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Map of the Thracian Chersonese [Source]

Abydos, an ancient city of Mysia, in Asia Minor, situated at Nagara Point on the Hellespont, which is here scarcely a mile broad. The strategic site has been a prohibited zone in the twentieth century.

Abydos was first mentioned in the catague of Trojan allies (Iliad ii.836). It probably was a Thracian town, as Strabo has it, but was afterwards colonized by Milesians, with the consent of Gyges, king of Lydia ca. 700 BC. Darius burnt it in 512; here Xerxes crossed the strait on his bridge of boats in 480 B.C. when he invaded Greece.

Abydos, a member of the Delian Confederacy, passed to the Achaemenids, then to Alexander the Great. It is celebrated for the vigorous resistance it made against Philip V of Macedon in 200 BC (Polybius 16.29-34), and is famed in myth for the lovers Hero and Leander. It minted coins from the early fifth century BC to the mid-third century AD.

The town remained till late Byzantine times the toll station of the Hellespont, its importance being transferred to the Dardanelles, after the building of the "Old Castles" by Sultan Mahommed II (c. 1456).

Abydos Tetradrachma, Artemis wearing a stephane, earing and necklace, over shoulder bow and quiver
Eagle , text "ABYDENON", a bunch of grapes, text TARMENIKOY there was a temple of Artemis in Abydos

Abydos Tetradrachma, Eagle with Text DIONYSIOY

Abydos, Hero and Leander

Iliad Book II

Troops from Percote, Practius, Sestos,- Abydos,
holy Arisbe—these troops were led by Asius,
son of Hyrtacus, an important ruler.     

References

  • J. M. Cook: The Troad. An archaeological and topographical study. Clarendon Press, Oxford 1973, ISBN 0-19-813165-8.

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