Themiscyra (Pontus)

Themiscyra (Pontus)

Themiscyra or Themiskyra (Greek: polytonic|Θεμίσκυρα), was an ancient Greek town a little distance from the coast and near the mouth of the Thermodon (mod. Terme River). The town is mentioned as early as the time of Herodotus (iv. 86; "comp." Scylax, p. 33; Paus. i. 2. § 1). Ptolemy (v. 6 § 3) is undoubtedly mistaken in placing it further west, midway between the Iris (mod. Yeşil River) and Cape Heraclium. Scylax calls it a Greek town; but Diodorus (ii. 44) states that it was built by the founder of the kingdom of the Amazons. After the retreat of Mithridates VI from Cyzicus, Themiscyra was besieged by Lucullus. The inhabitants on that occasion defended themselves with great valor; and when their walls were undermined, they sent bears and other wild beasts, and even swarms of bees, against the workmen of Lucullus (Appian, "Mithrid." 78). But notwithstanding their gallant defence, the town seems to have perished on that occasion, for Mela speaks of it as no longer existing (i. 19), and Strabo does not mention it at all. ("Comp." Anon. "Peripl. P. E." p. 11; Steph. B. "s. v." unicode|Χαδισία.) Some suppose that the town of Terme (Therme), at the mouth of the Thermodon, marks the site of ancient Themiscyra; but Hamilton (Researches, i. p. 283) justly observes that it must have been situated a little further inland. Ruins of the place do not appear to exist, for those which Texier regards as indicating the site of Themiscyra, at a distance of two days' journey from the Halys (mod. Kızılırmak), on the borders of Galatia, cannot possibly have belonged to it, but are in all probability the remains of Tavium. The editors of the Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World, place Themiscyra "at or near" Terme. [Barrington|87 & notes]



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