Sites & cities that bear the name of Mithymna


Today in : Greece
First trace of activity : ca. 7th century B.C.E
Last trace of activity : today
Recorded names : Molyvos, Μόλυβος, Μήθυμνα, Methymna, Méthymne

Description : Mithymna (Greek: Μήθυμνα, also sometimes spelled Methymna) is a town and former municipality on the island of Lesbos, North Aegean, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Lesbos, of which it is a municipal unit. Before 1919, its official name was Μόλυβος - Molyvos; that name dates back to the end of the Byzantine Era, but is still in common use today. As Methymna, the city was once the prosperous second city of Lesbos, with a founding myth that identified an eponymous Methymna (Greek: Μήθυμνα), the daughter of Macar and married to the personification of Lesbos. Very little is known about Methymna in the Archaic period. The story of Arion and the dolphin, which involves the Corinthian tyrant Periander and is evidently set at the turn of the 7th century BCE, suggests that Methymna was already a prominent city with far-reaching contacts across the Greek world at this period. Herodotus tells us that at some point in the Archaic period, Methymna enslaved the city of Arisba on Lesbos: this will have greatly increased the territory of Methymna, as well as giving it access to the fertile land around the Gulf of Kalloni. We are also told by a local historian, Myrsilus of Methymna, who wrote in the first half of the 3rd century BCE, that Methymna founded the city of Assos which was on the coast of Asia Minor opposite Methymna. However, another local historian, Hellanicus of Lesbos, writing in the mid-5th century BCE, instead simply says Assos was an Aeolian foundation and does not specify a particular city as its founder. This has led some historians to doubt Myrsilus, and instead suggest that this is an example of "local Methymnaean manipulation of the past", although this could equally be true of Hellanicus.

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