Astacus (Bithynia)

Astacus /ˈæstəkəs/ (Greek Ἀστακός Βιθυνίας) is an ancient city in Bithynia; it was also called Olbia /ˈɒlbiə/. Stephanus of Byzantium records an aetiological myth that it was founded by Astacus, son of Poseidon and the nymph Olbia. The city was founded in the Second Greek colonisation by the Megarans together with the Athenians.[1]

The traditional date of the founding is 712/11 BC, the first year of the 17th Olympiad.[2] However, "Diodorus Siculus" (aka "Library of History"), Book XII, Chapter 34, writes that in the year 435 BCE "And while these events were taking place [the battle of the Athenians on the isthmus near Pallenê against the Potidaeans] the Athenians founded in the Propontis a city which was given the name of Astacus." (Perhaps Diodorus was incorrect.)

King Zipoetes I of Bithynia made two attempts to absorb Astacus into his kingdom: in 315 BC he was defeated by succors sent by Antigonus Monophthalmos. In 301 BC, he was successful, but the city was destroyed in the war.

Nicomedes I, son of Zipoetes, founded a new city to replace Astacus across from its former location, which he named Nicomedia after himself, bringing some of the Astacan cults to the new site. Nicomedia remained the capital of Bithynia, and became one of the great cities of the Roman east; the Emperor Diocletian made it his usual capital.

Its site is located near the modern Baş İskele.[3][4]

See also


  1. ^ Strabo (1903). "12.2". Geographica. Translated by W. Falconer. Ἦν δ' ἐν αὐτῷ τῷ κόλπῳ καὶ Ἀστακὸς πόλις, Μεγαρέων κτίσμα καὶ Ἀθηναίων καὶ μετὰ ταῦτα Δοιδαλσοῦ, ἀφ' ἧς καὶ ὁ κόλπος ὠνομάσθη: κατεσκάφη δ' ὑπὸ Λυσιμάχου: τοὺς δ' οἰκήτορας μετήγαγεν εἰς Νικομήδειαν ὁ κτίσας αὐτήν. (And on the gulf itself there was also a city Astacus, founded by the Megarians and Athenians and afterwards by Doedalsus; and it was after the city Astacus that the gulf was named. It was razed to the ground by Lysimachus, and its inhabitants were transferred to Nicomedeia by the founder of the latter.)
  2. ^ The Annals of the World By James Ussher retrieved 17:00 approximately 13.10.11
  3. ^ Richard Talbert, ed. (2000). Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World. Princeton University Press. p. 52, and directory notes accompanying.
  4. ^ Lund University. Digital Atlas of the Roman Empire.

Coordinates: 40°42′52″N 29°55′44″E / 40.714558°N 29.928794°E

Astacus (mythology)

In Greek mythology, the name Astacus (Ancient Greek: Ἄστακος) may refer to:

Astacus of Thebes, a descendant of the Spartoi, and the eponym of the city Astacus, characterized as "a noble and proud man". One of his sons, Melanippus, was one of the principal defenders of Thebes against the Seven and fell against Tydeus. His other three sons, Ismarus, Leades, and Amphidicus (or Asphodicus), were credited with killing Hippomedon, Eteoclus and Parthenopaeus respectively. Yet other two sons of his, Erithelas and Lobes, were said to have founded Hypoplacian Thebes.

Astacus, a son of Poseidon and the nymph Olbia, eponymous founder of Astacus, Bithynia.

Astacus, a son of Hermes and (?) Astabe, a daughter of Peneus; he was father of Iocles (or Oicles?) and through him grandfather of Hipponous.


In Greek mythology, the Naiads (; Greek: Ναϊάδες) are a type of female spirit, or nymph, presiding over fountains, wells, springs, streams, brooks and other bodies of fresh water.

They are distinct from river gods, who embodied rivers, and the very ancient spirits that inhabited the still waters of marshes, ponds and lagoon-lakes, such as pre-Mycenaean Lerna in the Argolis.

Naiads were associated with fresh water, as the Oceanids were with saltwater and the Nereids specifically with the Mediterranean, but because the ancient Greeks thought of the world's waters as all one system, which percolated in from the sea in deep cavernous spaces within the earth, there was some overlap. Arethusa, the nymph of a spring, could make her way through subterranean flows from the Peloponnesus to surface on the island of Sicily.


A nymph (Greek: νύμφη nýmphē, Ancient: [nýmpʰɛː] Modern: [nífi]) in Greek mythology is a supernatural being associated with many other minor female deities that are often associated with the air, seas, woods, or water, or particular locations or landforms. Different from Greek goddesses, nymphs are more generally regarded as divine spirits who animate or maintain Nature (natural forces reified and considered as a sentient being) for the environments where they live, and are usually depicted as beautiful, young graceful maidens. They were not necessarily immortal, but lived many years before they died.They are often divided into various broad subgroups, such as Aurai (winds), Hesperides (evening and sunsets), Nereides (seas), Naiades or (rivers and streams), Oceanids (water), Dryades (trees and forests) or Alseids (groves and glens.)

Nymphs often feature in many classic works of art, literature, mythology and in fiction. Since medieval times, nymphs are sometimes popularly associated, or even confused, with the mythical or spiritual fairies.

Black Sea
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