Sites & cities that bear the name of Samsun


Today in : Turkey
First trace of activity : ca. 17th century B.C.E
Last trace of activity : today
Recorded names : Enete?, Αμισός, Amisós, Amisus, Σαμψούντα, Sampsúnta, Peiraieos, Pompeiopolis, Simisso, صامسون‎, Dündartepe, Eis Amison, Samsunta, Samsus, Samson, Samsounta

Description : Samsun (Pontic Greek: Σαμψούντα, Sampsúnta) is a city on the north coast of Turkey with a population of around 1.4 million people. It is the provincial capital of Samsun Province and a major Black Sea port. The growing city has two universities, several hospitals, shopping malls, much light manufacturing industry, sports facilities and an opera. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk began the Turkish War of Independence here in 1919. Paleolithic artifacts found in the Tekkeköy Caves can be seen in Samsun Archaeology Museum. The earliest layer excavated of the höyük of Dündartepe revealed a Chalcolithic settlement. Early Bronze Age and Hittite settlements were also found there and at Tekkeköy. Samsun (then known as Amisos, Greek Αμισός, alternative spelling Amisus) was settled in about 760–750 BC by Ionians from Miletus, who established a flourishing trade relationship with the ancient peoples of Anatolia. The city's ideal combination of fertile ground and shallow waters attracted numerous traders. Amisus was settled by the Ionian Milesians in the 6th century BC, it is believed that there was significant Greek activity along the coast of the Black Sea, although the archaeological evidence for this is very fragmentary. The only archaeological evidence we have as early as the 6th century is a fragment of wild goat style Greek pottery, in the Louvre. The city was captured by the Persians in 550 BC and became part of Cappadocia (satrapy). In the 5th century BC, Amisus became a free state and one of the members of the Delian League led by the Athenians; it was then renamed Peiraeus under Pericles. Starting the 3rd century BC the city came under the control of Mithridates I, later founder of the Kingdom of Pontus. The Amisos treasure may have belonged to one of the kings. Tumuli, containing tombs dated between 300 BC and 30 BC, can be seen at Amisos Hill but unfortunately Toraman Tepe was mostly flattened during construction of the 20th century radar base. The Romans conquered Amisus in 71 BC during the Third Mithridatic War. and Amisus became part of Bithynia et Pontus province. Around 46 BC, during the reign of Julius Caesar, Amisus became the capital of Roman Pontus. From the period of the Second Triumvirate up to Nero, Pontus was ruled by several client kings, as well as one client queen, Pythodorida of Pontus, a granddaughter of Marcus Antonius. From 62 CE it was directly ruled by Roman governors, most famously by Trajan's appointee Pliny. Pliny the Younger's address to the Emperor Trajan in the 1st century CE "By your indulgence, sir, they have the benefit of their own laws," is interpreted by John Boyle Orrery to indicate that the freedoms won for those in Pontus by the Romans was not pure freedom and depended on the generosity of the Roman emperor. The estimated population of the city around 150 AD is between 20,000 and 25,000 people, classifying it as a relatively large city for that time. The city functioned as the commercial capital for the province of Pontus; beating its rival Sinope (now Sinop) due to its position at the head of the trans-Anatolia highway. In Late Antiquity, the city became part of the Dioecesis Pontica within the eastern Roman Empire; later still it was part of the Armeniac Theme. Samsun Castle was built on the seaside in 1192, it was demolished between 1909 and 1918.

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