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date: 25 February 2021


  • James Maxwell Ross Cormack
  •  and Nicholas Geoffrey Lemprière Hammond


Abdera, a flourishing Greek city east of the Nestus river on the coast of *Thrace (Diod. Sic. 13. 72. 2). It was traditionally founded as a colony of *Clazomenae in 654 bce, a date for which 7th-cent. Greek pottery affords some support. It was reoccupied by colonists from *Teos (among them *Anacreon) in the second half of the 6th cent. (Hdt. 1. 168; Pind. Paean 2); its site was near Bulustra, a corruption of the name it bore in the Middle Ages, Polystylon. Like *Aenus, Abdera owed its wealth (it was the third richest city in the *Delian League, with a contribution of 15 talents) to its corn production (see the coins), and to the fact that it was a port for the trade of inland Thrace and especially of the Odrysian rulers. Abdera was a resting-place for the army of Xerxes in 480 bce when it was marching to invade Greece (Hdt.

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