Cyzicus (Kyzikos) was an ancient town of Mysia in Anatolia in the current Balıkesir Province of Turkey. It was located on the shoreward side of the present Kapıdağ Peninsula (the classical Arctonnesus), a tombolo which is said to have originally been an island in the Sea of Marmara only to be connected to the mainland in historic times either by artificial means or an earthquake.

The site of Cyzicus, located on the Erdek and Bandırma roads, is protected by Turkey’s Ministry of Culture.

The city was said to have been founded by Pelasgians from Thessaly, according to tradition at the coming of the Argonauts; later it received many colonies from Miletus, allegedly in 756 BC, but its importance began only after the Peloponnesian War, when the decay of Athens and Miletus set in . Alcibiades defeated the Lacedaemonians there (410 BC). Eudoxus of Cnidus had a school at Cyzicus, went with his pupils to Athens, visiting Plato, and then returned to Cyzicus, where he died 355 B.C. The era of Olympiads in Cyzicus was reckoned from 135 or 139.

Owing to its advantageous position it speedily acquired commercial importance, and the gold staters of Cyzicus were a staple currency in the ancient world till they were superseded by those of Philip of Macedon. Its unique and characteristic coin, the cyzicenus, was worth 28 drachmae.

During the Peloponnesian War (431-404 BC) Cyzicus was subject to the Athenians and Lacedaemonians alternately. In the naval Battle of Cyzicus in 410 during the Peloponnesian War, an Athenian fleet routed and completely destroyed a Spartan fleet. At the peace of Antalcidas (387 BC), like the other Greek cities in Asia, it was made over to Persia. Alexander the Great later captured it from the Persians in 334 BC and was later claimed to be responsible for the land bridge connecting the island to the mainland.

The history of the town in Hellenistic times is closely connected with that of the Attalids of Pergamon, with whose extinction it came into direct relations with Rome. Cyzicus was held for the Romans against King Mithridates VI of Pontus who besieged it with 300,000 men in 74 BC, but it withstood him stoutly, and the siege was raised by Lucullus: the loyalty of the city was rewarded by an extension of territory and other privileges. The Romans favored it and recognized its municipal independence. Cyzicus was the leading city of Northern Mysia as far as Troas.

Under Tiberius, it was incorporated into the Roman Empire but remained the capital of Mysia (afterwards, Hellespontus) and became one of the great cities of the ancient world.

Cyzicus was captured temporarily by the Arabs led by Muawiyah I in 675. It appears to have been ruined by a series of earthquakes beginning in 443, with the last in AD 1063. It began to be largely deserted as early as the eleventh century and the population was transferred to Artake at least as early as the 13th century, when the peninsula was occupied by the Crusaders.

Address:  Erdek – Balıkesir
Phone:  –
Admission: Free

We Recommend  : Kairos Travel  |  Unlu Hotel | Captivating Cappadocia
Did you like this? Share it: