Sigeion (Ancient Greek: Σίγειον, Sigeion; Latin: Sigeum) was an ancient Greek city in the north-west of the Troad region of Anatolia located at the mouth of the Scamander (the modern Karamenderes River).[1] Sigeion commanded a ridge between the Aegean Sea and the Scamander which is now known as Yenişehir and is a part of the Çanakkale district in Çanakkale province, Turkey.[2] The surrounding region was referred to as the Sigean Promonotory, which was frequently used as a point of reference by ancient geographers since it marked the mouth of the Hellespont.[3] The outline of this promontory is no longer visible due to the alluvial activity of the Karamenderes which has filled in the embayment east of Yenişehir.[4] The name 'Sigeion' means 'silent place' and is derived from Ancient Greek σιγή (sigē), 'silence'; in Classical Antiquity, the name was assumed to be antiphrastic, i.e. indicating a characteristic of the place contrary to reality, since the seas in this region are known for their fierce storms.[5]

Sigeion is located in Turkey
Shown within Turkey
Alternative nameSigeum
LocationKumkale, Çanakkale Province, Turkey
Coordinates39°58′24″N 26°10′41″E / 39.97333°N 26.17806°ECoordinates: 39°58′24″N 26°10′41″E / 39.97333°N 26.17806°E
BuilderColonists from Mytilene
Founded8th or 7th century BC
AbandonedBetween 168 BC and 23 AD
PeriodsArchaic Greece to Hellenistic period



Sigeion was founded by the Mytilenaeans from nearby Lesbos in the 8th or 7th century BC.[6] Towards the end of the 7th century BC, the Athenians sent the Olympic victor Phrynon to conquer Sigeion. According to tradition, Phrynon and the Mytilenaean aristocrat Pittacus fought a duel in which Pittacus won by outwitting his opponent by using a net.[7] During this war the aristocrat and poet Alcaeus of Mytilene wrote several poems about the conflict in which he related how he had fled from battle, lost his shield, and endured the shame of the Athenians hanging it up as a trophy in their temple to Athena.[8] Most of these poems are lost except for a few lines, and it is thought that they constituted the major source of information about the conflict for writers in Classical Antiquity.[9]

The Athenians appealed to the Corinthian tyrant Periander to arbitrate between the two sides as to who should rightfully control Sigeion. Periander found in favour of Athens, accepting their argument that whereas they had taken part in the Trojan Wars and helped destroy nearby Ilion, the Mytilenaeans were Aeolians and so had only arrived in the region at a later date and therefore did not have the prior claim to the land.[10] Two inscriptions written in Attic Greek, dating to c. 575-550 BC, and attributed to Sigeion indicate that Athenians continued to live at Sigeion for the next half century.[11] Archaeological remains at the Mytilenaean fort of Achilleion 7–8 km south of Sigeion indicate that throughout this period the Mytilenaeans maintained a hostile presence nearby, and in the 540s this resulted in Mytilene's recapture of Sigeion.[12] The Athenian tyrant Peisistratus responded by recapturing Sigeion and making his illegitimate son Hegesistratus tyrant of the city.[13] Sigeion remained important to the Peisistratids. After Peisistratos' son, Hippias, was banished from Athens in 510/9 BC, he spent his exile at Sigeion and minted coins which displayed the Athenian symbol of the owl and his own name as the legend.[14]


TROAS, Sigeion. Circa 355-334 BC
Coinage of Sigeion. Circa 355-334 BC

Sigeion maintained close relations with Athens throughout the Classical period. The Sigeans were loyal allies whom we find praised by the Athenians in an inscription from either 451/0 and 418/17 BC,[15] and throughout the 5th century Sigeion was a member of the Athenian run Delian League. In the tribute assessments Sigeion belonged to the Hellespontine District, and in the tribute lists which survive Sigeion appears a total of 15 times between 450/49 and 418/17 BC; at the beginning of this period its tribute was a modest 1,000 drachmas, but by the end its tribute assessment had risen to 1 talent.[16] According to the contemporary historian Theopompus of Chios, Sigeion was the favourite residence of the Athenian general Chares, who spent time there in the late 340s and late 330s BC.[17] The 4th century BC coinage of Sigeion may belong to the period of his rule (335-334 BC).[18] Continuing links with Athens, indicated by Chares' relationship with Sigeion, are also evident from the iconography of this coinage, which displayed a head of Athena on the obverse and an owl on the reverse.[19] At some point in the 4th century BC (Aristotle simply says ἔναγχος, 'recently'), Sigeion became embroiled in a land dispute with the nearby island of Tenedos to the south, although we know no further details.[20]

Hellenistic and Roman

In 302 BC King Lysimachus took Sigeion by force when it refused to come over willingly from the side of Antigonus I Monophthalmus.[21] In 168 BC Sigeion sheltered the Macedonian fleet of Antigonus' descendant Perseus of Macedon.[22] At some point after this, Sigeion was abandoned: in the latter part of Augustus' reign, the geographer Strabo described Sigeion as κατεσπασμένη πόλις, 'a city which has been torn down', and in the mid 1st century AD both Pomponius Mela and Pliny the Elder likewise referred to Sigeion as abandoned.[23] However, references in later sources indicate that the promontory continued to be known as 'Sigeion' for many centuries to come.[24]


  • J.M. Cook, The Troad (Oxford, 1973).
  • J.V. Luce, 'The Homeric topography of the Trojan Plain reconsidered' OJA 3 (1984) 31-43.
  • M. Korfmann, 'Beşik-Tepe. Vorbericht über die Ergebnisse der Granungen von 1985 und 1986' Archäologische Anzeiger (1988) 391-8.
  • A.U. Kossatz, 'Beşik-Tepe 1985 und 1986; zur archaischen Keramik vom Beşik-Tepe' Archäologische Anzeiger (1988) 398-404.
  • L.H. Jeffery, The Local Scripts of Archaic Greece Rev. ed. (Oxford, 1990).
  • S. Mitchell, 'Sigeion' in M.H. Hansen and T.H. Nielsen (eds.), An Inventory of Archaic and Classical Poleis (Oxford, 2004) no. 791.


  1. ^ Herodotus 5.65.3: Σίγειον τὸ ἐπὶ τῷ Σκαμάνδρῳ ('Sigeion on the Scamander').
  2. ^ Cook (1973) 184-5.
  3. ^ Herodotus 4.38.2, Strabo 7 fr. 52, 58, 13.1.32, 36, Pomponius Mela 2.100, Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia 2.245, 5.140, 150, Ptolemy, Geography 5.2.3, Agathemerus 18, 19.
  4. ^ Luce (1984).
  5. ^ Claudius Aelianus, Varia Historia 12.13, Schol. (vetus) in Sophocles, Philoctetes 355, Etymologicum Gudianum s.v. Σίγειον, Etymologicum Magnum s.v. Σίγειον, Isidore of Seville, Etymologiae 14.7.2. Rough seas around Sigeion: Aristotle, Historia Animalium 549b.
  6. ^ Herodotus 5.94.1, Strabo 13.1.38.
  7. ^ Pittacus and Phrynon: Strabo 13.1.39, Valerius Maximus 6.5 ext. 1, Polyaenus, Strategmata 1.25.1, Schol. (vetus) in Aeschylus, Eumenides 398c, Suda s.v. Πιττάκος. Omission in Herodotus: Plutarch, On the Malice of Herodotus 858a.
  8. ^ Alcaeus fr. 428a Lobel-Page = Strabo 13.1.38; cf. Alcaeus fr. 167, 306 (7) Lobel-Page.
  9. ^ Page (1955) 152-61.
  10. ^ Herodotus 5.94.2.
  11. ^ Jeffery (1990) 371 no. 44, 373 no. 75.
  12. ^ Korfmann (1988) and Kossatz (1988).
  13. ^ Herodotus 5.94.1.
  14. ^ Herodotus 5.65.3, 5.91.2, 5.93-94.1 Thucydides 6.59.4, Plutarch, On the Malice of Herodotus 860a. Coins: B.V. Head, Historia Numorum2 377.
  15. ^ IG I3 17. The date depends on whether one restores the name of the eponymous archon as An[tidotos] or An[tiphon].
  16. ^ Mitchell (2004) 1014.
  17. ^ 340s: Theopompus FGrHist 115 F 105 = Athenaeus 12.532b; cf. Demosthenes 2.28, Schol. (vetus) in Demosthenes 3.146a, Cornelius Nepos, Chabrias 3.4. 330s: Arrian, Anabasis Alexandri 1.12.1, cf. 1.10.4, 3.2.6.
  18. ^ Mitchell (2004) 1014.
  19. ^ B.V. Head, Historia Nummorum2 549.
  20. ^ Aristotle, Rhetoric 1375b.
  21. ^ Diodorus Siculus 20.107.2.
  22. ^ Livy 44.28.6.
  23. ^ Strabo 13.1.31, Pomponius Mela 1.93, Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia 5.124.
  24. ^ Zosimus (fl. 490s - 510s AD), Historia Nova 2.30.1, where the editor Paschoud restores the text as: γενόμενος δὲ Τρῳάδος μεταξὺ <Σιγείου> καὶ τῆς ἀρχαίας Ἰλίου; Procopius (c. 500 - c. 565 AD), De Bellis 3.13.5.
540s BC

This article concerns the period 549 BC – 540 BC.

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.

Ajax the Great

Ajax () or Aias (; Ancient Greek: Αἴας, romanized: Aíās [aí̯.aːs], gen. Αἴαντος Aíantos; archaic ΑΣϜΑϺ [aí̯.waːs]) is a Greek mythological hero, the son of King Telamon and Periboea, and the half-brother of Teucer. He plays an important role, and is portrayed as a towering figure and a warrior of great courage in Homer's Iliad and in the Epic Cycle, a series of epic poems about the Trojan War. He is also referred to as "Telamonian Ajax" (Αἴας ὁ Τελαμώνιος, in Etruscan recorded as Aivas Tlamunus), "Greater Ajax", or "Ajax the Great", which distinguishes him from Ajax, son of Oileus (Ajax the Lesser).


In Greek mythology, Antilochus (; Ancient Greek: Ἀντίλοχος, Antílokhos) was a prince of Pylos and one of the Achaeans in the Trojan War.


Ariassus or Ariassos (Ancient Greek: Άριασσός) was a town in Pisidia, Asia Minor built on a steep hillside about 50 kilometres inland from Attaleia (modern Antalya).


Caloe was a town in the Roman province of Asia. It is mentioned as Kaloe or Keloue in 3rd-century inscriptions, as Kalose in Hierocles's Synecdemos (660), and as Kalloe, Kaloe, and Kolone in Parthey's Notitiæ episcopatuum, in which it figures from the 6th to the 12fth or 13th century.


Cestrus was a city in the Roman province of Isauria, in Asia Minor. Its placing within Isauria is given by Hierocles, Georgius Cyprius, and Parthey's (Notitiae episcopatuum). While recognizing what the ancient sources said, Lequien supposed that the town, whose site has not been identified, took its name from the River Cestros and was thus in Pamphylia. Following Lequien's hypothesis, the 19th-century annual publication Gerarchia cattolica identified the town with "Ak-Sou", which Sophrone Pétridès called an odd mistake, since this is the name of the River Cestros, not of a city.

Chares of Athens

Chares of Athens (Greek: Χάρης ὁ Ἀθηναῖος, lived in the 4th century BC) and was an Athenian general, who for a number of years was a key commander of Athenian forces.


Cotenna was a city in the Roman province of Pamphylia I in Asia Minor. It corresponds to modern Gödene, near Konya, Turkey.


Cyaneae (Ancient Greek: Κυανέαι; also spelt Kyaneai or Cyanae) was a town of ancient Lycia, or perhaps three towns known collectively by the name, on what is now the southern coast of Turkey. William Martin Leake says that its remains were discovered west of Andriaca. The place, which is at the head of Port Tristomo, was determined by an inscription. Leake observes that in some copies of Pliny it is written Cyane; in Hierocles and the Notitiae Episcopatuum it is Cyaneae. To Spratt and Forbes, Cyaneae appeared to be a city ranking in importance with Phellus and Candyba, but in a better state of preservation. No longer a residential bishopric, Cyanae is today listed by the Catholic Church as a titular see.


Hisarlik (Turkish: Hisarlık, "Place of Fortresses"), often spelled Hissarlik, is the modern name for an ancient city in modern day located in what is now Turkey (historically Anatolia) near to the modern city of Çanakkale. The unoccupied archaeological site lies approximately 6.5 km from the Aegean Sea and about the same distance from the Dardanelles. The archaeological site of Hisarlik is known in archaeological circles as a tell. A tell is an artificial hill, built up over centuries and millennia of occupation from its original site on a bedrock knob.

It is believed by many scholars to be the site of ancient Troy, also known as Ilion.

List of ancient settlements in Turkey

Below is the list of ancient settlements in Turkey. There are innumerable ruins of ancient settlements spread all over the country. While some ruins date back to Neolithic times, most of them were settlements of Hittites, Phrygians, Lydians, Ionians, Urartians, and so on.


Lyrbe (spelled Lyrba in the 1910 Catholic Encyclopedia; Ancient Greek: Λύρβη) was a city and episcopal see in the Roman province of Pamphylia Prima and is now a titular see.


Rhoiteion (Ancient Greek: Ῥοίτειον, romanized: Rhoiteion, Latin: Rhoeteum) was an ancient Greek city in the northern Troad region of Anatolia. Its territory was bounded to the south and west by the Simoeis river and to the east by Ophryneion. It was located on the Baba Kale spur of Çakal Tepe north of Halileli and west of İntepe (previously known as Erenköy) in Çanakkale Province, Turkey.

Stratonicea (Lydia)

Stratonicea – (Greek: Στρατoνικεια, or Στρατονίκεια) also transliterated as Stratoniceia and Stratonikeia, earlier Indi, and later for a time Hadrianapolis – was an ancient city in the valley of the Caicus river, between Germe and Acrasus, in Lydia, Anatolia; its site is currently near the village of Siledik, in the district of Kırkağaç, Manisa Province, in the Aegean Region of Turkey.

Timeline of ancient Greece

This is a timeline of Ancient Greece from its emergence around 800 BC to its subjection to the Roman Empire in 146 BC.

For earlier times, see Greek Dark Ages, Aegean civilizations and Mycenaean Greece. For later times see Roman Greece, Byzantine Empire and Ottoman Greece.

For modern Greece after 1820, see Timeline of modern Greek history.


Troy (Ancient Greek: Τροία, Troia or Τροίας, Troias and Ἴλιον, Ilion or Ἴλιος, Ilios; Latin: Troia and Ilium; Hittite: 𒌷𒃾𒇻𒊭 Wilusa or 𒋫𒊒𒄿𒊭 Truwisa; Turkish: Truva or Troya) was a city in the far northwest of the region known in late Classical antiquity as Asia Minor, now known as Anatolia in modern Turkey, just south of the southwest mouth of the Dardanelles strait and northwest of Mount Ida. The present-day location is known as Hisarlik. It was the setting of the Trojan War described in the Greek Epic Cycle, in particular in the Iliad, one of the two epic poems attributed to Homer. Metrical evidence from the Iliad and the Odyssey suggests that the name Ἴλιον (Ilion) formerly began with a digamma: Ϝίλιον (Wilion); this is also supported by the Hittite name for what is thought to be the same city, Wilusa.

A new capital called Ilium (from Greek: Ἴλιον, Ilion) was founded on the site in the reign of the Roman Emperor Augustus. It flourished until the establishment of Constantinople, became a bishopric and declined gradually in the Byzantine era, but is now a Latin Catholic titular see.

In 1865, English archaeologist Frank Calvert excavated trial trenches in a field he had bought from a local farmer at Hisarlik, and in 1868, Heinrich Schliemann, a wealthy German businessman and archaeologist, also began excavating in the area after a chance meeting with Calvert in Çanakkale. These excavations revealed several cities built in succession. Schliemann was at first skeptical about the identification of Hisarlik with Troy, but was persuaded by Calvert and took over Calvert's excavations on the eastern half of the Hisarlik site, which was on Calvert's property. Troy VII has been identified with the city called Wilusa by the Hittites (the probable origin of the Greek Ἴλιον) and is generally (but not conclusively) identified with Homeric Troy.

Today, the hill at Hisarlik has given its name to a small village near the ruins, which supports the tourist trade visiting the Troia archaeological site. It lies within the province of Çanakkale, some 30 km south-west of the provincial capital, also called Çanakkale. The nearest village is Tevfikiye. The map here shows the adapted Scamander estuary with Ilium a little way inland across the Homeric plain. Due to Troy's location near the Aegean Sea, the Sea of Marmara, and the Black Sea, it was a central hub for the military and trade.Troy was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1998.


Tyana (Ancient Greek: Τύανα; Hittite Tuwanuwa) was an ancient city in the Anatolian region of Cappadocia, in modern Kemerhisar, Niğde Province, Central Anatolia, Turkey. It was the capital of a Luwian-speaking Neo-Hittite kingdom in the 1st millennium BC.

Üçayaklı ruins

The Üçayaklı ruins are in Mersin Province, Turkey.

Black Sea
Central Anatolia
Eastern Anatolia


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