The town was founded in the Hellenistic period in the 3rd century BC. It was mentioned (as Aarassos) in about 100 BC by Artemidorus Ephesius, who was quoted by Strabo a century later. The only further mentions are by Ptolemy in the 2nd century AD and in lists of Christian dioceses (Notitiae Episcopatuum).
It was part of Pisidia and belonged originally to the Seleucid Empire. In 189 BC it passed to the Hellenistic kingdom of Pergamum, the last king of which, Attalus III left his kingdom the Rome in 133 BC.
Under Octavian Augustus, Ariassos was made part of the Roman province of Galatia. In the ecclesiastical lists it appears in the late Roman province of Pamphylia Secunda, whose capital was Perge, hence also its bishopric's Metropolitan.