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Xanthus (zăn´thəs), ancient city of Lycia, W Asia Minor, in present Turkey. On the Xanthus River, it was besieged and taken by the Persians (c.546 BC) and centuries later (c.42 BC) by the Romans. Both times the inhabitants destroyed their city before surrendering. Sir Charles Fellows excavated the ruins. Many works of art from Xanthus, such as the archaic sculptured reliefs and the Nereid monument, are now in the British Museum.