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Xanthos was a city of Lycia. Although Xanthos rarely appears in Byzantine written sources, it is well known from excavations that have revealed its development. Xanthos expanded in the 4th-6th century, when new churches and residences adorned its acropolis and the adjacent plain; notable among them was a richly decorated basilica, apparently the cathedral. This church was burned and much of the city abandoned in the 7th century, perhaps the date of the new fortifications on the acropolis. The church was rebuilt on a much smaller scale in the mid-11th century, only to be destroyed and abandoned after the battle of Mantzikert (1071). The nearby Letoon, ancient cult center of Lycia, shows a similar development. After destruction in the 3rd century, the cult buildings were exploited as quarries. A basilical church of the mid-6th century became the dominant element of the site until its destruction in the early 7th century. After a long period of desolation, the site was reoccupied on a much reduced scale in the 10th-11th century.

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Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium


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