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date: 15 June 2024



  • Thomas Robert Shannon Broughton
  •  and Stephen Mitchell


Nicomedia was founded c.265 bce by *Nicomedes I, supplanting the ancient Greek colony of Astacus. It became the chief city of Hellenistic *Bithynia and later of the Roman province. In 29 bce*Augustus authorized a provincial temple dedicated to Rome and to himself at Nicomedia, which presumably became the meeting-place of the provincial assembly (see concilium). It accumulated titles in competition with *Nicaea(1) and in the 3rd cent. ce was styled ‘greatest metropolis, leading city of Bithynia and Pontus, Hadrianic Severianic Nicomedia, twice neocorus (see neōkoros), sacred asylum, friend and ally of the Roman people’. Although it suffered from frequent earthquakes and was sacked by the *Goths in the mid-250s, it was chosen by *Diocletian as his eastern capital, and scanty traces of the imperial palace have been identified. Its prosperity derived from a large and fertile territory, good harbours both on the Black (*Euxine) Sea and on the *Propontis, and a favourable location on the trunk road from the Danube region to the eastern frontier of the Roman empire.


  • Ancient Geography

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