Halicarnassus (Ancient Greek: Ἁλικαρνᾱσσός, Halikarnassós or Ἀλικαρνασσός, Alikarnassós; Turkish: Halikarnas) was an ancient Greek city at the site of modern Bodrum in Turkey. It was located in southwest Caria on a picturesque, advantageous site on the Ceramic Gulf. The city was famous for the tomb of Mausolus, from whence we get the word mausoleum, built between 353 BC and 350 BC, and one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. It was part of the Persian Empire until captured by Alexander the Great at the siege of Halicarnassus in 334 BC.
Halicarnassus originally occupied only a small island near to the shore called Zephyria, which was the original name of the settlement and the present site of the great Castle of St. Peter built by the Knights of Rhodes in 1404; but in course of time, the island united with the mainland and the city extended to incorporate Salmacis, an older town of the Leleges and Carians and site of the later citadel.
The founding of Halicarnassus is debated among various traditions; but they agree in the main point as to its being a Dorian colony, and the figures on its coins, such as the head of Medusa, Athena or Poseidon, or the trident, support the statement that the mother cities were Troezen and Argos. The inhabitants appear to have accepted Anthes, a son of Poseidon, as their legendary founder, as mentioned by Strabo, and were proud of the title of Antheadae. The Carian name for Halicarnassus has been tentatively identified with Alosδkarnosδ in inscriptions.
At an early period Halicarnassus was a member of the Doric Hexapolis, which included Kos, Cnidus, Lindos, Kameiros and Ialysus; but it was expelled from the league when one of its citizens, Agasicles, took home the prize tripod which he had won in the Triopian games, instead of dedicating it according to custom to the Triopian Apollo. In the early 5th century Halicarnassus was under the sway of Artemisia I of Caria (also known as Artemesia of Halicarnassus), who made herself famous as a naval commander at the battle of Salamis. Of Pisindalis, her son and successor, little is known; but Lygdamis, who next attained power, is notorious for having put to death the poet Panyasis and causing Herodotus, possibly the best known Halicarnassian, to leave his native city (c. 457 BC).
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