Pinara (Lycian: Pilleñni; Greek: τὰ Πίναρα) – formerly Artymnesus or Artymnesos – was a large ancient city of Lycia (in Asia Minor), at the foot of Mount Cragus, and not far from the western bank of the river Xanthos (Xanthus), where the Lycian hero Pandarus was worshipped. The site is near the modern town of Minare, Mugla Province, Turkey.
The city, though it is not often mentioned by ancient writers, appears from its vast and beautiful ruins, to have been, as Strabo asserts, one of the largest cities of Lycia, its chief port city until the harbor silted up to form the reed-filled wetlands of today. According to the Lycian history of Menecrates, quoted by Stephanus of Byzantium the city was a colony of Xanthos, and originally bore the name of Artymnesos, afterwards changed into Pinara, which, in the Lycian language, signified a round hill, the town being situated on such an eminence. Its ruins were discovered by Sir Charles Fellows, near the modern village of Minare (Minara). From amidst the ancient city, he says, rises a singular round rocky cliff (the pinara of the Lycians), literally specked all over with tombs. Beneath this cliff lie the ruins of the extensive and splendid city. The theater is in a very perfect state; all the seats are remaining, with the slanting sides towards the proscenium, as well as several of its doorways. The walls and several of the buildings are of the Cyclopean masonry, with massive gateways formed of three immense stones. The tombs are innumerable, and the inscriptions are in the Lycian characters, but Greek also occurs often on the same tombs. Some of these rock-tombs are adorned with fine and rich sculptures.
Pinara was a member of the Lycian League, in which it held three votes. Pinara surrendered to Alexander the Great in 334 BC. After Alexanders death, the city fell to the kingdom of Pergamum. Pinara became a Roman city when Pergamum was willed by its last king Attalus III to the Roman Republic in 133 BC. The city enjoyed prosperity during Roman rule, but was badly damaged by earthquakes in 141 AD and 240 AD.
Pinara was Christianized early. Five bishops are known: Eustathius, who signed the formula of Acacius of Cæsarea at the Council of Seleucia in 359; Heliodorus, who signed the letter from the bishops of Lycia to the emperor Leo I the Thracian (458); Zenas, present at the Trullan Council (692); Theodore, at the Second Council of Nicaea (787); Athanasius, at the synod that reinstated Patriarch Photius I of Constantinople (the Photian Council) in 879. Pinara was the birthplace of Nicolas of Myra. Under repeated pressure from invading forces, the city became uninhabited in the ninth century.
It remains a titular see of the Roman Catholic Church, Pinarensis; the seat has been vacant since the death of the last bishop in 1974.