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Phaselis

PHASELIS fə sə’ lĭs. A Gr. colony in Lycia founded by Rhodes in the first great movement of Gr. colonization in the 7th cent. b.c. It was a member of the Delian League, the confederacy dominated by Athens, from 454 to 417 b.c. It was ruled by the Ptolemies of Egypt from 309 to 197 b.c. From this year on it was under the domination of Seleucid Syria, which controlled its hinterland. Phaselis is included in the list of towns circularized by the Romans in favor of the Jews in 139 b.c., when the Republic, in its quest for a stable frontier, was beginning to realize that their power could not avoid involvement in the eastern Mediterranean (1 Macc 15:16-24). Situated on the Lycian coast, Phaselis was an important staging post on the E-W trade route, and at the time when the Cilician pirate fleets were dominating the eastern end of the Mediterranean, the town provided a base for Zenicetes, the pirates’ leader; hence its capture and punishment by loss of territory at the hands of the Rom.