Settlements > Sidon

Sidon

Background

Titular metropolis of Pamphylia Prima. Sidon, situated on the coast of Pamphylia, was a colony of Cumae in Æolia. Dating from the tenth century B.C., its coinage bore the head of Athena (Minerva), the patroness of the city, with a Pamphylian legend. Its people, a piratical horde, quickly forgot their own language to adopt that of the aborigines. For rendering tribute to Alexander they were accorded a Macedonian garrison. A commercial and warlike city, with a powerful navy, it was in continual rivalry with Aspendus. In its waters the fleet of Antiochus the Great, commanded by Hannibal with Sidonian vessels upon the right wing, was beaten by the Rhodians. From that time Sidon was a rendezvous of pirates, above all, a notorious slave market.

After the destruction of piracy elsewhere Sidon continued to derive considerable wealth and profit from both these sources. It was the capital of Pamphylia, later of Pamphylia Prima. In the tenth century Constantine Porphyrogenitus called it still a nest of pirates. Its downfall was complete in the fourteenth century, its people having abandoned it by degrees, owing to the Turkish invasions, and lack of water. At present the deserted ruins are called Eski Adalia, Old Attalia, in the sanjak of Adalia and the vilayet of Koniah. They consist of a temple, basilica, gymnasium, aqueduct, public bath, theatre, ramparts, etc. and some inscriptions.

Sidon is mentioned in I Machabees, xv, 23, among the cities and countries to which the Roman letter proclaiming their alliance with the Jews was sent. Christianity was early introduced into Sidon. St. Nestor, martyr in 251, was Bishop of Pergi, not of Sidon as Le Quien (Oriens Christ., I, 995) believed The first known bishop was Epidaurus, presiding at the Council of Ancyra, 314. Others are John, fourth century; Eustathius, 381; Amphilochius, 426-458, who played an important part in the history of the time; Conon, 536; Peter, 553; John, 680-692; Mark, 879; Theodore, 1027-1028; Anthimus, present at the Council of Constantinople where Michael Cerularius completed the schism with Rome, 1054; John, then counsellor to the Emperor Michael VII Ducas, presided at a council on the worship of images, 1082; Theodosius and his successor Nicetas, twelfth century.

John, present at a Council of Constantinople 1156. The "Notitiae Episcopatuum" continued to mention Sidon as a metropolis of Pamphylia until the thirteenth century. It does not appear in the "Notitia" of Andronicus III. From other documents we learn that in 1315 and for some time previous to that, Sidon had bishops of its own - the Bishop of Sinope was called to the position, but was unable to leave his own diocese; this call was repeated in 1338 and 1345. In 1397 the diocese was united with that of Attalia; in 1400 the Metropolitan of Perge and Attalia was at the same time the administrator of Sidon. Since then, the city has disappeared from history.

Sidon was the home of Eustachius of Antioch (see EUSTATHIUS), of the philosopher Troilus, the master of Socrates, himself a teacher; of the celebrated fifth-century ecclesiastical writer Philip; of the famous lawyer Tribonianus (sixth century).

SMITH, Diction. of Greek and Roman Geog. (London, 1870), s.v.; TOMASCHEK, Zur historischen Topographie von Kleinasien im Mittelalter (Vienna, 1891), 59; ALISHAN, Sisseuan (Venice, 1899), 364; TEXIER, Asie Mineure (Paris, 1862), 721 sqq.; LANCKORONSKI, Les villes de la Pamphylie et de la Pisidie (Paris, 1890), 131 seq.; BEAUFORT, Karamania, 147 sqq.; FELLOWS, Asia Minor, 201; LEAKE, Asia Minor, 195 sqq.; RAMSAY, Asia Minor, 420 and passim; WACHTER, Der Verfall des Grieehenturns in Kleinasien im XIV Jahrhundert (Leipzig, 1903), 29 sqq.

Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 13, Sidon by Sophron Pétridès

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