken by Alexander in 334 BC.

Telmessos was renamed Anastasiopolis in the 8th century AD, apparently in honour of Emperor Anastasios II, but this name did not persist. The city came to be called Makri, after the name of the island at the entrance to the harbor. This name is attested for the first time in 879 AD. However, an inscription of the 7th century found in Gibraltar and bearing the ethnonym "Makriotes" (from Makri) may indicate an earlier existence of name Makri.[1]

Its ruins are located at Fethiye.

Church history

Le Quien (Oriens christianus, I, 971) mentions two bishops of Telmessus: Hilary (370) and Zenodotus, at the Council of Chalcedon (451). The latter is called "Bishop of the Metropolis of Telmessaei and the Isle of Macra". The Notitiae episcopatuum mentions Telmessus among the suffragans of Myra until the 10th century, when it is no longer called Macra; in 1316 mention is made of the See of "Macra and Lybysium". Lybysium or Levissi, about four miles south-west of Makri, had in Ottoman days 3000 inhabitants, nearly all Greeks (Orthodox).

Under the name 'Telmessus', it is a Roman Catholic titular bishopric in the former Roman province of Lycia, suffragan of Myra. In the Orthodox Church, Telmessos is also a titular episcopal see of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. The current holder of the see, Archbishop Job, is primate of the Patriarchal Exarchate for Orthodox Parishes of Russian Tradition in Western Europe, based in Paris.[2]

See also

Sources

  • PD-icon.svg 
  • Archaeological World
  • Clive Foss, "The Lycian Coast in the Byzantine Age", Dumbarton Oaks Papers 48:1-52 (1994). at JSTOR

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Coordinates: 36°37′21.3″N 29°06′41.4″E / 36.622583°N 29.111500°E / 36.622583; 29.111500

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