Canae /ˈkeɪ.niː/ (Ancient Greek: Κάναι; Turkish: Kane) was, in classical antiquity, a city in ancient Aeolis, on the island of Argennusa in the Aegean Sea off the modern Dikili Peninsula on the coast of modern-day Turkey, near the modern village of Bademli.[1][2] Today Argennusa has joined the mainland as the Kane Promontory off the Dikili Peninsula. Canae is famous as the site of the Battle of Arginusae in 406 B.C.[1][3][4]

Canae is mentioned by the ancient writers Herodotus, Strabo, Pliny, Livy, Ptolemy, Sappho, Thucydides, and Mela.[5][6]

Coordinates: 39°2′N 26°48′E / 39.033°N 26.800°E

Canae is located in Turkey
Location within Turkey
Place in the Roman world
Nearby waterAegean Sea (Dikili Gulf)
EventsBattle of Arginusae
Coordinates39°2′19″N 26°48′53″E / 39.03861°N 26.81472°E
Place nameKane Promontory (Cane)
StateDikili District
Site notes
Discovery year2015


According to the first-century Greek geographer Strabo, Canae was founded by Locrians coming from Cynus in eastern Greece.[5][7] Canae was built on the island of Argennusa (also spelt Arginusa), beside a small promontory hill variously called Mount Cane /ˈkeɪ.niː/ (Ancient Greek: Κάνη), Aega /ˈiːɡə/ (Αἰγᾶ), or Argennon /ɑːrˈdʒɛnən/ (Ἄργεννον).[5][7][8] The name Canae (Κάναι) means "(city) of Mount Cane"; the district that included Argennusa and the neighboring two islands of Garip and Kalem was called Canaea.[5]

According to the 5th-century B.C. Greek historian Herodotus, the massive Achaemenid army of Xerxes I passed Mount Cane on its way from Sardis to the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 B.C.[5][9][10]

During the Peloponnesian War, an Athenian fleet commanded by eight strategoi unexpectedly defeated a Spartan fleet under Callicratidas off the coast of Canae in 406 B.C. in the Battle of Arginusae.[6]

During the Roman–Seleucid War, fought between the Roman Republic and Antiochus the Great in 192–188 B.C., the Roman navy wintered in Canae on their way to Chios.[5] Livy writes that "the ships were hauled on shore and surrounded with a trench and rampart."[11]

By the time of Pliny the Elder in the first century A.D., the city was deserted.[5][12]

See also


  1. ^ a b Goldhill, Olivia (16 November 2015). "Researchers just unearthed a lost island in the Aegean". Quartz. İzmir. Retrieved 21 November 2015.
  2. ^ Hamel, Debra (21 May 2015). The Battle of Arginusae: Victory at Sea and Its Tragic Aftermath in the Final Years of the Peloponnesian War. U.S.A.: Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 48. ISBN 978-1-4214-1680-9.
  3. ^ "Lost ancient island found in the Aegean". Hurriyet Daily News. İzmir. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
  4. ^ Crew, Bec (20 November 2015). "An entire ancient island has been rediscovered in the Aegean: Have we finally found the long-lost city of Kane?". Science Alert. İzmir. Retrieved 21 November 2015.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Long, George (1878). "Canae". In William Smith (ed.). A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography. I. London: John Murray.
  6. ^ a b Long, George (1878). "Arginusae". In William Smith (ed.). A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography. I. London: John Murray.
  7. ^ a b Strabo (1903). The Geography of Strabo. II. Translated by H. C. Hamilton and W. Falconer. London: George Bell & Sons. p. 388.
  8. ^ Stephanus of Byzantium, Ethnica
  9. ^ Herodotus, Histories 7.42
  10. ^ Barkworth, 1993. The Organization of Xerxes' Army. Iranica Antiqua Vol. 27, pp. 149–167
  11. ^ Livy, Foundation of the City 36.45, 37.8
  12. ^ Pliny, Natural History 5.30

Classical sources

External links

Amédée Grab

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Grab was born in Switzerland and was ordained to the priesthood in 1954. He served as titular bishop of Canæ and auxiliary bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lausanne, Geneva and Fribourg, Switzerland, from 1987 to 1995. Grab then served as bishop of the diocese from 1995 to 1998. He then served as bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Chur from 1995 to 2007.


In classical antiquity, the Arginusae (Ancient Greek: Ἀργινούσαι Arginóusai; also Ἀργινούσσαι Arginóussai) were three islands off the Dikili Peninsula on the coast of modern-day Turkey, famous as the site of the Battle of Arginusae. They were also collectively referred to as Canaea after the city of Canae on the largest island. Today two of the islands remain, while the third and largest has become attached to the mainland as a promontory near the modern village of Bademli:

Baston Islands

Garip Island (Turkish: Garip Adası, literally "Strange Island"); Nisída Ázano

Kalem Island (Turkish: Kalem Adası, literally "Pen Island"); Nikolo, Vráchos Nikolós

Kane Peninsula or Promontory (Turkish: Kane Yarımada), called Argennusa (Ancient Greek: Ἀργέννουσα; Latin: Arginusa) in antiquity, when it was an island; Canaea, Canae, ΚάνηArgennusa was the site of the ancient city of Canae.

The names Arginusae and Argennusa come from Ancient Greek arginóeis, argennóeis (ἀργινόεις, ἀργεννόεις), "bright-shining".


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Battle of Arginusae

The naval Battle of Arginusae took place in 406 BC during the Peloponnesian War near the city of Canae in the Arginusae islands, east of the island of Lesbos. In the battle, an Athenian fleet commanded by eight strategoi defeated a Spartan fleet under Callicratidas. The battle was precipitated by a Spartan victory which led to the Athenian fleet under Conon being blockaded at Mytilene; to relieve Conon, the Athenians assembled a scratch force composed largely of newly constructed ships manned by inexperienced crews. This inexperienced fleet was thus tactically inferior to the Spartans, but its commanders were able to circumvent this problem by employing new and unorthodox tactics, which allowed the Athenians to secure a dramatic and unexpected victory. Slaves and metics who participated in the battle were granted Athenian citizenship.

The news of the victory itself was met with jubilation at Athens. Their joy was tempered, however, by the aftermath of the battle, in which a storm prevented the ships assigned to rescue the survivors of the 25 disabled or sunken Athenian triremes from performing their duties, and a great number of sailors drowned. A fury erupted at Athens when the public learned of this, and after a bitter struggle in the assembly six of the eight generals who had commanded the fleet were tried as a group and executed.

At Sparta, meanwhile, traditionalists who had supported Callicratidas pressed for peace with Athens, knowing that a continuation of the war would lead to the re-ascendence of their opponent Lysander. This party initially prevailed, and a delegation was dispatched to Athens to make an offer of peace; the Athenians, however, rejected this offer, and Lysander departed to the Aegean to take command of the fleet for the remainder of the war, which would be decided less than a year later by his total victory at Aegospotami.


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