Lysimachia (Thrace)

Lysimachia (Thrace)

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Lysimachia (Thrace)'
Start a new discussion about 'Lysimachia (Thrace)'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
Lysimachia was an important Hellenistic Greek
Hellenistic Greece
In the context of Ancient Greek art, architecture, and culture, Hellenistic Greece corresponds to the period between the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and the annexation of the classical Greek heartlands by Rome in 146 BC...

 town on the north-western extremity of the Thracian Chersonese
Thracian Chersonese
The Thracian Chersonese was the ancient name of the Gallipoli peninsula, in the part of historic Thrace that is now part of modern Turkey.The peninsula runs in a south-westerly direction into the Aegean Sea, between the Hellespont and the bay of Melas . Near Agora it was protected by a wall...

 (the modern Gallipoli
Gallipoli
The Gallipoli peninsula is located in Turkish Thrace , the European part of Turkey, with the Aegean Sea to the west and the Dardanelles straits to the east. Gallipoli derives its name from the Greek "Καλλίπολις" , meaning "Beautiful City"...

 peninsula) in what is now the European part of Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

, not far from the bay of Melas (the modern Gulf of Saros).

History


The city was built by Lysimachus
Lysimachus
Lysimachus was a Macedonian officer and diadochus of Alexander the Great, who became a basileus in 306 BC, ruling Thrace, Asia Minor and Macedon.-Early Life & Career:...

 in 309 BCE, when he was preparing for the last struggle with his rivals
Diadochi
The Diadochi were the rival generals, family and friends of Alexander the Great who fought for the control of Alexander's empire after his death in 323 BC...

; for the new city, being situated on the isthmus, commanded the road from Sestos
Sestos
200px|200px|thumb|The Ancient Map of Gallipoli PeninsulaSestos was an ancient Greek town of the Thracian Chersonese, the modern Gallipoli peninsula in European Turkey. Situated on the Hellespont opposite Abydos, it was the home of Hero in the legend of Hero and Leander, where according to legend...

 to the north and the mainland of Thrace
Thrace
Thrace is a historical and geographic area in southeast Europe. As a geographical concept, Thrace designates a region bounded by the Balkan Mountains on the north, Rhodope Mountains and the Aegean Sea on the south, and by the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara on the east...

. In order to obtain inhabitants for his new city, Lysimachus destroyed the neighbouring town of Cardia
Cardia (Thrace)
Cardia , anciently the chief town of the Thracian Chersonese , was situated at the head of the gulf of Melas...

, the birthplace of the historian Hieronymus
Hieronymus of Cardia
Hieronymus of Cardia, Greek general and historian from Cardia in Thrace, was a contemporary of Alexander the Great .After the death of Alexander he followed the fortunes of his friend and fellow-countryman Eumenes. He was wounded and taken prisoner by Antigonus, who pardoned him and appointed him...

, and settled the inhabitants of it and other Chersonesean cities here. Lysimachus no doubt made Lysimachia the capital of his kingdom, and it must have rapidly risen to great splendour and prosperity.

After his death the city fell under the dominion of Syria
Seleucid Empire
The Seleucid Empire was a Greek-Macedonian state that was created out of the eastern conquests of Alexander the Great. At the height of its power, it included central Anatolia, the Levant, Mesopotamia, Persia, today's Turkmenistan, Pamir and parts of Pakistan.The Seleucid Empire was a major centre...

, and during the wars between Seleucus Callinicus
Seleucus II Callinicus
Seleucus II Callinicus or Pogon , was a ruler of the Hellenistic Seleucid Empire, who reigned from 246 to 225 BC...

 and Ptolemy Euergetes it passed from the hands of the Seleucids into those of the Ptolemies. Whether these latter set the town free, or whether it emancipated itself, is uncertain; at any rate it entered into the relation of sympolity with the Aetolian League
Aetolian League
The Aetolian League was a confederation of tribal communities and cities in ancient Greece centered on Aetolia in central Greece. It was established, probably during the early Hellenistic era, in opposition to Macedon and the Achaean League. Two annual meetings were held in Thermika and Panaetolika...

. In 287 B.C. the city was severely damaged by an easthquake, as reported by the Roman historian Justin (17.1.1-3). In 277 BCE near Lysimachia the Macedon
Macedon
Macedonia or Macedon was an ancient kingdom, centered in the northeastern part of the Greek peninsula, bordered by Epirus to the west, Paeonia to the north, the region of Thrace to the east and Thessaly to the south....

ian king Antigonus II Gonatas
Antigonus II Gonatas
Antigonus II Gonatas was a powerful ruler who firmly established the Antigonid dynasty in Macedonia and acquired fame for his victory over the Gauls who had invaded the Balkans.-Birth and family:...

 defeated the Celt
Celt
The Celts were a diverse group of tribal societies in Iron Age and Roman-era Europe who spoke Celtic languages.The earliest archaeological culture commonly accepted as Celtic, or rather Proto-Celtic, was the central European Hallstatt culture , named for the rich grave finds in Hallstatt, Austria....

ic invasion. As the Aetolia
Aetolia
Aetolia is a mountainous region of Greece on the north coast of the Gulf of Corinth, forming the eastern part of the modern prefecture of Aetolia-Acarnania.-Geography:...

ns were not able to afford the town the necessary protection, it was destroyed again in 197 BCE by the Thracians
Thracians
The ancient Thracians were a group of Indo-European tribes inhabiting areas including Thrace in Southeastern Europe. They spoke the Thracian language – a scarcely attested branch of the Indo-European language family...

 during the war of the Romans
Roman Republic
The Roman Republic was the period of the ancient Roman civilization where the government operated as a republic. It began with the overthrow of the Roman monarchy, traditionally dated around 508 BC, and its replacement by a government headed by two consuls, elected annually by the citizens and...

 against Philip of Macedonia
Philip V of Macedon
Philip V was King of Macedon from 221 BC to 179 BC. Philip's reign was principally marked by an unsuccessful struggle with the emerging power of Rome. Philip was attractive and charismatic as a young man...

. Antiochus the Great
Antiochus III the Great
Antiochus III the Great Seleucid Greek king who became the 6th ruler of the Seleucid Empire as a youth of about eighteen in 223 BC. Antiochus was an ambitious ruler who ruled over Greater Syria and western Asia towards the end of the 3rd century BC...

 restored the place, collected the scattered and enslaved inhabitants, and attracted colonists from all parts by generous promises. This restoration, however, appears to have been unsuccessful, and under the dominion of Rome
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 it decayed more and more.

The last time the place is mentioned under its ancient name, is in a passage of Ammianus Marcellinus
Ammianus Marcellinus
Ammianus Marcellinus was a fourth-century Roman historian. He wrote the penultimate major historical account surviving from Antiquity...

. The emperor
Emperor
An emperor is a monarch, usually the sovereign ruler of an empire or another type of imperial realm. Empress, the female equivalent, may indicate an emperor's wife or a woman who rules in her own right...

 Justinian
Justinian I
Justinian I ; , ; 483– 13 or 14 November 565), commonly known as Justinian the Great, was Byzantine Emperor from 527 to 565. During his reign, Justinian sought to revive the Empire's greatness and reconquer the lost western half of the classical Roman Empire.One of the most important figures of...

 (527
527
Year 527 was a common year starting on Friday of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Mavortius without colleague...

565
565
Year 565 was a common year starting on Thursday of the Julian calendar. The denomination 565 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.- Byzantine Empire :* November 14 – Justin II...

) restored it and surrounded it with strong fortifications, and after that time it is spoken of only under the name of Hexamilion. The place now occupying the site of Lysimachia, Eksemil, derives its name from the Justinianian fortress, though the ruins of the ancient city are more numerous in the neighbouring village of Ortaköy.