Tlos (Lycian: ???????????????????? Tlawa, Hittite: ???????????? Dalawa, Ancient Greek: Τλώς or Τλῶς) was an ancient Lycian city near the modern town of Seydikemer in the Mugla Province of southern Turkey, some 4 kilometres northwest of Saklıkent Gorge.

It was one of the oldest and largest cities of Lycia.

 Cities of ancient Lycia

Archaeological remains from the city centre and at nearby sites (the caves at Girmeler and Tavabaşı) suggest that the foundation of the city started more than 4,000 years ago.[1]

It is known as 'Tlawa' in local Lycian inscriptions and as ‘Dalawa’ in the Hittite sources which shows the importance of the city as early as the 15th century BC in the Late Bronze Age.[2]

Tlos seemingly became part of the Persian Empire and lost its independence when the Persians led by Harpagus invaded Lycia in 540 BC. It became prosperous during this period of Persian rule from the 5th to the late 4th century BC. Later, in the Hellenistic period, its importance is shown by being one of the six principal cities of the Lycian League to which in 168 BC Rome granted autonomy instead of dependence on Rhodes. Inscriptions reveal that citizens of Tlos were divided into demes (social subdivisions), and the names of three of them are known: Bellerophon, Iobates and Sarpedon, famous Lycian heroes of legend.[citation needed]

In the Roman era it kept its importance within the Lycian League when the city bore the title of ‘very brilliant metropolis of the Lycian nation’.

An earthquake in 141 AD destroyed many monuments of the city. Opramoas of Rhodiapolis and another wealthy philanthropist financed much 2nd-century AD civic re-building works. Another earthquake caused much destruction in 240 AD.

A Jewish community is also known to have existed with its own magistrates.

^ T. Korkut, A Lycian City on the Slopes of the Akdağ Mountains (2016) ^ Ancient City of Tlos Archived 2022-10-15 at the Wayback Machine
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