Pontus (region)

Pontus (/ˈpɒntəs/; Greek: Πόντος, translit. Póntos, "Sea"[1]) is a historical Greek designation for a region on the southern coast of the Black Sea, located in modern-day eastern Black Sea Region of Turkey. The name was applied to the coastal region and its mountainous hinterland (rising to the Pontic Alps in the east) in antiquity by the Greeks who colonized the area and derived from the Greek name of the Black Sea: Πόντος Εὔξεινος Pontos Euxeinos ("Hospitable Sea"[2]), or simply Pontos.

Having originally no specific name, the region east of the river Halys was spoken of as the country Ἐν Πόντῳ En Pontōi, "on the [Euxeinos] Pontos", and hence it acquired the name of Pontus, which is first found in Xenophon's Anabasis. The extent of the region varied through the ages but generally extended from the borders of Colchis (modern western Georgia) until well into Paphlagonia in the west, with varying amounts of hinterland. Several states and provinces bearing the name of Pontus or variants thereof were established in the region in the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine periods, culminating in the late Byzantine Empire of Trebizond. Pontus is sometimes considered as the home of the Amazons, with the name Amazon used not only for a city (Amasya) but for all of Pontus in Greek mythology.

Pontos (Πόντος)
Ancient region of Anatolia
Traditional rural Pontic house.
Traditional rural Pontic house
LocationNorth-eastern Anatolia
Ethnic GroupsPontic Greeks, Laz, Hemshin, Georgians , Persians,
Jews (until 8th century), Chepni (from 11th c.)
Historical capitalsAmasya, Neocaesarea, Sinope, Trabzon
Notable rulersMithradates Eupator
The Pontus region

The modern definition of the Pontus: the area claimed for the "Republic of Pontus" after World War I, based on the extent of the six local Greek Orthodox bishoprics.
Asia Minor in the Greco-Roman period - general map - regions and main settlements
Anatolia/Asia Minor in the Greco-Roman period. The classical regions, including Pontus, and their main settlements


Pontus became important as a bastion of Byzantine Greek and Greek Orthodox civilization and attracted Greeks from all backgrounds (scholars, traders, mercenaries, refugees) from all over Anatolia and the southern Balkans, from the Classical and Hellenistic periods into the Byzantine and Ottoman. These Greeks of Pontus are generally referred to as Pontic Greeks.

Early inhabitants

Pontus remained outside the reach of the Bronze Age empires, of which the closest was Great Hatti. The region went further uncontrolled by Hatti's eastern neighbours, Hurrian states like Azzi and (or, or) Hayasa. In those days, the best any outsider could hope from this region was temporary alliance with a local strongman. The Hittites called the unorganised groups on their northeastern frontier the Kaška. As of 2004 little had been found of them archaeologically.[3]

In the wake of the Hittite empire's collapse, the Assyrian court noted that the "Kašku" had overrun its territory in conjunction with a hitherto unknown group whom they labeled the Muški.[4] Iron Age visitors to the region, mostly Greek, noted that the hinterlands remained disunited, and they recorded the names of tribes: Moskhians (often associated with those Muški),[5] Leucosyri,[6] Mares, Makrones, Mossynoikians, Tibareni,[7] Tzans[8] and Chaldians.[9]

The Armenian language went unnoted by the Hittites, the Assyrians, and all the post-Hittite nations; an ancient theory is that its speakers migrated from Phrygia, past literary notice, across Pontus during the early Iron Age.[10] The Greeks, who spoke a related Indo-European tongue, followed them along the coast. The Greeks are the earliest long-term inhabitants of the region from whom written records survive. During the late 8th century BCE, Pontus further became a base for the Cimmerians; however, these were defeated by the Lydians, and became a distant memory after the campaigns of Alyattes.[11]

Since there was so little literacy in northeastern Anatolia until the Persian and Hellenistic era, one can only speculate as to the other languages spoken here. Given that Kartvelian languages remain spoken to the east of Pontus, some are suspected to have been spoken in eastern Pontus during the Iron Age: the Tzans are usually associated with today's Laz.[8]

Ancient Greek colonization

The first travels of Greek merchants and adventurers to the Pontus region occurred probably from around 1000 BC, whereas their settlements would become steady and solidified cities only by the 8th and 7th centuries BC as archaeological findings document. This fits in well with a foundation date of 731 BC as reported by Eusebius of Caesarea for Sinope, perhaps the most ancient of the Greek Colonies in what was later to be called Pontus.[12] The epical narratives related to the travels of Jason and the Argonauts to Colchis, the tales of Heracles' navigating the Black Sea and Odysseus' wanderings into the land of the Cimmerians, as well as the myth of Zeus constraining Prometheus to the Caucasus mountains as a punishment for his outwitting the Gods, can all be seen as reflections of early contacts between early Greek colonists and the local, probably Caucasian, peoples. The earliest known written description of Pontus, however, is that of Scylax of Korianda, who in the 7th century BC described Greek settlements in the area.[13]

Persian Empire expansion

By the 6th century BC, Pontus had become officially a part of the Achaemenid Empire, which probably meant that the local Greek colonies were paying tribute to the Persians.[14] When the Athenian commander Xenophon passed through Pontus around a century later in 401-400 BC, in fact, he found no Persians in Pontus.[14]

The peoples of this part of northern Asia Minor were incorporated into the third and nineteenth satrapies of the Persian empire.[15] Iranian influence ran deep, illustrated most famously by the temple of the Persian deities Anaitis, Omanes, and Anadatos at Zela, founded by victorious Persian generals in the 6th century BCE.[16]

Kingdom of Pontus

Map of Asia minor, 89 BC showing Roman provinces and client states as well as Pontic territory. The Kingdom of Pontus, under Mithridates VI the Great, is in green.
Putzger Kleinasien
Map of Pontus 1901

The Kingdom of Pontus extended generally to the east of the Halys River. The Persian dynasty which was to found this kingdom had during the 4th century BC ruled the Greek city of Cius (or Kios) in Mysia, with its first known member being Ariobarzanes I of Cius and the last ruler based in the city being Mithridates II of Cius. Mithridates II's son, also called Mithridates, would proclaim himself later Mithridates I Ktistes of Pontus.

As the Encyclopaedia Iranica states, the most famous member of the family, Mithradates VI Eupator, although undoubtedly presenting himself to the Greek world as a civilized philhellene and new Alexander, also paraded his Iranian background: he maintained a harem and eunuchs in true Oriental fashion; he gave all his sons Persian names; he sacrificed spectacularly in the manner of the Persian kings at Pasargadae (Appian, Mith. 66, 70); and he appointed “satraps” (a Persian title) as his provincial governors.[17] Iranica further states, and although there is only one inscription attesting it, he seems to have adopted the title “king of kings.” The very small number of Hellenistic Greek inscriptions that have been found anywhere in Pontus suggest that Greek culture did not substantially penetrate beyond the coastal cities and the court.[17]

During the troubled period following the death of Alexander the Great, Mithridates Ktistes was for a time in the service of Antigonus, one of Alexander's successors,[18] and successfully maneuvering in this unsettled time managed, shortly after 302 BC, to create the Kingdom of Pontus which would be ruled by his descendants mostly bearing the same name, until 64 BC. Thus, this Persian dynasty managed to survive and prosper in the Hellenistic world while the main Persian Empire had fallen.

This kingdom reached its greatest height under Mithridates VI or Mithridates Eupator, commonly called the Great, who for many years carried on war with the Romans. Under him, the realm of Pontus included not only Pontic Cappadocia but also the seaboard from the Bithynian frontier to Colchis, part of inland Paphlagonia, and Lesser Armenia.[18] Despite ruling Lesser Armenia, King Mithridates VI was an ally of Armenian King Tigranes the Great, to whom he married his daughter Cleopatra.[19] Eventually, however, the Romans defeated both King Mithridates VI and his son-in-law, Armenian King Tigranes the Great, during the Mithridatic Wars, bringing Pontus under Roman rule.[20]

Roman province

Roman East 50-en
The Roman client kingdom of Pontus (in union with Colchis), c. 50 AD

With the subjection of this kingdom by Pompey in 64 BC, in which little changed in the structuring of life, neither for the oligarchies that controlled the cities nor for the common people in city or hinterland, the meaning of the name Pontus underwent a change.[18] Part of the kingdom was now annexed to the Roman Empire, being united with Bithynia in a double province called Pontus and Bithynia: this part included only the seaboard between Heraclea (today Ereğli) and Amisus (Samsun), the ora Pontica.[18] The larger part of Pontus, however, was included in the province of Galatia.[20]

Hereafter the simple name Pontus without qualification was regularly employed to denote the half of this dual province, especially by Romans and people speaking from the Roman point of view; it is so used almost always in the New Testament.[18] The eastern half of the old kingdom was administered as a client kingdom together with Colchis. Its last king was Polemon II.

In AD 62, the country was constituted by Nero a Roman province. It was divided into the three districts: Pontus Galaticus in the west, bordering on Galatia; Pontus Polemoniacus in the centre, so called from its capital Polemonium; and Pontus Cappadocicus in the east, bordering on Cappadocia (Armenia Minor). Subsequently, the Roman Emperor Trajan moved Pontus into the province of Cappadocia itself in the early 2nd century AD.[20] In response to a Gothic raid on Trebizond in 457 AD, the Roman Emperor Diocletian decided to break up the area into smaller provinces under more localized administration.[8]

Dioecesis Pontica 400 AD
The Diocese of Pontus and its provinces in c. AD 400

With the reorganization of the provincial system under Diocletian (about AD 295), the Pontic districts were divided up between three smaller, independent provinces within the Dioecesis Pontica:[8][18]

  • Galatian Pontus, also called Diospontus, later renamed Helenopontus by Constantine the Great after his mother. It had its capital at Amisus, and included the cities of Sinope, Amasia, Andres, Ibora, and Zela as well.
  • Pontus Polemoniacus, with its capital at Polemonium (also called Side), and including the cities of Neocaesarea, Argyroupolis, Comana, and Cerasus as well.
  • Cappadocian Pontus, with its capital at Trebizond, and including the small ports of Athanae and Rhizaeon. This province extended all the way to Colchis.

Byzantine province and theme

The Byzantine Emperor Justinian further reorganized the area in 536:

  • Pontus Polemoniacus was dissolved, with the western part (Polemonium and Neocaesarea) going to Helenopontus, Comana going to the new province of Armenia II, and the rest (Trebizond and Cerasus) joining the new province of Armenia I Magna with its capital at Justinianopolis.[8]
  • Helenopontus gained Polemonium and Neocaesarea, and lost Zela to Armenia II. The provincial governor was relegated to the rank of moderator.
  • Paphlagonia absorbed Honorias and was put under a praetor.

By the time of the early Byzantine Empire, Trebizond became a center of culture and scientific learning.[21] In the 7th century, an individual named Tychicus returned from Constantinople to establish a school of learning.[21] One of his students was the early Armenian scholar Anania of Shirak.[21]

Under the Byzantine Empire, the Pontus came under the Armeniac Theme, with the westernmost parts (Paphlagonia) belonging to the Bucellarian Theme. Progressively, these large early themes were divided into smaller ones, so that by the late 10th century, the Pontus was divided into the themes of Chaldia, which was governed by the Gabrades family,[21] and Koloneia. After the 8th century, the area experienced a period of prosperity, which was brought to an end only by the Seljuk conquest of Asia Minor in the 1070s and 1080s. Restored to the Byzantine Empire by Alexios I Komnenos, the area was governed by effectively semi-autonomous rulers, like the Gabras family of Trebizond.

The region was secured militarily from the 11th through the 15th centuries with a vast network of sophisticated coastal fortresses.[22]

Empire of Trebizond

Following Constantinople's loss of sovereignty to the Fourth Crusade in 1204, the Pontus retained independence as the Empire of Trebizond under the Komnenos dynasty. Through a combination of geographic remoteness and adroit diplomacy, this remnant managed to survive, until it was conquered by the Ottomans in 1461 after the Fall of Constantinople itself.[23] This political adroitness included becoming a vassal state at various times to both Georgia and to various inland Turkic rulers.[24] In addition, the Empire of Trebizond became a renowned center of culture under its ruling Komnenos dynasty.[24]

Ottoman vilayet

Distribution of Millets in Trebizond Vilayet[25]
Source Muslims Greeks Armenians Total
Official Ottoman Statistics, 1910 1,047,889
Ecumenical Patriarchate Statistics, 1912 957,866
Christians in the Black Sea region (1896)
Christian population in 1896

Under the subsequent Ottoman rule which began with the fall of Trebizond, particularly starting from the 17th century, some of the region's Pontic Greeks became Muslim through the Devşirme system. But at the same time some valleys inhabited by Greeks converted voluntarily, most notably those in the Of valley. Large communities (around 25% of the population) of Christian Pontic Greeks remained throughout the area (including Trabezon and Kars in northeastern Turkey/the Russian Caucasus) until the 1920s, and in parts of Georgia and Armenia until the 1990s, preserving their own customs and dialect of Greek. One group of Islamicized Greeks were called the Kromli, but were suspected of secretly having remained Christians. They numbered between 12,000 and 15,000 and lived in villages including Krom, Imera, Livadia, Prdi, Alitinos, Mokhora, and Ligosti.[26] Many of the Islamized Greeks continued speaking their language, known for its unique preservation of characteristics of Ancient Greek and still today there are some in the Of valley that still speak the local Ophitic dialect.

Tr ponto2
Republic of Pontus flag

Republic of Pontus

The Republic of Pontus (Greek: Δημοκρατία του Πόντου, Dimokratía tou Póntou) was a proposed Pontic Greek state on the southern coast of the Black Sea. Its territory would have encompassed much of historical Pontus and today forms part of Turkey's Black Sea Region. The proposed state was discussed at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919, but the Greek government of Eleftherios Venizelos feared the precarious position of such a state and so it was included instead in the larger proposed state of Wilsonian Armenia. Neither state came into existence and the Pontic Greek population was expelled from Turkey after 1922 and resettled in the Soviet Union or in Greek Macedonia. This state of affairs was later formally recognized as part of the population exchange between Greece and Turkey in 1923.


The Black Sea Region (Turkish: Karadeniz Bölgesi) is one of Turkey's seven census-defined geographical regions.

Turkey black sea
Turkey Black Sea Region
Turkey black sea region
Turkey Black Sea Region


Mentioned thrice in the New Testament, inhabitants of Pontus were some of the very first converts to Christianity. Acts 2:9 mentions them present in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost; Acts 18:2 mentions a Jewish tentmaker from Pontus, Aquila, who was then living in Corinth with his wife Priscilla, who had both converted to Christianity, and in 1 Peter 1:1, Peter the Apostle addresses the Pontians in his letter as the "elect" and "chosen ones".

As early as the First Council of Nicea, Trebizond had its own bishop.[9] Subsequently, the Bishop of Trebizond was subordinated to the Metropolitan Bishop of Poti.[9] Then during the 9th century, Trebizond itself became the seat of the Metropolitan Bishop of Lazica.[9]

Notable Pontians

See also


  1. ^ πόντος, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus
  2. ^ Εὔξεινος, William J. Slater, Lexicon to Pindar, on Perseus
  3. ^ Roger Matthews (December 2004). "Landscapes of Terror and Control: Imperial Impacts in Paphlagonia". Near Eastern Archaeology. 67 (4): 200–211.
  4. ^ Records of Tiglath-Pileser I apud RD Barnett (1975). "30". The Cambridge Ancient History. pp. 417f., 420
  5. ^ So the 1877 translation of "Sargon's Great Inscription in the Palace of Khorsabad", http://www.shsu.edu/~his_ncp/Sargon.html Archived 2015-06-19 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Meyer, Geschichte d. Königr. Pontos (Leipzig: 1879)
  7. ^ Hewsen, 40-41
  8. ^ a b c d e Hewsen, 43
  9. ^ a b c d Hewsen, 46
  10. ^ First conjectured by Herodotus
  11. ^ Kristensen, Anne Katrine Gade (1988). Who were the Cimmerians, and where did they come from?: Sargon II, and the Cimmerians, and Rusa I. Copenhagen Denmark: The Royal Danish Academy of Science and Letters.
  12. ^ Hewsen, 39-40
  13. ^ Hewsen, 39
  14. ^ a b Hewsen, 40
  15. ^ Herodotus 3.90-94
  16. ^ Strabo 11.8.4 C512; 12.3.37 C559
  17. ^ a b electricpulp.com. "PONTUS – Encyclopaedia Iranica". www.iranicaonline.org.
  18. ^ a b c d e f  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainAnderson, John George Clark (1911). "Pontus" . In Chisholm, Hugh. Encyclopædia Britannica. 22 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 70–71.
  19. ^ Hewsen, 41-42
  20. ^ a b c Hewsen, Robert H. (2009). "Armenians on the Black Sea: The Province of Trebizond". In Richard G. Hovannisian. Armenian Pontus: The Trebizond-Black Sea Communities. Costa Mesa, CA: Mazda Publishers, Inc. pp. 42, 37–66. ISBN 1-56859-155-1.
  21. ^ a b c d Hewsen, 47
  22. ^ Robert W. Edwards, “The Garrison Forts of the Pontos: A Case for the Diffusion of the Armenian Paradigm,” Revue des Études Arméniennes 19, 1985, pp.181-284, pls.1-51b.
  23. ^ Hewsen, 49
  24. ^ a b Hewsen, 48
  25. ^ Pentzopoulos, Dimitri (2002). The Balkan exchange of minorities and its impact on Greece. C. Hurst & Co. Publishers. pp. 29–30. ISBN 978-1-85065-702-6.
  26. ^ Hewsen, 54


  • Bryer, Anthony A. M. (1980), The Empire of Trebizond and the Pontos, London: Variorum Reprints, ISBN 0-86078-062-7
  • Ramsay MacMullen, 2000. Romanization in the Time of Augustus (Yale University Press)

External links

Coordinates: 40°36′N 38°00′E / 40.6°N 38.0°E

Amasya trials

The Amasya trials in 1921, were special ad hoc trials, organized by the Turkish National Movement, with the purpose to kill en masse the Greek representatives of Pontus region under a legal pretext. They occurred in Amasya, modern Turkey, during the final stage of the Pontic Greek genocide. The total number of the executed individuals is estimated to be ca. 400-450, among them 155 prominent Pontic Greeks.


Bithynia (; Koine Greek: Βιθυνία, Bithynía) was an ancient region, kingdom and Roman province in the northwest of Asia Minor, adjoining the Propontis, the Thracian Bosporus and the Euxine Sea. It bordered Mysia to the southwest, Paphlagonia to the northeast along the Pontic coast, and Phrygia to the southeast towards the interior of Asia Minor.

Bithynia was an independent kingdom from the 4th century BC. Its capital Nicomedia was rebuilt on the site of ancient Astacus in 264 BC by Nicomedes I of Bithynia. Bithynia was bequeathed to the Roman Republic in 74 BC, and became united with the Pontus region as the province of Bithynia et Pontus. In the 7th century it was incorporated into the Byzantine Opsikion theme.

It became a border region to the Seljuk Empire in the 13th century, and was eventually conquered by the Ottoman Turks between 1325 and 1333.


Cabira (; Greek: τὰ Κάβειρα) was a place in the Pontus region of Asia minor, at the base of the range of Paryadres, about 150 stadia south of Eupatoria or Magnopolis, which was at the junction of the Iris and the Lycus. Eupatoria was in the midst of the plain called Phanaroea, whereas Cabira, as Strabo says (p. 556), was at the base of the Paryadres. Mithridates the Great built a palace at Cabira; and there was a water-mill there (Greek: ὑδραλέτης), and places for keeping wild animals, hunting grounds, and mines. Less than 200 stadia from Cabira was the remarkable rock or fortress called Caenon (Greek: Καινόν [χωρίον]), where Mithridates kept his most valuable things. Cn. Pompeius took the place and its treasures, which, when Strabo wrote, were in the Roman Capitol. In Strabo's time a woman, Pythodoris, the widow of King Polemon, had Cabira with the Zelitis and Magnopolitis. Pompeius made Cabira a city, and gave it the name Diospolis. Pythodoris enlarged it, gave it the name Sebaste (Σεβαστή), which is the Greek equivalent to Augusta, and used it as her royal residence. Near Cabira probably (for the text of Strabo is a little uncertain, and not quite clear; Groskurd, transl. vol. ii. p. 491, note) at a village named Ameria, there was a temple with a great number of slaves belonging to it, and the high priest enjoyed this benefice. The god Men of Pharnaces (Μήν Φαρνάκου) was worshipped at Cabira. Mithridates was at Cabira during the winter that L. Lucullus was besieging Amisus and Eupatoria. (Appian, Mithrid. c. 78.) Lucullus afterwards took Cabira. (Plutarch, Lucullus, c. 18.) There are some autonomous coins of Cabira with the epigraph "Καβηρων".Strabo, a native of Amasia, could not be unacquainted with the site of Cabira. The only place that corresponds to his description is Niksar, on the right bank of the Lycus, nearly 43 km from the junction of the Iris and the Lycus. But Niksar is the representative of Neocaesarea, a name which first occurs in Pliny (vi. 3), who says that it is on the Lycus. There is no trace of any ancient city between Niksar and the junction of the two rivers, and the conclusion that Niksar is a later name of Cabira, and a name more recent than Sebaste, seems certain. (Hamilton's Researches, &c. vol. i. p. 346.) Pliny, indeed, mentions both Sebastia and Sebastopolis in Colopena, a district of Cappadocia, but nothing certain can be inferred from this. Neocaesarea seems to have arisen under the early Roman emperors. Cramer (Asia Minor, vol. i. p. 315) states that the earliest coins of Neocaesarea bear the effigy of Tiberius; but Sestini, quoted by Forbiger (Geog. vol. ii. p. 428), assigns the origin of Neocaesarea to the time of Nero, about 64 CE, when Pontus Polemoniacus was made a Roman province. The simplest solution of this question is that Neocaesarea was a new town, which might be near the site of Cabira. It was the capital of Pontus Polemoniacus, the birthplace of Gregorius Thaumaturgus, and the place of assembly of a church council in 314. Ammianus Marcellinus (xxvii. 12) calls it the most noted city of Pontus Polemoniacus: it was, in fact, the metropolis. According to Paulus Diaconus the place was destroyed by an earthquake.Cramer supposes that Neocaesarea is identical with Ameria, and he adds that Neocaesarea was the principal seat of pagan idolatry and superstitions, which affords another presumption that it had risen on the foundation of Ameria and the worship of Men Pharnaces. But Ameria seems to have been at or near Cabira; and all difficulties are reconciled by supposing that Cabira, Ameria, Neocaesarea [p. 463] were in the valley of the Lycus, and if not on the same spot, at least very near to one another. Stephanus of Byzantium (s. v. Νεοκαισάρεια: Eth. Νεοκαισαριεύς) adds to our difficulties by saying or seeming to say that the inhabitants were also called Adrianopolitae, suggesting that Adrianopolis or Hadrianopolis was still another name of the city in his time. Where he got this from, nobody can tell.Hamilton was informed at Niksar that on the road from Niksar to Sivas, and about fourteen hours from Niksar, there is a high perpendicular rock, almost inaccessible on all sides, with a stream of water flowing from the top, and a river at its base. This is exactly Strabo's description of Caenon.

Dorotheos II of Trebizond

Dorotheos II (Greek: Δωρόθεος Βʹ) was the second metropolitan bishop of Trebizond under Ottoman rule. His tenure began in 1472.

The origin of Dorotheos is unclear, nor is anything about his early life known except that prior to his appointment to the see of Trebizond in 1472, he was Metropolitan of Athens as mentioned in his act of election to Trebizond. His activity in Athens is equally unknown, however, nor is he mentioned by any historians of the region. Dorotheos was appointed to Trebizond in succession to Pankratios, who had only months before been appointed metropolitan after a vacancy dating back to the capture of Trebizond by the Ottomans in 1461.Dorotheos was sent to Trebizond after the forced resignation of his predecessor. Pankratios had been appointed, after such a long interregnum, to calm the anti-Ottoman agitation among the Christians of the Pontus region around Trebizond. This agitation was particularly dangerous as it was encouraged by the neighbouring Aq Qoyunlu sultan Uzun Hassan, who was linked through family ties with the former imperial house of Trebizond and backed the designs of a scion of that house, Alexios Komnenos. In order to counteract the threat of a rebellion, the Ottoman Sultan elevated the Trapezuntine Symeon I to Patriarch of Constantinople, and the latter immediately appointed Pankratios to the metropolitan throne of Trebizond. It appears, however, that Pankratios was unable to calm the situation, or that he may have himself been actively involved in stirring up discontent, and after a few months the Sultan demanded his resignation. Dorotheos, who followed, seems to have been more successful, although no details are known about his tenure or his later life, except that he went on to become metropolitan of Caesarea. He may have been the immediate predecessor of the next known metropolitan of Trebizond, Gennadios I, attested in 1501, but this can not be verified.

Fındıklı, Rize

Fındıklı (Laz and Georgian: ვიწე Vi3'e) is a town and district of Rize Province on the Black Sea coast of Turkey, east of the city of Rize.

Greeks in Ukraine

Greeks in Ukraine or Crimean Greeks are a Hellenic minority that reside in or used to live on the territory of modern Ukraine. Most of them live in Donetsk Oblast and particularly concentrated around the city of Mariupol.

According to the 2001 Ukrainian Census, there were 91,548 ethnic Greeks in Ukraine, or 0.2% of the population. However, the actual percentage of those with Greek ancestry is likely to be much higher due to widespread intermarriage between ethnic Greeks and those Ukrainian citizens who are Russian Orthodox, particularly in eastern Ukraine, as well as the absence of strong links to Greece or use of the Greek language by many with Greek ancestry in these areas and who therefore are not classified as Greeks in official censuses.

Most Greeks in Ukraine belong to the larger Greek diaspora known as Pontic Greeks.

Matthaios Kofidis

Matthaios Kofidis (Greek: Ματθαίος Κωφίδης, 22 March 1855 – 1921) was a Greek businessman, historian and a politician, who was a member of the Ottoman Parliament. He was elected in three successive periods from 1908 to 1918. In 1921 he was among the notables of the Greek community of the Pontus region who were hanged by the Turkish nationalists of Mustafa Kemal.

Nikos Kapetanidis

Nikos Kapetanidis (Greek: Νίκος Καπετανίδης, 1889–1921) was a Greek journalist and newspaper publisher. He was one of the notable figures of Pontus region hanged by the Turkish nationalists of Mustafa Kemal.

Kapetanidis was born in Rize, in the Pontus region of the Ottoman Empire (in modern Turkey). He attended the Phrontisterion of Trapezous, a Greek middle level school in Trebizond. After graduation, he became one of the most prominent journalists and active members of the local Greek press. Kapetanidis also published his own newspaper Epochi (Season). He got also involved in educational issues, supporting the use of vernacular Greek in the local schools. Moreover, he insisted that education shouldn't be controlled by the religious authorities, in particular the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.Kapetanidis was hanged in Amasya, in September 1921, by the Turkish nationalists under Mustafa Kemal (later Ataturk) during the Pontic Greek Genocide. He was among several other notable figures of the local Greek community hanged there.

Pankratios of Trebizond

Pankratios or Pangratios (Greek: Παγκράτιος) was the first Metropolitan bishop of Trebizond following the Ottoman conquest of the Empire of Trebizond in 1461.

Nothing is known about Pankratios' origin or early career prior to his appointment as metropolitan. The see had been vacant since the capture of Trebizond and the incorporation of the Empire of Trebizond to the Ottoman Empire in 1461, as the bulk of the Trapezuntine upper classes, including the secular nobility and the ecclesiastical hierarchy, were transferred to the Ottoman capital, Constantinople. It was not until ca. 1472 that the vacancy was addressed. This was partly the result of the appointment of the Trapezuntine Symeon I as Patriarch of Constantinople, but owed more to political considerations on the part of the Ottoman Sultan, Mehmed II: the Christians of the Pontus region around Trebizond had been restive against Ottoman rule, and were encouraged by the neighbouring Aq Qoyunlu sultan Uzun Hassan. The latter was linked through family ties with the former imperial house of Trebizond, and lent his support to a scion of that house, Alexios Komnenos. In order to counteract the threat of a rebellion, the Sultan elevated Symeon to the patriarchal throne, and he immediately appointed Pankratios to the metropolitan throne of Trebizond. It appears, however, that the latter was unable to satisfy the Sultan's expectations about calming the province, and already after a few months Mehmed II demanded his replacement. Pankratios was succeeded by Dorotheos II, and nothing further is known of him thereafter.

Phrontisterion of Trapezous

The Phrontisterion of Trapezous (Greek: Φροντιστήριο Τραπεζούντος, "Trapezous College") was a Greek educational institution that operated from 1682/3 to 1921 in Trabzon (Gr. Τραπεζούς, Trapezous), in the Ottoman Empire, now Turkey. It provided a major impetus for the rapid expansion of Greek education throughout the Pontus region, on the south coast of the Black Sea. The building still retains its function as a prestigious highschool, and it has been considered as the most impressive Pontic Greek monument in Trabzon.


Pontus may refer to:

Pontus (mythology), a sea-god

Pontus (region), on the southern coast of the Black Sea, in modern-day Turkey

Kingdom of Pontus or Pontic Empire, a state founded in 281 BC

Bithynia and Pontus, a Roman province

Diocese of Pontus, a diocese of the later Roman Empire

Republic of Pontus, a proposed Pontic Greek state discussed in 1919

Pontic Greeks, Pontian Greeks or Pontians, an ethnically Greek group who traditionally lived in the region of Pontus

Pontus (mythology)

In Greek mythology, Pontus (; Greek: Πόντος, Póntos, "Sea") was an ancient, pre-Olympian sea-god, one of the Greek primordial deities. Pontus was Gaia's son and has no father; according to the Greek poet Hesiod, he was born without coupling, though according to Hyginus, Pontus is the son of Aether and Gaia.

Republic of Pontus

The Republic of Pontus (Greek: Δημοκρατία του Πόντου, Dimokratía tou Póntou) was a proposed Pontic Greek state on the southern coast of the Black Sea. Its territory would have encompassed much of historical Pontus and today forms part of Turkey's Black Sea Region. The proposed state was discussed at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919, but the Greek government of Eleftherios Venizelos feared the precarious position of such a state and so it was included instead in the larger proposed state of Wilsonian Armenia. Ultimately, however, neither state came into existence and the Pontic Greek population was expelled from Turkey after 1922 and resettled in the Soviet Union or in Greek Macedonia. This state of affairs was later formally recognized as part of the population exchange between Greece and Turkey in 1923. In modern Greek right wing political circles, the exchange is seen as inextricable from the contemporaneous Greek genocide.

Samsun deportations

The Samsun deportations were a series of death marches orchestrated by the Turkish National Movement as part of its extermination of the Greek community of Samsun, a city in northern Turkey (then still formally the Ottoman Empire), and its environs. It was accompanied by looting, the burning of settlements, rape, and massacres. As a result, the Greek population of the city and those who had previously found refuge there—a total of c. 24,500 men, women and children—were forcibly deported from the city to the interior of Anatolia in 1921–1922. The atrocities were reported by both American Near East Relief missionaries and naval officers on destroyers that visited the region.

The deportations were part of the Turkish National Movement's genocidal policies against the Pontic Greek community of the Black Sea region of Turkey which from 1914 to 1923 reached a final death toll of c. 353,000. It was also part of the last stage of the Greek genocide, which was launched after the landing of Mustafa Kemal in Samsun, in May 1919.

Serra (dance)

Serra (Greek: Σέρρα) is a Pontic Greek war dance of ancient Greek origin, from Pontus region of the Black Sea. Its name comes from the Serra river, in the region of Trapezunda. It is also called Lazikon (Greek: Λαζικόν). The rhythm starts in 7/16 and becomes an even meter when the dance speeds up.This dance is sometimes confused with Atsiapat, which precedes it. It is danced in sequence and followed by the Pyrrhichios dance.

Tavros, Cyprus

Tavros (Greek: Ταύρος, literally 'Bull', Turkish: Pamuklu) is a village in the Famagusta District of Cyprus , located on the Karpass Peninsula. It is in the southern part of the peninsula between Bogaz and Koma Yialou (Kumyali), 1½ miles from the peninsula’s south coast. It is under the de facto control of Northern Cyprus.

Until the invasion, Tavros was inhabited by Greek Cypriots. In 1891, the village population was 138 Greek Cypriots. Ten years later there were 167 Greek Cypriots. By 1960 there were 311 Greek Cypriots and 1 Turkish Cypriot.During the invasion, in August 1974, most of the population fled southwards. 47 people attempted to remain and they were enclaved in Tavros until they were forced to move out of the Turkish sector of Cyprus in August 1976. Meanwhile the village was given in 1975 the new Turkish name of Pamuklu, which means “place with cotton” or “made of cotton.” . Then in 1976-77, the village was settled with people from Giresun and Ordu in the Pontus region of Turkey and also from Yozgat Province just east of Ankara.

This village population in 2011 was 280, an increase from 256 in 2006.

The church of Ayios Sergios is situated at the east end of the village, on the old Nicosia-Karpas road. The new Nicosia-Karpas road bypasses the village on the north side.

Thomas the Slav

Thomas the Slav (Greek: Θωμᾶς ὁ Σλάβος, translit. Thōmas ho Slavos, c. 760 – October 823) was a 9th-century Byzantine military commander, most notable for leading a wide-scale revolt in 821–23 against Emperor Michael II the Amorian (r. 820–829).

An army officer of Slavic origin from the Pontus region (now north-eastern Turkey), Thomas rose to prominence, along with the future emperors Michael II and Leo V the Armenian (r. 813–820), under the protection of general Bardanes Tourkos. After Bardanes' failed rebellion in 803, Thomas fell into obscurity until Leo V's rise to the throne, when Thomas was raised to a senior military command in central Asia Minor. After the murder of Leo and usurpation of the throne by Michael the Amorian, Thomas revolted, claiming the throne for himself. Thomas quickly secured support from most of the themes (provinces) and troops in Asia Minor, defeated Michael's initial counter-attack and concluded an alliance with the Abbasid Caliphate. After winning over the maritime themes and their ships as well, he crossed with his army to Europe and laid siege to Constantinople. The imperial capital withstood Thomas's attacks by land and sea, while Michael II called for help from the Bulgarian ruler khan Omurtag. Omurtag attacked Thomas's army, but although repelled, the Bulgarians inflicted heavy casualties on Thomas's men, who broke and fled when Michael took to the field a few months later. Thomas and his supporters sought refuge in Arcadiopolis, where he was soon blockaded by Michael's troops. In the end, Thomas's supporters surrendered him in exchange for a pardon, and he was executed.

Thomas's rebellion was one of the largest in the Byzantine Empire's history, but its precise circumstances are unclear due to competing historical narratives, which have come to include claims fabricated by Michael to blacken his opponent's name. Consequently, various motives and driving forces have been attributed to Thomas and his followers. As summarized by the Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium, "Thomas's revolt has been variously attributed to a reaction against Iconoclasm, a social revolution and popular uprising, a revolt by the Empire's non-Greek ethnic groups, Thomas's personal ambitions, and his desire to avenge Leo V." Its effects on the military position of the Empire, particularly vis-à-vis the Arabs, are also disputed.

Historical regions of Anatolia
Late Roman provinces (4th–7th centuries AD)

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