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Nicaea or Nicea (; el, Νίκαια, ''Níkaia'') was an ancient Greek city in northwestern
Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia and the westernmost protrusion of the Asian continent. It makes up the majority of modern-day Turkey. The region ...
and is primarily known as the site of the
First First or 1st is the ordinal form of the number one (#1). First or 1st may also refer to: *World record A world record is usually the best global and most important performance that is ever recorded and officially verified in a specific skill ...
and
Second The second (symbol: s, also abbreviated: sec) is the base unit of time Time is the continued sequence of existence and event (philosophy), events that occurs in an apparently irreversible process, irreversible succession from the past, th ...
Councils of Nicaea (the first and seventh
Ecumenical council An ecumenical council (or oecumenical council; also general council) is a conference of ecclesiastical dignitaries and theological experts convened to discuss and settle matters of Church doctrine and practice in which those entitled to vote a ...
s in the early history of the
Christian Church Christian Church is a Protestant Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Reformation, a movement against what its followers perceived to be Criticism of the Catholic Church, errors in the Catholic Church. ...

Christian Church
), the
Nicene Creed The original Nicene Creed (; grc-gre, Σύμβολον τῆς Νικαίας; la, Symbolum Nicaenum) was first adopted at the First Council of Nicaea, which opened on 19 June 325.''Readings in the History of Christian Theology'' by William Ca ...
(which comes from the First Council), and as the capital city of the
Empire of Nicaea The Empire of Nicaea or the Nicene Empire is the conventional historiographic name for the largest of the three Byzantine Greek Medieval Greek (also known as Middle Greek or Byzantine Greek) is the stage of the Greek language Greek (mod ...

Empire of Nicaea
following the
Fourth Crusade The Fourth Crusade (1202–1204) was a Roman Catholic Church, Latin Christian armed expedition called by Pope Innocent III. The stated intent of the expedition was to recapture the Islam, Muslim-controlled city of Jerusalem, by first defeating th ...
in 1204, until the recapture of
Constantinople la, Constantinopolis ota, قسطنطينيه , alternate_name = Byzantion (earlier Greek name), Nova Roma ("New Rome"), Miklagard/Miklagarth (Old Norse Old Norse, Old Nordic, or Old Scandinavian is a stage of development of North Germa ...

Constantinople
by the Byzantines in 1261. The ancient city is located within the modern
Turkish Turkish may refer to: * of or about Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country straddling Southeastern Europe and Western Asia. It shares borders with Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), offi ...

Turkish
city of
İznik İznik is a town A town is a human settlement. Towns are generally larger than villages and smaller than city, cities, though the criteria to distinguish between them vary considerably in different parts of the world. Origin and use ...
(whose modern name derives from Nicaea's), and is situated in a fertile basin at the eastern end of
Lake Ascanius A lake is an area filled with water, localized in a basin, surrounded by land Land is the solid surface of the Earth that is not permanently covered by water. The vast majority of human activity throughout history has occurred in lan ...
, bounded by ranges of hills to the north and south. It is situated with its west wall rising from the lake itself, providing both protection from siege from that direction, as well as a source of supplies which would be difficult to cut off. The lake is large enough that it could not be blockaded from the land easily, and the city was large enough to make any attempt to reach the harbour from shore-based siege weapons very difficult. The ancient city is surrounded on all sides by of walls about high. These are in turn surrounded by a double ditch on the land portions, and also included over 100 towers in various locations. Large gates on the three landbound sides of the walls provided the only entrance to the city. Today, the walls have been pierced in many places for roads, but much of the early work survives; as a result, it is a tourist destination.


History


Early history

The place is said to have been colonized by
BottiaeansBottiaeans or ''Bottiaei'' (Ancient Greek: ) were an ancient people of uncertain origin, living in Central Macedonia. Sometime, during the Archaic Greece, Archaic period, they were expelled by Macedonians from Bottiaea to Bottike. During the Classic ...
, and to have originally borne the name of Ancore (Ἀγκόρη) or Helicore (Ἑλικόρη), or by soldiers of
Alexander the Great Alexander III of Macedon ( grc-gre, Αλέξανδρος}, ; 20/21 July 356 BC – 10/11 June 323 BC), commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king (''basileus ''Basileus'' ( el, βασιλεύς) is a Greek term and title A title ...

Alexander the Great
's army who hailed from
Nicaea Nicaea or Nicea (; el, wikt:Νίκαια, Νίκαια, ''Níkaia'') was an ancient Greek city in northwestern Anatolia and is primarily known as the site of the First Council of Nicaea, First and Second Council of Nicaea, Second Councils of Nic ...
in
Locris Locris (; el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek (, ), refers collectively to the dialects of the Greek language spoken in the modern era, including th ...
, near
Thermopylae Thermopylae (; Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following periods ...

Thermopylae
. The later version however was not widespread even in Antiquity. Whatever the truth, the first Greek colony on the site was probably destroyed by the
Mysians 200px, Land of the Mysians, who were at the origin of the historic name of the region ('' Anatolia.html"_;"title="Mysia'')_in_northwest_Anatolia">Mysia'')_in_northwest_Anatolia_ Mysians__(_la.html" ;"title="Anatolia_.html" ;"title="Anatolia.html" ; ...
, and it fell to
Antigonus I Monophthalmus Antigonus I Monophthalmus ( grc, Ἀντίγονος ὁ Μονόφθαλμος, Antigonos ho Monophthalmos, Antigonus the One-eyed, 382 – 301 BC), son of Philip Philip, also Phillip, is a male given name, derived from the Greek language, Gr ...
, one of Alexander's successors (''
Diadochi 250px, Bust of Seleucus ''Nicator'' ("Victor"; 358 – 281 BCE), the last of the original Diadochi. The Diadochi (; plural of Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the ...

Diadochi
'') to refound the city ca. 315 BC as Antigoneia (Ἀντιγονεία) after himself. Antigonus is also known to have established Bottiaean soldiers in the vicinity, lending credence to the tradition about the city's founding by Bottiaeans. Following Antigonus' defeat and death at the
Battle of Ipsus The Battle of Ipsus ( grc, Ἱψός) was fought between some of the Diadochi (the successors of Alexander the Great Alexander III of Macedon ( grc-gre, Αλέξανδρος}, ; 20/21 July 356 BC – 10/11 June 323 BC), commonly known as Ale ...

Battle of Ipsus
in 301 BC, the city was captured by
Lysimachus Lysimachus (; Greek language, Greek: Λυσίμαχος, ''Lysimachos''; c. 360 BC – 281 BC) was a Thessaly, Thessalian officer and Diadochi, successor of Alexander the Great, who in 306 BC, became King of Thrace, Anatolia, Asia Minor and Mace ...

Lysimachus
, who renamed it Nicaea (, also
transliterated Transliteration is a type of conversion of a text from one script Script may refer to: Writing systems * Script, a distinctive writing system, based on a repertoire of specific elements or symbols, or that repertoire * Script (styles of ha ...

transliterated
as Nikaia or Nicæa; see also
List of traditional Greek place names This is a list of Greek toponym, place names as they exist in the Greek language. *Places involved in the history of Greek culture, including: **Historic Greek regions, including: ***Ancient Greece, including colonies in antiquity, colonies and c ...
), in tribute to his wife
Nicaea Nicaea or Nicea (; el, wikt:Νίκαια, Νίκαια, ''Níkaia'') was an ancient Greek city in northwestern Anatolia and is primarily known as the site of the First Council of Nicaea, First and Second Council of Nicaea, Second Councils of Nic ...
, who had recently died. Sometime before 280 BC, the city came under the control of the local dynasty of the kings of
Bithynia Bithynia (; Koine Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. , , , lit. "Common Greek"), also known as Alexandrian dialect, common Attic, Hellenistic or Biblical Greek, was the koiné language, common supra-regional form of Greek language, ...
. This marks the beginning of its rise to prominence as a seat of the royal court, as well as of its rivalry with
Nicomedia Nicomedia (; el, Νικομήδεια, ''Nikomedeia''; modern İzmit İzmit () is a district and the central district of Kocaeli Province, Kocaeli province, Turkey. It is located at the Gulf of İzmit in the Sea of Marmara, about east of Is ...
. The two cities' dispute over which one was the pre-eminent city (signified by the appellation ''
metropolis A metropolis () is a large city or conurbation A conurbation is a region comprising a number of metropolis in the background A metropolis () is a large city or conurbation which is a significant economic, political, and cultural cen ...

metropolis
'') of Bithynia continued for centuries, and the 38th oration of
Dio Chrysostom Dio Chrysostom (; el, wikt:Δίων, Δίων Χρυσόστομος ''Dion Chrysostomos''), Dion of Prusa or Dio Cocceianus (c. 40 – c. 115 AD), was a Greece, Greek orator, writer, philosopher and historian of the Roman Empire in the 1st centu ...
was expressly composed to settle the dispute.''DGRG''
Nicaea
/ref>
Plutarch Plutarch (; grc-gre, Πλούταρχος, ''Ploútarchos''; ; AD 46 – after AD 119) was a Greek Middle Platonist Middle Platonism is the modern name given to a stage in the development of Platonic philosophy, lasting from about 90 BC&nbs ...

Plutarch
mentioned that Menecrates (Μενεκράτης) wrote about the history of the city.


Roman period

Along with the rest of Bithynia, Nicaea came under the rule of the
Roman Republic The Roman Republic ( la, Rēs pūblica Rōmāna ) was a state of the classical Roman civilization, run through public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an indiv ...
in 72 BC. The city remained one of the most important urban centres of
Asia Minor Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from 'almost' and 'island') is a landform A landform is a natural or artificial feature of ...

Asia Minor
throughout the Roman period, and continued its old competition with Nicomedia over pre-eminence and the location of the seat of the
Roman governor A Roman governor was an official either elected or appointed to be the chief administrator of Roman law Roman law is the law, legal system of ancient Rome, including the legal developments spanning over a thousand years of jurisprudence, from t ...
of
Bithynia et Pontus Bithynia and Pontus ( la, Provincia Bithynia et Pontus) was the name of a province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region ...
. The geographer
Strabo Strabo''Strabo'' (meaning "squinty", as in strabismus Strabismus is a condition in which the eyes do not properly align with each other when looking at an object. The eye that is focused on an object can alternate. The condition may be pre ...

Strabo
(XII.565 ff.) described the city as built in the typical
Hellenistic The Hellenistic period spans the period of History of the Mediterranean region, Mediterranean history between the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and the emergence of the Roman Empire, as signified by the Battle of Actium in 31  ...

Hellenistic
fashion with great regularity, in the form of a square, measuring 16 stadia in circumference, i.e. approx. or covering an area of some or ; it had four gates, and all its streets intersected one another at right angles in accordance with the Hippodamian plan, so that from a monument in the centre all the four gates could be seen. This monument stood in the
gymnasium Gymnasium may refer to: *Gymnasium (ancient Greece), educational and sporting institution *Gymnasium (school), type of secondary school that prepares students for higher education **Gymnasium (Denmark) **Gymnasium (Germany) **Gymnasium UNT, high ...
, which was destroyed by fire but was restored with increased magnificence by
Pliny the Younger Gaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus, born Gaius Caecilius or Gaius Caecilius Cilo (61 – c. 113), better known as Pliny the Younger (), was a lawyer, author, and magistrate of Ancient Rome In historiography, ancient Rome is Roman people, Rom ...

Pliny the Younger
, when he was governor there in the early 2nd century AD. In his writings Pliny makes frequent mention of Nicaea and its public buildings. Emperor
Hadrian Hadrian (; la, Caesar Traianus Hadrianus ; 24 January 76 – 10 July 138) was Roman emperor from 117 to 138. He was born into a Roman Italo-Hispanic family, which settled in Spain from the Italian city of Atri, Abruzzo, Atri in Picenum. Hi ...

Hadrian
visited the city in 123 AD after it had been severely damaged by an earthquake and began to rebuild it. The new city was enclosed by a polygonal wall of some 5 kilometres in length. Reconstruction was not completed until the 3rd century, and the new set of walls failed to save Nicaea from being sacked by the
Goths The Goths ( got, 𐌲𐌿𐍄𐌸𐌹𐌿𐌳𐌰, translit=''Gutþiuda''; la, Gothi) were a Germanic people The Germanic peoples were a historical group of people living in Central Europe Central Europe is an area of Europe between West ...
in 258 AD. The numerous coins of Nicaea which still exist attest the interest taken in the city by the
Roman emperors The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Roman Republic, Republican period of ancient Rom ...
, as well as its attachment to the rulers; many of them commemorate great festivals celebrated there in honour of gods and emperors, as Olympia, Isthmia,
Dionysia The Dionysia () (Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approxi ...
,
Pythia The Pythia (; grc, Πυθία ) was the name of the high priestess of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi Delphi (; ), in legend previously called Pytho (Πυθώ), in ancient times was a sacred precinct that served as the seat of Pythia, the ...
, ,
Severia Severia or Siveria ( orv, Сѣверія, uk, Сіверія or , Romanization of Ukrainian, translit. ''Siveria'' or ''Sivershchyna'', russian: Северщина, translit=Severshchina) is a historical region in present-day central-west Russia ...
, Philadelphia, etc.


Byzantine period

By the 4th century, Nicaea was a large and prosperous city, and a major military and administrative centre. Emperor
Constantine the Great Constantine I ( la, Flavius Valerius Constantinus; ; 27 February 22 May 337), also known as Constantine the Great, was Roman emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ...

Constantine the Great
convened the
First Ecumenical Council The First Council of Nicaea (; gr, Νίκαια ) was a council of Christian bishops convened in the Bithynian city of Nicaea (now İznik, Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country straddling ...
there, and the city gave its name to the
Nicene Creed The original Nicene Creed (; grc-gre, Σύμβολον τῆς Νικαίας; la, Symbolum Nicaenum) was first adopted at the First Council of Nicaea, which opened on 19 June 325.''Readings in the History of Christian Theology'' by William Ca ...
. The city remained important in the 4th century, seeing the proclamation of Emperor
Valens Flavius Valens (Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek (, ) ...

Valens
(364) and the failed rebellion of
Procopius Procopius of Caesarea ( grc-gre, Προκόπιος ὁ Καισαρεύς ''Prokópios ho Kaisareús''; la, Procopius Caesariensis; – after 565) was a prominent late antique Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, fr ...
(365). During the same period, the See of Nicaea became independent of Nicomedia and was raised to the status of a
metropolitan bishop In Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ (title), Christ'' and ''Christian'' deriv ...
ric. However, the city was hit by two major earthquakes in 363 and 368, and coupled with competition from the newly established capital of the
Eastern Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn ...

Eastern Empire
,
Constantinople la, Constantinopolis ota, قسطنطينيه , alternate_name = Byzantion (earlier Greek name), Nova Roma ("New Rome"), Miklagard/Miklagarth (Old Norse Old Norse, Old Nordic, or Old Scandinavian is a stage of development of North Germa ...

Constantinople
, it began to decline thereafter. Many of its grand civic buildings began to fall into ruin, and had to be restored in the 6th century by Emperor
Justinian I Justinian I (; la, Flavius Petrus Sabbatius Iustinianus; grc-gre, Ἰουστινιανός ; 48214 November 565), also known as Justinian the Great, was the Byzantine emperor This is a list of the Byzantine emperors from the foundation o ...
. The city disappears from sources thereafter and is mentioned again in the early 8th century: in 715, the deposed emperor
Anastasios II Anastasios II or Anastasius II (Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approxi ...

Anastasios II
fled there, and the city successfully resisted attacks by the
Umayyad Caliphate The Umayyad Caliphate (661–750 CE; , ; ar, ٱلْخِلَافَة ٱلْأُمَوِيَّة, al-Khilāfah al-ʾUmawīyah) was the second of the four major caliphate A caliphate ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an Islamic state under ...
in 716 and 727. The city was again damaged by the 740 Constantinople earthquake, served as the base of the rebellion of
Artabasdos Artavasdos or Artabasdos ( el, or , from Armenian language, Armenian: Արտավազդ, ''Artavazd'', ''Ardavazt''), Latinisation of names, Latinized as Artabasdus, was a Byzantine Empire, Byzantine general of Armenians, Armenian descent who seiz ...
in 741/2, and served as the meeting-place of the
Seventh Ecumenical Council The Second Council of Nicaea is recognized as the last of the first seven ecumenical councils In the history of Christianity The history of Christianity concerns the Christian religion, Christian countries, and the Church with its vari ...
, which condemned
Byzantine Iconoclasm Byzantine Iconoclasm ( gr, Εἰκονομαχία, Eikonomachía, literally, "image struggle" or "war on icons") refers to two periods in the history of the Byzantine Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empir ...
, in 787 (the council probably met in the
basilica In Ancient Roman architecture, a basilica is a large public building with multiple functions, typically built alongside the town's Forum (Roman), forum. The basilica was in the Latin West equivalent to a stoa in the Greek East. The building ...

basilica
of
Hagia Sophia Hagia Sophia (; ; la, Sancta Sophia, lit=Holy Wisdom Holy Wisdom (Greek: , la, Sancta Sapientia, russian: Святая София Премудрость Божия, translit=Svyataya Sofiya Premudrost' Bozhiya "Holy Sophia, Divine Wisdom") ...
). Nicaea became the capital of the
Opsician Theme The Opsician Theme ( gr, θέμα Ὀψικίου, ''thema Opsikiou'') or simply Opsikion (Greek: , from la, Obsequium) was a Byzantine Empire, Byzantine Theme (country subdivision), theme (a military-civilian province) located in northwestern As ...
in the 8th century and remained a center of administration and trade. A
Jewish Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2 , Israeli pronunciation ) or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and nation originating from the Israelites Israelite origins and kingdom: "The first act in the long drama of Jewish history is ...

Jewish
community is attested in the city in the 10th century. Due to its proximity to Constantinople, the city was contested in the rebellions of the 10th and 11th centuries as a base from which to threaten the capital. It was in the wake of such a rebellion, that of
Nikephoros Melissenos Nikephoros Melissenos ( el, Νικηφόρος Μελισσηνός, – 17 November 1104), Latinized as Nicephorus Melissenus, was a Byzantine The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the conti ...
, that it fell into the hands of Melissenos' Turkish allies in 1081. The
Seljuk Turks The Seljuk dynasty, or Seljuks ( ; fa, آل سلجوق ''Al-e Saljuq''), was an Oghuz Turkic Sunni Muslim dynasty A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary'', "dynasty, ''n.''" Oxford Un ...
made Nicaea the capital of their in Asia Minor until 1097, when it returned to Byzantine control with the aid of the
First Crusade The First Crusade (1096–1099) was the first of a series of religious wars, or Crusades, initiated, supported and at times directed by the Latin Church in the medieval period. The objective was the recovery of the Holy Land from Muslim conqu ...
after a . The 12th century saw a period of relative stability and prosperity at Nicaea. The Komnenian emperors Alexios, John and Manuel campaigned extensively to strengthen the Byzantine presence in Asia Minor. Major fortifications were constructed across the region, especially by John and Manuel, which helped to protect the city and its fertile hinterland. There were also several military bases and colonies in the area, for example the one at Rhyndakos in Bithynia, where the emperor John spent a year training his troops in preparation for campaigns in southern Asia Minor. After the
fall Autumn, also known as fall in American English and Canadian English, is one of the four temperate seasons. Outside the tropics, autumn marks the transition from summer to winter, in September (Northern Hemisphere) or March (Southern Hemisphe ...

fall
of Constantinople to the
Fourth Crusade The Fourth Crusade (1202–1204) was a Roman Catholic Church, Latin Christian armed expedition called by Pope Innocent III. The stated intent of the expedition was to recapture the Islam, Muslim-controlled city of Jerusalem, by first defeating th ...
in 1204, and the establishment of the
Latin Empire The Latin Empire, also referred to as the Latin Empire of Constantinople, was a feudal Crusader state The Crusader states were feudal polities created by the Latin Catholic leaders of the First Crusade through conquest and political ...

Latin Empire
, Nicaea escaped Latin occupation and maintained an autonomous stance. From 1206 on, it became the base of Theodore Laskaris, who in 1208 was crowned emperor there and founded the
Empire of Nicaea The Empire of Nicaea or the Nicene Empire is the conventional historiographic name for the largest of the three Byzantine Greek Medieval Greek (also known as Middle Greek or Byzantine Greek) is the stage of the Greek language Greek (mod ...

Empire of Nicaea
. The
Patriarchate of Constantinople The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople ( el, Οἰκουμενικόν Πατριαρχεῖον Κωνσταντινουπόλεως, translit=Oikoumenikón Patriarkhíon Konstantinoupóleos, ; la, Patriarchatus Oecumenicus Constantino ...
, exiled from Constantinople, also took up residence in the city until the recapture of Constantinople in 1261. Although Nicaea was soon abandoned as the primary residence of the Nicene emperors, who favoured Nymphaion and
Magnesia on the Maeander Magnesia may refer to: *Magnesia (regional unit) Magnesia ( el, Μαγνησία, ''Magnisía'', ), Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world fro ...
, the period was a lively one in the city's history, with "frequent synods, embassies, and imperial weddings and funerals", while the influx of scholars from other parts of the Greek world made it a centre of learning as well. After the restoration of the Byzantine Empire in 1261, the city once again declined in importance. The neglect of the Asian frontier by
Michael VIII Palaiologos Michael VIII Palaiologos or Palaeologus ( el, Μιχαὴλ Δούκας Ἄγγελος Κομνηνὸς Παλαιολόγος, Mikhaēl Doukas Angelos Komnēnos Palaiologos; 1223 – 11 December 1282) reigned as the co-emperor of the Empire ...

Michael VIII Palaiologos
provoked a major uprising in 1262, and in 1265, panic broke out when rumours circulated of an imminent
Mongol The Mongols ( mn, Монголчууд, , ''Mongolchuud'', ; russian: Монголы, ) are an East Asian East Asia is the eastern region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") ...

Mongol
attack. Emperor
Andronikos II Palaiologos Andronikos II Palaiologos ( gr, Ἀνδρόνικος Δούκας Ἄγγελος Κομνηνός Παλαιολόγος, Andronikos Doukas Angelos Komnēnos Palaiologos; Summer 1258 – 13 February 1332), usually Latinization of names, ...

Andronikos II Palaiologos
visited the city in 1290 and took care to restore its defences, but Byzantium proved unable to halt the rise of the nascent Ottoman emirate in the region. After Emperor
Andronikos III Palaiologos , image = Andronikos_III_Palaiologos.jpg , caption = Andronikos III Palaiologos, 14th-century miniature.Stuttgart of the Old Castle (Stuttgart), Old Castle Stuttgart (; Swabian German, Swabian: ; ) is the capital city, ...

Andronikos III Palaiologos
and
John Kantakouzenos John VI Kantakouzenos, Cantacuzenus, or Cantacuzene ( el, , ''Iōannēs VI′ Kantakouzēnos''; la, Johannes Cantacuzenus;  – 15 June 1383) was a Greek people, Greek Byzantine aristocracy, nobleman, statesman, and Byzantine army, general ...

John Kantakouzenos
were defeated at Pelekanon on 11 June 1329, the Byzantine government could no longer defend Nicaea. Nicaea finally surrendered to the Ottomans after a long siege 2 March 1331.


Ottoman Empire

In 1331,
Orhan I Orhan Ghazi ( ota, اورخان غازی; tr, Orhan Gazi, also spelled Orkhan, 1281 – March 1362) was the second bey "Bey" ( ota, بك “''Beik''”, chg, بك “''Bek''”, tk, beg, uz, bek, kz, бек, tt, bäk, sq, beu, bs ...

Orhan I
captured the city from the and for a short period the town became the capital of the expanding Ottoman emirate. Many of its public buildings were destroyed, and the materials were used by the
Ottomans The Ottoman Turks or Osmanlı Turks ( tr, Osmanlı Türkleri), were the Turkic people The Turkic peoples are a collection of ethnic groups of Central Asia, Central, East Asia, East, North Asia, North and West Asia as well as parts of Europe an ...
in erecting their mosques and other edifices. The large church of Hagia Sophia in the centre of the town was converted into a mosque and became known as the Orhan Mosque. A madrasa and baths were built nearby. In 1334 Orhan built a mosque and an ''
imaret Imaret is one of a few names used to identify the public soup kitchen A soup kitchen, meal center, or food kitchen is a place where food is offered to the hungry usually for free or sometimes at a below-market price. Frequently located in lower-i ...

imaret
'' (soup kitchen) just outside the Yenişehir gate (Yenişehir Kapısı) on the south side of the town. With the
fall of Constantinople The fall of Constantinople ( grc-x-byzant, Ἅλωσις τῆς Κωνσταντινουπόλεως , translit=Hálōsis tē̂s Kōnstantīnoupóleōs ; tr, İstanbul'un Fethi, lit=Conquest of Istanbul ) was the capture of the capital Cap ...
in 1453, the town lost a great degree of its importance, but later became a major centre with the creation of a local
faïence Faience or faïence (; ) is the general English language English is a of the , originally spoken by the inhabitants of . It is named after the , one of the ancient that migrated from , a peninsula on the (not to be confused with ), ...
pottery industry in the 17th century.


Ruins

The ancient walls, with their towers and gates, are relatively well preserved. Their circumference is , being at the base from in thickness, and from in height; they contain four large and two small gates. In most places they are formed of alternate courses of Roman tiles and large square stones, joined by a cement of great thickness. In some places columns and other architectural fragments from the ruins of more ancient edifices have been inserted. As with those of Constantinople, the walls seem to have been built in the 4th century. Some of the towers have
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
inscriptions.Comp.
William Martin Leake William Martin Leake (14 January 17776 January 1860) was an English military man, topographer Topography is the study of the forms and features of land surface Relief map of Sierra Nevada, Spain Terrain or relief (also topograp ...

William Martin Leake
, ''Asia Minor'', pp. 10, foll.; Von Prokesch-Osten, ''Erinnerungen'', iii. pp. 321,foll.;
Richard Pococke Richard Pococke (19 November 1704 – 25 September 1765)''Notes and Queries'', p. 129. was an English-born churchman, inveterate traveller and travel writer. He was the Bishop of Ossory (1756–65) and Meath (1765), both dioceses of the Church ...

Richard Pococke
, ''Journey in Asia Minor'', iii. pp. 181, foll.; Walpole,'Turkey' , ii. p. 146; Eckhel, ''Doctr. Num.'' i. pp. 423, foll.; Rasche, ''Lexic. Rei Num.'' iii. l. pp. 1374, foll.
Eight kilometers from the city there is an ancient, human-size, Herakles relief engraved on a rock. The ruins of mosques, baths, and houses, dispersed among the gardens and apartment buildings that now occupy a great part of the space within the Roman and Byzantine fortifications, show that the Ottoman-era town center, though now less considerable, was once a place of importance; but it never was as large as the Byzantine city. It seems to have been almost entirely constructed of the remains of the Byzantine-era Nicaea, the walls of the ruined mosques and baths being full of the fragments of ancient Greek, Roman, and Byzantine temples and churches. In the northwestern parts of the town, two moles extend into the lake and form a harbour; but the lake in this part has much retreated, and left a marshy plain. Outside the walls are the remnants of an ancient aqueduct. The Church of the Dormition, the principal Greek Orthodox church in Nicaea, was one of the most architecturally important Byzantine churches in
Asia Minor Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from 'almost' and 'island') is a landform A landform is a natural or artificial feature of ...

Asia Minor
. A domed church with a cross-shaped nave and elongated apse, and dating from the perhaps as early as the end of the 6th century, its bema was decorated with very fine mosaics that had been restored in the 9th century. The Church of the Dormition was destroyed by the Turks in 1922; only the lower portions of some of its walls survive today. Excavations are underway in the Ottoman kilns where the historic Nycean tileware were made. The Hagia Sophia, İznik, Hagia Sophia of Nicaea is also undergoing restoration.


See of Nicaea

The bishopric of Nicaea remains as a titular see of the Roman Catholic Church, which has left the seat vacant since the death of its last titular bishop in 1976. It is also a titular metropolitan bishop, metropolitan see of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. The incumbent 2001–2010 was the former Finnish Orthodox Church, Archbishop of Karelia and All Finland, Metropolitan John Rinne, Johannes (Rinne).


People

*Hipparchus (2nd century BC) Greek astronomer, geographer, and mathematician *Cassius Dio (AD c.165–c.229), Roman historian *Sporus of Nicaea (c. 240 – c. 300) Greek mathematician and astronomer *Georgius Pachymeres (1242 – c. 1310), Byzantine historian


See also

* List of ancient Greek cities


References


Sources

* * *


External links


Hazlitt, Classical Gazetteer, "Nicæa"
* T. Bekker-Nielsen
''Urban Life and Local Politics in Roman Bithynia: The Small World of Dion Chrysostomos''
Aarhus, 2008. * Çetinkaya, Halûk
Four Newly Discovered Churches in Bithynia
''Actual Problems of Theory and History of Art: Collection of articles. Vol. 9.'' Ed: A. V. Zakharova, S. V. Maltseva, E. Iu. Staniukovich-Denisova. Lomonosov Moscow State University/St. Petersburg, NP-Print, 2019, pp. 244–252. ISSN 2312-2129. {{DEFAULTSORT:Nicaea Ancient Greek archaeological sites in Turkey Populated places in Bithynia Populated places of the Byzantine Empire Crusade places Catholic titular sees in Asia Antigonid colonies Roman towns and cities in Turkey İznik