Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Trabzon, formerly known as Trebizond or Τραπεζούντα (Trapezounda)(Greek) , is a city on the Black Sea coast of north-eastern Turkey. It is the capital of Trabzon Province. It lies astride the road from Istanbul to Iraq and was an important meeting point for international trade. It formed the basis for several empires over its history, including one of the same name.
Originally founded as Trapezus by traders from Miletus (traditionally in 756 BC), the city was one of a number (about ten) of Milesian emporia, or trading colonies along the shores of the Black Sea. Others include Sinope, Abydos and Cyzicus (in the Dardanelles). Like most Greek colonies, the city was a small enclave of Greek life, and not an empire unto its own, in the later European sense of the word. When Xenophon and the "ten thousand" Greek mercenaries fighting their way out of Persia, reached Trapezus, it was the first Greek city they had reached (Xenophon, Anabasis, 5.5.10).
The city was added to the kingdom of Pontus by Mithridates VI Eupator and it became home port for the Pontic fleet. When the kingdom was annexed to the Roman province of Galatia in 64-65 CE the fleet simply passed to new commanders. Trapezus gained importance under Roman rule in the 1st century AD because from its roadstead a road over the Zigana Pass led to the Armenian frontier or the upper Euphrates valley. New roads were constructed from Persia and Mesopotamia under the rule of Vespasian, and Hadrian commissioned improvements to give the city a more structured harbor. A mithraeum now serves as a crypt for the church of Panaghia Theoskepastos in nearby Kizlara, east of the citadel and south of the modern harbor. The city was pillaged by the Goths in 258, and, although it was afterwards re-built, Trapezus did not recover until the trade route regained importance in the 8th to 10th centuries.
After the Fourth Crusade in 1204, a Byzantine successor state was founded there with support of Queen Tamar of Georgia, the Empire of Trebizond, which ruled part of the Black Sea coast from Trabzon until 1461, when its ruler, David, surrendered to Mehmed II, ruler of the Ottoman Empire.
- Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites eds. Richard Stillwell, William L. MacDonald, Marian Holland McAllister: "Trapezus"
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details