Heraclea Pontica
Heraclea Pontica an ancient city on the coast of Bithynia
Bithynia was an ancient region, kingdom and Roman province in the northwest of Asia Minor, adjoining the Propontis, the Thracian Bosporus and the Euxine .-Description:...

 in Asia Minor
Asia Minor
Asia Minor is a geographical location at the westernmost protrusion of Asia, also called Anatolia, and corresponds to the western two thirds of the Asian part of Turkey...

, at the mouth of the river Lycus
Lycus (river of Bithynia)
Lycus or Lykos was an ancient river of Bithynia. It flowed in the east of Bithynia in a westerly direction, and emptied itself into the Black Sea a little to the south of Heraclea Pontica, which was twenty stadia distant from it. The breadth of the river is stated to have been two plethra, and...

. It was founded by the Greek city-state of Megara
Megara is an ancient city in Attica, Greece. It lies in the northern section of the Isthmus of Corinth opposite the island of Salamis, which belonged to Megara in archaic times, before being taken by Athens. Megara was one of the four districts of Attica, embodied in the four mythic sons of King...

 c.560-558 and was named after Heracles
Heracles ,born Alcaeus or Alcides , was a divine hero in Greek mythology, the son of Zeus and Alcmene, foster son of Amphitryon and great-grandson of Perseus...

 who the Greeks believed entered the underworld at a cave on the adjoining Archerusian promontory (Cape Baba
Cape Baba
Cape Baba , is the westernmost point of Anatolian part of Turkey, making it the westernmost point of whole Asia. There is a lighthouse at Cape Baba. It was called Cape Lectum in classical times.-External links:*...


The colonists soon subjugated the native Mariandynians but agreed to terms that none of the latter, now helot
The helots: / Heílôtes) were an unfree population group that formed the main population of Laconia and the whole of Messenia . Their exact status was already disputed in antiquity: according to Critias, they were "especially slaves" whereas to Pollux, they occupied a status "between free men and...

-like serfs, be sold into slavery outside their homeland. Prospering from the rich, fertile adjacent lands and the sea-fisheries of its natural harbor, Heraclea soon extended its control along the coast as far east as Cytorus (Gideros, near Cide
Cide, also Karaağaç, is a town and district of the Kastamonu Province in the Black Sea region of Turkey. According to the 2000 census, population of the district is 23,161 of which 5,834 live in the town of Cide. The district covers an area of , and the town lies at an elevation of .-External links:*...

), eventually establishing Black Sea colonies of its own (Cytorus
Cytorus (ancient settlement)
Cytorus was a settlement on the northern coast of Asia Minor. Mentioned by Homer, Cytorus survives in the name of Gideros, which is both* a bay of the Black Sea and...

, Callatis and Chersonesus).

The prosperity of the city, rudely shaken by the Galatia
Ancient Galatia was an area in the highlands of central Anatolia in modern Turkey. Galatia was named for the immigrant Gauls from Thrace , who settled here and became its ruling caste in the 3rd century BC, following the Gallic invasion of the Balkans in 279 BC. It has been called the "Gallia" of...

ns and the Bithynia
Bithynia was an ancient region, kingdom and Roman province in the northwest of Asia Minor, adjoining the Propontis, the Thracian Bosporus and the Euxine .-Description:...

ns, was utterly destroyed in the Mithridatic Wars
Mithridatic Wars
There were three Mithridatic Wars between Rome and the Kingdom of Pontus in the 1st century BC. They are named for Mithridates VI who was King of Pontus at the time....

. It was the birthplace of the philosopher Heraclides Ponticus
Heraclides Ponticus
Heraclides Ponticus , also known as Herakleides and Heraklides of Pontus, was a Greek philosopher and astronomer who lived and died at Heraclea Pontica, now Karadeniz Ereğli, Turkey. He is best remembered for proposing that the earth rotates on its axis, from west to east, once every 24 hours...


The Greek historical author Memnon of Heraclea
Memnon of Heraclea
Memnon of Heraclea was a Greek historical writer, probably a native of Heraclea Pontica. He described the history of that city in a large work, known only through the Excerpta of Photius , and describing especially the various tyrants who had at times ruled Heraclea.Memnon's history encompassed...

 (fl. 1c. A.D.) wrote a local history of Heraclea Pontica in at least sixteen books. The work has perished, but Photius's Bibliotheca preserves a compressed account of books 9–16, seemingly the only ones extant in his day. These books run from the rule of the tyrant Clearchus
Clearchus of Heraclea
Clearchus was a citizen of Heraclea on the Euxine who was recalled from exile by the nobles to aid them in quelling the seditious temper and demands of the people. According to Justin, he made an agreement with Mithridates of Cius to betray the city to him on condition, of holding it under him...

 (c. 364–353 BC) to the later years of Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
Gaius Julius Caesar was a Roman general and statesman and a distinguished writer of Latin prose. He played a critical role in the gradual transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire....

 (c. 40 BC) and contain many colorful accounts including the Byzantine introduction of the barbarian Gauls
The Gauls were a Celtic people living in Gaul, the region roughly corresponding to what is now France, Belgium, Switzerland and Northern Italy, from the Iron Age through the Roman period. They mostly spoke the Continental Celtic language called Gaulish....

 into Asia where they first allied themselves with the Heracleans and later turned violently against them.

At present, it is the Turkish city of Karadeniz Ereğli
Karadeniz Eregli
Karadeniz Ereğli is a city and district in Zonguldak Province of Turkey, on the Black Sea shore at the mouth of the Kılıçsu River. Population is 98 545 as of 2009. The mayor is Halil Posbıyık .-Facts:...


External links

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