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Ancient Greek Coins of Hierapolis
Hierapolis (Greek: "Holy City") was located on hot springs in Phrygia in southwestern Anatolia. Its ruins are adjacent to modern Pamukkale, Turkey and are designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Hierapolis became part of Roman Asia in 133 B.C., when Attalus III bequeathed his kingdom to Rome. An early church was founded under the influence of Saint Paul and the town's Martyrium was built upon the spot where Philip, one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus, was said to have been crucified. After a major quake in 60 A.D., the city was rebuilt with imperial financial support. The theater was built in 129 for a visit by Hadrian. When Caracalla visited the town in 215, he bestowed the much-coveted title of neocoros. This was the golden age of Hierapolis. New building projects were started: two Roman baths, a gymnasium, several temples, a main street with a colonnade, and a fountain. Thousands of people came to benefit from the medicinal properties of the hot springs, with many patrons retiring or dying there. The large necropolis is filled with sarcophagi. Hierapolis excelled in the arts, philosophy, and trade; grew wealthy, and to 100,000 inhabitants. During his campaign against the Sassanid Shapur II in 370, the Valens made the last-ever imperial visit to the city. Hierapolis flourished under Byzantine rule and remained an important center for Christianity. The Roman baths were transformed to a Christian basilica. In the early 7th century, the town was devastated first by Persian armies and then by another earthquake. In the 12th century, the area came under the control of the Seljuk sultanate of Konya before falling to crusaders under Frederick Barbarossa and their Byzantine allies in 1190. In 1354, the great Thracian earthquake toppled what little remained of the ancient city.