The Info List - Nicomedia

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(/ˌnɪkəˈmiːdiə/;[1] Greek: Νικομήδεια, Nikomedeia; modern İzmit) was an ancient Greek city in what is now Turkey.


1 History

1.1 Persecutions of 303 1.2 Later Empire

2 Infrastructure 3 Notable natives and residents 4 Remains 5 See also 6 References

History[edit] It was founded in 712/11 BC as a Megarian
colony and was originally known as Astacus (/ˈæstəkəs/; Ancient Greek: Ἀστακός, "lobster").[2] After being destroyed by Lysimachus,[3] it was rebuilt by Nicomedes I of Bithynia in 264 BC under the name of Nicomedia, and has ever since been one of the most important cities in northwestern Asia Minor. The great military commander Hannibal
Barca came to Nicomedia
in his final years and committed suicide in nearby Libyssa (Diliskelesi, Gebze). The historian Arrian
was born there.

This section of a belt depicting medallions honoring Constantius II and Faustina was minted in Nicomedia.[4] The Walters Art Museum.

was the metropolis and capital of the Roman province of Bithynia
under the Roman Empire. It is referenced repeatedly in Pliny the Younger's Epistles to Trajan during his tenure as governor of Bithynia.[5] Diocletian
made it the eastern capital city of the Roman Empire in 286 when he introduced the Tetrarchy
system. Persecutions of 303[edit] Nicomedia
was at the center of Diocletian
and his Caesar Galerius' persecution of the Christians. On 23 February 303 AD, the pagan festival of the Terminalia, Diocletian
ordered that the newly-built church at Nicomedia
be razed, its scriptures burnt, and its precious stones seized.[6] The next day he issued his "First Edict Against the Christians," which ordered similar measures to be taken at churches across the Empire. The destruction of the Nicomedia
church incited panic in the city, and at the end of the month a fire destroyed part of Diocletian's palace, followed 16 days later by another fire.[7] Although an investigation was made into the cause of the fires, no party was officially charged, but Galerius
placed the blame on the Christians. He oversaw the execution of two palace eunuchs, who he claimed conspired with the Christians to start the fire, followed by six more executions through the end of April 303. Soon after Galerius
declared Nicomedia
to be unsafe and ostentatiously departed the city for Rome, followed soon after by Diocletian.[7] Later Empire[edit] Nicomedia
remained as the eastern (and most senior) capital of the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
until co-emperor Licinius
was defeated by Constantine the Great at the Battle of Chrysopolis
Battle of Chrysopolis
(Üsküdar) in 324. Constantine mainly resided in Nicomedia
as his interim capital city for the next six years, until in 330 he declared the nearby Byzantium
(which was renamed Constantinople) the new capital. Constantine died in a royal villa in the vicinity of Nicomedia
in 337. Owing to its position at the convergence of the Asiatic roads leading to the new capital, Nicomedia
retained its importance even after the foundation of Constantinople.[8] A major earthquake, however, on 24 August 358, caused extensive devastation to Nicomedia, and was followed by a fire which completed the catastrophe. Nicomedia
was rebuilt, but on a smaller scale.[9] In the sixth century under Emperor Justinian I
Justinian I
the city was extended with new public buildings. Situated on the roads leading to the capital, the city remained a major military center, playing an important role in the Byzantine campaigns against the Caliphate.[10] In 451, the local bishopric was promoted to a Metropolitan see under the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.[11] The metropolis of Nicomedia
was ranked 7th in the Notitiae Episcopatuum among the metropolises of the patriarchate.[12] In the eighth century the Emperor Constantine V
Constantine V
established his court there for a time, when plague broke out in Constantinople
and drove him from his capital in 746–47.[13] From the 840s on, Nicomedia
was the capital of the thema of the Optimatoi. By that time, most of the old, seawards city had been abandoned and is described by the Persian geographer Ibn Khurdadhbih as lying in ruins, with settlement restricted to the hilltop citadel.[10] In the 1080s, the city served as the main military base for Alexios I Komnenos
Alexios I Komnenos
in his campaigns against the Seljuk Turks, and the First and Second Crusades both encamped there. The city was briefly held by the Latin Empire
Latin Empire
following the fall of Constantinople
to the Fourth Crusade
Fourth Crusade
in 1204: in late 1206 the seneschal Dietrich von Los made it his base, converting the church of Saint Sophia into a fortress; however, the Crusader stronghold was subjected to constant raids by the Emperor of Nicaea
Emperor of Nicaea
Theodore I Laskaris, during which von Los was captured by Nicaean soldiers; by the summer of 1207 Emperor Henry of Flanders
Henry of Flanders
agreed to evacuate Nicomedia
in exchange for von Los and other prisoners Emperor Theodore held.[14] The city remained in Byzantine control for over a century after that, but following the Byzantine defeat at the Battle of Bapheus in 1302, it was threatened by the rising Ottoman beylik. The city was twice blockaded by the Ottomans (in 1304 and 1330) before finally succumbing in 1337.[10] Infrastructure[edit] During the Empire, Nicomedia
was a cosmopolitan and commercially prosperous city which received all the amenities appropriate for a major Roman city. Nicomedia
was well known for having a bountiful water supply from two to three aqueducts,[15] one of which was built in Hellenistic times. Pliny the Younger
Pliny the Younger
complains in his epistulae to Trajan that the Nicomedians wasted 3,518,000 sesterces on an unfinished aqueduct which twice ran into engineering troubles. Trajan instructs him to take steps to complete the aqueduct, and to investigate possible official corruption behind the large waste of money.[16] Under Trajan, there was also a large Roman garrison.[17] Other public amenities included a theatre, a colonnaded street typical of Hellenistic cities and a forum.[18] The major religious shrine was a temple of Demeter, which stood in a sacred precinct on a hill above the harbor.[5] The city adopted official cults of Rome avidly, there were temples dedicated to the Emperor Commodus,[19] a sacred precinct of the city dedicated to Octavian,[20] and a temple of Roma dedicated during the late-Republic.[5] The city was sacked in AD 253 by the Goths, but when Diocletian
made the city his capital in 283 AD he undertook grand restorations and built an enormous palace, an armory, mint and new shipyards.[5] Notable natives and residents[edit]

Diocletian Arrian
(Lucius Flavius Arrianus 'Xenophon') Saint George Saint Barbara Saint Panteleimon Adrian of Nicomedia Anthimus of Nicomedia Arsacius of Nicomedia Cecropius of Nicomedia Juliana of Nicomedia Theopemptus of Nicomedia Theophylact of Nicomedia Michael Psellos
Michael Psellos
(11th-century) Greek writer, philosopher, politician, and historian Maximus Planudes
Maximus Planudes
(13th-century) Greek scholar, anthologist, translator and grammarian Aaron ben Elijah
Aaron ben Elijah
Karaite Jewish Philosopher and Commentator. Author of Keter Torah, Gan Eden, and 'Etz Hayyim

St. Pantaleon




Saint Barbara

Remains[edit] The ruins of Nicomedia
are buried beneath the densely populated modern city of Izmit, which has largely obstructed comprehensive excavation. Before the urbanization of the 20th century occurred, select ruins of the Roman-era city could be seen, most prominently sections of the Roman defensive walls which surrounded the city and multiple aqueducts which once supplied Nicomedia's water. Other monuments include the foundations of a 2nd-century AD marble nymphaeum on Istanbul
street, a large cistern in the city's Jewish cemetery, and parts of the harbor wall.[5] The 1999 İzmit
earthquake, which seriously damaged most of the city, also led to major discoveries of ancient Nicomedia
during the subsequent debris clearing. A wealth of ancient statuary was uncovered, including statues of Hercules, Athena, Diocletian
and Constantine.[21] In the years after the earthquake, the Izmit Provincial Cultural Directorate appropriated small areas for excavation, including the site identified as Diocletian's Palace and a nearby Roman theatre. In April 2016 a more extensive excavation of the palace site was begun under the supervision of the Kocaeli Museum.[22] See also[edit]

20,000 Martyrs of Nicomedia Nicaea
(present-day İznik, another important city in Bithynia, and the interim Byzantine capital city between 1204 and 1261 (Empire of Nicaea) following the Fourth Crusade
Fourth Crusade
in 1204, until the recapture of Constantinople
by the Byzantines in 1261. Earlier, the site of the Nicene Creed
Nicene Creed
as well as the First Council of Nicaea
and Second Council of Nicaea.)


^ "Nicomedia" in the American Heritage Dictionary ^ Peter Levi (ed.). Guide to Greece By Pausanias. p. 232. ISBN 0-14-044225-1.  ^ Cohen, Getzel M. The Hellenistic settlements in Europe, the islands, and Asia Minor. p. 400. ISBN 0-520-08329-6.  ^ "Belt Section with Medallions of Constantius II and Faustina". The Walters Art Museum.  ^ a b c d e W.L. MacDonald (1976). "NICOMEDIA NW Turkey". The Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites. Princeton University Press.  ^ Timothy D. Barnes (1981). Constantine & Eusebius. p. 22.  ^ a b Patricia Southern (2001). The Roman Empire: From Severus to Constantine. p. 168.  ^ See C. Texier, Asie mineure (Paris, 1839); V. Cuenet, Turquie d'Asie (Paris, 1894). ^ See Ammianus Marcellinus 17.7.1–8 ^ a b c Kazhdan, Alexander, ed. (1991), Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium, Oxford University Press, pp. 1483–1484, ISBN 978-0-19-504652-6  ^ Kiminas, Demetrius (2009). The Ecumenical Patriarchate. Wildside Press LLC. p. 79. ISBN 978-1-4344-5876-6.  ^ Terezakis, Yorgos. "Diocese of Nicomedia
(Ottoman Period)". Εγκυκλοπαίδεια Μείζονος Ελληνισμού, Μ. Ασία. Retrieved 13 November 2012.  ^ David Turner, The Politics of Despair: The Plague of 746–747 and Iconoclasm in the Byzantine Empire, The Annual of the British School at Athens, Vol. 85 (1990), p428 ^ Geoffrey de Villehardouin, translated by M. R. B. Shaw, Joinville and Villehardouin: Chronicles of the Crusades (London: Penguin, 1963), pp. 147, 154–56 ^ Libanius. Oratories. p. 61.7.18.  ^ Pliny the Younger. Epistulae. p. 10.37 & .38.  ^ Pliny the Younger. Epistles. p. 10.74.  ^ Pliny the Younger. Epistles. p. 10.49.  ^ Dio Cassius. Roman History. p. 73.12.2.  ^ Cassius Dio. Roman History. p. 51.20.7.  ^ "Ancient underground city in izmit excites archaeology world". Hürriyet Daily News. 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2018-01-14.  ^ "Ancient underground city in izmit excites archaeology world". Hürriyet Daily News. 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2018-01-14. 

v t e

Ancient settlements in Turkey


Aegae Aizanoi Alabanda Alinda Allianoi Amorium Amyzon Antioch
on the Maeander Apamea in Phrygia Aphrodisias Apollonia in Mysia Apollonos Hieron Atarneus Aulai Bargylia Beycesultan Blaundus Caloe Caryanda Celaenae Ceramus Colophon Claros Cyme Didyma Dios Hieron Docimium Ephesus Erythrae Eucarpia Euromus Gambrion Gryneion Halicarnassus Hierapolis Iasos Karmylissos Kaunos Klazomenai Knidos Labraunda Laodicea on the Lycus Latmus Lebedus Leucae Limantepe Magnesia ad Sipylus Magnesia on the Maeander Metropolis Miletus Myndus Myriandrus Myrina Myus Notion Nysa on the Maeander Oenoanda Pepuza Pergamon Perperene Phocaea Pinara Pitane Priene Sardis Smyrna Stratonicea in Lydia Stratonicea in Caria Temnos Teos Tymion

Black Sea

Alaca Höyük Comana in the Pontus Euchaita Hattusa Heraclea Pontica Hüseyindede Tepe Ibora Laodicea Pontica Nerik Nicopolis Pompeiopolis Salatiwara Samuha Sapinuwa Tripolis Yazılıkaya Zaliche

Central Anatolia

Alişar Hüyük Binbirkilise Çatalhöyük Cotenna Derbe Dorylaeum Eudocia (Cappadocia) Eudocia (Phrygia) Gordium Heraclea Cybistra Irenopolis Kaman-Kalehöyük Kerkenes Kültepe
(Kanesh) Laodicea Combusta Meloë Mokissos Nyssa Pessinus Purushanda Tavium Tyana

Eastern Anatolia

Altıntepe Ani Cafer Höyük Melid Sugunia Tushpa


Achilleion Aegospotami Ainos Alexandria Troas Apamea Myrlea Apollonia on the Rhyndax Apros Assos Byzantium Cardia Cebrene Chalcedon Charax Cius Cyzicus Drizipara/Drusipara Faustinopolis Germanicopolis Lamponeia Lampsacus Lygos Lysimachia Marpessos Neandreia Nicomedia Orestias Perinthos Sestos Sigeion Skepsis Troy


Acalissus Acarassus Alalakh Amelas Anazarbus Andriaca Antigonia Antioch
on the Orontes Antioch
of Pisidia Antiochia Lamotis Antioch
on the Cragus Antioch
on the Pyramis Antiphellus Aperlae Aphrodisias
of Cilicia Araxa Ariassos Arneae Arsinoe Arycanda Aspendos Bab al-Hawa Border Crossing Balbura Bubon Calynda Carallia Carmylessus Casae Castabala Cestrus Choma Cibyra Mikra Comama Comana in Cappadocia Comba Coracesium Corycus
(Kızkalesi) Corydala Cremna Cyaneae Cyrrhus Dalisandus in Isauria Dalisandus in Pamphylia Dias Domuztepe Elaiussa Sebaste Emirzeli Epiphania Erymna Etenna Eudocia (Lycia) Eudocias (Pamphylia) Gagae Gözlükule Hacilar Idebessos Irenopolis Isba Issus Kandyba Karakabaklı Karatepe Kibyra Lebessus Limyra Lyrbe Magydus Mallus Mamure Castle Mastaura Meloë Mezgitkale Mopsuestia Myra Nisa Olba Olympos Öküzlü Orokenda Patara Perga Phaselis Phellus Podalia Rhodiapolis Rhosus Sagalassos Seleucia in Pamphylia Seleucia Pieria Seleucia Sidera Selge Side Sidyma Sillyon Simena Sinda Soli Sozopolis Syedra Tapureli Tell Tayinat Telmessos Telmessos
(Caria) Termessos Tlos Trebenna Xanthos Yanıkhan Yumuktepe

Southeastern Anatolia

in the Taurus Antioch
in Mesopotamia Apamea on the Euphrates Carchemish Urshu Khashshum Çayönü Dara Edessa Göbekli Tepe Harran Kussara Nevalı Çori Sakçagözü Sam'al Samosata Sareisa Seleucia at the Zeugma Sultantepe Tille Tushhan Zeugma

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 244579528 GND: 4109182-6 BNF: