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Xanthos is the former capital of the Lycian Federation and also one of the greatest cities in the region. According to archaeological data, the foundation of the city took place in the 8th century BC. However, scientists are also inclined to believe that the city could already exist in the Bronze Age or at the beginning of the Iron Age.
The city of Xanthos is located in the valley of the same name, on the top of a mountain, from where a beautiful panorama of the valley itself and the surrounding her Taurus Mountains. Today, the village of Kynyk is located next to it.
The history of the city is quite tragic. For many years the city remained unconquered, until one day the Persians came here. Before the last battle, the warriors of Xanthos burned their wives, children and slaves in the Acropolis. This moment was described by Herodotus in his writings.
Around 475-450 BC. Xanthos was completely burned, but over time it was restored and repopulated. Later, like the rest of the Lycian cities, Xanthos surrendered to Alexander the Great, and after his death the city was ruled by the Ptolemaic dynasty.
In 197 BC. Emperor Antiochus the Third signed a treaty with the locals, according to which the city was considered free, and its inhabitants were to worship the gods Leto, Artemis and Apollo.
After the defeat of Antiochus the Third, the city was transferred to the Rhodesians. The feeling of slavery forced the citizens to revolt, and in 167 BC. the rule of Rhodes came to an end.
In the 1st century BC. during the Roman civil wars, the Lycians fought against Pompey on the side of Caesar. After the death of Caesar, the Lycians refused to pay an indemnity, in connection with which, the city was attacked by Brutus and the army of Lycian soldiers was destroyed.
In 42 BC. the inhabitants of Xanthos committed the second mass suicide in history. This act struck Brutus, and he ordered to reward the surviving residents of the city.
In the Byzantine era, the city walls were restored in Xanthos, and a monastery was erected. In the 8th century, the city was often raided by the Arabs, after which it was deserted.
The ruins of the city were discovered by Charles Fellowes in 1838. Today the city has many interesting buildings and monuments. Particularly noteworthy are the 'Tomb of the Harpies', 'Obelisk of Xanthos', Roman Arch, Ancient Theater, Necropolis, Byzantine Church, Market Square, etc.
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