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S U M M A R Y

The Reality of Pamphylia and Anatolia
Fahri IŞIK*

From the IIth century B.C., the time when the first Hellenic tribes moved into the land of Anatolia, until today, history has been distorted by Pan-Hellenistic assertions, and the magnificent civilization created in the coastal parts of Anatolia has been supposed to belong to the Hellenic Civilization in its roots. Pamphylia is the region which is most affected by this view. As one of the rarely heard "Hellenic" names in Anatolia, its name has been interpreted as meaning "the land of all -Hellenic- peoples". In fact, these "peoples" who are said to be of Hellenistic origin are solely "the Arcadians, Dorians and Aeoleans". The language of Pamphylia, called "Pamphylian Hellenic", is a "mixed Hellenic" composed of the dialects of these peoples. However, this language has not yet been deciphered. It involves a lot of elements of the native Anatolian language.

The existence of such a lot of Anatolian elements in the language shows the presence of an indigenous people, very probably native Luwians, living here before the Hellens' arrival. This scientific fact shows that the claim about the cities of Pamphylia having been founded by the Hellenic tribes led by Mopsos, Kalchas, and Amphilochos of Argos, following the advice given by the oracle after the end of the Trojan War, should be regarded as nothing but a story. The inscriptions of Karatepe and Asitawanda show that, despite all the claims, the name Mopsos might have been adopted from the Hittite "Muksus"; the harmony and similarity between the names of Aspendos and Estwediiys, which are originated from the New Hittite king name "Asitawandas", support my view. Besides, although these cities are asserted to be founded by these three leaders from Greece, their names appear on the ancient coins in the local language as Estwediiys for Aspendos and Selyviis for Sillyum. The name Perge appears as Parha in a Boğazköy-Hittite inscription from the 13th century B.C., and this proves that Perge was already there before the Trojan War, before the time when "the Hellens came into this region". It is mentioned in some documents of antiquity that Side was founded in 1405 B.C. Moreover, there is no doubt that Side is the sole native Pamphylian city. Side had a language of its own, which was related to Luwian, and had its own alphabet. Side means "pomegranate" in this language.

The fact that the pomegranate is a symbol of Kubaba, who had been "the mother goddess of Anatolia" since the Stone Age, justifies the native "Anatolianness" of the people of Side in matters of religion, too. Artemis of Perge also comes from this goddess. Her cult and sculpture has similarities with Artemis of Ephesos, Hera of Samos, and Aphrodite of Aphrodisias, who all replicate the same goddess. For this reason, the famous Plancia Magna of the city is the "priestess" of both Artemis and the mother goddess. This theme is also supported by the fact that the mother goddess is a "mountain deity" and her temple is carved in the rocks. As in all the towns of Anatolia, there is a mountain temple of the mother goddess on the Acropolis of Perge which is formed of caves and niches. At Sillyum, too, "niche and rock-cella" are carved for the mother goddess.

These facts about the religion are important, because it is impossible for the people to be alien where the belief is local and native. If the Hellens were inculcated with local beliefs, this proves that they were integrated within the local community. Unless Hellenistic thought had prevailed there, that community cannot be considered Hellenized. Since there were neither religious nor cultural ties between the homeland "Hellas" and her "colonized cities", it is impossible to argue that Pamphylia was Hellenistic in the late Bronze Age and the early Iron Age. Such earliest findings as a stamp-seal from the Bronze Age in Perge; a late Hittite column base in Side; a Cybele statue with Ionic-Phrygian influence from the early archaic period in Alanya; a Phrygian stepped altar in Dibektaşı plateau near Akseki, and an inscription in the Phoenician language from the late 7th century in Jebel Ires, altogether prove that the Pamphylian people were Anatolian in culture.

The official language and alphabet were ordered "to be Hellenistic" by Alexander the Great. But these efforts and the converting of names to "Hellenic" have produced nothing more than a superficial image. Alexander the Great had left behind a garrison in Side to remind the people that they must Hellenize. The mission of that garrison was to prevent Pamphylia from returning to her essence of being Anatolian. Nevertheless, three inscriptions written in the local language at the late Hellenistic time indicate that Alexander the Great had passed away and his world empire collapsed long ago, while the people of Side had failed to become fully Hellenized.


*Prof. Dr. Fahri IŞIK. Akdeniz Üniversitesi, Fen-Edebiyat Fakültesi, Arkeoloji ve Sanat Tarihi Bölümü Başkanı - Antalya

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