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On the way from Iasus to Mendelet (..) and passing a village called Iakli, we unexpectedly discovered the solemn ruin of a temple; but, as it was dusk, we continued our journey to Mendelet. (..) We returned in the morning to the ruin. The temple was of the Corinthian order, sixteen columns, with part of their entablature, standing; the cell and roof demolished. It is in a nook or recess; the front, which is toward the east, close by the mountain-foot; the back and one side overlooking the plain. (..) I ascended the acclivity of the mountain by the temple, and from the summit had an extensive view of the plain toward Mylasa.
Richard Chandler - An account of a tour made at the expense of the Society of dilettanti - 1775
A town has ranged with the temple on the north. The wall beginning near it, makes a circuit on the hill, and descends on the side toward Mendelet. The thickets, which have overrun the site, are almost impenetrable, and prevented my pursuing it to the top, but the lower portion may easily be traced. It had square towers at intervals. (..) Within it, is a theatre cut in the rock, with some seats remaining. Chandler
The small town was located on a low hill which did not provide a natural defence, so it was protected by thick walls. On the western slope of the hill there is evidence of a small theatre.
The stile of the architecture is noble, and made us regret, that some members, and, in particular, the angle of the cornice, were wanting. Its marbles have been melted away, as it were piece-meal, in the furnaces for making lime, which are still in use, close by the ruin. (..) In the vineyards beneath are broken columns and marble fragments; and in one, behind the temple, two massy sarcophagi carved with festoons and heads. (..) Beyond the temple are also some ruins of sepulchres. (..) We were visited here every evening by a flock of goats and their keeper. Chandler
Most likely in the Vth century BC at the foot of the hill a temple was dedicated to Zeus; probably the initiative was part of a process aimed at replacing the local (mainly female) deities with the Greek ones.
Rear side of the temple and one of its capitals, another one can be seen in the image used as background for this page
I was much disappointed in finding no inscriptions to inform us of the name of this deserted place; which from its position on a mountain by the way-side, and its distance from Mylasa, I am inclined to believe was Labranda, according to Strabo, was a village seated on a mountain in the road from Alabanda to Mylasa. The temple was antient, and the image of wood. This was stiled The Military Jupiter, and was worshipped by the people all around. The ruin of this temple co-incides with the description of it given by the geographer. Chandler
Today the small town has been identified as Euromos, known also as Kyromos and Hyromos. It was an independent town which was subdued by Milas, but regained some autonomy during the Roman rule.
Front view and a dedicatory inscription on one of the columns
The fabric tottering with age was, it seems, after his time gradually renewed, and chiefly by the contributions of the Stephanephori, or high priests. For on seven columns is an inscription, which may be thus translated, "Leo Quintus, son of Leo, when Stephanephorus, gave this column, as he had promised, with the base and capital. And the following inscription is repeated on five or more of the columns "Menecrates, son of Menecrates, chief physician of the city, when Stephanephorus, gave this column, with the base and capital". Chandler
The current temple was built at the time of Emperor Hadrian; several columns bear inscriptions celebrating the donors who paid for them. Based on the fact that not all the columns are fluted, archaeologists believe that the temple was never entirely completed: probably Euromos was greatly affected by the plague which broke out in the region in 166 AD and was abandoned by most of its inhabitants in the following years; the fact that the temple was not turned into a church supports this opinion. You may wish to see another well preserved temple dedicated to Zeus in Turkey.