Temple of Apollo, Side, Turkey
Strabo and Arrian both record that Side was founded by Greek settlers from Cyme in Aeolis, a region of western Anatolia. This most likely occurred in the 7th century BC. Possessing a good harbour for small-craft boats, Side’s natural geography made it one of the most important places in Pamphylia and one of the most important trade centers in the region.
Alexander the Great occupied Side without a struggle in 333 BC. He left only a single garrison behind to occupy the city. This occupation, in turn, introduced the people of Side to Hellenistic culture, which flourished from the 4th to the 1st century BC.
After Alexander’s death, Side fell under the control of one of Alexander’s generals, Ptolemy I Soter, who declared himself king of Egypt in 305 BC. The Ptolemaic dynasty controlled Side until it was captured by the Seleucid Empire in the 2nd century BC. Despite these occupations, Side managed to preserve some autonomy while prospering.
Side is on the southern Mediterranean coast of Turkey, a resort town and one of the best-known classical sites in the country. It lies near Manavgat and the village of Selimiye, in the province of Antalya.