Knidos or Cnidus[1][2] (/ˈnaɪdəs/; Greek: Κνίδος, Greek pronunciation: [knídos]) was a Greek city of ancient Caria and part of the Dorian Hexapolis, in south-western Asia Minor, modern-day Turkey. It was situated on the Datça peninsula, which forms the southern side of the Sinus Ceramicus, now known as Gulf of Gökova. By the 4th century BC, Knidos was located at the site of modern Tekir, opposite Triopion Island. But earlier, it was probably at the site of modern Datça (at the half-way point of the peninsula).[3]

It was built partly on the mainland and partly on the Island of Triopion or Cape Krio. The debate about it being an island or cape is caused by the fact that in ancient times it was connected to the mainland by a causeway and bridge. Today the connection is formed by a narrow sandy isthmus. By means of the causeway the channel between island and mainland was formed into two harbours, of which the larger, or southern, was further enclosed by two strongly built moles that are still in good part entire.[2]

The extreme length of the city was little less than a mile, and the whole intramural area is still thickly strewn with architectural remains. The walls, both of the island and on the mainland, can be traced throughout their whole circuit; and in many places, especially round the acropolis, at the northeast corner of the city, they are remarkably perfect.[2]

Κνίδος (in Ancient Greek)
The port of Knidos
Knidos is located in Turkey
Shown within Turkey
Alternative nameCnidus
LocationYazıköy, Muğla Province, Turkey
Coordinates36°41′09″N 27°22′30″E / 36.68583°N 27.37500°ECoordinates: 36°41′09″N 27°22′30″E / 36.68583°N 27.37500°E
Associated withEudoxus, Ctesias, Sostratus
EventsBattle of Cnidus
Site notes
Excavation dates1857–1858
ArchaeologistsCharles Thomas Newton
Public accessNo
WebsiteKnidos Archaeological Site


Roman gold vase
Gold vase found off the sea near Knidos dating to 25BC- 50AD now in the British Museum[4]


Knidos was a Hellenic city of high antiquity. According to Herodotus' Histories) (I.174), the Cnidians were Lacedaemonian colonists; however, the presence of demiurges there argues for foundation or later influence by other Doric Greeks, possibly Argives. Diodorus Siculus (Bibliotheca Historica 5.53) claimed that Cnidus was founded by both Lacedaemonians and Argives.[5] Along with Halicarnassus (present day Bodrum, Turkey) and Kos, and the Rhodian cities of Lindos, Kamiros and Ialyssos it formed the Dorian Hexapolis, which held its confederate assemblies on the Triopian headland, and there celebrated games in honour of Apollo, Poseidon and the nymphs.[2] This was also the site of the Temple of Aphrodite, Knidos.

The city was at first governed by an oligarchic senate, composed of sixty members, and presided over by a magistrate; but, though it is proved by inscriptions that the old names continued to a very late period, the constitution underwent a popular transformation. The situation of the city was favourable for commerce, and the Knidians acquired considerable wealth, and were able to colonize the island of Lipara, and founded a city on Corcyra Nigra in the Adriatic. They ultimately submitted to Cyrus, and from the battle of Eurymedon to the latter part of the Peloponnesian War they were subject to Athens.[2] During the hellenistic age, Knidos boasted a medical school; however, the theory that this school already existed at the beginning of the classical age is an unwarranted extrapolation.[6]

In their expansion into the region, the Romans easily obtained the allegiance of Knidians, and rewarded them for help given against Antiochus III the Great by leaving them the freedom of their city.[2]

Middle ages

During the Byzantine period there must still have been a considerable population: for the ruins contain a large number of buildings belonging to the Byzantine style, and Christian sepulchres are common in the neighbourhood.[2]

Eudoxus, the astronomer, Ctesias, the writer on Persian history, and Sostratus, the builder of the celebrated Pharos at Alexandria, are the most remarkable of the Knidians mentioned in history.[2] Artemidorus, a minor character in the Shakespeare play “Julius Caesar”, was also from Knidos.

Bishop Ioannes of Cnidus took part in the Council of Chalcedon in 451 and was one of the signatories of the letter that in 458 the bishops of the Roman province of Caria, to which Cnidus belonged, wrote to Byzantine Emperor Leo I the Thracian after the murder of Proterius of Alexandria. Bishop Evander was at the Second Council of Constantinople in 553 and Bishop Stauratius at the Second Council of Nicaea in 787.[7][8] No longer a residential bishopric, Cnidus is today listed by the Catholic Church as a titular see.[9]

Knidos 05831-05844
Knidos panorama

Excavation history

The first Western knowledge of the site was due to the mission of the Dilettante Society in 1812, and the excavations executed by C. T. Newton in 1857–1858.[2]

Knidos sundial

The agora, the theatre, an odeum, a temple of Dionysus, a temple of the Muses, a temple of Aphrodite and a great number of minor buildings have been identified, and the general plan of the city has been very clearly made out. The most famous statue by Praxiteles, the Aphrodite of Knidos, was made for Cnidus. It has perished, but late copies exist, of which the most faithful is in the Vatican Museums.[2]

Knidos lion
Lion of Knidos on display in the British Museum, London

In a temple enclosure Newton discovered the fine seated statue of Demeter of Knidos, which he sent back to the British Museum, and about three miles south-east of the city he came upon the ruins of a splendid tomb, and a colossal figure of a lion carved out of one block of Pentelic marble, ten feet in length and six in height, which has been supposed to commemorate the great naval victory, the Battle of Cnidus in which Conon defeated the Lacedaemonians in 394 BC.[2] The Knidos Lion is now displayed under the roof of the Great Court in the British Museum.

Engraving of a Knidian coin showing the Aphrodite, by Praxiteles


  1. ^ EB 1878, p. 44.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k EB 1911, pp. 573–374.
  3. ^ Simon Hornblower, A Commentary on Thucydides 3:849, 2009. ISBN 0-19-927648-X cited text
  4. ^ British Museum Collection
  5. ^ Duncker, Maximillian Wolfgang, History of Greece: From the Earliest Times to the End of the Persian War, S.F. Alleyne, trans., London: Richard Bentley & Son, 1883.
  6. ^ Vincenzo Di Benedetto: Cos e Cnido, in: Hippocratica - Actes du Colloque hippocratique de Paris 4-9 septembre 1978, ed. M. D. Grmek, Paris 1980, 97-111, see also Antoine Thivel: Cnide et Cos ? : essai sur les doctrines médicales dans la collection hippocratique, Paris 1981 (passim), ISBN 22-51-62021-4; cf. the review by Otta Wenskus (on JSTOR).
  7. ^ Michel Lequien, Oriens christianus in quatuor Patriarchatus digestus, Paris 1740, Vol. I, coll. 917-918
  8. ^ Raymond Janin, v. Cnide, in Dictionnaire d'Histoire et de Géographie ecclésiastiques, vol. XIII, Paris 1956, col. 179
  9. ^ Annuario Pontificio 2013 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2013 ISBN 978-88-209-9070-1), p. 872


Further reading

External links

Aphrodite of Knidos

The Aphrodite of Knidos (or Cnidus) was an Ancient Greek sculpture of the goddess Aphrodite created by Praxiteles of Athens around the 4th century BCE. It is one of the first life-sized representations of the nude female form in Greek history, displaying an alternative idea to male heroic nudity. Praxiteles' Aphrodite is shown nude, reaching for a bath towel while covering her pubis, which, in turn leaves her breasts exposed. Up until this point, Greek sculpture had been dominated by male nude figures. The original Greek sculpture is no longer in existence; however, many Roman copies survive of this influential work of art. Variants of the Venus Pudica (suggesting an action to cover the breasts) are the Venus de' Medici and the Capitoline Venus.

Artemidoros (disambiguation)

The name Artemidoros or Artemidorus (Ancient Greek: Ἀρτεμίδωρος) may refer to:

Artemidorus Ephesius, fl. 100 BCE, geographer from Ephesus

Artemidoros Aniketos, ~100–80 BCE, Indo-Greek king

Artemidorus Daldianus, also known as Artemidoros Ephesios, 2nd century CE diviner and author of the Oneirocritica (Interpretation of Dreams)

Artemidorus Knidos, fl. 100 BCE, historical figure from Knidos

Artemidorus of Tralles, victor of the Olympic games of 69 AD at the Pankration.

Artemidorus Knidos

Artemidorus of Knidos, 1st century BCE was a native of Knidos in South West Turkey

He is now best known as a minor character in the Shakespeare play “Julius Caesar” where, aware of the plot against Caesar’s life, he attempts to warn him with a written note. Although Caesar takes the note he does not look at it before entering the Senate and shortly thereafter is assassinated. The story originates with Plutarch .

The name Artemidorus was found on an inscription at Knidos by W. J. Hamilton in the 1830s . It occurs along with the name Gaius Julius Theopompus, a friend of Julius Caesar, also mentioned by Plutarch. From the inscription, it appears that Artemidorus was either the father or son of Theopompus. G. Hirschfield argued that Artemidorus was the son and cites a further inscription which is also discussed by C. T. Newton . This describes the honors to be given – including an altar to be built and maintained, and celebratory games – to a person whose name is unfortunately missing. However, since the games were to be called “Artemidoreia”, the likely honoree was Artemidorus.

That Artemidorus was honored in this way could be due to the tax remittance granted by Caesar to the Knidians as a reward for his families’ adherence . The Newton inscription ends by stating that the honors would be equal to those of the Gods, and Jenkins points out that Artemidorus may have been the last citizen of the Roman Republic to be made a God in his own lifetime.


Bozburun is a small seaside town with own municipality in Marmaris district, in southwestern Turkey. The permanent population is about 2000. It is situated on the coast of the peninsula of the same name (Bozburun Peninsula) which extends in parallel to Datça Peninsula in the south. The town faces across the sea the town of Datça and the Greek island of Symi (Sömbeki in Turkish)

Although quieter than Marmaris bay's two centers of tourism of international renown (Marmaris and İçmeler), Bozburun is a precious discovery for visitors who take the good but curvy road about 40 km (25 mi) further in partance of Marmaris, due to its natural beauties and the exceptional flora. Tourism, fishing, sponge diving and apiculture are the main means of livelihood for its inhabitants. Its thyme honey is famous across Turkey. It has a small yet lovely harbor is also one of the key stops on the popular nautical tourism route of Blue Cruise.

Its pristine sea is surrounded by coves. Bozburun is also well known in the region for its expert construction gulets, on a par with Bodrum and Güllük.

In ancient times, Bozburun region was famous for its marble quarries, which is at the origin of one of the explanations given for the name Marmaris. The quarries were in activity until the times of the 19th century traveller Charles Texier who mentions them. Marble has been a very important export product for the entire region of present-day Muğla Province since ages, with rich reserves starting from ancient Knidos at the tip of Datça Peninsula to inland Kavaklıdere's modern installations in full activity in our day. There are no quarries in Bozburun presently, but research is being pursued, sometimes also by referring to historic documents and traces, to locate them.

Demeter of Knidos

The Demeter of Knidos is a life-size, seated ancient Greek statue that was discovered in the port of Knidos, south-west Asia Minor (present-day Turkey). Now part of the British Museum's collection, it is an impressive example of Hellenistic sculpture from around 350 BC.

Elaea (promontory of Cyprus)

Elaea or Elaia (Greek: Ελαία; Turkish: Zeytin Burnu) was the ancient name for a promontory of Cyprus, near the ancient city of Knidos. The cape lies within the territory of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

Epigrams (Plato)

Eighteen Epigrams are attributed to Plato, most of them considered spurious. These are short poems suitable for dedicatory purposes written in the form of elegiac couplets.

Eudoxus of Cnidus

Eudoxus of Cnidus (; Ancient Greek: Εὔδοξος ὁ Κνίδιος, Eúdoxos ho Knídios; c. 390? – c. 337 BC) was an ancient Greek astronomer, mathematician, scholar, and student of Archytas and Plato. All of his works are lost, though some fragments are preserved in Hipparchus' commentary on Aratus's poem on astronomy. Sphaerics by Theodosius of Bithynia may be based on a work by Eudoxus.

Funda İyce Tuncel

Funda İyce Tuncel (born in 1968, Ankara) is a Turkish painter and founding member of the Contemporary Arts Foundation.She was born in Ankara, Turkey in 1968. She received education in Gazi University in the Art Department. From 1992 to 1995, she worked as an art consultant at the Atatürk Cultural Center.

She became a member of several organizations including "The International Fine Arts Society" (Turkish: Uluslararası Plastik Sanatçılar Derneği, UPSD), "Pan-Mediterranean Women Artists Network" (FAM) (Turkish: Akdeniz Kadın Sanatçılar Birliği), and the "United Painters and Sculptors Society" (Turkish: Birleşmiş Ressamlar ve Heykeltraşlar Derneği, BRHD), of which she was the Secretary-General from 1998 to 2002. She was also the founder and first member of the "Contemporary Arts Foundation" (Turkish: Çağdaş Sanatlar Vakfı, ÇAĞSAV). She was also a founding member of the "International Knidos Culture and Arts Academy" (Turkish: Uluslararası Kinidos Kültür Sanat Akademisi, UKKSA).In 2008 she published her first book detailing her methods and artwork, and a second book, Göç İmgeleri, in 2013.She has had 44 personal expositions at several places including one at the Grand National Assembly, and also many collaborative exhibitions.


Gnidia is a genus of flowering plants in the family Thymelaeaceae. It is distributed in Africa, Madagascar, Arabia, India, and Sri Lanka; more than half of all the species are endemic to South Africa. Gnidia was named for Knidos, an Ancient Greek city located in modern-day Turkey.These are perennial herbs and shrubs, sometimes with rhizomes. Most species have alternately arranged leaves, and a few have opposite leaves. The leaves are undivided and unlobed. The inflorescence is a head of a few to many flowers. The calyx is cylindrical and the colored lobes may alternate with the petals; some species lack petals. Many species are similar in appearance and difficult to tell apart.Molecular analyses have provided evidence that the genus is polyphyletic, made up of four different lineages. They are related to the four genera Struthiola, Drapetes, Lasiosiphon, and Pimelea.There are 140 to 160 species classified in the genus.Species include:

Gnidia anthylloides

Gnidia burchellii

Gnidia caffra

Gnidia capitata

Gnidia carinata

Gnidia chapmanii

Gnidia chrysantha

Gnidia chrysophylla

Gnidia ericoides

Gnidia fastigiata

Gnidia humilis

Gnidia insignis

Gnidia involucrata

Gnidia kraussiana

Gnidia latifolia

Gnidia microcephala

Gnidia mollis

Gnidia nana

Gnidia ornata

Gnidia pedunculata

Gnidia polycephala

Gnidia razakamalalana

Gnidia socotrana

Gnidia sonderiana

Gnidia spicata

Gnidia squarrosa

Gnidia usafuae

Gnidia variabilis

Gnidia virescens

Gnidia wickstroemiana

Knidos, Cyprus

Knidus or Cnidus was an ancient Greek city on the Elaea promontory in northeastern Cyprus. It currently lies in the de facto Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus

Lion of Knidos

The Lion of Knidos is the name for a colossal ancient Greek statue that was discovered in 1858 near the ancient port of Knidos, south-west Asia Minor (now near Datça in Turkey). Soon after its discovery, the statue was shipped to London where it became part of the British Museum's collection. Although there is some debate about the age of the sculpture, in general, scholarly opinion dates it to the 2nd century BC. Since 2000, it has been prominently displayed on a plinth under the roof of the Queen Elizabeth II Great Court.


Phryne (; Ancient Greek: Φρύνη) (born c. 371 BC) was an ancient Greek courtesan (hetaira), from the fourth century BC. She is best known for her trial for impiety, where she was defended by the orator Hypereides.

Richard Popplewell Pullan

Richard Popplewell Pullan was an architect and brother-in-law of William Burges. He is known for his work in archaeology including the discovery of the Lion of Knidos.

Robert Murdoch Smith

Major General Sir Robert Murdoch Smith KCMG FRSE (18 August 1835 – 3 July 1900) was a Scottish engineer, archaeologist and diplomat. He is known for his involvement with the excavation of antiquities found at Knidos and Cyrene, the telegraph to Iran, Persian antiquities bought for the Victoria and Albert Museum, and for serving as Director of the Edinburgh Museum of Science and Art.

Sostratus of Cnidus

Sostratus of Cnidus (; Greek: Σώστρατος ὁ Κνίδος; born 3rd century BC), was a Greek architect and engineer. He is said to have designed the lighthouse of Alexandria, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World (c. 280 BC), on the island of Pharos off Alexandria, Egypt. This claim is disputed.Strabo writes that the lighthouse was dedicated and presumably funded by Sostratus, a friend of Egypt's ruler, Ptolemy

. Pliny says that Sostratus was the architect and that Ptolemy graciously allowed him to "sign" the monument.

Temple of Aphrodite, Knidos

The Temple of Aphrodite Euploia was a sanctuary in ancient Knidos dedicated to the goddess Aphrodite. It was a famous pilgrimage, known for hosting the famous statue of Aphrodite of Knidos.

The sanctuary was dedicated to the goddess under her name Aphrodite Euploia or 'Aphrodite of the Fair Voyage', which was her name in her capacity of a sea goddess, an aspect very popular among sailors.It was a significant sanctuary, famous in the ancient world for hosting the first cult statue of the goddess depicated naked, which was sculptured by Praxiteles in 365 BC. As such, it became a place of pilgrimage, and continued to be so during the Roman Empire. It was a circular Doric temple surrounded with colonnads. Unusually, the temple had doors also at the back, and the statue was not placed in the end of the hall of the temple's cella, but in the middle of the circular temple, making it possible for pilgrims to see the statue from all angles. Around the temple, couches was placed among fragrant bushes, to make it possible for people to make love. The famous temple was the role model for a copy erected at Emperor Hadrian's Villa in Tivoli.

Pausanias wrote:

"The Knidians hold Aphrodite in very great honor, and they have sanctuaries of the goddess; the oldest is to her as Doritis (Bountiful ), the next in age as Akraia (Of the Height), while the newest is to the Aphrodite called Knidia by men generally, but Euploia (Fair Voyage) by the Knidians themselves."If still in use by the 4th-century, it would have been closed during the persecution of pagans in the late Roman Empire. The sanctuary was excavated by Iris C. Love in 1970. At the site, Love found the marble base and fragments of the statue of Aphrodite by Praxiteles.


In Greek mythology, Triopas or Triops or (Ancient Greek: Τρίωψ, gen.: Τρίοπος) was the name of several characters whose relations are unclear.

Triopas, king of Argos and son of Phorbas.

Triopas of Thessaly, a son of Poseidon and Canace, and thus the brother of Aloeus, Epopeus, Hopleus and Nireus. He was the husband of Myrmidon's daughter Hiscilla by whom he became the father of Iphimedeia, Phorbas and Erysichthon. He destroyed a temple of Demeter in order to obtain materials for roofing his own house, and was punished by insatiable hunger as well as being plagued by a snake which inflicted illness on him. Eventually Demeter placed him and the snake among the stars as the constellation Ophiuchus to remind others of his crime and punishment. A city in Caria was named Triopion after him.

Triopas, one of the Heliadae, sons of Helios and Rhodos and grandson of Poseidon. Triopas, along with his brothers, Macar, Actis and Candalus, were jealous of a fifth brother, Tenages's, skill at science, and killed him. When their crime was discovered, Triopas escaped to Caria and seized a promontory which received his name (the Triopian Promontory). Later he founded the city of Knidos. There was a statue of him and his horse at Delphi, an offering by the people of Knidos.The name's popular etymology is "he who has three eyes" (from τρι- "three" + -ωπ- "see") but the ending -ωψ, -οπος suggests a Pre-Greek origin.

Venus de' Medici

The Venus de' Medici or Medici Venus is a Hellenistic marble sculpture depicting the Greek goddess of love Aphrodite. It is a 1st-century BCE marble copy, perhaps made in Athens, of a bronze original Greek sculpture, following the type of the Aphrodite of Knidos, which would have been made by a sculptor in the immediate Praxitelean tradition, perhaps at the end of the century. It has become one of the navigation points by which the progress of the Western classical tradition is traced, the references to it outline the changes of taste and the process of classical scholarship. It is housed in the Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy.

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