Aspendos was an ancient city in Pamphylia, Asia Minor, located about 25 miles (40 km) east of the modern city of Antalya, Turkey. It was situated on the Eurymedon River (now the Kopru River) about 10 miles (16 km) inland from the Mediterranean Sea. The Greek spelling of the name is Aspendos. According to tradition, the city was founded around 1000 B.C. by Greeks who may have come from Argos. The wide range of its coinage throughout the ancient world indicates that, in the 5th century B.C., Aspendus had become the most important city in Pamphylia. At that time the Eurymedon River was navigable as far as Aspendus, and the city derived great wealth from a trade in salt, oil, and wool.

In 333 B.C. Aspendus paid Alexander the Great a levy to avoid being garrisoned, but it ignored its agreements with him and later was occupied. In 190 B.C. the city surrendered to the Romans, who later pillaged it of its artistic treasures. Toward the end of the Roman period the city began a decline that continued throughout Byzantine times.