Bithynia


Bithynia
Bithynian, adj., n.
/bi thin"ee euh/, n.
an ancient state in NW Asia Minor.

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Ancient country, northwestern Anatolia.

Bounded by the Sea of Marmara, the Bosporus, and the Black Sea, it was settled by Thracians in the late 2nd millennium BC. They never submitted to Alexander the Great, and by the 3rd century BC a powerful Hellenistic kingship had been established in the area. There followed a century of inept leadership and rapid decline. Bithynia's last king, Nicomedes IV, bequeathed his kingdom to the Romans in 74 BC.

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▪ ancient district, Anatolia
      ancient district in northwestern Anatolia, adjoining the Sea of Marmara, the Bosporus, and the Black Sea, thus occupying an important and precarious position between East and West. Late in the 2nd millennium BC, Bithynia was occupied by warlike tribes of Thracian origin who harried Greek settlers and Persian envoys alike. Their remarkable pugnacity kept them from complete Persian domination after the 6th century; in addition, they never submitted to Alexander the Great or his Seleucid successors. By the 3rd century BC the small but powerful state had evolved from tribal government to Hellenistic kingship and reached the height of its power early in the 2nd century BC. There followed a century of inept leadership and rapid decline. Bithynia's last king, Nicomedes IV, little more than a Roman puppet, bequeathed his kingdom to the Romans in 74 BC.

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Universalium. 2010.

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