Settlements > Side



Side, an ancient city on the southern coast of modern-day Turkey, holds significant historical connections to the Hellenistic period and the legacy of Alexander the Great. Here’s an exploration of these connections:

Alexander the Great

  1. Conquest of Asia Minor:

    • Campaigns in the Region: During his campaign against the Persian Empire, Alexander the Great conquered many cities in Asia Minor, including those along the southern coast of modern-day Turkey.
    • Strategic Importance: Side, located on the coast, was a strategic port city that played a role in controlling maritime routes and regional trade.
  2. Hellenization:

    • Cultural Integration: Following Alexander’s conquests, Greek culture, language, and political structures spread throughout the region, a process known as Hellenization. This cultural integration significantly influenced Side.

Hellenistic Period

  1. Control and Influence:

    • Successor Kingdoms: After Alexander's death in 323 BCE, his empire was divided among his generals, known as the Diadochi. Side came under the control of the Seleucid Empire initially and later the Ptolemaic Kingdom.
    • Rhodes Influence: During the Hellenistic period, Side also experienced influence from the island of Rhodes, known for its maritime power and cultural contributions.
  2. Urban Development:

    • Hellenistic Architecture: The city saw significant development during the Hellenistic period, with the construction of public buildings, temples, theaters, and other structures in the Hellenistic architectural style.
    • Economic Prosperity: As a coastal city, Side thrived on trade and commerce, benefiting from its strategic location and the wider Hellenistic economic network.

Notable Hellenistic Structures in Side

  1. Theater:

    • Construction: The theater in Side is one of the most well-preserved examples of Hellenistic architecture in the city. It was built in the 2nd century BCE and later modified during the Roman period.
    • Design: The theater features a semi-circular seating arrangement with a large cavea (seating area) and an elaborate skene (stage building). It could accommodate around 15,000 spectators.
    • Cultural Hub: The theater was a central venue for dramatic performances, public gatherings, and cultural events, reflecting the importance of the performing arts in Hellenistic society.
  2. Temple of Apollo:

    • Dedication: The Temple of Apollo, a significant religious site in Side, was dedicated to Apollo, the Greek god of music, prophecy, and healing.
    • Hellenistic Features: The temple's architectural elements, including columns and friezes, reflect the Hellenistic style, with later Roman modifications.
    • Religious Significance: The temple served as a major center for worship and religious ceremonies, highlighting the cultural and religious syncretism of the period.
  3. Agora:

    • Marketplace: The Agora was the central marketplace and social hub of Side, where trade, social interactions, and political activities took place.
    • Hellenistic Design: The Agora featured colonnaded walkways, shops, and public spaces, embodying the Hellenistic emphasis on civic life and community interaction.
  4. Harbor and Maritime Facilities:

    • Strategic Port: Side’s harbor was crucial for trade and military purposes, facilitating the movement of goods and ships across the Mediterranean.
    • Shipbuilding and Trade: The city was known for its shipbuilding facilities and vibrant trade, connecting it to other Hellenistic cities and regions.

Historical and Cultural Significance

  1. Economic Hub:

    • Trade and Commerce: Side was an important trading center, benefiting from its strategic coastal location. The city’s economy thrived on maritime trade, contributing to its prosperity during the Hellenistic period.
    • Coinage: The city minted its own coins, which were widely circulated and contributed to its economic influence in the region.
  2. Cultural Syncretism:

    • Blend of Cultures: The Hellenistic period in Side was marked by the blending of Greek, local Anatolian, and later Roman cultures. This cultural syncretism is evident in the city’s architecture, art, and religious practices.
    • Hellenistic Art and Scholarship: Side was a center for Hellenistic art and scholarship, attracting intellectuals and artists from across the Mediterranean.

Roman Period and Legacy

  1. Integration into the Roman Empire:

    • Roman Rule: In the 1st century BCE, Side became part of the Roman Empire. The city continued to flourish under Roman rule, with further architectural developments and enhancements.
    • Roman Modifications: The Romans built upon the Hellenistic foundations, adding new public buildings, roads, and infrastructure, which enhanced the city’s urban landscape.
  2. Archaeological Discoveries:

    • Excavations: Archaeological excavations in Side have uncovered significant remains from both the Hellenistic and Roman periods, including temples, theaters, and public buildings.
    • Cultural Heritage: The city’s archaeological sites provide valuable insights into the cultural and historical developments of the Hellenistic period and its integration into the Roman Empire.


Side played a significant role during the Hellenistic period, influenced by the conquests and cultural policies of Alexander the Great. The city’s strategic location and economic importance made it a key player in the region's maritime trade. Under Hellenistic influence, Side saw significant urban development, with the construction of theaters, temples, and other public buildings that reflected the blending of Greek and local Anatolian cultures. The legacy of Side during the Hellenistic period is evident in its archaeological remains, which continue to offer valuable insights into the cultural richness and historical significance of this ancient city.


Sabalico Logo
Sabalytics Logo
World Map Logo
rStatistics Logo
Time Zone Logo
Galaxy View Logo
Periodic Table Logo
My Location Logo
Weather Track Logo
Sprite Sheet Logo
Barcode Generator Logo
Test Speed Logo
Website Tools Logo
Image Tools Logo
Color Tools Logo
Text Tools Logo
Finance Tools Logo
File Tools Logo
Data Tools Logo
History of Humanity - History Archive Logo
History of Humanity - History Mysteries Logo
History of Humanity - Ancient Mesopotamia Logo
History of Humanity - Egypt History Logo
History of Humanity - Persian Empire Logo
History of Humanity - Greek History Logo
History of Humanity - Alexander the Great Logo
History of Humanity - Roman History Logo
History of Humanity - Punic Wars Logo
History of Humanity - Golden Age of Piracy Logo
History of Humanity - Revolutionary War Logo