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Tarsus

city and roman

TARSUS, Asia Minor, an ancient city,.the capital of Cilicia, now in the Turkish province of Adana, connected by rail with Adana and the port of Mersina on the Mediterranean. An ciently it was adorned by a number of magnifi cent buildings. Its inhabitants enjoyed the priv ileges of Roman citizens, and the city rose to such distinction as to rival Athens, Antioch and Alexandria in wealth and grandeur, as well as in the arts and sciences. It is the birthplace of Saint Paul. It was situated on both banks of the Cydnus, which flowed into a lagoon con nected with the sea, which formed its port, but is now silted up. Its origin is ascribed to Sar danapalus. It was early colonized by the Greeks. It is mentioned in the 'Anabasis) of Xenophon as a great and wealthy city. Tarsus was visited by Cyrus in his expedition against his brother Artaxerxes, and partially plundered by his troops. It yielded without resistance to

Alexander the Great Tarsus belonged in gen eral to the empire of the Seleucidm, but was for a short time connected with Egypt under the second and third Ptolemy. Pompey made Cilicia a Roman province. Out of compliment to Casar, who visited the city, the inhabitants changed its name to Juliopolis. It was plun dered by Cassius, but Antony and Augustus heaped favors on it. It became a place of im portance in the wars of the Romans with the Parthians and the Persians. It was taken by the Saracens in 640, after which its importance declined. The most important remains of the ancient city is the Dunuk Tash or ((Tomb of Sardanapalus, presumably part of a Gra.co Roman temple. The heterogeneous population of Mohammedans, Armenians, Greeks, Per sians, etc., in the modern town is estimated at 25,000.