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 of the Prophthasia/in Dragiana/Phrada (Farah, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria in Areia (Herat, 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, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria in Margiana (Merv, Turkmenistan) - 326 Alexandria Nicaea (on the Hydaspes, India) - 326 Alexandria Bucephala (on the Hydaspes, India) - 325 Alexandria Sogdia - 325 Alexandria Rambacia (Bela, Pakistan) - 325 Alexandria Oreitide - 325 Alexandria in Opiene (confluence of Indus & Acesines, India) - 325 Alexandria on the Indus - 324 Alexandria-on-the-Tigris/Antiochia-in-Susiana/Charax (Spasinou Charax on the Tigris, Iraq) - 325 Alexandria Xylinepolis (Patala, India) - 325 Alexandria in Carminia (Gulashkird, Iran) - ?Alexandria of Carmahle? (Kahnu)

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Monday, February 6, 2017

Hoping to find traces of Alexander at Magarsus

After Alexander recovered from his illness in Tarsus, he firstly marched on Soli, located a few miles west of modern Icil. He imposed a fine of 200 talents because the city supported the Persian cause and, although they were allowed to keep their own popular government, he nevertheless installed a garrison of his own. After the Battle of Issus in November 333 BC, Alexander canceled the debt of fifty talents Soli still owed and he returned their hostages. This kindness was reciprocated to Alexander when he was laying siege on Tyre one year later and three ships from Soli joined the reinforcement fleet of eighty Phoenician vessels and several others.

Once his business was finished at Soli, Alexander returned to Tarsus. The time had come to set his army in motion and he marched to Magarsus the most southerly point between the Seyhan and the Ceyhan rivers, near modern Karataş, which served as a port to Mallus. The king then moved to Mallus, a few kilometers further inland (possibly near modern Kızıltahta) and exempted the town from paying taxes because it was a colony of Argos.

This is about as much as we know of Alexander’s presence in Magarsus, where excavations were initiated as recently as 2013. The city was named after the Magarsia sisters of the Temple of Athena founded at some date during the 5th century BC.


So far, the theatre offering seating for 4,000 people has been excavated. It is 150 meters high and 30 meters wide and is turned towards the sea. Authorities hope to open the theatre soon for modern-day performances.

Next season’s excavations that probably will start in March or April, will focus on Magarsus’ Cilician Stadium and many temples. Useless to say, that I have secret hopes that some traces of Alexander the Great’s passage will also be found.

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