Lampsacus (/ˈlæmsəkəs/; Ancient Greek: Λάμψακος, romanizedLampsakos) was an ancient Greek city strategically located on the eastern side of the Hellespont in the northern Troad.[1] An inhabitant of Lampsacus was called a Lampsacene. The name has been transmitted in the nearby modern town of Lapseki.

Stater Zeus Lampsacus CdM
Gold stater of Lampsacus, c. 360–340 BC, with the laurel-wreathed head of Zeus Lampsacus
Lampsacus is located in the Aegean Sea area
Shown within the Aegean Sea area
Alternative namePityusa, Pityussa, Lampsakos
LocationLapseki, Çanakkale Province, Turkey
Coordinates40°20′48″N 26°41′57″E / 40.34667°N 26.69917°ECoordinates: 40°20′48″N 26°41′57″E / 40.34667°N 26.69917°E
BuilderColonists from Phocaea and Miletus

Ancient history

Originally known as Pityusa or Pityussa[2] (Ancient Greek: Πιτυούσ(σ)α), it was colonized from Phocaea and Miletus. In the 6th century BC Lampsacus was attacked by Miltiades the Elder and Stesagoras, the Athenian tyrants of the nearby Thracian Chersonese.[3] During the 6th and 5th centuries BC, Lampsacus was successively dominated by Lydia, Persia, Athens, and Sparta. The Greek tyrants Hippoclus and later his son Acantides ruled under Darius I.[4] Artaxerxes I assigned it to Themistocles with the expectation that the city supply the Persian king with its famous wine. When Lampsacus joined the Delian League after the battle of Mycale (479 BC), it paid a tribute of twelve talents, a testimony to its wealth; it had a gold coinage in the 4th century, an activity only available to the more prosperous cities.[5]

Stater Lampsacus 360-340BC obverse CdM Paris
Gold stater of Lampsacus with the ivy-wreathed head of Dionysus/Priapus, c. 360–340 BC

A revolt against the Athenians in 411 BC was put down by force. In 196 BC, the Romans defended the town against Antiochus the Great, and it became an ally of Rome; Cicero (2 Verr. i. 24. 63) and Strabo (13. 1. 15) attest its continuing prosperity under Roman rule. Lampsacus was also notable for its worship of Priapus, who was said to have been born there.

The philosopher Anaxagoras was forced to retire to Lampsacus after a trial in Athens around 434-33 BC. The citizens of Lampsacus erected an altar to Mind and Truth in his honor, and observed the anniversary of his death for many years.

Lampsacus produced a series of notable historians and philosophers. Charon of Lampsacus (c. 500 BC) composed histories of Persia, Libya, and Ethiopia, and annals of his native town.[6] Metrodorus of Lampsacus (the elder) (5th century BC) was a philosopher from the school of Anaxagoras. Strato of Lampsacus (c. 335-c. 269 BC) was a Peripatetic philosopher and the third director of Aristotle's Lyceum at Athens. Euaeon of Lampsacus was one of Plato's students. A group of Lampsacenes were in the circle of Epicurus; they included Polyaenus of Lampsacus (c. 340 – 278 BC) a mathematician, the philosophers Idomeneus of Lampsacus, Colotes the satirist and Leonteus of Lampsacus; Batis of Lampsacus the wife of Idomeneus, was the sister of Metrodorus of Lampsacus (the younger), whose elder brother, also a friend of Epicurus, was Timocrates of Lampsacus.

Christian history

According to legend, St Tryphon was buried at Lampsacus after his martyrdom at Nicaea in 250.[7]

The first known bishop in Lampsacus was Parthenius, under Constantine I. In 364, the see was occupied by Marcian and in the same year a council of bishops was held at Lampsacus. Marcian was summoned to the First Council of Constantinople of Constantinople in 381, but refused to retract his adherence of the Macedonian Christian sect. Other known Bishops of Lampsacus were Daniel, who assisted at the Council of Chalcedon (451); Harmonius (458); Constantine (680), who attended the Third Council of Constantinople; John (787), at Nicaea; St. Euschemon, a correspondent of St. Theodore the Studite, and a confessor of the Faith for the veneration of images, under Theophilus. The See of Lampsacus is mentioned in the "Notitiae Episcopatuum" until about the 12th or 13th century.[8] The famous Lampsacus Treasure, now in the British Museum, dates from this period. The bishopric remains a vacant and titular see.[9]

See also


  1. ^ Borza, E., DARMC, R. Talbert, J. Becker, S. Gillies, G. Reger, T. Elliott. "Places: 501570 (Pityoussa/Lampsacus)". Pleiades. Retrieved November 20, 2013.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  2. ^ There were numerous pre-Hellenic or non-Hellenic places with this name, especially in modern Turkey and Greece Archived 2009-08-30 at the Wayback Machine: the pre-Hellenic name of Miletus of the Leleges was also Pityussa (Strabo, 14.1.3); Spetses' ancient name was Pityoussa; during the Roman Civil Wars Sertorius with some Cilician pirates effected a landing at an island of Pityussa on the North African coast of Mauretania, and was driven off (Plutarch, Life of Sertorius 7).
  3. ^ Herodotus 6.37-38
  4. ^ Tuplin, Christopher (2007). Persian Responses: Political and Cultural Interaction with(in) the Achaemenid Empire. ISD LLC. p. 126. ISBN 9781910589465.
  5. ^ Asia Minor Coins – ancient coins of Lampsacus
  6. ^ J. B. Bury, The Ancient Greek Historians, Lecture 1, §4.
  7. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Tryphon, Respicius, and Nympha" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  8. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Lampsacus" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  9. ^ Lampsacus at

Anaxagoras (; Greek: Ἀναξαγόρας, Anaxagoras, "lord of the assembly"; c. 510 – c. 428 BC) was a Pre-Socratic Greek philosopher. Born in Clazomenae at a time when Asia Minor was under the control of the Persian Empire, Anaxagoras came to Athens. According to Diogenes Laërtius and Plutarch, in later life he was charged with impiety and went into exile in Lampsacus; the charges may have been political, owing to his association with Pericles, if they were not fabricated by later ancient biographers.Responding to the claims of Parmenides on the impossibility of change, Anaxagoras described the world as a mixture of primary imperishable ingredients, where material variation was never caused by an absolute presence of a particular ingredient, but rather by its relative preponderance over the other ingredients; in his words, "each one is... most manifestly those things of which there are the most in it". He introduced the concept of Nous (Cosmic Mind) as an ordering force, which moved and separated out the original mixture, which was homogeneous, or nearly so.

He also gave a number of novel scientific accounts of natural phenomena. He produced a correct explanation for eclipses and described the sun as a fiery mass larger than the Peloponnese, as well as attempting to explain rainbows and meteors.

Anaximenes of Lampsacus

Anaximenes of Lampsacus (; Ancient Greek: Ἀναξιμένης ὁ Λαμψακηνός; c. 380 – 320 BC) was a Greek rhetorician and historian.

Batis of Lampsacus

Batis (or Bates) of Lampsacus, was a student of Epicurus at Lampsacus in the early 3rd century BC. She was the sister of Metrodorus and wife of Idomeneus. When her son died, Metrodorus wrote to his sister offering comfort, telling her that "all the Good of mortals is mortal," and "that there is a certain pleasure akin to sadness, and that one should give chase thereto at such times as these." Epicurus, for his part, wrote a letter to Batis on the death of Metrodorus in 277 BC.Among the various fragments of letters discovered among the papyri at Herculaneum, some may have been written by Batis.


Colotes of Lampsacus (Greek: Κολώτης Λαμψακηνός, Kolōtēs Lampsakēnos; c. 320 – after 268 BC) was a pupil of Epicurus, and one of the most famous of his disciples. He wrote a work to prove That it is impossible even to live according to the doctrines of the other philosophers (ὅτι κατὰ τὰ τῶν ἄλλων φιλοσόφων δόγματα οὐδὲ ζῆν ἐστιν). It was dedicated to king Ptolemy II Philadelphus. In refutation of it Plutarch wrote two works, a dialogue, to prove, That it is impossible even to live pleasantly according to Epicurus, and a work entitled Against Colotes. According to Plutarch, Colotes was clever, but vain, dogmatic and intolerant. He made violent attacks upon Socrates, and other great philosophers. He was a great favourite with Epicurus, who used, by way of endearment, to call him Koλωτάρας and Koλωτάριoς. It is also related by Plutarch, that Colotes, after hearing Epicurus discourse on the nature of things, fell on his knees before him, and besought him to give him instruction. He held that it is unworthy of the truthfulness of a philosopher to use fables in his teaching, a notion which Cicero opposes.Some fragments of two works of Colotes have been discovered at the Villa of the Papyri at Herculaneum. These are Against Plato's Lysis, and Against Plato's Euthydemus.


Cremaste or Kremaste (Ancient Greek: Κρεμαστή) was a town in ancient Troad. Xenophon speaks of the town and the plain nearby "where there are the gold mines of the Abydeni." Strabo mentions the gold mines of Astyra which town is nearby. Gold mines belonging to Lampsacus are mentioned by Pliny the Elder and by Polyaenus; and they may be the same as those of Cremaste, as the town was generally between Abydus and Lampsacus.

Its site is located near Sarıbeyle, Asiatic Turkey.

Idomeneus of Lampsacus

Idomeneus of Lampsacus (; Greek: Ἰδομενεύς Λαμψακηνός, romanized: Idomeneus Lampsakēnos; c. 325 – c. 270 BC) was a friend and disciple of Epicurus.

Lampsacus Treasure

The Lampsacus Treasure or Lapseki Treasure is the name of an important early Byzantine silver hoard found near the town of Lapseki (ancient Lampsacus) in modern-day Turkey. Most of the hoard is now in the British Museum's collection, although a few items can be found in museums in Paris and Istanbul too.

Leonteus of Lampsacus

Leonteus of Lampsacus (Greek: Λεοντεύς) was a pupil of Epicurus early in the 3rd century BCE. He was the husband of Themista, who also attended Epicurus' school. Such was the esteem in which they held Epicurus that they named their son after him.Leonteus is described by Strabo, as one of "the ablest men in the city" of Lampsacus, along with Idomeneus. Plutarch describes a letter, written by Leonteus, in which Leonteus describes how Democritus was honoured by Epicurus "for having anticipated him in getting hold of correct knowledge," and how Epicurus originally proclaimed himself a "Democritean."

List of Epicurean philosophers

This is a list of Epicurean philosophers, ordered (roughly) by date. The criteria for inclusion in this list are fairly mild. See also Category:Epicurean philosophers.

List of ancient Greek philosophers

This list of ancient Greek philosophers contains philosophers who studied in ancient Greece or spoke Greek. Ancient Greek philosophy began in Miletus with the pre-Socratic philosopher Thales and lasted through Late Antiquity. Some of the most famous and influential Greek philosophers of all time were from the ancient Greek world, including Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle.

Abbreviations used in this list:

c. = circa

fl. = flourished

Menedemus the Cynic

Menedemus (Greek: Μενέδημος; fl. 3rd century BC) was a Cynic philosopher, and a pupil of the Epicurean Colotes of Lampsacus. Diogenes Laërtius states that he used to go about garbed as a Fury, proclaiming himself a sort of spy from Hades:

He assumed the garb of a Fury, and went about saying that he had come from Hades to take notice of all who did wrong, in order that he might descend there again and make his report to the deities who live in that country. And this was his dress: a tunic of a dark colour reaching to his feet, and a purple girdle round his waist, an Arcadian hat on his head with the twelve signs of the zodiac embroidered on it, tragic buskins, a preposterously long beard, and an ashen staff in his hand.

However, Wilhelm Crönert argued that this story is actually derived from one of the satires (the Necromancy) of Menippus, and that parallels to this story can be found in the dialogues of Lucian which are based on those of Menippus.

The claim that Menedemus was originally a pupil of Colotes of Lampsacus, on the other hand, may be true. Two papyri from Herculaneum show that Menedemus disputed with Colotes on Epicurean opinions concerning poetry.

Metrodorus of Lampsacus (the elder)

Metrodorus of Lampsacus (Greek: Μητρόδωρος Λαμψακηνός, romanized: Mētrodōros Lampsakēnos; 5th century BC) was a Presocratic philosopher from the Greek town of Lampsacus on the eastern shore of the Hellespont. He was a contemporary and friend of Anaxagoras. He wrote on Homer, the leading feature of his system of interpretation being that the deities and stories in Homer were to be understood as allegorical modes of representing physical powers and phenomena. He is mentioned in Plato's dialogue Ion. He died in 464 BC.

Metrodorus of Lampsacus (the younger)

Metrodorus of Lampsacus (Greek: Μητρόδωρος Λαμψακηνός, Mētrodōros Lampsakēnos; 331/0–278/7 BC) was a Greek philosopher of the Epicurean school. Although one of the four major proponents of Epicureanism, only fragments of his works remain. A Metrodorus bust was found in Velia, slightly different modeled to depict Parmenides.


Paesus or Paisos (Παισός), in the Trojan Battle Order in Homer's Iliad called Apaesus or Apaisos (Ἀπαισός), was a town and polis (city-state) on the coast of the ancient Troad, at the entrance of the Propontis, between Lampsacus and Parium. In the Iliad, Amphius, son of Selagus, was said to be from Paesus. At one period it received colonists from Miletus. It suffered Persian occupation during the Ionian Revolt. In Strabo's time the town was destroyed, and its inhabitants had transferred themselves to Lampsacus, which was likewise a Milesian colony. The town derived its name from the small river Paesus, on which it was situated. It was a member of the Delian League and appears in tribute lists of Athens between 453/2 and 430/29 BCE.Its site is located 6 miles (9.7 km) northeast of Çardak, Asiatic Turkey.

Peter, Andrew, Paul, and Denise

Saints Peter, Andrew, Paul, and Denise (Dionisia, Dionysia) are venerated as martyrs by the Orthodox and Catholic Churches. They were killed in the 3rd century at Lampsacus, Mysia (in present-day Turkey) on the Hellespont.

Polyaenus of Lampsacus

Polyaenus of Lampsacus ( POL-ee-EE-nəs; Greek: Πoλύαινoς Λαμψακηνός, Polyainos Lampsakēnos; c. 340 – c. 285 BCE), also spelled Polyenus, was an ancient Greek mathematician and a friend of Epicurus.

Strato of Lampsacus

Strato of Lampsacus (; Greek: Στράτων ὁ Λαμψακηνός, Straton ho Lampsakenos, c. 335 – c. 269 BC) was a Peripatetic philosopher, and the third director (scholarch) of the Lyceum after the death of Theophrastus. He devoted himself especially to the study of natural science, and increased the naturalistic elements in Aristotle's thought to such an extent, that he denied the need for an active god to construct the universe, preferring to place the government of the universe in the unconscious force of nature alone.

Themista of Lampsacus

Themista of Lampsacus (Greek: Θεμίστη), the wife of Leonteus, was a student of Epicurus, early in the 3rd century BC. Epicurus' school was unusual in the 3rd century, in that it allowed women to attend, and we also hear of Leontion attending Epicurus' school around the same time. Cicero ridicules Epicurus for writing "countless volumes in praise of Themista," instead of more worthy men such as Miltiades, Themistocles or Epaminondas. Themista and Leonteus named their son Epicurus.Bernard Frischer and Pamela Gordon (2012) argues that a vatican statue of Sain Hyppolitus has the lower body in the form of a female epicurean leader, may be Themista or les probable Leontion. This is the statue()

Timocrates of Lampsacus

Timocrates of Lampsacus (Greek: Τιμοκράτης) was a renegade Epicurean who made it his life's mission to spread slander about Epicurus' philosophy and way of life. He was the elder brother of Metrodorus, Epicurus' best friend and most loyal follower, who was born in Lampsacus in the late 4th century BC. He studied with his brother in the school of Epicurus, but some time c. 290 BC, he broke with the school, apparently because he refused to accept that pleasure was the supreme good of life. The dispute became quite bitter; Philodemus quotes Timocrates saying "that he both loved his brother as no one else did and hated him as no one else." In a much quoted letter, Metrodorus, in exaggerated fashion, took Timocrates to task for not making the stomach the standard in everything relating to the prime good. Metrodorus wrote at least one work against Timocrates; and Epicurus also wrote an Opinions on the Passions, against Timocrates. In response, Timocrates wrote a polemic against Epicurus, whereby he claimed that Epicurus was not a genuine Athenian citizen, and that he was slovenly, weak, ignorant, rude, and vomited twice a day from overindulgence. His book against Epicurus, published after his apostasy was entitled "delights" (euphranta).

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