Friday, May 01, 2009

Research On Ancient Bithynia Conference By KOU

Research On Ancient Bithynia Conference By KOU

Research On Ancient Bithynia Conference By KOU

University of Kocaeli, Faculty of Literature and Sciences, Archeology Department, Head of Classical Archeology kindly invites you to participate into Internatinal Conference entitled “Research On Ancient Bithynia” to be held between April 30th-May 1st 2009.

Bithynian Kingdom [Ancient Greek: Βιθυνις > Βιθυνια]: Bithynia was an ancient region, kingdom and Roman province in the northwest of Asia Minor [Anatolia], adjoining the Propontis [Sea of Marmara], the Thracian Bosporus [The Strait of Istanbul] and the Euxine [Black Sea].
Several major cities sat on the fertile shores of the Propontis [Sea of Marmara]: Nicomedia, Chalcedon [Uskudar, Istanbul], Cius and Apamea. Bithynia also contained Nicaea [Iznik], noted for being the birthplace of the Nicene Creed [Izmik Amentusu].

According to Strabo, Bithynia was bounded on the east by the river Sangarius [Sakarya River, Adapazari-Sakarya], but the more commonly received division extended it to the Parthenius, which separated it from Paphlagonia, thus comprising the district inhabited by the Mariandyni. On the west and southwest it was separated from Mysia by the river Rhyndacus, and on the south it adjoined Phrygia, Epictetus and Galatia.

It is occupied by mountains and forests, but has valleys and coastal districts of great fertility. The most important mountain range is the so-called "Mysian Olympus [Uludag; 7600 ft., 2300m]", which towers above Bursa [Prussa] and is clearly visible as far away as Istanbul [70 miles, 113km]. Its summits are covered with snow for a great part of the year.

East of this the range extends for more than 160km, from the Sakarya [Sangarius River] to Paphlagonia. Both of these ranges are part of the border of mountains which bounds the great tableland of Anatolia, Turkey. The broad tract which projects towards the west as far as the shores of the Bosporus, though hilly and covered with forests — the Turkish Ağaç Denizi, or "The Ocean of Trees" — is not traversed by any mountain chain. The west coast is indented by two deep inlets, the northernmost, the Gulf of Izmit [Gulf of Astacus] penetrating between 65-80 km into the interior as far as Izmit [Nicomedia], separated by an isthmus of only about 40km from the Black Sea; and the Gulf of Mudanya or Gemlik [Gulf of Cius], about 40km long. At its extremity is situated the small town of Gemlik [Cius] at the mouth of a valley, communicating with the Lake of Iznik, on which was situated Nicaea.

The principal rivers are the Sakarya which traverses the province from south to north; the Rhyndacus, which separated it from Mysia; and the Billaeus [Filiyas], which rises in the Aladağ, about 80km from the sea, and after flowing by modern Bolu [Bithynion-Claudiopolis] falls into the Euxine, close to the ruins of the ancient Tium, about 64km northeast of Heraclea Pontica [Karadeniz Ereğli], having a course of more than 160km. The Parthenius [Bartın], the eastern boundary of the province, is a much less considerable stream.

The valleys towards the Black Sea [Karadeniz] abound in fruit trees of all kinds, such as oranges, while the valley of the Sangarius [Sakarya River] and the plains near Bursa and Iznik [Nicaea] are fertile and well cultivated. Extensive plantations of mulberry trees supply the silk for which Bursa [Prussa] has long been celebrated, and which is manufactured there on a large scale.

According to ancient authors [Herodotus, Xenophon, Strabo and the likes], the Bithynians were an immigrant Thracian tribe. The existence of a tribe called Thyni in Thrace is well attested, and the two cognate tribes of the Thyni and Bithyni appear to have settled simultaneously in the adjoining parts of Asia, where they expelled or subdued the Mysians, Caucones and other minor tribes, the Mariandyni maintaining themselves in the northeast. Herodotus mentions that the tribe Thyni and Bithyni as existing side by side; but ultimately the latter must have become the more important, as they gave their name to the country. They were incorporated by King Croesus within the Lydian monarchy, with which they fell under the dominion of Persia [546 BC], and were included in the satrapy of Phrygia, which comprised all the countries up to the Hellespont [Dardanel, Canakkale Bogazi] and Bosporus [The Strait of Istanbul, Istanbul Bogazi].

But even before the conquest by Alexander the Bithynians appear to have asserted their independence, and successfully maintained it under two native princes, Bas and Zipoites, the latter of whom assumed the title of king [in Greek: basileus] in 297 BC. His son and succeeder, Nicomedes I, founded Nicomedia, which soon rose to great prosperity, and during his long reign [c.278 – c.255 BC], as well as those of his successors, Prusias I, Prusias II and Nicomedes II [149 – 91 BC], the kingdom of Bithynia held a considerable place among the minor monarchies of Anatolia. But the last king, Nicomedes IV, was unable to maintain himself against Mithridates VI of Pontus, and, after being restored to his throne by the Roman Senate, he bequeathed his kingdom by will to the Roman republic [74 BC]. The coinage of these kings show their regal portraits, which tend to be engraved in an extremely accomplished Hellenistic style.

As a Roman province, the boundaries of Bithynia frequently varied, and it was commonly united for administrative purposes with the province of Pontus [Greek: Sea > Black Sea]. This was the state of things in the time of Trajan, when Pliny the Younger was appointed governor of the combined provinces [109/110 – 111/112], a circumstance to which we are indebted for valuable information concerning the Roman provincial administration. Under the Eastern Roman Empire [Byzantine Empire] Bithynia was again divided into two provinces, separated by the Sangarius, to the west of which the name of Bithynia was restricted.

Bithynia appears to have attracted so much attention because of its roads and its strategic position between the frontiers of the Danube [Tuna Nehri] in the north and the Euphrates [Firat Nehri] in the southeast. For securing communications with the eastern provinces, the monumental Bridge across the river Sangarius [Sakarya River, Sakarya] was constructed around 562 AD. Troops frequently wintered at Nicomedia [Izmit].

The most important cities were Nicomedia [Izmit] and Nicaea [Iznik]. The two had a long rivalry with one another over which city held the rank of capital. Both of these were founded after Alexander the Great; but at a much earlier period the Greeks had established on the coast the colonies of Cius [Gemlik]; Chalcedon [Kadıkoy, Istanbul], at the entrance of the Bosporus [Istanbul Strait], nearly opposite Byzantium [Istanbul]; and Heraclea Pontica [Karadeniz Ereglisi], on the Euxine [Black Sea], about 190km east of the Bosporus [The Strait of Istanbul]. All these rose to be flourishing places of trade, as did Prusa [Bursa]. Other places of importance at the present day are Izmit and Scutari [Uskudar, Istanbul].

With Courtesy of Wikipedia.Org. All thanks go to:

Izmit: It [It’s ancient name was Nicomedia] is a city in Turkey, administrative center of Kocaeli Province as well as the Kocaeli Metropolitan Municipality.

Nicomedia: [Nikomedes - Nικoμηδης] [to think of victory], derived from Greek [νικη] [nike] [victory] and [μηδομαι] [medomai] [to think]. Thus [Nicomedia - Νικομήδεια] stands for “The Land of Thinker of Victory”. Nicomedia is the capital city of Bytnian Kindom.

Prof. Dr. Ayse Calik Ross: Head of Classical Archeology, Head of Survey of Kocaeli & Its Districs, Head of Nicomedia Project. Kocaeli University, Faculty of Arts & Sciences, Department of Archeology, Umuttepe Campus, Kocaeli Universitesi [University of Kocaeli]: Umuttepe Yerleskesi, Eski Istanbul Yolu, 10. Km. 41380, Izmit-Kocaeli, Turkey. Tel: +90-262-303 28 28 Dept, +90-262-303 71 57 Lab. GSM: +90-533-321 69 54., Emails:, &

Fusun Tulek: Kocaeli Universitesi [University of Kocaeli]: Umuttepe Yerleskesi, Eski Istanbul Yolu, 10. Km. 41380, Izmit-Kocaeli, Turkey., Emails:,

KOU; Kocaeli Universitesi [University of Kocaeli]: Umuttepe Yerleskesi, Eski Istanbul Yolu, 10. Km. 41380, Izmit-Kocaeli, Turkey. Tel: +90-262-303 10 00., Email:,

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