Phanagoria (Ancient Greek: Φαναγόρεια, romanizedPhanagóreia) was the largest ancient Greek city on the Taman peninsula, spread over two plateaus along the eastern shore of the Cimmerian Bosporus.

The city was a large emporium for all the traffic between the coast of the Maeotian marshes and the countries on the southern side of the Caucasus. It was the eastern capital of the Bosporan Kingdom, with Panticapaeum being the western capital. Strabo described it as a noteworthy city which was renowned for its trade.[1] Shortly a Catholic Metropolitan Archdiocese while a medieval Genoese colony under the name Matrega, it remains a Latin Catholic titular see.

Today the site is located at a short distance to the west of Sennoy in Krasnodar Krai, Russia. Another ancient Greek city, Hermonassa, lies 25 kilometres (16 mi) to the west, on the shoreline of modern Taman.

Φαναγόρεια (in Ancient Greek)
The remains of the wall of a small structure are seen in the foreground, the Sea of Azov is visible in the background.
The remains of Phanagoria
Phanagoria lies in the south of European Russia, between the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov
Phanagoria lies in the south of European Russia, between the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov
Shown within Krasnodar Krai
Phanagoria lies in the south of European Russia, between the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov
Phanagoria lies in the south of European Russia, between the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov
Phanagoria (European Russia)
LocationSennoy, Krasnodar Krai, Russia
RegionTaman Peninsula
Coordinates45°16′37″N 36°57′58″E / 45.27694°N 36.96611°ECoordinates: 45°16′37″N 36°57′58″E / 45.27694°N 36.96611°E
Area75 ha (190 acres)
BuilderSettlers from Teos
FoundedApproximately 543 BC
PeriodsArchaic Greek to Medieval
CulturesGreek, Bulgar, Khazar
Site notes
Phanagoria sphinx
A terracotta vessel in the shape of a sphinx, 5th century BC. One of 26 similar pieces discovered in a feminine necropolis ("Demeter's priestess") near Phanagoria. On exhibit at the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg.



Greek colonies of the Northern Euxine Sea (Black Sea)
Phanagoria and other ancient Greek colonies along the north coast of the Black Sea, 8th to 3rd century BC

Phanagoria was founded ca. 543 BC by the Teian colonists who had to flee Asia Minor in consequence of their conflict with Cyrus the Great. The city took its name after one of these colonists, Phanagoras. "The unusual nature of the Taman peninsula near Phanagoria, with its ravines, crevices, hills, and low cones of active volcanoes, must have impressed the ancient colonists even more than it impresses us today", Yulia Ustinova has observed.[2]

In the 5th century BC, the town thrived on the trade with the Scythians and Sindi. Located on an island in the ancient archipelago of Corocondamitis, between the Black Sea and the Palus Maeotis, Phanagoria covered an area of 75 hectares (190 acres) of which one third has been submerged by the sea. In the early 4th century BC the burgeoning Bosporan Kingdom subjugated much of Sindica, including the independent polis of Phanagoria. The town's importance increased with the decline of the old capital, Panticapaeum, situated on the opposite shore of the Bosporus. By the first centuries AD, Phanagoria had emerged as the main centre of the kingdom.

During the Mithridatic Wars, the town allied with the Roman Republic and withstood a siege by the army of Pharnaces II of Pontus. It was at Phanagoria that the insurrection broke out against Mithridates VI of Pontus, shortly before his death; and his sons, who held the citadel, were obliged to surrender to the insurgents. An inscription found during excavations testifies that Queen Dynamis honored Augustus as "the emperor, Caesar, son of a god, the god Augustus, the overseer of every land and sea".[3] The loyalty to Rome allowed Phanagoria to maintain a dominant position in the region until the 4th century, when it was sacked and destroyed by the invading Huns.

Middle Ages

By the 7th century, the town had recovered from a century of barbarian invasions. It served as the capital of Old Great Bulgaria between 632 and 665 under Kubrat.

Afterwards Phanagoria became (at least nominally) a Byzantine dependency. A Khazar tudun was nonetheless present in the town and de facto control probably rested in Khazar hands until the defeat of Georgius Tzul in 1016. In 704, the deposed Byzantine emperor Justinian II settled in Phanagoria (then governed by the Khazar tudun Balgatzin) with his wife Theodora, a sister of the Khazar Khagan Busir Glavan, before returning to Constantinople by way of Bulgaria.

In the 10th century, the town seems to have faced an invasion, supposedly by the Rus. After that, Phanagoria could not compete in significance with neighboring Tmutarakan.

In the late Middle Ages the town of Matrega was built on its ruins; the site was part of a network of Genoese possessions along the northern Black Sea coast. During the 15th century, it was the center of de Ghisolfi dominions. Henceforth there has been no permanent settlement on the site.

Ecclesiastical history

The Genoese colony was canonically established on 1349.02.21 as Metropolitan Archdiocese of Matriga. It was suppressed around 1400 AD.

  • Recorded incumbent : Giovanni di Zechia, Friars Minor (O.F.M.) (1349.02.22 – 1363?)

Titular see

The diocese was nominally restored as a Latin Catholic titular bishopric in 1928 under the name Matriga, which was changed in 1929 already to Matrega.

It is vacant, having had the following incumbents, all of the lowest (episcopal) rank :


Atuell en forma d'Afrodita en una petxina, Àtica, necròpolis de Fanagoria, pinínsula de Taman. Primer quart del segle IV aC, ceràmica
Pottery vessel in the shape of Aphrodite inside a shell; from Attica, Classical Greece, discovered in the Phanagoria cemetery, Taman Peninsula (Bosporan Kingdom, southern Russia), 1st quarter of 4th century BC, Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg.

The location of Phanagoria was determined in the 18th century, when marble statue bases with dedications to Aphrodite were discovered there. Hecataeus and Strabo mention a local sanctuary of Aphrodite as the largest in the Pontic region.[4] Archaeological exploration of the site started in 1822, when "soldiers dug into a large barrow, making rich discoveries of gold and silver objects, many unique, which they divided up between themselves".[5]

Apart from the ancient city itself, archaeologists have been interested in a vast necropolis, which spreads on three sides around Phanagoria. There are thousands of burials, many with cypress or marble sarcophagi — an indication of the well-being of the ancient Phanagorians. Excavations conducted in the 19th century were for the most part amateurish; as many as twelve kurgans would be razed each season. Some of the most intriguing finds were unearthed in the 1860s at the Bolshaya Bliznitsa tumulus, classed by Michael Rostovtzeff as a feminine necropolis with three vaults.

One of the royal kurgans near Phanagoria "has a stone stairway leading down to a rectangular passageway, the entrance to the burial chamber (3.70 × 3.75 × 4.70 m). These two areas are covered by an arch showing remains of painted decoration. The wall frescos imitate encrusted marble. On either side of the entrance to the tomb long stone boxes contain four horse burials along with rich grave gifts; saddlery and harnesses of gold and gilded bronze."[6] Vladimir Blavatsky resumed excavations of Phanagoria in 1936. Among the recent finds is an inscription indicating that a synagogue existed in Phanagoria as early as 51 AD. Underwater investigation of the site has revealed multiple fragments of architectural structures.

Prime Minister of Russia Vladimir Putin speaks after scuba diving at Phanagoria site.

Vladimir Putin took part in scuba diving at the archaeological site of Phanagoria in the Taman Bay on 11 August 2011.[7]


Phanagoria Island in Antarctica is named after Phanagoria.[8]

See also


  1. ^ Strabo, Geographica 11.2.10
  2. ^ Ustinova, Yulia. The Supreme Gods of the Bosporan Kingdom. Brill Academic Publishers, 1999. p. 61.
  3. ^ D. Kendall, G. O'Collins, S. T. Davis. The Trinity. Oxford University Press, 2002. p. 30.
  4. ^ Ustinova, Yulia (1999). The Supreme Gods of the Bosporan Kingdom: Celestial Aphrodite and the Most High God. Brill. p. 29. ISBN 9789004112315. Retrieved 12 August 2016 – via Google Books.
  5. ^ North Pontic Archaeology: Recent Discoveries and Studies (ed. by Gocha R. Tsetskhladze). Brill Academic Publishers, 2001. p. x.
  6. ^ Quoted from The Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites. (eds. Stillwell, Richard. MacDonald, William L. McAlister, Marian Holland). Princeton University Press, 1976. ISBN 0-691-03542-3.
  7. ^ Путин погрузился с аквалангом на дно Таманского залива ‹See Tfd›(in Russian)
  8. ^ Composite Gazetteer of Antarctica: Phanagoria Island.

Further reading

  • Morgan, Catherine (2004). Tsetskhladze, Gocha R. (ed.). Attic Fine Pottery of the Archaic to Hellenistic Periods in Phanagoria. Phanagoria Studies. 1. Leiden: Brill. ISBN 9789004138889.
  • Tsetskhladze, Gocha R. (1997). "A Survey of the Major Urban Settlements in the Kimmerian Bosporos (With a Discussion of Their Status as Poleis)". In Nielsen, Thomas Heine (ed.). Yet More Studies in the Ancient Greek Polis. Historia Einzelschriften. 117. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag. pp. 39–82. ISBN 9783515072229.
  • Tsetskhladze, Gocha R, ed. (1998). The Greek Colonisation of the Black Sea Area: Historical Interpretation of Archaeology. Historia Einzelschriften. 121. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag. ISBN 9783515073028.

Sources and external links


The Aspurgiani (Greek: Ἀσπουργιανοί or Ἀσπουγγιτανοί) were an ancient people, a tribe of the Maeotae dwelling along east side of the Strait of Kerch along the Palus Maeotis in antiquity. They seem to be identical with the "Asturicani" of Ptolemy (v. 9. § 7).

The Aspurgiani inhabited the region called Sindica, between Phanagoria and Gorgippia, among the Maeotae, Sindi, Dandarii, Toreatae, Agri, Arrechi, Tarpetes, Obidiaceni, Sittaceni and Dosci, among others. (Strab. xi. 2. 11). They were among the Maeotic tribes whom King Polemon I of Pontus and the Bosporus, in the reign of Roman Emperor Augustus, attempted to subdue; however, they took him prisoner and put him to death. (Strab. xi. p. 495, xii. p. 556; Steph. B. s. v.; see Ritter's speculations on the name, in connection with the origin of the name of Asia, Vorhalle, pp. 296, foil.).

Scholars often attribute artifacts found in the Bosporus and Gorgippia, which featured the Sun god or its symbols, to the Aspurgiani tribes, indicating their Iranian descent. These tribes were first mentioned in Strabo's works as the group who killed Polemo when he launched a treacherous attack. An account cited that these tribes were more of a political party or a military colony rather than a tribe, having been founded by a person called Aspurgus, who once was a king of the Bosporan kingdom.


Balgitzin (died 704), in the account of Theophanes the Confessor, was the Khazar tudun of Phanagoria during the sojourn of Justinian II in that town. He was dispatched, along with Papatzys, by Busir Khagan to kill Justinian in 704, after Busir was bribed by Tiberius III. Justinian's Khazar wife Theodora warned him in advance and Justinian escaped by sea, but not before murdering both Papatzys and Balgitzin.

Some scholars, notably Peter B. Golden, have speculated that Balgitzin is not a proper name but rather a title, identical with Baliqchi.


A title in the Khazar Khaganate. The term Baliqchi means "Fisherman." In the Schechter Letter, the Khazar warlord Pesakh (who was active along the Strait of Kerch) is described with this title. An earlier figure in Khazar history, Balgitzin, was governor of Phanagoria during Justinian II's sojourn there in 705 CE. Whether Balgitzin is a personal name or a variant of the title Baliqchi is unclear.

Bosporan Kingdom

The Bosporan Kingdom, also known as the Kingdom of the Cimmerian Bosporus (Greek: Βασίλειον τοῦ Κιμμερικοῦ Βοσπόρου, Basileion tou Kimmerikou Bosporou), was an ancient Greco-Scythian state located in eastern Crimea and the Taman Peninsula on the shores of the Cimmerian Bosporus, the present-day Strait of Kerch (it was not named after the more famous Bosphorus beside Istanbul at the other end of the Black Sea). It was the first truly 'Hellenistic' state in the sense that a mixed population adopted the Greek language and civilization. The Bosporan Kingdom became the longest surviving Roman client kingdom. The 1st and 2nd centuries BC saw a period of renewed golden age of the Bosporan state. It was a Roman province from 63 to 68 AD, under Emperor Nero. At the end of the 2nd century AD, King Sauromates II inflicted a critical defeat on the Scythians and included all the territories of the Crimea in the structure of his state.

The prosperity of the Bosporan Kingdom was based on the export of wheat, fish and slaves. The profit of the trade supported a class whose conspicuous wealth is still visible from newly discovered archaeological finds, excavated, often illegally, from numerous burial barrows known as kurgans. The once-thriving cities of the Bosporus left extensive architectural and sculptural remains, while the kurgans continue to yield spectacular Greco-Sarmatian objects, the best examples of which are now preserved in the Hermitage in St. Petersburg. These include gold work, vases imported from Athens, coarse terracottas, textile fragments and specimens of carpentry and marquetry.

Bulgarian toponyms in Antarctica (P)

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y | Z

Padala Glacier, Sentinel Range

Padesh Ridge, Oscar II Coast

Paisiy Peak, Livingston Island

Pakusha Cove, Smith Island

Palakariya Cove, Liège Island

Palilula Glacier, Brabant Island

Pamidovo Nunatak, Oscar II Coast

Panagyurishte Nunatak, Greenwich Island

Panega Glacier, Livingston Island

Panicheri Gap, Sentinel Range

Papazov Island, Astrolabe Island

Papiya Nunatak, Nordenskjöld Coast

Paprat Peak, Brabant Island

Paramun Buttress, Nordenskjöld Coast

Parangalitsa Peak, Sentinel Range

Parchevich Ridge, Greenwich Island

Paril Saddle, Livingston Island

Parlichev Ridge, Oscar II Coast

Paroriya Buttress, Alexander Island

Parvomay Neck, Greenwich Island

Pasarel Island, Aitcho Islands

Pascin Point, Livingston Island

Pashuk Glacier, Smith Island

Paspal Glacier, Oscar II Coast

Passy Peak, Livingston Island

Pastra Glacier, Trinity Island

Pastrogor Peak, Sentinel Range

Patleyna Glacier, Sentinel Range

Patmos Peak, Bastien Range

Patresh Rock, Robert Island

Pautalia Glacier, Livingston Island

Pavlikeni Point, Greenwich Island

Pazardzhik Point, Snow Island

Pelikan Island, Trinity Island

Pelishat Point, Greenwich Island

Perelik Point, Robert Island

Peristera Peak, Sentinel Range

Perivol Rock, Snow Island

Perkos Dome, Danco Coast

Pernik Peninsula, Loubet Coast

Perperek Knoll, Livingston Island

Mount Persenk, Nordenskjöld Coast

Perunika Glacier, Livingston Island

Peshev Ridge, Livingston Island

Peshtera Glacier, Livingston Island

Pesyakov Hill, Livingston Island

Peter Peak, Livingston Island

Petko Voyvoda Peak, Livingston Island

Petkov Nunatak, Trinity Peninsula

Petleshkov Hill, Astrolabe Island

Petrelik Island, Anvers Island

Petrich Peak, Livingston Island

Petroff Point, Brabant Island

Petrov Ridge, Danco Coast

Petvar Heights, Sentinel Range

Peychinov Crag, Oscar II Coast

Peyna Glacier, Graham Coast

Phanagoria Island, Zed Islands

Pimpirev Beach, Livingston Island

Pimpirev Glacier, Livingston Island

Pingvin Rocks, Snow Island

Piperkov Point, Elephant Island

Pipkov Glacier, Alexander Island

Pirdop Gate, Livingston Island

Pirgos Peak, Oscar II Coast

Pirin Glacier, Davis Coast

Pirne Peak, Oscar II Coast

Pirogov Glacier, Brabant Island

Pisanitsa Island, Greenwich Island

Pishtachev Peak, Danco Coast

Piyanets Ridge, Alexander Island

Pizos Bay, Nordenskjöld Coast

Plakuder Point, Pickwick Island

Plana Peak, Livingston Island

Plas Point, Graham Coast

Pleven Saddle, Livingston Island

Pleystor Glacier, Liège Island

Pliska Ridge, Livingston Island

Ploski Cove, Tower Island

Plovdiv Peak, Livingston Island

Podayva Glacier, Brabant Island

Podem Peak, Brabant Island

Podgore Saddle, Sentinel Range

Podgumer Col, Trinity Peninsula

Poduene Glacier, Danco Coast

Podvis Col, Davis Coast

Pogledets Island, Livingston Island

Poibrene Heights, Oscar II Coast

Polezhan Point, Liège Island

Polich Island, Astrolabe Island

Pomorie Point, Livingston Island

Ponor Saddle, Sentinel Range

Mount Pontida, Alexander Island

Mount Popov, Foyn Coast

Popovo Saddle, Smith Island

Pordim Islands, Robert Island

Porlier Bay, Livingston Island

Povien Peak, Trinity Peninsula

Predel Point, Anvers Island

Preker Point, Trinity Island

Prelez Gap, Trinity Peninsula

Presian Ridge, Livingston Island

Preslav Crag, Livingston Island

Presnakov Island, Low Island

Prespa Glacier, Livingston Island

Prestoy Point, Graham Coast

Priboy Rocks, Robert Island

Prilep Knoll, Trinity Peninsula

Príncipe de Asturias Peak, Vinson Massif

Pripek Point, Graham Coast

Pripor Nunatak, Alexander Island

Prisad Island, Low Island

Prisoe Cove, Livingston Island

Probuda Ridge, Sentinel Range

Progled Saddle, Sentinel Range

Prosechen Island, Livingston Island

Prosenik Peak, Sentinel Range

Provadiya Hook, Greenwich Island

Pulpudeva Glacier, Sentinel Range

Purmerul Peak, Loubet Coast


Busir or Bazir (Greek: Ibousiros Gliabanos, Busir Glavan; fl. 688–711) was the Khazar khagan in the late 7th century and early 8th century.

In 704 Justinian II, who had been exiled at Chersonesos for nine years, arrived at Busir's court. Busir, perhaps seeking to use him in his political maneuverings with the Byzantine Empire, welcomed Justinian and gave him his sister in marriage (the woman's Khazar name is unknown, but she took the baptismal name of Theodora.) Busir provided the couple with funds and a house in Phanagoria.

However, the winds of realpolitik soon shifted, and the new emperor, Tiberius III, offered Busir a substantial bounty for his brother-in-law's head. Busir dispatched two agents, Balgitzin and Papatzys, to kill Justinian, but the latter was warned by his wife, who bribed the assassins' slaves to learn the nature of their mission. Turning the table on his would-be killers, Justinian murdered the pair after a banquet and fled Phanagoria by ship, seeking aid from Khan Terval of Bulgaria, with whose help he retook Constantinople.

Busir now attempted to make peace with Justinian, sending Theodora to Constantinople. He later became involved with, possibly instigating, a revolt by Justinian's officers in the Crimea, which led ultimately to the crowning of Philippikos Bardanes as emperor and the death of Justinian in 711.

Dynamis (Bosporan queen)

Dynamis, nicknamed Philoromaios (Greek: Δύναμις Φιλορωμαῖος, Dynamis, friend of Rome, c. 67 BC – AD 8), was a Roman client queen of the Bosporan Kingdom during the Late Roman Republic and part of the reign of Augustus, the first Roman Emperor. Dynamis is an ancient Greek name which means the “powerful one”. She was a monarch of Iranian and Greek Macedonian ancestry. She was the daughter of King Pharnaces II of Pontus and his Sarmatian wife. She had an older brother called Darius and a younger brother called Arsaces. Her paternal grandparents had been the monarchs of the Kingdom of Pontus, Mithridates VI of Pontus and his first wife Laodice, who was also his sister. Dynamis married three times. Her husbands were Asander, a certain Scribonius and Polemon I of Pontus. According to Rostovtzeff, she also had a fourth husband, Aspurgos.

Esperanto Island

Esperanto Island is the largest and northwesternmost island in the Zed group off the north coast of Varna Peninsula on Livingston Island in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica. The island is ice-free, rocky, rising to 290 m (951 ft) and extending 950 by 900 m (1,040 by 980 yd), with surface area 56 hectares (140 acres). It is situated 70 m (77 yd) to the northwest of the neighbouring Phanagoria Island, and 2.7 km (1.7 mi) northwest of Williams Point on Livingston Island. The area was visited by early 19th century sealers.

The island is named after the constructed international language Esperanto.


Kepoi or Cepoi (Ancient Greek: Κῆποι, Russian: Кепы) was an ancient Greek colony situated on the Taman peninsula, three kilometres to the east of Phanagoria, in the present-day Krasnodar Krai of Russia. The colony was established by the Milesians in the 6th century BC. In the Hellenistic period, it was controlled by the kings of the Cimmerian Bosporus, who (according to Aeschines) made a present of a place called "the Gardens" to Gylon, the grandfather of Demosthenes. The town reached its peak in the 1st centuries AD, but the Huns and Goths put an end to its prosperity in the 4th century. Soviet excavations, started in 1957, yielded rich finds, including a marble statue of a Greek goddess ("Aphrodite of Taman"). More than 400 burials were explored at Kepoi in the 1960s and 1970s; the rest of the site has been submerged by the Sea of Azov.

Lesidren Island

Lesidren Island (Bulgarian: остров Лесидрен, ‘Ostrov Lesidren’ 'os-trov 'le-si-dren) is the second largest and southernmost island in the Zed group off the north coast of Varna Peninsula, Livingston Island in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica. The island is ice-free, extending 800 by 600 m (870 by 660 yd) with surface area 33 hectares (82 acres). Separated from the neighbouring Phanagoria Island and Koshava Island by channels 130 and 140 m (140 and 150 yd) wide respectively. The area was visited by early 19th century sealers.

The island is named after the settlement of Lesidren in northern Bulgaria.

List of political entities in the 7th century

Political entities in the 6th century – Political entities in the 8th century – Political entities by yearThis is a list of political entities in the 6th century (601–700) AD.

Nymphaion (Crimea)

Nýmphaion (Greek: Νύμφαιον, Latin: Nymphaeum, Ukrainian: Німфей, Russian: Нимфей) was a significant centre of the Bosporan Kingdom, situated on the Crimean shore of the Cimmerian Bosporus. Today it is located near the resort town Heroivske/Geroevskoye. It lies at a distance of about 14 kilometers south of Kerch, which was the site of ancient Panticapaeum.

Old Great Bulgaria

Old Great Bulgaria or Great Bulgaria (Byzantine Greek: Παλαιά Μεγάλη Βουλγαρία, Palaiá Megálē Voulgaría), also often known by the Latin names Magna Bulgaria and Patria Onoguria ("Onogur land"), was a 7th century state formed by the Onogur Bulgars on the western Pontic-Caspian steppe (modern southern Ukraine and southwest Russia). Great Bulgaria was originally centred between the Dniester and lower Volga.

The original capital was Phanagoria on the Taman Peninsula between the Black and Azov seas. In the mid-7th century, Great Bulgaria expanded west to include Avar territory and was centered in Poltava. During the late 7th century, however, an Avar-Slavic alliance in the west, and Khazars in the east, defeated the Bulgars and the Great Bulgaria disintegrated. Successor states included Volga Bulgaria and the First Bulgarian Empire .


Papatzys (died 704) was, in the account of Theophanes the Confessor, the Khazar tudun of Kerch during the sojourn of Byzantine emperor Justinian II in Phanagoria. He was dispatched, along with Balgitzin, by Busir Khagan to kill Justinian in 704, after Busir was bribed by Tiberius III. Justinian's Khazar wife Theodora warned him in advance and Justinian escaped by sea, but not before murdering both Papatzys and Balgitzin.

Phanagoria Island

Phanagoria Island (Bulgarian: остров Фанагория, ‘Ostrov Fanagoriya’ \'os-trov fa-na-'go-ri-ya\) is the third largest island in the Zed group off the north coast of Livingston Island in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica. The island is ice-free, extending 700 by 500 m (770 by 550 yd) with surface area 20 hectares (49 acres). Separated from the neighbouring Esperanto Island and Lesidren Island by channels 70 and 130 m (77 and 142 yd) wide respectively. Situated 2.1 km (1.3 mi) northwest of Williams Point. The area was visited by early 19th century sealers.

The island is named after the town of Phanagoria in Old Great Bulgaria (7th century).

Taurida Oblast

Taurida Oblast (Russian: Таврическая область, Tavricheskaya oblast′) was an oblast (province) of the Russian Empire. It roughly corresponded to most of the Crimean peninsula and parts of the Southern Ukraine regions. It was created in 1783 out territories of the Crimean Khanate. In 1796 it was merged into the Novorossiya Governorate.

Officially the oblast was created under the Imperial ukase of 13 February 1784 signed by Catherine the Great. The administrative seat of the region was declared the city of Simferopol. Before 1784 Qarasuvbazar served as a temporary administrative center.

Tiberius Julius Sauromates I

Tiberius Julius Sauromates I Philocaesar Philoromaios Eusebes, also known as Sauromates I (Greek: Τιβέριος Ιούλιος Σαυροματης Α' Φιλοκαισαρ Φιλορώμαίος Ευσεβής, Philocaesar Philoromaios Eusebes, means lover of Caesar, lover of Rome who is the Pius one, flourished the second half of the 1st century and the first half of the 2nd century AD, died 123) was a prince and Roman client king of the Bosporan Kingdom.

Sauromates I was the son and heir of the Bosporan King Rhescuporis I by an unnamed wife. He was of Greek, Iranian and Roman ancestry. The name Sauromates is a name of Sarmatian origin. His paternal grandparents were the previous ruling Bosporan Monarchs Cotys I and Eunice.

Through his paternal grandfather, Sauromates I was a descendant of the Roman Triumvir Mark Antony from his second marriage to his paternal cousin Antonia Hybrida Minor (second daughter of Roman Republican Politician Gaius Antonius Hybrida, Antony’s paternal uncle), thus Sauromates I was related to various members of the Julio-Claudian dynasty. He was also a descendant of Roman Client Rulers Polemon I of Pontus, Pythodorida of Pontus and Cotys VIII of Thrace. Through his paternal grandfather, Sauromates I was a descendant of Greek Macedonian Kings: Antigonus I Monophthalmus, Seleucus I Nicator and Regent, Antipater. These three men served under King Alexander the Great. He is also descended from the Monarchs Mithridates VI of Pontus and his first wife, his sister Laodice and the previous Bosporan King Asander.

When Rhescuporis I died in 90, Sauromates I succeeded his father as Bosporan King and reigned until his own death in 123. He was a contemporary of the Roman Emperors Domitian, Nerva, Trajan and Hadrian. Sauromates I continued his father’s legacy of rebuilding the Bosporan Kingdom. In 68, Rhescuporis I had restored the Bosporan Kingdom, previously a part of the Roman province of Moesia Inferior, as a semi-independent Roman Client State. On coins, his royal title is in Greek: ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΣΑΥΡΟΜΑΤΟΥ or of King Sauromates.

Sauromates I is mentioned in the letters of Roman Senator Pliny the Younger. About 103, Pliny served as the Roman Governor of Bithynia. Sauromates I sent his ambassador (legatus) to travel to Bithynia to deliver two letters to Pliny. The nature of these letters is unknown. The first letter requested Pliny, for a messenger to use a diploma (a permit to use an official wagon) to assist the messenger’s journey, which Pliny respected. The second letter was for Trajan. Pliny learned no more than that it contained news which Trajan needed to know. An imperial freedman called Lycormas took the second letter from Bithynia to Rome for Trajan, a journey that would have taken 6–8 weeks.

Either Rhescuporis I or Sauromates I established Phanagoria as the new capital city of the Bosporan Kingdom. From the late 1st century, Panticapaeum, the original capital city, had gradually lost its importance. Phanagoria became the new capital city because of the increasing popularity of the city’s titulary goddess, Aphrodite, and her cult.

In 105, Sauromates I, entrusted and appointed a priest as an official to oversee the restoration of the porticos at the temple at Hermonassa. Out of his personal religious devotion in 110, he erected a temple dedicated to Aphrodite in Gorgippia. In an honorific inscription dedicated to Sauromates I, found in Nicaea, Sauromates I was given the honorific title Ktistes or Founder. He was awarded this title because of his goodness, generosity and his contributions throughout the Bosporan and Anatolia.

At Panticapaeum, there is in Latin an honorific inscription, dedicating and honoring Sauromates I:

‘King Tiberius Julius Sauromates, an outstanding friend of Emperor and the populus Romanus‘.Sauromates I married an unnamed woman and had a son called Cotys II. Cotys II would succeed his father. Through his son, Sauromates I would have three descendants ruling the Bosporan that would bear his name.

Volnoe Delo

Volnoe Delo Foundation (ru:Вольное дело) was established by Russian businessman Oleg Deripaska in 1998 and became one of Russia's largest private charity foundations in 2009. The Foundation supports a wide range of initiatives with a particular focus on education and children. The Foundation’s mission is to find effective solutions to key social problems in areas such as education, the development of science, the preservation of spiritual and cultural heritage, the improvement of health care, and increased access to social welfare and assistance.

Zed Islands

The Zed Islands are a small group of islands, the westernmost rising to 290 m (951 ft), lying off the northeast extremity of Livingston Island in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica comprising four islands: Esperanto Island, Phanagoria Island, Lesidren Island and Koshava Island, and the adjacent Dlagnya and Goritsa Rocks. The group is separated from Williams Point on Varna Peninsula, Livingston Island to the south by the 1.50 km (0.93 mi) wide Iglika Passage.

The name appears to have been applied by Discovery Investigations personnel on the Discovery II who charted the islands in 1935.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.