Who was that Roman whose mausoleum is at Lydae above the Harbour of the Moon, Ay Liman?

Is this the dream of a successful Roman buried at Lydae?

Is this the dream of a successful Roman buried at Lydae?

One of our most popular gulet cruise holidays explores the beautiful Gulf of Fethiye starting at Gocek and visiting the Dalyan River, St. Nicholas’s Island, Cleopatra’s bath and the remains of a Roman estate above the ancient Harbour of the Moon, Ay Liman, which can only be reached by gulet, AKA gullet/goulette.

On the hill above are the remains of a Roman Mausoleum of an unknown wealthy Roman and the ruins of the beautiful Sarpedon sarcophagus.  Set above an idyllic valley, they share one of the finest views on the coast directly across the Gulf to ‘Father Mountain’ (Baba Dag).

The remains of the Mausoleum are perfect examples of grand Roman architecture affordable only by a famous and successful Roman, perhaps a tribune, legate or even a consul who chose a favourite spot for his last resting place and the end of his dream.

‘I am to be a solder….. the world is not all conquered.  The sea has islands unseen. In the north there are nations yet unvisited. The glory of completing Alexander’s march to the far east.  See what possibilities lie before a Roman. A camp again into Africa; another after the Scythian; then a legion….given up for a prefecture.  Think of life in Rome with money – money, wine, women, games, and dice all year round. The rounding of such a life would be a fat prefecture and it is mine.’
The dream of a young Roman – the 19 year old Messala in the novel ‘Ben Hur’

All this, terminating, perhaps, in a grand mausoleum above the Harbour of the Moon, at Lydae, in the Roman Province of Lycia in Asia Minor (now Turkey) and next to Sarpedon – hero of the Trojan Wars.

Posted by Dargan Bullivant, Partner, Odysseus Cruising, 20 April 2009