Achaemenid Settlements > Cyme



CymeΚύμη8th century BC–241 BCSilver tetradrachm of Cyme, 165–140 BCMap of Asia Minor showing the location of KymeCapitalKymi[disambiguation needed]LanguagesAeolic, Ionic GreekReligionGreek PolytheismGovernmentTyrannyHistorical eraClassical Antiquity • Established8th century BC • Colony establishedc. 700 – 600 BC • Persian Conquest542 BC • Ionian Revolt499 BC – 493 BC • Macedonian Empire336 – 323 BC • Attalid dynasty241 BC – 133 BC • Roman Republic133 BC • Disestablished241 BCPreceded bySucceeded byGreek Dark AgesKingdom of PergamonCyme (modern Turkish Nemrut Limani) was an Aeolian city in Aeolis (Asia Minor) close to the kingdom of Lydia.The Aeolians regarded Cyme as the largest and most important of their twelve cities, which were located on the coastline of Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey).[citation needed] As a result of their direct access to the sea, unlike most non-landlocked settlements of the ancient world, trade is believed to have prospered.Contents [hide]1Location2History2.1Early history2.25th century BC2.3Roman and Byzantine era3Ecclesiastical history3.1Titular see4Archaeology4.1Numismatics5Trivia6References7Sources8External linksLocation[edit]Map of Aegean c.200 BC showing the location of Kyme.Aeolis, Kyme; Tetradrachm; Silver; circa 165-140 BC; Obverse: Head of the Amazon Kyme right, wearing taenia; Reverse: Horse walking right, skyphos (one handled cup) below, KYMAIΩN left, ΣEYΘHΣ (magistrate) in exergue, all within laurel-wreath; 34.2mm, 16.409g; Reference: SNG Von Aulock 1640; Oakley obv. die 59; Sg4183 varBoth the author of the 'life of Homer' and Strabo the ancient geographer, locate Cyme north of the Hermus river on the Asia Minor coastline, modern-day "Nemrut Limanı"(in Turkish)After crossing the Hyllus, the distance from Larissa to Cyme was 70 stadia, and from Cyme to Myrina was 40 stadia. (Strabo: 622)Archaeological finds such as coins give reference also to a river, believed to be that of the Hyllus.[1]History[edit]Early history[edit]Little is known about the foundation of the city to supplement the traditional founding legend. Settlers from mainland Greece (most likely Euboea) migrated across the Aegean Sea during the Late Bronze Age as waves of Dorian-speaking invaders brought an end to the once mighty Mycenaean civilization some time around 1050 BC. During the Late Bronze Age and early Greek Dark Ages, the dialect of Cyme and the surrounding region of Aeolis, like that of neighboring island Lesbos, closely resembled the local dialect of Thessalia and Boetia[citation needed] in continental Greece.The colony was founded after the Trojan War by Greeks from Locris, central Greece, who began by reducing the Pelasgian citadel of Larisa near the river Hermus[2]Cyme prospered and developed into a regional metropolis and founded about thirty towns and settlements in Aeolis. The Cymeans were later[citation needed] ridiculed as a people who had for three hundred years lived on the coast and not once exacted harbor taxes on ships making port (reference is needed). Hesiod’s father is said[who?] to have started his journey across the Aegean from Cyme. The cities of southern Aeolis in the region surrounding Cyme occupied a good belt of land with rough mountains in the background, yet Cyme like other colonies along the coast did not trade with the native Anatolians further inland, who had occupied Asia Minor for thousands of years.[citation needed] Cyme consequently played no significant role in the history of western Asia Minor, prompting the historian Ephorus, himself a native of the city, to comment repeatedly in his narrative of Greek history[citation needed] that while the events he wrote about were taking place, his fellow Cymeans had for centuries sat idly by and kept the peace.Politically, Cyme is assumed[who?] to have started as a settler democracy following in the tradition of other established colonies in the region although Aristotle concluded that by the 7th and 6th centuries BC the once great democracies in the Greek world (including Cyme) evolved not from democracies to oligarchies as was the natural custom but from democracies to tyrannies.[3]5th century BC[edit]By the 5th century BC, Cyme was one of the 12 established Ionian colonies in Aeolis.[2] Herodotus (4.138) mentions that one of the esteemed voters deciding whether or not to support Militiades the Athenian in his plan to liberate the Ionian Coast from Persian rule in (year BC) was Aristagoras of Cyme. Aristagorus campaigned on the side of Histiaeus the Milesian with the tyrants Strattis of Chios, Aeaces of Samos and Laodamas of Phocaea in opposing such an initiative arguing instead that each tyrant along the Ionian Coast owed their position to Darius King of Persia and that liberating their own cities would encourage democracy over tyranny. Cyme eventually came under the control of the Persian Empire following the collapse of the Lydian Kingdom at the hands of Cyrus the Great. Herodotus is the principal source for this period in Greek history and has paid a great deal of attention to events taking place in Ionia and Aeolis.When Pactyes, the Lydian general, sought refuge in Cyme from the Persians the citizens were between a rock and a hard place. As Herodotus records, they consulted the Greek god Apollo (supporting the claim that they were of Ionic not eastern culture), who said after much confusion through an oracle that he should be handed over. However, a native of Cyme questioned Apollo's word and went back to the oracle himself to confirm if indeed Apollo wanted the Cymians to surrender Pactyes. Not wanting to come to grief over the surrender of Pactyes, nor wanting the ill-effects of a Persian siege (confirms Cyme was a fortified city capable of self-defence) they avoided dealing with the Persians by simply sending him off to Mytilene on the island of Lesbos, not far from their city. In his Histories, Herodotus makes reference to Cyme (or Phriconis) as being one of the cities in which the rebel Lydian governor Pactyes sought refuge, following his attempted rebellion against the Persian King Cyrus the Great:[4] c.546 BCPactyes, when he learnt that an army was already on his tracks and near, took fright and fled to Cyme, and Mazares the Mede marched to Sardis with a detachment of Cyrus' troops. Finding Pactyes and his supporters gone, the first thing he did was to compel the Lydians to carry out Cyrus' orders — as a result of which they altered from that moment their whole way of life; he then sent a demand to Cyme that Pactyes should be surrendered, and the men of the town decided to consult the oracle at Branchidae as to whether they should obey ... The messengers returned home to report, and the citizens of Cyme were prepared in consequence to give up the wanted man.After the Persian naval defeat at Salamis, Xerxes moored the surviving ships at Cyme. Before 480 BC, Cyme had been the principle naval base for the Royal Fleet.[5] Later accounts of Cyme's involvement in the Ionian Revolt which triggered the Persian Wars confirm their allegiance to the Ionian Greek cause. During this time, Herodotus states that due to the size of the Persian army, Darius the Great was able to launch a devastating three-pronged attack on the Ionian cities. The third army which he sent north to take Sardis was under the command of his son-in-law Otanes who promptly captured Cyme and Clazomenae in the process. However, later accounts reveal how Sandoces, the supposed Ionian governor of Cyme helped draft a fleet of fifteen ships for Xerxes I great expedition against mainland Greece c. 480 BC. Cyme is also believed to have been the port in which the Persian survivors of the Battle of Salamis wintered and lends considerable weight to the argument that Cyme was not only well served by defensive walls, but enjoyed the benefits of a large port capable of wintering and supplying a large wartime fleet. As a result, Cyme, like most Ionian cities at the time was a maritime power and a valuable asset to the Persian Empire.Once Aristagoras of Miletus roused the Ionians to rebel against Darius, Cyme joined the insurrection. However, the revolts at Cyme were quelled once the city was recovered by the Persians.[6] Sandoces, the governor of Cyme at the time of Xerxes, commanded fifteen ships in the Persian military expedition against Greece (480 BC). Herodotus believes that Sandoces may have been a Greek.[7] After the Battle of Salamis, the remnants of Xerxes's fleet wintered at Cyme.[8] Thucydides does not provide any significant mention of place is hardly more than mentioned in the history of Thucydides.[9]Aeolis, Larissa Phrikonis. ca 4th Century BC. Æ 11mm. Horned (?), three-quarter facing female head, turned slightly right, in necklace / LA, bull's head right.Roman and Byzantine era[edit]Polybius records that Cyme obtained freedom from taxation following the defeat of Antiochus III, later being incorporated into Roman Asia province.[10] During the reign of Tiberius, the city suffered from a great earthquake, common in the Aegean.[11] Other Roman sources such as Pliny the Elder mention Cyme as one of the cities of Aeolia[12] which supports Herodotus' similar claim:[13]The above-mentioned, then, are the twelve towns of the Ionians. The Aeolic cities are the following:- Cyme, called also Phriconis, Larissa, Neonteichus, Temnus, Cilla[clarification needed], Notium, Aegiroessa, Pitane, Aegaeae, Myrina, and Gryneia. These are the eleven ancient cities of the Aeolians. Originally, indeed, they had twelve cities upon the mainland, like the Ionians, but the Ionians deprived them of Smyrna, one of the number. The soil of Aeolis is better than that of Ionia, but the climate is less agreeable.It was assigned to the Roman province of Asia Prima.


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