- Abydos, Hellespont
Abydos (Greek: Άβυδος), an ancient city of
Mysia, in Asia Minor, situated at Nara Burnu or Nagara Pointon the best harbor on the Asiatic shore of the Hellespont. Across Abydos lies Sestuson the European side marking the shortest point in the Dardanelles, scarcely a mile broad. The strategic site has been a prohibited zone in the twentieth century.
Abydos was first mentioned in the catalogue of Trojan allies ("
Iliad" ii.836). It probably was a Thracian town, as Strabohas it, but was afterwards colonized by Milesians, with the consent of Gyges, king of Lydia, around 700 BC. It was occupied by the Persians in 514 BC, and Dariusburnt it in 512. Here Xerxes built two bridges of boats and crossed the strait in 480 BCwhen he invaded Greece. [ Herodotus. "Histories", 7.34.]
Abydos thereafter became a member of the
Delian League, until it revolted from Athenian rule in 411 BC. [ Thucydides. " History of the Peloponnesian War", [http://classicpersuasion.org/pw/thucydides/jthucbk8rv2.htm 8.61-2] .] It allied itself to Sparta, until 394 BC; King Agesilausof Sparta crossed here while returning to Greece. Abydos then passed under Achaemenidrule, until 334 BC. Alexander the Greatthrew a spear to Abydos while crossing the straight and claimed Asia as his own.
Abydos is celebrated for the vigorous resistance it made against
Philip V of Macedonin 200 BC, [ Polybius. "The Histories", [http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Polybius/16*.html 16.29-34] ] and is famed in myth as the home of Leander. It minted coins from the early fifth century BC to the mid-third 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).
* [http://icarus.umkc.edu/sandbox/perseus/pecs/page.14.a.php Richard Stillwell, ed. "Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites", 1976:] "Abydos, (Naara Point) Turkey"
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