Settlements > Soli



Soli (Greek: Σόλοι, Sóloi), often rendered Soli/Pompeiopolis (Greek: Πομπηιούπολις), was an ancient city and port in Cilicia, 11 km west of Mersin in present-day Turkey. Cilicia became a vassal state to and satrapy of the Achaemenid Empire after the reign of Cyrus the Great, assisting the Persians in multiple military campaigns. Soli briefly allied itself with the Delian Leage, but otherwise prospered under Achaemenid hegemony, minting coins to the Persian standard until Alexander the Great drove the Persians out of Cilicia in 333 BCE. He imposed a fine of 200 talents on the city for favoring the Persians, imposed a democratic constitution, made a sacrifice to Asclepius and held honorary games. A year later, Alexander extracted three triremes from Soli and nearby Mallus to assist in his siege of Tyre.

After Alexander's death (323 BCE), Soli fell to the control of Ptolemy I Soter, and was attacked unsuccessfully by Demetrius I Poliorcetes. Cilicia traded hands between Alexander's successors until the end of the Fifth Syrian War (197 BCE), at which point Soli was held by the Seleucid Empire. Throughout the Hellenistic Period, the city gained considerable local autonomy, minting its own coinage and largely conducting its own affairs. Rhodes appealed to the Roman Senate to liberate Soli from the Seleucids on the grounds of their common heritage, but this case was dropped. Tigranes the Great of Armenia sacked Soli during the Seleucid Empire's collapse (83 BCE), and took the city's citizens to inhabit Tigranocerta, his newly founded capital.


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