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date: 23 April 2024



  • Antony Spawforth
  •  and Charlotte Roueché


Pergamum, in Mysia c.24 km. (15 miles) from the *Aegean, a natural fortress of great strategic importance commanding the rich plain of the river Caïcus; important historically as the capital of the Attalid kings and, later, as one of the three leading cities of provincial *Asia, and archaeologically as the only excavated Hellenistic royal capital outside *Macedonia. First attested in Greek sources in 401 bce, Pergamum enters history's mainstream as a treasury of *Lysimachus, who entrusted it (c.302) to *Philetaerus (2), founder of Attalid fortunes (for the political history of the dynasty see also eumenes(1–2) and attalus i–iii). An indigenous community (in spite of the Attalid claim to foundation by the Heraclid *Telephus (1)), Pergamum had adopted Greek civic organization (see polis) by c.300 (OGI265) at the latest, and this was upheld by the Attalids, who maintained control in practice through their assumption (from Eumenes I) of the right to appoint the chief magistrates (stratēgoi).


  • Ancient Geography
  • Near East

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