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Yalvaç (District Municipality, Turkey)

Last modified: 2016-10-29 by ivan sache
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[Municipality flag]

Flag of Yalvaç - Image by Tomislav Šipek, 25 May 2015

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Presentation of Üsküdar

The municipality of Yalvaç (52,223 inhabitants in 2012, 19,811 in the town proper); 14,147 ha) is the northernmost municipality in Isparta Province.

Ivan Sache, 16 March 2016

Flag of Yalvaç

The flag of Yalvaç (photo) is white with the municipality's emblem in the middle. "Belediyesi" means "Municipality".
The emblem of the municipality features the ruins of the Roman aqueduct of the town of Antioch of Pisidia, located 1 km north of Yalvaç.

Like its Syrian namesake, it was founded by Seleucus Nicator situated on the Sebaste road. This road left the high-road from Ephesusto the East at Apamea, went to Iconium and then southeast through the Cilician Gates to Syria (Acts 18:23). The city lay south of the Sultan Dagh, on the confines of Pisidia, whence its name of "Antioch-towards-Pisidia" (Strabo, XII, 8). Definitively a Roman possession since Amytas's death (25 B.C.), Augustus had made it (6 B.C.) a colony, with a view to checking the brigands of the Taurus mountains (2 Corinthians 11:26). Beside its Roman inhabitants and older Greek and Phrygian population, Antioch had a prosperous Jewish colony whose origin probably went back to Antiochus the Great (223-178 B.C.) (Josephus, Ant., XII, iii, 3 sq.), and whose influence seems to have been considerable (Acts 13:45, 50; 14:20 sq.; Harnack, Die Mission, etc., p. 2, note 2 and ref.). Acts 13:14-52 describes at length the sojourn of St. Paul at Antioch. The episode, clearly important to the writer, has been justly compared to Luke 4:16-30; it is a kind of programme-scene where Paul's Gospel is outlined. A longer stay of the missionaries is implied in Acts 13:49. On his return from Derbe, St. Paul revisited Antioch (Acts 14:20). Two other visits seem implied in Acts 16:4-6 and 18:23.
[ The Catholic Encyclopedia]

Antioch of Pisidia is the birth place of St. Margaret of Antioch, aka St. Marina the Great Martyre.
The Holy Great Martyr Marina was born into the family of a pagan priest. In infancy, she lost her mother, and her father gave her into the care of a nursemaid, who raised Marina in the Orthodox Faith. Upon learning that his daughter had become a Christian, her father disowned her. When she was fifteen years old, St. Marina was arrested and thrown in prison. Governor Olymbrios was charmed when he saw the beautiful girl, and tried to persuade her to renounce the Christian Faith and become his wife. But Marina refused his offers. The governor became angry and ordered that Marina be tortured. She was fiercely beaten, then fastened to a board and her body torn with hooks. The governor hid his face, unable to witness her suffering. However, Marina refused to yield. Thrown again into prison, an angel appeared and healed her wounds. The next day, she was stripped and tied to a tree, then burned. Barely alive, she prayed: "Lord, You have granted me to go through fire for Your Name, grant me also to go through the water of holy Baptism".
Hearing the word "water", Governor Olymbrios ordered that Marina be drowned in a large cauldron. She cried out to the Lord and asked that this mode of torture should become her holy Baptism. As she was plunged into the water, there suddenly shone a light, and a snow-white dove came down from Heaven, bearing in its beak a golden crown. The chains that had been placed on Marina came apart, and she stood up in the fount glorifying the Holy Trinity. She emerged completely healed, without any trace of burns.
Amazed at the site, those present glorified the True God and confessed their faith in Christ. Upon hearing this, the governor flew into a rage and gave orders to kill anyone who confessed Christ. Over 15,000 Christians perished, and Marina was beheaded. Her sufferings were described by an eyewitness of the event named Theotimos.
Up until the invasion of Constantinople by Western crusaders in 1204, St. Marina's relics were located in the Panteponteia Monastery. According to other sources, they were located in Antioch until 908 and from there transferred to Italy. They are now in Athens, Greece, in a church dedicated to her. St. Marina's venerable hand was transferred to Mount Athos and is located in the Batopedi Monastery.
[Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America

The aqueduct, the most striking part of the ruins of Antioch of Pisidia, was already described by 19th century travelers, such as Arundel ("The remains of the aqueduct, of which twenty-one arches are perfect, are the most splendid I ever beheld"; 1834, with an engraved plate), de Laborde (1838, engraved plate) and Hamilton ("[of] great irregularity in its construction, part being roughly built as if repaired at a later period ; the piers themselves vary in thickness from six to nine feet, and the span of the arches from twelve to fifteen feet"; 1842). Weber (1904) provided a detailed description of the aqueduct he could have surveyed on 1,200 m, reporting 19 piers. The full length of the aqueduct was estimated to 11 km, with a difference in height of 287 m between the source and the town. It included three bridges and the aforementioned row of arches. There were originally 44 arches spanning over 275 m; of which 14 arches (4-7 m in height) and 19 piers (2-5 m in height) are still visible.
There is no historical or epigraphic source allowing a dating of the aqueduct. Indirect evidence (stylistic comparison, demographic development of the town) gives a probable date of construction in the beginning of the 1st century AD. The town boomed under Augustus; the aqueduct could supply 2/3 of its inhabitants with water. The construction technique (opus quadratum) is similar to the one used in other anatolian aqueducts ,which were all (indirectly) dated to the same period. The highest arches were partially rebuilt at an unknown date; a tentative dating is the 4th century, when the town was made the capital of the province of Pisidia newly created by Emperor Galerius.
[J. Burdy, M. Taşlıalan. L'aqueduc d'Antioche de Pisidie. Anatolia Antiqua, 5, 133-166 (1997)]

Tomislav Šipek & Ivan Sache, 14 March 2016