Astacus in Bithynia

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Astacus /ˈæstəkəs/ is the name of an ancient place in the area of Bithynia; it was also called Olbia /ˈɒlbiə/. Stephanus of Byzantium records an aetiological myth that it was founded by Astacus, son of Poseidon and the nymph Olbia.

The traditional date of the founding is 712/11 BC, the first year of the 17th Olympiad.[1] Thucydides in of his History of the Peloponnesian War (Book 2) mentions that the tyrant Evarchus was ruler of the town for a period during the years of the decade 430 to 420,.[2][3]

King Zipoetes I of Bithynia made two attempts to absorb Astacus into his kingdom: in 315 he was defeated by succors sent by Antigonus Monophthalmos. In 301, he was successful, but the city was destroyed in the war.

Nicomedes I, son of Zipoetes, founded a new city to replace Astacus, across from its former location, and named it Nicomedia after himself, bringing some of the Astacan cults to the new site. Nicomedia remained the capital of Bithynia, and became one of the great cities of the Roman east; the Emperor Diocletian made it his usual capital.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Annals of the World By James Ussher retrieved 17:00 approximately 13.10.11
  2. ^ The history of Greece, Volume 3 By William Mitford retrieved 17:25 13.10.11
  3. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica online 17:28 13.10.11