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The Ancient Lydian City on the borders of Phrygia & Caria

Tripolis on the Meander was an ancient city on the borders of Phrygia, Caria and Lydia, on the northern bank of the upper course of the Maeander river, and on the road leading from Sardes by Philadelphia to Laodicea ad Lycum.  It was situated 20 km to the northwest of Hierapolis.

Ruins of it still exist near Yenicekent a township in the Buldan district of Denizli Province, Turkey. The ruins mostly date from the Roman and Byzantine periods and include a theater, baths, city walls, and a necropolis. An ancient church, dating back 1,500 years, has been unearthed in 2013

Category:         Ancient City

Civilisation       Hittite /Asia Minor

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The earliest mention of Tripolis is by Pliny , who treats it as a Lydian town. Ptolemy  and Stephanus of Byzantium describe it as a Carian town. Hierocles  likewise calls it a Lydian town. William Mitchell Ramsay also places Tripolis within Lydia.
The city minted coins in antiquity, some of which bore an image of Leto. Catalogues of coins of Tripolis generally refer to the city as belonging to Lydia. However, one book on coin collecting list Tripolis as part of Lydia on one page, but speaks of it as part of Caria on another. A website on which various contributors give news of Turkish archaeology treats Tripolis as part of Phrygia.

Pliny says the city was also called Apollonia (Ἀπολλωνία), and Stephanus of Byzantium that, in his time, it was called Neapolis (Νεάπολις).

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The city of Tripolis was the seat of an ancient bishopric, suffragan to Sardis. Very little is known of the Bishopric, but we retain the names of some bishops, including:

  • Ramsay reports that a bishop of Tripolis in Lydia named Agogius attended the First Council of Nicaea in 325

  • Leontius

  • Commodus at Council of Chalcedon.[10] and Ephesus

  • Paulus, 

  • Joannes, 

  • Anastasius

  • Sisinnius

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Founded for the first time under the name Apollonia in the Hellenistic Period, the city was briefly named Antoniopolis during the visit of Triumvir Mark Antony to Asia Minor in 41 BC. From the reign of Emperor Augustus, the name of the city was changed for the last time to Tripolis, which means a city/polis formed by three small communities or settlements (synoikismos). Tripolis, as one of the border cities of the Lydia Region, is located at a very important point strategicly and geopolitically, due to its location on the transit route of trade routes. The trade routes starting from the important cities of antiquity such as Smyrna, Pergamon and Ephesos converge in Tripolis and pass through Hierapolis, Laodikeia and reach the eastern and southern parts of Anatolia.

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