Abydos (Hellespont)

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Abydos
Ἄβῡδος
Thracian chersonese.png
Abydos and the Hellespont
Abydos (Hellespont) is located in Turkey
Abydos (Hellespont)
Shown within Turkey
Location Çanakkale, Çanakkale Province, Turkey
Region Mysia
Coordinates 40°11′43″N 26°24′18″E / 40.19528°N 26.40500°E / 40.19528; 26.40500Coordinates: 40°11′43″N 26°24′18″E / 40.19528°N 26.40500°E / 40.19528; 26.40500
Type Settlement

Abydos (Ancient Greek: Ἄβῡδος), an ancient city of Mysia, in Asia Minor, situated at Nara Burnu or Nagara Point on the best harbor on the Asiatic shore of the Hellespont. Across Abydos lies Sestus on the European side, marking one of the narrowest points of the Dardanelles, slightly more than a nautical mile broad (the narrowest point is at Çanakkale). The strategic site has been a prohibited zone in the 20th century. Hero and Leander's story took place near Abydos.

Abydos was first mentioned in the catalogue of Trojan allies (Iliad ii.836).[1] It probably was a Thracian town, as Strabo has it, but was afterwards colonized by Milesians,[2][3] with the consent of Gyges, king of Lydia, around 700 BC. It was occupied by the Persians in 514 BC, and Darius burnt it in 512 BC. Here Xerxes built two pontoon bridges later known as Xerxes' Pontoon Bridges and crossed the strait in 480 BC when he invaded Greece.[4][5][6]

Abydos thereafter became a member of the Delian League, until it revolted from Athenian rule in 411 BC.[7] It allied itself to Sparta, until 394 BC; King Agesilaus of Sparta crossed here while returning to Greece. Abydos then passed under Achaemenid rule, until 334 BC. Alexander the Great threw a spear to Abydos while crossing the strait and claimed Asia as his own.

Abydos is celebrated for the vigorous resistance it made against Philip V of Macedon in 200 BC.[8][9][10] It is famous in myth as the home of Leander. In literature, it is memorable from Byron having adopted its name in The Bride of Abydos.[11] It minted coins from the early 5th century BC to the mid-3rd century AD.

The town remained until late Byzantine times an important toll and customs station of the Hellespont, its importance thereafter being transferred to the Dardanelles, after the building of the "Old Castles" by Sultan Mehmet II (c. 1456).

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Homerus Epic., Ilias Book 2, line 836 Οἳ δ' ἄρα Περκώτην καὶ Πράκτιον ἀμφενέμοντο καὶ Σηστὸν καὶ Ἄβυδον ἔχον καὶ δῖαν Ἀρίσβην, > τῶν αὖθ' Ὑρτακίδης ἦρχ' Ἄσιος ὄρχαμος ἀνδρῶν, > Ἄσιος Ὑρτακίδης ὃν Ἀρίσβηθεν φέρον ἵπποι ⸖ αἴθωνες μεγάλοι ποταμοῦ ἄπο Σελλήεντος.
  2. ^ Thucydides Hist., Historiae Book 8, chapter 61, section 1, line 3 Τοῦ δ' ἐπιγιγνομένου θέρους ἅμα τῷ ἦρι εὐθὺς ἀρχομένῳ Δερκυλίδας τε ἀνὴρ Σπαρτιάτης στρατιὰν ἔχων οὐ πολλὴν παρεπέμφθη πεζῇ ἐφ' Ἑλλησπόντου Ἄβυδον ἀποστήσων (εἰσὶ δὲ Μιλησίων ἄποικοι), καὶ οἱ Χῖοι, ἐν ὅσῳ αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἀστύοχος ἠπόρει ὅπως βοηθήσοι, ναυμαχῆσαι πιεζόμενοι τῇ πολιορκίᾳ ἠναγκάσθησαν.
  3. ^ Strabo Geogr., Geographica Book 13, chapter 1, section 22, line 1 ἔστι δὲ καὶ τῷ Ἀσίῳ ὁμώνυμος ἕτερος παρὰ τῷ ποιητῇ Ἄσιος “ὃς μήτρως ἦν “Ἕκτορος ἱπποδάμοιο, αὐτοκασίγνητος Ἑκάβης, υἱὸς “δὲ Δύμαντος, ὃς Φρυγίην ναίεσκε ῥοῇς ἐπὶ Σαγγαρίοιο.” Ἄβυδος δὲ Μιλησίων ἐστὶ κτίσμα ἐπιτρέψαντος Γύγου τοῦ Λυδῶν βασιλέως· ἦν γὰρ ἐπ' ἐκείνῳ τὰ χωρία καὶ ἡ Τρῳὰς ἅπασα, ὀνομάζεται δὲ καὶ ἀκρωτήριόν τι πρὸς Δαρδάνῳ Γύγας· ἐπίκειται δὲ τῷ στόματι τῆς Προποντίδος καὶ τοῦ Ἑλλησπόντου, διέχει δὲ τὸ ἴσον Λαμψάκου καὶ Ἰλίου, σταδίους περὶ ἑβδομήκοντα καὶ ἑκατόν.
  4. ^ Herodotus. Histories, 7.34.
  5. ^ Herodotus Hist., Historiae Book 7, section 37, line 7 Ὡς δὲ τά τε τῶν γεφυρέων κατεσκεύαστο καὶ τὰ περὶ τὸν Ἄθων, οἵ τε χυτοὶ περὶ τὰ στόματα τῆς διώρυχος, οἳ τῆς ῥηχίης εἵνεκεν ἐποιήθησαν ἵνα μὴ πίμπληται τὰ στό ματα τοῦ ὀρύγματος, καὶ αὐτὴ ἡ διῶρυξ παντελέως πεποιημένη ἀγγέλλετο, ἐνθαῦτα χειμερίσας ἅμα τῷ ἔαρι παρεσκευασμένος ὁ στρατὸς ἐκ τῶν Σαρδίων ὁρμᾶτο ἐλῶν ἐς Ἄβυδον.
  6. ^ Scholia In Lycophronem, Scholia in Lycophronem (scholia vetera et recentiora partim Isaac et Joannis Tzetzae) Scholion 1285, line 5 τοῦτο δέ ἐστιν ἰστέον ὅτι Ἑλλήσποντος ὁ ἀπὸ Σηστοῦ καὶ Ἀβύδου τόπος, οὗ ὁ Ξέρξης τὴν γέφυραν ἔζευξε μέχρι τοῦ Θρακικοῦ ἡμετέρου Βοσπόρου, ὃν Βόσπορον Δαρεῖος ὁ Ξέρξου πατὴρ ἐγεφύρωσε πρὸ τοῦ γεφυρῶσαι Ξέρξην τὸν Ἑλλήσποντον.
  7. ^ Thucydides. History of the Peloponnesian War, 8.61-2.
  8. ^ Polybius. The Histories, 16.29-34
  9. ^ Polybius Hist., Historiae Book 16, chapter 34, section 3, line 2 οἱ γὰρ Ῥωμαῖοι τὸ σαφὲς ἀκούσαντες ἐν τῇ Ῥόδῳ περὶ τῆς τῶν Ἀβυδηνῶν πολιορκίας καὶ βουλόμενοι πρὸς αὐτὸν τὸν Φίλιππον ποιήσασθαι τοὺς λόγους κατὰ τὰς ἐντολάς, ἐπιστήσαντες τὴν πρὸς τοὺς βασιλέας ὁρμὴν ἐξέπεμψαν τὸν προειρημένον, ὃς καὶ συμμίξας περὶ τὴν Ἄβυδον διεσάφει τῷ βασιλεῖ διότι δέδοκται τῇ συγκλήτῳ παρακαλεῖν αὐτὸν μήτε τῶν Ἑλλήνων μηδενὶ πολεμεῖν μήτε τοῖς Πτολεμαίου πράγμασιν ἐπιβάλλειν τὰς χεῖρας, περὶ δὲ τῶν εἰς Ἄτταλον καὶ Ῥοδίους ἀδικημάτων δίκας ὑποσχεῖν, καὶ διότι ταῦτα μὲν οὕτω πράττοντι τὴν εἰρήνην ἄγειν ἐξέσται, μὴ βουλομένῳ δὲ πειθαρχεῖν ἑτοίμως ὑπάρξειν τὸν πρὸς Ῥωμαίους πόλεμον.
  10. ^ Liv. XXXI, 17
  11. ^  "Abydos". Collier's New Encyclopedia. 1921. 

References[edit]

Attribution