Cyzicus (/ˈsɪzɪkəs/; Ancient Greek: Κύζικος Kyzikos; Ottoman Turkish: آیدینجق, Aydıncıḳ) was an ancient town of Mysia in Anatolia in the current Balıkesir Province of Turkey. It was located on the shoreward side of the present Kapıdağ Peninsula (the classical Arctonnesus), a tombolo which is said to have originally been an island in the Sea of Marmara only to be connected to the mainland in historic times either by artificial means or an earthquake.
آیدینجق (Ottoman Turkish)
Bas relief of a charioteer, late 6th century BC
Shown within Turkey
|Location||Erdek, Balıkesir Province, Turkey|
|Abandoned||11th century AD|
|Periods||Archaic Greek to High Medieval|
|Cultures||Greek, Ancient Roman, Byzantine|
|Events||Siege of Cyzicus|
The city was said to have been founded by Pelasgians from Thessaly, according to tradition at the coming of the Argonauts; later it received many colonies from Miletus, allegedly in 756 BC, but its importance began only after the Peloponnesian War, when the decay of Athens and Miletus set in. Alcibiades defeated the Lacedaemonians there (410 BC). Eudoxus of Cnidus had a school at Cyzicus and went with his pupils to Athens, visiting Plato, and then returned to Cyzicus, where he died 355 B.C. The era of Olympiads in Cyzicus was reckoned from 135 or 139.
Owing to its advantageous position it speedily acquired commercial importance, and the gold staters of Cyzicus were a staple currency in the ancient world till they were superseded by those of Philip of Macedon. Its unique and characteristic coin, the cyzicenus, was worth 28 drachmae.
During the Peloponnesian War (431–404 BC) Cyzicus was subject to the Athenians and Lacedaemonians alternately. In the naval Battle of Cyzicus in 410 during the Peloponnesian War, an Athenian fleet routed and completely destroyed a Spartan fleet. At the peace of Antalcidas (387 BC), like the other Greek cities in Asia, it was made over to Persia. Alexander the Great later captured it from the Persians in 334 BC and was later claimed to be responsible for the land bridge connecting the island to the mainland.
The history of the town in Hellenistic times is closely connected with that of the Attalids of Pergamon, with whose extinction it came into direct relations with Rome. Cyzicus was held for the Romans against King Mithridates VI of Pontus who besieged it with 300,000 men in 74 BC, but it withstood him stoutly, and the siege was raised by Lucullus: the loyalty of the city was rewarded by an extension of territory and other privileges. The Romans favored it and recognized its municipal independence. Cyzicus was the leading city of Northern Mysia as far as Troas.
Cyzicus was captured temporarily by the Arabs led by Muawiyah I in AD 675. It appears to have been ruined by a series of earthquakes beginning in 443, with the last in 1063. Although its population was transferred to Artake before the 13th century when the peninsula was occupied by the Crusaders, in 1324 the metropolitan of Cyzicus was one of three sees in Anatolia which was able to contribute a temporary annual subsidy to the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Following its conquest by the Ottomans it underwent hard times. From a point between 1370 and 1372 until 1387, the metropolitan was empty; Speros Vryonis speculates this was due to financial difficulties. Later in the 14th century, the sees of Chalcedon and certain patriarchal possessions in Bithynia and Hellespont were bestowed on the metropolitan of Cyzicus.
Cyzicus, as capital of the Roman province of Hellespontus, was its ecclesiastical metropolitan see. In the Notitiae Episcopatuum of Pseudo-Epiphanius, composed in about 640, Cyzicus had 12 suffragan sees; Abydus, Baris in Hellesponto (between Sariköy and Biga), Dardanus, Germa in Hellesponto (ruins of Germaslu, Kirmasti, Girmas), Hadrianotherae (Uzuncia yayla), Ilium, Lampsacus, Miletopolis, Oca, Pionia (Avcılar), Poemanenum (Eskimanias), Troas. The province also included two autocephalous archiepiscopal sees: Parium and Proconnesus.
Cyzicus had a catalogue of bishops beginning with the 1st century; Michel Le Quien (I, 747) mentions fifty-nine. A more complete list is found in Nicodemos, in the Greek "Office of St. Emilian" (Constantinople, 1876), 34–36, which has eighty-five names. Of particular importance are the famous Arian theologian Eunomius of Cyzicus; Saint Dalmatius; bishops Proclus and Germanus, who became Patriarchs of Constantinople; and Saint Emilian, a martyr in the 8th century. Another saint who came from Cyzicus, Saint Tryphaena of Cyzicus, is the patron saint of the city. Gelasius, a historian of Arianism, who wrote about 475, was born at Cyzicus.
Cyzicus remained a metropolitan see of the Greek Orthodox Church until the 1923 Convention Concerning the Exchange of Greek and Turkish Populations emptied it of Greek Orthodox faithful, whether they spoke Greek or Turkish. The last bishop of the see died in 1932. Today it is a titular metropolis of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.
The site amid the marshes of Balkiz Serai is known as Bal-Kiz and entirely uninhabited, though under cultivation. The principal extant ruins are the walls, dating from the fourth century, which are traceable for nearly their whole extent, and the substructures of the temple of Hadrian, the ruins of a Roman aqueduct and a theatre.
The picturesque amphitheatre, intersected by a stream, was one of the largest in the world. Construction for the amphitheatre began in the middle of the first century C.E until the end of the third century C.E. Its diameter was nearly 500 feet (150 m) and it is located specifically at these coordinates within the region of Cyzicus. Of this magnificent building, sometimes ranked among the seven wonders of the ancient world, thirty-one immense columns still stood erect in 1444. These have since been carried away piecemeal for building purposes.
Colossal foundations of a temple dedicated to the Emperor Hadrian are still visible: the columns were 21.35 metres high (about 70 feet), while the highest known elsewhere, those at Baalbek in Syria are only 19.35 metres (about 63 feet).
The monuments of Cyzicus were used by the Byzantine emperor Justinian as a quarry for the building of his Saint Sophia cathedral, and were still exploited by the Ottomans.
Argiza (Ancient Greek: Ἄργιζα) was a Greek town located in ancient Mysia and later in the Byzantine province of Hellespontus. On the Tabula Peutingeriana it is spelled Argesis and placed between Pergamum and Cyzicus. Pliny the Elder notes the town as Erizii and in his day it belonged to the conventus of Adramyttium. In later times it was Christianized and became a bishopric. No longer a residential see, it was restored under the name Algiza by the Roman Catholic Church as a titular see.
Its site is located near Pazarköy in Asiatic Turkey.Artace (Mysia)
Artace or Artake (Ancient Greek: Ἀρτάκη) was a town of ancient Mysia, near Cyzicus. It was a Milesian colony. It was a sea-port, and on the same peninsula on which Cyzicus stood, and about 40 stadia from it. in Greek mythology, Artace is mentioned as the place where the argonauts changed the stone anchor of the Argo for a larger one. Artace was burnt, together with Proconnesus, during the Ionian Revolt, in the reign of Darius I. Probably it was not rebuilt for quite some time, for Strabo in the 1st century does not mention it among the Mysian towns: but he speaks of a wooded mountain of the name, with an island of the same name near to it, the same which Pliny the Elder calls Artacaeum. Timosthenes, quoted by Stephanus of Byzantium, also gives the name Artace or Artake to a mountain, and to a small island, one stadium from the land. In the time of Procopius (6th century), Artace had been rebuilt, and was a suburb of Cyzicus.It was a member of the Delian League since it appears in tribute records of Athens between 454/3 and 418/7 BCE.Its site is located near Erdek, Asiatic Turkey.Battle of Cyzicus
The naval Battle of Cyzicus took place in 410 BC during the Peloponnesian War. In the battle, an Athenian fleet commanded by Alcibiades, Thrasybulus, and Theramenes routed and completely destroyed a Spartan fleet commanded by Mindarus. The victory allowed Athens to recover control over a number of cities in the Hellespont over the next year. In the wake of their defeat, the Spartans made a peace offer, which the Athenians rejected.Callippus
Callippus (; Ancient Greek: Κάλλιππος; c. 370 BC – c. 300 BC) was a Greek astronomer and mathematician.Cyril IV of Constantinople
Cyril IV (Greek: Κύριλλος Δ΄), (? – 1728) served as Ecumenical Patriarch during the period 1711–1713.
He descended from Mytilene. He was remarkably educated and served as metropolitan bishop of Cyzicus.
He was elected Patriarch in 1709, but Athanasius V of Constantinople took the Throne. So, he became Patriarch after Athanasius' deposal. He fought for the economical reconstruction of the Patriarchate, but he refused the increase of the tax to the Sublime Porte, so he was forced to quit in 1713.
He stayed in Istanbul until his death in 1728.Ergasteria
Ergasteria (Ancient Greek: Ἐργαστέρια) was an inland town of ancient Mysia on the road from Pergamum to Cyzicus, 440 stadia from Pergamum. It was noted by Galen as near a source of a metallic substance he called molybdaena. It was also known for silver mining in antiquity.Its site is located near Balya Maden in Asiatic Turkey.Eudoxus of Cyzicus
Eudoxus of Cyzicus (; Greek: Εὔδοξος ὁ Κυζικηνός, Eúdoxos ho Kyzikēnós; fl. c. 130 BC) was a Greek navigator who explored the Arabian Sea for Ptolemy VIII, king of the Hellenistic Ptolemaic dynasty in Egypt.Eunomius of Cyzicus
Eunomius (Greek: Εὐνόμιος Κυζίκου) (died c.393), one of the leaders of the extreme or "anomoean" Arians, who are sometimes accordingly called Eunomians, was born at Dacora in Cappadocia early in the 4th century.
He studied theology at Alexandria under Aetius, and afterwards came under the influence of Eudoxius of Antioch, who ordained him deacon. On the recommendation of Eudoxius, Eunomius was appointed bishop of Cyzicus in 360. Here his free utterance of extreme Arian views led to popular complaints, including those from a number of contemporary writers such as Andronicianus. Eudoxius was compelled, by command of the emperor, Constantius II, to depose Eunomius from the bishopric within a year of his elevation to it.
During the reigns of Julian and Jovian, Eunomius resided in Constantinople in close intercourse with Aetius, consolidating a dissenting party and consecrating bishops. He then went to live at Chalcedon, whence in 367 he was banished to Mauretania for harbouring the rebel Procopius. He was recalled, however, before he reached his destination.
In 383, the emperor Theodosius, who had demanded a declaration of faith from all party leaders, punished Eunomius for continuing to teach his distinctive doctrines, by banishing him to Halmyris in Scythia Minor. He afterwards resided at Chalcedon and at Caesarea in Cappadocia, from which he was expelled by the inhabitants for writing against their bishop Basil. His last days were spent at his birthplace Dacora, where he died about 393.
His writings were held in high reputation by his party and their influence was so much dreaded by the orthodox, that several imperial edicts were issued for their destruction. Consequently, his commentary on the Epistle to the Romans, mentioned by the historian, Socrates Scholasticus and his epistles, mentioned by Philostorgius and Photius, are no longer extant.
His first apologetical work, written probably about 360 or 365, has been entirely recovered from the famous refutation of it by Basil of Caesarea. A second apology, written before 379 exists only in the quotations given from it in a refutation by Gregory of Nyssa. The exposition of faith, called forth by the demand of Theodosius for the "council of heresies" in 383, is still extant, and has been edited by Valesius in his notes to Socrates of Constantinople, and by Ch. H. G. Rettberg in his Marcelliana.
The teaching of the Anomoean school, led by Aetius and Eunomius, starting from the conception of God as Creator, argued that between the Creator and created there could be no essential, but at best only a moral, resemblance. "As the Unbegotten, God is an absolutely simple being; an act of generation would involve a contradiction of His essence by introducing duality into the Godhead." According to Socrates of Constantinople (24) and Theodoretos Kyrou (PG 83 420), Eunomius carried his views to a practical issue by altering the baptismal formula. Instead of baptizing in the name of the Trinity by immersing the person in water thrice, he baptized in the death of Christ with only one immersion. This alteration was regarded by the orthodox as so serious that Eunomians on returning to the church were rebaptized, though the Arians were not. The Eunomian heresy was formally condemned by the Council of Constantinople in 381. The sect maintained a separate existence for some time, but gradually fell away owing to internal divisions.
After Eunomius died, Eutropius ordered that Eunomius' body be moved to Tyana and his books be burned.Germanus I of Constantinople
Saint Germanus I (c. 634 – 733 or 740) was Patriarch of Constantinople from 715 to 730. He is regarded as a saint, by both the Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches, with a feast day of 12 May.Harpagion
Harpagion (Ancient Greek: Ἁρπάγιον) was a town of the ancient Troad, or of Mysia mentioned by Thucydides. Its territory was called Harpageia (τὰ Ἁρπαγεῖα) or Harpagia (Ἁρπάγια). It lay between Priapus and Cyzicus, near the mouth of the river Granicus; it was in the Harpageia whence Ganymede is said to have been carried off. It belonged to the Delian League since it appears in tribute records of Athens between the years 448/7 and 429/8 BCE. Thucydides writes that three days after the Battle of Cynossema, the Athenians captured eight ships coming from Byzantium at Harpagion and Priapus.Its site is located in Asiatic Turkey.Kapıdağ Peninsula
Kapıdağ Peninsula (Turkish: Kapıdağ Yarımadası) (Greek: Χερσόνησος της Κυζίκου) is a tombolo in northwestern Anatolia extending into the Sea of Marmara in Balıkesir Province, Turkey. The peninsula forms the Gulf of Bandırma on its east and the Gulf of Erdek on its west.
Kapıdağ was the classical island of ancient Greek Arctonnesus, but was joined to the mainland by a narrow isthmus in historic times either by an earthquake or (according to legend) by Alexander the Great. It was also known as the Peninsula of Cyzicus after its chief town.
Cyzicus was abandoned following a series of severe earthquakes, but served from 1303 to 1304 as the base of the Catalan Company of the East and was the site of the Battle of the Cyzicus in October 1303. After its conquest by the Ottoman Empire, it was part of the kaza of Erdek in the province of Bursa.Matthew I of Constantinople
Matthew I (Greek: Ματθαῖος Α´), (? – August 1410) was the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople from 1397 to 1410, with a brief interruption in 1402–03.
Matthew entered a monastery as a fifteen-year old. He is known to have been a monk of the Charsianites Monastery at Constantinople by 1380, when he was ordained a deacon, eventually becoming its abbot in 1388. Matthew was a pupil of Mark, the abbot of the Kosmidion Monastery at Constantinople, and of Patriarch Nilus Kerameus. In 1387, during the latter's patriarchate, Matthew was elected Bishop of Cyzicus, but was apparently not consecrated. He concurrently served as locum tenens (proedros) of the Metropolis of Chalcedon until April 1389.Through the support of Emperor Manuel II Palaiologos, he became Patriarch of Constantinople in October 1397, but soon encountered the opposition of the metropolitans Macarius of Ancyra, Matthew of Medea, and John Holobolos, who succeeded in deposing him during Manuel's absence in the West, in autumn 1402. On the emperor's return, Matthew was re-appointed (14 June 1403), and held the post until his death in August 1410.Metrophanes II of Constantinople
Metrophanes II (? – 1 August 1443) served as Bishop of Cyzicus in Asia Minor when he was called to join the delegation of bishops attending the Council of Florence. He was appointed by the Emperor John VIII in May 1440 as successor to Patriarch Joseph II of Constantinople following the death of the latter in Florence. The Emperor was eager to secure help from Pope Eugene IV to deal with Turkish aggression, so he forced the patriarch and all other bishops to submit to papal authority. Only one bishop did not submit: Markos Eugenikos, Metropolitan of Ephesus, and without his signature the document of Union between East-West fell inactive. For his submission to the Union, he was nicknamed Mitrofonos (Mother-Killer), deposed by a popular uprising and fled to the Papal court in Rome.
Metrophanes died in Constantinople on August 1, 1443.Nephon I of Constantinople
Nephon I or Niphon of Cyzicus (Greek: Νήφων), (? – after 1314) was the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople from 1310 to 1314. From Veria, Greece. Nicephorus Gregoras claimed Nephon to be illiterate, a lover of luxury, and ill-suited for the position. Due to his willingness to compromise, during his time as patriarch the Arsenite Schism was healed within the Byzantine Church. Nephon abdicated the throne after four years.Placia
Placia or Plakia or Placie or Plakie (Ancient Greek: Πλακίη), also known as Placa or Plaka or Place or Plake (Πλάκη), was a town of ancient Mysia, on the coast of the Propontis, at the foot of the Mysian Olympus east of Cyzicus. It was a Pelasgian town; in this place and the neighbouring Scylace, the Pelasgians, according to Herodotus, had preserved their ancient language down to his time. The town is mentioned in the Periplus of Pseudo-Scylax, and by Pomponius Mela and Pliny the Elder.Its site is tentatively located near Kurşunlu, Asiatic Turkey.Poemanenum
Poemanenum or Poimanenon (Ancient Greek: Ποιμάνινον) was a Greek town of ancient Mysia, south of Cyzicus and on the southwest of Lake Aphnitis. It belonged to the territory of Cyzicus was well fortified, and possessed a celebrated temple of Asclepius. Other writers call the town Poemanenus or Poimanenos (Ποιμανηνός) or Poemanentus or Poimanentos (Ποιμάνεντος). Its inhabitants are called Poemaneni (Ποιμανηνοί) According to the Notitiae Episcopatuum, it became a bishopric. No longer a residential see, it remains a titular see of the Roman Catholic Church. Nearby was fought the Battle of Poemanenum in 1223 or 1224.
Its site is located near Alexa in Asiatic Turkey.Proconnesus (city)
Proconnesus or Prokonnesos (Ancient Greek: Προκόννησος), also spelt Proeconesus or Proikonnesos (Προικόνησος), was a Greek town on the southwestern shore of Proconnesus island. Aristeas, the poet of the Arimaspeia, was a native. This town, which was a colony of the Milesians, was burnt by a Phoenician fleet, acting under the orders of Persian king Darius I. Strabo distinguishes between old and new Proconnesus. The inhabitants of Cyzicus, at a time which we cannot ascertain, forced the Proconnesians to dwell together with them, and transferred the statue of the goddess Dindymene to their own city.Its site is located near the town of Marmara on Marmara Island.Scylace
Scylace or Skylake (Ancient Greek: Σκυλάκη), was a town of ancient Mysia, on the coast of the Propontis, east of Cyzicus. It was a Pelasgian town; in this place and the neighbouring Placia, the Pelasgians, according to Herodotus, had preserved their ancient language down to his time. The Periplus of Pseudo-Scylax mentions only Placia, but Pomponius Mela and Pliny the Elder speak of both as still existing.
Its site is tentatively located near Yeni Köy, Asiatic Turkey.Siege of Cyzicus
The siege of Cyzicus took place in 73 BC between the armies of Mithridates VI of Pontus and the Roman-allied citizens of Cyzicus in Mysia and Roman Republican forces under Lucius Licinius Lucullus. It was in fact a siege and a counter-siege. It ended in a decisive Roman victory.