SATALA (Ancient city) ARMENIA
Satala, an important town of Armenia Minor, as may be inferred from the numerous routes which branched off from thence to Pontus and Cappadocia. Its distance from Caesareia was 325 miles, and 124 or 135 from Trapezus. The town was situated in a valley surrounded by mountains, a little to the north of the Euphrates, and was of importance, being the key to the mountain passes leading into Pontus; whence we find that in later times the Legio xv. Apollinaris was stationed there. In the time of Justinian its walls had fallen into decay, but that emperor restored them. (Ptol. i. 15. § 9, v. 7. § 3, viii. 17. § 41; Dion Cass. lxviii. 18; Procop. de Aed. iv. 3; It. Ant. pp. 181, 183, 206, 207,216, 217; Notit. Imp.; Tab. Peut.) The site of this town has not yet been discovered with certainty, though ruins found in various parts of the country have been identified with it by conjecture. (Tournefort, Voyages, Letter 21, c. 2. p. 17; Rennell, Asia Minor, ii. p. 219; Cramer, Asia Minor, ii, p. 152, foll.)
This text is from: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD). Cited August 2004 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks
The site came into prominence when the Legio XV Apollinaris was placed
there, probably by Trajan, to control the N sector of the E limes between the
Euphrates and Trabzon (Trapezos). The legion was still there in the 4th c. A.D.
(Not. Dig. or. 38.13). The city growing out of the civil settlement connected
with the legionary camp is thought to have been founded in the 2d or 3d c. A.D.
but the first evidence of it is provided by Basil in A.D. 372 (Ep. 102). From
Theodosius (Nov. v.3, A.D. 441) it can be inferred that the territory was very
extensive, reaching to the Euphrates and the border with Greater Armenia. In A.D.
530 the Persians were defeated before the walls of Satala (Procop. Bell. Pers.
1.15) and it was subsequently refortified by Justinian.
"It lies in a low lying plain and is dominated by many hills which tower around it" (Procop., De aed. 3.4). The massive roughly rectangular walls partly survive and surround the village of Sadak on the sloping floor of the Sadak cay valley, tributary of the Kelkit (Lycus) river. Within the walls only insignificant ruins stand out. The interior level stands high above the plain, squared stones abound and occasional inscriptions can be seen. To the S stand the meager remains of an aqueduct. On the hill to the W are traces of perhaps an earlier auxiliary fort.
R. P. Harper, ed.
This text is from: The Princeton encyclopedia of classical sites, Princeton University Press 1976. Cited Nov 2002 from Perseus Project URL below, which contains bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.
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