Scepsis or Skepsis (Ancient Greek: Σκῆψις or Σκέψις) was an ancient settlement in the Troad, Asia Minor that is at the present site of the village of Kurşunlutepe, near the town of Bayramiç in Turkey. The settlement is notable for being the location where the famous library of Aristotle was kept before being moved to Pergamum and Alexandria.[1] It was also home to Metrodorus of Scepsis and Demetrius of Scepsis.

Σκῆψις or Σκέψις
Scepsis 2009
View of the village of Kurşuntepe from the highest point of the site of ancient Scepsis.
Scepsis is located in Turkey
Shown within Turkey
LocationKurşuntepe, Çanakkale Province, Turkey
Coordinates39°48′40″N 26°42′23″E / 39.81111°N 26.70639°ECoordinates: 39°48′40″N 26°42′23″E / 39.81111°N 26.70639°E


The city of Scepsis was situated in two different, non-contemporary sites on Mount Ida, Palea-Scepsis and the settlement of Scepsis proper. Strabo writes that Anaximenes of Lampsacus said that Miletus colonized the place.[2]


Palea-Scepsis (Old Scepsis) is notable for the native tradition that it was once the "capital of Aeneas's dominions."[3] It was situated near the source of the Aesepus, high up on Mount Ida. William Vaux was able to note in 1877 that a village in the neighborhood still bore the name of Eski Skisepje, which in Turkish corresponds to "Palea-Scepsis."[3]

Dr. Andreas David Mordtmann, the discoverer of the settlement, is quoted on his discovery by Dr. Archibald Ross Colquhoun in a reference by Vaux.

I did discover a most ancient city with its acropolis, towers and walls built of hewn stone, and furnished with four gates. The antiquity of the place was manifested by an oak having fixed its roots in the wall, and by its trunk having grown to a girth of 530 centimeters (about 17 feet). On reference to Strabo, I first became aware that I had discovered, probably, the most ancient ruin in Asia Minor, for I hold this can be no other than Palae-Scepsis.[3]

The city was given to Themistocles by Artaxerxes I of Persia in order to provide him with clothes.[4]


Location of Skepsis, map excerpt from Leaf, Strabo on the Troad (1923)
Location of the later Scepsis (just above center)

The later Scepsis was about sixty stadia (7.5 miles) lower down Mount Ida from Palae-Scepsis. Its acropolis occupied the hill north of the modern village of Kurşuntepe. This later town of Scepsis is memorable for the discovery there, during the time of Sulla, of the works of Aristotle and Theophrastus, which had been buried by the illiterate relations of one Neleus (a pupil of Aristotle and friend of Theophrastus), so that they would not be carried off by Attalus I, who was then founding the Library of Pergamum.[3]

Several times in its history, the citizens of Scepsis were forced to move elsewhere. When citizens of surrounding cities were forced to migrate to Troy, citizens of Scepsis were also forced to relocate. The city was again evacuated while the residents of surrounding cities were made to move to Alexandria Troas.[5]

Certain traditions hold that Saint Cornelius the Centurion, the first Pagan convert to Christianity, became the first bishop of Scepsis in the early days of Christianity. Scepsis remains a titular see in the Roman Catholic Church.[6]

Notes and references

  1. ^ Brockmann, Heike; A. Uler; N. Tavlas; L. Stump; J. Steinhardt; W. Schuster; E. Goltz; T. Kelsey (2000). Turkey. Hunter Publishing. p. 82. ISBN 3-88618-911-2.
  2. ^ Strabo, Geography, § 14.1.6
  3. ^ a b c d Vaux, William Sandys Wright (1877). Ancient history from the monuments: Greek cities & islands of Asia Minor. London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. pp. 8–9.
  4. ^ Plutarch, na. "Themistocles, Part II". Archived from the original on 2015-10-01.
  5. ^ "On Kazdağ: Bayramiç". Governorship of Çanakkale. Archived from the original on 2007-01-24. Retrieved 2007-03-19.
  6. ^ Catholic Hierarchy
Achilleion (Troad)

Achilleion (Ancient Greek: Ἀχίλλειον, romanized: Achilleion; Latin: Achilleum or Achilleium) was an ancient Greek city in the south-west of the Troad region of Anatolia. It has been located on a promontory known as Beşika Burnu ('cradle promontory') about 8 km south of Sigeion. Beşika Burnu is 2 km south of the modern village of Yeniköy in the Ezine district of Çanakkale Province, Turkey. The site considered in classical antiquity to be the tomb of Achilles is a short distance inland at a tumulus known as Beşiktepe. Achilleion in the Troad is not to be confused with Achilleion near Smyrna and Achilleion in the territory of Tanagra.


Alazia (Ancient Greek: Ἀλαζία) was a city of ancient Troad near the River Odrysses, which flows out of Lake Dascylitis from the west through the plain of Mygdonia and empties into the Rhyndacus. Demetrius of Scepsis calls the town Alazonia (Ἀλαζονία) and places it along with Argyria on the right bank of the Aesepus River near Scepsis. Strabo further clarifies its location as at the foot of Mount Ida near the source of the Aesepus.Its site is unlocated.

Ardonea morio

Ardonea morio is a moth of the subfamily Arctiinae. It was described by Francis Walker in 1854. It is found in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Colombia and Venezuela.

Argyria (Troad)

Argyria (Ancient Greek: Ἀργυρία) was a town located in the ancient Troad on the right bank of the Aesepus River (modern Gönen Çay) near Scepsis. It was noted for its silver mines, whence the town's name (άργυρος is Greek for 'silver'). Strabo further clarifies its location as at the foot of Mount Ida near the source of the Aesepus.Its site is located near Karaidin Maden (Gümüş Maden) in Asiatic Turkey.

Cisseps fulvicollis

Cisseps fulvicollis, the yellow-collared scape moth, is a species of the family Erebidae and subfamily Arctiinae. It was described by Jacob Hübner in 1818.

Cisseps packardii

Cisseps packardii is a moth of the subfamily Arctiinae. It was described by Augustus Radcliffe Grote in 1865. It is found in North America from California to Manitoba.

The North American Moth Photographer's Group and BugGuide have this name as a synonym of Cisseps fulvicollis, but it is listed as a species by Lepidoptera and Some Other Life Forms.

Cisseps wrightii

Cisseps wrightii is a moth of the subfamily Arctiinae. It was described by Stretch in 1885. It is found in California.

Coriscus of Scepsis

Coriscus of Scepsis (; Greek: Κορίσκος Σκήψιος) and his brother Erastus were students of Plato. He was also a friend of Aristotle. Coriscus' son Neleus is mentioned as inheriting Aristotle's library.

Scepsis is located about fifty kilometers from Assos in Asia Minor, to which Aristotle and Xenocrates traveled after Plato's death.

Demetrius of Scepsis

Demetrius of Scepsis (Greek: Δημήτριος ὁ Σκήψιος) was a Greek grammarian of the time of Aristarchus and Crates (Strab. xiii. p. 609), the first half of the second century BC. He is sometimes simply called the Scepsian (Strab. ix. pp. 438, 439, x. pp. 456, 472, 473, 489), and sometimes simply Demetrius (Strab. xii. pp. 551, 552, xiii. pp. 596, 600, 602).

Diogenes Laërtius mention him as one in a list of well-known namesakes.He was the author of a very extensive work which is very often referred to, and bore the title Τρωικὸς διάκοσμος. It consisted of at least twenty-six books (Strab. xiii. p. 603 and passim; Athen. iii. pp. 80, 91; Steph. Byz. s.v. Σιλίνδιον). This work was an historical and geographical commentary on that part of the second book of the Iliad in which the forces of the Trojans are enumerated, known as the Trojan Battle Order or Trojan Catalogue (compare Harpocrat. s. vv. Ἀδράστειον, Θυργωνίδαι; Schol. ad Apollon. Rhod. i. 1123, 1165). The numerous other passages in which Demetrius of Scepsis is mentioned or quoted, are collected by Westermann on Vossius, De Hist. Graec., p. 179, &c.

Demetrius work have been used by several ancient authors as important source for the Troad. Among these authors is Strabo in Book 13 of his Geographica. Some of the fragments are also quoted by Athenaeus in his Deipnosophistae.

Erastus of Scepsis

Erastus of Scepsis (; Greek: Ἔραστος Σκήψιος) and his brother Coriscus were students of Plato. He was also a friend of Aristotle.

Scepsis is located about fifty kilometers from Assos in Asia Minor, to which Aristotle and Xenocrates traveled after Plato's death.

Haemanota nigricollum

Haemanota nigricollum is a moth of the family Erebidae. It is found in Ecuador.


Hestiaea of Alexandria, also Hestiaea, was a scholar who wrote a treatise on Homer's Iliad that discussed the question whether the Trojan War was fought near the city then called Ilium, and which was cited by Demetrius of Scepsis. None of her work is extant.

Hyaleucerea fusiformis

Hyaleucerea fusiformis is a moth of the subfamily Arctiinae. It was described by Francis Walker in 1856. It is found in the Amazon region.

Ischnocampa discopuncta

Ischnocampa discopuncta is a moth of the family Erebidae. It was described by George Hampson in 1901. It is found in Bolivia and Peru.

Lymire edwardsii

Lymire edwardsii, the rubber tree caterpillar or Edwards' wasp moth, is a moth of the subfamily Arctiinae. It was described by Augustus Radcliffe Grote in 1881. It is found in southern Florida, United States.

The wingspan is 35–40 mm. The wings are bluish gray. Adults are on wing year round.

The larvae feed on Ficus species, including Ficus pedunculata, Ficus altissima, Ficus aurea, Ficus auriculata, Ficus benghalensis, Ficus benjamina, Ficus continifolia, Ficus elastica, Ficus lyrata, Ficus retusa and Ficus rubiginosa. They feed on leaf margins or create holes in the leaves. Full-grown larvae are pale yellow with four white stripes and a reddish/orange and white head. They also have little tufts of hair/spines on their body. Pupation takes place on walls of buildings, as well as on various (non-host) plants.


Marpessos (Ancient Greek: Μάρπησσος) was a settlement in the middle Skamander valley of the Troad region of Anatolia. The settlement's name is also spelled Μαρμησσός, Μαρμισσός, Μερμησσός in ancient sources. It was known in Classical antiquity primarily as the birthplace of the Hellespontine Sibyl Herophile. Its site has been located at Dam Dere approximately 2 km SE of the village of Zerdalilik in the Bayramiç district of Çanakkale Province in Turkey. Despite the similarity of its name and its location on Mount Ida, the settlement is apparently unrelated to the mythological figure Marpessa and her husband Idas. It should likewise not be confused with the Mount Marpessa on Paros.

Metrodorus of Scepsis

Metrodorus of Scepsis (Greek: Μητρόδωρος ὁ Σκήψιος) (c. 145 BCE – 70 BCE), from the town of Scepsis in ancient Mysia, was a friend of Mithridates VI of Pontus and celebrated in antiquity for the excellence of his memory. He may be the same Metrodorus who, according to the Elder Pliny, in consequence of his hostility to the Romans, was surnamed the "Rome-hater" ("Misoromæus"). Information on Metrodorus is very scarce.

Neleus of Scepsis

Neleus of Scepsis (; Greek: Νηλεύς), was the son of Coriscus of Scepsis. He was a disciple of Aristotle and Theophrastus, the latter of whom bequeathed to him his library, and appointed him one of his executors. Neleus supposedly took the writings of Aristotle and Theophrastus from Athens to Scepsis, where his heirs let them languish in a cellar until the 1st century BC, when Apellicon of Teos discovered and purchased the manuscripts, bringing them back to Athens.

Scepsis (genus)

Scepsis is a genus of horseflies of the family Tabanidae. It was defined by Walker in 1850, with S. nivalis as the type species.

Black Sea
Central Anatolia
Eastern Anatolia


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