- Abdera, Thrace
Abdera (Άβδηρα) was a town on the coast of
Thrace17 km east-northeast of the mouth of the Nestos, and almost opposite Thasos. At coordinates coord|40|57|N|24|59|E, the site now lies in the Xanthi Prefectureof modern Greece. The current municipality of Abdera, or Avdira, has 3,917 inhabitants (2001).
Its mythical foundation was attributed to
Heracles(on behalf of his fallen friend Abderus), its historical one to a colony from Klazomenai. This historical founding was traditionally dated to 654 BC, which is unverified, although evidence in 7th century BCGreek pottery tends to support it.cite encyclopedia
last = Hornblower
first = Simon
title = Abdera
encyclopedia = The Oxford Classical Dictionary
pages = 1
publisher = Oxford University Press
location = Oxford
date = 1996
accessdate = ] But its prosperity dates from
544 BC, when the majority of the people of Teos (including the poet Anacreon) migrated to Abdera to escape the Persian yoke ( Herodotusi.168). The chief coin type, a " griffon", is identical with that of Teos; the rich silver coinage is noted for the beauty and variety of its reverse types.
513 BCand 512 BC, the Persians conquered Abdera. In 492 BC, the Persians again conquered Abdera, this time under Darius I. It later became part of the Delian Leagueand fought on the side of Athens in the Peloponnesian war.
A valuable prize, the city was repeatedly sacked: by the
Triballiin 376 BC, Philip II of Macedonin 350 BC; later by Lysimachos of Thrace, the Seleucids, the Ptolemies, and again by the Macedonians. In 170 BCthe Roman armies and those of Eumenes II of Pergamon besieged and sacked it.
The town seems to have declined in importance after the middle of the
4th century BC. The air of Abdera was proverbial in Athens as causing stupidity, [Cicero. "Epistulae ad Atticum", 4.17.3, 7.7.4.] but it counted among its citizens the philosophers Democritusand Protagoras, and historian and philosopher Hecataeus of Abdera.
The ruins of the town may still be seen on Cape Balastra; they cover seven small hills, and extend from an eastern to a western harbor; on the southwestern hills are the remains of the medieval settlement of Polystylon. Abdera is a
titular seeof the Roman Catholic Churchin the province of Rhodopeon the southern coast of Thrace, now called Bouloustra.
Abdera Archaeological Museum
*Grant, Michael. "A Guide to the Ancient World". Michael Grant Publications, 1986.
* [http://icarus.umkc.edu/sandbox/perseus/pecs/page.5.a.php Richard Stillwell, ed. "Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites", 1976:] "Abdera, Thrace, Greece"
* [http://odysseus.culture.gr/h/3/eh351.jsp?obj_id=2359 Hellenic Ministry of Culture on Abdera]
* [http://www.avdera.gr/ Avdera.gr] el icon
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