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Coracesium Period

Roman tomb in the Museum gardenBetween the years B. C 224-118 the entire Cilicia was invaded by Great Antiocus. Only Coracesium could carry on its independence, because it was difficult to lay a siege and conquer this city. They became so developed that they could oppose challengingly to the Kingdom of Syria. After that moment they set out to the see and began piracy and started to earn money. At that time, while Corecesium was carrying on its independence, it was also influenced from Greek Civilization. As an example of this phallus and tear drop pots in Syedra Castle and other churches were proof of this influence. Coracesium became a place which spread terror to its neighborhood in the hands of a pirate captain called Tryphon. Moreover he made his people to build a wall without plaster between Arap Evliyasi and Ehmedek to gain more power. He used today's Kizlar Yarigi and Korsanlar Cave as a depot for the goods he stole. According to a story he had his people to rive the part between today's Damlatas Cave and Municipality building and made Alanya Castle an island. The Iranian historian Ibni Bibi who lived in 13th century said this about the situation: "He has an iron trench and a marble fortress." They had the courage to go until the shorelines of the Roman Empire, to levy a ransom from the rich, to kidnap daughters of famous people and force them to pay protection money. Because of the situation nobody could set out to the Mediterranean Sea and the city of Rome had big difficulties in finding food. In B.C 139 Antiochus started a

war against them to get rid of these difficulties and defeated this ferocious pirate captain. In the course of time pirates gained power again and started to spread terror in the Mediterranean. This time the Roman Empire charged Antonius with broad authority to guarantee the victory. Although Antonius widened the borders of the empire, pirates who tried to recover their strength continued to plunder cities and towns in the shoreline of the Mediterranean Sea. Pirates went too far and kidnapped Antonius' daughter. This kidnapping infuriated the Roman Empire.

The Roman Empire thought these robberies, ransoms, kidnappings must be ended and this time they charged Pompeus, one of the most powerful commanders of the army. This commander eradicated these pirates with his merciless attacks from sea and land. So the pirates couldn't gain their power ever again. The Roman Empire who had the possession of this entire region gave the administration of Cilicia to Antonius after the death of Ceasar. While Cleopatra, the queen of Egypt, who was famous with her beauty, was touring Mediterranean, she met Antonius. They fell in love with each other and got married. Antonius gave his wife Amaksiya (Sinek Castle in Elikesik) as a marriage present.

It's known that Cleopatra had her servants and soldiers to log cedar and pine trees and made them carry these trees to Egypt for ship building for her navy. Her rival in Rome, Octavius got angry because of this situation and started a war. At that time Antonius and Cleopatra were in Greece. They left under attacks of Octavius. They escaped to survive. Octavius chased after them till Alexandria. They realized that they will be captured. And after that first Antonius and then Cleopatra committed suicide. Cleopatra made a snake bite her breast and killed herself.

The buildings and other places, which were ravaged while killing off the pirates, were restored by the Roman people. Coracesium continued to be an important city till the 7th century A.C. but after this date it became more important together with the Arabian attacks.

At the reign of Byzantine Empire it got the name of Kolonoros which means beautiful mountain. Its old name Coracesium means European roller (It's a kind of bird. Rollers often perch prominently on trees, posts or overhead wires. The call is a harsh crow-like sound.) It's an endangered species but there are still some in Kestel and Mahmutlar towns. The little cities in this region lost their powers little by little and the cities Coracesium, Amaksiya, Laerti, Cibyra, lotape and Syedra perished one by one.

Compiled from “Alanya: Life in Alanya From Past To Present” with the consent of Hasim Yetkin .Cannot be quoted and used without permission.

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