The city was originally called Oiniandos, and was located in the area of the famous Gülek Pass (Cilician Gates).In the 2nd century BC the city was renamed Epiphania, in honour of Antiochus IV Epiphanes, King of Syria from 175 BC to 164 BC.
The city is mentioned in the writings of Ptolemy and Pliny the Elder. Cicero stayed there briefly during his exile. In 66 BC the Roman general Pompey led a campaign against the Mediterranean pirates. After the surrender of the pirates, they were dispersed and many were settled at Epiphania.
According to Gibbon, Saint George was born here, in a fuller's shop , in the late 4th century. Saint Amphion was the earliest known bishop of Epiphania in 325, as a suffragan of the Bishop of Anazarbus. He attended the First Council of Nicaea in 325, and later suffered under the persecutions of Diocletian.
Today its ruins include the remains of walls, a temple, an acropolis, an aqueduct, and many houses, all built in basalt.