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date: 19 January 2021


  • Stephen Mitchell


Amisus (mod. Samsun), a 6th-cent. colony of *Miletus or *Phocaea, was built on a peninsula site on the Black Sea coast, the best harbour between *Sinope and *Trapezus, at the head of a commercial route into *Pontus and *Cappadocia. Athenians from the Piraeus joined the settlement in the mid-5th cent. Freed from the Persian empire by *Alexander (3) the Great, it was part of the kingdom of Pontus from around 250 bce, and became a royal residence of *Mithradates VI. L. *Licinius Lucullus (2) captured and restored the city in 71 bce, giving it freedom and additional territory, and it was one of the cities of *Pompey's Pontic province. Antony (M. *Antonius (2)) gave it to a tyrant but Augustus confirmed its status as a free and allied city within the province of Pontus and *Bithynia.

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