Halicarnassus

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Location of Halicarnassus within the classical regions of Asia Minor/Anatolia

Halicarnassus was an ancient Greek city which stood on the site of modern Bodrum in Turkey located in southwest Caria. Now called Budrum, a province in Turkey. It was the birthplace of the historians Herodotus and Dionysius.

Variants of name

Origin of name

The suffix -ᾱσσός (-assos) of Greek Ἁλικαρνᾱσσός is indicative of a substrate toponym, meaning that an original Greek name influenced, or established the place's name. It has been recently proposed that the element -καρνᾱσσός is cognate (essentially two words in different languages derived from the same original source) with Luwian (CASTRUM)ha+ra/i-na-sà / (CASTRUM)ha+ra/i-ni-sà 'fortress'.[1] If so, the toponym is probably borrowed from Carian, a Luwic language spoken alongside Greek in Halicarnassus. The Carian name for Halicarnassus has been tentatively identified with Alos-δ karnos-δ in inscriptions.

Location

It was located in southwest Caria on a picturesque, advantageous site on the Ceramic Gulf.[2] The city was famous for the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, also known simply as the Tomb of Mausolus, whose name provided the origin of the word "mausoleum". The mausoleum, built between 353 BC and 350 BC, ranked as one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

History

Halicarnassus formed part of the Persian Empire until Alexander the Great captured it 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 the course of time the island united with the mainland and the city extended to incorporate Salmacis, an older town of the Leleges and Carians[3] and site of the later citadel.

Some large Mycenaean tombs have been found at Musgebi (or Muskebi, modern Ortakent), not far from Halicarnassus. According to Turkish archaeologist Yusuf Boysal, the Muskebi material, dating from the end of the fifteenth century BC to ca. 1200 BC, provides evidence of the presence, in this region, of a Mycenaean settlement.[4]

More than forty burial places dating back to that time have been discovered. A rich collection of artifacts found in these tombs is now housed in the Bodrum Castle.

These finds cast some light on the problem of determining the territories of ancient Arzawa and Ahhiyawa.[5]

Early history

Herodotus (Greek: Ἡρόδοτος) is honored with a statue in his home of Halicarnassus (modern Bodrum).

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.[6]

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). [7]

Hekatomnid dynasty: Hecatomnus became king of Caria, at that time part of the Persian Empire, ruling from 404 BC to 358 BC and establishing the Hekatomnid dynasty. He left three sons, Mausolus, Idrieus and Pixodarus—all of whom—in their turn, succeeded him in the sovereignty; and two daughters, Artemisia and Ada, who were married to their brothers Mausolus and Idrieus.

Mausolus moved his capital from Mylasa to Halicarnassus. His workmen deepened the city's harbor and used the dragged sand to make protecting breakwaters in front of the channel.[8] On land they paved streets and squares, and built houses for ordinary citizens. And on one side of the harbor they built a massive fortified palace for Mausolus, positioned to have clear views out to sea and inland to the hills—places from where enemies could attack. On land, the workmen also built walls and watchtowers, a Greek–style theatre and a temple to Ares—the Greek god of war.

Artemisia and Mausolus spent huge amounts of tax money to embellish the city. They commissioned statues, temples and buildings of gleaming marble. When he died in 353 BC, his wife, sister and successor, Artemisia II of Caria, began construction of a magnificent tomb for him and herself on a hill overlooking the city. She died in 351 BC (of grief, according to Cicero, Tusculan Disputations 3.31). According to Pliny the Elder the craftsmen continued to work on the tomb after the death of their patron, "considering that it was at once a memorial of his own fame and of the sculptor's art," finishing it in 350 BC. This tomb of Mausolus came to be known as the Mausoleum, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

Artemisia was succeeded by her brother Idrieus, who, in turn, was succeeded by his wife and sister Ada when he died in 344 BC. However, Ada was usurped by her brother Pixodarus in 340 BC. On the death of Pixodarus in 335 BC his son-in-law, a Persian named Orontobates, received the satrapy of Caria from Darius III of Persia.

Alexander the Great and Ada of Caria: When Alexander the Great entered Caria in 334 BC, Ada, who was in possession of the fortress of Alinda, surrendered the fortress to him. After taking Halicarnassus, Alexander handed back the government of Caria to her; she, in turn, formally adopted Alexander as her son, ensuring that the rule of Caria passed unconditionally to him upon her eventual death. During the siege of Halicarnassus the city was fired by the retreating Persians. As he was not able to reduce the citadel, Alexander was forced to leave it blockaded.[9] The ruins of this citadel and moat are now a tourist attraction in Bodrum.

Later history: Not long afterwards the citizens received the present of a gymnasium from Ptolemy and built in his honour a stoa or portico.[10] Under Egyptian hegemony, around 268 BC, a citizen named Hermias became Nesiarch of the Nesiotic League in the Cyclades.[11]

Halicarnassus never recovered altogether from the disasters of the siege, and Cicero describes it as almost deserted.[12]

Baroque artist Johann Elias Ridinger depicted the several stages of siege and taking of the place in a huge copper engraving as one of only two known today from his Alexander set.

Ch. 20 Siege of Halicarnassus.— Abortive Attack on Myndus

Arrian[13] writes....Alexander now resolved to disband his fleet, partly from lack of money at the time, and partly because he saw that his own fleet was not a match in battle for that of the Persians. On this account he was unwilling to run the risk of losing even a part of his armament. Besides, he considered, that now he was occupying Asia with his land force, he would no longer be in need of a fleet; and that he would be able to break up that of the Persians, if he captured the maritime cities; since they would neither have any ports from which they could recruit their crews, nor any harbour in Asia to which they could bring their ships. Thus he explained the omen of the eagle to signify that he should get the mastery over the enemy's ships by his land force. After doing this, he set forth into Caria,[1] because it was reported that a considerable force, both of foreigners and of Grecian auxiliaries, had collected in Halicarnassus.[2] Having taken all the cities between Miletus and Halicarnassus as soon as he approached them, he encamped near the latter city, at a distance from it of about five stades,[3] as if he expected a long siege. For the natural position of the place made it strong; and wherever there seemed to be any deficiency in security, it had been entirely supplied long before by Memnon, who was there in person, having now been proclaimed by Darius governor of lower Asia and commander of the entire fleet. Many Grecian mercenary soldiers had been left in the city, as well as many Persian troops; the triremes also were moored in the harbour, so that the sailors might reader him valuable aid in the operations. On the first day of the siege, while Alexander was leading his men up to the wall in the direction of the gate leading towards Mylasa,[4] the men in the city made a sortie, and a skirmish took place; but Alexander's men making a rush upon them repulsed them with ease, and shut them up in the city. A few days after this, the king took the shield-bearing guards, the Cavalry Companions, the infantry regiments of Amyntas, Perdiccas and Meleager, and in addition to these the archers and Agrianians, and went round to the part of the city which is in the direction of Myndus, both for the purpose of inspecting the wall, to see if it happened to be more easy to be assaulted there than elsewhere; and at the same time to see if he could get hold of Myndus[5] by a sudden and secret attack. For he thought that if Myndus were his own, it would be no small help in the siege of Halicarnassus; moreover an offer to surrender had been made by the Myndians if he would approach the town secretly, under the cover of night. About midnight, therefore, he approached the wall, according to the plan agreed on; but as no sign of surrender was made by the men within, and though he had with him no military engines or ladders, inasmuch as he had not set out to besiege the town, but to receive it on surrender, he nevertheless led the Macedonian phalanx near and ordered them to undermine the wall. They threw down one of the towers, which, however, in its fall did not make a breach in the wall. But the men in the city stoutly defending themselves, and at the same time many from Halicarnassus having already come to their aid by sea, made it impossible for Alexander to capture Myndus by surprise or sudden assault. Wherefore he returned without accomplishing any of the plans for which he had set out, and devoted himself once more to the siege of Halicarnassus.

In the first place he filled up with earth the ditch which the enemy had dug in front of the city, about thirty cubits wide and fifteen deep; so that it might be easy to bring forward the towers, from which he intended to discharge missiles against the defenders of the wall; and that he might bring up the other engines with which he was planning to batter the wall down. He easily filled up the ditch, and the towers were then brought forward. But the men in Halicarnassus made a sally by night with the design of setting fire both to the towers and the other engines which had been brought up to the wall, or were nearly brought up to it. They were, however, easily repelled and shut up again within the walls by the Macedonians who were guarding the engines, and by others who were aroused by the noise of the struggle and who came to their aid. Neoptolemus, the brother of Arrhabaeus, son of Amyntas, one of those who had deserted to Darius, was killed, with about 170 others of the enemy. Of Alexander's soldiers sixteen were killed and 300 wounded; for the sally being made in the night, they were less able to guard themselves from being wounded.


1. Caria formed the south-west angle of Asia Minor. The Greeks asserted that the Carians were emigrants from Crete. We learn from Thucydides and Herodotus that they entered the service of foreign rulers. They formed the body-guard of queen Athaliah, who had usurped the throne and stood in need of foreign mercenaries. The word translated in our Bible in 2 Kings xi. 4, 19 as captains, ought to be rendered Carians. See Fuerst's Hebrew Lexicon, sub voce בׇּרֳי.

2. Now called Budrum. It was the birthplace of the historians Herodotus and Dionysius.

2. Little more than half a mile.

4. Now called Melasso, a city of Caria, about ten miles from the Gulf of Iassus.

5. A colony of Troezen, on the western extremity of the same peninsula on which stood Halicarnassus.


p.58-61

External links

References

  1. Ilya Yakubovich. "Phoenician and Luwian in Early Age Cilicia". Anatolian Studies 65 (2015): 44, doi:10.1017/S0066154615000010 Archived 2016-09-23 at the Wayback Machine..
  2. One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Hogarth, David George (1911). "Halicarnassus". In Chisholm, Hugh. Encyclopædia Britannica. 12 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 837–838}.
  3. One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Hogarth, David George (1911). "Halicarnassus". In Chisholm, Hugh. Encyclopædia Britannica. 12 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 837–838}.
  4. Yusuf Boysal, New Excavations in Caria (PDF), Anadolu, (1967), 32–56.
  5. Yusuf Boysal, New Excavations in Caria (PDF), Anadolu, (1967), 32–56.
  6. One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Hogarth, David George (1911). "Halicarnassus". In Chisholm, Hugh. Encyclopædia Britannica. 12 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 837–838}.
  7. "Herodotus". Suda. At the Suda On Line Project.
  8. premiumtravel. "Bodrum - Premium Travel". premiumtravel.net. Archived from the original on 4 August 2017.
  9. One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Hogarth, David George (1911). "Halicarnassus". In Chisholm, Hugh. Encyclopædia Britannica. 12 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 837–838}.
  10. One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Hogarth, David George (1911). "Halicarnassus". In Chisholm, Hugh. Encyclopædia Britannica. 12 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 837–838}.
  11. C. Constantakopoulou, Identity and resistance: The Islanders’ League, the Aegean islands and the Hellenistic kings, in: Mediterranean Historical Review, Vol. 27, No. 1, June 2012, 49–70, note 49 Archived 2018-05-03 at the Wayback Machine
  12. One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Hogarth, David George (1911). "Halicarnassus". In Chisholm, Hugh. Encyclopædia Britannica. 12 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 837–838}.
  13. The Anabasis of Alexander/1b, ch.20

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