Alexandria's founded by Alexander

Alexandria's founded by Alexander the Great (by year BC): 334 Alexandria in Troia (Turkey) - 333 Alexandria at Issus/Alexandrette (Iskenderun, Turkey) - 332 Alexandria of Caria/by the Latmos (Alinda, Turkey) - 331 Alexandria Mygdoniae - 331 Alexandria (Egypt) - 330 Alexandria in Areia (Herat, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria of the Prophthasia/in Dragiana/Phrada (Farah, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria in Arachosia (Kandahar, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria in Caucasus (Begram, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria of the Paropanisades (Ghazni, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria Eschate or Ultima (Khodjend, Tajikistan) - 329 Alexandria on the Oxus (Ai-Khanoum OR Termez, Afghanistan) - 328 Alexandria in Margiana (Merv, Turkmenistan) - 326 Alexandria Nicaea (on the Hydaspes, India) - 326 Alexandria Bucephala (on the Hydaspes, India) - 325 Alexandria Sogdia - 325 Alexandria Oreitide - 325 Alexandria in Opiene / Alexandria on the Indus (confluence of Indus & Acesines, India) - 325 Alexandria Rambacia (Bela, Pakistan) - 325 Alexandria Xylinepolis (Patala, India) - 325 Alexandria in Carminia (Gulashkird, Iran) - 324 Alexandria-on-the-Tigris/Antiochia-in-Susiana/Charax (Spasinou Charax on the Tigris, Iraq) - ?Alexandria of Carmahle? (Kahnu)

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

What tourists don’t know when stopping at Manavgat

The waterfalls of Manavgat are generally on every tourist’s program visiting western Turkey while nearby Side is often neglected. Yet Side has many remains from antiquity worth a visit (see: Side didn’t put up any resistance to Alexander), especially its superb white marble Temple of Apollo overlooking the dark blue water of the harbor where extensive restoration works have been carried out over the past few years (see: Restoration of the Temple of Apollo in Side, Turkey).

It has been revealed that an Omphalos stone was found in this very city in 2001 but details are only surfacing now – not surprising when you know that an Omphalos stone implies the presence of a prophecy center. The original Omphalos is made from a meteorite, which was copied in many marble versions, including this one found here at Side. This 40-centimeter high stone is decorated with a snake and other ornamentations and would have sat in the very center of a temple. Finding it here in Side, one of the main accesses to the Mediterranean ever since the 7th century BC turns this temple into a center of prophecy. 

This is quite amazing since Delphi was the best-known center of the world, the Omphalos of the Greeks, and that stone has been recuperated from the city’s ruins many years ago. Since then, other centers of prophecy with their own Omphalos have been established, like Didyma, Claros, and Patara in western Turkey.

The Omphalos goes back to very ancient times when people wondered about the shape of the world and its center. Early sources have defined the world as a flat pancake surrounded by the ocean; the navel or center of this world was the Omphalos. Legend has it that Zeus sent two eagles to the edge of this flat world and the place where they met was at the Omphalos stone. Ever since the area of this stone was considered as being the center of the world.

The newly discovered Omphalos of Side is now on display at the local Museum for us to admire.

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